Good Morning,

We have closed the golf course for the 2022 season.  Warmer temperatures have sparked the golf bug amongst our golf fans, however, traffic is not good for the golf course at this time of the year.  The colder temperatures have driven the frost past 7″ in depth on the greens.  Foot traffic can cause turf damage once the ground becomes frozen.  There is no protection for the crown of the plant since it is dormant. 

The warmer weather will cause the top portion of the soil to thaw and become wet while the soil profile is still frozen solid.  This can also be a stressful time for the turf.  Foot traffic on the wet turf can cause a lot of foot printing on the greens.  Your footprint can sink into the wet area of the turf until it reaches the frozen part of the soil profile causing damage.  It’s in the best interest of the golf course to avoid winter play.


This past week staff finished cutting off stumps from trees that have been removed from the golf course.  These stumps have been cut off at ground level in preparation for using the stump grinder to completely clean up these areas.  Once the entire removal process has been completed we will add fill material and dormant seed the areas.  Below is a picture to show the stumps at ground level:

 tree stumps.jpg

The past couple of winters The Muni has participated in a turf grass study through the University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Michigan State University, University of Massachusetts, Iowa State University, Oregon State University, Rutgers University, and the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research.

The overall goal of this multi-institutional and international project is to understand winter stress damage of turfgrasses better so that we can develop winter stress prediction models to help turfgrass managers and also create new turfgrass cultivars with superior stresses to winter stresses. 

To achieve this objective, the U of M needs to deploy environmental sensor nodes on about 80 golf courses this offseason. These nodes will take data on soil temperature, soil moisture, carbon dioxide, oxygen, light quantity, relative humidity, etc. throughout the winter.  Each node consists of a box that sits on the green, and then sensors are attached to the box. Sensors are installed into two adjacent cup-cutter holes. A small solar panel is mounted next to the green for power. They have been improving this system since the winter of 2019-2020 and golf course superintendents have stated it is generally easy to install and manage throughout the winter.

 Turf study data.jpg

I have started the off season reel maintenance program.  Each reel has been taken apart and cleaned.  The bedknife is sharpened on one machine to produce a smooth sharp surface for the reel to spin against resulting in cutting the turf.  The reel is mounted and leveled on a separate machine and each individual blade is sharpened to produce a new relief and sharp edge.  There are 34 reels to complete this off season.

 reel sharpening.jpg

 bedknife sharpening.jpg

Starting Monday, staff will be pruning bushes along #3, #14, and #15.  Last year we pruned these bushes to approximately 18-24 inches in height.  The new growth has reached three to four feet in height.  By pruning these bushes it makes maintenance a lot easier during the season.  It also provides a better aesthetic appearance to the golf course.

Stump removal will begin with using the Street Division skid loader and grinding attachment.  There are 18 tree stumps that need to be ground down below the surface of the turf.  It should go pretty smoothly once we get the process started.The interior clubhouse painting will also begin on Monday.  This will consist of repainting some of the walls to cover up any cosmetic issues.  We will use the same colors in all areas of the clubhouse.  It will result in a fresh look inside the facility.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving.  We will have the clubhouse open most of the coming week for 2023 payments to be made.  Enjoy the remainder of the weekend!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301




Good Morning,

The past week was definitely a sign that winter is upon us.  The snowfall was nice for the golf course but unfortunately the high winds blew the snow in a lot of different directions.  The warmer forecasted temperatures will give us a glimmer of hope in delaying the change of seasons a little longer.  

The golf course is closed for the season.  We have our sign posted at the clubhouse and would ask that everyone respect the course closing and please refrain from golfing even if you think it’s a nice winter day to get out and hit a few balls.  The clubhouse will still be open during the day.

We have been busy starting our equipment maintenance program for the off season.  Every piece of equipment is serviced and any necessary repairs are documented.  During the winter months the repairs are completed on equipment as well as sharpening each individual reel.  

In the coming weeks there are a few events scheduled at the clubhouse.  We are hosting Arts on Grand with their Festival of Trees on December 9th.  They will also be holding a luncheon the following morning.  This is the first time this event will be held at The Muni and I am really looking forward to it.

I have recently started taking a course to receive my Advanced Emergency Medical Technician certification.  I am currently an EMT for the Spencer Fire Department.  The additional training will allow me to expand some of the life saving techniques in my scope of practice.  Class is every Monday and Thursday night.  I will not be attending the city council meetings through the month of February unless there is a topic I need to be in attendance to discuss.

As previously stated there are going to be some rate changes at The Muni for the 2023 golf season.  These rates have been updated on the website for your viewing pleasure.  We are honoring 2022 pricing through the end of the year.  Currently our ability to pay with a credit card online is not functioning but you can stop in the clubhouse or city hall to make payment.

We had a late arrival to the 2022 golf season and kind of a quick departure from it this month.  Here are a few aerial pictures taken by Mark Lawson on Thanksgiving Day 2017.  

 Thanksgiving 2017(5).jpg

 Thanksgiving 2017 (4).jpg

 Thanksgiving 2017 (3).jpg

 Thanksgiving 2017 (2).jpg

 Thanksgiving 2017.jpg

Enjoy the upcoming holiday with your families and friends!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301




Good Morning,

The Spencer Municipal Golf Board has agreed to a slight rate proposal for season passes, green fees, and cart rentals.  These increases are necessary to meet the rising cost of expenses at the golf course.  These increases are small in several areas so as to not make a large impact on any single area of revenues.  2022 pricing will be offered through the end of the season.  The clubhouse will be open today for 2023 payments. 

The first part of the week I was able to go through the irrigation system station by station and document any issues throughout the golf course.  By Tuesday we had an informative list of minor issues to deal with moving forward.  Staff started working on these repairs as they were flagged up to the final hours of the day Wednesday.  The list was decreased by 50%.

The irrigation system ran almost every night since the well pump was installed and nearly filled our pond to capacity.  We had a beautiful rain shower for most of the day on Tuesday.  Nightly irrigation cycles, warm temperatures, a fertilizer application, and much needed precipitation really brought the course back to life after struggling with so many irrigation problems.  It was a welcome sight!

 11-11-22 closing.jpg

The high winds delayed our final fertilization application for the greens until early Wednesday morning.  This application was followed by a 20 minute irrigation cycle on the greens.  Nutrients will be readily available for the creeping bentgrass early in the spring and give the turf a jumpstart on the 2023 season.

Wednesday afternoon I started up the air compressors and started blowing out the main lines of the irrigation system.  Several hours later the main lines were blown out as the sun was starting to set.  I watched the final golfer of the 2022 golf season make his way off the 18th tee box and head down the fairway one last time.

 last golfer 2022.jpg

Early Thursday morning the compressors were back up and running and we concentrated on winterizing close to 300 lateral lines.  Repairs were completed along the way.  It went very smoothly which is rarely the case with this process each season.  We completed the process by mid afternoon.

 #1 tee beginning blowout ’22.jpg

 #1 fairway blowout.jpg

 #5 green blowout 2022.jpg

 #12 blowout 2022.jpg

 #14 blowout 2022.jpg

Friday morning we winterized the pumphouse.  This consists of disconnecting copper lines, removing intakes and valves, and pulling meters and controls.  By late morning the process was a wrap and the power was turned off until next year.

We will continue to document all of the ash trees showing signs of the Emerald Ash Borer.  Most of the trees showing signs of the EAB are in the area of the rough on holes #2, #16, and #17.  Most other areas of the course appear to be unaffected.  Several larger trees will still be removed this year.  

Quite a few of our smaller ash trees are showing signs of bark damage.  Some of these trees have minimal bark loss while others are quite visible.  We won’t know if these trees can all be saved until the spring when we see the leaf growth on the full canopy.  If the EAB has affected the movement of water through the tree then it is most likely past the point of saving.  Below is a small ash tree with bark damage:

 EAB 11-10-2022.jpg

The past week started off with golfers awaiting to sneak in a few extra holes of golf.  By the time we reached Thursday….it was the end of the 2022 golf season.  The temperature was 67 degrees at 5:30 AM but it didn’t last long.  The wind was howling and the temperature dropped into the 30’s before 10:00 AM.  It was a great season with lots of ups and downs from a maintenance position.  

Thank you to all the golfers who chose to spend their recreation time with us this season.  The staff and I love seeing each of you enjoying the game on a daily basis.  An extra special thank you to all the employees who take so much pride in their work and share a love for The Muni.   

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301




Rate Adjustments for the 2023 Season

Please visit our blog to read all of our weekly golf updates.  The link, Fore Real – The Muni Blog, is listed on the Course Schedule Page off to the right hand side.  The blog will give you updates on the irrigation and well issues we have dealt with over the past several months.  There is also plenty of other golf course news provided each week.  

The Spencer Municipal Golf Board has approved the rates for the 2023 golf season.  There will be a small increase in our season passes, green fees, and rental carts.  These adjustments will also apply to our punch cards and reciprocating golf fees.  By making small increases in several areas it allows us to still offer golf at one of the most affordable rates in NW Iowa while covering the increasing cost of expenses.

The new rates will be an increase of $13 for a single season pass and the same small percentage for other season pass types.  They can be paid online at our website with a credit card, automatic bank withdrawal, or in the clubhouse/city hall.

Golfers can purchase 2023 season passes at the 2022 pricing through the month of December.  January 1, 2023 the new rates will go into effect.  Please email Brian C Mohr, bmohr@spenceriowacity.com, with any questions or to make arrangements for payment.   

Your cart storage fee is due in the spring by April 15th. Payment can be mailed to Spencer City Hall, 101 West 5th Street, Spencer IA 51301.  The clubhouse phone number is 712-580-7280. Brian C Mohr’s phone number is 712.260.5370.  Please remember you can pay these fees online with a credit card or sign up for auto withdrawal from your bank account.

We look forward to seeing each of you during the 2023 golf season.

Director of Golf Operations,
Brian C Mohr



Good Morning,

It has been a very busy month with lots of projects in the works.  This update covers the past month activities at The Muni:

1. Golf Events

  • We hosted the Chili Open on October 2, Senior 4 Person Best Shot on October 10, the Rocktoberfest 4 Person Best Shot on October 16, and the Turkey Trot 4 Person Best Shot on November 6.  The 2023 golf schedule of events is updated on our website.  Additional events will be added as dates are reserved.  

2. Trees

  • Campbell’s Tree Service has removed nine total trees on the golf course.  Two of the trees were the dead cottonwood on #11 behind the green and another hackberry on #18 was split down the middle of the trunk.  These two trees were safety concerns.  The other seven trees were infested with the Emerald Ash Borer.  They were located on holes #16 and #17.  
  •  #11 cottonwood removed.jpg #16 tree removal 10-28-22.jpg
  • Campbell’s Tree Service removed the nine tree stumps of trees they cut down.  They also removed several stumps from trees cut down the past couple of years.  Currently there are 16 remaining tree stumps on the golf course.
  • Staff has removed five small ash trees on hole #2 and two small ash trees on hole #17.  These trees were infested with the Emerald Ash Borer.  There are still quite a few smaller trees that show signs of EAB and will be addressed moving forward.
  •  #2 small ash removal.jpg
  • Staff removed a large cottonwood tree behind #6 tees.  This tree had been dead for a few years and became a safety issue.  We hauled all the debris to the tree site.  The stump is still remaining. 
  • Staff has completed pruning trees around the golf course.  
  • The tree debris pile by the maintenance facility has been hauled to the tree site.  

3. Fertilizer

  • The tees and fairways were fertilized with a granular 22-5-12 mix during the middle of September.  This fertilizer application will help provide nutrients to the turfgrass into the early part of June 2023.  Due to the irrigation issues we could not irrigate fairways until mid October.  Recent fairway irrigation has helped the fertilizer to move to the crown of the plant and into the soil profile.  We are starting to see quite a bit of green color come back to the fairways.  They should be in good shape entering the off season.
  •  #18 11-3-22.jpg
  • Greens will be fertilized with a granular fertilizer on Tuesday, November 8.  This fertilizer application will help the turfgrass enter the off season with plenty of nutrients and create a healthier plant that can withstand stress during the off season.
  • There was also a foliar application of a wetting agent applied to the greens.  The wetting agent helps with water movement through the soil profile.  It will also help provide moisture for the turf as we move to the off season.

4. Ponds/Well

  • Milford Well Service installed a new well pump, new electrical, new tubing, and new 3” casing.  The new pipe was 80’ and located below the water surface.  The 140’ of old 3” pipe located above the water source was reused.  A new meter and cap was installed on the 8” well casing.  Water was flowing into the pond at 1:00 PM, October 20.
  •  Pump goes in.jpg
  • The irrigation pond had been filling from the well 24 hours a day until November 1 when our permit expired for the 2022 season.  I filed for an extension with the Iowa DNR to continue irrigation out of our pond through the end of 2022.  Greens, tees, fairways, and approaches have been heavily irrigated since the installation of the new well.  Irrigation will continue until the irrigation system is winterized later this month.
  •  10-29-21 pond.jpg
  • The pond on #10 was completely empty through most of October.  There were some issues with the pond liner where water was leaking out and finding its way into the old 18” county tile running through the property.  We located this tile, with the help of cemetery and street division staff, and sealed the tile at the pond.  The pond was filled over a nine hour period and the water level has maintained to date.  The issue has been resolved with the pond on #10.
  •  #10 pond 10-28-22.jpg

6. Irrigation Repairs

  • There have been a lot of issues with the irrigation system for quite some time.  This past week I was able to update all the software and repair a couple of electrical issues.  The system has operated for a couple nights with only minor issues.
  • We have continued to repair broken valve boxes and cracked lateral irrigation lines.  The lateral lines are only under pressure when that station is running so the issues are not always visible.  We have completed close to 20 of these problems over the past two months.  
  • I have continued replacing damaged irrigation heads around the golf course.  There have also been repairs completed to quite a few valves and diaphragms.
  • I am currently working on visually inspecting every irrigation station and monitoring the issues.  After consulting with several technicians we believe the piping and electrical part of our irrigation system is fine.  The issues moving forward will be replacing irrigation heads and valves.  Once the system is winterized we will inspect the diaphragms on the valves.

7. Clubhouse

  • We completed quite a bit of painting outside areas at the clubhouse.  Most of these areas were on the columns and entry ways.
  • The amount of golfers has slowed the past month.  We continue to reduce inventory as far as candy, pop, and other snacks are concerned.  Our beer and liquor inventory are currently fine moving into the off season for clubhouse events.
  • The new TPAR computer software will be updated during the winter months.  This will be installed during the off season in preparation of the 2023 season.  
  • The golf simulator will be available for appointment only during the winter months.  Myself or part time staff will operate the clubhouse this off season.

8. Fall Projects Completed

  • Aerification of the greens was completed on November 3.  For the 2023 golf season I plan on aerifying the greens with needle tines on a monthly basis during the summer months.  Using needle tines creates a hole a little bigger than a pencil to a depth of 8-10 inches.  This process will not disrupt play and also help us control isolated dry areas.
  •  #9 aerify 11-3-22.jpg #18 aerify 11-3-22.jpg
  • The cart path removal was completed on the south side of #12 green.  We also used a skid loader to extend the cart paths on holes #13 and #15.  Asphalt millings were added to provide a new cart path surface.  There will be additional millings added as areas start to settle after cart path usage. 
  •  12 cart path 10-29-22.jpg
  • In the future the east cart shed will be used for our rental cart storage.  We are continuing to move private carts to other areas.  We still have a few carts left to move out of this shed.  I also plan on moving forward with controlling the barn swallows.   
  • We finished edging sand traps on the remainder of the golf course.  I also hope to explore different sand options for our traps.  A sand that is fine enough for our traps but not so find that it is easily moved by the wind.  Hopefully there will be time to add additional sand to the traps around the course. 

9. Offseason Projects

  • Painting tee signs is still a priority for golf course staff.  The paint is chipped on quite a few of our signs and they need to be addressed. 
  • Sand will be added for the traps on the golf course.  We need to find a more coarse sand that is not affected by the wind so severely.
  • Ash trees with EAB will continue to be removed from the golf course.  Chemical treatment will be done to trees starting in May of 2023.  I will complete these applications to ash trees that are currently healthy.
  • Barn Swallow control will be an off season priority for a couple of the cart sheds.
  • Painting the clubhouse interior will be completed during the off season.
  • Inventory for the maintenance facility and clubhouse will be completed this month.

It has been a very busy past couple of months at the golf course.  There have been a lot of projects completed and they have all been time consuming.  Staff will continue to get as much work done on the golf course until the weather turns for the worse.  


Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301