The past week introduced us to .5″ of rain, .25″ of ice, and several inches of snow. This was on top of quite a bit of snow accumulation from the past couple of months. The precipitation is hugely beneficial for the golf course and will definitely provide insulation to help protect the grasses during the winter months. Currently there is a low level of stress on the turfgrass, but nature can change quickly.
I submitted my final budget proposal for the fiscal period 23/24. These figures will soon be discussed with finance, the city manager, and department directors. After these discussions the budget for each department will be presented to the finance committee and finally go to the city council for final approval. There was an increase of roughly 5% in the golf course proposed budget which should be offset by the small increases in some of our revenue accounts. More information to come on the budget as we proceed through the process.
The Capital Improvement Plan will be next on the agenda to start planning for major equipment and projects for 23/24. We will be conducting this process a little bit differently than in years past. Previously we planned five years out for this plan. The high rising cost of equipment and projects makes it extremely difficult to plan these figures. We will work on the current plan in order to have more definitive figures.
I have continued to work on equipment maintenance in the shop. Every year the hour meters are documented to register the amount of hours each piece of equipment is used each season. This past season we accumulated 1949.2 hours mowing turf in all areas of the golf course. We have multiple mowing heights throughout the golf course that require certain playing conditions with different mowers. That comes down to almost 40 hours of mowing per week, year round. That’s a lot of hours considering we limited our fairway, tee, and rough mowing due to irrigation issues.
These playing heights and many other characteristics are established in our
Quality Standards and Operations Manual
which is updated every couple of years. This manual defines how we care for all different areas of turf from mowing height, frequency of mowing, fertilizer standards, etc. The key to this manual is totally in correlation with the appropriate number of employees on staff. When we are short handed some of these areas are affected. The bottom line, it’s our guide to provide great golfing conditions for our customers.
Cleaning beer coolers and organizing beer according to expiration dates has been a priority this week, along with a lot of snow removal. I will be swapping out beer that expires in March with beer with the distributors this coming week. This will allow us to minimize the loss of beer reaching expiration dates. The coolers are also being cleaned from bottom to top.
The golf simulator software has been downloaded and the machine is available to use by appointment only. I am trying to establish some part time staff hours where we can establish set hours to have the clubhouse open for simulator use. I am also in the process of setting up a permanent PC to run the simulator software so it is available all the time.
The Winter Turfgrass Survey through the University of Minnesota has been going quite well. The node reads and transmits information every half an hour all day long to record moisture levels, CO2 and H2O levels, and temperatures. It’s pretty fascinating to look at the graphs that change each day based on weather. Here are a couple of those graphs taken off the live online recording site.
This coming week I will continue to work on equipment repairs, complete the reel sharpening, organize the clubhouse for two upcoming events, and work on the new TPAR software which will hopefully be utilized in the clubhouse for 2023.
January 14, I will be out of town for vacation returning on the 21st just in time for a big event in the clubhouse. I will be available through email and possibly text during that time. There will be no update next Sunday unless you want to see some pictures of sunshine and mountains!
I will see the golf board members tomorrow evening for our monthly meeting. Check your email for the agenda, claims, and budget information.
Enjoy the remainder of the weekend, do something fun today, and share some laughter with your family! My kids don’t read this email but their laughter makes my whole day better because there is no better medicine!
Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer
101 W 5th Street
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301