11-14-2021

Good Wintery Morning,


The past week started off with a lot of golfers and it ended with snow and strong winds.  We were able to get a lot of tree pruning completed and removed a few more dead trees from the golf course.  Early this coming week we will continue to work on tree removal and hopefully enjoy a little bit warmer weather and sunshine.
 tree pruning.HEIC


The golf course was irrigated for the final time on Tuesday night.  This moisture will help us enter the winter months with plenty of moisture in the soil.  It was a good thing it was the final round of irrigation since one of our six inch intakes broke in half at the end of the cycle.  It was removed from the wet well and will be repaired in the near future.
 broken intake.HEIC
 broken intake 2.HEIC


Thursday morning we picked up the air compressor from the street division and started blowing out the main lines of the irrigation system.  Mid afternoon we picked up another air compressor from Rent All and planned to start blowing out the lateral lines mid afternoon.  The power outage within the city put those plans on hold until early Friday morning.  The irrigation “blow out” continued until mid afternoon on Friday.  The pumphouse will be winterized on Monday and that will be a wrap on the 2021 irrigation.
 blow out.HEIC


Please contact me if you have any questions or would like additional information.  Enjoy the remainder of the weekend!  Sunshine lies ahead!


Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

11-7-2021

Good Morning,


This weekend has allowed our golfers to enjoy one last trip around the golf course with some beautiful weather.  The course was pretty steady on Saturday with minimal wind and abundant sunshine.  It looks like today will produce a lot of the same weather and hopefully quite a few players on the course.


Staff has continued to work on the scheduled tree pruning and removal of dead trees around the golf course.  We lost a few more pine trees this season which has become a common occurrence each year.  These trees are not native to Iowa and become susceptible to disease and insects as they get older.  It’s unfortunately a natural process in Iowa that we have to deal with every year.  We will continue tree removal and pruning moving into next week.


A large portion of a silver maple, on #10, was lost during high winds the previous week.  This section of tree was blown into a neighboring spruce tree.  This quickly became a safety concern and was moved at the top of the list for removal.  We were able to safely remove this part of the tree and minimize any damage to the spruce tree.

 #10 maple tree.HEIC
 #10 maple tree (2).HEIC

Our landscaping areas were cleaned around the clubhouse and on #10 waterfall.  The plant material was cut back and the debris was hauled away.  The plumbing for the waterfall was also removed and winterized for the off season.  These areas are now ready for the end of the season.


The colder mornings allowed staff to work in the maintenance facility cleaning and organizing the cold storage area.  This is a great time for us to evaluate the condition of our inventory and decide what is going to stay and what is going to go.  We also seem to accumulate a lot of items that are dropped off by passersby or abandoned next to the dumpsters.  Several trips to solid waste helped us free up a few extra corners in the shop.


We have completed all mowing practices for 2021.  The equipment has been brought into the maintenance facility and all the reels have been removed.  These reels will be sharpened during the off season.  Bedknives will be replaced and/or sharpened as well.  The bedknife is the piece the reel spins against to complete the mowing process.


I irrigated the golf course heavily on Thursday night.  The golf course will be watered one more time before we prepare for the end of the season blowout.  I was able to secure an irrigation permit extension, from the Iowa DNR, for the month of November.  This extension allows us to legally irrigate the golf course beyond the normal water permit window that ended with the month of October.   


This concludes another week at The Muni.  Please let me know if you have any questions or would like further information on a topic.  Enjoy the beautiful weather and soak up some sunshine today!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

10-31-2021

Good Morning,


More rainfall than we had seen the majority of the golf season fell upon us this past week.  The golf course was completely saturated and the waterways were full of overflow.  This moisture will be great to have in the ground heading into the off season.  The past couple of years there has been minimal ground moisture heading into winter.


This past week we continued to work on our tree pruning throughout the golf course.  We have completed all of the conifers and will continue to work on deciduous trees this coming week.  These trees are pruned to make our maintenance practices easier as well as provide our golfers an opportunity to make a decent swing if they find themselves in the trees.


The rainy days left us working on equipment in the shop.  We started bringing in mowers and removing the reels for service this off season.  The reels will be sharpened and bedknives replaced in preparation for 2022.  Also, any maintenance or necessary repairs are completed on the reels at this time.


I was able to survey the greens, tees, and fairways to try and establish where original mowing patterns should be completed.  Over time the edges of different mowing patterns can slowly become smaller.  In the spring we will expand the greens surface on holes #2, #8, #16, #17, and #18.  There will also be some small changes on other greens to bring them all back to their normal sizes.  Tees will be mowed out a little bit wider and some fairways will be adjusted.


These changes will be done by gradually reducing the mowing height in these areas.  There will be some discoloration of the grass but it will adapt quickly and return to a normal green shade.  You might remember this process from #11 fairway early in the spring of 2021.  We expanded the width of the fairway further south on the last 100 yards of the hole.


We still have several projects we are working on before the season ends.  This coming week we will continue to work on tree pruning, sodding sand traps in damaged areas, and equipment work.  We have documented all of the sand traps from a maintenance standpoint and will be adding sand once the ground firms up later in the year.  


Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or would like more information provided. 



Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

10-24-2021

Good Morning,


We have experienced quite a shift in the weather after a beautiful start to the week.  The early morning frost will help slow down the grass even though warmer temperatures are expected this coming week.  Our main focus will be working on our list of projects.  


This past week we started our fall tree pruning process.  We made it through a lot of the deciduous trees on the north end of the golf course.  The branches were hauled off the course and stock piled near the maintenance facility.  This project will be our main focus through next week.  


We prune all of our trees annually at this time of the season.  We prune the deciduous trees to keep the branches at a height that does not affect our maintenance practices.  The conifers are also pruned so we can easily maintain the vegetation underneath.  It’s a time consuming process but it makes our mowing practices a lot easier when we go around trees and also improves playing conditions for the golfers. 
 #2 tree pruning.jpg


Once the ground freezes during November, we will start removing some of the dead trees around the golf course.  We lost a handful of pine trees this season as well as a very large cottonwood.  The Street Division assists us with hauling the debris to the landfill.  We’re very thankful for their help.  


Wednesday and Thursday weren’t good golf days at all but it was perfect weather to aerify the greens.  The aerification process helps alleviate compaction in the greens, allows better water movement through the soil profile, and increases root depth.  We will aerify again early summer of 2022.  
 #16 green aerification.jpg


Back in July we sprayed a preventative insecticide to control the presence of grubs during the fall season.  We have seen great control in the fairways, tees, and green surrounds.  These areas were all sprayed.  This preventative insecticide application will be an annual application moving forward.  


The past couple of weeks we have seen some skunk activity in the rough and along the edges of a few fairways.  The skunks come out at night and dig up the turf to eat the grubs.  They destroy the turf while they dig up this delicacy.  I have been documenting the areas of their activity and will include them in the 2022 preventative application. 


As I previously stated, we will focus on tree pruning this upcoming week.  We will also address some edging issues with our sand traps and add sod to some of the problematic areas around the traps.  Golf activity has slowed down but our “to do” list is quite lengthy.  


Today I plan to go around to several of our green surrounds to take some core samples.  After I evaluate the soil profiles the decision will be made as to how we reshape our mowing pattern on these greens.  Some of the greens I will be looking at are 2, 8, 16, 17, and 18.  


Please reach out to me if you have questions or would like more information on a topic.  We will have some nice days in the near future, enjoying the sunshine and lovely fall weather.  

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

10-17-21

Good Morning,


A couple frost delays on back to back mornings has really brought the taste of fall into the air.  The frost is a little heavier this morning than it was yesterday.  It will help slow the growth of the turfgrass a little as we finish another week.  We have a golf event starting at 10:00 AM this morning that will last the majority of the day.


This past week we spent quite a bit of time working on our sand traps.  Rain and irrigation cause the sand to move from the face of the sand trap down to the lowest level.  This generally leaves the majority of the sand sitting in the bottom of the trap.  We used our trap rakes to blade the sand up to the face on each sand trap around the golf course.  Below are a couple of pictures of the #5 greenside trap upon completion:


 #5 trap finish (1).jpg
 #5 trap finish (2).jpg


The sand trap construction shaped the area into a bowl concept.  This allows the golf ball to roll into the sand traps and not stop on an edge creating a very difficult shot.  Unfortunately rocks are always pushing up through the soil and contaminating the sand.  It’s no different than a farm field.  We were able to remove the majority of the small rocks out of most of the sand traps.  We still have a couple more to finish.


Mowing schedules took up the remainder of our work week.  We mowed fairways a couple times last week as well as tees.  Greens were mowed every morning except Sunday.  Rough is kind of a constant process trying to keep it mowed down and also mulching as many leaves as possible.  This coming week I look for our mowing to slow down a little bit.


Staff will continue to work on the project list I shared with you last week.  We have a lot of projects and look forward to completing as many as possible.  Enjoy this beautiful day as we complete our weekend. .


Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

10-10-2021

Good Morning,


Fall golf is one of the best times of the year to play, in my opinion.  The only issue is battling leaves falling off trees.  The staff and I have been busy keeping everything mowed and in a nice looking appearance.  The warm conditions with last week’s rainfall have kept the grass growing.  


It has been a little bit slower at the golf course this past week.  We had open golf for all seven days of the week.  A lot of golfers stopped by to take advantage of the $30 all day golf and cart rental fee.  This is usually a popular fall rate.  I wish more people enjoyed golfing this time of the season.


Early in the week I submitted the appropriate registration form and information to ask the Iowa DNR for an extension, into November, on our water permit.  It was approved mid week.  It will allow us 1,600,000 gallons of water out of the irrigation pond to water greens and tees.  This will be more than an adequate amount of water for this time period.  I will irrigate, as necessary, right up to the time of blowing out the system.


Maintenance activities take up most of our time on the grounds.  The turfgrass is still growing like it’s mid season.  We have been busy completing daily mowing schedules and trying to keep the golf course in nice shape for our players.


I compiled a list of projects we plan to complete by the end of the season.  It’s a long list and going to be time consuming but I think we can pull it off!  Here are a few of those items:         

Edge damaged areas of sand traps and sod.           

Push sand to the faces of sand traps.          

Remove small rocks from sand traps.           

Core samples around old greens to see how far they can be increased in size.           

Check fairways and tees for mowing back to original size.           

Aerify greens.          

Prune trees and remove dead trees.          

Add sand to the majority of traps.           

Herbicide applications.           

Move Al Johnson’s tree.  

Please enjoy the remainder of your weekend.  I look forward to seeing you at The Muni or out and about around the community.

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

10-3-2021

Good Morning,


The past week we focused mainly on our daily management practices.  We were short staffed on the grounds crew with a couple employees out of town on vacation.  The rainfall on Thursday thru Saturday was a nice blessing for the golf course.  The majority of the water soaked into the ground pretty quickly.  The golf course is in very nice shape right now as we prepare to host our annual chili open golf tournament today.


The several inches of rainfall also filled our irrigation pond, water ways, and smaller ponds.  This was much needed since the irrigation pond was down several feet and the pond on #10 was less than half filled with water.  Everything is currently flowing out of the irrigation pond, through the course, and south to Highway 18 ditch.


As we move into the month of October herbicide applications will continue around the golf course.  We will also prune all the trees on the golf course over the next two months.  Hand topdressing, aerifying greens, adding sand to the traps, and other course clean up will be priorities as well.


Please contact me with any questions or concerns.  I’m always happy to provide more information as well as listen.  Enjoy the beautiful day!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

9-26-2021

Good Morning,
The past week was focused on daily maintenance practices on the grounds.  We had a rainy day on Monday which put us behind schedule.  This left us with four days to get caught up on our mowing practices.  The weather was cooler which slowed the growth of the turfgrass.  The staff did a great job of keeping everything manicured at a high level and the golf course looks great.


With the warmer temperatures upcoming the irrigation system will be running more frequently.  Irrigation totals were done for the month of September which should leave us in good shape with our Iowa DNR irrigation permit.  This permit allows us to irrigate from April 1 through the month of October.  Our season totals are very high but will remain below the allotted amount by the end of next month.  I will most likely file for an extension to irrigate in the month of November.


Starting on Monday our fall green fee special will be in place for the remainder of the golf season.  For $30 golfers will get a rental cart and unlimited golf for the day.  This is usually a popular price attraction for people to stop out and play some fall golf.  Also, our season pass special is still in place until the end of the season.


Last night we hosted the Kiwanis After 5 “Shot in the Dark” glow ball event.  There were 66 golfers teeing off at 7:30 PM.  The event consisted of nine holes of golf and a long drive contest afterwards.  It was a great event to help Kiwanis After 5 raise money for community projects.  This was the third year we hosted this event.  It has increased numbers each year.


There will be open golf every day until Sunday, October 3.  We will be hosting our annual chili open on that date.  This is a four person best shot with 8″ cups on every hole.  The remainder of the fall event schedule is listed on our website.


Please contact me with any questions or inquiries for further information.  Enjoy the beautiful day that lies ahead!

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

9-19-21

Good Morning,
The past week was a little slower with our golf leagues completed for the season and no golf events scheduled.  It was cold and wet early in the week, beautiful on Wednesday, and the blower was over 40 mph on Thursday.  Overall our golf numbers remain pretty consistent with last year. 


Greens were sprayed early Thursday morning with a fungicide to help prevent fungal damage, a wetting agent to help with water movement in the soil profile, and a foliar fertilizer.  This application will keep the greens healthy and stress free for about 14 days.  A granular fertilizer application will be made on the greens in the near future.


I made a handful of irrigation repairs around the golf course to eliminate some of the leaking valves.  The practice green, #11 fairway, #12 fairway, and #13 fairway were several of the worst valve problems.  The irrigation system was drained and the diaphragms were replaced in these valves.  Periodically small rocks get into the valves and won’t allow the diaphragm to close when the station is done running.  This causes large dents in the rubber and allows the water to continuously flow through and leak.  Here is an attachment below:

General course maintenance was the main focus of our work week.  The fertilizer application to the fairways and tees has really improved the quality of the turf and increased mowing time.  The staff was able to put in extra hours to maintain everything at a high level.  

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

101 W 5th Street

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

9-12-2021

Good Morning,


The past week started off with the golf course extremely saturated and the maintenance staff way behind schedule.  We mowed most of the day Monday, late in the day Tuesday, and finally had the entire golf course covered by late Wednesday morning.  Heavy winds started drying things out rapidly.  


The tile on hole #13 had not been functioning properly during the heavy rainfall days.  This caused extremely wet conditions on holes #5 and #13.  Tim Hamrick, from the cemetery, came out on Tuesday and exposed the tile with their mini excavator.   The tile ran full bore for several hours.  After 24 hours the majority of the turf had dried out and the tile was functioning.  


This tile was plugged with tree roots which created a giant cork in the tile.  This is the same problem we encountered last year.  We plan to replace the perforated tile with a solid tile in this area to eliminate this issue in the future.  We will also add a tile clean out so we can access the tile from ground level. 


On Wednesday morning I fertilized the fairways and tees.  This granular application will provide nutrition to the turfgrass until the month of May 2022.  It will also help the turf recover quickly from the fungal issues we experienced.  The course has been irrigated multiple times to push the fertilizer prills into the turf canopy.   There is already a nice green tint appearing throughout the golf course.


This coming week will focus on normal course maintenance schedules.  String trimming and clean up will also be happening around the golf course.  Herbicide applications, tree removal, and hand top dressing will be some of the other practices started.  


Please contact me if you have questions or concerns.  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

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com