9-21-2020

Good Evening,
We are currently experiencing issues with our wet well portion of the irrigation system.  There is a 24″ line that goes from the bottom of the wet well into the irrigation pond.  This is where the water is drawn into the system and the screen is missing after 20 years of use.  
There are two large screens protecting our 6″ intake lines to keep debris out of the system.  The missing screen is causing a lot of debris to build up on the intake screens and reduce the availability of water causing low pressure failure.  Aquatic vegetation and tadpoles seem to be the main culprits right now.
This morning I started irrigating greens and tees at 4:00 AM.  I had to continuously brush the sides of the intake screens to remove the debris and keep them from clogging.  I found the lower the amount of gallons per minute flow, the less issues I had with debris build up.  
Tonight I will run the system at 675 gallons per minute instead of our normal 805 gallons per minute.  I’m very hopeful that once I can get the screens cleaned initially and get the system up to pressure it will work through the night.  Hopeful, not optimistic.
The solution will be to add a 90 degree elbow on the line out in the pond with a new screen attached.  This will hopefully eliminate the problem in the future.  The current issue is that the line is about six feet below the surface of the water 20 feet out in the pond.  Sounds like a lot of fun.
I am going to try and draw the pond level down further in order to access this line at some point.  I will also spray the aquatic vegetation in this area later in the fall to try and eliminate the problem.  It’s been another adventure in the wonderful year of RONA 2020.  
Staff and I are doing our best to work through this situation and continue with our irrigation practices.  Please help spread the word as we move forward with this situation.   

Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa

51301712-260-5370www.spencermunigolf.com

9-20-2020

Good Morning,
This past week we hosted the People 4 Pets fundraiser on Friday afternoon with a golf event followed by “Yappy Hour.”  This included live music by Ryan Sather, silent auction items, and raffle drawings.  They served a wonderful meal along with socializing in an outdoor setting.  It was a wonderful day weatherwise and everyone seemed to have a great time.  The good news was they raised some money for a great cause in our community.
We are currently on the final day of our 1 Person Best Shot event for the week.  This tournament is set up by tee times only and the golfers can participate as many times as they prefer.  There have been 36 participants as of 8:00 this morning.  It’s a fun event and allows golfers to participate as their schedule allows.  It also has no disruption to open golf.
Our greens were sprayed with a wetting agent, foliar fertilizer, and fungicide on Thursday morning.  This was a scheduled application that falls right in line with our fertility program.  
The insecticide sprayed in fairways for the grubs has finally eliminated the majority of the problems.  It took a little time for the chemical to take effect but we have had no skunk issues for a handful of days.  The fairways were also sprayed back in late July where we had previously experienced grub issues.  Next season we will spray all the fairways and tees to eliminate the problem altogether.  
I am still working on a solution or even a temporary remedy for our pumphouse wet well.  We continue to get weeds into the well and the screens become plugged reducing water flow and causing the system to shut down to low pressure.  Staff and I will continue to work on this issue and keep you updated.
This coming week we will start aerifying our greens.  They will be needle tined at a depth of about 6″ and very tight spacing.  There will be minimal disruption to play.  The aerification will help open up the soil profile, allow better water penetration and root growth.  
We will also be fertilizing our tees, greens, and fairways.  These will be granular applications and fall in line with our application schedule this time of the season.  It will take a few days for the fairway and tee fertilizer to work into the soil, but the greens fertilizer breaks down after about ten minutes of irrigation and enters the soil rather quickly.
Monday evening we will be hosting the Spencer Tiger cross country meet.  This event is a postponement date from August.  The number of teams will be slightly down and the event will start at 5:00 PM.  The clubhouse and golf course will be closed at 4:00 PM.  I will be at the course to assist in any manner necessary.  
Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.  Please contact me with any questions so they can be addressed.  Good luck to our tournament participants playing today!


Brian C MohrDirector of Golf Operations
City of SpencerSpencer Municipal Golf CourseSpencer, Iowa 51301712-260-5370www.spencermunigolf.com

9-13-2020

Good Morning,
The past week was a little slower golf traffic wise due to the rainy days.  We closed early on Tuesday and Wednesday due to the cold and rain.  Thursday was the last men’s league night.  Friday was another cold and wet afternoon.  Saturday and today we are holding the Carl Spacklar event.  
The majority of the week was spent working on equipment in the shop as well as cleaning and organizing.  The light sound of rain made it enjoyable to be spending time inside.
Our irrigation was the other main point of emphasis this past week.  Last weekend the system shut down, overnight, due to low pressure.  After quite a bit of troubleshooting I realized the intake screen on the lead line was clogged.  There was aquatic vegetation and other debris keeping the water from entering the intake.
We removed the intake and screen from the wet well.  They were transported to the shop and power washed thoroughly.  The screens are very fine mesh and quite a few of these holes were plugged.  Lots of scrubbing and power washing removed the debris.  
The Street Division brought their Jet Vacuum out to the pumphouse to try and remove the debris from the wet well.  They were only able to get the line a few inches under the water, but I think it did the trick.  They were able to remove the majority of the vegetation present.  
The screen and intake were then moved back into the wet well and connected to the system.  I ran the system a couple of mornings to monitor the pressure and gallons per minute.  Everything seems to be working properly at this time.  
Almost an entire week of cooler weather along with the rainfall has definitely helped the golf course.  This season has been very stressful to the turf conditions as well as staff trying to maintain the golf course at a high level.  I have already started seeing improvement in dry areas.  We will be doing some overseeding in some of these areas when we aerify.  
Skunk damage continues to be an issue on holes #2 and #17 in the fairways.  Next season I will be spraying all the fairways and tees with an insecticide to eliminate the presence of grubs during this time of year.  Without the grubs present the skunks will stay away from the golf course.  It’s been very frustrating to say the least. 
Enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather today.  I will see the golf board members at our monthly meeting tomorrow evening.


Brian C MohrDirector of Golf Operations
City of SpencerSpencer Municipal Golf CourseSpencer, Iowa 51301712-260-5370www.spencermunigolf.com

9-7-2020

Good Morning,
It’s been a very busy weekend at the golf course.  We had a lot of green fees on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  There was also the Merten family golf outing held Saturday afternoon.  Tee times were booked solid all weekend until we got to the hot part of Sunday.  Today it looks like we have a lighter sign up for tee times.  Overall, a great weekend with a lot of golfers visiting the facility.
Year to date irrigation totals are 89.72 acre feet of water (29,750,000 gallons) has been applied to the golf course from the pond.  The well has pumped 55.66 acre feet of water (18,144,000 gallons) into the pond.  The Iowa DNR permit allows 121.5 acre feet of water to irrigate the golf course and 81 acre feet of water to be pumped from the well.  The upcoming cool weather will help tremendously on reducing irrigation totals this month.
We have continued to go around the course and repair or replace sprinkler heads that are not working properly.  Sometimes they get debris in the bottom and the head will not rotate.  We have also dealt with muskrat debris in the pumphouse wet well.  This is causing the holes in the intake screen to plug and the pump cannot pull enough water.  This causes low pressure and the system shuts down.  I cleaned the screen with an extension brush this morning.  If this does not work then we will need to remove the intake and screen to power wash the debris off the sides.  Another challenge from the muskrats.
Thursday evening I sprayed several fairways to control the grubs present in the soil.  These grubs become a fancy meal for the skunk population during the night time hours.  These skunks can tear the fairway up in a very short period of time.  The insecticide application will help with this issue.  
The cooler weather will really help make a difference in the golf course conditions.  It will allow us to irrigate adequately but less frequently.  The cooler temperatures will also allow some of the drier areas to recover.  We will hit these spots with hand watering and wetting agents to help the process.
We sent our tractor to the Country Club so they can aerify their greens this coming week.  Once they finish aerifying greens we will go over our greens at The Muni.  It will cause minimal disruption to the green and help with water penetration in the soil profile.  
That is a wrap on the past week at The Muni.  Enjoy the remainder of your holiday weekend.  


Brian C Mohr

Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer

Spencer Municipal Golf Course

Spencer, Iowa 51301

712-260-5370

www.spencermunigolf.com

9-2-2020

Good Morning,
It’s been a very busy week and it’s only Wednesday.  The irrigation system had a main line break on Tuesday morning at the very end of the irrigation cycles.  Thank goodness it didn’t happen in the middle of the night.  We repaired the pipe in the morning and let the glue set until 4:00 AM and the system was filled.  Greens, tees, and approaches were irrigated this morning.
With the continuous dry weather I have been trying to limit the amount of irrigation water used each night.  Some nights fairways have been skipped to try and conserve water.  The well ran for 21 days in August for a total of 9,072,000 gallons of water (27.83 acre feet).  This is the same amount from July.  The two month total has used 2/3 of the water we are allowed to pump from the well in accordance with our Iowa DNR permit.
The golf course received 9,500,000 gallons of water (22.67 acre feet) through irrigation cycles.  That amount is slightly below July and is close to 1/4 of our water permit totals.  The cooler temperatures will definitely help with water control but it is a very serious situation to try and control our water usage.  Non irrigated areas are 100% dormant and similar to pavement.
We hosted the ladies Triple Treat on Tuesday.  This was a makeup date from the original scheduled June date.  We had 60 ladies participate which is the highest total in quite a few years.  I am considering leaving this event scheduled for early September moving forward.
There was a complaint, from a family member, in regards to the John Hart Memorial Driving Range sign this past weekend.  It is starting to see a little bit of wear with paint chipping in areas.  Today I decided we are going to remove the old sign and replace it with a more weather resistant material.  I will be going through SS Graphics and Design for the new sign.  I hope to have the new sign erected next week.
The trail project has started on 4th avenue SW.  The contractor will be storing some equipment in our parking lot and also on the south end of the golf course in the out of play area.  They are also unloading the material removed at the south end of the golf course.  I told them they could just level this area upon completion and we will dormant seed it before the end of the season.
We have several upcoming events this month and should provide some great fundraising opportunities for our community.  Check the website or Facebook for events.
Enjoy the remainder of the week!  Let me know if there are any questions or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.


Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301
712-260-5370

 

8-30-2020

Good Morning,
This past week we finally received a break in the temperature and a few drops of rain fell on Friday morning.  The golf course is very dry and the irrigation system is working overtime trying to keep up.  These cooler temperatures will help the grass recover in a lot of the stressed areas.  It will also make it a lot more tolerable to be outside.  Now we wait for some rain.
The golf course is in pretty nice shape when you factor in all the elements we have dealt with on a daily basis.  Drought conditions and high temperatures make it very difficult to maintain a golf course from a turf stand point.  Then factor in COVID 19  I’m afraid to even look at the number of days over 90 degrees the past two months.  I’m also nervous to see how far behind schedule we are on precipitation.  It has been a crazy 2020 to say the least.
I sprayed our tees for the control of crabgrass and other weeds present.  The crabgrass was creeping in from the tee surrounds and needed to be controlled before it advances to the next tiller stage.  It is already starting to turn a nice shade of light brown and will soon be gone.  This coming week I will continue to address herbicide applications around the course along with normal green applications of wetting agent, fertilizer, and fungicide.
About a month ago I treated areas of our fairways and tees with an insecticide to control the grub population in the turf.  Each year we start to see a lot of skunk damage as they start digging for grubs in the nighttime hours.  The insecticide application has really limited the skunks crossing through the golf course looking for a snack.  There has been a little bit of skunk damage on #2 and #17 fairways but we are in a lot better shape than last year.
There have been several golf events the past week at The Muni.  Friday was a very special golf event conducted by ServPro.  They had hole sponsors, a wonderful lunch, and cash prizes going to the winning departments.  Ryan Brooks and Jason Lindsey contacted businesses to sponsor different departments around our area.  These consisted of first responders representing police, fire, hospital, dispatch, etc.  The hole sponsors allowed the golfers to play for no charge and have an enjoyable day away from the line of duty.  I’m expecting an article in The Daily Reporter soon with more information.
Today we are holding our end of the season men’s league golf tournament for Wednesday and Thursday evening leagues.  Tee times will be starting at 9:00 and the players will compete for league championships in three different flights.  What a beautiful morning for some golf.
Please enjoy the remainder of this gorgeous weekend.  Contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.



Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301
712-260-5370

 

8-23-2020

Good Morning,
Another warm and dry week is in the books and we prepare for higher heat and no precipitation this coming week.   The hot weather brings us the benefit of less golf course to mow on a regular basis and a reduced amount of mowing on the irrigated areas.  This saves us labor expense and accumulating hours on equipment.  Overall, the golf course is in pretty nice shape during these extreme maintenance conditions.
Golf Course conditions are so challenging during these weather conditions.  The focus is trying to reduce stress on turfgrass and lessen the disease pressure that can arise at any given time throughout the golf course.  I have continued to spray greens on a weekly basis with wetting agent and every two weeks with fertilizer and fungicide applications.  The staff and I are working hard to prepare a nice golf course on a daily basis as we battle the weather conditions.
The irrigation system continues to run over and over and over again.  We are on about the same pace for irrigation totals in August as used in July.  I have continued to monitor stations and replace or repair irrigation heads that are not working properly.  I still have a few more to work on this morning.  No amount of irrigation will ever duplicate a nice rainfall from Mother Nature.  We sure could use one of those right now.
Equipment repairs continue to be high on the “to do” list each week.  The majority of our equipment is very old and has accumulated a lot of hours over the years.  I have been gathering equipment quotes to replace our inventory within the CIP process.  These figures will increase by about 6% at the end of the year.  It’s mind blowing what the cost of turf equipment has risen to over the years.  I have created a chart that shows the age of our equipment, hours on the machine, and cost to replace that mower in 2020.
We hosted the Jaycees yesterday and it was a successful day for the event.  This morning we are holding the second couples event of the season.  Next week we have the ServPro First Responder event on Friday and several other events in the following weeks.  The events have been very well attended in 2020.
This coming Thursday we will be hosting the Spencer High School cross country meet.  The clubhouse will be closed during this event because of COVID 19 concerns within the clubhouse.  I will still be working to assist the high school in whatever manner is necessary during the event.  It’s an amazing competition that is definitely worth stopping out to watch if you have some time.
I’m going to call it a wrap on another week at The Muni.  Please contact me with questions, comments, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.  Sunscreen and shade would be pretty good items on the list for the next seven days!


Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301
712-260-5370

 

8-16-2020

Good Morning,
The past week was filled with hope of some precipitation but also fortunate not to receive the high winds causing so much damage across the state.  Mother Nature is so unpredictable and sometimes cruel.  I guess it all can be added to the list of such a bizarre 2020.
The golf course has remained in pretty nice shape considering the weather conditions.  I continue to work on irrigation just about daily.  There are always heads that aren’t turning or valves that continue to leak.  Quite a few repairs have been completed but there are still a few stations that have heads not rotating.  I ran out of irrigation parts last week and had to order more heads and valves for our inventory.
We have been blessed with a few cooler nights this past week which has really given the turfgrass a break.  I have been cutting down on the amount of irrigation each night but still providing an adequate amount to each area of the course.  The greens and tees are definitely looking the best since they receive the most water.  Our fairways are hanging in there pretty well.
Equipment repairs seem to be the new constant.  Machinery continues to come into the shop on a daily basis and the repair process begins.  Currently I just recieved parts for one greens mower and should be able to finish that process this morning or Monday.  We also have two rough units that need some attention.  This past week I repaired the trap rake, one rough unit, one fairway unit, and one rough unit.  It seems to never end.
Yesterday we hosted the Smiley Open with almost 100 people enjoying the beautiful sunshine.  There was also open golf available during the day.  It was definitely a day filled with smiles.  We have some new events on our upcoming schedule so visit the website to check those out.
This coming Thursday, August 27, we will be hosting the high school cross country meet.  There are 12 teams that will be participating.  We generally have an amazing turn out for fans to cheer on their school’s runners.
This year we will be closing the clubhouse prior to the start of the event.  City staff felt it was not possible to control social distancing inside the clubhouse nor keep the bathrooms properly sanitized with the heavy flow of traffic in and out of them.  The school has ordered additional port a potties for outdoor use.
We have beautiful golf weather starting off this Sunday morning.  Tee times have been solid since 7:00 AM with a lot of golfers enjoying the cool morning.  It looks like another beautiful day at The Muni!


Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301
712-260-5370

 

8-9-2020

Good Morning,
One more week in the books and the precipitation is at a minimum.  The golf course received very little rainfall from last night’s predicted storm but every little bit helps.  The high winds blew a few branches off the trees but no serious damage.  I don’t think any of us want to see a severe thunderstorm but hopefully tonight we get some decent rain from the predicted storm.
The golf course is in pretty nice shape overall.  The non irrigated areas are completely dormant with a light brown color throughout the golf course.  The irrigated areas are looking very green and definitely define the outlay of the golf course.  The dry weather has cut down on our mowing practices and increased the amount of golf being played each day.
This weekend has been quite a bit slower than the previous.  We had a lot of golfers in town for the Northwest Amateur that played at The Muni on their off days.  We heard great compliments about the golf course from a lot of people.  It was nice to hear some of them say it was their first time playing at SMGC.  It felt good for me and the entire staff to hear so many compliments.
I have been working on quite a few irrigation issues around the golf course.  Several valves were replaced and close to ten internal components of sprinkler heads.  I ran out of irrigation parts and had to order more on Thursday.  There is still one valve that needs replaced on #12 fairway.  I will complete that project tomorrow.
The valves become damaged when debris passes through the line and gets caught between the diaphragm and the bottom of the valve.  This doesn’t allow the diaphragm to close tightly and water continuously leaks through and exits out the sprinkler head.  The internal components also get debris which causes them to stop rotating or they simply break.
The majority of my work week was spent working on equipment.  It was a constant cycle of guys bringing in another piece of machinery with a problem.  It was frustrating but we were able to complete the majority of the repairs in the shop.  The biggest issue was with our John Deere rough unit which was leaking hydraulic oil from a damaged seal inside the mow hydraulic box.  I was on the phone multiple times with tech support and finally decided to tackle the issue.  It was time consuming to remove a lot of hydraulic lines just to get at a small rubber o ring.  But in the end that was all it took.
Our equipment is past the maturity stage of life.  The past couple of weeks the majority of our inventory has been in the shop for some sort of work.  At one point all three of our rough units were on the disabled list.  I guess the best game plan is to put the first piece of equipment on the lift, start with an evaluation, call tech support, YouTube, and get after it.   Sometimes the best education is diving in,  getting after a repair project, and completing the process.  That’s a great feeling.
I hope each of you enjoy the remainder of your weekend.  Today was supposed to be the Unified Golf Event.  It’s disappointing to not have the experience this year.  I will have to find another way to make my day a great one!
Peace from my Unified Golf partner Patrick and me along with some of golfing friends!



Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301
712-260-5370

8-2-2020

 

Good Morning,
It’s August already.  That is so difficult to comprehend as we continue to march through the COVID 19 calendar.
Hot, dry, and humid has pretty much described the month of July.  The irrigation system has been the highest priority as we continue on with the golf season.  I have made several irrigation repairs in the field and we have dealt with issues in the pumphouse.  But, overall the system has worked excellent.  There are still some valves that will be replaced starting in the morning.  This will eliminate some of the standing water by #10 green, etc.
With the lack of rainfall the irrigation system runs pretty much every night trying to provide the turfgrass with enough moisture to survive the conditions.  We operate under a State of Iowa DNR water permit that sets the amount of water we can use to irrigate as well as pump out of our well between the months of April 1 through the end of October.
The irrigation records for the month of July were some of the highest we have seen in the past handful of years.  The well pumped 9,072,000 gallons of water into the irrigation pond.  That totals 27.83 acre feet of water which amounts to 1/3 of our permit total to pump into the irrigation pond.  The golf course was irrigated with 11,000,000 gallons of water.  That is a total of 30.67 acre feet of water or 1/4 of our permit from the DNR.  Those are pretty scary figures in my mind.
To continue talking about records for the month of July we can move right into revenues.  My records of daily receipts totals just shy of $64,000 for the month of July.  That is over $12,000 higher than the average amount the past several years.  It was a busy month and a very successful month at the golf course.  Let’s hope for more great golf weather and some nightly rainfall as we move into August.
Quite a few of our golf events have been postponed or cancelled this season.  But, we have also picked up a few new ones.  Please check our schedule on the website for updates.  ServPro is holding a four person best shot for first responders, the 2 Gal Triple Treat is moved to September 1, People for Pets is hosting their first annual golf event September 18, and the After 5 Kiwanis have scheduled their second annual glow ball event on September 26.  We also have our regularly scheduled events on the calendar as well.  The future looks bright for golfers!
Members of city boards and commissions, as well as staff, attended an onboarding session this past week.  This session was very informative and helped board and commission members understand the role they play in city government, specifically with the area they represent.  These volunteers are vital to the success of our city and community.  I personally thank each one of you for taking the time to make the commitment.
Council and city staff also attended a budget session on Tuesday evening.  This presentation was made by our Finance Director, Brian Weuve.  It was valuable information especially as we enter the Capital Improvement Plan stages in the next week or two which will soon be followed by budget preparation for the fiscal year 21/22.  Lots of things to think about moving forward.
Equipment is the last item we will discuss in the weekly update.  Repair is one of the most common words my guys say to me on a daily basis.  Currently there are three pieces of equipment in the shop that are in the middle of the repair process.  I still have a few more in the cold storage waiting for an open space in the shop.  The majority of our equipment has reached the highest level of maturity.  Retirement is the next step for some of our machinery. It will be another busy week of repairs.
That concludes another week at The Muni.  Please contact me with questions, comments, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  I will see the golf board tomorrow evening followed by the city council members at 6:30 PM.  Enjoy the remainder of the weekend.  It looks like another beautiful day!



Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations

City of Spencer
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301
712-260-5370