6-18-17

Another week is in the books and we work closer to the end of the budget.  Late last week our revenues totaled $373,757 and expenses equaled $351,413 for the year.  Both are lower than the previous budget but we still look to be in good shape to finish the budget year.
The water quality project has started east of the golf course.  They started hauling the fill material out of the retention area and unloading it on the south end of the golf course property.  This material will be leveled and raise the area by several feet once we are finished.  The material will be covered with soil and then seeded with some prairie mix.
We hosted the Chamber golf outing on Friday.  The numbers were down from normal but everyone had a very nice time.  This event was previously held in mid August but has been moved to June the past two years.  I think the date will be discussed at the next Chamber golf committee meeting.  This event alternates between the Country Club and muni each year.
The high temperatures have really taken a toll on the non irrigated areas of the golf course.  The rough and out of play areas are really starting to firm up and take on a dormant color.  This light rainfall will help a little bit but not much.  The irrigated areas look great on the course.
Our irrigation system has been working overtime lately but I have been able to keep up with everything.  There are still some repair issues that I deal with on a daily basis but we are gaining.  Number seven green had a sprinkler head that was not rotating which has caused some dry spots on the top half of the green.  I repaired the problem this morning and heavily hand watered the green.  It will improve quickly.
The tile area is going to be our focus this upcoming week.  The street division was on site to remove the damaged cart path and use crushed concrete for the repair.  My staff and I will start filling in the tire ruts with some of the material from the retention pond being constructed.  We will also begin working on clean up in the tile areas.  Eventually the damaged areas will be tilled and seeded.
I am very pleased with the condition of the golf course right now.  I still have a few holes to spray for broadleaf weeds and hope to have those finished this coming week.  The staff has worked hard to keep everything high quality and I am very appreciative of their hard work.  Clubhouse staff has also done a great job catering to our customers.  Our goal is for you to have fun!
That concludes another week and another golf update.  Please contact me with any comments, questions, or concerns so they can be addressed in a timely manner.  Have a great day!
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6-11-17

Another week is in the books at the golf course.  Time is going by so quickly.  A person always needs to remember to slow down and enjoy what is around them each day.  I can tell you that I totally enjoy the early mornings and late evenings at the golf course.  The sun coming or going on the horizon, the sounds of nature, the peacefulness in the air….it all brings a calming sensation.  I love the golf course.
We are slowly getting through our list of problems and projects.  The biggest issue is still the tile situation on #16.  We will begin working on this area early this coming week.  The first step will be to start filling the tire tracks with topsoil.  Second step, remove the damaged cart path and add crushed concrete.
The retention pond, east of the golf course, is set to begin Monday.  The topsoil and fill materials will be stockpiled on the south end of the golf course.  This will give us the ability to raise this out of play area back to proper grade and use the topsoil to repair the tire ruts on #16.
In the next few weeks, we will start working on building the berms in five and eleven fairways.  These are part of the water quality plan that ties into the retention pond east of the golf course.  It will take us some time, but doing this in house will help eliminate more damage to the course.
Some of the fill material will be used to construct a small dike along the stream of number ten.  There are several areas where the overflow washes onto the golf course and creates a problem.  By establishing this small dike it will keep the water in the stream and allow us to maintain the area more effectively.
The pond on number ten is starting to fill with algae.  This is an annual problem once we get into the summer months.  I will be treating this area with copper sulphate to eliminate the algae presence.  It will take a couple of applications but will definitely take care of the issue.
Lastly, our budget is coming to a close here in a few weeks.  It has been a challenge this spring.  Obviously our golf season was shortened by the poor weather in March and April.  Currently, I am trying to collect all fees that are not paid in full by our golfers.  This will be essential to operating at a profit for this current budget.

6-4-17

What a beautiful day for some golf.  We have over 120 golfers playing today in a tournament.  This is a very important event for the golf course from a financial standpoint.  We generate a lot of money from beverages sold and cart rentals.
Speaking of financials, here is an update where are budget stands through the month of May.  Revenues are $344,706 and the expenses total $324,966.  These compare to 2016 revenues of $367,552 and expenses of $330,832.
The main reason for the decrease in revenue is the poor spring weather we had this year.  Last year we opened March 11 and this season it was much later and April was not the best.  When the course opens later, we always see a decrease in season pass and green fee totals.
I still feel like we are doing pretty well financially.  The month of June is always a busy one and hopefully the weather is beautiful.  We still have quite a few cart storage fees due but our season pass dollars are down about 10% in comparison to last year.  I will keep you posted.
The tile area on #16 is starting to dry up rather nicely.  There will be a lot of cleanup to complete in this area.  This coming week we will start hauling material to fill the tire ruts.  The tile areas will continue to dry and eventually be repaired.  I have also repaired the two irrigation lines that were torn out during the process.
We started repairing the sand traps on both sides of #16 green this weekend.  There is still a little water that accumulates after irrigating but it is disappearing.  We should be able to mow the majority of this area early in the week.  Progress is beginning.
I continue to battle irrigation repairs and the dandelion population.  I only have two holes left to spray for dandelions and the irrigation repairs are decreasing.  Slowly but surely the work list is getting shorter.  Overall, I am happy with the condition of the golf course and the progress we are making.

6-1-17

It has been a long day, but I want to give everyone an update on the tile situation while it is still fresh in my mind.
Matt Hagedorn was on site early this morning.  They discovered a clay tile, on the golf course property, just north of Stoney Brook.  The water pressure was very strong without touching the clay tile.
We tried to locate the tile further north and dug a trench between 16 green and 17 tees.  There was no sign of the tile.  Next, they dug along an existing plastic tile from west to east.  We discovered a clay tile near the property line heading toward the condos south of Golf View.  There was no other tile discovered all the way to the cart path.
Next, we decided it was necessary to have the Street Division vac truck on site.  The next step was to open the tile in the original hole.  The vac truck would be used to vacuum the water from the hole and then run the jet down the tile line and trace it to the damaged area.
We traced the tile 184 feet north and hit a tee.  This area was then excavated and the tile was exposed.  A trench was run from the existing plastic tile to the exposed tile.  We tied the clay tile into the plastic tile in order to alleviate all the water in the surrounding area.  This process has helped draw the water table down around 16 green.
The next step was to expose the clay tile near the property line going to the west.  The vac truck again ran the jet and it stopped at 136 feet.  We traced the line to the foundation of the condos just south of Golf View.  It appears when the house was built, the tile was destroyed at the foundation.  We are still working on the next step in this area.
There also still appears to be an issue with the tile running east and west on the Stone Brook property.  The crew only conducted a visual inspection of this area since the golf course problem was our priority.
The area to the south of 16 green is starting to dry out as the water is pulled through the new tile.  The sand trap water level dropped 4″ in about 45 minutes.  So, I am hopeful to see improvement in the coming days.
There was quite a bit of damage bringing the truck onto the golf course.  It was necessary and will be repaired in the near future.  A section of cart path is destroyed and there are plenty of tire ruts to repair.  Along with the areas affected by the backhoe, we have a lot of work to do to get the area back to normal.
I was well aware of the damage that would occur during this process.  It was absolutely necessary to create a mess in order to fix the current mess.  I feel pretty good about the progress for the day.  Tomorrow we will start filling in some of the tire ruts and repairing two irrigation lines that were destroyed.
In the end, it will be a small price to pay in order to have the project done correctly.  I just cannot wait until the end….

5-21-17

The past few days have come to a complete halt in the revenue category for the golf course.  The cold wet weather has made it impossible to operate as normal.  I am sure I am not the only one who is tired of the rain and 40 degree weather.  It has been very disappointing since the first half of the month was so positive and we were getting back on track.
The budget is currently at a break even point.  As of Mat 17th, the revenues were at 321,248 and the expenses were 320,183.  These expenses are right on track in accordance to last year.  The revenues are well behind last year’s pace.  Hopefully the remainder of the month will be successful.
The tile issue on #16 green surrounds and the Stoney Brook housing is still at a stand still.  I have reached out to a different contractor to help us resolve the issue.  Matt Hagedorn has agreed to look at the problem and see what he can do to resolve it.  I will keep you posted on the progress.
There have been several irrigation issues that have mostly been resolved.  I blow the irrigation system out each fall spending extra time on every station to remove all the water from each line.  This past winter with all the freezing and thawing along with many rainfalls, unfortunately the standing water flowed through the irrigation heads back into the lateral lines.  This caused a lot of broken irrigation lines in low areas.  We are currently down to one leak, on 16 tee, remaining to repair.
The shelter on number five tee area was knocked down earlier this week.  It was becoming a safety issue and I felt taking it to the ground was the best alternative at this time.  The only part remaining is the roof.  I will explore new options in the upcoming days.
Out Trees for Kids grant was successful this past Monday.  I completed the paperwork to complete the grant and sent it in to Laura Wagner at the Iowa DNR.  I am very happy with the addition of 103 new trees to the golf course.  Between the Trees Forever and Trees for Kids grant, we added a total of 14 different tree varieties to the golf course.  They will be a beautiful addition.  One positive, they have not needed water these past few days.
Monday will be a very busy start to the week.  As the temperatures rise again, we will be hard pressed to catch up on our mowing.  I also plan on spending a day spraying the remainder of the broad leaf weeds on the course.

4-16-17

What a beautiful week at the golf course.  We dodged the major thunderstorms yesterday and still received some excellent rainfall.  The golf course has erupted with green grass growing everywhere.  I cannot believe how fast the grass is growing even with the lower soil temperatures.
Everything is really shaping up around the course as we move deeper into the spring calendar.  The ice damaged areas are starting to slowly recover and eventually will be in good shape.  There might be some light overseeding in areas but for the most part I am very happy with the progress.
The irrigation system is up and running.  We made some small repairs and also completed the work in the pumphouse.  I have made it through the majority of the stations and see minimal issues.  I knock on wood as I speak those words.
We completed some sod work on hole #12 and between the clubhouse and practice green.  Number 12 was the result of a bad irrigation leak late last fall.  The clubhouse surrounds was due to heavy cart traffic outside the east door.  I plan on eliminating cart traffic in this area to prevent future damage.
The largest part of our work week has been mowing.  The fairways, greens, tees, collars, rough, etc. have all been mowed.  We covered the fairways twice this past week.  The greens have been mowed multiple times and are getting closer to the daily mowing schedule.  Tees are being mowed once or twice a week right now.  And the rough is starting to take off and will require more attention.
Several upcoming projects will be addressing the appearance of the south shelter, mink and muskrat damage east of number five green, tile issues on number 12, and tile issues on number 16 green surrounds.
That should do it for another week at the old golf course.  Please stop by and say hello sometime.

4-23-17

Our current budget numbers show the expenses slightly lower than last year at the same time.  Our revenues are quite a bit lower in comparison to last year.  The main reason being, the golf course opened March 10 last year and we were extremely busy that entire month.  The later the golf course opens has a very strong influence on the bottom line.  I am confidant the golf course will finish the current budget in good shape.
The week started with a lot of rainfall which left the golf course extremely saturated.  This created difficult maintenance schedules to get caught up on all our practices.  A lot of late evening mowing and sometimes even headlights were involved but we survived.
With the wet conditions we really see areas where tile is an issue around the golf course.  The situation on #16 is still in the works for a repair solution.  Denny Stevenson was on site Thursday to begin the process.  I will keep you posted as the process moves forward.
The other bad tile area is in front of #12 green.  This is a result of a tile being compromised during the construction process and it finally came to surface.  The tile has not stopped running for over a year.  instead of setting pylons out we constructed a landscaping waterfall to clean the area a bit.  It is definitely not the solution but it will work until the problem can be addressed properly.

4-30-17

The weather has really put a damper on the 2017 golf season.  In comparison to 2016, our revenues are down a little over $20,000.  On a positive note, expenses are down about $12,000 this season.  As everyone knows, the weather is the one piece of the puzzle we have no control over when it comes to golf course revenues.  I am confident we will finish the last two months of the budget on a strong note.
​We were able to mow the majority of the golf course the first couple of days this week.  Then the weather made it difficult to complete a lot of outdoor activities.  So, we moved to interior projects.  These included cleaning and organizing the clubhouse office, maintenance shed, and shop area.
Our equipment lift was moved to the south half of the shop floor.  This allows us to utilize the entire shop area in a more effective manner.  We also went through the entire shop inventory and completed some inventory control.  The guys caught me in a week moment and I agreed to throw out more garbage than my mind normally would allow.
All in all the cleaning process was a huge success.  It almost feels like we moved into a new house.  Now we will do our best to keep everything organized and clean as we move forward into the golf season.
Monday does not appear to be much of a change in this weather pattern.  I plan on addressing the cart traffic between the clubhouse and practice green by planting ornamental grasses along the cart paths.  This will give us an attractive as well as affective solution.  We will cut back some of the yardage grasses on the course so there will be no expense for this project.
It looks like Tuesday will bring us some favorable golf weather.  Our men’s golf leagues will be starting this coming week.  I hope the weather cooperates and we can kick off the leagues with a bang.  Part time staff is all in place and we are ready for some busy days at the golf course.

5-17-17

The Trees for Kids grant and Trees Forever grant have both been completed.  Volunteers helped plant trees on Saturday morning and the Trees for Kids was completed Monday afternoon.  There were six middle school students, 28 high school students, four golf course employees, three teachers, and Laura Wagner (Iowa DNR).
This project went pretty smoothly considering it is the end of the school year and the students were pretty amped up.  And by excited I am not referring to planting trees.  They did a good job and we finished the project in relatively good time.
Staff has been watering all the new trees, 103 total, on a daily basis.  There still needs to be more mulch applied to some of the trees we planted on Monday.  We ran out and had no time to get another pallet load.
These 103 trees consisted of 14 different varieties, of which six are varieties we did not currently have on the course.  So, we have increased the overall total number of varieties we have in our inventory.  A diverse inventory will help with future insect threats to the ash and maple trees.
The tile issue continues to be building on the 16th green surrounds.  I am still waiting on Denny Stevenson.  His health has not been well and I really hate to constantly bother him about the topic.  I plan on touching base in the morning if I hear nothing today.  I will keep you posted.
Lastly, our shelter near the 5th tee has become a safety concern.  After evaluating the condition and the severity of the safety issue, with Mark White, I have decided to remove the structure.  We will be dropping the shelter tomorrow and plan for removal as time allows.
I will start the planning stages for a new structure which will be completed as time allows.  The new shelter will be smaller and also consist of a bar area for us to use during tournaments.  I will seek volunteers to help with the construction process.
It has only been a couple of days, but as I said there is a lot going on out here at the muni.  The predicted thunderstorms will only make it more challenging to get caught up prior to the weekend.  Fun in the sun sounds more like it.
Have a great week friends!

5-14-17

What a crazy week it has been.  The weather has been beautiful, the golf course very busy, and the days are going by quickly.  In the words of the great Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!”
We hosted 81 senior golfers on Monday.  This was a very nice turnout for the Lakes area group.  We fed them a light lunch at 11:00 which was followed by golf at noon.  They were pleased with the meal I cooked and were very complimentary about the golf course.  First day of the week in the books.
I have about six irrigation leaks that are wreaking havoc with my patience.  Several have been repaired but there are still a few remaining.  I have been able to irrigate the golf course on a nightly basis, however.  Several of the problem areas are not on the main line so these areas are bypassed nightly.  Early morning irrigation cycles has allowed me to keep the greens and tees satisfied with moisture.
The greens are really starting to come around.  I was able to fertilize greens, with a granular 18-9-18 fertilizer mid morning Wednesday.  This was a great application that is starting to create a very healthy green surface for the golfers.  Very happy about that being completed.  I followed the application with ten minutes of water on each green.
The dandelion population is out of control this year.  I am sure I don’t need to mention that to anybody.  I was able to spray for eight hours on Friday from early morning until early afternoon.  I covered all the rough on the perimeter of the golf course that is bordering housing.  These areas include from 14 green, clockwise around to twelve tees.  Approximately 54 acres were treated.  Believe me there is still a long way to go, but I will keep plugging away.
I met with Denny Stevenson mid week to discuss the tile issues on 16 green and 17 tee surrounds.  After the locates were all complete we decided to start this process Monday morning.  The plan is for him to be on site and we start the process of finding the problem.  He has not been feeling well which has slowed the work.  Wish us well please…..
The Trees Forever tree grant came to fruition on Saturday morning.   I labeled each tree, according to our master tree plan, and drilled the holes late in the day on Friday and picked up the trees in preparation for planting the following morning.  It worked out very nicely.
There was a small turnout of volunteers to help plant the 53 trees supplied with the grant.  It went very smoothly and we were finished after about an hour and 45 minutes from start time.  I would like to give a huge thank you to Delray for helping the golf secure the Trees Forever grant.  It was a very nice addition to our beautiful golf course.
On Monday, we will be having another tree planting made possible through the Iowa DNR and Trees for Kids.  There will be 50 more trees planted mid afternoon with support from middle school and high school students, along with adult volunteers.