Monday, November 30th, 2009

This week I will be in North Carolina attending the Syngenta Business Institute at Wake Forest University. I am looking forward to the event. It should be very enlightening.
We have a busy week at the course this week. It finally looks like the weather is going to cooperate for a change  but the only drawback is with clear weather in December comes frost in the mornings. From what I can see so far Tuesday on will most likely be our frosty days.

While I am gone Mike will try to get a couple fairways topdressed; it will most likely be on Friday so we can be sure everything is as firm as possible. Mike will also try to get some sand on the greens as well. It is entirely up to his discretion as to when he can get it done. The clean up went well last week and the course was pristine for the long weekend. After speaking with Doug on Thanksgiving it was nice to hear that we had a pretty good crowd for the day given we accumulated over an inch of rain. I really hope we finished the month off strong.

Mike and Steve P will be attending the OGCSA Pesticide Seminar on Wednesday and Thursday. George and Gordon are going to attend the OGCSA Sports Turf Seminar on Tuesday. All of the events will be occurring down town at the Oregon Convention Center. Brian will be attending a break out session on Thursday which is meant to prepare for the Oregon State Pesticide License examination. Zeferino and Steve M will oversee the operations while Mike is off Wednesday and Thursday. I will see if Mike can make it in in the morning before he gets off to the seminar to outline the jobs for the day.

We have ordered more sand which will not be billed until January. We still need to do a flow test on the well in order to complete the water rights. EnviroLogic Resources will be performing the test in a couple weeks and that should rap it up. We are still working within the $5,000 we budget for the year to complete the process.

Steve M finished the driving range markers last week. We just realized that we made 4 inch pipes and the ones on the range are smaller. We are waiting for bigger sleeve pipe to arrive so we can set them in the targets. They are really going to look nice. Steve did a fantastic job.

I will try update my report this week while I am away and will try to load some pictures of Wake Forest. Have a great week.

Oh and don't forget........


Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Another wet week! It seemed like winter came awful fast this year. I don't recall too many nice days in October but then again once the rain hits it seems like it's every day! The weather still doesn't stop the course from shining. I am still so impressed on how well the crew is taking the weather and still able to keep the course in top condition. They have really come together as a team and every one of them is doing their fair share. Saturday night left us with a mess to clean up. The crew on Sunday got the greens and tees cleaned up plus the front nine fairways. We should be able to get everything else cleaned up on Monday.
We are now just cutting the greens a few times per week which is allowing us to start in on some projects. Last week Zef and Jorge stripped the sod off of the back of 14A and re graded it so it was a much smoother transition off the back of the green. It seemed to have settled since we built it last year. The result will allow us to have a much more uniform collar. Zef has now started working on the lows behind the clubhouse. He is installing a much larger catch basin which should keep it from turning into a lake after heavy rains. He will also be using new sod grown on our nursery this fall.
We will be updating the driving range posts on the targets this week. Steve is constructing  new ones complete with matching stripes. We will install permanent sleeves in the ground which will keep them perpendicular.

If the weather cooperates we should get the greens sprayed next week. The weather man says we should have some nice weather Tuesday and Wednesday. We will keep our fingers crossed. It is not looking too good for Thanksgiving, probably a good day to stay indoors.

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Fall is such a beautiful time of year especially when the sun shines. This was the case Saturday morning. The 7:30 shotgun didn't actually go off as planned due to the frost but the crew managed to get the course ready and everyone teed off at 9:30. I am sure it was a great day for everyone.
I don't think we will be seeing as much rain this week as we did last week but it looks like we will be seeing quite a bit of wind instead. So far the crew has taken on everything that Mother Nature has thrown at them and has managed to keep the course clean and in phenomenal shape. The leaves are almost done and we will be focusing on getting the leaves out of the tall grass areas.

Lots of great comments on the condition of the greens. On the days that we are receiving heavy rain we have not been mowing them. The roll that we put on them for the ProAm really seemed to smooth them out for quite some time. We will try to put down a roll more often in lieu of mowing from time to time this winter.  We should be down to one fertilization a month. I just ordered our last Redox shipment for the year.

Since our sulfur application the fusarium patches are beginning to sprout new shoots. Ryder is pointing at two spots that are filling in nicely. It is nice to see them recover so well this time of the year. I am having Bob continue to put seed in the sand/seed boxes. He keeps the level low so it doesn't germinate before it can get used. The new tee markers weathered the season pretty well this year. A few of them have lost their bark but they still look nice. We will probably bring them in and give them a fresh coat of lacquer. This winter we will cut up some more branches and make plenty of extras so we can sub them in as we need.


Steve has been swamped in the shop and has been cranking out the reels off the grinder every day. With the new greens mowers it has allowed us to set up one of the old tee mowers as a nursery mower. We are cutting the bent now at .250 and it is filling in nicely. It is nice to have the nursery back. We should set up a croquet tournament next year, it would be perfect for that. The Beaver Creek pumps and motors will need to be serviced this year. It has been some time since we have done so and would be good insurance to get it done. The wet areas behind the clubhouse along the cart path are in our sights and we will be getting to those real soon. Starting to think about the new tournament facility and how we are going to handle the early tournaments this spring before it gets complete. I really don't have any good ideas right now but it wouldn't hurt to put our heads together and come up with some options.

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Given the recent weather it is good to say that we are on top of all of our regular maintenance. The crew has done a fantastic job keeping up on the leaf removal while staying on top of the mowing. The course hasn't softened up to much which is good for the equipment getting around to pick up the leaves. We finished up on the fairway topdressing earlier last week while the weather was still good. The course is till growing given the recent mild weather. Once we get a few good frosts under our belt things should slow down enough to allow us to start working on some winter projects.
We managed to get the sand down last week which seemed to really help. We tried a different technique this time and mowed first, sanded then drug them with a cocoa mat instead of the brush. This allowed us to stay ahead of play which is always a challenge in the winter plus the mat isn't as abrasive on the grass.
Last week I mentioned that we were going to fertilize and spray but after further discussion we decided to let the fertilizer go another week and we aren't due to spray until the 23rd.
We sprayed the tees this week with fertilizer and elemental sulfur to deter further disease development. The color looks great.

I am very pleased with the condition of all the fairways. We have finished all of the topdressing except those that we are planning on hitting later this winter, weather permitting, to alleviate some of the worm cast issues.

First Green Program Update 
Thursday was the second field trip for Mrs. Mull's Environmental Science class. The topic was water quality and the steps that Stone Creek takes to ensure that we are protecting our ponds and streams. We sampled water from three different ponds and tested for pH, nitrates, and ammonium fertilizer. The students found varying results in pH and were perplexed that they couldn't detect any nitrates. The process enabled them to apply what they have learned in class to a real life situation. The long term take home message will be that these kids are going to possess the knowledge that golf courses do not pollute the environment and when managed correctly can be beneficial to the environment as well.

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

I must start my report out commending Maggi for cutting costs to our budget by seeking alternative meat sources for our hamburgers. Most men will go a life time and will never have the success that she accomplished in one month. Way to go Maggi!

Looks like we will be in a frost pattern with this clear weather. Let's remember to maintain clear and concise communication throughout the delays.

Today Mike, Jason and I will be attending the OGCSA Environmental Meeting at Royal Oaks. Normally this is on a day when it is stormy and our time is well spent learning. Well, it looks like today is going to be one of those days which we wish we were here doing fair weather chores around the golf course. It looks like we are going to have a break in the weather this week and we have a few tasks that we will need to get done while the weather lasts.

We have a list of items that we need to get done this week on the greens starting with topdressing. We will do so probably on Tuesday. I will ask Rich to see if we have any groups going off first thing. We like to get a head start if we can. We are due for our plant protectant application this week as well as fertilizer. With good weather comes lots of golfers and we will do our best to get everything done with minimum impact.

Along with greens we will need to spray the tees as well. We are planning on spraying some elemental sulfur along with some nitrogen and some iron. The sulfur has plant protectant characteristics and will help them recover from the dollar spot and fusarium outbreak.

Three more to go (three, four and five) and we will be done topdressing, excluding four, five, and seven. We will continue to topdress those this winter as weather and plant canopy allows. This will help alleviate some of the worm cast issues. 

We still have not fertilized but as the weather is warming this weekend I have noticed quite a bit of lush growth in the rough. We will still be fertilizing but on a as needed basis and as the weather allows.
We are starting to see a few soft spots showing up, mainly in the lows and along the cart path edges. These will make great projects as the mowing slows down. Some of the first areas I would like to see us focus on will be the lows behind the clubhouse along the cart path.

As stated above we will start repairing soft spots when the mowing slows down. This week Zef will finish the pipe repair on four which will allow us to fire up the pump station again. We had to turn everything off in order to get all of the water out of the pipe. Apparently we have a large gate valve that doesn't seal completely which keeps us from isolating that particular area.
The barley bails are out, it will be interesting to see how things look next spring. I mentioned in our manager meeting that we replaced one of the light fixtures in our equipment bay and it made a big difference. Jack is now working on getting us a rebate for replacing the remaining lamp fixtures in the shop as well as the ones in the cart barn. I believe we should be able to save quite a bit on power with the new lamps as well as possibly installing motion sensors. I need to contact Energy Trust and see if our new cart fleet would qualify for a rebate since the charging system is supposed to be more efficient. 
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