Monday, February 28th, 2011

Course Conditions
The weather makes the headlines once again. It seems we wouldn't have much to discuss if it were not for the weather. In this weeks post I will just let the photo do the talking.
Steve continues to tear apart the 3100 hubs. This one is a deep set wheel and you can see the accumulation of debris that has built up over the season. This is next to impossible to get out with the hose due to the backing plate. There really is no other way to get it out other than removing the wheel.

We have embarked on a few small drainage projects on the eleventh hole. The weather has held us up a bit but we will have no problem wrapping them up this week.
Energy Trust of Oregon
Given the recent cold weather we realized that we could probably save some money if we insulated our ceiling above the office and break room. With the success of our lighting project last year we decided to contact the Energy Trust of Oregon again to see if there were incentives available within the realm of insulation. Sure enough, we can get up to 0.30 cents per square foot, not to exceed the total cost of the project. It looks like we need to buy 1,190 square feet of R-19 insulation, install it, and send them the receipts. By my calculations our net cost will by less than $170.00!

My own take on promoting our good work

                                      Look inside >                
                                       48                     49                                 
                     Sustainable Golf 2.0                

Previously posted on

I just sat down to read the new digital edition of Golf Course Industry magazine and came across this article called Sustainable Golf 2.0, written by Jim Black. I'm usually not the type to editorialize but I felt the need to say something here. There is a quote from Tom Mead, a golf course consultant, that stood out to be very profound.
It read as follows:
" I think there's a better chance for long-term financial success if we get off the treadmill of trying to meet golfers' expectations by continually increasing maintenance intensity and budgets, and figure out how to make money respecting the real intent and spirit of the game while protecting the planet's vital resources. Plenty of superintendents can see the need for some sort of transition, and they have the ability to develop a sustainable maintenance program. The problem is that they do not have the time of ability by themselves to educate their boards and members, or owners and paying golfers, about what they are doing and why."
So, do we not have the time or the ability to educate our board members and golfers? I think superintendents do. A number of superintendents are doing this exact thing.  If we can find the time to communicate our message, others can do so as well. We all want to see our industry succeed but it is difficult for some to put themselves "out there". Being "out there" is not necessarily a bad thing. It is not a matter of shameless self promotion but a matter of educating others of your successes and putting your industry in a good light. Tom Mead makes a perfect point in this story so lets get behind it and continue to promote our good work and help our golf courses achieve a more sustainable operation.

Announcing the Publication of Attracting Native Pollinators

This is a  wonderful source of information to anyone interested in the conservation of native pollinators. Whether it is a tool to help develop a conservation program at your golf course or a book to educate "small ones" on the value of native pollinators, this is the book to have. My friend Matthew Shepherd and a Xerces Society staff member was integral in the development of this book. He has worked tirelessly over the past few years to complete this project. Big congratulations to Mathew and the Xerces Society for a job well done.  The book also features one of my photographs on page 193 and one from Dan Dinelli, CGCS and 2009 Presidents Award winner from North Shore Country Club in Glenview, Ill on page 196. The book is available from the Xerces website or on Amazon. It is a must for your collection.

Announcing the Publication of Attracting Native Pollinators

We are excited to announce that our new book, Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies, is available. The book is published by Storey Publishing, North Adams, Massachusetts. Attracting Native Pollinators is coauthored by four Xerces Society staff members Eric Mader, Matthew Shepherd, Mace Vaughan, and Scott Black in collaboration with Gretchen LeBuhn, a San Francisco State University botanist and director of the Great Sunflower Project.
Since Xerces published the groundbreaking Pollinator Conservation Handbook in 2003 conservation practices have evolved, and that book has begun to show its age. At 380 pages, Attracting Native Pollinators provides dramatically expanded breadth and detail, reflecting the latest understanding about creating and managing pollinator habitat. Illustrated with hundreds of color photographs and dozens of specially created illustrations, Attracting Native Pollinators is divided into four sections:
  • Pollinators and Pollination explains the value of pollinators, and includes informative chapters on the natural history and habitat needs of bees, butterflies, flies, beetles, and wasps.
  • Taking Action provides comprehensive information on ways to help pollinators and on creating nest sites and safe foraging areas. It includes guidance on conserving pollinators in all kinds of landscapes: gardens, natural areas, farms, recreation land, even ecoroofs.
  • Bees of North America provides help with identifying the more abundant and important bee species, and supplies detailed profiles of more than thirty commonly encountered genera.
  • Creating a Pollinator-Friendly Landscape shows how various kinds of land, including urban gardens, suburban parks, and farms, can be enhanced to support diverse pollinator populations. Sample planting designs and fifty pages of illustrated plant lists facilitate selection of the best plants for any region.
Attracting Native Pollinators belongs on the bookshelf of everyone who values the future of the natural world.”
- Douglas W. Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home.
“Precise, elegant, and thoughtful, the recommendations offered by the Xerces Society will become essential to advancing a healthy and diverse food-production system.”
- Gary Paul Nabhan, author of The Forgotten Pollinators and Renewing America’s Food Tradition.

Monday,February 21st, 2011

Course Conditions
Here is the February forecast for the Northwest according to the Farmers Almanac:
February 2011
16th-19th. Clearing but turning chilly.
20th-23rd. Snow or rain.
24th-28th. Milder, with stormy weather.

Either Fox 12 Weather has given up on forecasting and has gone with the Almanac or we have a pretty good coincidence here. According to Fox 12, they are predicting snow Wednesday through Saturday. That is only a half a week off from the Almanac's prediction, interesting...Stay tuned.

John Hasler, Western Equipment
I have had several comments about our self induced ice storm a couple weeks ago. Somebody tell me this has happened to them as well. The one thing I know for sure is, "**it Happens"! It's all good. Although I must report that I caught the culprit red handed after I returned from Orlando. Upon returning to my desk Monday I surprised John Hasler, my trusty Toro irrigation technician hard at it again! All kidding aside, John has been a wonderful resource for us in trouble shooting irrigation problems. John is just like one of the crew, just a phone call away and he's there to help us get through any issue that may arise. Each year John services every satellite on the course as well as go through our computer system to make sure all the connections are tight, the cobwebs are cleaned out and all the vital components are tested. Just like the service that Paul Garska provides us with the pump station, it insures that we don't run into any unforeseen problems in the midst of the irrigation season. In the photo above John was actually setting up the software for a couple demonstration turf sensors. Toro is allowing us to experiment with them, monitoring our moisture, temperature and salinity levels under the nursery green. We feel that this technology will allow us to monitor soil moisture more closely and help us to better manage our turf.

In last weeks post I failed to mention that when I returned I found the course in amazing condition. Mike has a keen eye for the details and see's that everything is attended to that needs to be done. I say it over and over but can never say enough about the crew. They continue to work hard each day and put their very best into everything they do. Many times the details that you see on the course are not a result of Mikes or my direction, but rather an idea that was brought up in our morning meeting. They have developed a true sense of ownership. This is truly a team effort from all of us.

 Here is a small detail that Zeferino and Jorge did last week to accommodate the restroom service truck. He had been cutting corners and making ruts, so we simply graveled a path to enable him to navigate more easily.
In the near future you will be seeing Zeferino taking care of a few of his projects on the eleventh hole. He brought to my attention that with very little expense he can improve the drainage in certain areas thus greatly improving the playability of the hole.

On the equipment side of things Steve has been working on the 3100 Sidewinders and finally managed to get the brake drums loose. His suspicions were true once he got them off. Rust had totally taken over the entire inside of the drum. Luckily he thinks he can clean the rust up pretty good and replace the brake parts and they will be back on the course. Just a heads up to anyone that may have one of these. Do an inspection regularly, it is hard to clean this spot and clippings will accumulate and this is what you will end up with!

Golf Industry Show 2011, Orlando Florida

Last week I attended the Golf Industry Show in Orlando Florida. As usual, I enjoyed catching up with all of my great friends from around the country and meeting many new ones. Needless to say I will try to recap my week in one post but it may be rather lengthy.

The week started of with educational sessions on Monday and Tuesday. This year I decided to attend the free sessions in lieu of taking classes. I felt that there was so much offered this year that it was worth my while to take advantage.

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Course Conditions
A terrific week weather wise. The fairways were cut once again and the carts were set free to roam as they please! The week was punctuated by on Wednesday with an unexpected irrigation cycle over night. With the night time temperature at 25 degrees you can imagine what the course looked like when we arrived. Tuesday our service representative was doing some work on our computer control system and he performed a back-up of our data base. Upon the reinitialization of the program the rain hold switch was overlooked, subsequently allowing the system to download the last program that was run to the satellites. I believe we pumped close to 350,000 gallons, enough to drop the lake level a good three inches! I could not have been more frustrated. What should have been a short frost delay turned into an 11:30 start loosing close to 55 players that day. An honest but unfortunate mistake.

The weather cooperated for us on Friday, avoiding frost delay, and we managed to cut the greens first thing ahead of the golfers. Saturday we were able to roll for the Men's Club tournament giving them some nice rolling conditions for the day. This week Treecology will be back out to work on some more trees. I wasn't too pleased with their progress last time and hope they can get a little further this round. We have a tremendous amount of work to accomplish in the trees and I hope next years budget will allow us a little more time to work on them.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...