Friday, February 26, 2010

Ice Part Two

Took a quick peak today for any ice accumulation under the snow in one location on #1 green.  Found a one half inch layer suspended three inches "above" the putting surface.  This great news, HOWEVER were water ponds in the approach I had to chisel my way through rock hard ice to get to the surface.  Did not detect any oder which is good news for now.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

ICE: Plus 63 days and counting!

Winter injury and death is always a constant concern of golf course superintendents in the "Great White North" as is a concern of mine once again this year.  The clock started ticking with the Christmas Eve's day rain event.  We had a good layer of snow on the ground to buffer this two day rain event.  Another rain event over the last weekend of January added another inch of liquid with the potential of capping our turf with smoothering ice.  Research (there's that word again) proves that Poa Annua (annual bluegrass) can survive under ice for 60 days with substantial loss after 75 days.  I will be walking out to areas prone to ice and will dig down through the snow to check on the ice very.  I will be checking the depth and condition of any ice layer found and will pull turf plugs if I sense "the smell of death."  Those plugs will be brought into the shop and will be placed in a window in a modified green house like environment to check for life.

As with any winter, I brace myself for turf loss.  I've already place an order for seed to avoid last minute rush to purchase.  However, to date I have not seen the conditions of a quick warm up with a sudden snow melt creating large pools of standing water.  I've seen more turf loss under standing water than I've seen from under a layer of ice.

I'll keep you posted.

Play a round for Research

The Wisconsin Golf Course Superintendents Association has created a new fundraising campaign called PAR 4 Research. (Play a round for Research.)  PAR 4 Research was created to assist the funding of research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to benefit sustainalble golf turf in Wisconsin.  All proceeds of the auction will be donated to the Wisconsin Turfgrass Association.  With deminished golf course budgets university research has never been more important for golfers.

On May 2, 2010 you will be given an opportunity to "bid" on rounds of golf or other donated items from golf courses from around the state.  Auction items can be found on the website .  You can follow this link to the website and auction site.  The auction will last one week.  You might be suprized at some of the opportunities you have before you.

(Editors note:  I was priviledged to have been invited to serve on the committee that set up the "Play a round for Research"  fundraising auction. This was clearly one of the best run committee meetings I've ever served on.  I'm also the Treasurer of the Wisconsin Turfgrass Association having served in that position since 2005.  I know first hand what your research dollars support.  You would be proud to know the reputation of the work done by the turfgrass professors at the O J Noer Research and Educational Center at the UW- Madison has made it one of the top facilities in the world.)

Monday, February 15, 2010


    Many of you probably did not know this, but your greens maintenance department was ordered closed for the past two months.  That meant layoffs for all full time greens staff members.  The layoffs were implemented to save the club monies in what is being billed as the worse recession in recent memory in the golf industry.  Close to 900 manpower hours normally spent reconditioning your mowing equipment and golf course accessories will be crammed into the weeks remaining until the weather permits our return to outdoor maintenace.  (By the look of all the branches downed by the Christmas Eve's Ice Storm, I'm not looking forward to those muscle aches as I rake my way back into shape!) 

    We use the "off season" to prepare over 80 pieces of turf equipment for the next golfing season.  It has always been our philosophy to prevent "in season" breakdown much in the same fashion that it's a wise idea to have your car inspected and serviced before making that long drive on a family vacation.  The greatest fear I have is that of a ruptured hydraulic hose that may have been missed because of some of the shortcuts taken in the limited time we have remaining.  What impact will our shortened off season maintenace program bring is anyone's best guess.  I'm sure there will be a few mid season breakdowns that could have been prevented but we will address those when the time comes.  Bull's Eye/Tri City is very fortunate to employee one of the States best turf Equipment Managers in Tim Johnson.  When our greens look good, roll good and putt true, I always thank Tim for his work on our cutting heads.

    Time to shake off the rust........It's time to get back to work.

Friday, February 12, 2010


It has been almost two years, but I've finally decided to create a blog to take advantage of technologies in an effort to better communicate to the membership of Bull's Eye Country Club/Tri City Golf Courses.  I've been reluctant to do so as I already spend far too much time recording my thoughts in a daily journal which takes a lot of  my time, but the timeliness and lack of a club newsletter pushed me over the edge.  So I jumped.  One element missing is a spell checker.  Maybe I'll stumble upon one of these days as I learn the program and play with all the bells and wistles.  Heck I watch TV with this laptop burning my thighs, I might as well be constructive with it during that time.  This is a test. My main goal with the blog is to keep the member informed regarding upcoming cultural maintenance programs schedueled in the upcoming days.  Just because it's on paper doesn't mean I can't change my mind like the wind.