Thursday, September 23, 2010

Course Closed!

Water, water everywhere! Break out the webbed feet everyone.

I thought I would share with you some course photos of your flooded golf course.

You can see for yourself why the course was closed. Tri City was closed as well due to standing water on fairways.

I was informed the Wisconsin River Valley Improvement Authority called Tim’s wife alerting her to inform the dam operators that they will be releasing pent up water upstream and to expect a flow rate of fifty thousand cubic feet per minute. At that rate the water should be 2 to 3 feet OVER the flash planks on the Centrallia dam. With this rain and more coming I think we’ve gone from “near record” to record rainfall levels for the year.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nature talks

I always bench mark the seasons by plant growth and color. Trees are always a first indicator, but grass plants tell a story to. Older Bentgrass varieties change color (Purple) when nighttime temperatures fall into the forties. Early last week, just past Labor Day, I noticed that our putting greens were not growing as actively as they were just a week before.

Greens mower operators were now dumping their buckets once per nine holes of cut. During the warm humid “corn growing” weather in July and August of this past year and with all the precipitation we received, our mower operators had to dump every other green or they would find excessive clipping residue left for our clean up lap cut. It was during that time as well that our Plant Growth Regulators were lasting but five days; not the two weeks we were budgeted for.

It is common knowledge that shorter days coupled with cooler nights trigger slower growth but I had a nagging question in my mind was it because they simply run out of steam due to a lack of fertility? Plant growth dictates when we should stop aerification knowing that the holes will no longer fully heal in this fall. Plant growth also tells us when supplemental fertilization will have limited negative impact on putting green speeds yet provides the plant with ample time to preload carbohydrates for winter survival. With changes in scientific study detecting when the plant absorbs and utilizes plant nutrients we will use the lack of plant growth to fertilize a full month before our normal "Late Season" application which is timed to the second killing frost. We always listen to Mother Nature.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Caring for your Assets

One of the things we have been complimented on many times over the years is the appearance of our turf equipment inventory. Guest superintendents, members and especially vendors that sell “iron” for a living always ask if that mower is new. When I tell them the age and hours of the unit in question they’ll usually respond with a big “wow!” I’ll let you in on our dirty little secret. We wash our machines after each use.

When I first learned of another superintendent washing and waxing equipment daily I thought to myself, he’s nuts! Sure he’s got a multi million dollar budget and migrant workers; he can afford to do anything he’d like!

Washing our equipment daily wasn’t always done this way; our new shop built in 1999 provided us with that opportunity via a clean asphalt covered wash pad. Crew members no longer had to stand ankle deep in mud to clean equipment after use. Thus a tradition was born.

We pay particular care to the wheels and flat metal surfaces as juices from grass clippings are quite corrosive. While this may appear to be a time consuming chore, if done daily is quick and easy to keep up with and seldom adds more than ten minutes to the job. Research shows that operators take better care of equipment that is in good shape. We want to keep it that way. Washing our equipment daily should pay for itself over time as we recognize increased trade in values when it comes time to replace it.