Superintendent's Page

NBGCC 2018
 
 


 
WHAT'S HOT- September 18,2018

1. I’ve really dropped the ball on these submissions. I apologize but some things are just out of my control. Others are too overwhelming and force you make priorities. Lets just say its been an extremely stressful season, particularly the last two months. Hopefully I can get back on track.
2. Our new river pump is running well. It had to be replaced a while back when we lost a phase while the pump was running. Not good. Ruined the pump beyond repair. Started a fire in the pump house but thankfully Ryan our assistant acted promptly and appropriately. Could have been a lot worse.
3. Those few questioning the necessity for a larger reservoir should make the trek down to our river pump station. You will see the river is totally silted up at our inlet not allowing us to pump and keep our present reservoir full. Be thankful its not windy and hot.
4. I’m actually writing this on a borrowed laptop I steal from Karen everyday I go to work. My office is on computer #3 in the last two months. Lightening strikes, programming issues, bad luck, I’ve seen it all. The computer’s principle role is to control the irrigation; turn it on and off basically. When its not working, someone is turning those 950 sprinkler heads on manually. Many, many all nighters. We have the irrigation program working fine now but still lacking in other areas.
5. I don’t know what we would have done without our assistant Ryan and mechanic Trevor. Talk about dedicated.
6. We’ve started our fungicide applications in preparation for winter. Something will be going down weekly until the end of October. Greens, tees and this year even a few fairways.
7. Received word that the irrigation blow out will be October 17th-19th. Kind of later than I like. But begger’s can’t be choosers. There’s only one machine of its kind in the province and a lot of courses need it.
8. Not sure you noticed but there’s a bit of construction going on at the 4th hole.
9. Worms are bad again. Ryan has finally found some time to apply a worm inhibitor. Its made from Kale. I guess they down like the stuff. Now that I think of it, either do I. Does anyone?
10. Our team was very involved in the 4th hole construction prior to the construction company coming on site. Removed and disposed of the asphalt cart paths. Remove and dispose of trees Removed irrigation heads for reuse on the new hole. Moving trees. Relocated and built nurseries. All the while maintaining a pretty juicy golf course. Just a super team.
11. Man we’ve cut down a ton of dead poplar trees this year.
12. We cleaned out the creek on 9 and 18. Want to make sure the water is circulating properly between both hazards. There is now a ton of drainage emptying into the hazards from the new #4 and its important water levels are kept at a proper height.
13. Oh ya, we needed a new circulating pump this year. Another unforeseen expenditure.
14. Thanks to those who showed the maintenance team some respect and pride in our club by playing in foursomes. We get so much more done.
15. How about those flowers this season. Still looking great but I hear there’s a frost on the horizon. Regardless, thanks to all our volunteers.
16. The years winding down but I’m sure the crew would appreciate a well deserved pat on the back before we close shop. We really do want everyone to come back and feeling good about themselves and those they work for makes all the difference.

Enjoy your weekend and hopefully until next week,
Grant
 

 
TIME TO GET AT IT !!!!
 
 
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WHAT’S HOT- April 6,2018

Believe it or not there’s an actual golf course under all the white stuff. We plowed roads to all the greens March 14th in anticipation of blowing the greens off the following Monday. Well the unbelievably cold temperatures are just not giving in. Just too cold to uncover what’s got to be some pretty fragile turf. Ever since we plowed the roads we’ve been trying our best to keep them open. Big task for our little JD tractor. Looks like the weather might straighten out Monday and allow us to move some snow, and there’s a ton of it.

Trevor’s busy putting the finishing touches of our equipment. The reels are back from sharpening and he’s got them reinstalled and ready to go. All fluids and filters are changed and the engines get their final tune-ups. It’s also a good time of year to do any necessary fabricating and welding.  Trevor takes a lot of pride in his maintenance equipment and shop. Actually he’s going to be pissed that I posted a photo of what he considers a messy work bench. Very talented dude.

We’re going green, even our rakes. Yellow rake handles have become obsolete so all replacement purchases are green now. Rather than replacing all the yellow handles we’re vinyl coating them with shrink wrap material. The stuff aint cheap so it might take a few years to go totally green but we’re well on our way. Not only do we address the rakes but every piece of course furnishing gets a going over one way or another. (We think our plastic tee markers are the shiniest in the biz) FYI, we require 149 rakes for 60 traps and generally have to replace 15 throughout the season.

There’s always something for our team to do regardless of the weather. And as per the norm, any comments, suggestions, complaints, gsaw@sasktel.  


APRIL 9th - Blowing snow
   

APRIL 12th - Repairing range netting
 

APRIL 16th- Shoveling snow off surrounds. Want to dry those greens out.


WHAT’S HOT - April 20th, 2018
1. Most unusually cool spring I’ve ever been through in my carreer.
2. Nice last couple days. Expecting the snow to be gone by Monday. Forecasting rain though. NO RAIN PLEASE. Really want to dry the place out.
3. Put all the furnishings out already into the snow banks. Going to need all hands on deck when it’s dry enough to work on the greens and tees.
4. Have been doing some tree work while we wait for the snow to melt.
5. Aeration plugs all over fairways and tees that need to be matted in. Must be dry enough though.
6. Topdressing under the tarps on the greens that needs to be matted in too.
7. A lot of path and maintenance roads washed out by quick melt yesterday. Not the bridge on #2 though. Still hanging in there.
8. Who knows when the frost will go down this year.
9. Come on wind. Dry this place out.
10. Signed up for the scramble yet? Going to be a beauty. May 5th and 6th. And don’t forget about the Welcome Back soiree on the evening of the 4th.
11. Pumped about our crew this season. All new but damn enthusiastic already. It’s a good sign.

APRIL 24th - 1st tarp to come off. NICE.


WHAT’S HOT – April 27th, 2018

1. Crazy day yesterday. That damn river came up so fast with so little warning. At 3:30 pm we had a perfectly dry pump house down at the river and by 5pm we had 5 feet of water in it.
2. Took the tarps off Tuesday. Guys really struggled but gave it their all in that wind.
3. Tuesday was cleaning the top dressing off the greens. They’ll be cut and cleaned a few times prior to opening for play for you.
4. We’ve got a couple of dedicated troopers on the team in Trevor Poletz and Ryan Whyte. They braved that ice cold river water last night and got that 1000 pump out of the building just in time. We usually require 4 guys to move that thing around but I think pure adrenaline and seeing the water actually rising up the walls really got them going. Can’t thank them enough.
5. I’m allowing power carts this weekend. It’s going against my better judgement but we just need to create some traffic and a positive buzz around here and fast. We’ll worry about the damage later.
6. I’ll be continuing my crusade to play in foursomes. Every maintenance team on the planet will tell you they work so much more efficiently amongst foursomes. And there’s no better way to build our club back up than by enjoying time with people of common interest.
7. Can’t wait for next weekend’s scramble. First club golfing event of the year. Big participation would mean a lot to our maintenance program.
8. Hard to believe how much snow was on the course 10 days ago.
9. Our entire crew will be on board by Tuesday of next week. A whole new team again. Should be interesting. A lot of training but they’ll eventually get it.
10. Really pumped about our new assistant Ryan Whyte. Very smart, very motivated and already showing signs of being a fantastic leader.
11. Cut down the birch on #13. I still haven’t gotten over its demise. Such a beauty of a tree. We’re leaving a large stump for those who used it for aiming off the tee. Not sure how long we’ll leave it.
12. Serious raking next week. What a mess.  Damn poplars.
13. Make sure you report all evening vandalism to the pro shop. We’d like to avoid last season’s abuse which got out of control at times.  
14. And plan to attend the welcome back bash in the clubhouse the evening of May 4th. Should be a good
time.



Have a great weekend,

Grant Sawchyn


 And Its Up and Going
 

  WHAT’S HOT – May 5, 2018
1. Juicy day for the Spring Scramble. Getting some extra watering done before the shotgun goes off.
2. Hard to believe that last Thursday we were in panic mode trying to save our river pump and by Monday we were putting it back together and filling the reservoir.
3. Started irrigating Tuesday morning. Tees and greens have been the priority off the start. Fairways got their first blast last night. So far so good.
4. Judging by social media a lot of notable courses were firing their systems up this past week. We all we have issues of some sort or another. It’s a frustrating time of the year.
5. Thanks to everyone who is participating in the scramble. It’s nice to see a tradition carried on. It would be nicer to see our newer members coming on board and having some fun.
6. The “crews” together and working hard. The majority is new and most are non-golfers. It will take some time to memorize the holes and find their way around the property. Proper etiquette is another thing we have to teach them. They’re all great kids.
7. The crew has been doing nothing but raking leaves and probably sick of it already. I think they’re starting to despise poplar trees as much as me. The place is starting to look pretty tidy.
8. Planning on getting in the traps next week and throwing some sand around. Get them as consistent as possible.
9. Minimal porcupine damage this winter. Proof that the protective wires work.
10. Deer urine kill on a few greens.
11. Really trying to keep the greens and tees well irrigated. Poa really needs the moisture and heat to rebound from the harsh winter.
12. Will be outlining the fairways next week. New employees have a very difficult time seeing the edges as they learn how to cut.
13. Weeping tile system must be plugged or frozen. Water is percolating up on 9 and 18. Trying to pump it dry but it’s a losing battle. Need the frost to let go.
14. Had to put the sign up on #4 today. A lot of standing water again. No I didn’t irrigate it.
15. A pretty enthusiastic and positive crowd scrambling today. They’re going to have a blast this weekend.
16. We might put our old numbered flags out for a few days. The numbers will help the newbies find their way around a little easier. Speed up the learning process.

Enjoy the course and the club,
Grant Sawchyn

WHAT’S HOT – May12, 2018
 1. Froze again last night. That’s twice this week and it might as well of froze the other 5 nights. Too cold for poa to bounce back.
-2.Going to have to investigate alternative or additional covers for our front nine greens. They seem to take a bigger lick’n from the harsher winters like we just had. They always have been high maintenance greens. Construction?
3. I think the crew finally got the place cleaned up. Two weeks of solid raking, blowing and picking. Time to start training.
4. Nice of the Board to have a special evening to meet the staff. Very much appreciated by the maintenance team.
-5.The gals on the crew got their first taste of rough cutting Thursday and Friday. A little overwhelming for them but I think they’re going to be o.k. after a few go arounds. It is a big job.
6. Overseeded a few of the weaker greens. Come on heat!!
7. Aerated all the tees hoping we’d overseed them too. Seed never came as quick as I expected and the holes will probably be filled in by the time it gets here. Oh well, an extra aeration never hurts.
8. That 4th fairway is still percolating. Way too wet to drive on still.
9. Took down more dead poplars this week. Hard to stay on top of it. Seems it’s never ending in recent years.
10. Will be filling the water hazards to their proper level next week and putting the fountain back in. Will be putting the circulating pump for the creak feature back in the well too. It’s been frozen till now.
11. Still a lot of frost in the ground in shaded areas. Frozen heads too.
12. Sure sounds like those in the scramble last weekend had a blast. Thanks to those who participated and supported the club.
13. Sure nice to see a ton of foursomes out there lately. Sure hope it lasts. The maintenance team is so much more efficient when they work amongst groups of four rather than twosomes.
14. I think most of the crew can find their way around the place now. We’ll see when they start working independently. Fingers crossed.
15. If you see any abuse to the course or especially staff, report it to the pro shop and we’ll deal with it appropriately. Already been a few unfortunate occurrences. We love our crew!!!!!!
16. Almost flower time. I wonder what our great volunteers have planned this year. Can’t wait.

Supposed to be a nice couple of days coming up. Find three buds and get out there.

Grant

 WHAT’S HOT – May 18, 2018
1. Finally!! A day with no wind. Makes irrigating worthwhile.
2. The maintenance team is really starting to come together. Starting to show some pride in what they’re doing. And no sleep ins yet. Touch wood.
3. Been doing a ton of watering already this spring. The wind has really been drying things out.
4. For those of you who are fearful of fertilizer staining your putter, take a towel with you and wipe your putter off as you leave the green. It’s been a pretty common practice as long as I can remember.
5. Some of the traps are holding some water. Its all the extra irrigation we’ve been forced to do.
6. Thursday morning we noticed that the few remaining frozen sprinklers were finally thawed out. No more hand watering.
7. The poplar buds are sure making bunker maintenance difficult. They get stuck under the machine and are next to impossible to clean out. Leaving some unsightly ridges in the sand at times.
8. Our new assistant Ryan has sure been an excellent addition to the team. Super motivator and a great leader. The entire crew including myself have a ton of respect for him.
9. Golf course has been pretty busy but could still use more play.
10. Thanks for respecting the crew and playing in foursomes. Really helps us out.
11. Martin and Ryan have spent a lot of time lowering sprinkler heads this spring. I think they’ve got a handle on it now but there might be the odd one they haven’t found. Hope a mower doesn’t find it before they do.
12. Over 300,000 gallons of water a night lately.
13. Near freezing a couple nights this week. Really need the ground to warm up to get that poaannua jumping.
14. All the new staff have really been welcome to the club by the members, especially the morning players. Thanks.
15. Just found out that Bob Johnston was recognized as volunteer of the year at Men’s Night. An absolute great member over the years and has done so much for us. Wish I was there to shake his hand and thank him personally. It’ll have to be out on the course I guess.
16. Dandelions are starting to show. Going to have to deal with them soon.
17. Trevor our ace mechanic has sure been busy so far this season. New staff leads to more breakdowns and repairs.
18. There’s rumblings that our great flower volunteers are going to start planting. Can’t wait.
19. It’s the May long. We should all try a get in a couple rounds. And bring some guests too to check the place out.
20.. Thanks for all the positivity so far. Really motivates the maintenance team.

Have a terrific weekend.
Grant

WHAT’S HOT – May 25th, 2018
1. Short work week. The team really had to giver to get the basics done.
2.  Our problem greens are slowly filling in. Needless to say I’m a little impatient.
3. The gals on the rough mowers are slowly getting good at what’s likely the most difficult job in our regime. They really have to be organized and communicate amongst themselves to stay on top of things.
4. Put more seed down on the tees. It should catch in the next few days. They really took a beating. Most likely in December. No snow and -26.
5. They moved the storage shed to the 10th tee area. Thought it would be nice to have better sight lines to the 9th green from the deck. Great idea.
6. Record snow pack in the mountains yet to come down the river. Hope we don’t have to pull the pump out again. Very tense times when we have to ration irrigation water. Really need more holding capacity for our irrigation system.
7. In my 33 years at NBGCC this is the first year we’ve had a caterpillar issue. We really don’t have the resources to deal with them so hopefully they don’t do a lot of damage like some courses in the province have experienced in recent years.
8. For a place known for attention to detail we still have a ways to go in the grass trimming department. A lot of new people on the crew. It’ll come.
9. Poplar suckers are starting to appear in some traps again. Very frustrating trying to stay on top of them.
10. I’d like to start dealing with the dandelions this weekend. Hopefully things come together and I can get at it.
11. A colleague in Saskatoon had his course aerial sprayed for caterpillars. Planning for the process began in November last year. A lot of hoops to jump through.
12. Its probably best to direct any questions or concerns to me personally. It can be very intimidating for a teenage employee to answer your how come’s and whys. Especially when they’ve only been on site for a couple weeks or even days. gsaw@sasktel.net
13. We’re only half done adding sand to some traps. Hopefully finish them this week. We’re forced to change priorities some times.
14. Ryan, Trevor and Martin have sure been a great asset to NBGCC when it comes to training and dealing with such a new and young crew.
15. Our local Canadian Tire has a great product for back yard tent caterpillars. “BTK”
16. Its sure nice to see all the out of town players at our course. Guests are very appreciated by our crew. We sure want them to go home happy.
17. Hoping the fairway fert kicks in over the weekend and gives the poannua a boost.
18. Thanks to all our great volunteers. And there’s a ton more than you think. The team gets a lot of credit and a lot of it must go to those very deserving members. Your great.

Have a good weekend,
Grant


OUCH !!! Poor guy. His 1st weekend to cut greens and this hick-up happens. And on the front fringe of the green. Probably felt the preasure of the first foursome of the day on his tail and somehow pressed the wrong lever. It's happened to every one of us in the bizz.. Our man feels terrible but he shouldn't.

 WHAT’S HOT- June 8th, 2018
1. Oops. Didn’t get around to last week’s.
2. Things are really growing now. Amazing what a little rain will do.
3. We overseed the driving range tee once a week. “feeding the chickens.” Broadcast seed out of a pail by hand into each individual divot. Fill with sand.
4. Difficult to get any amount of spraying done. Either windy or raining. Have a very good start though.
5. I think the caterpillars are pretty much done. Some trees totally stripped but could have been much worse.
6. Going to have to paint the circumference of of the fairways again. Marty and Gary are struggling to see the edges again.
7. Speaking of whom, the two fairway operators sure appreciate working amongst foursomes. They can concentrate better and get done quicker. Frees them up for other tasks.
8. Not a single mower gets parked at days end without being washed and fueled up for the next morning.
9. A ton of overseeding, particularly the tees. Results have been less than stellar thus far. May have to seriously consider re-turfing areas. Even our grass nursery was hit. Going to have to bring it back around too.
10. Tackled those damn drainage trenches on 9 again. Thought we could get away with it for another season but no such luck. Stripped old turf, leveled area, applied new sod. All hand work and time consuming.
11. The creek isn’t running. Circulating pump responsible for moving the water through the creek is down. SaskPower suffered a transformer failure resulting in significant damage to the restaurant equipment and our pump. Our pump is ruined and will have to be replaced. Big money.
12. Still waiting for the snow melt to come down from the mountains.
13. The crew is really starting to come together.
14. Things got a little shaggy around the edges this week. Just did the basics in the rough. Needed bodies to work on a few projects. The Rough Gals will have their work cut out for them next week.
15. Unlikely we’re going to pull off our spring aeration. Just too many tournaments in a short period of time. Going to try spiking some of those greens that are still struggling to recover. Not a replacement for aeration but should get some air, moisture and nutrients down into those compacted areas.
16. The driving range tee is cut Monday to Friday around 8:15 am to 8:45 am. The landing area is cut Tuesdays from 6 am to 7 am.
17. Our super volunteers have their flowers out. Going to look great. Make sure to thank them and all our members who contribute to the success of NBGCC.
18. Its so nice to see so many guests from out of town playing our course. We really need and appreciate them.
19. Any questions, comments, concerns or suggestions give me a shout, gsaw@sasktel.net or (306)441-2539.
20. Thanks for being patient with our new maintenance team. The pats on the back are very appreciated too.
21. Sprayed the cart compound yesterday. Should see some results in a few days.
22. 1.75 inches of rain last week. 2 days of wind this week and we’re starting from scratch again. A mentor of mine who worked here in his younger days swears that NB is the windiest place on the planet. I’m really starting to agree.
23. Supposed to be a beauty weekend. How about you put a foursome together and get out here and enjoy it.

Have a good weekend,
Grant

 
#9 trench repair                                    Perfect way to practice on range

WHAT’S HOT – June 29th, 2018

1. Better get this edition done before the crew shows. Still showing a whole lot of new people a whole lot of new things. Keeps me away from my desk.
2. Couldn’t be happier with how well the crew is coming together and the job they’re doing. You really appreciate their work at 5am on a sunny morning before anyone is here. Best part about my job.
3. Still no circulating pump at the water hazards. A week to diagnose the problem and now a week waiting for the replacement motor. Very frustrating.
4. Building a new tree nursery north of the grass nursery. May need the #5 nursery area for another project down the road.
5. Nikki, Madi and Tia out-did themselves in the rough this week. It’s a huge job to stay on top of things. Better mention Brayden too. He handles the larger areas and plays a significant role in their regime.
6. Please report any vandalism to the pro shop. There’s been some funny stuff going on in the evenings lately.
7. Overseeded some of the weaker greens the other day. They sure are taking their time filling in but definitely do see some progress.
8. Aerated the tees. Have to stay on top of the compaction and thatch. Wish the blues were bigger. They weren’t built big enough to handle the traffic they see these days. Definitely in the long range plan to expand some of them.
9. The hillside in front of the 13th gold is cut with a waking mower. Too steep for a large mower. Safety first.
10. Time to start pruning our trees again.  Huge job that we do every few years. We do it for both playability and maintenance reasons. Our rough mowers have difficulty getting close to them resulting in a ton of hand work around them. Tree maintenance is constant at NBGCC.
11. The new spruce planted last fall are hand watered weekly.
12. I consider practicing off a par 3 tee and not replacing a single divot vandalism. And there’s a lot of it going on lately.
13. Thanks to all those that played in the partners tourney last weekend. The organizers did a great job and I think the players had a blast. Tournaments are so important for a club’s success.
14. Sorry about a few clippings on the greens today. Fertilized yesterday so we cut with no buckets on the mowers today. Want to get the biggest bang for our buck and not pick up any remaining prills.
15. Huge thanks to all our volunteers. Absolutely great people.
16. Thanks to those that hook up with others and play in foursomes. Our maintenance team really appreciates it.
17. Trevor has really developed a knack for adjusting the mower reels. We get such a quality cut. We’re so fortunate to have a mechanic of his caliber. He keeps us going regardless of the mechanical challenges thrown at him daily.
18. The crew appreciates all the pats on the back they’re receiving lately. It makes for an enjoyable work environment. We love our maintenance team.
20. July long weekend. Not supposed to be that great a lake weekend. Might as well spend a few days at the club. And how about bringing some guests with you

Have a good one,
Grant



FINALLY! The pump's back.Ryan and Trevor putting it back in the well.

WHAT’S HOT – July 12,2014

1. Man have I lost my routine for these submissions. Some years are over whelming at times and this is one of them.
2. Trevor’s been sick and away for two days and Murphy’s Law was alive and well. Everything that could break down did. My knees, back and knuckles are paying the price.
3. 2 inches of rain. Nice.
4. Poor crew working in that weather. They definitely are dedicated to NBGCC. It might have to be a hot dog extravaganza on Friday.
5. Poplar roots are really taking a toll on our equipment. Particularly the rough mowers. The front decks are really being damaged in recent years. Considering the maintenance standards our members expect slowing the machines down any more is not an option. I thing string trimming along rooted fairways is the alternative. Very costly.
6. Our weeping tile system is not performing at its max. Likely plugged somewhere with poplar roots. Let the search begin.
7. Man the crew did an excellent job transferring young trees from one nursery to the other. Lot of shoveling.
8. Overheard four members speaking about the brown top of a pine tree on #3. In their opinion it was some sort of disease that is being allowed to fester. No, it’s the result of porcupine damage the one year we removed the wires off the trunks. Wires were put back on the following year. Their effectiveness is obvious. AND, unfortunately we recently removed a pine adjacent to it for the same reason. Shame.
9. Trevor is back. And so is Murphy. Man we’re having a terrible stretch.
10. We’ve budgeted to deal with the root problem adjacent to the 2nd green cart path. Rather than remove the roots and compromise the strength of the actual tree, we’re going to create some subtle mounding that can be maintained with riding mowers.
11. Tee mower oil line just broke on the 12th tee. Trevor suggested I best not go look.
12. Cognizant plugs in the greens are sinking. Guys have been told to be aware of the issue when changing holes. In all fairness, very difficult to do when the cups are full of water every morning, We irrigate a ton.
13. There is one day out of the year I tell an employee to make the pins tough. Two pin day on Men’s Night. The only day.
14. Yes, some pins were cut deeper than regulation. They were cut with a garden trowel in the pouring rain. Hole changer doesn’t work on saturated greens.  Yes, some greens were scarred. Men’s night. Normally wouldn’t have touched them.
15. Saw some of the early morning men pulling weeds at the 9th tee rock garden while they waited for the group ahead of them. That’s what I call fantastic volunteering. So important to our club.
16. Witnessed a couple of guest players asking a member twosome to join them on the second tee. Played the remaining holes as a foursome and later saw them having lunch together.
17. Some players still insist on spraying themselves down on the 1st fairway. Please do it on a cart path or parking lot.
18. Trying to improve the sight lines going from 3 to 4 tee. Pruning some pines. Please look both ways when crossing the road.
19. Super busy this year. Lots of play like the good old days. Increased revenue makes for a great course and an even better club.

Enjoy the weekend,
Grant