Superintendent

NBGCC 2019










 


WHAT’S HOT
  - July 17, 2019                                                                                                                       

1. Having a tough time getting consistent with my submissions. What a year!
2. The final cut around the putting surface is called the clean-up cut. The next cut around and off the putting surface is called the step cut. No, the step cut should not be scared when the clean-up is done. I was told he was having a difficult day.
3. Had to cut down some cat tails on 9 and 18. Didn’t like the aesthetics of them. Still might have to do more.
4. Not sure if those yardages someone put on the irrigation controller boxes are accurate. Didn’t even know about them until a few of you asked.
5. Got hit by lightning again. Damaged some components in the irrigation controllers on the course. We learned a lot from the last hit in the spring and between Ryan and myself we got things back to normal. Stole spare components from other controllers. Saved a ton of cash.
6. Our compound is a lake when it rains. Believe it or not, we thoroughly wash all equipment daily then drive through 4” of water to park it. Maybe this is the year to get a couple loads of gravel.
7. Thanks to all our great volunteers who contribute to our course in so many ways. Even Bob donated a fancy new spray nozzle for the cart wash pad. Make sure you thank him and everyone who chips in to make our CLUB a super place to be.
8. Got to evaluate the condition of our sprinkler head yardage labels. Something we’ve let slide for one reason or another. We’ve started by edging all the heads. Big job.
9. Please communicate with me, the superintendent or our assistant Ryan regarding anything to do with the course. All activities including changes, additions, unusual traffic or structures must go through the maintenance department. Suggestions are very welcome. (306) 937-5658 or gsaw@sasktel.net
10. The big poplar on #9 blew up due to lightning. Oh darn.
11. Please consider playing in foursomes. It helps our team out and makes them feel appreciated. And to those that make a point of joining up with other, you’re super members.
12. Divot replacement remains an issue. Let’s fix the problem.
13. The hillside at the #13 tee needs attention. Hopefully its dry enough by the weekend to push mow it.
14. Don’t the flowers look great? Really goes along with our attention to detail.
15. Let’s support our CLUB’S initiatives, activities and events. We all need to participate to make NBGCC the place to be in North Battleford.

We need Sun,
Grant


 





WHAT’S HOT
- July 6, 2019

1. Finally, some rain.
2. The rain couldn’t have been timelier. We’ve been putting our pumps in and out the last couple weeks due to river levels being high. Was running out of water in the reservoir a few times . Can’t wait to build a larger reservoir that will make river levels less concerning.
3. Didn’t cut primary rough on #’s 11, 14 and 15. Going to let it grow for a week.  Fairway guys are still having problems seeing the rough edges. Maybe a thicker turf will allow for more definition. So, have I ever mentioned that when poplars and turf compete for nutrition, the poplar always wins?
4. I hate clippings laying all over the place. The rain really shot everything up faster than we could cut it. We’ll get the blower going next week and try to clean things up.
5. Trying to keep #4 moist on theses wind days is challenging. Impossible even. We try and water the area minimum 4 times.
6. Short one body again. Really screws up our morning regime. And the hunt continues.
7. The tees sure rebounded after the latest aeration. That damn #15 though. Firm and thin turf. Poplar roots and too much shade.
8. Please replace your divots on the par 3’s. Everyday I watch tons of people not even make an attempt. Remind a buddy too.
9. We overseed the range tee weekly. Two guys, two hours. We are proud of our range tee.
10. Aren’t the flower volunteers doing a great job?
11. We had planned on filling that trench across #17 path by now. Hopefully this week if nothing unexpected happens again. Like rivers going up and down and washed out traps and paths or downed poplars.
12. The crew did an excellent job edging the bunkers but I think our past employee forgot to spray the quack grass. On the to do list too. I hate grassy bunker faces.
13. Thanks to those giving the crew pats on the back. They appreciate it.
14. When you see vandalism in the evenings please report it to the pro shop and they will react accordingly.
15. Ponds on #’s 9 and 18 have lower than normal water levels. We’ve been rationing water due to the river situation and the ponds are filled through the irrigation system.
16. Spent some time cutting primary rough last weekend. I forgot how impatient some people can be. Please respect the maintenance team’s safety. Let us get out of the way or finish what we’re doing before you fire away.
17. Thanks to those who have been so kind this past week. We continue to adjust to our loss but your thoughtfulness and kind words very much help us through this difficult time.

Have a great weekend
Grant Sawchyn







WHAT’S HOT – June 14th, 2019
1. Where’s the rain??? It’s a good thing we don’t have to pay for irrigation water just the power to pump it. Don’t want to see this year’s bill.
2. Thought Trev had a pretty good handle on the gophers this season. Noticed some little farts cruising around this morning. Still hate poplars more than gophers.
3. Almost done addressing the dandelion situation. Some areas we just can’t get to. Hopefully wrap things up Monday.
4. No June aeration again this year. Tournament schedule again. Just did some of the weaker greens. Compaction issues are starting to creep in again. #2’s still hurting from last year.
5. Rough mowers took a beating this past week. Trevor was definitely a little testy by Friday. Poplar roots and new staff are not a good combination.
6. Still having difficulty finding a quality topdressing sand. Would have done a nice light application this week but the product that was delivered was just too dirty. The saga continues.
7. The winds been blowing all night lately. Greens are a little firmer than normal.
8. Still haven’t done a 100 % grass trimming around trees. Looks sloppy in areas.
9. We overseed the range weekly. Its kinda hurting this spring. We are proud of our range tee and usually get a ton of compliments from out of towners.
10. It was a busy evening last night. The place looked like Beirut this morning. If you see any obvious acts of vandalism or neglect report it to the pro shop. Or me.
11. I’ll have a sit down with guys re pin placements. My temporary plan obviously back-fired. They were just doing what they were told.
12. Is it me or are our members no longer placing priority on replacing divots on the par 3’s?
13. If your ball lands on a hose, please take a drop rather than move it. I’m getting too tired and old to continually untangle heavy hoses. They are a killer.
14. Thanks to our great volunteers and thanks to the business community who help the maintenance department daily.
15. Had to pull the reigns in our staff and leave those nice little yellow flowers alone on the range. 
16. Yes, our maintenance team does make speed of play a priority.
17. Thanks to all of you who make an effort to play in foursomes. The crew appreciates it.
18. Almost done edging the traps. Big job but very necessary.
19. Any additional suggestions or complaints you know where to find me. Or 306 937-5658 Or gsaw@sasktel.net
20. Yes, I love the game of golf. Its why I do what I do.
21. Big Thanks to Caden in his new role as foreman. Really gaining a lot of respect from the team. 

Grant Sawchyn
Golf Superintendent - nbgcc

 







WHAT’S HOT – May 31st, 2019

1. Crazy couple of weeks. Completed the #4 project for the most part. A few loose ends yet.
2. Things are starting to grow. Better late than never. Nights have been so cool.
3. Already had some staff turnover. Frustrating training them then watching them go off to bigger and better opportunities. Turnover and training comes at a cost.
4. The worms are an issue again. Just a matter of getting a calm day to apply an inhibitor. Plus, it’s a bit of an issues mounting and removing our sprayer on and off of one of our utility vehicles. Vehicles are in short supply in our inventory so can’t afford to have one sitting doing nothing because its windy. Wish we had a dedicated sprayer.
5. Not only is the grass growing so are the dandelions. Will have to address those too. Wish we had a dedicated sprayer.
6. We didn’t buy our mechanic a new utility vehicle. Trevor made the unit for himself out of scrapped carts we had laying around the compound. Recycle, recycle, recycle.
7. Its nice that Nikki returned to our team. She can show the new rough operators the ropes. It’s a very difficult job that demands a disciplined regime and time management. It will take them awhile to get the hang of it but they’re off to a good start.
8. STAY OUT OF THE CONSTRUCTION ZONE. There’s already a ton of foot prints in there that are going to show down the road.
9. Man, did Bob and Allan Westwood come through for us on the #4 project. Westwood Turf and Landscaping have been absolutely great suppliers to us for years. We truly appreciate everything they’ve done for our club.
10. Yes, I know the hillside in front of the gold tee on 13 looks like we didn’t finish cutting it. Well we didn’t.  A new employee was half done when she realized that the hillside is cut by hand. So happy she was smart enough to leave it rather than risking her safety. It’ll grow back to be cut properly.
11. Trap edging next week.
12. Apparently, there’s some folks disputing the necessity to aerate our greens. I would absolutely love to not aerate. Who likes getting beat-up for a couple weeks every year? I think most people understand its importance. A necessary evil.
13. I see there’s some flowers making their way onto the course. Can’t wait to see this years edition.
14. Thanks to those being patient with our new employees. Its not an easy work environment to adjust to and they can use every bit of help from our members as possible.
15. How about a nice rain?

Have a good weekend,
Grant








WHAT’S HOT- May 17, 2019

1. Sorry about last week. Got all caught up with the construction project for a few days and never got around to a weekly submission.
2. Continue to struggle with irrigation issues on #’s 2 and 3. Finally able to dedicate a few days to the problem. And it remains a problem. We can only try so many things over the phone. Time to bring the big guns in to resolve it once and for all.
3. The team is really spending a ton of time in the traps the past couple weeks attempting to get them consistent. Hopefully done the job by the end of Friday.
4. Next is edging the traps. That will be another week’s work for the crew.
5. Yes, we put a cradle under the big tree on #2. Trying to get a few more years out of the old maple. It will be a sad day when its gone.
6. Haven’t done a ton of rough cutting yet. This week was the 1st that we actually fired the machines up.
7. Damn worms are back in a big way. Will be putting down some inhibitor next week. Hope it rains. The stuff is most effective just before a nice rain.
8. It’s the City’s responsibility to seed the excavation on the range.
9. To the guy that insists on flying range balls over the netting, hitting our shop. Golf balls kill!
10. Some of the team are still having a tough time finding their way around the place. But the effort is definitely there.
11. Starting to see some new plants in the flower beds. Exciting to see what’s going to come up this season. Excellent volunteers.
12. I see the dandelions are starting to make an appearance. They’ll be addressed soon.
13. Expecting the mountain snowpack to melt soon and raise the river levels. Hopefully it isn’t as extreme as last year.
14. Report all vandalism and neglect to the pro shop or me. There’re some pretty obvious examples in the evenings.
15. We hope to repair cart path edges this season. Damage done by those who refuse to keep all four tires on the path. Very labour intensive and costly project.
16. Thanks to those who regularly play in foursomes. The maintenance team very much appreciates your respect for them and what they’re trying to accomplish for you.
17. Our poor par 3’s. Please replace your divots when and as soon as possible. Thank you.
18. We moved the out of bounds stakes on #4.  Trying to encourage playing the left side and keep balls out of the construction zone.
19. Thanks to Jason and the crew at Pattison Ag. Their contribution to our maintenance team is so very much appreciated. We really do depend on our business community’s help with many aspects of our maintenance program. Great guys and gals at Pattison Ag.
20. It’s the May Long. Build yourself a foursome and get out on the course. Supposed to be a beauty weekend so why not.
  Orientation Day - May 2/19

WHAT’S HOT - May 4, 2019

1. We were finally able to bring our new student employees on board. Several days late due to the weather but better late than never.
2. The irrigation is up and going but still struggling to get the bugs out. The weather and #4 commitments aren’t helping but we’re getting there.
3. Filling the water hazards as we speak. Hopefully by Sunday the creek will be running and the fountain flowing.
4. Still a ton of frozen heads on the course. Ice crystals blocking dead end sprinkler heads. Numbers 1 and 10 are particularly bad. If things don’t clear up over the weekend, likely going to have to start hand watering with a hose.
5. Have to reconnect wires to most of the sprinkler heads on the 5th hole, 55 to be exact. Will involve a lot of trial and error resulting in sprinklers going on and off. Hopefully Monday or Tuesday. The pro shop will let you know.
6. Overseeded to range tee yesterday. Was pretty beat up for this time of year. Hopefully on the road to recovery. We take pride in our range tee.
7. The crew will be able to dedicate time to leaves over the next few weeks. That is, in between training sessions. And there definitely will be a lot of training sessions. Lots of newbies.
8. Remember ZERO traffic in construction zone. Play old balls down #’s 4 and 9.
9. Rob at Cockburn Construction really saved our butts with his supply of specialty equipment for our sand project. Just another community business that makes things work around here. Very much appreciated.
10. Going to be another late start this morning due to frost. 7:30 and still -4. Good thing I irrigated in the early evening last night rather than morning.
11. The wind has been relentless resulting in firm conditions.
12. And yes, I too think conditions have gone backwards a bit. The reason some clubs are reluctant to open too much in advance of firing up the irrigation. And the weather has not helped one bit either.
13. Brad at Rapid Refrigeration has sure been a huge help to NBGCC in recent years, specifically when it comes to electrical components in our irrigation system. On several occasions he’s donated his or his staff’s time to diagnose or repair communication failures in our system and pump stations. More importantly, he’s a great resource for advice. He’s come through for us again this spring. We’re very fortunate to have received Brad’s assistance. Thanks so much.   






WHAT’S HOT  - April 26, 2019

1. Until the night time temperatures improve, the speed of the greens is going to remain the same. Going to lay off cutting daily too.
2. Never used the mats on the range this year. The number of mats couldn’t accommodate the number of users. Went straight to the turf. Hope we can bring it back in short order.
3. Zero traffic of any sort in the construction zone.
4. A little tense around the shop today. Three of us working on a screener project and it’s not going well at all. Under the gun too as the contractor is waiting to screen materials on the #4 project.
5. I’m not turning the #18 fountain on until the water hazards are up to their normal levels. And they won’t be at their normal levels until they are filled by the irrigation system. Other priorities have taken us away from the irrigation system.
6. We’ll do more leaf picking next week when we get some bodies around here.
7. Holes are being changed 5 days a week. Lots for this time of year.
8. No, we haven’t irrigated the range yet.
9. Having to work in the shop with the overhead door open because of the welding and cutting smoke. I wish the guy on the range would back off and keep his balls within the netting and out of our shop.
10. It usually takes a week of baby sitting the irrigation system before we run it via computer program. Refer to previous week’s What’s Hot, “potatoe masher”.
11. Driving range excavation is still too wet to level and seed.
12. Have made more signs up for #4. Just a matter of putting them out there. Hopefully this weekend.
13. Matted the fairways again. Trying to break up aeration plugs. Won’t be as hard on freshly sharpened reels.
14. Usually have the crew starting at 6am by now. Weather just isn’t cooperating. Frost every morning.
15. Poplars are budding out in places. Oh, happy day.

Next time you see our mechanic and assistant super, give them a pat on the back. They went far and beyond today, particularly Trevor Poletz

Have a good weekend,
Grant -nbgcc




WHAT’S HOT - April 18, 2019



1. Received my first pin placement complaint last Sunday.
2. Still picking up sand off the greens. Frustration is right up there.
3. Only cutting greens every second day. The grass is still in a pretty delicate state coming out of winter and doesn’t need the stress of a mower on it.
4. Started blowing poplar leaves this morning. Still too wet to get the picker going. I could use another two blowers and a decent picker. Just hate the mess in the spring.
5. Had a site meeting with the designer and contractor yesterday regarding #4. They’re about ready to get going. Our own people have some site work to complete prior to them getting started though. Could be challenge.  We’ll do our best.
6. It’s been a lot of years since we’ve had to train so many people. And it seems they have more difficulty picking things up than they used to. We’ll get there in large part thanks to Ryan.
7. I’m cognizant that the bunker faces are thin on sand. As the resources improve over the next few weeks, we will dedicate time to moving the sand back into place.
8. Yes, some of the pin placements have been unusual. The staff has been instructed to use more of the green this time of year and stay away from the high traffic areas. We’re developing a compaction problem in the popular spots. I told them to try and not be intimidated and use the same 4 spots continuously.
9. The guys spent a day sprucing up the loading ramp. Looks good.
10.  Yes. we’ve raked leaves out of the traps but it does get windy occasionally and more blow in. We’ll try again next week.
11. May fire up the irritation system the latter part of next week. Still ice our well and river inlet not to mention frost in the ground.
12. We’ll straighten the tee sign posts out when the frost goes down. Occasionally they straighten on their own as well.
13. Not being able to use this back-maintenance road is an absolutely nuisance. Who knows when it will be firm enough to use again? The results of the City mainline excavation. Thus, the hole in the fence behind #4 for our vehicles to get onto the course.
14. Man the course is packed today. A 2 hour job turns into 4 when it’s this busy. And too many close calls for my liking.
15. I’m sure you noticed those ruts across 5 and 8 fairways. They’re from the payloader we hired to make roads for the greens’ snowblower. They’ll get repaired soon.
16. Please play in foursomes. You’d be amazed how much more efficient the maintenance team is.
17. A blower and 2 mowers addressing leaves today. In the wind! I really hate poplars on windy days.
18. As the frost goes down, sprinkler heads will be rising up out of the ground. Please don’t drive over them. You’ll break them off the pipe.
19. Well if things go according to plan, life as I know it will change next week when we turn the system on. Not until we blow it out in the fall, will I get my life back. Part of the deal.
20. That huge brush field in the #6 field? Gone. Burnt it this winter.
21. Sad Sack’s. Another huge contributor to our club. Let Jim know how much we appreciate it.

Have a great Easter

Grant.


     WHAT’S HOT - April 12, 2019

1. Its been a challenge this spring but we’re good to go.
2. Temp tees off the start on the par 3’s. Soil’s too cold still for anything to germinate and recover. Our par 3 tees are so small and get beat up so bad. We’ll wait another week.
3. Trevor’s our designated cheap guy around the shop. He follows us all around turning off lights that we should know on our own to shut off. He only allows himself to work under one bank of lights rather than two. He’s got us eating lunch in the dark half the time.  He’s doing his small part to save the club a buck or two.
4. Gary Browning will be on site next week to discuss the #4 project. It remains pretty wet out there but we still want to develop a game plan to finish the project off.
5. Who knows when the range will be dry enough to seed. So wet.
6. We’re allowing carts out this weekend. There’s still wet areas so please use common sense and stay out of them.
7. I put up signs around the construction area last fall and half of them are gone. I just don’t get it.
8. I absolutely hate how messy the course is this time of year. Once the place dries up a bit and we get a few more bodies on the team, we can pull the rakes out and deal with these damn leaves.
9. And STAY OUT of the construction area……………… until you see fairway mowers there going zoom, zoom.
10. Have I ever said how much I hate poplar leaves?
11. We’re going to start the weekend off with #4 green as a temporary. One day its wet, one day its drier. Today it’s a lake.  And the tee markers are on the fairway at the bench. 
12. The construction crew last fall and had a miss hap resulting in some damaged irrigation wires on #5. You might see sprinkler popping up and down one day as they make the repairs. Just pretend you’re walking into a restaurant in the 80’s that had the dancing water fountain in the lobby.
13. Have you visited the pro shop yet? Payed your membership? Bought a bag of tees or one of those little wire brushes to clean your club faces with?
14. Still to early to fire up the irritation system.
15. Got some terrible sand last fall to cover the greens with. Ton of work trying to get the rocks off. I think the crew did a great job.
16. We try and level the cart compound racks every spring. So much ground movement. We’ll try our best again this spring once the frost goes down.
17. The rail ties on #12 got a serious lean to them over the winter. They’re going to need to be addressed.
18. Its amazing how machines need to be tinkered with in the spring after winter storage. A mentor of mine told me that, “the only thing that works the same in the spring as it did in the fall is a potatoes masher.”
19. I must say. The greens are pretty juicy. You gotta play. Go grab some friends, play a round and introduce them to what a great club we have.
20. Have terrific weekend.


Grant the golf superintendent.

 


                          
                                             FROM HERE TO HERE
 



WHAT’S HOT - April 3rd, 2019

1. Well here we go. Another season. 34?
2. O.K. For 2 years now people have been asking why I stopped the weekly emailed WHAT’s HOT. I didn’t. We felt it best to catch up with the times and use our club’s website a little more for communication. It was always there, you just had to hunt around a bit. BUT NOW, I’m right in your face, SUPERINTENDENT. First word, second row. Its not top billing but it’s definitely a step up. So here I come., spelling mistakes, grammar errors and all.
3. Similar to the past several springs, we’re struggling to put a crew together. It starts in early February and will likely end in mid-May when we’re confident we have a crew. Every time we think we have a team together, bigger and better things come along for them. Oh well, it is what it is.
5. Its on social media that we’re opening on the 14th. A lot of things got to go right to pull that off. We’ll try our best and I’ll keep you posted but just try and remember we have to think about the recovery of any winter damage as well as the long-term health of the place through the season. Stay tuned
4. I hate that saying, “it is what it is”.
5. There are big holes in the range again. The City did some mainline work through the winter. They still have to be seeded. Going to be a big messy job for them. Hope things go ok for them and they minimize any additional damage.
6. We blew the greens off again. Contrary to popular belief its not so we can open sooner. We feel by getting them exposed to the air quicker we’re minimizing the potential for mold development.  Fungicides against turf diseases have effective dates to them and on the prairies, we pretty much use those dates to the max.
7. Lets hope the river opens up early and the ground frost takes off too. Going to need to irrigate as soon as possible if we get going early.
8. Got some questions last fall about why I no longer put my pink flags out on Lady’s day. Not my call but apparently there was a concern that the pink flags didn’t display hole placement as well as the others. I thought it would be a nice touch occasionally but no biggy if we don’t use them. Saves us the extra work of putting them out.
9. We don’t hand water the greens to the extent we used to in the spring. We no longer have proper equipment or personnel for that matter as we did in the past. The new irrigation system has made a difference too.
10. Both Ryan Whyte and Trevor Poletz are back and I couldn’t be happier. These two are professionals through and through. Their leadership skills, desire to learn and pride in where they work make them incredible employees and the Club is very lucky to have them. Plus, they are just great dudes.
11. Can’t see much happening on the new #4 much before May.
12. If you have nothing to do over the next few days why don’t you swing by the Club and purchase a membership or two. Dana’s got membership to suit everyone. And while you’re at it, how about bragging the place up and possibly convincing someone that NBGCC is a fantastic place to spend some time in the summer. The place is for everyone.
13. We’ll try and allow the carts out as soon as its dry enough. I can do a lot of things but predicting weather and soil conditions is not one of them.
14. Let’s try and be respectful of the maintenance team particularly off the start. Most have never been on a course before and their etiquette may be less than ideal for your liking. They are trying to learn a new skill that is likely more difficult than it appears. We really do want them to get good, enjoy themselves and want them to return for years to come. AND SAFETY FIRST.
15. Can’t wait to see those flower creations again this year. Always different, always great.
16. This Club does not survive without volunteers. There is so much going on due to the efforts of people that want to see the place succeed. Very, very positive things happening.
17. Now go by your membership. And some balls or something. I just bought diesel fuel. Yikes!