WHAT’S HOT - June 4, 2021
1. Been going hard with the sprayer all week addressing the dandelions. We’re not setup to do amongst the trees. Sorry
2. Checked in to see the status on our 9 & 18 circulating pump. Hasn’t been looked at yet. 3 weeks, I’m disappointed to say the least.
3. Still short staffed. Unreal
4. Saw on the events calendar that the week of June 14th has been designated as greens aeration week for us. Because of our staffing situation, not sure we’ll have the bodies to pull it off. If we do go ahead, some regular maintenance will definitely suffer.
5. For 30 years we’ve overseeded the range tee every Thursday. However, due to our staffing issues, we no longer can do it prior to the course opening and must do it later in the morning. Should you come across us while you’re hitting balls, please take your bucket and continue hitting from an area the Crew requests you go to. Its for your safety and our efficiency. So far, you’ve been great at allowing us to get it done.
6. We no longer have a volunteer divot patrol filling divots on the par 3’s. The maintenance team is now responsible for it. Please make our job easier by replacing your divot. The quicker we can get the job done, the quicker we can get back to other urgent business.
7. When you feel comfortable at sharing a cart with someone again, please do. The extra cart traffic is absolutely destroying areas of the course and we don’t have the resources to deal with it.
8. Thanks again for playing in foursomes. Best way to show appreciation for your grounds crew.
There’s a lot of friendships to be made out there when you hookup.
9. Please report all vandalism.
10. Yes, I know the hillside in front of the 13th gold tee needs attention. Hopefully this week.
11. The team has been taking a bit of heat for leaving piles of branches laying around on the course. We’re not sure who’s responsible for these piles, but please let us know when they’re made. We’ll address them in a timely manner when possible.
12. We have always been proud of our range tee and put a lot of effort into it. Because its use has increase substantially so has our effort.
13. Amazing how the heat has brought the poa annua along. The tees really needed a kick-start.
14. Sure would like to get back to more tree pruning. Used to be a huge part of our maintenance program. Resulted in more efficient rough mowing and string trimming.
15. Time to get into the bush on 13 and do some serious string trimming. Have to find the time this week. Hopefully.
16. I know the weed desiccant application around the fairway traps is unsightly to some. It wasn’t a screw up. Our traps have been neglected in recent years and their original edges have to be redefined. The herbicide application is part of the process. Just one more thing we need bodies to pull off.
17. Starting to see some flowers out there thanks to our great volunteers. Super members who make this a great please to be.
18. Thanks to our early morning regulars for their pats on the back. They see the team’s efforts and challenges too. Their concerns, suggestions and inquiries are usually legit and a great bunch to discuss issues with.
19. I definitely miss our double cutting regime on the greens. Hopefully once the guys are done high school for the year, we can develop some sort of regime.
20. Yup I know the deep rough is getting long. We had planned on getting at it last week. Very short staffed and I place a priority on spraying for myself. This week! Touch would!
21. I miss our weather station out on the course. We had to take it down when we built #4. Cost prohibitive at present to reinstall at present. Hopefully in the next few years we’ll get it up and going again.
22. Very proud of the maintenance team through that heat. Some pretty tough days for them.
Grant – email@example.com (306)937-5658
WHAT’S HOT - May 29, 2021
1. Can’t believe I’m still looking for staff.
2. You’re right, the creek isn’t running between 9 and 18. The pump that circulates between the 2 ponds quit on us. Took it out over a week ago. Still waiting for news on it.
3. We needed the rain so bad. Got some but could use another soaker again. Can’t irrigate anymore than we are.
5. Rough is longer than we like. So hard to get into a proper routine with part time staff. We’ll have to go hard next week.
6. Green side bunkers are edged except for #’s 12 and 13. They’re going to require additional work.
7. Have taken one night off from maximum irrigation since we fired things up. The night of the rain.
8. PLEASE REPLACE YOUR DIVOTS.
9. Greens aeration is coming up in a few weeks. Course will get a little shaggy that week due to staff shortages.
10. Gold tee on 10 was closed for a day. Large tree top broke and was hung up in a compromising position. Had to come up with a plan and take it down when no one was around. Saturday at day break. And it sure as hell wasn’t going to be me up there.
Is that one of those Muskies up there?
Felled just where we planned (lucked out)
11. Plan on starting on the fairway bunkers soon. Going to be a big job for us. They’ve been neglected the past few years.
12. 90 degree rule on #4 please.
13. Starting to see a lot of twosomes again. Particularly in the late afternoon and evening. Please, please, please hook up.
13. There are so many compacted areas due to extra cart traffic. We need to aerate more. If you see plugs on the ground, please don’t drive over them. It may take a while for us to clean them up.
14. Yup, dandelions are out in full force. Will have to start spraying. Unlike most courses, we don’t have a dedicated sprayer unit but rather have to mount one on a utility vehicle. Unfortunately, we need bodies to do it. Have to wait for a day when all our part time guys are here at once to do the job. It’s been too windy up until now to spray anyway.
15. Thanks to Marshall Weber for his excellent branch patrol.
16. No, we didn’t overfill the #18 pond. That’s all run-off from the rain that overflowed the banks.
17. Rule #1 in our shop, you say good morning when you walk through the door. Not a better way to respect each other and start the day on a good foot. Another tight team this year.
18. Budget cuts and not painting anything last year really took its toll aesthetics wise. Really have some catching up to do this year.
19. Damn wind is making irrigation useless some nights.
20. Almost time to bust out the weed-eaters and attack #13 again. Rule #2, we don’t call them weed wackers.
21. Play in foursomes, replace your divots and have great weekend.
Grant Sawchyn - firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT’S HOT - May 19, 2021
1. Mr. Communication is failing as of late. Like our maintenance program, just haven’t gotten into a regime yet.
2. The white fence leading from the cart compound is finally painted. It had been slashed from the budget 4 times. I know its just paint but things get pretty tight come budget time.
3. We still weed-eat the bush on #13 a couple times a year. The last several years the staff have been told to go easy on the young saplings. That bush was dying off at an alarming rate. Merely trying to rejuvenate it for the next generation. Necessary evil.
4. We’ve always been reluctant to hire high school students because we need fulltime help first thing in May and HS students aren’t available until the end of June. Because of their modified covid schedules we have ourselves a couple that are available more than normal and they’re absolutely saving our butts.
5. Started edging the traps yesterday. Going to be a huge job this go around because we took a year off cause of last year’s budget cuts. Likely going to take us a couple weeks this time. I hope. Greenside only for now.
6. Can’t believe I’m still looking for fulltime staff. A lot of seasonal businesses are hurting. Too much free money out there?
7. No divot patrol this year. The crew is trying to handle it every second day.
8. Please report any vandalism out on the course. We come across issues on a daily basis. Inform the pro shop or better yet, call me. (306)937-5658
Just another find this morning. Getting too regular.
9. Dandelions are out in force. Hopefully can start addressing them next week.
10. We overseed the divots on the range tee weekly.
11. We can not pump anymore water out onto the golf course. We throw down 500,000 gallons nightly. Our pump at the river cannot keep the reservoir full enough to irrigate more.
12. Plus 3 this morning and windier than……. Not a pleasant environment to be working in.
13. And I can irrigate all I want but if its howling all night its almost a waste of time. Especially if its plus 30.
14. Have had to move our final fairway cut of the week to Thursday instead of Friday. We don’t have enough staff on Friday to get all the other things done. Things will be pretty shaggy come Sunday.
15. I’m cognizant of the negative remarks regarding not repairing the fence prior to painting it.
Martin and I built that thing well over 30 years ago. Its been sitting in alkali ever since and shifting on a daily basis ever since due to a high water table.
16. Really trying to hold off cutting the primary rough. Needing to establish some fairway definition out there. Makes things much easier for the operators.
17. Huge thanks to those who are thoughtful enough to play in foursomes. The Crew really appreciates it. You people get it.
18. We need a pump station upgrade and more holding capacity to irrigate more. Top of my wish list.
19. The extra cart traffic 2 years in a row is kicking the crap out of our fairways. It’s a common complaint amongst superintendents. Number 2 on the list is the extra play is not allowing their teams to address it. Regardless, we don’t have the proper resources to deal with it effectively.
We have to rely a lot on player’s common sense and cooperation.
20. No substantial rain in the forecast. There is snow though. Oh good. I’ll join the crowd with the proverbial, “Sure would be nice to get a 2-day soaker.”
21. 90-degree rule on #4 please. And stay of the worn areas developing around the green. Please and thank you.
22. Once again, thanks for playing in foursomes. A genuine sign of respect for our team.
I’ll try and get on the ball sooner next addition,
WHAT’S HOT – April 28th, 2021
1. Jeez, it’s been a while. Sorry about that. Been kind of busy as of late.
2. Well got the place open and it’s been busy ever since. Like the old days.
3. So thankful to those that are making an effort to play in foursomes. Like the old days.
4. Finally got the tee to green path built on #4. Wasn’t easy trying get things done in the middle of play. Thanks to those that were kind enough to just drop it in the fairway. Very considerate of the staff’s safety.
5. Believe it or not still can’t find fulltime staff. Lost a rough chick already too. It’s a common thing in our community.
6. Although the greens came through the winter better than expected, they’re pretty stressed due to the freezing temps. Not being able to irrigate as much as normal isn’t helping.
7. The staff has been told to use more of the green when choosing their pin placements. The most popular areas are being worn out. If you have a beef, approach me personally and not the staff. I’ll explain why we do things the way we do.
8. Getting a ton of compliments on our leaf cleaning efforts. You got to admit, the Crew out did them selves under some pretty trying conditions.
9. The 90-degree rule is in effect on #4 and will remain there until there is a higher degree of maturity in the turf. It’s a very sensitive piece of property and needs a little more tender loving care than other areas of the course.
10. Muskie said he finally got a good cut off the greens. Amazing what some sunshine will do.
Might be able to nip them down a bit soon.
11. Hoping to get the white compound fence painted once we get more bodies on staff. The fulltime guys picked a crappy day to scrape it already. Just needs a quick coat. Budget cuts 3 years in a row post ponded the project.
12. Still have some areas of the course that the irrigation is frozen. Still a lot of frost in the ground. I regret firing things up so soon but the turf’s been hurting. WE NEED RAIN
13. The fountain has been placed back in the #18 pond. It was working fine but for some reason quit. Just haven’t had time to take a look. Might be over my head. Good old Bob Timmerman would have been on it. We miss Bob a ton.
14. On-course bathrooms are frozen solid which suggests there’s likely pipes broken. Horrible last fall is coming back to bite us. Will try our best to make the repairs for the weekend.
15. We’re taking advantage of a couple high school students who’s limited in class time allows them to join the Crew on a part time basis. Two really solid guys who we’re counting on sticking around through the summer. Maybe get a few years out of them.
16. Hoping to address the trenches on #9 soon, once they settle more.
17. Absolutely can’t stand how our fairway traps have deteriorated in the last couple years. Going to take care of business this year. Big project. Got to edge the greenside bunkers first though. Another big job.
18. I plan on overseeding #8 again soon. It didn’t receive enough attention last year due to budget cuts but we’re on it this year. Just need the soil tempts to improve.
That’s about it. And remember email@example.com or (306) 937-5658 if you need to know something or something to suggest.
WHAT’S HOT - April 9, 2021
1. Tarps came off Monday. Not bad, not bad. Definitely notice the lack of topdressing prior to them down in the fall. That extra protection the sand offers makes a difference. Notice it most on areas the tarps don’t cover.
2. Terrible snow mold every where on the fairways. We don’t apply fungicides to our fairways. Mold is a huge problem at many courses this spring. I’ll bet your lawn is showing it too.
3. Trying to get some aeration of the fairways and fringes done and cleaned up before opening day. Some of them will likely not dry up enough to get at them in time. The rain yesterday didn’t help matters.
4. Tried pounding some stakes in the ground yesterday. No go. Still a ton of frost.
5. Unbelievable we can’t find fulltime staff. Seems to be a common problem everywhere. I won’t get into my theories of why.
6. Ernie managed to get our archaic leaf picker fired up for another season. Please hang in there baby. We’ve got a great operator in Muskie taking care of her.
7. My mentor Bud Johns is rolling over in his grave right now. “Sawch! You never, ever put the words park or lawn even remotely in the same statement that includes golf course!!!! Its blasphemy!!! ”
8. I want to aerate and overseed some weak areas on a few greens. No point in doing it until the ground temps climb and the irrigation is fired up.
9. Think we’ll stay off the par 3 tees an extra week. There’s still a ton of recovery to do from the brutal fall last season.
10. Don’t forget to book your times in foursomes. Last year was a dream to work amongst you. So efficient.
11. Man, is our mechanic Ernie thorough. There was so much extra work to do on the equipment this spring after last year’s circumstances. And he’s pulling it off with flying colours.
12. We have a couple high school students that are impressing the you know what out of me. Due to their limited in-class schedule we are able to take advantage of their spare time and put them to work. We’re counting on them sticking around for a few years.
13. Don’t forget the 90 degree rule on #4 this year. The 1st project of the season will be constructing a tee to green cart path. Just gravel for now. However, the boys at K&S… oh we won’t go there yet.
14. Amazing how much sand we lost out of the #4 traps during the winter, particularly the most recent wind storm. Very disappointing to say the least.
15. Last year was an absolutely amazing year for the maintenance team. What would make this year even better is a whole swack of new members. Anyone you can chat up about joining?
16. I imagine all our outstanding flower volunteers are gearing up for ’21. Wonder what they have up their sleeves this season. Can’t wait.
17. Of course, when I go to Saskatoon I have to check all the courses out. A few of my colleagues who apply fungicide to their fairways and fringes came through with flying colours. As in July colours. Some day. So, this new member thing…..
18. Looking forward to our students showing up May 3rd. Then we’ll really get flying around here. The boys need the rough chicks putting pressure on them.
19. Hopefully we can do some basic bunker work before we open. We’ll try our best
20. Frost has lifted so I better get on a machine and join the team and get this joint all cleaned up and pretty for you. See you soon.
Why Do Mowers Follow Me Around The Course?
August 07, 2020
Brian Whitlark, agronomist, West Region
Share a friendly wave when you encounter mowers while playing golf. These valuable employees are working hard to provide great playing conditions for you.
Golf is the only sport where the field is being maintained while it is in play. As a result, we often see the maintenance staff during our round, especially fairway and rough mowers. While it can feel like mowers are following you around the course the reality is that they are doing their best to avoid interfering with play. A little background information will help you understand why we encounter mowers on the golf course, and why we should be glad they are out there.
Golf course superintendents and their teams work hard to produce and maintain attractive course conditions and good playability on a daily basis. Producing such conditions requires regular mowing. During the growing season, greens are mowed five to seven days per week, fairways are often mowed two to four times per week and roughs one or two times per week. While greens mowing is usually completed in advance of play, it is often not possible to mow 25-50 acres of fairways ahead of play. Moreover, mowing fairways when the grass is wet in the morning often produces significant clipping debris. Mowing when the grass is dry in the afternoon yields a cleaner surface and better quality of cut.
If courses are mowing fairways two to four times per week and mowing rough once or twice per week, you are very likely to see fairway or rough mowers in operation if you are playing Monday through Friday. In the afternoon, mowing operations often work through the holes backward to avoid encountering a group of players for more than a hole or two. While employees mowing may stop while you are hitting a shot, they often don’t turn off the mowers in order to avoid frequent starting and stopping and because the idling helps to cool the machines. They are doing their best to minimize any disruption to your round, but if mowers are nearby you may see or hear them working and you may need to wait for a moment while they move out of your way.
Golf course superintendents would much prefer to complete fairway and rough mowing ahead of play because mowing during play can be very inefficient. Unfortunately, fairway mowing often requires three to four units mowing for three to four hours to complete the process. Rough mowing often takes longer. Many courses simply don’t have enough staff or mowing equipment to conduct all the necessary morning setup tasks – e.g., raking bunkers, changing holes, setting tee markers and mowing greens – and at the same time complete fairway or rough mowing operations.
Here are a few tips for when you encounter mowing operations on the course:
- Give ‘em a break! Recognize that these employees are working hard to provide quality playing conditions for you to enjoy.
- Know the facts. Most golf courses do not have the staff or equipment to complete fairway or rough mowing ahead of play. Therefore, there is a high probability that you will see mowers on the golf course while you are playing.
- Make sure they see you. The mowers are loud and the operators often have ear protection on. It’s very likely they won’t hear when you yell “fore.” Make sure the operator sees you and give them an opportunity to pull their mower out of the way before you hit in their direction.
- Say hello when you encounter someone mowing fairways or rough. Be friendly and share a wave or say thanks for their hard work – just as you would to someone helping you in a coffee shop or restaurant. The men and women that take care of your course will appreciate it!
WHAT’S HOT - March 20th, 2021
1. Season number 36 is damn close I think.
2. Opening the driving range is the pro shop’s call. It has to be pretty dry for them to pick it.
My call is mats or not. Will be mats off the start.
3. Blew snow off the greens on Tuesday. Left some on them for some protection and moisture. Likely be pretty bare after the weekend.
4. Looks like next week its cooling down again. More seasonal which is good.
5. Who’s in your 1st foursome this season?
6. Had K&S Asphalt out here plowing roads for us, followed by Seeds Landscaping blowing the greens off. Those two great companies are regulars around here every spring and treat us so good.
7. Still looking for part time operators. One to cut fairways and one to cut fringes. Around 20 hours a week.
8. When we blow the greens off, its not necessary to open sooner. Its more to prevent the development of fungi particularly snow molds. Not necessary on newer greens built with proper rootzones and heartier cultivars.
9. Ryan did a number on some dead poplars (vile weeds). Little too wet now to clean them up. Might still be laying there opening day.
10. Wanted to build new charger stands in the cart compound. Seen the price of plywood? Doubled since budget time in November. Going to have to wait until fall or next years budget. Things are still pretty tight for the maintenance department.
11. Please obey the speed limits coming and going on the entrance road. There was a close call last year with one of our staff. If not for the razor-sharp attention and Earnhardt-ish driving skills of one of our members, it could have been ugly.
12. If you feel comfortable sharing a cart, please do so. All the extra traffic last year really did a number on the place.
13. And no, I don’t know when carts will be allowed. It’s a running joke amongst some past members. They like pushing my buttons occasionally.
14. We’re making a point of keeping the culverts at the creek open. Trying to avoid a spring mess again. Going to be enough to cleanup around here let alone a bunch of rocks on #2
15. If we’re cleaning up aeration plugs or dragging the fairways this spring please let us do our thing safely. Consider moving your ball out of harms way or even picking up and moving on.
16. Remember that huge wind that went through in mid- January. Lost a lot of spruce tops. Guess what I’m going to start cleaning up today.
17. Nice lush bent/poa annua grass under those tarps sure doesn’t like the cold nighttime temps. Best to leave them covered until we know temps are going to be good.
18. Yes, the fountain in the 18th water hazard is going back in in 2021.
19. Not too much porcupine damage noticed. Wonder why?
21. The water hazards on 9 and 18 are filled from the irrigation system. Not until we fire the system up and we’re confident in its operation, will we fill the ponds.
22. Remember what Bud Johns taught me. “The only thing that works the same in the spring as it did in the fall is a potato masher.” Mechanic Ernie can attest to it.
22. Can’t wait to see wall to wall foursomes again. Like the old days.
23. Any concerns or suggestions? firstname.lastname@example.org or (306)9375658
WHAT’S HOT – March 9th, 2021
1. Well, Ryan and Ernie are on the road to Warmen for a couple hours of training so I thought it a good idea to get the What’s Hot deal of the ground for another season. And I gotta say, manipulating your way through a website making changes is a tad challenging for a guy who’s still trying to figure out how to shut the ringer of on his phone. I was going to say to set the clock on our coffee maker but I gave up on that quite awhile ago. So here goes, another season of preaching, poor grammar, spelling errors and unnecessary punctuation and a ton of topics that makes you stop and think……… who cares.
2. I hate poplars. There done till my next submission.
3. Fingers are definitely crossed waiting for the snow to melt this spring. Not sure what we’ll see coming out of winter. It was a very difficult fall for us with no staff and brutal weather when we were putting things to bed. A lot of our usual winter prep wasn’t done.
4. Heads up right now regarding how messy the course was going into winter. There was next to zero leaf picking done due to staff shortages and some mechanical failures.
5. The majority of last season we operated without a mechanic. Just yours truly in the evenings. Well, we hit the jackpot this spring by hiring expert mechanic Ernie Heidt. A vet from the parks biz that I’m sure will have no problem adapting to golf equipment. He’s already addressed some significant repairs and we are looking forward to his high standards, dedication, and not to mention his friendship.
6. Still going through the hiring process. Amazing how few applications we get these days. Really hoping we can put together a team as great as last season. Just amazing people.
7. Staff shortages didn’t allow us to get any aerating done last fall. If the weather cooperates and ground conditions allow, we’re going to try and pull off some fairway aeration in the spring. Its going to require staying out of our way through the process including the matting and cleanup of the plugs. May be a nuisance but it will pay off in the long run.
8. Didn’t get our protective topdressing cover down before the tarps went down. Sand pile was frozen solid.
9. Thanks for all support after the Facebook fiasco last fall. Very unfortunate. Maybe we’ll just make a point of introducing you to the team out on the course as your playing. Little more personal anyway. Big shout out to Alexis Christensen for making our team feel good about their contribution.
10. One area of serious neglect last season was bunkers, specifically fairway bunkers. Many of them grew in upwards of two feet. Its going to be a big job finding those edges again and everything that goes with it. All the traps, greenside too, will be edged once we have adequate staff but the fairway traps will have the prefix “project” attached to them. It will keep us busy all season.
11. I’m going to thank you right now for playing in foursomes. Very much appreciated. And while I’m at it, why don’t I thank you now for bringing someone new to our club to play in your foursome.
12. Ernie spent his 1st week repairing our dinky little tractor so we could dig out to the door of the pro shop. Still a ton more snow to move but it was a good start on an absolutely juicy Sunday afternoon. So, bring on the delivery trucks with everything new for ’21.
13. I don’t think there was a golf course in the province that wasn’t absolutely thrilled with the year they had. For us, it was like the old days, packed with foursomes. And happy foursomes.
However, it did come at a cost due to the single rider cart traffic. Combined with lower-than-normal nutrition and irrigation, the stress was really showing by August. Compromised areas will be addressed through the season. Expect a ton of aeration and yes even my beloved ropes. (ropes rank right up there with poplars).
14. We are building a tee to green cart path on the fourth hole. We are going to ask you to use the 90 degree rule when driving your cart on the hole. There will be signs and ropes up but I’m sure the pro shop will be more than happy to explain the expectations.
15. Although a degree of uncertainty due to the pandemic still exists resulting in a very tight budget again, we are slowly trying to get back to normal particularly with our cultural practices. One area of importance that’s been very neglected is our topdressing regime. Although we can no longer count on a local source for sand, we believe we’ve found a pit out of Saskatoon with an excellent supply. Hopefully he will allow us to ramp up our greens and tee topdressing program again, something they badly lacked las season.
16. Those winter kill areas of 2020 will be more significantly addressed this season with adequate aeration and additional overseeding.
17. Although there remains some uncertainty regarding the government golf course regs, should they allow for power cart sharing, please consider it if you feel comfortable with it. Power cart traffic is so very hard on our poplar lined fairways. Every little bit helps.
18. Last season was very difficult for everyone including those of us at NBGCC. All the uncertainty resulted in small budgets, small staffs and a lot of extra work. It was extremely difficult but the encouragement and patience of our members was so unbelievable and my team will always be very grateful for that.
19. Through out last season and this submission I’ve referred to shortages of this and no staff for that but I really haven’t taken the time to articulate the specifics of how different or difficult things were. And probably never will. But one thing I do have to do is thank three of the most awesome employees I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, Ryan, Caden and Mark. What they pulled off this past fall putting this place to bed was unbelievable. Yes, there were things they weren’t capable of doing but it certainly wasn’t from lack of effort. Thanks men.
20. Oh and thanks to Inzie’s Courier Service. Cut backs forced us to rely on this fine company every Friday. For all your fertilizer and chemical needs, call “Indzie’s”. The only trunk dragging Toyota on the highway.
Won't be long,