Superintendent

2020



WHAT’S HOT - September 4, 2020
1. No, I don’t intentionally make the new #4 green harder and faster than other greens. What would be my motivation? 
2. Well it gets real now. Students are gone, mechanic is gone. I’m sure the grass knows enough to stop growing. Right
3. Still waiting for our new river pump. The old back-up is hanging in there, barely. Regardless, as of late, we haven’t had to deviate away from our original plan of cutting back on irrigation. We’re staying the course. Always wanted to say that. Staying the course.
4. Going to start a touch later next week. Too dark at 6 am.
5. I have never in a 40 plus career, directed an employee to make the pins tough. And yes, just because I don’t play NBGCC I still give a huge damn. That’s the one that irritates me the most.
6. The flower volunteers are still given’r. They definitely give a huge damn as do all the volunteers that contribute with a positive attitude to our club.
7. Thanks to everyone for observing the signage and speed restriction going in and out of the parking lot. Appreciate the respect for the team’s safety.
8. Improving the sight-lines even more for equipment entering the entrance road. Pretty extreme pruning but no pain no gain. It will look alright in the spring.
9. Have heard a lot of great stories of members insisting on hooking up with quests. Resulted in invitations to other clubs and new friendships. Plus, our maintenance team loves seeing it.
10. It might be a bit premature but I’m not sure we’ll be able to pull off our regular winter prep in October. A lot of work for a few staff. I guess we’ll deal with it when the time comes.
11. Going to try and put down a worm inhibitor. Likely next week. Ideally, if it is effective, we could possibly go to cutting every second day and free up some labour. And fuel for that matter.
12. Finally, was able to address the weeds in our three nurseries. Took 3 days but got it done. Kinda therapeutic for me considering what’s been going on as of late. AND, I should mention that another club member volunteered his time to do it for me. The condition of the rototiller is a little sketchy so I was reluctant but regardless, his offered was very much appreciated.
13. So nice to see some of the crew getting serious about golf. It actually makes their job easier when they understand the why of what they are doing during the day.
14. Haven’t been cutting the 4th green on a daily basis for several weeks now. Relieving some obvious stress and possibly develop some thatch to hold those bladed 9 irons.
15. There sure are a lot of tired golf superintendents out there but all are pumped about how busy their places are. All say they have likely made up for the late start. Biggest complaint seems to be, it is so busy its difficult to get any projects done.
16. Had a nice supper with the Crew last week just before the students left. Quite a bunch. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEESE return next season.
17. Thanks to the early morning golfers who put up with us daily. Noise, delays, stressed out supers. The most appreciative and encouraging players out here. They definitely get it and when they have a suggestion, question or concern, its legit. They’re attitude goes a long way in getting the kids up every morning. The old farts for that matter too.
18. The lack of divot replacement is becoming a concern again. How about we get back on board. I’m sure the divot patrol would appreciate it too. Gotta mention the divot dudes and the excellent contribution they’re making to our club.
19. The most important thing our crew does on a daily basis? We say good morning to each other. A sign of respect and kindness to each other. An acknowledgement of each other's importance to our team.
20. Definitely have another fungus in our fairways, High humidity brings it on every time. We do no preventative or curative fungicide application.
21. Club Championship anyone? September 12-13. Better sign up. Check out the fall scramble while you’re at it. Let’s finish the season off with a bang.
22. I love this course this time of year.

Have a great weekend,
Grant Sawchyn 
gsaw@sasktel.net









   anyone got one? didn't think so

WHAT’S HOT - August 25, 2020

1. It’s been awhile. Time flies when you’re having fun.
2. The compressor is coming on the October 13th. And honestly, can’t wait. Its been a tough go around here. The proverbial wall has officially been hit.
3. This is the students last week so were going to try and give the place one last wall to wall cut.
4. Very proud of our crew last week. Aeration and topdressing week. 30 degrees and a boss going crazy down at the river, had them coming and going, needing their help. They still pulled it off and even asked the boss if there was anything more they could do for him. Amazing team!
5. August 15th. River pump loses it’s prime and overheats. Melts the plastic suction line. Rather than pulling a couple guys from topdressing to help, boss tries to be a hero and build a new one by himself. Dumb move. Lagoon is near empty. Plus 30. Boss builds another suction line ……with help. Goes to put new suction line in river. River has dried up. What’s Hot???? Boss is hot.
   August 19th. Beg Bobby J. to send Moe over to dig out river. Digs it out next morning. Put pump and suction line in deep water. Impeller on pump fails. Worn out. No parts. Pump is obsolete. Put old back up pump in. Won’t suck.  And the reservoir is empty !!!!!
  August 24th. Try main pump again. Maybe not worn. WRONG. Put old pump back in. No Go. Pull suction out again. Put new foot valve on. It works but is ready to blow too. Sounds like crap. Over fill reservoir cuz who knows what the hell’s next. Ordered new pump …… from Cali-frickn-fornia.
   where'd all the water go

6. Putting down some liquid fertilizer today. Fan belt blew on sprayer and spewed hot anti-freeze all over #4 green.
7. Put new flags up in cul-de-sac. Usually a set lasts us an entire season. Not this year. So windy.
8. No budget for stump grinding this year. And there’s a ton of them. Next year.
9. Redid the yardages on the #4 sprinkler heads. Same yardage, better printing. One more thing Ryan is better at than me. Proper stickers next year.
10. Considering the heat, minimal irrigation and a ton of bad luck, the maintenance team has kept the place pretty juicy.
11. Likely going to build a tee to green cart path on #4 this fall and practice the 90 degree rule. It’ll be gravel unless, I don’t know, someone has some asphalt they want to get rid of?
12. The Crew used to play golf together. I miss those days. Too much stress the last couple years. Next year for sure.
13. And absolutely no one should forget about our wonderful volunteers. So many stepped up to help us out.
14. We are going to start maintaining Sylvia at the 4” height of cut, similar to the other secondary rough on the course.
15. Thanks to those that insist on playing in foursomes. A sign of respect for your maintenance team and they very much appreciate it.
16. Finally found some time for Musky to apply more gravel to the new #’s 5 and 9 maintenance roads. Used recycled gravel from the old #9 road. Hopefully next years budget will allow for a layer of crusher dust across them both.
17. I see there’s more leaves on the fairways. Not sure how effective our blowing and picking regime is going to be this fall. We lost two pretty good operators that were responsible in the past. Plus, we just don’t have the number of employees going into the fall season.
18. Sorry, but I have to do some minimal day time watering. When we’re rationing as much as we are this year you tend to water weak areas as you see them. Very difficult to do in the dark. And trust me I’ve tried in recent years. Plus, its spooky at night.
19.   We’ve totally run out of good topsoil this year. Need to turn the compost piles and make more. Another one of the regular maintenance projects we’ve put on the back burner this year.
20. This a great Club with tremendous pride. The commitment and effort of members of the past is definitely being carried on by the members of today. Thank you.

See you on the course,
Grant



    Lets do this!

WHAT’S HOT
- August 11, 2020

1. Too many dead spots showing up. Please apply your mosquito spray on cart paths and roads.
2. Thanks for being so cautious driving in and out of the course. There’s been a noticeable difference.
3. It seems like the slightest breeze is bringing down branches. I mean its every day. Old poplars. We were warned years ago.
  Waiting for parts? Even our great mechanic Mark is on branch detail until they show.
4. How about the #5 tee and the perennial garden being cleaned up. Just another great member volunteering his time and energy for our Club. We’re so lucky to have proud members.
5. Yes, the range tee got a little toasty in the heat. And yes, we’ve had the watering times cranked down this season. However, the dry conditions were mostly due to a sprinkler malfunction and in the recent heat it doesn’t take long for short grass to get fried.
6. Some coincidence, we have all this storm action including lightening and all of a sudden, our irrigation controllers are failing. I sometimes think dragging hoses around was a lot easier. It sure was a lot easier and cheaper to repair a hose.
7. Finally getting at the bush on #13. We’ve usually done it twice by now. Well, there goes four guys for the entire day.
8. The rough dudettes and dudes, finally got a complete wall to wall rough cutting done last week. Funny what you can get done when you’re not cleaning up catastrophes.
9. Flower beds are looking pretty sweet. Thanks to our super volunteers.
10. Greens aeration and topdressing August 17th -20th. In recent years our members have been absolutely incredible in letting the Crew get it done. Thanks in advance.
11. Its already getting pretty melancholy around the shop. The students will be gone soon. THEN WHAT!!!!!
12. Big tourney this weekend. Heard there’s even a waiting list. Just like the old days. Can’t wait.
13. Made some new soil/ seed mix for the divot patrol. Trying to save a buck so made it out of old aeration plugs. There’s a lot of root still in those plugs so it should germinate and recover quick. And once again, more volunteers putting the stuff down.
14. All the clover is driving me nuts too. The course is going to need some tender loving care next season to bring it back to its glory. Thanks to our members for being so understanding.
15. We think its fantastic that players are now playing in foursomes on a regular basis. Old school golf and the Crew’s loving it.
16. Ryan’s been wanting to remove some poplar roots from a couple greens for quite some time now. We were finally able to find him some time to get it done.
17. Caden and his weed eating team will likely have all the grass trimming done by tournament time. #13, bunkers, trees, reservoir, power poles, fence lines, satellites, o.b.’s, etc. etc. etc.
18. Recent strong winds have been blowing a ton of new sand out of the #4 bunkers. Gone.
  There's a few bucks gone in the wind.

19.  Going to have to put ropes up around the 4th green. It’s getting pounded out by cart traffic. Twice as much cart traffic this year.
20. And remember, any questions,comments or concerns, gsaw@sasktel.net
21. The members of this Club have been absolutely fantastic to the crew this year and we really appreciate it. Makes for a great work environment and a lot of happy faces around the shop in the morning. Thanks again.

See you out there,
Grant (I despise poplars) Sawchyn



 WHAT’S HOT - July 31, 2020

1. Holy Crap!  July 31st!  Time flies when you’re running around like chicken with its head cut off.
2. Greens are going to be slow today. Super dewy today so got a brutal cut. Planned on double cutting to make up for it but had a break down on one of the mowers. Sorry but stuff happens.
3. Brutal week but very rewarding. Had an excellent time working with all the volunteers helping in the clean-up. And trust me they worked damn hard in that heat. Such great members we have.
4. Because of all the volunteer help, it freed up time for the crew to get in the traps and get them back in shape. Hard work in the heat.
5. You can expect some disease to start creeping in during these high humidity spells. Let me get specific. Turf related diseases.
6. We’re still trying to stick with our minimal irrigation program. Might get toasty around the edges.
7.  Please, please, please, apply mosquito spray in the parking lot or on cart paths. And we all know why.
8. Just so you know, the range tee gets cut daily between approximately 8:20 am and 9:40 am. Its like that for about 25 years. It’s the same people that get frustrated on a daily basis when we have to ask them to move. Personally, I know what I’d do to avoid getting upset.
9. I think Ryan and I are going to have one hell of a wieny roast this winter considering the amount of brush we have to burn after all the storms this year.
10. The heat has brought on algae blooms all over the province. I got the last bag of algicide in NB. The ponds are getting pretty gross. Not having the fountain going is contributing to the problem too.
11. Remember to be and play safe around the crew. We kinda like having them around the place.
12. I miss structure in our maintenance program. It seems like our small crew is always reacting to situations or conditions. Its rewarding pulling it off but it definitely takes its toll on the team.
We dream of having just a normal week.
13. I booked a mixer for next week to make seed and soil mix for our divot patrol. For years we always made it the second week of May. Just getting around to it now. What a year.
14. Almost aeration time again. Mid - August.  Might as well start hating me now. Go ahead, get it out of your system.
15. We’re bringing back another vet to the team after a 15-year hiatus. We’ll have an official press release in upcoming days.
16. We’re seeing a few tree roots in a couple greens. Going to have to address those when we have time. And what kind of roots would those be?
17.  One thing we just won’t get done this season is the pruning of the caragana bottoms. Huge job every year. Going to be even huger next year trying to catch up. Maybe we can train those porcupines to get at them. Wouldn’t hurt my feelings.
18. Social distancing please.
19. Avoid driving over the same old spot leaving the 4th tee complex. A path is developing in the turf at the paths end.
20. You’re going to see a new operator cutting the front 9 fairways. After 40 some years, Martin Metcalfe is calling it a career. He’s seen it all and done it all at NBGCC. The few of us that have worked with him for a few years are certainly going to miss him. Congrats on your retirement Marty. Well deserved.




  
WHAT’S HOT
- July 22, 2020

1. Let’s be safe around the club. Both driving and playing. Take care of our incredible staff.
2. Please apply your mosquito spray in the parking lot or on cart paths. Starting to be quite a collection of repellent dead spots around the course.
3. Heard some criticism regarding the condition of our nurseries. Too weedy. It’s a legit comment and we’ll try and get on it. Unfortunately, much of our tree program has slid down the priority list.
4. Had member ask why we don’t cut the #13 gold tee hillside with a riding mower. Thought we could do it more often and it wouldn’t take so long. Bottom line; safety first. I’ve tried cutting it with a J.D. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. The ride down wasn’t fun.
5. Why are we putting such a priority on dead poplars this season? Well we always have. Its just taking longer to clean up now with a smaller crew. Some of the trees become very weak and dangerous. As well, dead trees attract insects that can harm the healthy trees.
6. We’re going to allow chipping and putting on the old #4 (Sylvia). No long shots please.
7. Hacked the long crap down on #4. Wanted to allow some of the bare areas to fill in but too many balls being lost, I guess. I sure didn’t find any when I cut it. Looks better.
8. Lost a couple newly planted trees. I hate losing trees. Couldn’t water them enough. Damn!
9. Thanks to all our fantastic volunteers. I know I mention it every week but the crew and I really appreciate everything you do for the club. We even appreciate it more than foursomes.
10. Man has our range been busy this year. Gone through almost twice as much seed this season.
11. Its driving me absolutely nuts seeing long grass around many of the fairway trees.
12. Water’s on in the on-course washrooms and they are now open. Be covid smart please.
13. The gals are out cutting suckers off the poplar trees. If we don’t stay on top of the damn things then they can’t get their mowers close resulting in a ton of grass trimming by hand for the guys.
14. We’ll get better yardage labels for the #4 sprinklers next year. For now, my chicken scratch will have to do.
15. We’re going to stop cutting Sylvia’s fairway and mounds. Save some time and diesel fuel.
16. The clover is really moving in on the fairways and fringes. A sign of weakened turf.
17. Thanks for all the positive comments. Goes a long way around the shop.
18. We’ll be moving the blue tee markers on and off the gold tee deck. Trying to keep everyone happy.
19. We’re not running the circulating pump in the cul de sac pond this year. Would like to keep it empty. That was all rain water in there. Pumped it out.
20. We’ll returf some of the worn areas around the clubhouse paths later this fall. Maybe steal the turf off Sylvia for the job.
21. We’ll try and trim in the #13 bushes later this week. Should be time.
22. Any comments or questions? gsaw@sasktel.net

Supposed to be a juicy weekend for golf.
Grant








WHAT’S HOT
- July 13, 2020
1. 6.5” That’s what we’re going with.

2. What a week !!!!!!!!!
3. If you use mosquito repellent, please spray yourself down in the parking lot or on the cart paths. The stuff kills the grass.
4. Couldn’t address the damaged bunkers prior to the weekend. Kind of embarrassed but the crew gave everything they had dealing will a multitude of other issues after the rain.
5. River pumphouse got flooded out Sunday night. 4am Monday the pump was under a foot of water. Thanks for the email at 10 p.m. Sunday, Water Security Board. Thankfully it wasn’t running at the time and we were able to remove it and get it dried out. Still going to be a large expense.
6. Wednesday morning already had 5” at 5 a.m. Washed out bridge at #2 creek. Washed out path at #1 tee. Washed out path at #4 tee. Every bunker on the property washed out. What a mess. Had no choice but to shut the course down.
7. Wednesday night, huge winds. Poplar branches spewed everywhere.
8. Although we’re still cleaning up, this crew is doing an amazing job dealing with the issues and at the same time keeping the place playable.
9. Lowered the cutting height on the #4 tees. Still a ways to go yet. The fairway is next. And yes some of the rough. Need things to dry up
10. Around the shop, it gets confusing using the term new and old # 4.  Old #4 is now referred to as Sylvia.
  At least have the decency to stand 6" closer to the weed.

11. Greens are very stressed out. Cutting in the rain. Too bad because they were pretty juicy after the aeration.
12. Still training people. Thus, the scared aprons on a few of the greens.
13. Thanks to those who continue to play in foursomes. The crew really appreciates it. Seeing more twosomes again. Its really too bad.
14. Going to be a ton of clippings laying around by week’s end. With all the chaos lately and still more on the way, we’re having difficulty staying on any sort of cutting regime.
15. I’m not seeing a really true roll on the ball yet. Something I’m into of which speed is the result. We’ve achieved that through regular double cutting, something we haven’t done once this season.
16. Received a lot of calls from colleagues curious about the rain thing. All have had a very difficult time recovering from their winter damage. Just in the last two weeks thing are starting to fill in.
17. Hoping to continue with the #2 clean-up by mid-week, after we’re done with traps. Please make an effort not to drive in the areas with debris still on it. Its so difficult to scrape up let alone if someone drives on it.
18.  Assistant Ryan and foreman Caden are superb leaders during all this and summer student Alex is no slouch herself. Absolutely excellent work ethics that rub off on the entire team.
19. We’ll try and fill in some pot holes along the compound road. We must be able to scrape up some gravel around here somewhere.
20. I know the OB stakes on #4 look pretty ratty. Give us a week or two and we’ll spruce them up. You know, priorities.
21. Thanks to all our fantastic volunteers and those who keep that positive vibe alive and well at NBGCC.

Have a good week,
Grant





|What’s Hot - June 27, 2020

1. Its getting closer. July 5th is opening day for the new #4.
2. Talked to a few of our divot volunteers. They said not until you spend time filling the divots, do you get an appreciation for how many there really are and how many should have been replaced.
3. They range sure seems busier this season. Going through a ton of seed.
4. Its like its raining branches this year. Its never ending. The crew is always picking them up.
5. The blue tee markers going back on the gold tee decks is not my call. It was a Golf Canada deal.
6. I think we’ll take the greens’ height of cut down a tad next week. Should gain some speed.
7. Thanks for all the support you’ve been showing towards the crew. Makes those early mornings a little easier for them to wake up to. Oh, and not a single sleep in this year. Touch wood.
8. Would like to fire up the chain saw one of these days and address some of those dead poplars out there. Already have a few members volunteer to haul them off the course.
9. Although we’re falling short in some areas this season due to limited resources, you certainly can tell we have a crew that gives a damn. Motivated with a great work ethic.
10. Although Mark our mechanic is still adapting to a new work environment and equipment, he sure has those mowers dialed in.
11. Will likely put some o.b. markers out on the new #4. At least until the trees right of the green mature. We’re going to leave that right side rough a little longer too.
12. Man, that Westwood Turf on the fairway is lush. Steroid grass. Just a great product.
13. Still haven’t given the hillside at the 13th tee a mow job. Its gotten to the point now that the guys will have to whip out the weed-eaters to tackle it. Hopefully this week. Oh, maybe not. Short work week. Damn.
14. Trying to stay on top of the poplar suckers in the traps. Its never ending too.
15. Caden and Ryan put some serious time in on the aerator this week. Tees and approaches. Then ruined a set of tines in the bare areas on the new #4. Its slowly filling in.
16. We’re losing a rough chick to greener pastures. The hunt is on for another. Man, its frustrating.
17. Still can’t get over the positive vibe around club. There’s still the odd complaint but most are legit and we react as best we can. I think the majority of our members get what’s going on around the club and are appreciative of how great a place NBGCC is.
18. How ‘bout those flowers. Starting to really look good. Thanks to our flower volunteers.  To ALL our volunteers.
19. The guys did a great job on the aesthetic improvement at the #4 tee. All done with materials kicking around the joint. Likely going to purchase a plant or two but it can wait till next year.
20. Been very lucky with timely rains this year. Really cutting back on the irrigation and the rains are helping out.
21. Our members and guest are still being smart about the covid thing. Thank you so much.
22. On our crew, you must say good morning when you enter the shop for work. Probably the most important thing we do as a team.
23. Ryan our assistant is a hell of a carpenter. I think new bird houses are in order this winter. Along with all the other furnishings he takes pride in.
24. We’re still having to lower sprinkler heads on the course. Strange piece of ground we built a golf course on.
25. Who would haul 2 big bags of garbage to the course and throw them in the bush on #13? Couldn’t believe it.
26. Still trying to find some nice clean sand for topdressing the greens. That would speed things up a bit. Also, a good tool for reducing thatch in the greens as well.
27. No need to water tonight. Excellent rain this morning.

Have a great round next time you’re out.
Grant



                                            

WHAT’S HOT - June 19, 2020

1. Had a meeting the other night and the first question was, “so how bad was aeration”. Meaning, how much did it suck with a small crew. My response was, it was a great day.
What a team. Just put their heads down and went for it. Gotta say, there’s something special about this bunch.
2. Its just so difficult to get the team in a routine this year and its frustrating at times. But I think we’re faking it pretty well by addressing priorities, that being the game of golf. Aesthetics sometimes gets put on the back burner.
3. Yes, I know there’s a clippings problem on the tees. One off the results of using an agg product rather than golf specific fertilizer. You get a huge growth surge when applied. Doesn’t help we don’t have the resources to cut as often as past years either. Back to normal in ’21 hopefully. WASH YOUR HANDS.
4. That side hill in front of #13 gold tee is getting way to shaggy. Will try and bust out the hand mower next week hopefully.
5. Couldn’t take it anymore, the long grass around many fairway trees. Had to get a couple guys and their weedies going for a few hours.
6. The divot tour is going strong coming to a par 3 near you. Haven’t seen them yet , but I know they’re out there somewhere.
7. You have to like a crew that understands our challenges this year and buys in to what we’re trying to accomplish. Although it’s a very difficult year, its extremely rewarding working with such motivated people.
8. Well we got rid of the wind but a little heat would be nice. Man its cold, especially when we start our day.
9. Gotta feed the chickens this afternoon. Our range has really been busy this spring requiring a ton of overseeding but I just hate doing it on a Friday. For 35 years its always been Thursday at 6 am. and old farts hate change. Maybe throw the whole Crew at it and rip it off fast. It’ll lessen the pain for me.
7. Sure been some very kind remarks from both members and guests this year.
8. Putting down a foliar fertilizer application on the greens to speed up the aeration hole recovery. Been doing it for a few years now with excellent results. Should be a big benefit in these cold temperatures.
9. The new #4 is looking great.
10. The flower beds are starting to take shape. Going to be excellent this year.
11. Divots, flowers, branches, pruning. Absolutely great volunteers at NBGCC.
12. Thanks to all of you for purchasing a membership. The entire maintenance team appreciates it.
13. I’m very frustrated with how slow some winter kill isn’t filling in. Although we don’t have the bodies to do a complete aeration of the bad areas we’re going to try a “solid tine” aeration on the worse tees. It doesn’t pull a plug and isn’t meant to replace a regular aeration, but in these times you innovate.
14. #4 yardages – yellow 351, blue 312, green 263, white 231. Ok then. Let’re Rip.
15. We want to address that bare area behind the new 4th tee next week. Aesthetic improvement as they say. We’re going to try and use materials kicking around the compound.
16. There are a couple little fawns roaming around the course in the early mornings. Pretty cute.
17. Thanks to our great members for picking up and moving on when we were working on a green. We were able to just fly during aeration. And every one of the groups either had a kind word or just a simple thumbs up. So nice.
18. Finally getting one of the team out there addressing some weed issues in and around the flower beds and creek. We’ve let things get a little out of control. Always took pride in our attention to detail. Tough time keeping the rep. Ain’t from lack of effort, that’s for sure.
19. How’s the grammar.
20. Received a kind email from a new member regarding our blog. Said the information we’re passing on gives him a sense of ownership in NBGCC. Well I was so happy to read that. I think that’s the ultimate goal through our communications. Our members are such a huge part of the equation at NBGCC and they should feel like they are part of our Club’s success.
21. Finding that by not allowing players to touch the pins, our holes aren’t getting as ratty, allowing us to not have to change them daily. Just like the foursome rule, some of the government mandates have really been of benefit to maintenance crews in the province. Can they mandate fixing ball marks?

Have a great weekend,
Grant Sawchyn


  JUICY !

WHAT’S HOT - June 14, 2020

1. Yup, I know they are slower than they normally are.
2. What a team we have going this season. With the uncertainty of Covid it’s forced us to reduce our crew size. Yes, there’s some short comings but this gang coming up big time.
3. Thanks to everyone for purchasing their memberships and supporting us.
4. The winds were really taking a toll on the greens. The turf was extremely stressed. Thought it best we raise the cutting heights and looks like they’ve responded well.
5. Greens aeration week. June 15th – 19th.
6. A group of volunteers are being put together to help us fill divots on the tees. Because of Covid-19, the sand boxes are not allowed on the course leaving it up to staff to fill divots. The group is going to make a daily tour for us. Make sure you thank them.
7. A reason we want the greens healthy going into aeration is so they recover quicker.
8. A ton of irrigation failures in the past few weeks. Both at the river and on the course. I think we’re on our way to resolving them all.
9. The new 4th hole is really starting to look great. Hopefully we’ll be on it in early July.
10. The course is going to get a little shaggy during aeration week. Because of our crew size, we need all hands-on deck pushing plugs.
11. We’ll likely lower our cutting heights and speed those greens up once the greens are recovering from the aeration.
12. The crew finally found some time to get in the traps and throw some sand around. Try and get some consistency back. After last nights down poor its hard to tell. We’ll try and get back in there soon.
13. Seems like the majority of our time has been spent picking up branches this season. I think I can count the calm days on one hand.
14. Our flower volunteers have been at it. Can’t wait to see their results.
15. Our entire team just loves seeing the place packed full of foursomes. We can work so much more efficiently amongst foursomes. Just like the old days.
16. When this pandemic thing is over, there’s sure going to be a lot of sod to be thrown down. All the extra carts, ropes and directional signs are causing many wear issues on the course.
17. Pulled our great Rough Chicks, Alex and Kellyn off there mowers to deal with poplar suckers in the traps. Never ending battle. Oh, and I don’t think they minded getting a break from the JD’s.
18. As a few of our team move on to bigger and better things, you can expect to see more new faces out there. Thanks for being patient with the newbies so far. Please keep up. It’s a tough environment to work in and your support goes a long way.
19. I still say poplar roots, branches and suckers are our biggest challenge on the course.
20. Thanks to all our members that make NBGCC a great club. Thanks to everyone for keeping that positive vibe going.
21. JD’s? John Deere rough mowers.

Grant  




WHAT’s HOT – June 4th, 2020

1. Holy cow (try to keep it clean), its June already. Yup, and still running around with are heads cut off.
2. Finally finished the removal of the edging from the new #4 traps. Those are big traps and a lot of work to finish.
3. Haven’t given up on the leaves issue but this damn wind is so so frustrating. We’ll likely get finished just in time for them to start falling again.
4. Our poor range. We take so much pride in it but we just haven’t had the time to overseed it yet this year. That’s it! Todays the day. Time to feed the chickens. You gotta be on the Crew to get that one.
5. The wind is really taking a toll on the course. Almost makes irrigation pointless.
6. Our greens have really digressed the past several years due to tournament bookings and mechanical challenges. Time to get back to our successful aeration regime. The week of June 15
th.
7. Trevor our mechanic of five years has left us. So far the transition has been better than expected. Golf maintenance equipment repair and service is unique and an art and Bob, Trevor’s replacement, is definitely on the learn as you go program, but so far so good. And trust me, there have been some mechanical challenges so far that he handled with ease.
8. Boris has taken over on the fringe mower. Barry was forced to leave us and we’ll miss him immensely. That picture of the #3 striping all over social media is Barry’s work of art. So far Bo-dog is impressing the heck out of me. Problem is, it’s like losing a great all-round employee a couple times a week. Ah, times are a changing.
9. The greens aeration process is likely going to take considerably longer than past years due to our crew size and inexperience. I know they’ll try their best. Things are going to get really shaggy that week.
10. And while we’re at it, really messy the following week trying to catch up to all the growth we missed.
11. When the gals are cutting in front of the tees let them get far out of the way before you let it fly. Even motion for them to get further to the side. They’re new to the bizz and don’t realize the damage a golf ball can do. And trust me, you only have to get hit once to know the potential harm a golfer’s impatience can inflict.
12. Some of you may remember the early 90’s when we had 4 separate consultants tell us that our greens had to be reconstructed, that they were beyond repair or rejuvenating. Don’t know is it was ego or what but we developed a comprehensive regime that saved them and us from certain financial suicide. Couldn’t have been done without the cooperation of great members who got it. We absolutely must get back to the program.
13. Thanks so much to our members’ support in purchasing their memberships early, no questions asked. The Crew really appreciates your support. Needless to say these are challenging times and its nice to know you have their backs.
14. So frustrated with the challenges we’re up against in addressing the winter damage around the course.
15. If it isn’t wind now its rain. Wet soggy leaves.
16. Just cringing at the idea of inexperienced operators cutting rough around the greens in the rain. Better whip out there…… looks o.k. so far.
17. The new #4 green has really been set back in the wind. Just took the opportunity while the wind settled down to throw some organic fert down. Hate fertilizing in the rain but had no choice. And the winds back.
18. With a small crew its very difficult to get certain things in the parking lot addressed before players show. Like the long grass along the Club Champ parking. Most of the Crew comes earlier than expected as it is. Just can’t push it.
19. Please use the 4 recycling boxes on the course for bottles and cans. Not the garbage containers please. (#’s 5, 9,13, 18)
20. Our Wildlife Administrator Consultant or WAC Job as he’s known in the industry, has done an excellent job this spring. A true professional and very much appreciated.
21. All our flower volunteers are coming out of hibernation. Can’t wait to see what they put together this year.
22. We are so fortunate that our assistant Ryan is looking after the irrigation infrastructure. And he’s gotten pretty damn good at it. Martin still doesn’t think Ryan's holes in the ground aren’t square enough but they’re just fine in my book. There is definitely a lot of tender loving care involved in keeping that water flying and in Ryan’s case pride too.

That’s it for now folks,
Grant



WHAT’S HOT - May 27, 2020

1. Nope, not finished the new maintenance roads yet. I bit down there on the priority list. Eventually though.
2. Things driving me crazy?  A lack of grass trimming around trees and posts. Grass on the faces of the bunkers. LEAVES !!!!!!  Inconsistent sand. Winter kill. We’re trying to get to them all and cut grass at the same time.
3. River came up unexpectantly again. Pump in, pump out. Pump in, pump out. We had already cut down on our irrigation percentages but going to really have to ration now. Come on rain.
4. Was nice to see some germination happening in our overseeded areas on #’s 8 and 12. Didn’t need the freezing nights right after.
5. Were slowly picking away at all the fallen poplar branches. So time consuming especially with limited staff this year.
6. Our 3 Rough Chicks are down to 2 this year. They’re going to spend 2.5 solid days on the mowers this week. Won’t get close to what’s normally accomplished in a week, but it’s a great start. Trouble is, you won’t even tell in three days. Steroid grass this time of year.
7. The new #4 is turning into a beautiful hole. Still a ton of work to do for the crew. Making an effort to fit it in.
8. Rumour has it that a divot committee is being organized. Volunteers to help the Crew fill divots on the tees. Sure, would be nice it they could pull it off. It would be even nicer if more divots were replaced.
9. Thanks to all our great members for supporting us and buying their memberships. Daddy needs some deasil fuel.
10. Has there even been a calm day. Way too windy this spring. Irrigation is useless. Can’t fertilize. Can’t seed. And those damn leaves.
11. That’s right. No dandelion control.
12. Desperately need to put down a worm inhibitor. But too windy. Castings are so hard on our mowers let alone golfer handicaps.
13. If we see someone abusing the no bunker rake situation, should we call them on it. Most people are great. But a few………

  Oh wait. Don't bother. We'll get that for you.

14. Yup, there’s going to be a whole lot of re-turfing when this covid thing is over. Even more expense.
15. Maintenance shop and compound are off limits other than to employees. Appointments are required for deliveries.
16. Most members have been excellent to the staff and very patient. Most understand the circumstances they are working in. Thanks so much.
17. Refrigerators and coffee pots are out of the shop due to Covid – 19 restrictions. Tim’s is making a fortune off the crew and I’m the official runner. Or should I say banker. Gotta keep the team happy.
18. Once again thanks so much for cooperating around the course. Your proper practices are keeping some really fine young people employed and we appreciate it.
19. We're taking the tile edging out of the new traps, not installing it. Miss calculated how much work. Kinda starting to panic a bit.
20. Need some info are leave a suggestion. gsaw@sasktel.net  or (306)937-5658

 

WHAT’S HOT- May 16th,2020

1. Day #2 for the 2020 golf season. Went great.
2. And wall to wall foursomes, a superintendent and his team’s dream. All it took was a measly little pandemic. I’m choking up thinking of the sight of it yesterday.
3. Golf course is messy, hey? Driving me crazy. We’ll start picking away as best we can.
4. Our plan is to reduce irrigation this year however it hasn’t been implemented yet. Want to get everything up and going first but that damn wind isn’t helping.
5. Haven’t had the resources to cut any rough yet. Hopefully soon.
6. A couple greens were overseeded last week. Grounds still to cool to see any noticeable germination.
7. Froze every night this past week. Not good for lush turf.
8. Lost some turf to leaf cover.  Just couldn’t get things cleaned up last fall and the spring weather isn’t helping.
9. Checked out yesterdays par 3 tees at about 6am today. Not bad, not bad. Noticeable divot replacement. Not 100% but shows improvement. THANKS. KEEP IT UP.
10. Ton of comments about branches laying around. Actually, no more than any other spring, just haven’t been able to address them like usual.
11. Cut the noodles down in the cups. Following the lead of a few of the private clubs around. Got mixed feelings.
12. Does a rake in your bag count as an extra club? Not sure but most players are trying their best to level their foot prints in the traps.
13. Take your garbage home with you please. Members have been great so far.
14. Need some heat to get the poa popping. Looks like some is on the way.
15. Lost two very significant players from our team on Friday. And the hits just keep on coming.
16. It amazes me how 95% of the people are so happy a grateful to be out there playing, yet there continues to be the few that insist on putting a negative spin to everything. Don’t get sucked into it. Enjoy what we have.
17. Tomorrow is the start of training days. Usually well on our way by now. Please be patient. There’s going to be a few things not getting done to NBGCC’s standards for a while.
18. I know this submission is on the weak side. Sorry about that. The negativity thing is kinda getting to me. Should be practicing what I preach.
19. Next week I’ll be great, promise. Complete with grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and slams about damn poplar trees. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Be safe and BE KIND
Grant Sawchyn
 







WHAT'S HOT
 - May 1st, 2020

1. Well, we finally got word, May15th. Feeling pretty good about but a bit of panic too.
2. You heard right, it’s going to be a pretty small crew this season. Still too much uncertainty surrounding the covid thing.
3. Ryan, Trevor and myself got those greens uncovered and cleaned off. First cut today, that is, if we can keep the damn mower running. 
4. Most greens are looking juicy considering they've been under ice since November. Couple pretty shaky ones that will need to be overseeded. Generally, way better than I was expecting.
5. Small crew so a few things aren't going to get done as regularly as usual. Traps, rough, holes, POPLAR branches. The team is going to try their best, I guarantee it.
6. Its kind of humorous how sore the three of us are. Topic of the day, who's worse. I think I'm kicking their ass.
7. As good as things look out here, it’s so so messy. Last falls leaf picking was a disaster because of the weather and they likely won't be touched this spring until late May if at all. 
8. Nothing but foursomes this year. A maintenance team's dream. Maybe there is something good coming out of this pandemic deal. Takes me back to the good old days.
9. No washrooms on the course this year. Each foursome should have a designated "did you remember to go?" dude.
10. Because we're going to cut back on cutting, it will be necessary to hold back on the watering. We'll try and find that line between dry and lush. Might take a bit.
11. Should you get frustrated with some conditions, contact me personally and not the staff. We really need them to have an enjoyable work experience regardless of these unfortunate circumstances. gsaw@sasktel.net or (306)937-5658
12. Ace mechanic Trevor has had to learn to cut greens. Gotta say, he's pretty good at it for the first time. Trust me, he knows it.
13. Would like to fire up irrigation next week. Much depends on river levels and frost conditions. Oh, got to put the pump station back together first. Da.
14. Might be a few aeration plugs laying around on the fairways when you tee off May 15th. Another thing we didn't get done last fall because of the weather. 
15. All the restrictions mean no touch points on the course. Ball washers, rakes, benches, sand boxes, gone till further notice as they say. The Sask Government is allowing flags but absolutely no touching. The superintendents are waiting on word regarding the holes and how they will be set up. Most likely won’t allow ball to enter hole.
16. Most likely going to see wear and tear from golf carts this season. Will deal with the damage next season when things are back to normal including the crew.
17. Going to be a ton of new signage on the course due to social distancing regs. Please. Just plain be conscientious of where you are in relation to those around you.
18. We lose a ton of trees every year. We try have them cleaned in as timely a manner possible. Most times, no one even notices. This year it may take a bit time to do a total cleanup and haul. Regardless of the situation, we will get them out of your way quickly.
19. Got your membership yet?
20. No putting green, chipping green or driving range. Just another way to discourage congregating.
21. I'm likely going to overseed #'s 12 and 8 greens soon. I hoping to leave them in play as they fill in. Two things you need you to consider. One, avoid walking on the freshly seed areas. You'll be able tell by the fresh aeration holes and slits in the turf. Make your putt and move off the area. Watch your partner 4 wack it standing on the good stuff. And B, you’re going to see some silly pin placements during the grow-in. Want to keep the pins on the good stuff, no matter how ridiculous you think it is.
22. Probably going to play #4 as a par 3 off the start. Not sure we'll have time to put the snow fence back up prior to opening day. Soon as we do though, she's par 4 again. 
23. Because of the intense cart traffic this season and the damage that I'm sure will develop, please avoid obvious dry wear areas. If you need an example of dry and damaged turf just drive by my front lawn.
24. Because there’s no sand boxes on the tees this season, please, please, please replace your divots. And while we’re at it, how about repairing a ball mark or two, three. You get my point.
25. Until further notice, our maintenance shops and compound are off limits to the public. Employees only please.
26. Well then, bring on the 15th. Its going to be different but its going to be fun. The entire golf industry is requesting that you be safe and contentious of your fellow players as well as the staff who may be working under some trying conditions. Lets all do are best to play golf by the new rules and be happy that we’re finally getting out there.

Get excited and be safe,
Grant







WHAT’S HOT – April 18th,2020

1. I FEEL LIKE A CAGED LION !!!!!!! There, got that out of my system.
2. So we’re all still waiting this out, eh? Went for a bit of a walk on the course just now. Got a good vibe out there. I think opening day is coming soon. Gotta think like that.
3. Finished plowing roads on the course yesterday. Normally we hire it out. Chose to use our own dinky little John Deere. Took all week rather than couple hours with a big payloader.
4. Man is there ice under that snow. Probably from last November. Not good.
5. I imagine there’s going to be a ton of restrictions around the shop once we get a crew in here. Already getting protocol suggestions from industry gurus.
6. Equipment is just raring to go. The crew too by the way. I miss my Crew.
7. Its sure nice to see members buying their memberships. Regardless of the uncertainty they know how important it is to NBGCC. Great people and very much appreciated.
8. There’s still a ton of snow out there. Just ask the dozen members I saw drive by during my walk.
9. A lot of scald on the needle trees. Likely from the freeze thaw events we had during the winter.
10. Hoping to get down to #2 Sunday or Monday to open up the culverts at the creek Frozen solid right now.
11. Ryan and Trevor have heard all my golf course crew stories a hundred times. They’re dying to get the new crew here so I have a new audience to entertain. I think the two of them think I’m full of B.S. by now.
12. There are gophers out there. I’ll put my best man on it. Get it? Caddy Shack. Bill Murray. Oh forget it.
13. As golfers you sure better be prepared for some restrictions on the course too. Social distancing will be the big one. As an industry we’re really promoting playing by the new rules. Its they only way we’ll stay open and get back to the old rules. Saskatchewan seems to get it so far so let’s keep it up.
14. Oh ya. Damn poplars. There done. Now go wash your hands.

STAY SAFE.
Grant






WHAT’S HOT – March18th, 2020

1.  What’s hot? Sure ain’t the weather. It’s hard to believe that 2 weeks ago I was away at a conference and was absolutely freaking out because it was melting back home and I wasn’t there. I was told to chill out so I guess I did.
2.  Don’t know what to expect after the freezing rain in November. There definitely is ice on some greens. Ice can kill after a 60 days however there are different types. Real hard solid ice is the most damaging. Then there’s the more crystalized that allows for some air movement. Its usually the result of very cold weather. Let’s hope for the latter.
3.  Assistant Ryan and Mechanic Trevor are going hard in preparation for another season. Freshly sharpened reels are being installed and course furnishings are getting their final touches.
4.  Putting a crew together still. Long process and absolutely time consuming. Miss the days when some of our team returned for several years in a row. Times have definitely changed.
5. Will life ever be the same after Covid-19?
6.  We don’t always blow the snow off the greens. If we do its not necessarily to get an early start. We originally started doing it to prevent the development of damaging snow molds. Same mold that kills your front lawn.
7. Hope to do some drainage work in some of the bunkers this season. It will all depend on the start we get to the season.
8.  Need to get back to our old aeration and topdressing regime. We gave way to tournament bookings and special events the last few years and it definitely took its toll. We should and will be able to get back on track.
9. Westwood Turf once again came through for us on our #4 project. What a great business for our community. We really do rely on the on great people like Jack, Bob and Allen.
10. Be patient with our new staff as they find there way around the place. Little bit more to their job than you think. Throw them some slack. We really want them the work in an enjoyable work environment. Want them to consider coming back for year two, three, four. Maybe even tell a friend about the place.
11. Many golf supers are removing touch points off their courses. Ball washers, rakes, sand boxes, flags. Want to keep it safe.
12.  Hope the place isn’t too messy when we open up. Damn poplar leaves. Yes, I’m going to continue the rant. ( I’ll give you a break and start the foursome thing next time)
13.  Have you bought your membership yet? The sooner the better. Our club is going to be a great place to be this summer.
15.  I’d like to use this forum to thank the 2019 edition of the “Crew”. It was an absolutely horrendous season for us. In 40 years plus in the golf biz I had never experienced challenges like we saw last year. Regardless of the issue the team hung in there and at times amazed me what they could handle. The extra load placed upon them due to the #4 project was immense and they pulled it off, all the while maintaining a beautiful golf course I was so proud of. In my personal life, it was the most stressful and emotional time of my life. They allowed me to be sad and not worry if things were going to get done. A huge thank you assistant Ryan for his leadership and friendship. I don’t like comparing Crews because every one is different and I love them all, but 2019’s will definitely stand out for years to come.


  
 During this pandemic be safe and kind to your fellow citizens in this community. See if your neighbor needs anything. And wash your hands

Grant Sawchyn
NBGCC Golf Superintendent