Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Course Presentation

During the next few weeks, you should notice some subtle changes. As the saying goes, "You only get one chance to make a first impression", that is what I will be doing. The look of the golf course has as much to as the playability. What I am talking about is the course accessories. The reason for the "soft start" is that all the course furnishings need attention too. The basic cleaning and painting of markers, stakes, benches, etc., will take place but more of what needs to happen is the placement of landscape structures. I have noticed that several of the Tee Signs and ballwasher post are leaning and in areas that make use and maintenance difficult. I intend to move several the ballwasher posts to be grouped with the Tee Signs so we have not only an effective display per each tee, but also a consistent theme to each area. Just as your outdoor living area should be landscaped and not decorated, the golf course will begin too take on a cleaner and more detailed look.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Reel Sharpening

There are many activities associated with off season maintenance. The list includes cleaning, organizing, painting, education, and equipment maintenance. Along with the usual repairs on equipment such as oil changes, lubing, inspection and replacing worn parts, is the duty of reel grinding. The single most important cultural practice superintendents do is to mow the grass. By keeping a sharp blade not only helps in the overall health of the plant, but the appearance and playability are enhanced as well. The greens, tees, and fairways are mowed on a regular basis with a scissoring action of a spinning reel and a stationary bedknife. In order to keep a .004" clearance between the cutting edges, annual inspections and replacement of reel and roller bearings is necessary. The picture shows of a greens mower in the grinder doing its thing. It is all automatic but the setup for each unit is time consuming. The result of this operation is that the reel will be able to cut a strip of newspaper cleanly. Mowers are checked on a daily basis as to keep the quality of cut at its best. When reels no longer cut well, grinding is needed again and will happen at some point in the summer.

So the next time you go to line up your putt in your favorite "Spiderman" position, don't think about what I just explained to you. Concentrate on on determining your intended line of putting. We'll both be happy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Soft Start

Finally! It is time! The recent record warmth has allowed all the snow to melt and the ground to firm a bit. The rains last night helped green things up and Butternut is also ice free. A little bit of superficial snow mold is out on the fairways and a small area on #9 green was also dinged. All in all, things look to be in good shape.

Due to the early opening, not all winter tasks are done. As we start the season, not all accessories will be in place nor signage. They will be installed as we move on the next few weeks. So enjoy the early start. Get a round or two in before you do your yard work. Remember, it can still snow and freeze yet. Don't let Mother Nature fool you. Happy golfing!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Still Waiting

Many of the golf courses in the Twin Cities are open or are opening soon. We still have snow covering much of the holes on the south side of the road. Here's what I'm looking at today. This is hole #6. The other picture is of hole #4.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Cleaning

This time of year, we all get the urge to do some spring cleaning. For the past 3 weeks, we have been doing the cleaning thing down at the maintenance building. It took me almost 2 weeks to clean and organize the office, break area, and bathroom. It was also a time of investigating what has been transpiring out here and start making plans for the upcoming season. Pretty much filled up a dumpster worth of junk. It sure feels good to start clean and fresh. In the shop area, it took a full week with 2 extra employees to clean and organize. We found treasures and discovered some interesting items that had not been seen before! The bottom line now is that I know what we have and don't have. We are not done organizing the entire building but will be working at it over the next few weeks. Today we began servicing/repairing the equipment. I am cautiously optimistic about the condition of the equipment that it may not to be in as much disrepair as I thought it might be.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Let's Get This Over With

Introductions are tough. No one likes to talk about themselves. Parents love to talk about their kids. So do I. My wife of 31 years and I have 4 kids. The older 2, Ari and Kit, are well employed and putting money into our social security account. Ari will be getting married this summer. Kit and his girlfriend live in Wyoming and enjoy the wide open spaces. My 2 younger daughters are still in college, Elle will graduate from the U of M in Nursing this spring and join her husband in Japan. He is an officer in the navy. Kira is a sophomore at St. Olaf College and appears to be majoring in math. She is a member of the Women's Hockey Team and also participates in Lacrosse. My wife Nancy works in the cities as a marketing director for a commercial painting company.

Now for me. Where do I start? I have been in the golf business for over 33 years. Started out edging bunkers back in 1977 at the Stillwater CC. Received a B.S. degree in Education from St. Cloud State and then found my passion for golf was overwhelming so went back to school a received a A.S. degree in Turf Management from Anoka Technical College. From there, I went to Prestwick GC in Woodbury and was involved in the construction and grow in of the course. Got a call from Stillwater CC in 1985 to become the superintendent. Stayed their until 1995 and got back to construction and built St. Croix National GC in Somerset, WI. In 1999, got another opportunity to build a course, this time at Tanners Brook GC in Forest Lake, Mn. When I am not working, I do enjoy playing golf. I have been involved in hockey all of my life as a player, then a coach, and now as referee. I do get to spend time in the BWCA each fall.

That's me in a nutshell. When you get a chance, stop on by and introduce yourself.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

In the Begining..........

Welcome to the new communication tool that will help the followers of Luck GC stay informed of "what's going on" with the course. There will be a variety of topics to discuss on current issues and future procedures. The plan is to update this blog a couple of times a week in the off season and at least once a week during the season. I will introduce myself in the next installment. But now, I am off to plow the 6" of snow that fell overnight. Trust me, the golf season is coming!