Monday, December 20, 2010

A Winter Wonderland

Three days of consistent snow fall starting last Friday accumulated nearly a foot of snow on the golf course. The weather has been a bit inconsistent this winter but the severely cold temps have not really been a factor. The ground is not frozen so when the sun comes out and the temperatures rise we get a decent rate of melting. This is good in many ways. Since the ground is not an ice cube it prevents the snow from sticking around for long periods of time which would promote disease (Discussed in an earlier blog entry about Why we spray?) Another factor that we benefit from due to the ground not being frozen is when we do have any melting of the snow or rain the excess water can infiltrate the soil profile thus preventing any appreciable ice buildup. Ice accumulation can have many adverse affects to the turfgrass which can be explained in another blog entry. I will make sure that an entire entry is devoted to ice damage which we have seen many times in Central Oregon.

Anyway, a couple of pictures to show off the beauty of the golf course under snow. It is probably one of the most peaceful moments on a golf course other than sunset during the summer. For those of you who live on the course, I am sure you love to look out your living room windows after a snow fall.

Hole #15 with a blanket of snow

Hole #14 with Cosmo enjoying the snow. Cosmo does not have much work during the winter since the lakes are frozen over and the geese have no place to swim. In any case, she really enjoys running around in the snow.

Since the snow has fallen and our outside projects are on hold, this will give us a chance to focus on a few projects inside the maintenance facility. Only three of us on site currently, but between the snow plowing and shoveling there are a few ideas that I have for us to plan and construct for next season. I am going to keep these a secret until they are ready to unveil to everyone. One of the ideas is going to make a huge impact next season. I hope! A hint: What should come back quickly after the golf ball has left the the ground?

To everyone who follows our blog, have a great Holiday Season!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Back on the course

It is good to be back on the golf course. I have been away attending family functions, seminars and work outings. In a previous post, I mentioned that a trip to Las Vegas was on the schedule. Our ownership treated the managers of Tetherow to a three day trip to Las Vegas. On the agenda were many restaurant visits, a visit to Angel Park Golf Course and of course some work. Our work topics were discussed over a few hands of blackjack, a few rolls on the craps tables and some extended discussions while in the sports book. We won a few dollars in the sports book but no luck on the tables.

Thanksgiving was spent in the Valley with family and friends and of course the Oregon vs. Arizona game was the day after. We all know the outcome of the Ducks season and I am very happy and shocked the the Ducks could actually pull off such a great regular season. Hopefully the National Championship makes all of the Duck fans very happy.

The week after Thanksgiving it was back on the plane to Las Vegas for a seminar hosted by the Floratine Company. Floratine is a fertilizer company who provides speciality products for golf course superintendents to use in their fertility programs. We implemented a complete program this past season and were very happy with the results. The consistent growth and color was very impressive along with the low stress levels we encountered during the hot portions of the summer. We are going to continue the program this season with a few alterations. I would like to thank Mike Madden our Floratine representative for providing the trip and the opportunity to learn more about the Floratine products and the company. As usual, I lost on the tables again.

A flight from Las Vegas after the Floratine seminar lands in Portland for the annual Pesticide Conference. The Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association puts together a day and a half program in which many speakers speak about new developments in pesticides, new laws and regulations as well as how to properly apply pesticides. This seminar allows golf course superintendents to stay current in their knowledge of pesticide usage as well as earning credits to maintain a valid pesticide applicators license.

So now that I am back on the course I cannot see very much. The golf course is covered in about six inches of snow. I was hoping that our crew would be able to get a few projects done in my absence but the snow stop any progress. Today, the snow is melting and the forecast is for warmer weather for the next few days. Next week will be our window to complete our list of projects.