Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A few notes during a long Winter

It has been a few weeks since the last blog entry because I needed time to get some information to write about. It is a little slow at Tetherow during the winter. Since it is the slow time of the year, it is a perfect opportunity to attend meetings, the Golf Industry Show, take care of the little things for the golf course and in general recharge the batteries before the season begins.

A few updates, the construction on #9 is going very slow. The weather has hampered our efforts in that either the soil is too frozen to work or it is under snow. I am hoping the snow goes away quickly and we can resume with our work.
I took these pictures on February 14, 2011. On Tuesday the 15th, we received about 10'' of snow. As of the 28th, #9 is still under snow and the forecast is not looking promising for the next week.
You can see that the rough grading of the extension is finished. I asked David Kidd to stop by and approve the work but that night the snow began to fly. He has not seen the work yet. Maybe next week.

This past January, I attended the Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association meeting that was held at Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle, Washington. The host superintendent is Sean McDonough a very good friend of mine. The speakers for the meeting were Robert Randquist, Vice President of the GCSAA and Piet Peters, Executive Vice President of Ernie Els Design. Both speakers were very good and discussed issues such as the state of the GCSAA and how Ernie Els Design works as far as a design firm. The Els philiosphy had some similarities to how David McLay Kidd Design operates.
Since we were in Seattle in the middle of January, it was raining and since we live in an area where rain is not very common, there was no way I was going to play golf in the rain. I have become a bit spoiled living in Bend. I told Sean that I will play his course during the season, when it is not raining. I have played Broadmoor several times and Sean does an excellent job. If you get a chance to play Broadmoor, do not hesitate and you will not be disappointed.
A week later, Tom Baty, Superintendent at Bend Golf and Country Club hosted the annual "Moss" meeting. This is a get together for all of the local superintendents to discuss many subjects such as winter disease control, snow/ice issues, growth regulators and moss. I enjoy catching up with the others in the area and discussing issues we all experience. The network of superintendents in Central Oregon is very tight and we help each other as much as possible.

Then in February, I attended the Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Florida. I attended the reception for the ELGA winners. Two days of educational classes and a day at the Trade Show gave me many ideas that will help our maintenance staff and practices. I took three classes:

  • Environmental Check-up: How sustainable is your facility? was a day long class which included a field trip to a local golf course. The biggest take home point from this class was implementing an Environmental Management System that would have policies and procedures for most of our maintenance practices. The class also discussed issues such as environmental site evaluation, water resource protection, storm water management, emergency responses and energy conservation.
  • 21st Century Leadership: What's Different Now? A very helpful class on how to be the leader in today's work environment which is different than say 10 years ago. I took away a lot of helpful hints that I can implement to create an empowered and involved staff who understands the vision of Tetherow Golf Course Maintenance.

  • Survival Skills for the Superintendent. A class that discussed many topics but most importantly the topic of improved communications from the golf course superintendent to the other departments within the golf course.
While I was gone, Coulee, Marty and Paul kept busy doing various projects. Coulee has been topdressing the fairways. The sand pile is getting smaller as the days go by. Marty has been working in the shop servicing equipment, re-wiring our new TX Gators for various implements and has been making some alterations to previous brain storming ideas that I came up with. Paul is the painter of the three. Painting all of our course supplies that need some touch up paint work. Items like tee stones, garbage can lids, signage, etc. have all been repainted this past month.
Marty and I have been revising a earlier version of our blower/course set-up trailer. I think this one will work great this season.

Paul sanding and painting the garbage can lids. To date, all of our golf course accessories are ready for the golf season.
Thanks for following along. Once the snow lifts we will have a lot of work going on which will give me a lot of material to show and tell. Until next time, enjoy yourselves and come visit Tetherow this year.