Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cleanup Update

The following are updated photographs of the piles of debris we have removed from the course thus far.

A Sharp Cut

With a completely serviced mower, 60 degree weather and some surprisingly shaggy fairways we thought it was a good day to mow the fairways.......a little wet in some areas that we avoided.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The 2012 Growing Season Inches Closer

Another week has passed and Stillmeadow Turf and Maintenance continues to put together the pieces for a successful 2012 season.  The majority of the current staffs time continues to be spent on equipment repairs and maintenance.  This has been an unfortunate and unpleasant surprise.  While the majority of the equipment is cosmetically acceptable and relatively low hour, we have found it to be in very poor condition.  However, with the new parts we are installing and a regular maintenance program we have no question that we will be able restore the equipment to a serviceable condition for years to come.  The disappointment is the fact that the weather has continued to be relatively mild and we would have preferred to use some of this time on the golf course with continued cleanup, tree removal, brush removal, etc.  While this probably won't be the last set back we face, we relish every opportunity to improve the course, grounds and equipment.  Heading off problems like this is yet another reason that management made a great decision to bring us into the fold in January instead of waiting until March or April.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cleanup Continues

All pictures have been taken from different locations on the right side of hole #1







Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Mechanic Joins The Staff

Mechanic Rick Evans has joined the Stillmeadow Turf and Maintenance Staff.  Rick is skilled in mechanics and property management.  While Rick is new to the golf business we are confident that with his positive attitude and eagerness to learn he will adjust quickly.

While the crew continues to take shape, there is one more crucial position that we have yet to hire.  This will be the hiring of a crew foreman/irrigation technician.  The search for an experienced and hard working individual will begin soon.

Article From The GCSAA

Off season? What's that?

Presented by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America

Many golf facilities have a nine-month golf season, which means they also have a period when the volume of play declines. So what type of activity does the golf course management staff engage in during the "off" season?

While golfer activity may be virtually non-existent during the offseason, there is still much work to be done by the golf course superintendent and his/her staff. It should be noted that a golf course is staffed on a seasonal schedule to meet demand, thus temporary workers and/or student interns may not be available during the offseason to assist the full-time staff.

Depending upon weather conditions, a variety of golf course projects can be completed even though the temperatures are not conducive for member play. Such activities could include sodding bare areas with turf, renovating bunkers, rebuilding tee areas, trimming and planting trees, etc. These projects could close down portions of the course if undertaken during the playing season, therefore the offseason offers the opportunity to make improvements with little or no inconvenience. Whether or not there is play on the course, superintendents must be attuned to turf conditions. For example, allowing ice to sit on the turf for extended periods can result in turf winterkill.

Various golf course accessories might also need repair. Benches, signs, water cooler containers, trash bins, ball washers, rakes, etc., may need to be built or renovated. Routine building maintenance on areas such as the clubhouse, turf care center, pump houses, green house, tennis center, etc., are often set aside for this time period. Again, delaying work on these areas until consumption patterns decline results in little interruption.

Equipment is also a focus for the golf course superintendent during this time period. Everything from purchasing to various mechanical repairs such as engine tune-ups and reel sharpening are on the schedule. Irrigation systems are in need of similar annual maintenance to ensure that they do not get damaged during extreme cold spells.

The offseason also provides the opportunity to complete a variety of business management responsibilities. Annual plans and budgets must be developed and then presented to the appropriate club leaders. Inventories for fertilizers, pesticides, seed and other supplies need to be replenished. Staffing plans must be developed and employees have to be secured for the golf season. Golf course managers should also review their course conditioning programs on annual basis. Issues such as turf selection, green speed, bunker sand characteristics, fairway widths and integrated pest management programs all require significant research and planning.

Staff development is also a requirement for golf course managers. Superintendents and assistants participate in regional education seminars and attend the GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show. These continuing education opportunities provide information on the latest management techniques, products and services available to course managers. The opportunity to network with peers and learn how others tackle challenges can result in significant benefits to a facility, some of which do not have a price tag.

For more information regarding golf course management practices, contact your local superintendent

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Equipment Maintenance

Now that the cold and wet weather has returned, we have used this opportunity to begin our annual equipment maintenance.  This is an extensive process as you may have imagined.  Every unit receives oil changes, filter changes and grease.  In addition, every piece of equipment will be carefully examined for broken parts or any adjustments that may be needed.  The most time consuming process during winter equipment maintenance is the cutting units(reels).  Every reel must be deconstructed and inspected for any bearings, oil seals or parts that need to be replaced. The reels are then set up in a grinding unit designed specifically for the purpose of sharpening the reel so that it will stand up to an entire season of cutting.  While cutting, reels will spin at high speeds and lightly contact a straight edge known as the bedknife.  New bedknives must also be installed and a grind is applied to compensate for any defects from the manufacturer or the bedbar that the bedknives mount on.

Winter equipment maintenance is time consuming, costly and difficult.  However, winter equipment maintenance is also very important to our overall maintenance plan and to the final product of playability and aesthetics.  Many of our equipment pieces are expected to last for many years and must be cared for.  This is why preventative maintenance is so important along with educated and caring operators.  In a case like this, what is happening inside the shop can be just as important as what is happening outside on the course.  Quality equipment is the first step to a well maintained golf course!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Our Second Hire Enjoying The Warm Weather

We would like to introduce Randy Johnson as our new assistant golf course superintendent.  Randy comes from Lindale Golf Club where he was the head superintendent for a total of 10 years.  Randy brings an abundance of knowledge, resourcefulness and work ethic, which is why we felt that we needed him as a key component of our team at Stillmeadow Country Club.

As you can see in the picture below, we are still trying to put the final cut on tees, fairways and greens due to the warmer weather that has occurred.  We see the warm weather as a great opportunity to improve the playing conditions and aesthetics of the course.  Hopefully this winter will continue to be mild so that we may be that much further ahead of the curve come spring.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cleanup Continues

Native area to the right hand side of 6



Friday, January 6, 2012

Let The Cleanup Begin!

This is the debris we took off the course in two days!

Picture of the native on the right side of two green where fallen trees have been cleared.