August 2010

  • August 7, 2010
  • Written by Don Campbell

Let's start this month by writing about the S.T.A Research Tournament. By participating in this event you'll help the Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association fulfill its mission which encourages and promotes turf research in our industry. We need your team to register as soon as possible.

The Skins game will be held Sunday August 15th at the Prince Albert Cooke Municipal Golf Club. Tee time is 2:30pm. Green fee and cart will cost you $30 while the skins game will be $10. Lunch or snacks after golf will be provided by the S.T.A. This is a fun event and gets more popular each year.

The Research Tournament this year is hosted by Kachur's Golf and Country Club on Monday August 16th. It will be a shotgun start a 8am. The entry fee is $75 per person or $300 per team. We ask our members to enter a team. An example is the Green Superintendent, Club Manager, Club President and the Club Greens Chairman. If one of those can't make it, invite a member.

Pat Kachur and Don Best will have their golf course in excellent shape and will be extraordinary hosts. Breakfast will be available prior to the shotgun at minimal cost. After golf they will provide us with a very excellent banquet, which will be followed by the prize presentation.

The Research Tournament Hotel is the Ramada Prince Albert. They have set aside 20 standard double non-smoking rooms. The group reservation is arriving Sunday, August 15th and checking out Monday, August 16th for a special rate of $99.95. When you make your reservation, tell them you are an S.T.A member and quote our group number 2544. This is important to get the special rate.

If your Club cannot participate in the tournament, please consider a sponsorship donation to the Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association Research Fund. Your Club will be recognized in our “Newsletter” and our “Web Site”. Any amount your Club is happy with will be appreciated.

The prizes will include $1200 in gift certificates to be redeemed in Kachur's Pro Shop. Additional prizes will be handed out in a random draw. Participants usually bring small prizes (golf hats, gloves, golf shorts, etc) to help with the random draw. Please register for the event as soon as possible by faxing me your entry form 244-0513 or emailing me at  soupyd@sasktel.net I have to know the number of players so we can prepare a draw, but more importantly let the golf course know how many they'll have to prepare food for.

The common household mosquito (Culex pipiens – a fancy name, I have no idea what it means) spreads West Nile virus when it feeds on blood from infected birds. Research suggests robins and sparrows are an important reservoir for the virus because they often survive the illness and hence are more likely to spread the virus. Among birds, the virus has the greatest impact on crows. In 1999 in the New York area, the crow population crashed by about 90%. For every five people infected with West Nile, one has mild illness, usually lasting three to six days. Meningitis or encephalitis develops in about one in fifty people infected with West Nile – more commonly in those over age 50.

Recently one of the green staff members at the Riverside Country Club here in Saskatoon spent 10 days at Pebble Beach working on the grounds staff for the U.S. Open. He was one of the 130 plus staff they had for the tournament. Also he said the greens were exactly the way the U.S.G.A wanted for the tournament. All in all it was a tremendous experience.

I still get upset at an incident that happened about 10 years ago at a northern golf course. The superintendent of the day was very good at his chosen trade and always had his golf course in excellent condition. The Board of Directors of the day were convinced by a couple of low handicap players that they should advertise for a different superintendent to see what was out there. They let the superintendent know their plans and invited him to apply for the job – Guess what he told them! The result – a number of inexperienced and very poorly trained people who took a very good golf course to a mediocre track. What did the Club do but to hire the superintendent back as a weekend consultant.

Lindins and Basswoods make great shade trees.
Both are hardy, long lived, and relatively pest free. Both species tolerate a variety of soil types and light conditions, but do best in full sun and rich, lightly moist, well-drained soil. Growth rate isn't that swift. The canopy of both species is fairly dense and provides excellent privacy and does a good job in blocking road noise during the growing season. Norbin is the faster growing lindin. For more information call S.T.A. member Ray Gaudet, owner of Gaudet Tree Farms in Prince Albert. Remember the old Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best is now.”

Very recently while in the Doctor's office, an old, old fellow struck up a conversation with me regarding all the rain we've had. He was born in Saskatchewan 96 years ago and started farming his own land at age 17. He remarked that he had never seen Saskatchewan so beautiful and green. He still owns some land and told me he has the best crop of winter wheat ever. He was a very interesting old guy who was still sharp and in pretty good shape. He said the reason he has lived so long was he has stayed happy, never smoked but drank a little whiskey with his water every day.

The people at the Shellview Sod Farms are great supporters of the S.T.A. On Saturday, August 7th, they are celebrating 50 years. Happy hour is at 5pm and supper will be at 6. Instead of a lot of speeches, Janice Davies will perform her world famous belly dancing routine followed by fireworks or maybe it's vice-versa. Anyway congratulations go to the Shellview Sod Farm for supplying its customers with a first class product for 50 years.

Your Board of Directors met in Davidson on July 6th at the Davidson Golf Club.
We had a very good attendance. Among items discussed were the Research Tournament at Kachur's Golf and Country Club; the Skins Game at Cooke Municipal and tournament sponsorships. Our Fall Wind Up and A.G.M. will be held in Saskatoon, November 22nd. The Board also discussed preparing a proposal to host the C.G.S.A. Fall Field Day in 2012.

If you are thinking of entering the C.G.S.A. Fall Field Day in Banff, you'd better hustle because the event is filling up fast. The event will be at the Banff Springs Golf Course on September 12th and 13th. You will play the original Stanley Thompson layout.

As of July 15th 2010, I've only heard from 76% of last years membership in regards to this year's membership fees.
If not paid, newsletters and communication will cease as of July 31st. The 24% not heard from have been mailed another billing. In most cases, I find the original invoice has been misplaced usually on one's desk.

I need some information on a well-known Gold Professional in Regina during the 1920s, 30s and 40s by the name of Fred Fletcher (no relation to Pat Fletcher recently inducted into the Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame). He was an excellent player, despite weighing in around 115lbs and having a withered leg as a result of childhood polio. He and his wife Daisy had 4 children appropriately named Par, Stymie, Dormie and Birdie. I like this about him as it appeared in the “Canadian Golfer” in 1926. It read he was a “likeable, unassuming player, entirely free from the affectations which afflict some of the Pros”.

Recently I had a call from a golf course in regards to topdressing greens prior to a tournament. I suggested the last application of topdressing should be about 7 days before the tournament. This will allow time for the topdressing to work into the putting surfaces so the greens are rolling as smooth as possible. The sad part about this is the call didn't come from the Greens Superintendent but a member. I messed up and shouldn't have told him anything but “tell your superintendent to call me.”

Again remember the West Nile virus is here. Make sure your employees are well protected with spray containing “Deet”. Also it may be wise to put up a sign at the first tee to spray bugs etc on a non-turf area such as a cart path. I find a number of courses supply mosquito spray for their employees to use while at work.

Please do me and the S.T.A. a favour and register for our Research Tournament at Kachur's Golf and Country Club. It's less than two weeks away. We need a strong contingent of members so we can have fun, fellowship and exchange some ideas related to our trade. More importantly, your entry will contribute to Turfgrass Research in our province.

If you plan on playing in the Skins game on the Sunday prior to the Research Tournament, make sure you call Laurie Unruh at Oakcreek. We have only a limited amount of tee times available so, to avoid, disappointment, call him or myself as soon as possible.

More in this category: « July 2010 September 2010 »

About Don Campbell

Don CampbellG. N. Don Campbell,
1933 –2016

S.T.A. Executive Director, 'Turf Tips' writer and editor of our 'TURFTALK' newsletter, Don Campbell has been an asset to our industry for decades!
 
A member in the turfgrass community for more than 57 years, Don started his career at Riverside Country Club in Saskatoon as a caddy, eventually becoming the course Superintendent. He finished his career as the General Manager at the very same course.

In 2004, Don was awarded the CGSA John B. Steel Distinguished Service Award, recognizing his lifetime commitment to turf care.
 
Don is survived by his wife Marie have three children: Sherril, Glen and Doug. 

About the STA

  • Saskatchewan's Turfgrass Association, founded in 1979, is a non-profit organization. The S.T.A. was organized by a group of Turfgrass Professionals which has grown to include people from Parks, Golf Courses, Sod Growers, Cities and Commercial Companies.

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