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December 2008

What a great Fall Wind-up we had at Dakota Dunes Casino. Jim Ross gave an excellent presentation on Winter Protection. The presentation was very comprehensive and had everyone’s attention. We had great attendance with 74 people enjoying the fellowship and food throughout the day

Jim Ross, who heads the Prairie Turfgrass Research Center, was very appreciative of the STA’s contribution of $4300 to research at Old’s. Judging by his seminar it shows how important research dollars are. By the way, part of the money that was donated came from the Saskatchewan Golf Association. The rest came from the profit realized from our Research Tournament at Jackfish Lodge.

If you have problems on your golf course and need help on advise, give Jim Ross a call. He will be more than happy to help you work to find a solution.

Besides the presentation of the Research cheque to Jim Ross,
another highlight was presenting the Member of the Year award. Richard Berg from Swift Current was the recipient of the Drew Smith Award. Richard never misses a STA function and participates in STA events. He is well respected by his peers. He started working at his golf course while attending high school and has been the superintendent for over twenty years. The Elmwood Golf Course in Swift Current deserves credit in supporting Richard Berg in all his educational endeavors.

The even members on the STA board of Directors were up for election.
The slate as prepared by Past President Kevin Bloski included Doug Campbell (Zone 2), Kyle Kellgren (Zone 4), Dean Hildebrandt (Zone 6) and Lach Reeve (Zone 8). The Commercial North Director is Kevin Bloski. The slate as presented was elected by motion. Retiring Directors Ken Lintott and Blaine Fagnou received a big thank you for their efforts as members of the STA Board.

The most popular topic among turf managers this past fall
and so far this winter has been the weather. The weather has always been, is and most certainly always will be the single most important aspect of a turf manager’s success in regards to the results of his or her maintenance practices. And, unlike all other factors, it is absolutely uncontrollable.

Darren Crilly, the excellent superintendent at the Dakota Dunes Golf Links, has left his position to become Property Manager at the University of Saskatchewan. I would believe it was heart wrenching for Darren to leave Dakota Dunes but the opportunity was too good to pass up. We wish Darren all the best in his new position. He will remain a member of the STA but will relinquish his duties as the Saskatchewan representative for the CGSA. Having said that, we will be looking for another representative to fill Darren’s role with the CGSA. If any of you are interested, please contact myself or President Doug Leavins.

As mentioned earlier, we had a very good turnout for our meeting. Some came in the day before to attend Oakcreek’s Christmas celebration. They had a long drive home after the STA’s Wind-up and consequently some felt they should leave early, forgoing the banquet. We have to address this by perhaps having a first class luncheon banquet instead. This way, members who have a long drive home can leave about 3:30pm and at least get home long before midnight.

The STA’s next event is March 22nd, 23rd and 24th at the Saskatoon Auditorium.
This is a conference and tradeshow. Work is well underway to make sure this is a first rate educational show. Golf Clubs and Parks should take notice of this important event and make sure their Turf Managers attend. You have already received some registration forms and we are receiving them back paid. Keep them coming guys!

We would like our members to pass on to us topics you would like us to consider for our March Conference. Let me or Chairman Kevin Bloski know. We do this because we want this to be a great learning conference for everyone.

Even in the dead of winter I hear golfers complaining
about aerification and how it is something designed to destroy their 22 handicaps. You can talk until you’re blue in the face about the benefits of this necessary exercise. None of this matters to golfers who march into Pro Shops or the Manager’s office to complain. Listen to them, ask them what they would do and carry on. Above all, don’t stop aerating.

Heard this one the other night on television. Ben Stein says it’s funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world is going to hell. It’s also funny how we believe what the newspapers say but question what the Bible says. Funny too is how you can send “jokes” through email and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the schools and workplace.

I’m like Don Cherry when it comes to predictions. Last December I said Golf Courses will have a tough time regarding the 2008 season. Staff will be difficult to find, costs will continue to rise as will the demand for perfect conditions. Some clubs won’t have superintendents and the chances of finding one are slim. The price of turf equipment has gone sky high and some Clubs will look at leasing. All this was true so I’m going to make predictions for 2009.

Do you know what the number one neighborhood complaint
is in the United States? It’s above crime, traffic and poor public service … it’s “noise”. Every day, more than 138 million Americans experience noise levels that the Environmental Protection Agency rates as annoying and disruptive. Among city dwellers, more than 87% are exposed to noise so loud that it has the potential to degrade hearing capacity over time. The main culprit – Backpack Blowers!

In repeated surveys regarding the skills golf course superintendents need,
better communication skills continue to be mentioned at the top of the list among course officials. In numerous publications superintendents state that maintaining turfgrass is often the easiest part of their job. Interacting with people, particularly those on the board, is the most difficult. These two statements provide a great insight into the relationship between the superintendent and course officials.

Please let me take this opportunity to wish
each and every one of you, along with your families a sincere Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May you all enjoy good health and prosperity in the coming year.

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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.