February 2010

  • February 3, 2010
  • Written by Don Campbell

We finally got some snow, so much that the City of Saskatoon can’t get rid of it. A caller to a local radio station said we got so much the City can’t find the sand to spread at our intersections. The streets are treacherous here. Doug Campbell tells me his golf course has a good cover but it doesn’t prevent him from walking the golf course each Sunday.

I’ve heard numerous rumors this winter that Perdue Oasis will not open this summer and sadly, will cease operations. The superintendent there was Brandon McCormach. I’m sure Brandon will find another position in the golf industry sooner than later. It’s really too bad when a fairly new golf course shuts down. This joins the Saskatoon West as the only two that I’ve ever heard closing up shop.

I continue to hear from golfers complaining about the sand in bunkers.
When players fail to execute a perfect shot from a sand bunker, it is very rarely the fault of the person swinging the club. Sand is either too soft, too fluffy, too hard, too dry, too course, or too fine. I think this is the best ... the sand lacks consistency. Sand and bunkers, however, are an essential part of golf. Golfers can become quite unreasonable when discussing sand and bunkers.

It’s almost time to think about your 2010 STA membership fees. In early April you’ll receive an invoice billing your Club or Company for the fees. Please act on this invoice immediately to continue hearing from us on a monthly basis.

The Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show
will be held in Toronto from February 26th to March 2, 2010. The Trade Show will have more than 85 vendors, with products and services geared to golf courses. Also, there will be 12 pre-conference seminars and 30 education sessions on golf course management, leadership and more to help meet the golf course superintendents needs. The event will take place at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. You can register online at www.golfsupers.com/toronto2010.

On a weight for weight basis, caffeine is between 25 to 50 times more toxic than some of the most commonly used lawn herbicides. I wonder when the campaign to ban coffee will start, along with chocolate and soda pop. And another tidbit - many of the pesticides used today biodegrade rapidly, in some cases as quickly as several days.

The CGSA’s 2010 Fall Field Day will take place September 10th to the 13th,
hosted by the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and the Banff Springs Golf Club. The host superintendent is Robert Burrows who also is the Past President of the CGSA.

Big news for STA members - The CGSA is going to sponsor a very interesting educational seminar here in Saskatoon March 30, 2010. It takes place at the Riverside Country Club. The seminar will be conducted by Eddie Konrad. Cost for STA members will be $105.00 for the day. Non STA members’ registration will be $309.75 (includes GST).

Eddie Konrad worked at the Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto as the Head Mechanic for 23 years.
In 1992 Konrad became director of GETAC, the Golf Equipment Technicians Association of Canada until it merged with the CGSA in 2004. Presently, Konrad is a contract professor at Seneca College in Ontario, teaching reel technology and holding seminars for golf associations from coast to coast in Canada.

On March 29th, the evening prior to the seminar, the STA will have a social evening at Joe Dog’s Bar in Saskatoon. The STA will pick up the food bill while delegates will be responsible for their refreshments. This is similar to the social we had in Moose Jaw before the Fall Wind-up and at last year’s Turf Conference.

Registrations must go to the CGSA, along with your payment (via cheque, money order or credit card). You can also register online at www.golfsupers.com. The CGSA has our membership list so you can qualify for the subsidized registration fee. You can also pay at the door, but please register prior to the event.

At the top of the world, almost 400 miles above the Arctic Circle
, golfers need to be on top of their games when playing in the Drambuie World Ice Championship. Described as “like playing on the moon”, those teeing off at the tournament in March are most likely to yell “brrr” instead of “fore”. Temperatures hover around the minus 14 degree Fahrenheit mark. Putting surfaces are, naturally, called “whites” and are shaved prior to the event for true, fast putting. Laurie Unruh has the beer cart concession.

Water is the most common substance found on Earth. It is also one of the most precious. Without water, all of the living things on our planet would not be able to survive. Only about 3% of the water in the world is “fresh” water that can be used for drinking or irrigation for farms, parks, golf courses, etc. And listen to this - “About three-fourths of this fresh water is frozen in ice caps and glaciers”.

It certainly is amazing how many greenkeeping practices of today
originated with Old Tom Morris at St. Andrews in Scotland. Aerification practices can be traced back to St. Andrews. From topdressing with sand to rolling greens to increase smoothness and speed, Old Tom Morris pioneered many modern practices during his nearly 40 year tenure at St. Andrews, the home of golf. How many superintendents have taken time to create a standard operating procedure manual? Developed properly, the manual can be a real eye opener for most golfers to see what you do during the course of a week. It shows a level of professionalism and planning, and also explains what procedures you do and why you do them. Two of the best I’ve seen were developed here in Saskatoon.

I’ve published this 2 or 3 times before and I’m going to remind you again
. Hopefully a lot of you will be attending the CGSA Seminar in late March. Here are some tips to get the most from this important seminar:

  • Listen attentively and take brief but accurate notes
  • Share your relevant experience with friends.
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand. The only bad question if the one not asked.
  • Give and receive feedback, when requested, in a positive and constructive manner.
  • Be considerate regarding the needs and opinions of others.
  •  Enter discussions with enthusiasm. You will gain from the program only as much as you put into it.

In closing, please plan to attend the CGSA sponsored seminar March 30th
at the Riverside Country Club in Saskatoon. Don’t forget the STA Social, March 29th at Joe Dog’s. It will be a great evening!

More in this category: « January 2010 March 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.