March 2010

  • March 1, 2010
  • Written by Don Campbell

March is here and spring will follow shortly. As you get a little older or mature you hate winter, and if you can’t get out of here you become a grouchy old man. What we have to look forward to is the CGSA sponsored seminar, featuring Eddie Konrad. It will take place March 30th at the Riverside Country Club in Saskatoon.

The title of this Seminar is “The Cutting Edge - The Importance Of Proper Equipment Maintenance”. This seminar will feature numerous topics of interest to ensure that your turf looks its best. Don’t delay - register immediately. STA members fees are $105.00 which includes GST. The STA is subsidizing the registration fee for our members.

Read this - it’s important! If your assistant or mechanic or someone who repairs your equipment submits the $80.00 STA membership fee to me prior to March 30th, he or she will be eligible for the subsidized rate, as well as becoming a member of the STA. A non-member pays $310.00 for the seminar, so if you take advantage of this offer you’ll save $125.00. You’ll lose money if you don’t take advantage of this.

By attending the upcoming seminar I guarantee your club will get 7 times the registration fee on savings on your equipment repair bill next season. This seminar is a must for everyone and your club will only benefit from your attendance. Eddie Konrad is a contract professor at Seneca College and holds seminars for Golf Associations from coast to coast in Canada.

On the Monday evening prior to the Tuesday seminar,
the STA will be hosting a social at the Joe Dog’s Sports Bar on 2nd Ave. The bar is located next to the Patricia Hotel. It’s the same bar where we enjoyed ourselves back in March of 2009 during the Saskatchewan Turfgrass Conference. You are responsible for your drinks, the STA will sponsor the food and be responsible for the cocktail waitresses.

Each delegate is responsible for their own hotel room.
I wouldn’t stay at the “Pat” because, with Joe Dog’s being so close, you might be late for the seminar at Riverside the next day. There are lots of hotel and motel rooms in Saskatoon.

I urge all of you to attend this seminar. I’m really excited about it. This event is what a number of our members wanted ... well here it is! It’s a “can’t miss”. Everything will be done by 4:45pm so everyone can get home at a decent hour.

Flipping through television channels the other night, I stopped long enough on the comedy one to hear this quote from the comedian: “Never have so many poorly skilled people spent more money on an activity that makes them swear and hate themselves. This is probably true at every golf course in North America”.

Quality, affordable golf is what’s going to attract people to the game. Affordable golf means building a golf course that doesn’t charge $50.00 per 18 hole round. Expensive green fees are always the cause for decreased rounds, particularly when the economy goes south. They say Alister MacKenzie made golf an art form ... Robert Trent Jones made it a business and Jack Nicklaus among others made it (golf) expensive.

Good superintendents will tell you successful working relationships between yourself and Board Members, Club Managers and golfers is a result of quality communications and hard work. Remember - identifying, cultivating and expanding communication opportunities will result in good relationships. This communication should be a vital, daily objective for the golf course superintendent and course maintenance staff.

A tip - Don’t keep old gasoline in storage. Keep only a 60-70 day supply on hand, so you’ll have the proper blend for your weather conditions. If there is old gasoline left in a machine, drain it out and mix it in with a larger quantity of fresh fuel. One of the best ways to use old gasoline is to put it into a car or truck with a smart computer and fuel injection system that automatically compensates for varying fuel characteristics.

Did you know that sharp blades reduce the load on mowing equipment? The engine doesn’t have to work as hard and bearings and belts don’t have to transfer as much power. The result is a longer-lived machine that needs less frequent “crisis-repairs”. A mower with sharp blades can also maintain a higher ground speed while producing a high quality mowing surface, which means less time mowing.

This winter many golf clubs will ponder and discuss changes to their golf course. It would be worth your while to call on someone who is familiar with golf course renovations. This will save time and money. If you think you can do it yourself cheaper, you’re not going to get the job done and are better off leaving everything alone. Getting good or low-handicap golfers to design renovations will be the biggest mistake you’ll make. While these people mean well they haven’t the proper experience to do the job right.

Next month you will receive your membership fee invoice. When you submit your cheque for fees, please send me your email address. This will enable me to provide you with more information than you receive with newsletters. I promise I won’t use it for jokes unless they are golf related and funny. I’m looking forward to the Eddie Konrad Seminar March 30th, 2010. I hope to see a good number of members attending. Pre-registration at this point is poor which really disappoints me. Guys, you and your club cannot afford to miss this seminar ... it will be that informative!

Here’s a tidbit I found in my day-timer, written back in 1969 and that still holds true today. From time to time golf courses will be visited by a salesman who claims to have a wonder product that he claims will render all other well researched products useless. These people were around in the 1950’s and are still around today. All I say is beware. If the product isn’t well researched by a respected company, stay away from it.

Some say it’s an unappealing chore, but most will tell you that cup cutting is one of the most important tasks in golf course maintenance. Nobody, from superintendents to golfers, wants to see a flagstick tilting like the leaning Tower of Pisa. “Next to keeping up the greens, it’s one of the most important things we do”, says Lynn Richert, superintendent of Angushire GC in St. Cloud, Minn, who prefers to cut cups herself.

Reading a 2001 issue of “The Turf Plug” which is the official publication of the Alberta Turfgrass Research Foundation, I found: a) Urea still seems to be one of the best fertilizers. b) Poa annua is not the dreaded weed that it was once considered to be. c) Fairy Ring control continues to be an uphill battle. I wonder if there are any changes in the above comments after 9 years.

I hope to see at least 75 of our members at the March 30th spring seminar.
Make every effort to attend and meet many of your colleagues at the Monday night social at Joe Dog’s Sports Bar. If you have any questions, email me or pick up the phone and dial 343-8142. 

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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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