May 2006

  • May 4, 2006
  • Written by Don Campbell

Latest injury report: My wife has gone to Vancouver for two weeks which means my legs are getting better or (and more likely) I’m a big pain in the butt and she needs a break. I hope she has fun!

The golf season is here. Golf courses in the province are generally in good shape. Some are in excellent condition, while others have had some winter injury mainly due to ice build-up. Also, I’ve heard some courses and parks particularly in the North East have major flooding problems.

Enclosed with this newsletter is an invoice for S.T.A. membership fees for the coming year. We would appreciate prompt payment so we know where we stand financially. To those that have already paid fees, we thank you.

I couldn’t believe the cost of Turf Equipment it takes to maintain a golf course. It must be a burden on some Clubs financial picture. I suppose rather than purchase, some Clubs are looking at leasing. All I can say is be careful and read the lease contract carefully. It may even be a good exercise to let a lawyer examine it. There are, however, a lot of good leasing companies out there.

With warm weather this summer, most golfers get thirsty and the nearest watering hole is always welcome. Make darn sure you have a clean water container with fresh water in it. These coolers can easily become contaminated which could lead to severe illness and even death. If you have a beer cart with bottled water on it, you could probably get rid of the water coolers.

I have a feeling we are going to have an abundance of mosquitoes this summer. I say this because of the many sloughs and standing water, especially in the bush. With this we must be aware of West Nile Virus. Don’t take chances, cover up and use insect spray. There are many good products in the market. Spraying yourself may save you from serious illness.

The S.T.A.’s next important event
will be the 2006 Research Tournament to be held at Grant Sawchyn’s golf course in North Battleford. Make sure you enter this, or better still, enter a team of Directors plus yourself. Members love to play in this event!

Congratulations to Terry McNeilly on being elected First Vice President of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association. Also, congratulations to Darren Crilly, named Saskatchewan Director of the C.G.S.A. This all happened at the Annual Meeting of the C.G.S.A. held in Vancouver in March 2006. Way to go guys and good luck in 2006.

An old respected greens superintendent from Winnipeg once told me that tee areas are an opportunity for a golf course to make 18 first impressions. With a little time, effort and a minimal amount of money, superintendents can make these initial impressions a round full of good ones. It’s up to the superintendents to create these using his or her expertise.

In a very short time geese will be messing up those courses with a lot of water hazards. They say the best way to get rid of them is with dogs. Seems geese do not like dogs and vice versa. Crows are a lot different, a shotgun may work the best.

Another threat, besides mosquitoes
, is Dutch Elm Disease. If leaves on your American Elm turn yellow, curl and turn brown in summer, this may be D.E.D. You can report this to the D.E.D. hotline at 1.800.727.5356. Some tips:
1. Do not use, store or transport elm wood. It’s illegal!
2. Water all your trees well, use sticky hands to protect them from cankerworm infestation.
3. Do not prune elm trees between mid April and the end of July. This is when the elm bark beetle is most active.
4. It may also be a good idea to hire a certified arborist to do your pruning.
Most of the plants we grow on our golf courses and in our Parks are beneficial and harmless. There are, however, a few that are a cause for concern. They are invasive and one which I’m familiar with is Purple Loosestrife. It is a fast growing and aggressive plant which has no predators or diseases in North America and has turned wetlands in to Purple Loosestrife monocultures. In 2002, there were approximately 100 Purple Loosestrife infestations in our natural areas within Saskatchewan.
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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.