November 2008

  • November 10, 2008
  • Written by Don Campbell

The STA Fall Wind-up and Annual General Meeting is approaching quickly. It’s at the Dakota Dunes Casino on Tuesday, December 2nd. Jim Ross from Olds Alberta will present the seminar: “Winter Protection”. This should be of interest to all Turf Managers in our province. Learn the latest in the protection of your golf course from snow moulds, desiccation and so on. The whole day should be enjoyable so plan on being there. The cost to STA members is $50.00 which covers the seminar, continental breakfast, lunch and the banquet.

Almost all the golf courses in the province have completed all their fall work. Greens are covered with tarps and topped with flax straw. Fungicide treatments have been applied. I wonder if the warm weather in late October and early November will have a negative effect on greens coming through the winter. Jim Ross could answer this at our Wind-up.

The Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association will contribute again to Turf Research in Canada. At the Fall Wind-Up on December 2nd we will present a cheque to Jim Ross who heads the Prairie Turf Research Center in Olds, Alberta. STA members – be proud of this. You are helping very worthy research projects across Canada.

This past year we had a very successful Research Tournament at Jackfish Lodge Golf Course in Cochin. By successful, I mean we raised over $2,500 for Turfgrass Research. I mention this because we are looking for a venue for next season. The date would be August 10th and if you or your club is interested, please contact me.

I have a new Fax machine so you will be able to fax me your registration for the Fall Wind-up. This replaced the old one which, with age, was just like me … impotent! Anyway, don’t delay – fax me your intentions. You can’t miss this seminar, believe me!

Consider this – If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation – you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

Why should superintendents walk the golf course?
First, as every manager knows, you cannot assess the course from your truck of golf cart. Greens and tees look pretty good from 50 feet while you’re driving 10 mph. Walking the course will improve your attention to detail greatly. Areas far from your path will scream for your attention. It isn’t a bad idea to walk with your green chairmen either.

We do countless things in our lives that are considered
preventative maintenance. We exercise a few hours a week, we regularly change the oil in our cars and we change the batteries in our smoke detectors. We are constantly doing something that reduces future problems. Preventative maintenance is also an integral part of the golf course maintenance. One essential practice, despised by golfers when applied to putting greens, is called aerification. Aerification achieves three important objectives – it relieves soil compaction, it provides a method to improve the soil mixture around the highest past of a green’s roots and it reduces or prevents the accumulation of excess thatch.

Professional Tour Player Nick Faldo says it is ironic that the most strategic golf course that he has ever played is the only one that wasn’t designed by man. He is talking about the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.

Back in the old days, if you were around in 1928 and played golf at Waterton Lake Park in Alberta, you would have putted on square “browns” (sand greens). They were later converted to square “greens”. It’s not for certain but I’d bet Joe Bloski would remember this.

Now is the time of the year to review your equipment inventory list and, more importantly, to update it. It is essential that all serial numbers are recorded, as well as the year and cost of acquisition. Consider also estimating the replacement cost and a record of all repairs made to each piece of equipment. Keep this away from your shop in a safe place. You never know when fire or vandals will strike. Your records will help the insurance company.

Visiting golf courses this summer, I found one glaring fault on most greens … the greens mower’s cutting heads being out of adjustment. In some cases the bedknife to reel setting was at fault and, more often, one side of the cutting head was lower than the other. On some triplex mowers all three cutting heads were set at different heights instead of one uniform height.

This summer I saw something I didn’t think I’ve ever witnessed before … a green that was built over an irrigation line. You guessed it – there was a break and after a couple of tries, the crew couldn’t match the existing grade after making the repairs. It would probably be easier to install a new line around the green.

I spoke to Jim Ross recently
regarding his upcoming seminar at Dakota Dunes in December. From the brief talk that we had, it will be a great presentation. This will be of interest to everyone and you’ve got to attend. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions too.

After the Fall Wind-up
the next important event will be the Saskatchewan Turfgrass Conference held in Saskatoon from March 22nd to the 24th, 2009. Registration forms are now available so take the time to fill it out and return it to me with your cheque or credit card number. The event will be held at T.C.U. Place (formerly the Saskatoon Centennial Auditorium), across the street from The Hilton Garden Inn, which is also the event’s host hotel.

The Saskatchewan Golf Association has a real problem attracting golfers to participate in Saskatchewan competitions. If they only knew the reason, they would correct it. I’ve always said competition improves golf courses and with improved course conditions we would have better players. My advice to the SGA is to keep plugging away and chances are things will turn around in the near future. Various clubs in the province have to step up to the plate by encouraging their good players to participate. The more people you have participating, the better the competition.

The host hotel for the Fall Wind-up will be the Colonial Square Motel, located at 1301 8th Street East. Their phone number is 343-1676. When calling, say you are with the Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association. They are holding 8 rooms until November 27th, so reserve early if you are planning to stay for a couple of nights.

More in this category: « October 2008 December 2008 »

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.

    Read more...