October 2007

  • October 11, 2007
  • Written by Don Campbell

The S.T.A. 2007 Fall Wind-up and Annual General Meeting will be held at the Dakota Dunes Casino’s “The Room” November 27th 2007. The Wind-up seminar will feature Dr. David Doherty whose topic will be “Physical Properties of Soils”. We were very lucky to get this gentleman and a big thank you has to go to Darren Crilly and Terry McNeilly for their efforts in bringing Dr. Doherty to Saskatoon.

On September 27th the Saskatchewan Turfgrass Association, headed by President Doug Leavins, had their fall Board Meeting in Saskatoon. Among items discussed were, of course, the Fall Wind-up and A.G.M., a spring seminar series March 18th and 19th 2008, the 2008 Research Tournament August 11, 2008 and the C.G.S.A. Turf Conference and Trade Show held March 2008 in Calgary.

Frost delay season is here. This is among the most contentious issue a green superintendent will encounter during the season. Communication is the key along with educating the golfers on the dangers of damaging the turf by playing on frost covered turf. You can do this by making yourself available for any questions golfers nay have. Remember golfers are an impatient lot.

Did you know the growth of trees around your golf course causes profound change over the years! Playing strategy, sun & shade relationships, air movement, frost problems, drainage problems and exposed roots also emerge as factors as trees grow and expand. Tree maintenance as an ongoing management practice is slim to none at many golf courses. Would this make a great spring seminar? You could call it “Tree Maintenance in Parks, Golf Courses, Towns and Cities”. I’ll bet we’d have a great attendance!

What a wonderful fall it’s been so far – I hope it goes right into November. With the lengthened season some Golf Clubs could catch up on revenues which were lost to rainy weather. It’s also nice to blow irrigation lines as you can take your time to make sure it’s done right, without freezing your fingers.

Here are a few facts about water – It freezes at 0oC (32oF), boils at 100oC (212oF) and weighs about 8.3 lbs per gallon. We humans need 2.5 quarts of water every day. This can be found in liquids we drink and the food we eat. It also means 10 or 20 beer never hurt anyone.

I just read this one – It takes 3,000 cows to supply the National Football League with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs. I’m missing something here because I always thought they called the football the “pigskin”.

And here is one that’s sometimes forgotten. A good Greens Chairman represents the golf course superintendent and the golf courses requirements to the membership, the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. A good Greens Chairman also carries feedback to the golf course superintendent and the maintenance team while representing the members and the needs of the golf course superintendent.

I just received congratulations to the S.T.A. for choosing Dr. David Doherty
as the feature speaker at our Fall Wind-up November 27th 2007 at Dakota Dunes Casino. This came from a friend of mine who is a long time superintendent in the U.S.A. He says Dr. Doherty will captivate our audience and people who can’t be there will miss out on one of the very best seminars he has attended. This is an endorsement to mark this date on your calendar.

A United States federal study failed to show any connection between high rates of breast cancer on Long Island, New York and the pesticides that were once widely used in that area. The study by the National Cancer Institute also found the correlation between cancer rates and other pollutants such as car exhaust and cigarette smoke was only very, very slight.

I’ve had a tough time preparing this Newsletter, so consequently I’ve had to read a truck load of material. I’ve learned two especially important facts (well, maybe three). On the old two dollar Canadian bill the flag flying over the Parliament Building was an American flag. Laurie Unruh had hair once upon a time and didn’t learn to talk until he was twelve. Peanuts are one of ingredients in dynamite. So if you eat a lot of peanuts and smoke… I’m not going to go there!

An insect that goes after Ash trees has made its way from Asia (via a packing crate) to Ontario. Some areas in Ontario and the mid-west United States are losing ash trees at an alarming rate. The culprit is the emerald ash borer, a slender metallic green beetle that grows up to one-half inch in length. The pest bores through the bark of ash trees and deposits its larvae which feed on the inner bark, disrupting the trees ability to transport water and nutrients. If left untreated, the trees face certain death. If treated with “imidacloprid” they still will probably die. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has spent $100 million on research linked to treating against the ash borer.

There’s a golf course in Death Valley, California, the lowest spot on the planet at 282 feet below sea level! During the summer months temperatures rarely dip below 120oF. Its name is Furnace Creek – appropriate, I’d say. I wonder if they’re open in the summer months. I also wonder if they have a beer cart?

It wasn’t too long ago that golf was a resource wasting, toxic polluting, wildlife destroying, even racist and generally pointless activity for the wealthy and uncaring elite. During droughts, misguided “worst first” watering bans killed courses while car washes happily dumped millions of gallons a day into sewers. In the 1980’s it began to turn around. Research found golf courses posed very little threat to the ground waters and especially to wild life. What really changed attitudes was the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. This enabled a way for courses to toot their environmental horns.

Denis Jeanneau, head mechanic at the Riverside Country Club in Saskatoon, gave this tip – dirt and chaff are easily trapped in the passages between radiator fins. These passages should be cleaned out on a regular basis. Machines used in dirty conditions or amid airborne grass clippings should be equipped with a radiator screen to reduce plugging.

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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.