October 2008

  • October 2, 2008
  • Written by Don Campbell

The end of the season is fast approaching. Some of the busier Clubs are aerating greens and topdressing. The fungicide program is speeding up with the added frequency of applications. Shortly, irrigation lines will be blown. Take your time with this important function to make sure all water is removed. If you have experienced any problems with your pump or motor, remove it this fall and have it repaired. Don’t wait until the spring. The same holds true for sprinkler heads. After removing them make sure the openings leading to the water lines are capped for the winter.

The STA Board of Directors met in Saskatoon on October 7th. Items discussed included the date and site of the Annual General Meeting. Also on the agenda was the 2009 Saskatchewan Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show. The dates for this event have been set. All important information will be posted on the website and in the coming newsletters.

Some Clubs and Parks may be doing some minor improvements to their property this fall. Again, I say take your time and do the project correctly. If you need some input, contact your architect or a neighboring superintendent if the project is smaller. It could be, however, that you have a staff shortage. If you do, you’re not alone. People all over the province in various businesses are experiencing this shortage. Young people do not seem to have any responsibility when it comes to a job. It seems they figure they deserve any position and that work place rules mean nothing.

Like John Ball told us at our spring seminar, it is very important to thoroughly water trees in the fall. Pay particular attention to the evergreens and cedars to prevent desiccation. If there are some unwanted or diseased trees on your property, late fall is the time to take them down. If people complain that their favorite tree is gone you can tell them “windy” got it. That’s the same you should give your chain saw. You could also call it “lightning” … particularly if you must wait until spring.

I just finished reading the 100 year history of the Royal Montreal Golf Club. This Club was formed in 1873, the first in North America. It was formed by a group of eight men - probably immigrants from Scotland. In 1884, permission was granted from Queen Victoria to use the prefix and to be officially named the Royal Montreal Golf Club.

Just read about this “faux pas” in a local paper. The groundskeeper at the Reiting Golf Club near Graz in Austria did a fine job of covering the course with fertilizer. “Our greens staff did not miss one spot” said Anita Mikesch, the club president. “They work carefully and diligently”. Pity should go to those ordering the fertilizer “Kick” for failing to realize that they instead had taken delivery of the industrial-strength pesticide “Click”. All the grass died and the golf course closed. It will cost at least $700,000 to get it in shape to play again.

Hopefully all members have reviewed the brochure mailed to you regarding our 2009 Turf Conference and Trade Show. This will be in Saskatoon in mid-March. The reason we mailed it early was to let you prepare your Club to send you to this educational event and view the latest on Turf Equipment. If you have any particular subject you would like to hear, please contact me (Don Campbell) by phone, letter or email. We will do our best to accommodate you.

Some golf courses are having a real problem renting air compressors to blow out their irrigation lines. This is probably due to the construction boom in the province. Reserving a rental compressor a few months in advance doesn’t work anymore. If they’ve got one, you can rent it … or in other words, you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time.

There is an old guy in Pennsylvania that gets his exercise in a unique way. He waits for his golf course pond to freeze over and, once frozen, he drills holes through the ice and fishes for golf balls with a homemade clam digger. Each winter he picks about 3000 golf balls. He cleans them up which I imagine if difficult and gives them away.

A tip on spraying fungicide on greens and tees this fall.
Make sure you have a clean sprayer and check to make sure you have the correct nozzle size. A nozzle that emits a course spray is not effective for a fungicide program, especially if you are spraying a contact fungicide. It is important you have a fine spray that will cling to the leaf.

Saskatchewan was well represented at the CGSA’s Fall Field Day at Collingwood, Ontario. Everyone played well and had a great time. All said that the golf courses in the area were in superb condition and really fun to play.

Now is a good time to walk around your golf course or park and inspect your trees. You may find some are in danger of seriously injuring people. Broken branches are real dangers and most likely will fall in the spring. If you do this it will demonstrate your concern for the people who are enjoying your facility.

And here is one that is sometimes forgotten – A good Greens Chairman represents the golf course superintendent and the golf course requirements to the membership, the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The Chairman carries feedback to the golf course superintendent and the maintenance team. The Greens Chairman’s role is a delicate balance between representing the members and representing the needs of the course superintendent.

Concentrate on this one
– One way to produce instead of procrastinate is to make a list. Getting started on any project, particularly a large one, is the difficult part. To help motivate yourself at the beginning, write down everything that needs to be done in order to complete the task. Then pick a starting point. It works … believe me.

As I’ve mentioned in the September newsletter, we had a very successful 2008 Research Tournament which raised over $3000 for Turfgrass Research. A special thanks has to go to the Golf Clubs who couldn’t attend and saw fit to send a contribution. Also, a big thanks to our Commercial Friends who always support the STA in each of our endeavors. We especially want to mention Consolidated Turf Equipment (Gene Sears and Roy Taylor) for their contribution of $500 to help us achieve our goal in supporting Turfgrass Research. A big thank you to everyone!

Here is a basic rule when using water to clean your equipment. I know I’ve mentioned this before but I just witnessed a disaster watching a neighbor wash his lawn mower before putting it away. The water cleanup will cost him about $800. Never squirt water on a hot machine. The blast of the water could fracture hot parts, especially as in the case of my neighbor. Very expensive parts like cylinder heads and intake and exhaust manifolds could be damaged. Better to have a dirty machine than on destroyed. Many machinery problems are caused by water getting into places it does not belong.

I’ve come across a booklet
the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s Greens Sections published for the Golf Course Green Chairman, outlining his or her duties and functions. It’s a helpful tool in understanding a green superintendent’s problems, duties, etc. It does not attempt to make turf managers of Golf Club Executives. This handbook is available from the RCGA.

The 2008 STA Annual Meeting will be held Tuesday, December 2nd. The site will be announced on the website, as well as the following newsletter, as soon as we secure a venue. 

More in this category: « September 2008 November 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.

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