October 2012

  • October 5, 2012
  • Written by Don Campbell

Our next big event will be the Fall Windup and Annual General Meeting November 6th at the Riverside Country Club in Saskatoon, SK. The cost will be $50.00 which includes the Seminar, Continental Breakfast and the Banquet.

The end of the season is fast approaching. Some clubs are aerating greens, tees and topdressing. The fungicide program is speeding up with the added frequency of applications. Later on in October the irrigation system will be blown. Air compressors are hard to come by this year and I wish everyone luck in trying to rent one. If you plan any repairs to your irrigation pump or motor, get it done this fall. Don’t wait until spring. The same goes for sprinkler heads. When you remove them, make sure you cap the risers leading to the water lines for the winter.

You must remember this one —
When a decision is made for an existing course to undergo major renovations, many factors must be considered and researched to facilitate a smooth renovation in a timely manner. When a golf course is renovated by people lacking in experience, major damage could very easily occur to the non-renovated portions of the course.

I need nominations for the Dr. Drew Smith Member of the Year award. If you have anyone in mind, please submit his or her name to me by email, fax, or phone. To qualify for the award the nominee must be:

  • A member of the STA in good standing
  • Dedicated to the turfgrass industry and our association
  • Willing to help his fellow superintendents
  • Able to show the utmost in professionalism


Most of the golf courses that I’ve talked to have had solid years
with excellent course conditions and good green fee revenue. One thing I’ve found, golf is sure affordable in our province. I’ve also found many superintendents are underpaid, especially those that have some Turf Care education.

I know I’ve said this before but I must remind you of some very important late fall work to your equipment.
Make sure to check coolant strength in all radiators and also thoroughly check all water and hydraulic hoses. Replace any troublesome hoses this fall, not in the spring because you’ll probably forget. Later on when you are putting your equipment away until next spring grease all zerks to purge any moisture away from any bearing surfaces. Another winter preparation tip is to change oil in all engines to prevent engine bearings from getting pitted due to the acid found in dirty oil. Run the engine after the oil change to allow the oil to reach all bearing surfaces.

At our Annual General Meeting the even numbered zones will be up for election plus the Northern Commercial Director. These include:

  • Zone 2—Doug Campbell
  • Zone 4—Kyle Kellgren
  • Zone 6—Dean Hildebrandt
  • Zone 8—Lach Reeve
  • Commercial North Director—Kevin Bloski

If any of you would like to serve on the STA Board of Directors or know of anyone please give me a call. I will pass the names to Nominating Chairman Doug Leavins who is preparing a slate.


The highlight for me this summer was getting inducted into the Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame. This was a great honour for me. The evening was first class all the way and our STA’s four tables of green superintendents added to this special event. I learned that our members have good looking wives and on this special occasion all in their finery looked especially nice.

Just recently a close friend of mine passed away from that awful disease called cancer. After being diagnosed, she was gone in less than a month. I’ve had some difficult tasks in my life, but giving the Eulogy at her funeral ranks as the most difficult. I was however, honoured the family asked me to do it. I hope my eulogy did her justice.

I’m still getting good comments from those members who participated in our Research Tournament at Rosthern. All remarked how much fun they had or what a fun golf course to play. Also everyone remarked on the very good condition of the golf course. Kent Plumer has done a very good job in Rosthern. They are lucky to have him.

Just read about Disease-resistant elms are the aim of Canadian Research. Scientists at the University of Guelph are cloning elm trees they believe are resistant to Dutch Elm Disease. This, of course, is a fungus which has devastated the North American elm tree population. Their work features a method that is first of it’s kind for replicating elms that have survived the onslaughr of the European tree sickness. Dr. Praveen Saxene, the head of the University’s research project, developed a nutrient enriched gel to help cloned disease-resistant elms grow.

The Canadian Internation Turfgrass Conference and Tradeshow will be held January 25th to 29th, 2013 in Toronto at the Sheraton Centre Hotel. Plan on attending this event as it looks to me like this will be a good one. You’ll see the latest in Turf Equipment and from what I can tell, some first-rate educational sessions that will interest everyone.

I applaud a British Columbia government committee who after extensively reviewing pesticides
says it won’t call for a ban on the use of pesticides. They came to the conclusion there is not enough evidence to justify such a ban. Barbara Kaminsky CEO Canadian Cancer Society BC and Yukon says the ruling will not protect all BC children from being exposed to unnecessary chemicals and possible carcinogens. She, along with the NDP people, have suddenly become experts on the Pesticide issue. Both should concentrate on raising more money for research in the treatment of cancer.

I hope everyone’s trees and shrubs are well watered going into this winter. If they have been well watered stop now so they may prepare for winter. Trees and shrubs, well watered, won’t suffer from winter dessication. Also remember that underwatered trees are susceptible to attack from disease and pest problems.

Most green superintendents will tell you one of the most important tasks on a golf course is cup cutting.
Some superintendents do this themselves, which they say gives them the chance to inspect each green and unfortunately repair ball marks. Most superintendents say that keeping up the greens is an important and necessary chore to do it right. Nobody from superintendents to golfers want to see a flag stick leaning like that structure in Italy, or placed on a side of a mound or hill.

People who worry about Pesticides or are seeking an outright ban fail to realize or even want to know or believe that cancer rates have actually dropped over the past 50 years. Stomach cancer has dropped more than 75% while rectal cancer has dropped by more than 65% and here’s one, there are 2 billion more songbirds than there were in the late 16th Century.

“What is good maintenance worth?”
You will consistently find that better playing conditions increase desire to play plus higher green fee revenues. Courses that spend more on maintenance are those that command higher green fees.

Visual aids such as multi coloured flags, yardage markers 200 yards in, and stimp meter readings should be eliminated from the game. These aids eliminate a portion of the game that is still practiced in Great Britain and other countries. Golf requires a person to think, feel and observe before going through the physical mtions of striking a golf ball.

Here is three tidbits for you to mull over.

  • #1 Do you know there is no such thing as “Tee Boxes”. The correct term according to the United States Golf Association is “Teeing Ground”.
  • #2 American Society of Golf Course Architects former President John LaFoy says “I’ve seen more golf courses improved by hurricanes than by Green Committees”. 
  • #3 Golf Course Architects main goal is to balance golf course design so that the average or even the poor player can enjoy a hole, and the scratch golfer or professional still face a challenge. The most obvious way to accomplish this goal has been to create an array of teeing grounds.


According to J.B (Jim) Beard more than 70% of golf course acreage is rough and non-play area. The area includes turf grasses, trees and water features. Grasses, flowers, shrubs, trees and water make up secondary rough and perimeter area. This integrated landscape can support a diverse wildlife population.

I read somewhere that golf is a game board.
The game was formed around three points—the strategic, heroic, and peneal aspects. Trouble is 90% of golfers don’t know they exist.

Don’t forget to register early for the Fall Wind-Up and Annual General Meeting at the Riverside Country Club
in Saskatoon November 6th, 2012. I must know the number attending for room set-up and the Banquet. If I tell them a number and we don’t meet it we pay. If we have more we will run out of food, so let me know.

That’s it for this month.
Good luck with all your winter preparation!

More in this category: « September 2012 November 2012 »

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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