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First and foremost, I hope everyone and their families are safe and healthy.  I spent most of this winter worrying about potential ice damage from November thaws and rain, but somehow that doesn’t seem quite as important in the scheme of things right now.

Like most of the province, looking out the window to see that blanket of snow makes me realize that winter is on the way and it’s time to start the process of winter preparation.  Hopefully we will still get a couple weeks of decent golf weather or at least for course shutdown.

It seems like we were just preparing to open the golf courses and now fall is just around the corner.  Hopefully the weather this year will be more favourable than last year this fall.

We are hitting the dog days of August.  Days are getting shorter, students leaving 2 weeks earlier than promised at the start of the season, frost looming but also the end of what I hope was an extremely busy summer with lots of rounds played.

As we get into the summer months, we finally have received moisture over most of the province, with some getting too much too fast.  The Swift Current area received 3-4” of rain in just over an hour on June 18, and flooding occurred.  Chinook golf course was closed for 2 weeks.  In the Saskatoon area we had 3 1/2 “ of rain over 3 days with reports of 5” of rain in other areas.

Although northern parts of the province have had adequate moisture, most of the province is experiencing drought-like conditions, with Saskatoon experiencing the direst March, April and May in history.  With the drought comes low water levels in the South Saskatchewan River, with very low flow.  Some courses are having issues with leeches plugging sprinklers.  At Riverside we have cleaned the screens of all 1,400 heads already and are now having to go through them again.  We could all use a little rain.

As usual, the weather continues to be a focal point of conversation.  With early warm temperatures, news form around the province was an earlier start this year, with conditions being very favourable throughout the province.  The past two weeks have seen well below normal temperatures and very windy.  Saskatoon and surrounding area experienced the driest April in history.

The 2015 Fall Wind Up and AGM is now behind us.  People who were there tell me it was a success in terms of educational value and meeting with peers in the industry.  However the attendance left a lot to be desired and in fact it was disappointing.  For the record we had 53 attending; 22 superintendents; 11 greenkeepers; 5 speakers and 15 commercial delegates.  We have to do better and at the STA’s first meeting the two-day event will be reviewed.

The 2015 Fall Wind Up and AGM is fast approaching.  Everything including the Monday night social will be at the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club.  Dates are November 9th and 10th.

Fall is here and for most superintendents it’s not only a difficult time, but a very important time of the year.  The difficult time is the shortage of labour to do very important work in preparing the golf course or park for the winter months.

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.