Friday, June 20, 2014


When we started the bunker project there were some questions if the new bunkering would save us money after a storm. We had 1" of rain last night. These 2 photos speak volumes! The first bunker is on the South golf course. All of the bunkers on the South need to be pumped out this morning. Most of the rain water from last night's storm has soaked in, now we have to pump this water out of the bunker and it has to have time to soak into the turf. In some situations this surface will delay carts from leaving the paths.

On the North course they still have to pump the bunkers on the 9 holes that are not renovated. However this is a photo of the bunkers that have been renovated and they too received 1" of rain. Not much to do to them but rake them!

Carts Traffic

The new carts are very nice to drive and they do accelerate very quickly. We have noticed a lot of marks on the fairways from golfers taking fast turns and stopping to quickly. As a driver of a cart you have to be aware that bad driving quickly results in damage to the turf. Please be mindful of that and turn slower and take the time to slow down rather than just slamming on the brakes. Thank you.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cold, Hard Winter Effects

It is now the middle of June and the effects of the cold, hard winter are really starting to show what the effects Mother Nature can have on our plant community. Across the entire central Iowa area it is amazing to see how many dead trees and landscape plants there are. A lot of this was a 2 stage setup. We went into the winter in a drought situation, many landscape areas are very confined on how they get their water. If you didn't water this gardens or areas many of them really just freeze dried over the winter.

Here at DMGCC we had 2 such areas. The boulevard below the pro shop and the walkway to the tennis building. Both of these areas are very restricted for good root growth because of the concrete around them. It really never occcured to me that we should be giving these plants extra water last fall. Then we went into a deep freeze that we have not seen for several years. The effects of the cold really took their toll on these landscape areas.

On the golf course we had many trees that have died or are not doing well. We have given them ample enough time to leaf out and many of them will not do so. So over the next couple of weeks you will be seeing us removing all of these dead or dying trees. Please be patient with us, we have many items on our plate right now but we will be getting to them as soon as we can.

You will also notice that the nature grass planting areas that we have around the golf course are suffering. Many of these landscape grasses are warm season grasses with very extensive root systems. Even though they have a vast expanse of roots, with the deep freeze that we had in the soil, many of the these grasses did not survive. If there is 1 little sprig of grass coming up it will regenerate over the next year or two. We are not ignoring these areas but giving them a chance to survive also.

This is one example of a area where some of them are doing ok and some are showing some sign of recovery.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Baby Swans and Bluebirds

This morning we had our baby Mute Swan hatch. They are called cygnets. The hen on the North Course has laid 4 eggs so we should see the others hatch out real soon. We were really worried about them with the storm last night but the water stayed far enough from the nest that they made it.

We have had a huge success with our bluebird nest boxes. Our Administrative Assistant Mark Sparland has done a wonderful job taking care of the nesting boxes the past 2 years. We have fledged several bluebirds in our nest boxes this year. It takes someone who is very diligent each and every week to clean boxes out of unwanted nests. Mark deserves a lot of credit for the success of our program.

Here are 2 photos of eggs in one box and baby bluebirds in another box.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ash Trees and Emerald Ash Borer

If you follow the local news you have seen numerous reports about Emerald Ash Borer and it's destructive nature. This little pest is causing millions of dollars in damage to our trees and to our neighborhoods. Here at DMGCC we have a good population of ash trees. About a month ago a sub-committee was formed to look at and identify ash trees that are integral to our golf courses and ones the sub-committee felt should be treated and protected. Also golf course architect Tim Liddy has looked at those recommendations and has helped us with some of the decision making. The sub-committee, Green and Golf Committee and the Board of Directors all agreed that these trees should be protected.

The method of protection that we decided upon is injecting the tree with a product called Tree-Age (pronounced Triage). This injection treatment last 2 full years and it also protects the tree against other borers that do destructive things to ash trees. Iowa State University gives you a recommendation not to treat trees until the pest is 15 miles, however I spoke with our State of Iowa Entomologist and she felt that once a infestation of EAB is found, it has been there for a couple of years already. So chances are EAB is closer than you think and we felt that we needed to protect our investment here at DMGCC now rather than taking a wait and see attitude.

Over the next several weeks you will see members of the Greens Department working around some of our ash trees. While this product is a restricted use insecticide, the method that we are using is very safe and poses no risk to our golfers. Our staff members have been trained in the correct method of injection and it really is interesting to see the product go into the tree to protect against EAB.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Golf Carts parking off of paths

Do you park like this at home?

Please do not do this at the golf course.

Cart paths at the Club are 8’ wide so a 40” wide golf cart can remain on them easily.
It’s early in the season and there is already a lot of wear along the paths at the tees and greens.
Please keep your cart on the path around all green and tee complexes. Thank you!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Audubon Re-Certification Visit

As many of you know we have been an Audubon Certified Golf Course since August of 2007. Part of the continuing participation in the program is getting re-certified every 2 years. There are many ways that a golf course can achieve this designation.

This year we were required to find someone outside of our golf course to come in and rate/grade/judge us on our efforts in the Audubon Program. Another part of the program is Outreach and Education of the public as much as we can. Thinking about those 2 subjects I asked Neric Smith, Landscape and Turfgrass Instructor at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa if he had a group of students that might like to visit our facility. This visit would serve twofold, they would learn about our efforts in the Audubon program and they could judge our efforts and write a report for our re-certification efforts.

Last Thursday the group arrived on site and we spent about 3 hours touring both golf courses, the club house landscape area and the maintenance facility. It was a great visit for me, I had the opportunity to talk to a very enthusiastic group of young men that wanted to learn but they also offered suggestions. It was a lot of fun to have them onsight to learn about Des Moines Golf and Country Club and to see our conservation efforts and how we are maintaining our Audubon program.

Showing them the pesticide area and talking about underground storage tanks.

Showing the students the TDR Meter and explaining how our staff uses them each day.

Last minute pose in front of the front entrance sign.