From the Golf Course
This is my first correspondence with you as your new Director of Grounds; I assumed my position November 1. My name is Rick Tegtmeier, and for the past 17 years I have been the golf course superintendent at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. prior to that I was here at DMGCC as the north golf course superintendent for 7 years. I am very happy and proud to be back at DMGCC and I realize I have a big void to fill with the departure of Bill Byers after 40+ years here. I will do my best to maintain and exceed what Bill has started.
I am a native Iowan; growing up in Rockford, Iowa. between Mason City and Charles City. I got into the golf course management business at 13 years old and have been at it ever since. I attended Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo and while working at DMGCC the first time around took some night and off campus classes at Iowa State. I am 47 years young and have been married to a wonderful lady named Sherry for 22 years. She is from the Carlisle area so this is a return home for her also. We have 3 children. Lynette a junior in finance at UNI and her husband Josh who is in the Marine Corps stationed in Japan (We did the Iraq thing once). Our son Nate is staying in Cedar Rapids to attend turf management school at Kirkwood Community College and Eric our 14 year old moved with us and is attending school in Waukee. We have moved into a home in Urbandale and look forward to many great years here.
This is the first of many communications you are going to see from the Green and Grounds Department. Once familiar with operations and systems at the Club I will try to use many avenues to tell you what is happening on the golf course, around the clubhouse and even offering some homeowner lawn tips. These ideas might come in the form of an email, a short video instructing you on the proper procedure for how to do something or even a just a before and after picture. I am very computer literate and I look forward to informing you about the way we would like to do things at DMGCC.
To update you on a few items: if you were to play right now, you will see a lot of white residue/powder on fairways and tees. First off, this product is not harmful to you. It is Gypsum or as we refer to it; Calcium Sulfate. Here at DMGCC we irrigate with water out of the Jordan Aquifer. Our well is over 2,800 feet deep. The water has a very high amount of sodium and to counter act the effects of the sodium, gypsum is applied to the turf. To make it simple the sodium is replaced in the soil molecule with calcium and the sulfur is combined with the sodium and leeched out of the soil. We have to apply high amounts of the product for it to be beneficial so it will be done in the fall and spring.
On the North course, Superintendent Aaron Porter and his crew are very busy doing some fall projects. They have been rebuilding bunker faces, sodding worn areas and installing new irrigation to the back nine fairways, which is quite an undertaking. So far they have completed 16, 17 and 18. They will be doing 13 and 14 next week.
The South course Superintendent Greg Willman and his staff are doing similar sodding projects and next Tuesday they will begin cart path renovation work. We plan to remove the old asphalt cart paths sections on holes 2, 3, 4 and 5. These will be removed with a skid loader and then we have a company coming in to do the concrete work using a slip form paver. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and everything can be completed in a couple of weeks. Greg’s crew has also been responsible for working on the new short game practice area and we have a moderate stand of turf on the new fairway. A very cold October has delayed the turf growth in that area. I hope we have good snow cover and a warm spring to enhance growth in that area. We have shaped in a couple of new fairway bunkers and we hope to complete them before the winter sets in.
One change that you can look forward to next year is the use of seed and soil containers on the golf carts. You the golfer are the ones that take a divot and are responsible for fixing it properly. First priority is to always replace that divot. But for divots that have been fractured or where you have one that can not be replaced you will have some material to help in the healing of that divot. Before next spring we will have clear methods that we would like you to do to help take of the golf course. Divots and ball marks are made by the golfer and taking care of them are the golfer’s first priority when playing.
Once again, thank you and I look forward to a long career here at the club. But more importantly I look forward to giving you turf conditions that you expect at a fine country club such as this.
Rick Tegtmeier, CGGC
Director of Grounds