Thursday, January 5, 2023

 Newest Addition to our golf course family.

Her name is Della and she is a Border Collie


She will arrive here around the first week of March. She is a fully trained worker to help us keep our goose problems under control. She will be riding with Nate on the North Course or with Mitch on the South Course. We look forward to her working with us.

If you don't know what a Border Collie breed does, here is a good description.

A remarkably bright workaholic, the Border Collie is an amazing dog'¿maybe a bit too amazing for owners without the time, energy, or means to keep it occupied. These energetic dogs will settle down for cuddle time when the workday is done. Borders are athletic, medium-sized herders standing 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder. The overall look is that of a muscular but nimble worker unspoiled by passing fads. Both the rough coat and the smooth coat come in a variety of colors and patterns. The almond eyes are the focus of an intelligent expression'¿an intense gaze, the Border's famous 'herding eye', is a breed hallmark. On the move, Borders are among the canine kingdom's most agile, balanced, and durable citizens. The intelligence, athleticism, and trainability of Borders have a perfect outlet in agility training. Having a job to perform, like agility'¿or herding or obedience work'¿is key to Border happiness. Amiable among friends, they may be reserved with strangers.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

      New for the 2023 golf season we have purchased new golf carts from EZGO. They are the same great Freedom RXV golf cart with some major changes for us. First instead of the lead acid batteries that we have used for the last 20 years in our fleet carts, new for 2023 will be the lithium-ion batteries. The new system also allows us many more benefits on the maintenance side of the business to monitor the fleet to make sure everything is operating in tip top performance. If you would like to read about the battery system and all the advantages, they offer you can go here: EZGO Freedom RXV

All 130 golf carts that we ordered will have windshields on them for you to us. You will always have a windshield in your cart to use in inclement weather. Also new in 2023 will be the addition of GPS to all the golf carts. EZGO call this their Pace Technology. The new technology will enhance the player experience. We will have the ability geofence areas that we do not want golfers to drive their carts in. We will no longer be using the red stakes to guide you entering and exiting the golf hole. You will see the colored geofenced area on your screen and you will just have to not drive into that area, otherwise your cart will shut down and you will be required to back up out of this area.While we do not currently know which of the Pace Technology items we will be using in the future you can read about them here: EZGO Pace Technology

The player experience also can see where the flag is located on the putting surface. We will no longer be using the red, white, and blue colored flags that we have used in the past. New for 2023 will be a single-colored flag for each golf course. The South course will have a white flag with a red border and the North course will have a white flag with a blue colored border. Both flags will have the DMG logo in the center with Mr. Dye’s signature underneath the logo. Also, both courses will be using a black and white flag stick. With 65% of our members using golf carts and many of our walkers using range finders, we feel this will have a new, clean look. 


 

As with all new systems and new items we know their will be growing pains. As we progress, I am sure that there will be changes made and tweaks to the systems. Overall, I do feel these new items will increase your golfer experience in 2023 and beyond.

 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Snow

While we all love a white Christmas for many of us in the turf industry it spells more work at an inopportune time. When people ask what do you do in the winter? My common response is that we only work 40 hours a week unless it snows!

We have a blizzard forecasted for the next 2 days ahead of the Christmas Holiday. Many of our staff members take this time of year to enjoy a much-needed break. There are few of us around to cover the snow duties of plowing the driveways, parking lots, sidewalks and around the dreaded tennis dome.

We also take this time to make sure everything is in tip top working condition. Especially taking the time to clean all of the windows and apply Rain X to help to keep the glass clean during the snow removal process.

Here are some examples of our snow removal equipment being prepped for this afternoon’s storm.

 






Thursday, December 15, 2022

Golf Course Maintenance Musings

What is a “musing”? It is your thoughts or comments on something you have been thinking about carefully and for a long time.

For me the musings lately are about the last 50 years. I am just finishing my 50th year in the golf course maintenance business. I love this industry and feel I still have something left in the tank to go a year or two more. However, on the end of the 50th I decided to write a few things I have been thinking about. Changes in the business or how some items go full circle.

What do I mean by full circle? I will give you a good example. Fairway pattern mowing. When I got into this business in “73” we all mowed our fairways with 5 or 7 gang mowers pulled by a tractor. You tried very hard to mow a straight edge and you mowed down one side of the fairway and back up the other giving you a light pattern on one side and a darker pattern on the other. In the 80’s we saw people mowing some fairways with triplex greensmowers and then the equipment companies all jumped on the bandwagon with light weight fairway mowers. We started to see contour edges on fairways and stripe cuts. Now we are once again seeing the “tuxedo cut” back on fairways like it is a new item, I hate to tell these young people something, but it was being done back when Joe Roseman first hooked up a 3-gang Coldwell mower to a horse and mowed some fairways back in 1910 at Des Moines Golf. 

 


 

Topdressing of greens – I must chuckle at this one. We used to pull a wagon behind a tractor to a greens edge and spread topdressing as light as we could with a scoop shovel. We even mixed our own topdressing by hand through a dirt shredder. Then the Meter Matic came out and we shoveled it from the trailer to the walk behind unit and did it as light as we could or heavy as needed to fill holes. In today’s world the topdresser can be adjust to width, amount and speed of sand coming out. We fill them with wagons with conveyors to get it done faster, but what are doing now?  Spreading the sand with a fertilizer spreader shoveled from a utility cart. Almost full circle.

There are so many advances over the years from moisture meters, fully autonomous mowers, all the other mowers and equipment we use to the different methods of poking a hole to computers to irrigation heads that can be programed to run with your phone to growth retardants to GPS sprayers. All of these are great advances and have helped us all to be better at what we do if our clubs can afford the latest and greatest.

There are some things that very sadly have not changed. A ball mark and a divot in 1973 looks the same then as they do today. Not repaired! There are probably more of them because I think the average golfer has gotten better over the years because of the equipment, the ball and accuracy of being able to know where the exact pin location is. Golf was a game invented to come to the land and play the game as you find it. Rub of the green. Take it as you get it. Today’s golfer has forgotten that. The expectations are so much higher for today’s golf courses and there is very little thought for the people preparing these golf course as to how they are going to meet these expectations. Sometimes I hear my colleagues say they have no idea how they are going to meet these demands because of low budgets, no labor force or the people in charge have no idea what it takes to give them the conditions like the club down the street.Hopefully some of that can change in the future.

Bunkers back then were raked by hand because we didn’t have a sand pro, what are we doing today? Raking them by hand. Bunkers are a hazard, and we spend way too much time taking care of them or making them perfect when in fact they should be penal. I was fortunate to work the Open Championship at St. Andrews this past season. Those bunkers were perfect because they were hazards. They didn’t worry about how much sand was in them or what color it was or how the ball came out of them. They just wanted them raked a certain way and they were penal. Perfect.

A couple of things that have not changed. Golf is still the greatest game no matter where it is played. It can be enjoyed by all ages, at any skill level and the course can be as imperfect as you like. I really have enjoyed the people that I have met along the way and the ones that I am going to meet that all enjoy this game. For some of us it is a way of life, for some it is just a game. Wherever you fall it is still the greatest game to be invented.

One final note. In 1973 Frank Gasparro designed the Eisenhower Silver Dollar. Ike was a golfer and even had a tree in Georgia named after him. One of those silver dollars fell into a young kid’s pocket courtesy of his grandfather. I have carried it every day of my golf course career. I have flipped it many times trying to make a decision or to take a buck off of an assistant golf pro. I have rubbed it for good luck. I lost it once and a good friend who was working with me at the time found it on the golf course and returned it. I am superstitious about it, I never leave home with out it. It is almost worn out after 50 years in the golf business, but you can still make out the top of Ike’s Head, so we have a few more left to go. 


 

 

Thanks for reading my musings. All of us who take care of golf courses love what we do, we have a unique drive and a different passion for the game. The one thing we can all agree on is that golf is a great game. Have a great day and enjoy this wonderful game wherever you play it and play it as you find it.