Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Season

Well, the Fall Season is in full force. The leaves are almost completely down. We have been trying to keep on top of blowing and mulching leaves. I have a limited staff this time of year, but we are doing pretty good.

The Fall is also a time to kinda look back at the season that was. For the most part the season was good. The end of August and Early Sept brought us some turf damage. That was hard to deal with. The golf course is a part of my life. I almost look at it like one of my kids. When damage occurs, I take it very personal. I have always tried to provide the best conditions. However, sometimes no matter what you do, the turf can only handle so much.

As we exit the fall and enter winter the turf has been showing recovery. Greens 3,7, and 17 have been growing new seed. We will also be doing some sodding on those greens as we have time this fall. What we don't get done this year, we will finish up in the spring.

Stony and I are already looking ahead to 2011. We have been discussing potential projects and enhancements. Stay tuned.

- Posted from my iPad

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wider Fairways

At the request of many patrons we have widened the fairways a bit. Many of you have said the fairways are getting to narrow. Today we mowed all fairways with one added pass to each side of the fairway. They have now gone from 8 stripes to 10.

- Posted from the rough

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


We have been doing some sodding of late. We have been fixing some of the bunker ends that have seen years of entrances and exists from the trap machine. We have also been doing green side bunker tops. Where the sand has been blasted out from shots. These areas get rather hot and burnt up during the heat of the summer.

Bunker on 9

Right side of 17 before


Right side 17 Green Side Before


Left side 3 Green Side

-- Post From My iPad

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of our leagues that played Hiawatha this year. Not sure how many of you read this blog, but thought I should say thank you.

This season has been a tough one on the turf. Specifically, here at the end of August. Unfortunately, we have had some turf loss on a handful of greens and a couple fairways. So, I just want to let you all know we are addressing these areas. The affected greens were seeded last week. We will go after fairways here as soon as we can. We will also doing a bit of sodding.

Thanks Again

Friday, September 3, 2010

USGA Regional Update- Must Watch

This video describes conditions and damage from the Mid Atlantic region. However, it very much mirrors the weather and conditions here in the Central Region.

This weeks USGA Regional Update is a video presented by Darin Bevard. This is a must watch!! Click on the link below.

USGA Regional Video Update

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weather Changes Plans

Well, due to the 1" of rain we received today, we cannot aerate as planned. We only did a couple of the practice greens. They were really wet.

So, in the short term we will Veritcut the thin areas on greens to help create a seed bed. Then we will seed and fertilize.

The equipment is being used by one of our other course next Tuesday and subsequently will go to the other courses in our system.

We are scheduled for our regular aeration date on Sept 27th. Hope the weather works out.


- Posted from iPhone.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Turf Recovery and Aeration Season

Well, the weather has started to change for the better. The turf is getting a bit of a break from the weather stress. Turf is starting to recover. I has noticed that the struggling greens 3,4,7,8 and 17 are looking better. I have been giving them some more frequent drinks of nitrogen and raised the height of cut slightly.

We will be aerating as many greens as we can on Thursday of this week with small 1/4" tines. NO SAND They won't be able to handle the stress of dragging sand.

The objective is to vent the greens. This helps to exchange the organic matter gases within the green for oxygen. It also provides water penetration and new avenues for root growth. This process will be followed up with new bent seed and a starter fertilizer. The process should not disrupt play as with a traditional aeration. It will look something like this.

The greens need this process because they are made from native soil. Which is a most peat based soil. So they build up a lot of organic matter.
First Step Cores

Next Blow off Cores

Next Roll Green

Next day after mowing

The holes are small and will grow over and seal up in a short amount of time.

Next spring we will most likely do a Deep Tine aeration. This will yield an aeration hole about 10" deep. We will then fill the holes with sand. This will be an ongoing effort to change the soil profile to one that is better suited to grow our Poa Annua and Bent grasses.

Next the fairways will be addressed. We will be aerating and slit seeding as many as we can. Starting with 10,8, and 5. The Poa Annua was hit hard this year with disease from the harsh heat.

In addition to those holes, I hope to get all the fairways aerated this fall. This is something that has not been done for many years.

-- Post From My iPad

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Irrigation Upgrades

I thought I would post some updates to our irrigation system. Over the summer we have been slowly upgrading some our our out of date equipment. Specifically the satellite boxes(these control the irrigation programs) and the gear drive and nozzle assemblies on the greens heads.

The old metal satellite boxes are probably about 30 years old. They are becoming weathered and increasingly costly to trouble shoot and repair.

The new boxes are made of plastic. They are easier to repair and trouble shoot. They are also expandable in the future to allow remote control via a mobile device. They also have an on board rain sensor to shut down at a pre determined rain fall amount.

Additionally, these newer boxes allow me to reduce to amount of boxes on the golf course. Thereby reducing cost of the boxes themselves For instance the below picture used to have 3 metal boxes. Now just one.

Almost all the greens heads on the course have had their gear drives and nozzles swapped out for newer models. The new gears provide better rotation giving a more accurate and constant coverage. The nozzles provide better coverage near the heads. Notice in the pictures the first is the old nozzle with just one secondary spray. The new ones have two secondary spray nozzles.

We will also be updating fairway gear drives and nozzles. When Columbia redid their system, we claimed some of their old parts. The drives are much newer then ours and will save use some money.

Hopefully, in the coming years we will be able to continue to make upgrades.

-- Post From My iPad

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Article about what Superintendents have been dealing with this year.

Here is a WSJ article talking about the Heat of 2010 and what superintendents around the nation have been dealing with.

-- Post From My iPad

Love the current weather!

I didn't realize how long it has been since my last post. It has been a Hot, stressful, and trying summer. Thankfully we have faired the harsh weather pretty well. We were able to keep the turf in good shape.

The fairways have sustained a little to fair amount of turf damage. The fairways were hit pretty hard with the Turf Diseases Dollar Spot and Anthracnose as well a just a few tees. The turf diseases are a direct result of the sustained heat and humidity and how it affects the Poa Anua. We did not treat the fairways much with chemical control. It is not very economical to spray our fairways, we just don't have the budget.

So, we will be slit seeding these areas as much as possible, starting next week. As well as aerating Tees.

-- Post From My iPad

Friday, July 9, 2010

Course updates

Since it has been a while since I posted some blogs. I thought I would post several to fill in the gap.


I have received many comments on the Foxes. Ranging from they are cool, to when are you going to get rid of them, to they are eating the squirrels. Well, the Fox are still here and behaving themselves for the most part. I say for the most part, because they have started digging in recent weeks. They seem to be burying food. Which normally would not be a big deal. However, when it is in my 17th green, it's a big deal.

Here is the 17 greens one morning. We have to fill in the hole and repair with Hex shaped turf plugs. They subsequently dug up the same spot 4 days later. We then repaired it again. So far it has been untouched.

Coyote URINE

I did some research as to how to deter Fox behavior. Everything I read pointed to trying a natural predator sent. Enter Coyote Urine. The idea is to speed the Coyote sent around the area you don't want Fox. So, this is what I tried.

This is a small container with a cotton ball that you soak in Coyote Urine. I applied these to the perimeter of 17 green. At first it seemed that it wasn't helping. However, it may have deterred them. As I have not had another digging incident on this green for a couple weeks. They may be showing some interest in 12 and 16 green now. Time will tell.

-- Post From My iPad

Where have you been?

Wow, I guess it has been a while since my last blog post. I am going to remedy that right now.

It has been a busy summer thus far. The golf course has come along way since the spring. We have been getting many great comments on the course conditions and how the greens are putting. The comments are a great testament to my staff and their efforts.

I strongly believe that our walk mowing efforts and rolling program have paid of. In fact one patron expressed to me "I can never remember the greens being this good.". That is really great to hear. To know that our hard work is paying off.

-- Post From My iPad

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Frustration my word of choice this last week. I hope my words of choice this week will be "Thank You Mother Nature"

Back to last week frustration. After mowing my section of greens last Friday, I was very frustrated. I was not liking the still slow growing areas on greens.

We have done so many things thus far this spring to try and spur the greens. Fertilized, verticut, spiked, aerified. All to little production. Unfortunately, the soil temps have just plain been to low. For a little while the soil temps were building.

Then we had a bunch of rain and continued low nighttime temps. Those two factors took those rising soil temps and drove them right back down.

When I checked late last week the soil temps were around 55-58 degrees.
Those temps need to be more like mid 60's to 70. The grass is much happier to grow in that range.

As we head into this week I have high hopes. I hope the extended weather outlook will produce some fruitful grass growth. But, just in case we will continue to work hard to encourage growth. We'll be spiking, verticutting, and topdressing Monday and Tuesday this week.

Mother Nature do your magic!

-- Post From My iPad

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Our Four Legged Residents

We have some little Fox pups on the course this year. We have counted as many as 6-7 pups and three adults. Here a little video of two pups. PLEASE be aware of their den off of #15 green cart path. Please let them be and let them go about their business. They have already eaten a couple geese. GOOD JOB Foxes!

-- Post From My iPad

My first week with Our Baroness LM56 Walking Greens Mowers

We have just completed our First Week of cutting with our new Baroness LM56 mowers. Up until this last Monday, it had been 17 yrs since the last time a walk mowed a green. Back to my days at Minneapolis Golf Club. I am not going to lie, my body felt like it had been that long. My pedometer read almost ten miles walked in a 4 hour period. I mowed 14 greens.

I am really looking forward to cutting with these mowers for the rest of the summer. This week we used the De-Thatching attachment. This will clean out the old grow. As well as provide mow air space and water penetration.

This next week we will use the groomer attachment. This will help further provide air and water movement. It will also help remove the lateral plant growth and promote upright growth.

I am really liking the quality of cut of these mowers. Now we just need to get some warm weather to help the greens fill in from winter injury. Most of these areas have been seeded, now they just need to grow.

-- Post From My iPad

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Excited for this week.

We were able to get all the fairways sprayed last week with Pre Emerge for knotweed. Time will tell the effectiveness.

I am very excited to be starting our walk mower program tomorrow. I did a few hours of training last Thursday with the Baroness reps. I was very surprised at the quality of cut we got. Even after removing an area that had just been mowed with our current Tri Plex riding mower.

The walk mowers have several attachments. A De-Thatcher, Groomer, and a rotary brush. We will be using the De-Thatchers on Monday. They will help clean out the old grass, provide better water penetration, air movement to the turf plant crowns and help prep the thin area for seeding.

Once we have De-thatched, we switch to groomers for the next few weeks. The groomers just "tickle" the turf. They help cut out lateral turf growth and promote vertical growth. This vertical growth helps provide a more true putting surface and better ball roll.

However, most of all we need some nice growing weather. That is the biggest key to healing the course. I have to remind myself that we are only in April.

-- Post From My iPad

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dreaded Knotweed

Today we started the spring battle with our arch enemy KNOTWEED!
We started spraying Gallery, which is a Pre-Emergent Herbicide. We got a few fairways done before play got to heavy. We'll continue tomorrow as play permits.

It is crazy out there this spring. Everything is on a new schedule with this warm weather. Weeds are coming, grass is growing, my oh my! It's not to often you are spraying Dandylions in Apr, but we will be next week.

Tomorrow is a big day for me. I will be getting trained in on our new Baroness Walking Greens Mowers. I am honestly excited for this new endeavor. I think it will be the first time Hiawatha has ever walk mowed greens.

What can you expect from Walk mowers?
-precise cut
-less compaction
-no potential for hydraulic leaks
-more upright growth

Pictures to come soon

-- Post From My iPad

Friday, April 16, 2010

Changes to the course

Just wanted to mention a few changes we have done on the course. We have replaced our old flags with new Logo Flags. They look great!

We have started to paint the inside edge of the cups as of Wednesday this week. I plan to continue to paint them all year. I think it is a nice touch.

Today we cut an intermediate rough (First Cut). This will be cut at 1 1/4".
So, we will have fairway 3/4", first cut 1 1/4", rough 2 1/2".

There are changes coming to how we mow greens as well. I will reveal that at the end of this upcoming week. I will leave you guessing for a bit.

-- Post From My iPad

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rain Just in Time

The rain last night and today was a lovely site. It seems last night that one of our irrigation pumps decided to blow up. Luckily we have a spare. It will be installed tomorrow afternoon. YEAH!

Now of course I want the rain to stop this week so we can get some spraying done. I'm funny that way,

-- Post From My iPad

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Well as of yesterday, we were able to get the irrigation running. After replacing some faulty electronic components in the pump house. As of this morning I think we have half a dozen or so irrigation spots that need to be repaired. Overall the repairs will be pretty routine.

Next week the plan is to get all the fairways sprayed with pre-emerge herbicide to try and combat the HATED knotweed.

-- Post From My iPad

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April Showers

Today the Metro Area saw a much needed rainy day. A nice slow soaker, is exactly what the golf course needed. Although it is early April, it was dry out there.

I don't know how many Tech Geeks we have in our midst. I for one am an openly proud tech geek. As I sit here typing this Blog, I am doing so on my Brand New iPad 32gb. I love this thing.

If any of you out there have thought about one or wondered whats all the hype, you need to go out to your local Best Buy or Apple store and give it a spin. It's a thing of beauty.

Ok back to golf.

As we start into April, I am very excited about the things to come to Hiawatha this year. I have many projects planned. Some of them will be small changes to our cultural practices. Some will be cosmetic changes to the golf course. More on those later as the details unfold.

-- Post From My iPad

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Good Morning Golfers. Happy Easter to you all.

-- Post From My iPad

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mowing Greens

We are Mowing and Rolling Greens for the first time today! They look pretty darn good for this time of year. Mowed at .115"

Monday, March 29, 2010

Golf Course is Coming out of Winter in Great Shape

The golf course looks great coming out of this winter. Here is 10 green and 5 green.

- Posted from the rough

Location:E Minnehaha Pkwy,Minneapolis,United States

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pictures from the Past

This winter I was given a couple old pictures of Hiawatha GC. The picture of the course appears to be #9 Green and #1 Fairway. The pictures are dated about 1934.