Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Thank you!

As indicated yesterday, there is a lot about FCC that makes it a great place to work, but the one thing that I will miss the most....
the golf course.  Click on the link above to view a video I made a few years back.  It makes you appreciate the course for what it is.
Thank you again, signing off. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

What I will miss about FCC

Tomorrow will be my last day at FCC, this leaves me with two more blog posts to write!  I enjoyed making these posts over the last five years, but unfortunately it will come to an end tomorrow.  I thought for my second to last post I would highlight what I will miss about FCC:
The teamwork
The views

The members

The hardworking staff

Nope, not that

The balloons

The fireworks

The donuts!

The fall colors

A pristine winter landscape

The nature

The flowers and the friends

The progress and growth

The sunrises

The trees

And the dedication
Tomorrow, the one thing I will miss the most....

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Flood clean-up

The flood water has receded from its crest and the clean-up has begun.  Tomorrow the water that is still remaining should be gone and we can finish the clean-up of debris that the river brought onto the course.

Most of 8, 9 and 18 where underwater and, as usual, leaving a trail of debris at the high water line.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Grounds staff

What did I do to deserve a crew like this?  Despite the 45 degree temps, the 20 mph winds, and the constant beat of rain, we edged and weeded all the bunkers today.  Wow, thank you team for getting it done!

Eric and Robert are even smiling!

Phil and Jeff had no idea that retirement meant working in this stuff.

John kept us moving, getting it done quick and getting it done right - then getting out of the weather. 
Thank you Eric, Evan, Peggy, Phil, John, Jeff, Michael and Robert.  Days like this you never forget. 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Grounds update

One quick note - I will be around FCC until Wednesday, May10, working a few more days than originally planned.  With the tournament just around the corner and a large list of things we want to get done this upcoming week, it is all hands on deck.
The rain gauge currently says 1" from the rain received today.  If we continue with this slow and steady rain, the river may not be much of an issue.  If we start seeing heavy rain, especially south of us, we could easily see a lot of water on the course.

The NOAA website is calling for a crest around 11.8' in Findlay.  That would mean water on 8,9 and 18 fairways for us.

With rain outside, it meant an inside day for us.  Eric, among many other things today, ground the bed knives of our Intermediate mower, ensuring a crisp cut. 
Evan ground the reels for the Intermediate mower, and helped Jim with equipment maintenance.
Jim completed some cart repair, and serviced our rough mowers while they were idle.

Wayne installed a new washer and dryer (thanks to Evan for getting us a gently used FREE set that is a big upgrade from what we had).

As I stated earlier, we will be busy next week preparing for the NCAA tournament.  Cart path paving will get done early in the week on 11/12, and 1/2/3.  Bunkers will get edged and weeded, the course will get string trimmed, lots of mowing will need to get done, and most of the playing surfaces need to be sprayed. 
I may have time for a few more posts, but we are getting near the end!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Completing a few small projects

We worked on a few small projects today:

After spraying the front of 11 fairway with Round-up a few days ago, we seeded the area today.

Also, we painted the floors of the 15th hole bathrooms, trying to keep this little shack in decent shape for the high traffic it receives. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Newsletter article

Unfortunately my last newsletter article got left out of the May Foreword, I can't let it go to waste, so here it is:

Well, this will be my last Foreword article I write, let me get a few business items out of the way first.  The course is in great shape for this time of year, we did end up seeing a few spots of winter damage on a couple greens but they will fill in soon.  The poa seed heads are prevalent this year due to the timing of our growth regulator applications, they will subside in a few weeks and we will be left with great greens for the remainder of the season. 

            As usual for this time of year, we can’t keep up with the rough mowing and there are too many projects to be completed for the allotted hours in the day.  The Grounds staff is firing on all cylinders, staying busy and being efficient, knocking tasks off one by one as our priority list dictates.  Soon we will be edging landscape beds in preparation for the May mulch delivery and the annuals that will be coming soon after. 

            I was looking forward for this upcoming summer as I feel we are in a really good place regarding course conditions, we had a few small projects on our list to complete, and the staff coming in this year is the best I’ve had.  Speaking of staff, the guys and gals on our grounds team are great people, they care about FCC and truly want to provide a great product.  It has been a pleasure teaching, leading, learning from, and working alongside this team. 

            FCC is a special place, I will miss it.  You, the members have treated me well and provided abounding support.  I will miss the early morning sunrises over the driving range, the friendly waves from golfers, the ladies that comment on the landscaping, the staff that gets my quirks, the opportunity to work with the Board and Committees, and the look of a perfectly manicured course even if it only lasts for one day.  I will be back to visit as I am invested in this property.  It would be hard not come back to see how our trees have grown, how the landscaping has matured and how the staff has improved upon what we have worked so hard to get. 

            Normally I would end an article by saying ‘check out the grounds blog for updates’, I can’t say that here.  I’ll end it with; thank you for giving me the opportunity to be FCC’s Superintendent. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

And it keeps getting wetter

Another .5" last night brought us to 2.8" in the last 12 days.  Yes we are wet, but what a great time of year to get the wet spell over with, the temperatures haven't been great for playing anyway.  The other great news is that during this wet spell we aerified green and fairways, getting that out of the way for the year. 

When you can't get out on the turf because it's too wet - you can always play in the sand. 

 Yesterday we spent the day edging the bunkers; today we pulled weeds, picked out rocks, smoothed out edges and gave them the first rake of the year.

We cleaned out all the bunkers and the rakes are out, they are ready for the season.  

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bittersweet announcement

Many of the FCC members have heard the news already, some of my followers outside the club may have not.  It is with a heavy heart that I need to announce my leaving Findlay Country Club.  I have accepted a position of Property Manager in Grand Rapids, Michigan and will be leaving FCC on Friday, May 5th. 
Findlay Country Club has been especially good to my family and me.  As I told the Board, you have met and exceeded my expectations in many ways.  While I am excited for this new opportunity, I am saddened to have to leave FCC and the many friends, co-workers and members that I have worked with.  The choice to leave FCC was a hard one for me, and in the end, it came down to the opportunity to be closer to our family.

You may have a few questions regarding my new position and I would be glad to speak with anyone individually.  I have offered my assistance to the Executive Committee in their search for the next Director of Grounds.  I am fully confident that you will find a competent individual that will embrace FCC and provide you with an outstanding golf course.

Over the next month, nothing will change in my expectations on the course conditions.  I wish FCC all the best and will look forward to seeing you at the Club over the next month.

On a 'blogging' note, I plan to keep making posts up until the end, stay tuned. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Range opening suspended

Due to the recent rains and forecasted rain / snow for the next few days, I have asked the Golf Department to hold off on opening the practice range until this coming Monday.

While from a distance the range looks green and ready to go, at closer look it reveals puddles, mud and soggy ground conditions.  Opening now will only lead to massive amounts of lost balls through plugging in the mud, and stuck range pickers. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fairway aerification

We completed fairway aerification today, at least what we could get at.  A few fairways were still too wet from the recent rains, so we passed them up for now.

We had a slight frost delay, finally getting out around 9.
During the next few days we will be cleaning up the mess we just made, before long, you won't know we aerified. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Practice facility update

Under normal conditions, the range is typically opened on April 1st.  However, we usually have to delay opening as we tend to be wet in the spring which causes plugged balls and stuck range pickers.  Due to the current wet conditions, we will not be opening the range for this weekend.  As soon as the ground conditions permit we will allow practice to begin on the range.  Thanks for your patience. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Greens aerification completed

We completed greens aerification yesterday, applying sand and aerating with 3/4" solid tines.  Today we focused on filling in the remaining open holes and continued the process of spreading the sand around and smoothing the greens back out through rolling. 

As you saw in my last post, quality roots are a direct result of proper soil structure through aerification.  The mess we are making now is going to help us produce excellent conditions for the next 7 months. 
Pins will be back in the greens tomorrow; over the next few days will continue working in the sand and rolling the greens.  Reminder - this upcoming Monday we will be aerifying fairways. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

And we're off

The greens have been mowed, the cups have been changed and the pins are in, welcome back! 

 It felt good changing cups today, perfect morning for it. 

What a sight this was, only those of you in the turf industry will appreciate this, this is awesome.  Proof that aerification works.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Landscaping installed

Despite the frigid temperatures yesterday, we spent the day installing new landscaping at the clubhouse.  The new landscape bed will serve as a visual barrier between the parking lot and the golf course, after a few years of growth, this bed will fill in and be more appealing to the eye.  The old saying concerning perennials is: The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap. 

We have a few more plants to install next week and a fair number of perennials that won't be available until June. 

Evan put his welding skills to work and fabricated new forks for our loader.  Our current forks are a little banged up from years of tree work.  These new forks will only be used for unloading pallets off trucks and other needs that require a level set of strong forks.  With Evan's skills in the shop and the proper tools, we are now able to do more fabrication and heavy maintenance.