Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Course Conditions
We are still holding on to the nice weather and the forecast is still looking great. If anyone has had thoughts about playing before winter now is the time to do so. The course is in magnificent shape, it is not every fall in which we get this kind of weather past the middle of October. Today should be in the high 70's.
 Jason and Rick have begun the bridge project. Stay tuned for photo updates

I just returned from the Inland Empire Golf Course Superintendents Association's annual meeting in Coeur 'd Alene Idaho yesterday. Lori Russell, their Executive Director always puts together a great program and this year was too good to pass up. I heard Bill Griffith from Walla Walla Community College speak on knowing your image as a superintendent and how to be aware of how others are perceiving you. Bill always does such a great job with his presentations and this one was no different.

I also heard Greg Lyman, Environmental Programs Director from GCSAA. Greg made two great presentations, one on environmental trends and solutions and the other on an environmental  assessment  of your operation. I have known Greg for years and his enthusiasm never wavers. He always provide so much information and is great in engaging the audience.

Finally, the key note speaker was Ron Calhoun, Ph.D from Michigan State University. I have never heard Ron speak in person and have always wanted to take one of his seminars at conference. The title of his presentation was Plant Growth Regulators: Physiology and Application in Cool-Season Turfgrass. A couple years ago I decided to go pretty much go off plant growth regulators due to some unexpected consequences that occurred. Ron's presentation helped me understand what happened and gave me a good understanding of the mode of action of the different classes of PGR's. This won't mean that I am going to start a new PGR program at Stone Creek but I will certainly consider some options and will weigh the benefits of some limited use. I do believe there are good uses that will help us maintain consistent speeds throughout the day and will also enhance our turf quality. I certainly hope the Oregon GCSA can find a time to have Ron come out to present to our association. He has done much research on growth regulators and herbicides and is a great speaker to listen to.

Ortho Images of the Golf Course
We have been concerned for the heath of some of our large fir trees around the course and the county decided to employ some of the technology that they have used for evaluating their forest land. They hired a company called Eagle Digital which flew over the golf course and took a number of orthographic images. These photos were taken August 2nd. They are able to use different filters which will enhance areas of interest. Here are two, one which is the golf course as seen with our eyes and the other is an enhanced infrared which highlights areas of lush growth. This one is my favorite in that it highlights the tress that are healthy showing the darker red. But what stands out is the turfgrass. What impresses me is the fairways. It is showing a uniform light pink all over. This is telling me that our irrigation system is functioning correctly and most of all we are not over watering and over fertilizing. Compare the color to the homeowners lawns along the bottom of the photo. I think the color speaks for itself.

I think this technology will be very useful in evaluating the effectiveness of our irrigation system as well as the health of our turf and trees. As a tool we can have the same picture taken next year at the same time and compare it to evaluate the effectiveness of our plant health programs. The best part of this is that it only cost $500. Click this link to see more images. Ortho Sideshow

We will also be able to use this photo to overlay our irrigation map and have our heads located within the photo.

Today Stone Creek is hosting the Oregon Golf Alliance Media Day. They are going to present the Economic Impact of Golf in Oregon study  which was done by the Stanford Research Institute. I will have more on this in my next week's report.

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