Monday, January 24th, 2011

The weatherman delivered nice weather as promised last week, (as in no rain) but had to drop a bombshell on Friday raining a half inch in twelve hours. We were caught by surprise. We normally plan on cutting the greens on Fridays and didn't expect that amount. When it rains that hard it is easy to cause damage to the turf when it is that wet. Looking at the forecast for next week it appears like we can perhaps mow early and again on Friday.

Over all the course is in fantastic shape for this time of year. Much credit goes to everyone driving four wheeled carts. I have to hand it to my staff for being extra careful and staying out of the soft areas. With the weather as wet as it has been this winter, we have limited the carts and handicap flags fairly often. I think this plays a large part in the condition as well. Big kudos to the range staff for the condition of the range this year. Every year we get the normal springs that pop up and many times the range picker finds it's way through the middle of them. With extra care an hand picking the turf has remained undamaged and looks fantastic.

Cart traffic is always an issue at many courses. The hardest part of controlling carts is keeping them on the path when they are around the tee box. Can somebody help me out with this and explain why people have to pull off to the side with two wheels off the path. Once it starts it seems to get worse because they want to avoid stepping in mud so they pull off even further. We picked up some more posts the other day and will continue to make more bollards to help prevent this. Please keep all four on the path and if a deli cart or a maintenance cart is coming from the opposite direction please allow them wait for you to move on.

Wednesday was the OGCSA's Annual Crew Seminar. Seven of our crew members attended this year. I really like what the Board has done by turning the meeting over to the assistant superintendents.  The assistants are now completely in charge of the entire meeting. They are now doing everything from lining up the speakers, moderating the meeting, and working with Linda Whitworth, our executive director, to putting together all the details with Tualatin Country Club. Our own Mike Turley was on the committee!

The speakers this year included:

Larry Gilhuly—USGA Agronomist
Me, David Phipps—Superintendent, Stone Creek GC
Erik Pronold—Assistant Superintendent, Black Butte Ranch
Bill Griffith—Walla Walla Community College
Bob Sylvester—Watertronics
Mike Gogle—John Fought Golf Course Design
Mike McCullough—Northern California Golf Association

My staff never told me who there favorite was, but they did talk a lot about Bill Griffith and his talk on "Getting Along and Getting Ahead". Bill is the instructor of the turf program at Walla Walla Community College and always puts on a great presentation. He is one of the industries best.

Since I had the day off on Saturday what else should I do but come back and take the poodles for a walk on the trail around the golf course. It was a beautiful morning and it was great to get out and see all the golfers on the course. If you have never taken the trail I strongly recommend it. It is almost 3 miles long. Clackamas County Parks has done a fantastic job maintaining the trail. They have installed distance markers along the way as well as interpretive signs describing the wildlife that can be seen along the way. Speaking of wildlife, I read the post that Scott Morrison posted on Turfhugger about coyotes and it explained how March is pupping season for coyotes and they can become very territorial. Dogs are seen as a threat to them especially if they are off the leash. Please be considerate to the fellow walkers and the wildlife and keep them leashed.

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