Friday, September 23, 2022

How to properly repair a pitch mark on the green!

 As most of you are aware, Sycamore Ridge Golf Course has a LOT of ball marks on the greens.  Many go unrepaired on a daily basis.  I am attaching a link to a video on YouTube that shows the proper way to repair a pitch mark.

Copy and paste this address into your web browser and enjoy the video.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Fall Greens Aerification is Done

 It has been a long time since my last blog post.  In the last one, the headline read that "Spring Aerification is Complete."  It has been a long challenging summer since then.  We are in a drought, and temperatures have been above average for much of the summer, but we keep hoping that better weather is just a few days away.

We completed our fall aerification this week on the greens.  I anticipate that they will heal in quickly.  We did not pull a core this time.  A half inch solid tine was punched into the greens and then the holes were backfilled with sand.

We have begun the process of renovating more tees this fall. Above is the Blue tee on number 8, done last week.  You can see the baby grass growing and hopefully filling in soon.  Below is the Blue tee on hole 6 that was just done today.

Fall is considered the time for healing and re-growth on a golf course.  We will continue to do all that we can to expedite the process and get everything as nice as possible as quickly as possible.  Below is a picture of number two green taken earlier this summer.  This green has always been the most difficult one on the property.  This year it has survived very nicely.  We will do some minor plug repair, but no significant sod work will be required.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Spring 2022 aerification is complete

 The course was closed on Monday and Tuesday this week so that we could do our spring aerification.  We pulled cores out of the greens four inches deep and a half inch wide.  Over 4 million plugs were pulled, cleaned from the green, and the holes were filled with sand.

I fully understand that golfers do not like when we "mess up" the greens with aerification.  I promise you that the maintenance team likes it even less.  It is an exhausting two days of work.  I personally ran the aerifier for all 18 greens this spring, my Garmin watch recorded over 25,000 steps and 18 flights of stairs each day.  I consider myself lucky that I didn't have to scoop any of the plugs.

The benefits of aerification greatly outnumber the negatives.  The process creates channels in the green for water and air to enter the root zone.  The sand helps to dilute the organic matter, firming and leveling the putting surface.  While this is a process loved by nobody, it is what is called a necessary evil, required to keep the greens healthy through the upcoming season.

This year we did our aerification two weeks ahead of our normal time.  We now need some warmer temperatures to wake the turf up and get them healed in.

A quick reminder for all of you that care for you own lawn; the deadline for spring pre-emerge weed control is April 15.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Why is it no longer acceptable to work hard to make a living?


The golf course maintenance industry is finding it very difficult to find employees to do the work needed to maintain a golf course.  Just like so many other industries, finding individuals willing to do actual work to make money has become increasingly hard over the last several years.  Clearly the pandemic has amplified the issue, with so many people simply leaving the work force.  Hopefully, this is just a cycle, and it will self correct over time.  

Over the last decade, the opportunities to make money by doing things that do not require physical labor have grown exponentially.  Jobs that never existed have been created allowing a person to have more flexibility in work schedule, providing a freedom to work when you want.  Ten years ago, we didn't have Uber/Lyft, DoorDash, gamers, TicToc, Professional YouTubers, or Social Medial Influencers.  It would be interesting to know how many people are making a living doing this type of work, and are no longer willing to do physical labor to earn a paycheck.  

I understand that a parent always wants more for the children that they raise.  But as a result of this, parents are not teaching children the value of a strong work ethic.  Historically, society has always expected that the work force would need to put in the time and work before the fruits of ones efforts would pay off.  Today society is doing all it can to skip the time and hard work and just get to the leisure and luxury of life that was always earned over time.   

Over the 25 years that I have been a Golf Course Superintendent, my staff has generally consisted of a combination of young adults, and retired individuals.  The majority of the physical labor has been done by the young adults, and equipment operating was done by the retired staff members.  Today, I am seeing fewer and fewer applications from the younger generation.  Those young adults that do apply are more interested in being paid to be on their phone than to do actual work.  I have had a motto for many years, about the young adults that I hire; "My goal is to make you a better employee for your next employer".  I try to teach them the basic responsibilities of work.  It seems to me that parents too frequently have not taught their children the basic responsibilities of work.

Nearly 17 years ago, I took part in a roundtable discussion about robotic mowers.  At that time, I didn't see a future for such things.  Today, they can't get here soon enough.  A lack of workers will inevitably lead to a reduction in the need for workers.

All of this is simply my opinion from observations over the years.  I do not intend for my opinions to be a blanket statement of fact, but more generalities.  I know that there are exceptions to everything I have said, and if you are that exception, I mean no offence and I thank you.

With all of that being said, the golf course will be filling positions this spring in most of our departments; outside services including volunteers, food and beverage, as well as maintenance.  If you or someone you know is interested in working, our application can be found at the link below.

Completed applications can be dropped off at the pro shop.