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TEE-OFF News

May/June 2011

Stockdale Golf & Country Club

Michael Barber Host Superintendent By Scott Furtak

Inside this issue:

President’s Message

2

Meeting Schedule

5

Around the Green

6

Quit, Die or Fired

8

Highlights

10

Highlights

11

Official Publication of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Central California. The purpose of this publication is information and education for the membership. Published bi-monthly by GCSACC 5322 N. Leonard Clovis, CA 93619 Phone (559) 298-4853 Fax (559) 298-6957 Email gcsacc@aol.com Bob Schneiderhan, Newsletter Chairman Mike Scott, CGCS, Editor

May’s GCSACC meeting takes us to Stockdale Golf and Country Club. Our host Superintendent will be Michael Barber. Stockdale is the oldest golf club in Kern County. It was established in 1925 on property that the mighty Kern River once carved its way through until it was diverted to the north. In its early inception, the turf on the course was actually flood irrigated before the installation of pipe and a QC system. Michael has been the Superintendent at Stockdale for 10 years. Pre-

viously, he was the Superintendent at Blackhawk Country Club, served as an Asst. Superintendent at Menlo Country Club, and worked for the Pebble Beach Company, which along with working at Stockdale, he considers to be his career highlights. Michael and his staff have just recently experienced the “thrill” of a major re-construction of all of the greens & bunkers and 3 tee box complexes at Stockdale. The redesign was done by Cary Bickler. They also constructed 18 “alternate” greens (5,200 yds.) for the membership to

play while the reconstruction of the existing greens (6,400 yds.) was underway. The “signature hole” is the Par 3, 15th, which demands a healthy carry over water to reach the putting green. Michael, along with Asst. Superintendent Dave Wilkening, long time Foreman, Tom Melendrez, and the rest of the maintenance staff, profess that one of the biggest challenges of maintaining the turf at Stockdale is the numerous amount of trees that have been planted (Continued on page 3)

Cal Poly SLO’s Turfgrass Science Department By Jason Lewis, Asst Professor Greetings from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I am the new Assistant professor in Turfgrass Science, Jason Lewis. I started at Cal Poly in August and I am just finishing up my 3rd quarter. I grew up in Nebraska, and went to the University of

Nebraska in Lincoln for a BS and MS in Horticulture with a Turfgrass Science option. During my high school years I worked at our hometown golf course, Meadowlark Hills in Kearney, NE, on the maintenance crew. Once I started

in college I spent a summer at the Sand Hills Golf Club in Mullen, Nebraska, then 3 summers working for Landscapes Unlimited LLC on the construction and irrigation crews at Deer Creek in Omaha, NE, Wilderness

(Continued on page 4)


Page 2

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President’s Message by Kevin Friesen, CGCS

As I start to write this message my rain gauge is showing over a half inch of rain for last night with more coming....Is this May or February? If only we could be wrong as much as the weather man and keep our jobs! Michael Barber hosted our May 25th meeting at Stockdale C.C.

It was great to return to Stockdale C.C. and have the opportunity to see the results of all the hard work that Michael and his crew have done. Michael recapped the new construction of the greens and explained what types of Bentgrass were used on their temporary greens. The weather forecast was great for this meeting and was an exceptional day. The Al Glaze Scholarship Tournament will be held at Kings C.C. on June 6th. Joe Elias, superintendent at Kings C.C. is looking forward to showing off the new clubhouse and his beautiful course. Get your foursomes together and join us for a great time that benefits future superintendents. Josh Heptig has set up a spe-

cial opportunity for up to 20 of our members, on a first come, first serve basis a tour of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Facility. Those of you that attended the Morro Bay meeting will recall our speaker, John Lindsey, that is the PG & E weather person for the Diablo facility. John has invited us for a visit. This special event will be held on July 10th . Remember this is a first come, first serve basis so get signed up early so you don’t miss out on an exclusive look at a nuclear facility. I want to thank Jason Pautsch for hosting us at Hunter Ranch in April. It was beautiful weather, great course and a great turn out. We had three awesome speakers to keep us (Continued on page 3)


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Page 3

President’s Message

Stockdale Country Club & Michael Barber

updated on GCSAA, Pesticide Regulations, and Safety on our courses. Thanks go out to Richard Pavlasek, GCSAA Field Representative, Bill Culbertson, Golf Maintenance Operations, and Robert Stockel, Agricultural Inspector/Biologist III for the San Luis Obispo County Agricultural Dept. Those that attended receive PDI Educational Points and DPR CEU’s, Laws & Reg hours. This was another home run meeting for the Association’s Educational Committee chaired by Josh Heptig.

over the years. The trees hamper critical air movement in the summer, as well as presenting “shade issues” on the turf grass. SIDEBAR: For those of you playing golf, make note of the many “labeled” specimen trees on the property. One in particular is the “Monkey Puzzle Tree” behind the back right corner of #18 green. The pods from this tree weigh anywhere from 8-10 pounds apiece and the area has to be roped off when the pods come to fruition each year and begin to fall from the tree. Michael enjoys the opportunity to input his ideas into the ongoing improvements of the golfing experience for the mem-

Continued from page 2

Continued from page 1

Kevin

Three locations to serve you Lancaster

Bakersfield

Fresno

bers of the club and enjoys the ability to work outdoors. He also enjoys playing golf in his spare time, HaHa! sporting a 7 index. He loves traveling with his wife, Sandra, and their 2 daughters, Megan, 15 and Lauren, 11. It was an outstanding day of education, camaraderie & golf!


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Cal Poly Continued from page 1 Ridge in Lincoln, NE and Arbor Links in Nebraska City, NE. My Master’s thesis was a USGA sponsored project investigating soil physical properties of putting greens as they age. Once I received my MS I went to Kansas State University for my PhD in Horticulture with a Turfgrass Science concentration. At Kansas State I worked on nitrous oxide emissions from turfgrass systems, water requirements of Kentucky bluegrass cultivars, and developed a photosynthesis chamber to measure evapotranspiration from turfgrass. At Cal Poly I will be teaching Turfgrass Management, Golf Course Management Operations, Sports Field Construc-

tion/Management, Principles of Horticulture and Crop Science, Abiotic Plant Problems, and Weed Biology and Management. Other than teaching I am working at several projects. We are in the process of renovating the putting green at the Horticulture Unit, establishing new seeded buffalograss cultivars, and a few other establishment trials. The first 3 quarters have been busy though I think I’m starting to acclimatize myself to California and Cal Poly. During my time here I have been very impressed with our students and their willingness to work hard and learn. The department has been spending time and money on recruitment with a

large investment in students interested in turfgrass science, so I hope to have more students in the coming quarters. I have also had the pleasure to meet some of you involved in the turfgrass industry and look forward to meeting more of you in the coming months. If you are ever around San Luis, please feel free to give me a call, or stop by campus to see what is going on with the program. Dr. Jason Lewis Horticulture and Crop Science Department California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA 93507 (805)756-2870 jlewis07@calpoly.edu


TEE-OFF News Meeting Schedule June 6, 2011 Al Glaze Memorial Scholarship Tournament

September 20, 2011

River Island Golf & C.C.

Kings Country Club

Host Superintendent Fuzzy Cochran

Annual Election Meeting

Host Superintendent Joe Elias

July 2011 Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant Tour Space Limited to 20 Attendees

August 22, 2011 Tri Chapter Meeting

Stockton Golf & C.C. Host Superintendent Jim Alwine

October 10, 2011 Annual Charities Tournament Sunnyside Country Club

Page 5

Turf Pro 2011 Meeting Schedule Dairy Creek G.C. June 15, 2011 September 14, 2011 November 16, 2011

Host Superintendent Jim Daley

Copper River C.C.

November 6, 7, 8th California GCSA

June 16, 2011 September 15, 2011 November 17, 2011

Annual Conference & Golf Championship

Silverado Country Club Napa, CA

Golf Course Materials Topdressing Sand - Bunker Sand Decomposed Granite - Drain Rock 1/8� Minus Turf & Tee Bulk Humus Brush Removal Call for competitive rates

David Knott, Inc. (559) 449-8935 or (559) 760-5387

For Registration Information

Contact Mike Cline (559) 269-7342


Page 6

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Around The Green By Michael Cline I don’t know how the weather is where you are but as I sit here writing this article, the sky is cloudy, with a threat of rain; its cold, and we’ve probably had a 20 degree drop in temperature over the last 2 days, unreal! For those of you who couldn’t make the Hunter Ranch meeting, you missed a good one. Course superintendent Jason Pautsch had the course in great shape, the education as set up by the board of directors was excellent, and Mother Nature threw a great day at us for a change. Finally able to report that superintendent Bob Tillema Jr. is officially the General Manager / Superintendent at Madera Country Club. The club’s board of directors asked Bob to step into dual roles for the club, some-

thing Bob has done in the past at Riverside Golf Course. Later this month we’ll have the opportunity to visit Stockdale Country Club, and host Superintendent Michael Barber. The course as always is in great shape and the educational portion of the meeting on the remodel of the greens will be very interesting. During a brief meeting with Michael, I learned that he was born in England, and moved to the Monterey area with his parents in 1969. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen and graduated from Monterey Peninsula College with a 2 year degree in horticulture. After college, Michael went to work for the Pebble Beach Corporation; in his last two years helping to get Spanish Bay open to the public. So here are;

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Superintendent Michael Barber. First job in golf? My first job in golf was as a cart boy at Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Course. What was your first management job in golf? My first management job in golf was assistant superintendent at Menlo Country Club in 1987. I had just finished 5 years with the Pebble Beach Corporation, and landed my first management job. (Continued on page 7)


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Around The Green What do you like to do when you’re not at work? When I’m not at work I love to travel, especially cruise ships to my favorite destinations in the Caribbean. Who is your favorite sports team and why? My favorite sports team is the San Francisco Giants. Having grown up in Monterey, working in the bay area, I was around them all the time and I just grew up loving the Giants. If you could pick one meal, what would it be? My favorite meal is to sit down for a little Basque Food at a restaurant in Bakersfield called The Woolgrowers. What’s your favorite part of being a golf course superintendent? My favorite part of the job is just being outdoors on the grounds I don’t need to say anything else.

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Dale Siemens 559.994.5883 Ca License 872425 dls@dlsiemensconsulting.com www.DLSiemensconsulting.com

Page 7

Continued from page 6

What’s your least favorite part of being a golf course superintendent? My least favorite part of the job are the meetings, I hate them, and it doesn’t seem to matter what type of meeting it is, I don’t care for them. What’s your favorite band? My favorite singer is Sting, doesn’t matter who he’s singing with. What’s your favorite song? My favorite songs are actually by two different artists, Fragile by Sting and Sad Café by the Eagles. What’s your favorite movie? My favorite movie is Cool Hand Luke with Paul Newman.

It might also be noted that Michael Barber and Superintendent Tom Elliott of Monarch Dunes, worked together at Spanish Bay before the opening. I hope your spring is going well, and as always, if you have news that you thing might interest everyone in the chapter, let me know and I’ll be sure to get it into a future newsletter. Hope to see you at a future GCSACC meeting or if not there, somewhere “Around the Green”

Michael Barber


Page 8

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Quit, Die or Fired—The Problems are not yours by Craig F. Zellers

This article is for stressed out Superintendents but it’s not about you. If you work a 40 hour week, delegate without micromanaging and don’t leave your wife and kids at 9:00PM to babysit the pump station, forget it, you won’t be interested, so please go back to the family dinner table and stop reading now. Are they still here? No? Marvelous! I thought those “abnormal” type of Superintendents would never stop reading this biased writ. Can you believe their audacity to believe you can provide a great product and still attend your daughter’s 1:00PM ballet performance on a hot summer afternoon? Now, for the rest of you. I’m privileged to have the opportu-

nity to work with many golf courses annually in California and Mexico. I witness a lot of Superintendents stressing over the demands of the job and long days. 60-70 hour work weeks are not uncommon and taking frustration home from the course is expected. Do you go to sleep pondering which employees may not show up the next morning? Do you agonize over the weather, turf disease, over-seeding, aerifying, drainage, soil fertility, equipment, budgets and so much more? Superintendents are geniuses and darn good at what you do. You are persistent and determined to provide the best product possible to golfers. Hey! I get it. It’s in your nature as a Superintendent. I used to be one. Not for long – only 10 years but I still had the privilege

of having been fired from a Superintendents job that I loved. A job I put my heart and time into. I say privileged because it taught me very early in my developing career that all of the turf, equipment, employees, irrigation challenges remained as the owners’ concern long after I was gone. The stress festers inside as an internal battle pitting work against family time. Sure, you’ve read it before in the President’s message, “It’s a rough summer, appreciate your family and take off early” No offense Mr. President(s) but the bold statement that needs to be posed is one that I’ve told to young and old Superintendents alike; “You can quit tomorrow, (Continued on page 9)


TEE-OFF News Problems

Page 9

Continued from page 8

you may die or you could be fired. But all the problems are still theirs. Everything you took home and worried about remains with the golf course.” This does not mean that you are indifferent and callous about the golf course. It simply means, don’t forget that you are the caretaker and not the owner. Ever ask yourself who appreciates your time more, your family or your membership / owner? The answer seems obvious and easy as you say “my family”. No doubt they will appreciate your time more than the stressed out turf and the golfers complaining about their day as they drink a cold one on the 19th hole. The problem is, you see the dilemma from within and it’s tough. You are in the middle of the forest and can’t see the end nor can you identify the time that you entered the forest. You are in a conundrum. Known also as a puzzling challenge or a mystery, a riddle in which you have placed yourself. All for the sake of your golf course. You have taken the job to heart and come to believe that this land is your land. Recently I got a message from a Superintendent friend that he and the General Manager had just been terminated for economic reasons. He asked me why he had put in so many hours and taken so much to heart on a piece of property that he did not own. I shared with him the fact that I was practically singing and dancing as I drove to the unemployment office the day after I got fired. A million dollar flood, malfunctioning pump intake, poa infestation, all of it was my responsibility & concern but those problems were not mine. I did not own the property. The things we choose to worry about are up to us. In a peculiar way my friend was at peace with a decision

that he did not control but one which now controls his future. He will be a better Superintendent at his next golf course; but more importantly he will be a better family man and healthier internally. Despite the same challenges, he may decide to take off a couple hours on a Monday to read a book to his daughter’s class. On a recent jobsite, the Superintendent disappeared for a couple of hours as we went about our business performing a water audit on his golf course. We noticed his truck was missing from its usual place shortly after his stress level redlined out. Later as he drove his golf cart up to us we noticed a devilish little grin on his face. He proceeded to confide in us that he was frustrated with the surprise budget requirements management was asking for and it required numerous hours of additional paperwork. “Did you get it done?” I asked. He smiled as he replied; “No mate, I went surfing and cleared my mind. Every Superintendent needs a way to release the

pressure.” He had taken up surfing months earlier and discovered it helped him deal with the stress during the middle of the day or after work on his way home. Everybody should develop an outlet for themselves. If surfing is not an option do, something simple. When I was stressed as a Superintendent, my Assistant and I would go to the cliff edge overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We would throw rocks into an old steel drum that sat down below the cliff. Try a new sport or hobby. Choose one that allows you to clear your mind and leave the job behind if only for a few minutes. We all know the economy is tough and you certainly don’t want to lose your job in times like this. I’ve never heard of a Superintendent that lost their job because they put in 50 hours a week and not 65. Keep your perspective and never forget that unless you are on the title, it’s not your property. Find your outlet and enjoy the waves on the ocean of life.


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April Meeting Highlights Pictured at left are Jason Lewis (Right) along with two of his Cal Poly Turf Grass Students. At right is Superintendent Jason Pautsch, Hunter Ranch G.C.

Pictured at left is Asst Superintendent at Hunter Ranch, Tony Rudge

For over 80 years the specialty seed source for: -Native Grasses and Wildflowers -Kikuyu, Paspalum, Hybrid Bermuda -Bentgrasses, Fine Fescues, Ryegrasses Golf Course Representatives: Jim Culley 213-268-3193 Don Lewis 213-247-3266 Home Office: 800-621-0315 www.stoverseed.com


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Page 11

April Meeting Highlights Pictured at left is Bill Foy, Michael Barber, Ron Graffus, and Scott Furtak

At left at Tom Elliott, CGCS and Norm Davis


2010/2011 GCSACC BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PRESIDENT KEVIN FRIESEN, CGCS FOSTER ESTATES SECRETARY/TREASURER TRINIDAD HERNANDEZ RIO BRAVO C. C.

VICE PRESIDENT BRIAN DAUM VALLEY CREST/POLO ALTO

BOARD MEMBERS

KEVIN WILES SAN JOAQUIN C.C.

JOSH HEPTIG SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

MICHAEL SWING, CGCS VISALIA COUNTRY CLUB

BOB SCHNEIDERHAN CAL POLY SLO

SCOTT FURTAK EWING IRRIGATION

DAVID ROSENSTRAUGH, CGCS ALISAL RANCH COURSE

ANDY FERNANDEZ AB TURF/HUSTLER TURF EQUIP.

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY IRENE CLINE PHONE (559) 298-4853 FAX (559) 298-6957 EMAIL gcsacc@aol.com


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