Hole Notes The official publication of the MGCSA
Ready For The Ryder An Insiderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Perspective
Vol. 50, No. 3 April 2016
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Vol. 50, No. 3 April 2016
Feature Articles: Ready For The Ryder
pages 18 - 28
Trouble Shooting Single and Multiple Valve Irrigation Circuits
pages 30 - 37
by Chris Tritabaugh, Hazeltine National Golf Club
by Andrew Lindquist, Link Systems Inc
by Dr. Bob Milligan, The LearningEdge
Firmness and Winter Injury of Putting Greens by Sam Bauer and Dr. Brian Horgan UMN Turfgrass Science
Selection Determines the Quality of Your Workforce EDITOR DAVE KAZMIERCZAK, CGCS
Member Driven Research: Wetting Agent Influence on Surface
In Bounds Jack MacKenzie, CGCS
38 - 41
pages 42 - 50
Member Driven Research
Monthly Columns: Presidential Perspective pages Dave Kazmierczak, CGCS
6 - 8
pages 12 - 14
Within the Leather pages 46 - 49 This Month, a “golden oldie”
Who will earn the 2016 Ryder Cup Trophy? We know who the real champions will be. The Hazeltine National Green Staff and volunteer crew. Read about the preparations on pages 18 - 28
Affiliate Spotlight Pages 52-54
Pages 42 - 50 More Great Stuff: Arron Johnson Latest Certified GCS
16 - 17
The Day On The Hill Picture Spread
The Assistants Spring Forum Picture Spread
Have you become an annual Wee One Supporter? weeone.org
Hole Notes (ISSN 108-27994) is digitally published monthly except bimonthly in November/December and January/February by the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association, 10050 204th Street North, Forest Lake, MN 55025. Jack MacKenzie CGCS publisher. Please send any address changes, articles for publication, advertising and concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. Page 5
Presidential Perspective by Dave Kazmierczak CGCS, Superintendent at Prestwick Golf Club Then there are all the things What you don’t that can hurt you even though you know won’t hurt don’t know about them. There you. are many, many more of these. Anything from building your This saying home on a toxic waste site, driving has been around a vehicle whose brakes just went probably as long as man has been walking upright. out, opening an irrigation valve box that had a snake crawl into it, just It’s a contradictory statement, about anything can prove that in that it’s both a true and a statement false. Ignorance won’t false statement. We have all had just hurt you- it can kill you! instances in our lives where we look back and said to ourselves: However, you can’t live life “Man I’m glad I didn’t know always worried about what you that, or something (presumably bad) would have been different”. don’t know or you will drive yourself stark raving mad. We put A simple example is when you play a golf course you have never up defenses and trust there are practices and procedures to deter played before. There is always that hole you hit a great drive on these calamities from happening to us so we can rest easy and get only to pull up to your second shot and notice the hazard on the along with our daily lives. An left that you most assuredly would example of this occurred just last week in the Minnesota Legislature have hooked your shot into had and I bet 99.9 percent of you you known of the peril at hand. didn’t even know it. “Glad I didn’t know that was there,” you tell yourself. On Wednesday April 6,
legislative action, H.F. No. 3231, an omnibus bill, was introduced with an amendment sponsored by Representative Jennifer Schultz, DFL, Duluth stating “A person must not apply a pesticide in the following pesticide classes to the property of a golf course: organophosphates, neonicotinoids, carbamates and synthetic pyrethroids.” If passed, this would have eliminated most of the insecticidal tools we would have at our disposal to combat the various pests that can occasionally or in some cases consistently ravage our golf courses. The amendment was added very late in the process as to try and get passed without much notice. Luckily for golf courses everywhere, the MGCSA’s watchdogs caught it. Two important sources emailed MGCSA Executive Director Jack MacKenzie Wednesday evening alerting him, and us, that this amendment was included and would be considered very soon.
The first was David Flakne, a friend of Jack’s who happens to work for Syngenta as their Senior Director of State Affairs, followed closely by Doug Carnival, a lobbyist for the MGA who has worked with the MGCSA since the phosphorous issue rose its ugly head 11 years ago, thanks to the efforts of Jack and the MGCSA combining with the MGA, CMAA and other golf institutions on matters concerning the legislature and government. The first thing Jack asked was what can I do to abate this awful amendment? Carnival responded get down here and be ready to testify on your behalf the next morning at the House Agriculture Policy Committee Meeting, which Jack did. Jack’s telling of our side of the industry, why we need the chemistries listed in the amendment and the relative safety of these chemistries helped get the amendment stricken from the bill. Had he not been there, had Carnival not been looking out
PagePage 7 7
for our interests, we very well may sells them to a course, a mighty have lost those chemistries in this thank you is in order for Mr. Carnival and Mr. MacKenzie. state. There are two very important points I want to make clear from all of this: 1) This is not, and will not be an isolated incident. This attempted legislation came out of the blue, and there is no reason to believe there are not factions out there planning to get legislators on board for these kinds of bans in the future. 2) The importance of having connections like Carnival, partners like the MGA and a committed Executive Director like Jack MacKenzie is critical. Not just hey great job, not just oh that’s nice we are poking our noses in the process, but critical that we have a vigilant eye on what is going on at the State Capital and with the state agencies so that our business, our means to protect our golf courses, can remain intact. There is no greater evidence than the events that transpired this week. For anybody who uses these chemistries on their course, or Page 8
Unless you have been living under a rock, or never read this magazine before, you probably already realize that Jack is committed to this kind of work, and has forged many alliances with golf partners, environmental organizations, government agencies and the like. You have probably heard one or more of his speeches on our continued water BMP program, or his pollinator efforts, or just his “good story of golf.” His efforts are continually reaping rewards for this association, and this incident proves it. Your membership to the MGCSA has never been more important, nor has it ever truly benefited you like the present. The best is yet to come, both fortunately and unfortunately. In this case, what we didn’t know wouldn’t have hurt us, but definitely would have tied one arm behind our back in our daily fight.
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MINNESOTA GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS’ ASSOCIATION PRESENTS:
MGCSA Prairieland EXPOSURE Golf Event Thank You Sponsors:
Wednesday May 11th, 2016 AWESOME VENUE:
Worthington Golf Club
Registration with coffee and donuts between 9:30 and 9:50 Shotgun Start, mixer, two-man scramble, at 10:00/ lunch at the turn Host Superintendent: Bob Wethor
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MGCSA and Non-MGCSA Area Superintendents and staff are welcome and encouraged to attend this event Contact Jack MacKenzie, Executive Director MGCSA firstname.lastname@example.org 651-324-8873 Please use Registration Form avalable at: mgcsa.org It wouldn’t be the same without you
In Bounds by Jack MacKenzie, CGCS
worked and specific equations. Unfortunately for my summer vacation plans, mediocrity in numeration concerned my mother to the point where I went unhappily to math tutoring, very unhappily, in the months of June, July and August of 1972. Arithmetic and I were never going to be friends and I have come to rely upon the calculator to enhance my computing inadequacies.
Take a moment and consider the following ideas. Seriously, clear your mind of whatever it is that could be occupying your brain for the next ten minutes and consider the possibilities. What if, during your life of ups and downs, learning advancements and challenges, triumphs and setbacks, rather than focusing your time and efforts on correcting your deficiencies you instead concentrated upon what you absolutely and naturally succeed at or perform the best at? How much energy and thought have you spent working on a skill that never did, nor ever would, come naturally and how many opportunities to really accentuate your positives have been potentially squandered?
On the other hand, I have always been an avid reader and enjoyed writing, science, teaching and the process of thought. Some would say that these natural traits are my strong suit and their application fit my personality like a glove. Sadly, beyond complacently doing very well in these topics in school, I never pushed myself to wax my organic talents until they shined. My efforts were all too often focused on overcoming the poor performance of my unnatural tendencies.
As a child, I stunk in math. Oh, to be honest, I got by on a limited knowledge of how figures
Isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t that the way of our society? We tend to focus on our inadequacies and ignore our inherent
the book StrengthsFinder, by Tom Rath, to read and digest. Part of the program included a lengthy Recently I was chosen to and timed on-line survey to be used participate with a very select group of individuals pursuing certification to assess my natural strengths. as Master Watershed Stewards in the Those strong innate skills were St. Croix Valley Watershed. This is used to generate five themes that one of three national programs being provided guidelines for consideration and then suggestions to enhance cultivated by the EPA to enhance public awareness of our watersheds my awareness, application and achievement. through more personal, neighborly, dialogue rather than agency mandates. The project hopes to The premise of the first exercise emulate the success that the Master is to make you aware of your instinctive talents; those that give Gardener program has brought the home hobby horticulturist. you great pleasure in pursuing and likely to bring the greatest return on At the first weekend retreat your investment. The second step of the program I began, under in the process evaluates everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strengths in a group setting and the leadership of professionals, a series of instruction from active allows for comparing, contrasting citizenship and government policy and eventually partnering to assure organizational advancement to to the nature of watersheds and reach a common goal. It is all about their interconnection with human behavior. One section of study discovering your top tier intuitive functionalities and pairing with is focused solely upon leadership and how to execute initiatives others of different abilities yet by maximizing the natural skills desiring the same outcome. individuals bring to an organization. On one hand the process was Before leadership discussion, terribly disappointing. In my 56 all of the participants were given years I had spent an inordinate aptitudes.
amount of time trying to get really good at things that I just wasn’t genetically predisposed to conquer. This attempt to be great at everything was actually an anchor preventing me from becoming exceptional at my naturally talented interests. Adding to the frustration are my memories of strongly encouraging each of my kids to be better than average in areas of interest that they may never excel in, rather than encouraging them to hit a “grand slam” in topics that they have the potential to reign supreme. Who knows where my family would be if we had concentrated on our strengths. And achieving that incomparable level likely would have been great fun to do. On the other hand, the leadership program has been very gratifying, as it has empowered me to pursue, guilt-free, my expertise in areas that bring me pleasure. It has prescribed an acknowledgement that I really am poor at a number of skills, but not to worry as long as I have some degree of competence or know the tools to temper my
deficiencies. Consider your life, as an individual, a spouse, a subordinate and a boss. What if you could be adequate in many things but truly outstanding in specific areas by applying your natural strengths? Imagine the “what ifs” had you focused hard on something you were organically skilled at and enjoyed doing. Contemplate how efficient your work team can be if you were to assess individual strengths and partnered your employees based upon harmonic talents instead of throwing a bunch of uninspired individuals together with your desired outcome as the goal. What would be a more efficient use of your labor budget? What would generate a superior end product? I encourage you to pause and think about the things that you are really great at and what it is that you do that brings you great joy. Perhaps you will find that both are mutually inclusive.
Morton Superintendent Receives Professional Certification To qualify for GCSAA’s top certification, a candidate must have at least three years’ experience as a golf course superintendent, be currently employed in that capacity and meet post-secondary educational requirements and/or continuing education points. A candidate’s knowledge, skills and abilities are validated through development of a portfolio consisting of case-study scenarios, skill statements and work samples; an on-site inspection of the golf facility; and a rigorous six“This certification program requires hour examination covering turfgrass cultural practices, golf course landthe highest set of competencies in scapes, pest management, equipgolf course management through ment, Rules of Golf, business systesting and practical application, tems, regulator and programmatic and we are proud of the Associasystems, project management, hution’s Class A members who have man resources, environmental manadvanced to earn this highest level of professional recognition as a cer- agement and stewardship, natural systems and ethics and values. tified golf course superintendent,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA chief executive officer. “We congratulate About the Golf Course SuperinAaron Johnson on his accomplish- tendents Association of America (GCSAA) ment.” The Golf Course Superintendents Aaron Johnson, golf course superintendent at Dacotah Ridge Golf Club, Morton, Minn., has earned the title of Certified Golf Course Superintendent (CGCS) by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), a top designation currently held by only about 1,500 golf course superintendents worldwide. Johnson, a 12-year GCSAA member, has been the superintendent at Dacotah Ridge GC since 2010.
Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization that focuses on golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the Association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 72 countries. The Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance
the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Find GCSAA on Facebook, follow GCSAA on Twitter and visit GCSAA at www. gcsaa.org. The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA, founded to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit the EIFG at www.eifg. org.
eady For The yder!
By Chris Tritabaugh, Superintendent at Hazeltine National Golf Club Kerry Haigh is the PGA of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chief Championship Officer and has been the setup man for the PGA Championship and US hosted Ryder Cups for 20Page 18
some years. Given our positions, it would not have been unusual on the Thursday morning of Masters Week to find Kerry and I spending 30 minutes talking about Ryder
Cup prep. However, the location of our meeting was a bit of a fantasy. As the first few groups of the 2016 Masters were introduced on the first tee, Kerry and I chatted about 100
yards away, just behind the 10th tee. We talked about plans for his next visit, the tree work completed over the winter and a couple of options in regard to raking bunkers between Page 19
the morning and afternoon matches. As Kerry and I stood at Augusta National Golf Club and discussed the Ryder Cup, I couldn’t help but smile.
this as a theme, but our approach to things this season will differ as little as possible from how we approach any other season.
If everything goes to plan, the Since arriving at Hazeltine, biggest difference between this season and any other golf season will my number one goal for the Ryder be the construction of infrastrucCup, well number two really, just ture, both on and off the course. It’s behind making sure the course is not every golf season that nearly great; is to make sure everyone in2,000,000 square feet of floorvolved has fun. Whether it is the ing and gravel are placed on a golf Hazeltine staff working during the golf season, or the 100+ volunteers course. PGA contractors will begin building the infrastructure on June coming to help during the week of the event, everyone should find the 1st and will continue right up to Ryder Cup to be a fun and reward- the beginning of Ryder Cup week. ing experience. This should be easy, While the Hazeltine turfgrass staff is not directly responsible for the but I also think it will be just as easy, if not easier, to lose the forest construction, we will need to confor the trees. Weather, time demands stantly monitor the contractors, in and who knows what could all cre- order to make sure our underground infrastructure is being protected ate stresses, which if not carefully managed, can trickle down and im- and avoided. Hazeltine’s irrigation pact the entire staff. Just like during tech, Keith Conway has been at HNGC for 20 years, while project any golf season, a cool head and decisive decision making will go a foreman Steve Giesen is in his 26th long way towards keeping stress at year. Both are veterans of multiple a minimum. Planning, organization Major Championships, which gives me and the rest of the staff a great and communication will all make deal of comfort. When a contracsure our goals are accomplished, while creating an enjoyable experi- tor needs an area marked, they will ence for all involved. You will note call Keith directly and he or another Page 20
Hazeltine National key staff members left to right: Ryan Moy, Assistant Superintendent (10 years), Steve Gieson (26 years), Mike Graves (6 years) and Keith Conway (20 years).
staff member will be able to quickly handle the request. In order to keep things efficient and hopefully limit mistakes and oversight; I have, as much as possible, tried to remove myself as the middleman when it comes to many parts of our Ryder Cup prep. A contractor request coming to me, then has to be relayed to a member of the staff. I have no shame admitting this need for relay creates an opportunity for me to forget to pass along the message. Sometimes as superintendents, the best thing we can do is to give our staff the resources and information they need, then get out of the way
and let them do their job. Removing myself as the middleman between PGA contractors and our staff seems an easy way to avoid mistakes. The initial infrastructure build will take place in areas off the golf course. Only after the Hazeltine Invitation, the third week of June, will contractors begin building on the golf course. In only one area of the build have I made a request for specific timing. This request involves our turf nursery. Our entire nursery, located to the left of Hazeltineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 7th hole, will be covered by a chalet village. I have worked with PGA
was felt Hazeltine’s 6th, 7th and 8th holes offered the potential for better late match drama. All three holes have greens with water on one side, while the seventh is Hazeltine’s only truly reachable par-5. If you know Hazeltine well, you will find it slightly different for 2. The spectator opportunities to the Ryder Cup. The last five holes view this drama are vastly superior of each nine are being flip-flopped. on 6, 7 and 8, than on 15, 16 and The order of play for the Ryder 17. All three holes on Hazeltine’s Cup will be 1-4, 14-18, 10-13, 5-9. traditional back nine feature limThere are three main reasons for this ited spectator sight lines, while vast change: amounts of space for spectating ex1. Roughly 85% of Ryder Cup ist on 6, 7 and 8. matches finish on 15, 16 and 17. It 3. Due to limited daylight during Ryder Cup week, the matches will push darkness on all three days of competition; especially in the case of any weather delays. The main spectator entrance is on the south end of the property, which is then connected to a very wide road which follows Hazeltine’s 1st, 8th and 7th holes. Finishing matches at dusk Operations Manager, Kevin Wright, to make sure no construction takes place on our nursery until the second week of August.
in close proximity to this road will allow for much safer spectator egress each evening. In order to prepare and avoid confusion, the Club will be playing the Ryder Cup routing for the entire 2016 golf season. One of the most frequent questions I get is; “when will you be closing the course?” We have only two real limitations on play for the 2016 golf season. Beginning on August 1st, all players will be required to play all fairway and par three tee shots from a 6x18” mat of artificial turf. Each player will carry this mat will them as they play the course. If their ball comes to rest on the fairway turf, they must pick it up and play the shot from the mat. Our goal in using the mats is to stop the accumulation of divots and begin allowing them to heal during the month of August and early September. After Labor Day, the course will close to all play, excepting any participants. This will give us three complete weeks of prep prior to Ryder Cup
week and plenty of time to heal from cart traffic and any remaining divots. Given about eight weeks of healing time, we expect the putting surfaces, tees and fairways should look virtually untouched by Ryder Cup week. My first three seasons at Hazeltine have focused on the development of an agronomic program of bentgrass promotion and management. Our goal was the creation of a program we felt would be replicable in 2016. I feel very comfortable that we have accomplished this. This agronomic program is one of simplicity and despite the magni-
tude of the event, I have no intent to add layers of complication to our agronomics for the 2016 season. The biggest change to our program will come in the area of fall plant growth regulator (PGR) usage. As a default, I usually stay on our PGRs at nearly mid-season rates right through September; in order to keep Poa from gaining any ground during the fall. This PGR use, combined with the cooler weather and shorter days, leads to a drastic reduction in growth. A reduction we compensate for by greatly limiting our fall mowing. Obviously the Ryder Cup, falling at the end of September/ beginning of October, is going to require daily mowing for the better
part of a week. In-turn, our use of PGRs will be the one area in which our agronomic program is drastically different in 2016. Beginning near Labor Day, I plan to remove all PGRs from fairway surfaces. Tees and greens will likely be reduced by 50-75%, then built up again as/ if needed. By rule, I do not use Primo in our program. However, I do expect to use some Primo, as/if needed on all surfaces, leading up to the event. Since the course will be closed in September, we will be able to handle any flush of growth when coming out of regulation, with frequent dry mowing. This flush should also allow for any remaining divots to be completely healed. As we go
spring, we will overseed with bentthrough September, we can always add a little PGR back to the surfaces, grass, then use Velocity to get rid of any Poa. I estimate Poa to be about should we feel it is necessary. 10-15%, which means it may be as Another area in which we will high as 25-30%. This area of our be altering our agronomic program practice tee will then be maintained is on the area of the practice tee be- with our fairway program during the entirety of the 2016 golf season. ing used during Ryder Cup week. Our practice tees are bentgrass and while we work to make them With the exception of the PGRs a reasonable representation of our and the practice tee, our agronomic fairways, they truthfully are not. In program for 2016 will be pretty much identical to what we impleorder to heal the tee continuously through the season, we treat our mented last season. practice tees almost as a grow-in 100% of the time. In order to make Volunteers have become a fixthe transition from turf which is ture at golfâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Major Championships fairway-like to turf identical to, we and the Ryder Cups and at Hazelwill be keeping this area of the prac- tine this fall, it will be no different. tice tee out of play all season. In the The level of conditioning expected,
combined with a need to complete work in a tight timeframe, demands the need for a golf course maintenance team of 100-plus. I have had a chance to experience the volunteer effort at a number of Majors and I can tell you the experience is like nothing else in the golf business. Our hundred plus people all coming together with the common goal of making a golf course the absolute best it can be is fun, rewarding and energizing all at once. The volunteer effort for the Ryder Cup is a 100% self-funded endeavor. Housing out of town volunteers, uniforms and food among other items must all be funded through donations from our generous affiliate members. When Page 26
this event is over, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to add fundraiser to my resume. During my visit to Augusta, what struck me as the difference between the Masters and other Major Championships was the attention to detail. By no means does that mean attention to detail is lacking at other Majors. The advantage the Masters has is they do it every year. The evolution they have been able to achieve by learning from that they did the year before is something we all put to good use at our facilities. I had the great fortune to spend 15 minutes chatting with Augusta National Superintendent Brad Owen. Brad flat out said as much;
“We’ve done this for 60 years and the natural evolution of doing so has allowed us to achieve the levels we achieve.”
worked more than 35 Major Championships. Our head mechanic, Ralph Arnt is in his 28th season at HNGC. He and Steve Giesen were both on the HNGC staff for the There is no magic at Augusta, 1991 US Open. Assistant superinthe conditioning comes down to a tendent Mike Graves, along with group of passionate and hardwork- myself, are the only full-time staff ing individuals, executing a highly not to work a Major at HNGC. We tuned program. Of course a few will be joining the volunteer staff at extra resources also lend their hand. the Players Championship in May. It As we work toward the Ryder Cup, will be another opportunity to learn our team is working to fine tune our from those running an annual event. program using the Major Championship experience on our staff and Our volunteer team is still beof others around the industry. Com- ing finalized, but it will contain bined, the full-time and seasonal many individuals who have Major members of our staff at HNGC have Championship experience. Expe-
Equipment Managers Tom Wheeler (16 years) and Ralph Arnt (28 years).
rience from which we will not be afraid to take advice come event week. Additionally, many of our volunteers will be working their very first Major Championship/Ryder Cup. I am very much looking forward to putting all of these people together for a fun and rewarding week of golf course prep and camaraderie. In addition to Ryder Cup week, we will be looking for volunteers to help us during the three weeks of closure. This will be an opportunity to expand the number of MGCSA members who are able to experience the Ryder Cup. More
information on pre-Ryder Cup week volunteering will come as we move through the summer. I feel very fortunate as a golf course superintendent to have this opportunity. The very best I can do in my role, is to make sure my friends, colleagues and co-workers who are a part of this wonderful event, feel they were integral to the eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. The Ryder Cup will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the better the experience is for my staff and our volunteers, the better Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll feel about the job I have done.
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Troubleshooting Single and Multiple Valve Irrigation Circuits By Andrew Lindquist, Link Systems Inc.
This article is the first in a series of articles presenting the basic principles of using a voltage-ohm meter (multimeter) in determining the electrical condition of an irrigation system. Although there are numerous respectable electrical testing devices available for irrigation system troubleshooting, a multimeter can provide specific measured values that assist you to decisively determine the type of the electrical trouble(s) that exist. This article assumes that you have a basic understanding about the types, applications, and safe use of a multimeter. If you need a refresher, there are several good online instructional videos availableof which I would recommend the following YouTube video as a place to start: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=9IZUvTyOGAk . The Irrigation Circuit: In this article, we will be troubleshooting a simple five station Page 30
(circuit) conventional irrigation system. Troubleshooting systems that use direct current (DC) valves and two-wire system will be presented in subsequent articles. Of the five station circuits available, we will be analyzing only the first two circuits. As shown in Figure “A”, Terminal (Circuit) “1” contains one electric valve and Terminal (Circuit) “2” contains three electrical valves wired in a parallel configuration. ( ) Connecting these valves in a parallel configuration will cause all three valves to energize simultaneously when Terminal Circuit “2” is activated. All valves in the system are electrically identical – each having 30 ohm of resistance and drawing 0.9 amps when activated by the irrigation controller’s 24 volt alternating current (AC) output. ( ) Our multimeter troubleshooting process is to establish expecta-
tion of what the electrical characteristics should be for an intact/perfect system, and then compare these expected values to the system’s actual electrical characteristics. A great advantage of using a multimeter to troubleshoot is that the resulting expected value vs. measured values will provide ideas as to the repair action(s) that may be required. Figure “A” provides us an “as-built” (an accurate representation of the
system) to reference as we troubleshoot this scenario. Having an accurate as-built is a somewhat rare but valuable troubleshooting aid. Referencing Figure “A”, we will structure the expected vs. actual observations and reading into three steps: (1) Analyze the system as a whole (2) Analyze the controller (3) Analyze the system’s wiring and components.
Expected Irrigation System’s Values:
input (approximately 112 volts AC) and the controller’s output at each terminal. The controller’s manufac(1) Whole System Expectations: ture’s specifications state that there “Whole system” malfunction factors should be 24 volts AC out of the typically represent a large portion of controller’s transformer and at each irrigation system issues. Therefore, terminal. you will first want to verify, inspect and repair any obvious and subtle (3) Circuit 1 Expectations: Circuit whole system issues. Those would 1 contains one valve that, according include: physical damage due to to manufacturer’s specifications, is impact/vandalism, rodents, and con- expected to give a multimeter readstruction/digging; ensure adequate ing of 30 ohm resistance and draw water volume & pressure- that the 0.9 amps when energized. water control valve is open; system Note: Sometimes you do not have leaks are not present, etc. Your time the luxury of having valve electrical spent verifying the whole system is performance information at-hand. time well spent. Therefore, if you don’t know (2) Controller Expectation’s: the expected resistance values, take Check for programming errors (a readings of several existing site major malfunctioning contributor) valves (or similar valves you may and inadequate installation “failhave with you) and use these readures” (especially poor wire conings as your “expected” resistance nects). Make note of any recent reading. storms and look for burnt/discolored wiring and circuit boards caused by Circuit 2 Expectations: This lightning surges or other electrical circuit contains three 30 ohm valves surges. Look for sensors that might that draw 0.9 amps (according to be affecting system operation- dis- manufacture specifications). The connect them and test separately if circuit’s wiring will create an ohm need be. Verify pump-start circuit. resistance of approximately 1.0 ohm Measure controller’s power supply per 1000 ft. For residential systems, Page 32
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the resistance attributed to its short wiring lengths is negligible. Therefore, we will only be concerned with the resistance created by the three 30 ohm valves.
larger the diameter of the wire), the lower the resistance of the circuit. The reduction in resistance due to multiple wire paths, can be easily calculated, providing us an ‘expected’ resistance value. In the case of Circuit 2, three times more paths The parallel wiring configuavailable will create one-third the ration of this circuit will create an expected measured resistance of 10 resistance. Calculation wise, the expected resistance for a three valve ohms. What!!! …more solenoids and less resistance? That makes no (30 ohm each) circuit wired in a parsense! Well, yep, that’s correct. This allel configurations, calculates to 10 takes a bit of explaining, so hang-in ohms (30 ohms divided by three). Note: If the circuit situation conthere. tained two 30 ohm valves wired in parallel, we would expect the circuit We are measuring the resisresistance to be 15 ohms (30 ohms tance created in the circuit due to electrons “bumping” into each other divided by two). For a four valve circuit, we would expect 7.5 ohms and getting bottle-necked as its (30 ohms divided by four). travels from terminal to common. When valves (solenoids) are wired in parallel, the electrical path that Actual Observations & Readthe electrons take down the wire ings: have multiple paths to get from the (1) Whole System Observations: terminal, through the solenoids, and Since you are troubleshooting an back to the control circuit’s comirrigation system, take an initial mon terminal. Therefore, multiple look at the overall system… don’t paths for electron flow mean lower just jump to conclusions (make asresistance. Compared to Circuit 1sumptions) based upon previous site which only has one wire path for history or owner/operator advice. the electrons, Circuit 2 has three It is easy to take for granted that a wire paths. Therefore, the more wire system malfunction is due to equippaths available (and likewise, the ment. Quite often the malfunction is Page 34
due to: “operator failure”- incorrect programming… which, as controllers become more sophisticated in their abilities, so does their proper programming process- and possible errors. Also, verify that environmental sensors are not incorrectly overriding system operation. Look for vandalism, rodents chewing wires, site construction or digging activities. Were various “improvements” done to the system correctly? Look for post-installation add-ons. System owners and unskilled irrigation installers are notorious for installing or improving systems incor-
G o l f
rectly. Overall, there is a whole host of ‘non-product and component’ trouble causing issues out there. You will always run into a “Man, I’ve never seen this one before” issue. Don’t assume anything. In this “Figure A” scenario, our “whole system” observations checks out OK. (2) Controller: Actual reading for the controller is 24 volts AC, which meets manufacture’s recommendations. Note that a conventional controller output can vary between 19 and 28 volts AC. If we are not getting this expected voltage, we would want to check the voltage from the
C o u r s e A r c h i t e c t s
Phone: 952.361.0644 Fax: 952.361.0645 e-mail: email@example.com web: www.herfortnorby.com
typically have one output terminal for operating the controller’s timing mechanism and another output for operating the irrigation circuits. Read the manufacture’s product sheets to determine what transformer performance is expected. If transformer’s output is outside of specifications, replace it. (Note: Some transformers may have an internal fuse that may be malfunctioning. Controller transformers may be Hopefully you can access this inlocated externally or internally. Ad- ternal fuse and replace it. However, ditionally, the transformer may have many internally fused transformers several voltage output points/levare sealed, thereby prohibiting its repair.) els. Such “multi-tap’ transformers controller’s power supply... expecting to have between 110 to 132 volts (with 112 volts typically the “standard” voltage). If the controller’s power supply is adequate, you need to verify the controller’s fuses, wiring and its transformer output. Safely check fusses and wring first. Then check the controller’s transformer.
When replacing fuses, wires, electronic circuitry, and transformers, be sure to de-energize the controller from its power supply. Additionally, always determine what caused the damage. That is, do not just throw in new parts and turn the power on before determining (and eliminating) what caused the damage initially. Just replacing and reenergizing the system is a ‘plug and pray’ technique and is not part of any irrigation professional’s troubleshooting techniques.
which is within in the range of the manufacture’s recommendation. Note that the voltage output at the terminal is not dependent upon what ‘load’ (number of solenoids) present in its wiring circuit. Measured resistance of this circuit is 10 ohms, which meets our expectations. Now that we have completed the troubleshooting process to determining Figure A’s expected vs. measurements along with what a “perfect” System A would measure, let’s start applying this troubleshooting processes to various electrical “troubleshooting” scenarios.
(3) Circuit 1: There are two electrical quantities that we would want to measure: voltage output at the terminal and circuit’s resistance. In this case, Circuit 1’s measured voltage output at its terminal is 24 volts, which is well within the range of the manufacture’s recommendation. The resistance of the entire wiring and solenoids in this irrigation circuit measures at 30 ohms, which meets manufacture’s specifications. Circuit 2: There are two electrical quantities that we would want to measure: voltage output at the terminal and circuit resistance. In this case, Circuit 2’s measured voltage output at its terminal is 24 volts,
The MGCSA thanks Andy Lindquist for his expertice and inight into electrical circutry. Andy owns and operates Links Systems Inc.
Selection Determines the Quality of Your Workforce By Dr. Bob Milligan, The LearningEdge
With this year’s NFL draft a short time away, sports pages and sports talk shows are buzzing with speculation about draft choices. Why do NFL teams spend millions of dollars preparing for the draft, and football fans become almost fanatical about it? The answer is that this is selection for NFL teams, and the choices determine team quality and success in the future!
the NFL draft a little further. Do NFL teams look only at the skill levels and past performance of the players? The answer is “NO.” They look also look at what is often called “fit.” There is the oft recalled 1998 draft where based on past performance and skills, everyone said the first two draft choices would be quarterbacks and the choice was difficult because the two had almost identical skills. The Indianapolis Colts, with the first pick, carefully Selection is when you choose studied many personal traits, includthose who are going to become members of your maintenance staff ing using sports psychologists, in - your team! The NFL is in a posi- their decision to draft Peyton Mantion where they do not need recruit- ning. The San Diego Chargers, ment. Essentially every quality with the second choice, selected football player wants to be selected. the seemingly as well qualified Ryan Leaf. Leaf turned out to be a You must first succeed in recruitment to you have quality candidates bust and Manning still is one of the to select. Given that quality candi- greatest quarterbacks ever. Selecdates have been recruited, selection tion matters! becomes crucial for you course, just as it is for NFL teams. In selection we need to look at more than experience and skills. Let’s pursue our analogy with This notion of “fit” has two dimen-
sions. The first is related to whether the skill set is what is needed for the course. Back to football, teams focusing on passing the ball will look for lineman whose strength is pass blocking.
Diversity is critical to every course; respecting diversity and avoiding any type of discrimination is paramount.
The first key to selection is knowing what you are looking for. The second part of “fit” is fit with your golf course maintenance Taking into account the job staff culture. Does this candidate description and the necessary “fit,” have the personal values, interests, carefully identify and articulate the and career goals that will enable him three to five most important “comor her to contribute to and thrive in petencies” to succeed in the posiyour course culture? It is crucial tion. Competencies are the skills, to recognize that culture fit is NOT knowledge, experience, perforhiring someone who is just like us. mance behaviors, and personal at-
tributes required to succeed in this position. How then do we select the best candidate? Selection involves choosing from the pool of candidates the individual or individuals who best match the competencies needed to succeed in the position. Remember that you are a) determining the qualifications, potential of this candidate for the position, and “fit” with the course and its culture; AND b) promoting the position and your course so the candidate is likely to accept should you offer him/ her the position.
The selection process involves many steps, typically the following: • Review of resumes and/or application forms • One or more employment interviews • Testing, assessments and simulations • Reference checks and recommendations • Hiring The heart of selection is the interview. Here are some ideas to ensure you are prepared for and have a
constructive interview: • Recognize that an interview is an important, stressful event that requires significant structure • Construct a schedule for the interview • Make certain that the candidates fully understand in advance what to expect - anything he/she should bring or prepare, interview time (start and end), interview location (the golf course maintenance facility is not always easy to locate), interview schedule, and format including appropriate dress • Make certain that there are no interruptions during the interview. You must make every effort to make the candidate feel comfortable. Give the candidate many opportunities to ask questions. • Make certain the candidate knows exactly what to expect when he or she leaves the interview.
by writing a series of questions for each of the competencies. Make certain you have different difficulty levels in the questions. You learn a lot both from questions that the candidate can easily answer and those that he or she finds difficult or even impossible to answer.
What and when is the next step.
A prepared set of questions to be asked of all candidates is a unanimous recommendation of all interviewing experts and practitioners. How, then, do we write good interview questions? You should begin
The MGCSA would like to thank Dr. Milligan for his leadership series and professional support. Dr. Bob authors the LearningEdge educational programing.
Many of us have a tendency to ask question that begin with “what would you do if ...?” Research and interviewing experience has shown that a better question begins with “tell me what you did the last time this happened ...?” A concluding remark: Just as a football team greatly influences the future success of their team on draft day, you are influencing the future success of your golf course every time you select a new member of your team - your workforce! Full steam ahead.
Wetting Agent Influence on Surface Firmness and Winter Injury of Putting Greens Sam Bauer and Dr. Brian Horgan Wetting agents are tools that many golf course superintendents use to manage soil moisture. Recently, there has been an increase in wetting agent product claims that their use improves surface firmness and reduces winter injury; however, research on these benefits is limited. We are aware of only three additional research projects that have assessed wetting agent influence on surface firmness of putting greens, and there are no research studies that have evaluated the impact related to winter health. The three firmness study results have not been published in peer reviewed literature. In 2007, Moeller et al. found no differences in the surface firmness
of putting greens following the application of three commercially available wetting agents. Dr. Doug Karcher (U. of Arkansas) also evaluated the influence of eight wetting agent products on the surface firmness of putting greens in Arkansas and found no differences in firmness based on treatment (unpublished data). He concluded by saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;(wetting agents) appear to have little effect on putting surface performanceâ&#x20AC;?. Most recently, Nangle et al. (2015) studied firmness effects of four wetting agents on a creeping bentgrass putting green in IL, finding no differences.
The winter benefits of fall-applied wetting agents have not been documented in research. Winter injury of turfgrasses can occur due to several mechanisms, including desiccation, crown hydration, suffocation and anoxia, direct low temperature injury, and low temperature fungi. All of these Product can be afAquiflo fected by the moisture con- Aquicare Cascade Plus tent of soils Duplex and/or plants and wetting Cascade Plus/Duplex agents may Fleet have an influ- Revolution ence on this. Primer Select Sixteen90/Dispatch Sprayable
wetting agent persistence following late-fall applications. Results from Year 1 of the trial were published in the April 2015 issue of Hole Notes. This article serves to summarize the results of Year 2 and compare both years. Rate (oz/1000ft2)
Overall objectives: 1. To determine the impact of seasonlong wetting agent programs on the surface firmness of putting greens. 2. To evaluate wetting agent persistence from late-fall wetting agent applications.
Since Sixteen90 4 Aquatrols the spring Dispatch Spraybale 4 Aquatrols of 2014, we Tournament Ready Initial 8, 4 Kalo have been 2 Mitchell evaluating the Tricure AD Untreated N/A N/A surface firmMaterials and ness influTable 1. Wetting agent treatment list including rates Methods ence by wetand manufacturers. In Year 2 we ting agents at utilized a newthe Turfgrass ly established ‘Penn A4’ section of Research, Outreach and Education Center (TROE). Due to lack of turf the USGA (88:12 sand/peat) green. This area had better surface consisinjury in the spring of both years, water drop penetration tests (WDPT) tency and lower thatch levels than the were conducted in March to evaluate mature ‘Alpha’ creeping bentgrass Page 43
studied in 2014. Plots measured 1.5 x 1.5 m and treatments were applied with four replications. The wetting agent treatment list was the same in both years (Table 1). Applications were initiated in early-May of 2015 and applied through mid-October on four week intervals. Spray volume was set at 2gal/1000ft2 and all treatments were immediately watered in with 0.25 to 0.35 in of water. The treatment area was fertilized weekly at 0.10 lb N per 1000ft2. Plots were mowed at 0.125 inch five times per week. Supplemental irrigation was applied only when plots reached a
volumetric water content threshold of 6% (this never occurred in 2015). Plots were evaluated weekly for: − Turfgrass quality (1-9 scale, 6=minimum acceptable): density, uniformity, color and leaf texture. − Volumetric water content (VWC) (TDR 300, Spectrum Tech): average of 5 measurements per plot to 4.8 inches. − Surface firmness (Clegg Impact Soil Tester 0.5 KG model, Lafayette Instruments): weight dropped 4 consecutive times in the same place and
Figure 1. Clegg impact values (surface firmness) measured on June 18th, 2015. Higher values indicate firmer surfaces. p = .038, LSD = 0.86
measurement recorded. Three locations per plot. − Chlorophyll index (CM 1000, Spectrum Technologies): average of 9 measurements per plot taken at 12:00pm (± 2hr). − Spring water droplet penetration times (Dekker et al., 2001): four ¾ inch soil cores were taken from each plot to depth of 2.5 inches on March 22nd, 2016. Drops (35 µL) of distilled water were placed at depths of 0.39, 0.98, 1.57 and 2.17 inches on each core and a penetration time in seconds (s) was recorded.
Results: Surface firmness In 2015 similar trends were observed in terms of surface firmness compared to 2014, although some products had different firmness characteristics from year to year. We also saw greater statistical differences in product performance in 2015 and this could be attributed to better surface consistency across the trial area. The growing season of 2015 included frequent precipitation and VWC never dropped below 12% across the trial
Figure 2. Clegg impact values (surface firmness) measured August 20th, 2015. Higher values indicate firmer surfaces. p = .034, LSD = 0.85
Day On The Hill St. Paul Capital Campus
The 2016 Golf Allied Association Day On The Hill was an incredible success with almost two dozen industry representatives visiting with over twenty five percent of the legislative body. In teams, the Ambassadors met with their Representatives or Senators and shared the good story of golf. At the end of each presentation the “ask” took place, “Would you support providing the Department of Natural Resources the flexibility to amend water appropriation permits for BMP certified golf courses?” Over 95 percent of the legislatures embraced the proposal. A more formal proposal will be developed and presented during the 2017 session. Page 46 46 Page
area; the only supplemental irrigation Duplex and Primer Select were also in the top group. This difference is applied to plots occurred following likely related to the fact that wetwetting agent applications. ting agent performance is affected by Treatments that often provided thatch and organic matter, as well as a softer surface in 2015 as measured putting green maturity. with the clegg hammer include: Sixteen90/Dispatch Sprayable, Aquiflo, Volumetric water content, turfCascade Plus (3 or more of 5 ocgrass quality, chlorophyll index currences in the lower 30% of treatments). Treatments that often provid- Volumetric water content was ed a firmer surface include: Duplex, not significant on any rating date in Aquicare, Primer Select (4 or more 2015, and this is surprising given of 5 occurrences in the upper 30% the differences in surface firmness. of treatments). Clegg Impact Values There are two potential explanations on the dates of June 18th and August for this: 1) the 4.8 inch probes tar20th, 2015 reflect these observageting the bentgrass rootzone were tions (Figures 1 and 2). The untreated too deep to pick up shallow moisture control was often near the center of which influences firmness, and 2) the each data set, indicating firmness reported accuracy of the Spectrum differences based on surfactant type. TDR 300 is Âą 3% VWC, which may Other wetting agents varied in firm- not be accurate enough to pick up ness values throughout the study or small differences in soil moisture. performed closer to the untreated Still, general trends were made becontrol. tween high water content and softer surfaces. Some wetting agents behaved differently in regards to surface firm- Chlorophyll index and turfgrass ness from Year 1 to Year 2. For quality ratings were only significant example, in 2014 the firmest treaton one date each, June 18th and Auments under adequate soil moisture gust 9th, respectively in 2015. When conditions were Aquicare, Fleet, significant, high turfgrass quality and Cascade Plus, and Sixteen90/Dischlorophyll index ratings generally patch Sprayable. In 2015, Aquicare reflected those plots that were the was still a firm treatment, however softest and held the most moisture
In 2014, WDPT tests were not significant at the 1.57 and 2.17 inch depths (p < 0.05) indicating a lack of wetWater drop penetration tests ting agent presence, and penetration No winter injury was observed times varied from 7 to 22 seconds (1.57 in) and 6 to 13 seconds (2.17 in the spring of 2016 and turfgrass in). These penetration times indicate quality was the same across treatments. The last wetting agent appli- slight water repellency at this depth cation in 2015 was completed on Oc- based on classifications by Dekker et al., 2001. Significant differences in tober 23rd and WDPT sample cores were pulled from the plots on March penetration times at the 0.39 and 0.98 22nd, 2016. Four sub-samples were inch depths (Figure 3) show the presence of wetting agent closer to the evaluated for each plot. The cores surface near the thatch and mat laywere set to dry at room temperature ers. This is not surprising as wetting for two weeks, after which WDPT agents would have a greater affinity tests were performed. (data not shown).
Figure 3. Spring water drop penetration times taken on March 26th, 2015. Measurements at 0.39 in and 0.98 in depths are significant at p = 0.0001 and 0.0035, respectively. 0.39 in (LSD = 13.55) and 0.98 in (LSD = 11.07) Page 48
low depth, the untreated control had the longest time to penetrate at 31 seconds (Figure 4). Statistically, Duplex (22 sec) and Aquiflo (22 sec) were not different than the untreated, indicating a lack of residual from these products. Revolution (2.2 sec) and Fleet (3.8 sec) had the fastest water drop penetration times indicating persistence of these products In 2015, WDPT tests were only through the winter months and into the early spring. Other treatments significantly different at the 0.39 inch depth and this is possibly due to such as Primer Select and Aquicare were also persistent in the soil at this a lower level of thatch and organic matter near the surface. At this shal- time (Figure 4). Overall water drop for organic matter. At 0.39 inches, Duplex and the untreated control had the longest time to penetrate (> 50 seconds) and all other wetting agents tested below 15 seconds. This indicates that the Duplex treatment was not persistent into the spring. At the 0.98 inch depth, Revolution had the fastest penetration time (Figure 3).
Figure 4. Spring water drop penetration times taken on March 22nd, 2016. Measurements at the 0.39 in depth are significant at p = 0.0003. Measurements at the 0.98 depth are not significant (p = 0.301). 0.39 in (LSD = 11.18)
penetration times were faster in 2015 and this is likely due to the lower levels of thatch in the trial area. One interesting observation- the products with the highest application rate (Fleet 8oz, Revolution, 6oz) tended to show the greatest persistence, and a low rate product like Duplex (1oz) was the least persistent. This observation leads us to suspect that spring residual is likely impacted by application rate. Conclusions Results from two years of wetting agent trials indicate that surface firmness is influenced by wetting agents, although results are inconsistent and may vary by season and surface type. General correlations were made between surface firmness and volumetric water content (softer = more moisture), but moisture data was never significantly different between treatments. Late-fall applications of wetting agents appear to persist in soils the following spring for a majority of the products tested, as residual wetting agent was found in the upper 0.98 inches of the soil profile. Turfgrass quality and chlorophyll index were rarely improved with wetting agent applications and this may be due to minimal hydroPage 50
phobicity of soils over the study area and adequate rainfall over the trial period. Acknowledgements The authors would like to extend gratitude to Matt Cavanaugh for leading this work over the past two years. We would also like to thank Andrew Hollman, Jonah Reyes, Ryan Schwab, and Joey Brettingen for assistance with this trial. Thanks to the MGCSA for supporting this research. References: Dekker, L. W., Oostindie, K., Ziogas, A. K., Ritsema, C. J. 2001. The impact of water repellency on soil moisture variability and preferential flow. International Turfgrass Society Research Journal. 9(Part 2): p. 498505. Moeller, A., C.A. Bigelow., J.R. Nemits, G. Hardebeck. 2007. Putting green surface hardness as affected by wetting agent applications. Abstracts: 2007 International. Annual Meetings ASA/CSSA/SSSA. Nangle, E.J., R. Townsend, B. Thomson, and P. McGroary. 2015. Investigating the impact of wetting agent use on turfgrass surfaces in the Chicago Area. Abstracts: 2015 International. Annual Meetings ASA/CSSA/ SSSA.
A New Face at the U of M: Jonah Reyes Joins the Turfgrass Science Program By Sam Bauer Recently we said farewell to Matt Cavanaugh as he transitioned back to the life of a superintendent working with Dale Hiebert at Rush Creek Golf Course in Maple Grove. We would like to thank Matt for his hard work and dedication during his time with our program and we wish him all the best. Jonah is a local to Minnesota and he received a B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota in Environmental Horticulture. After graduation, Jonah worked as a Landscape Foreman in Hawaii, followed by an eight year tenure as an Irrigation Foreman working on the St. Paul Campus. Jonah is a high energy guy and is very knowledgeable about turfgrass management. We look forward to working with Jonah. In Jonah’s own words: “My passion for the green industry began at a very young age, learning the hard way. With a tile spade in hand I innocently agreed to dig out the entire boulevard of grass so my mother could plant flowers. I was unaware of the value of hard work at the time, but have grown to appreciate it after 20 years in the industry. During high
school I worked for a couple of landscape companies, and then traded in my spade for a degree. I graduated from the U of M in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and hopped a plane to the island of Oahu, Hawaii. When I wasn’t surfing or at a luau I was gaining valuable knowledge about irrigation. After 3 years of island hopping I was desperate to enjoy the good ol’ Minnesota winters again, haha. I returned to Minnesota in 2008 and was employed as an irrigation technician with the Landcare Department at the U of M. I am very thrilled to join the turfgrass team here. I hope that my “spade” of working knowledge is an asset to this brilliant team and I look forward to meeting all of you in the near future.”
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It was a part-time An example of venture for this is the founder development Ken Rost of the until 2009 Bravo 180 Controller Ultimix. when the company was fully incorporated in Many sprayers have poor agitation and getting some turf care products Minnesota. In 2014, the company Page 52
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Within the Leather
by Jack MacKenzie CGCS...a golden oldie pulled from the past for your enjoyment August 2003 Hole Notes
Last weekend while cutting cups found some interesting and very characteristically identifiable tracks upon my first green. A pattern I call, “knees ‘n toes and knees n’ toes n’ palms.” With a hearty laugh I couldn’t help but consider all of the possibilities an amorous couple enjoyed upon my course. It also brought back memories from my teenage years and earlier.
and mischievous fun describe several events that have shaped my life.
Perhaps my earliest golf course memory relates to winter activities, and more specifically, ice-skating. My siblings and I used to enjoy many hours of skating upon the frozen pond to the west of the 6th hole. Tag was a favorite game, as was pick up hockey when our distant neighbors the Gearmans came The White Bear Yacht over. Living to the north and Club was my stomping ground east of the 6th green meant from my fifth birthday until that the shortest route from the middle of my 23rd year. back door to the pristine sheet Growing up on a course has of ice was directly across the many rewards and offers a green. Being kids, we quickly wide variety of lessons to disregarded our father’s words be learned. And educated of wisdom to skirt the golf I became through my course on the path through the trials and tribulations as woods to our destination. He also suggested we carry our a neighbor on the golf course. Discipline, skates to the pond edge and put them on there patience, stealth
However, we soon found that hauling our skates all the way around the golf course was just too much work. So unknown to him, we put our skates on, sans guards of course, because they always got lost during the trudge through the snow, and proceeded upon the shortest route, right across the green. Winter soon changed to spring and the lesson of discipline caught up with me.
Long before Prairie Dog hunting was popular in the Dakota’s, my older brother Rob and I were honing our rifle skills by harvesting the thirteen stripe ground squirrels that inhabited the golf course. In the evening we would “army crawl” on our bellies over the berms and through the fescues with our trusty Sheridan Blue Streak pellet guns. Cautiously we would peek over the hills and It seemed that we actually sight in on our quarry. At first were a head of our time when it we often missed our shots and sent the creatures chirping and came to linear aerification, for racing down their burrows, but covering the sixth green were hundreds and hundreds of slices soon our patience and practice created from the many trips to paid off with a harvest of and from the pond wearing our carnage. guar less skates. Although the What to do with the WBYC membership suffered a temporary green well into June bodies? Well, of course we that year, my siblings and I had just had to bury them heads to endure my father’s wrath for up in the bunkers, line the the rest of the summer. I also putting cups with their learned to listen to my father, bodies and sometimes for sometimes he has good give them a. final bath in ideas. As I aged my interests the ball washers. Much expanded. to the surprise of the Page 57 Page 57
crew in the morning we were sure! Other evening events with brothers Rob and Curt involved the irrigation system. Back in the old days, golf courses used to be watered using large impact irrigation heads capable of shooting a thick stream of water over one hundred feet through the air. The force behind the spray was called pressure. In an effort to cool down on warm nights we would trek out to the fairways and have all sorts of fun with the master blasters. Lesson learned included: 1) liquid propelled under high pressure hurts, especially if said liquid happens to inadvertently blasts a young lad’s private part. 2) Wet grass upon a steep slope is very slippery and one should approach the irrigation head cautiously from the bottom of the hill so
as not to fall into previously mentioned steam of water. 3) Never trust brother Rob when he is calling you over to “look at this cool thing” while he is in control of the direction of the irrigation head. Ah, youthful education! At the age of seven I had my first personal driving experience in a sun recharged electric golf cart. Of ten times the old style electric carts would seemingly run out of juice during the warm afternoons, only to come back to life after setting a bit. Of course it was Curt and my mission to locate these abandoned vehicles and attempt to advance them toward the pro shop. Most of the time they were keyless, but once in a while luck was with us and we had our own autobahn opportunities. It was on one of these outings that I learned you should not trade drivers as the cart is moving down the fairway.
The electric carts we drove were equipped with automatic brakes that locked up the vehicle when the seat is vacated. Fortunately for me I was the driver in this instance and only bruised my chest when I moved off the driver’s seat in an attempt to trade steering position with my brother. Unfortunately for Curt, he was the passenger and was sent flying multiple yards through the air and onto his head. Talk about a face plant! Lesson learned: stay seated when driving a vehicle.
gasoline, but those stories are fodder for other pressing editorials.
I could go on about that I discovered how to fly a gas powered model airplane to and from the sixth green (talk about spilt gas and crash landings, but what a great air strip!). Or expand upon the virtues of swimming for and selling golf balls back to the members who lost them back to the players who had lost them, my of caddying and burning out ground hornet nests with
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As I grow older I will continue to enjoy my time on the course. There are so many new experiences to witness. And through this education I will try my best to laugh at the fun stuff, learn from the challenges and when I really need a smile I will remember my own youthful attempts at “knees n’ toes and knees n’ toes n palms” at the WBYC.
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