Friday, October 5, 2018

Fall Seeding

We began our over-seeding process in mid-September and it takes us about 2 weeks to get everything done.  We use a large slit seeder on the back of a tractor, as well as a walk-behind seeder.  Our goal is to hit all cool season thin spots in the rough and most importantly, on green and tee banks.  This year we put out roughly 900 pounds of seed using a mixture of different varieties to try to get a better stand of grass in certain areas. We used: tall fescue, fine fescue, blue grass, rye grass and bent grass in a few places.  We seeded the cool season parts of our tee's and some of our green's collars with a rye grass and bent grass mix.  These new mixtures are something new to hopefully give us a better shot at keeping a solid stand of grass in weak areas going into next year. 

Seeding on #1 Green Bank

Weak area right after it was seeded

Seed starting to pop on #4 Green Bank

Seed popping on #1 Tee Bank

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

New Equipment

Our new fleet of John Deere equipment began showing up recently.  We are very excited and thankful to get these pieces of new equipment.  They will cut down on time and maintenance for us and be much more reliable.  We have received 4 of the 5 pieces of our new package.  Last piece will be our fairway mower and we could get it as soon as this week or next. 

(Left) - John Deere 9009A Rotary Rough Mower - 5 Decks
(Right) - John Deere 7400A Rotary Banks Mower - 3 Decks

(Left) - John Deere HD200 Sprayer - 200 gal tank
(Right) - John Deere 2020A Gator Utility Vehicle

Stock Photo of John Deere Fairway Mower (Arrival Soon)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Lesson Tee Upgrades

Our lesson tee area has been long overdue for a face lift, so our General Manager/Head Professional, Chris Buescher and I came up with a plan to do so this season.  We just laid new zoysia sod last week on a 600 square foot area for our Pro's to teach on.  We hope to have this open for use by the end of August. We also just installed irrigation to this area and are very pleased with how everything has turned out!

Split rail fencing to define the lesson area

3 Thuja evergreens that will eventually add some privacy

600 square foot zoysia lesson tee to go with 2 artificial hitting stalls

Irrigation added to keep everything happy!

Monday, July 2, 2018

#5 Tee Conversion

We converted the side by side double tee box on #5 into just one large tee box.  We took zoysia sod from the east side of the box and swapped it out with the cool season grass that was in between the tees.  This will give us more options for tee setup and also a more pleasing look.  However, it will take a few weeks for the sod to root down.  We will mow and roll it a couple times then in a month or so, it will look like nothing ever happened!

Before conversion

During conversion

Completed conversion

Friday, June 8, 2018

NEW #6 Hole Sign

Since 2012, we had been without a hole sign on the #6 tee.  About a week or two after I first started working at MP, vandals hit the course one night doing some damage to different things on the course and one being knocking over and breaking in half the granite hole sign on the #6 tee feature.  As you may or may not know, granite is not an easy or inexpensive fix.  We attempted to repair the sign by drilling into the granite and inserting a steel rod to hold the pieces together.  This did not go too well and we ended up not being able to use the damaged sign.

Because of this incident, the feature on #6 went without a hole sign for almost six years.  Go figure because #6 is the only hole on the golf course with a blind tee shot. When I took over as Head Superintendent in late 2017, I decided I wanted to inquire about what it would cost to get a new sign made.  I involved our GM, Chris Buescher in the process and we began making a plan to find some money in our budget to get this project done.  We found a great company in Independence, MO called Pence Enterprises.  After some back and forth, we finally got a match with the granite so our sign would look the same as the rest on the course.

I was very pleased with the finished product.  I am not sure how many of our golfers actually noticed the sign was missing, but I would guess our regulars definitely knew. We received our new sign at the beginning of May and it took all hands on deck to get the new heavy sign installed.  A big thank you to my crew for getting the sign installed, to Pence Enterprises for doing great work on the sign, and to my GM Chris for helping me get the ball rolling and complete this project!

NEW sign on #6

Picking up new sign at Pence Enterprises

Old sign broke in half due to vandals

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Spring Aerification 2018

It has been exactly 3 weeks since we did our spring aerification on April 10th & 11th to our greens.  The process went very well this year and we are happy with how the greens have responded.  The greens are all healed up and back to rolling true. Once we completed our process and opened back up for play, we also put out our new flag sticks and cups.  I am really pleased with how it all looks and hope the golfers feel the same way! As you scroll down through the pictures,  we'll take you through our aerification process...

 Step 1 - Top dress with a heavy amount of sand

 Step 2 - Aerifying (punching holes) with ProCore 

 This is a green after step 1 & 2 are completed

 Step 3 - Dragging sand to fill in holes with pull behind brush

 Once the sand is all drug in, we run a 20 minute irrigation cycle on greens

 New yellow flag sticks and hybrid cups

New hybrid cups - sides are plastic and bottom is metal

17 days post-aerification, greens healed up back to normal!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Meet our Maintenance Crew

     The season is upon us! Well, maybe it doesn't look like it outside with the snow/ice we just received to start the month of April, but it is right around the corner. I would like to use this post to introduce our full-time seasonal staff. Our turf crew will have a total of 7 guys including myself and my assistant. Four full-time guys and one part-time guy. As of now, the 4th full-time position has not been filled and won't be until May. Our one part-time guy will also not begin until school is out later in May. We will open our fourth full-time spot for hiring later this month, so if you or someone you know may be interested, please apply!
      First, I would like to introduce our Assistant Superintendent, Chase Tjelmeland! Chase is a recent graduate in December of Kansas State University. He is a native of Topeka, Kansas and attended high school at Seaman. Chase played soccer and golf early on in his college career before he decided to settled at K-State to earn his Turf degree. During his time at K-State he spent his summers working and doing his internship at Firekeeper Golf Course just north of Topeka. Chase accepted his job at Minor Park in November and began on January 2nd, 2018.  He and his wife Kelsie moved to Overland Park, KS in December.  Kelsie is a student at UMKC nursing school and works at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. Chase is a huge asset to our facility with his strong work ethic and turf knowledge! 
      Next is our longest tenured employee and full-time seasonal guy, EJ Doolittle. He has worked in the golf course maintenance profession since he graduated high school in the 80's. EJ has worked at a hand full of different courses around the city as a native of KC. This season will be his 7th at Minor Park.  Patrons at our facility would refer to him as our "Rough mower guy" because he spends a lot of his days on the rough mower mowing acres of grass. EJ is capable of doing almost any job for us on the course which is very helpful for our crew. On those hot summer days, he is the one and only that is willing to sit on that hot mower all day to keep us mowed out!
    Our next crew member is Amilcar.  He is a master on the golf course.  Pretty much any job you put Amilcar on you can expect it to be done right and above and beyond what was expected.  This is Amilcar's 4th full season at Minor. He is a native of El Salvador but has been a citizen of the US for many years. Every year when it is time for our seasonal guys to start coming back, I get nervous until I see Amilcar walk back through the door because he is such a great worker!
Last, but definitely not least, is Tulio. He is also beginning his 4th year with us at MP. Tulio has also worked at a few different courses around the city. Tulio is a very big part of our crew because he isn't afraid to do the not so fun detail work. He is the type of guy that you tell to go do one thing and by the time he has finished that job he has also done two other jobs as well. He is also a native of El Salvador. Tulio is a very hard worker and always holds two jobs at a time.  He spends his mornings and afternoons with us at Minor and then goes to Indian Hills CC and works his evenings on the kitchen clubhouse staff there. Tulio is just a guy you can trust and works hard for us!
     All of our crew guys are very reliable. That is something in our business that is big in my opinion. Being able to trust that every morning at 6am these guys are going to walk through the door and go out and do their job at a high level is something I don't take for granted. Without our crew and their attention to detail, our facility couldn't keep improving. They make it easier for me to get some sleep at night knowing I have these guys on my team! We look forward to a great golf season and PLEASE feel free to introduce yourself to our staff members and say Thank You! 

Fall Seeding

We began our over-seeding process in mid-September and it takes us about 2 weeks to get everything done.  We use a large slit seeder on the ...