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! 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Many Moles

     As many of our patrons may have noticed, our property is a hot bed for the Mole population.  Over the past few years, we have struggled to keep this problem under control.  The mild winters play a large role in this issue, due to the ground never really freezing deeply.  Moles go deeper into the ground for warmth, so the more the ground freezes in the winter, the better it is for us. The cold air temperatures keep the golfers away but the Moles begin to play.
     Moles are blind and deaf.  All of their movement is done through smell, feel and vibrations. This would make you think they are easy to control... unfortunately, they are pretty smart creatures and very good at using the senses they do have, to their advantage.  They create a tunnel system under ground and that is their source of movement.  The large soil piles that you see from time to time are the Moles pushing all the soil from their tunnels up and out of the way.  This is not a flattering look for the golf course and also very frustrating for us and golfers.
     We use two ways of controlling moles.  With the use of traps and a product called Talprid, we usually catch a mole about 20%-30% of the time.  We will continue to do the best we can at controlling moles this season to keep the course in great condition and to keep you coming back for more... Hmmm, that sounds awful similar to the game of golf!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Holiday Joy Ride

    The holidays are a great time to be with family and friends.  Unfortunately, there are still quite a few people that love to take the Grinch approach to Christmas.  The Grinch struck Minor Park late on Christmas eve night or early Christmas morning.  What the vandals left behind was much less than appealing and will take those good time feelings and squash them very quickly!
     A vehicle made their way onto our golf course by driving right through the fence that runs down the left side of hole #7.  The fence is not the best barrier we could have up to keep people out but you would think it would at least make someone think twice about plowing their car through it.  In this case, they didn't think once about it and drove went straight through the fence.  Once onto the golf course, their joy ride began.  Lucky for us, it had just snowed the day before leaving us with a nice inch of snow.  The reason I say "lucky" is that the snow created a slick surface and the ground was pretty well frozen from the sub zero temperatures we had been having. The vehicle made its way up hole 7 and right over top of 7 tee box.  It missed the green on #6 and drove right down the middle of the fairway.  As they neared the #6 tee, they took a hard left and headed straight for #5 green.  As they drove up onto the green, they realized that they could not go any further than that due to the tree line. They then whipped a few donuts on the green and either stole the flag and stick or took it and threw it somewhere that we have yet to find.  The damage to #5 green was significant and will have to be repaired in the Spring.  We have done what we can for now to repair it and keep it playable for the Winter.  Next, they drove up #5 fairway and into some more donuts in front of #5 tee box before driving up over the tee and then right over #4 green.  Once off the green they headed toward #4 tee box driving directly over the tee.  They then found our cut through area beside hole #3 and drove over to #17.  They drove right over the green and as they barely got off the green and into the fairway approach area the slammed on their breaks and made a sharp left turn that destroyed some of the zoysia grass and made some large ruts.  This was by far the worst damaged area, but thankfully it wasn't on the green.  They continued up #17 fairway and up over the tee box toward #16 green barely crossing part of the front of the green.  They then went down on #13 fairway where they made another sharp turn that pulled up more zoysia but nothing too significant.  They had some fun and did a few more donuts in the rough on hole #16 and then headed across the tee box and up toward hole #15.  As they got near #15 green they took a hard left and headed toward #14 fairway.  Drove down #14 fairway and when they got to the low area about 130 yards from the green, they started doing more donuts.  They tore up a large chunk of zoysia there before heading back up #14 fairway.  Once they got near the tee box on 14, I believe they saw their way out and left the golf course going right by our shop and exiting on to Red Bridge Road.
     In my opinion, it could have been much worse.  Like I said before, the ground being frozen and a blanket of snow covering everything made the vehicle do more sliding than normal which saved us.  If it were dry like the conditions were before we got the snow, I think we would have had much more damage.  We have repaired what we can and these damaged places will not affect the golfers experience over the Winter.  We will re-sod where needed in the Spring and the fence needs repairs, but for now it is patched and closed off.  Not exactly the ending to 2017 that we were looking for but just goes to show that the Grinch is still alive and well! Here's to a better 2018!







Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Course Winterization

As the weather continues to change, so do the conditions on the golf course.  Different types of grasses need certain protection and are maintained differently over the winter months.  These changes are made to insure that when Spring hits and things start to wake up for the next season, we don't have any set backs or issues with turf coming back out of dormancy.  Course accessories are also removed for various reasons and to protect them from the harsh winter cold.
We have moved all tee boxes off of the warm season zoysia grass.  Most tee boxes at MP have a cool season part of the box already built in.  Others do not.  The ones that don't, we mow in a temporary tee box in the most practical and accessible spot we can find close to the normal tee box.  This insures us that we can keep traffic off of the dormant warm season grass thus helping the turf come back strong and healthy at the beginning of the next growing season.  We also restrict cart traffic to path only to protect our zoysia fairways.  We do not mow any of our zoysia during the time they are dormant.  We leave them slightly taller to create somewhat of a blanket or cover to protect them.  Like I said with the tee boxes, less traffic on the dormant turf is a huge reason we can and will have nice healthy fairways during the regular golf season.  We appreciate the golfers cooperation with the cart rules and hope that they understand we aren't just restricting carts to the path for no reason.
On the greens, we have two cups cut in each green.  We use this practice for a few reasons.  As the ground freezes and temperatures continue to drop, it becomes impossible to change the cups.  Having two cups on opposite sides of the green allows us to spread out the foot traffic.  We ask that the golfers help us in rotating the flag stick.  Once the golfer has landed his ball on the green, he would putt to the hole that the flag is in.  When they have holed their ball out they would take the flag stick and put it in the opposite hole that they played/putt to.  Then the next group of golfers behind them would play to the other hole which now has the flag stick in it. We greatly appreciate the golfers understanding and help with this one small thing that can be a major help to course conditions throughout the winter.
As most people know, cold harsh winters are hard on everything that stays outside in the elements.  This is very true for our course accessories.  Ball washers, signage and other non permanent accessories are removed and stored.  We then take all of our accessories and refurbish or replace and update these items.
We hope that the golfers understand we do not do these things to make the course different or less player friendly.  It is simply to protect and preserve what we have so that when the golf season ramps up after the winter, these things are in great condition and in place to make the golfers experience the best it can possibly be.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Trick or Treat Scramble

   First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself.  My name is David Carlson, and I am the new golf course Superintendent here at Minor Park.  I am not exactly "new" to Minor Park, as I have been the assistant Superintendent for the past 6 years here under our former Superintendent Matt Delventhal.  I would like to thank Matt for his guidance and hard work at Minor Park over those 6 years.  We wish him the best in his new sales position and look forward to seeing him around once in awhile. Thanks Matty D!
   This past weekend we held our 3rd annual Trick or Treat Fall Fun Scramble.  We had  21 teams play in the 3-man tournament.  It was a great turnout considering the weather conditions were not ideal with a temperature of 48 degrees and a 10-15 mph chilly wind.  We have added to the layout of this tournament over the past few years, and this year it was a big hit.  I really enjoyed setting up the golf course for this event, because it is unlike any other typical day of course set-up.  In some ways it is sort of like a "Superintendents Revenge" type of event for us. Although it takes quite a bit of extra time to set-up, it is well worth it due to the positive feedback we have received.  We used pumpkins on every hole as tee markers.  On some holes the tees were in different locations than normal.  For example, on #7 we moved the tee box to the fairway to create a Risk/Reward shot where players had to decide to risk hitting their drive over the water from 220 yards away.  The reward if you were able to clear the pond and land the ball on the green was having an eagle putt opportunity!  Other "Tricky" holes included a hose around the cup to create a "putt putt" atmosphere on the green, hitting your tee shot while sitting on a hay bale, a tire covering your view of the hole, and even a tractor parked in front of a green blocking the approach shot. Some of our "Treat" holes had things like a 15 inch cup on a shortened par 5, six different holes on one green, and a boat serving as the hole where you had to make your pitch shot into the boat to hole out.
   Our entire maintenance staff, as well as our Clubhouse staff, really enjoyed creating, setting up, and having this tournament.  We look forward to growing it each year and adding new things each year to make it as fun for the golfers as it is for us.  Any and all feedback is always welcome!  I hope you will come out and join us next year for this fun event and check out the unique set-up of the golf course.

#5 - Tire blocking the view of the hole
 #14 - 15 inch cup
 #17 - Lots-O-Holes - 6 holes to putt to
 #13 - Tractor blocking the green
 #18 - Pumpkin over the cup - only one way in
#3 - Tee off while sitting on the hay bale

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thank You Minor Park

I would like to say "Thank You" to all the employees and patrons of Minor Park Golf Course. As some of you may know I have accepted a position with SiteOne Landscape Supply and will be leaving Minor Park on Friday, October 6th. Over the last 6 years I have work diligently to turn Minor into the golf course that it is today.  I have had the privilege  to work for and with some awesome people in our company. I have also been able to share my love of Minor and its conditions with our patrons of this facility. Even though I will be leaving on Friday, Minor Park Golf Course will continue to be in good hands with the promotion of my Assistant Superintendent David Carlson.  Once again "Thank You" for allowing me to opportunity to help make Minor Park what it is today.

Friday, September 1, 2017

White Goose Grass

If you have played Minor Park in the last week or so, you may have noticed our cool-season tees and the collar on 6 having a white tint to it. Last Friday we sprayed a Herbicide called Pylex that helps remove goose grass. Here is some information and pictures on what Pylex does:

http://betterturf.basf.us/products/related-documents/pylex-herbicide-sell-sheet.pdf



6 green

Cool-season Tees



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,...