Thursday, November 8, 2018

NEW Maintenance Building!

       We have broken ground!!! On October 24th the construction began on our new Maintenance building. We are very excited and have been waiting a few months to see the action begin.
       I will be using this blog to show and update everyone as the construction happens.  So far the dirt work is mostly complete and concrete has been poured in the footing's to build the retaining wall that the building will sit on.  I will let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy!

October 24th - First day breaking ground

October 30th - Gravel brought in to begin leveling

October 30th - Footings ready on West side

October 30th - Rebar set on Northside ready for concrete

October 30th - First concrete truck

October 31st - Footings being poured

October 31st - Retaining wall molds going up

October 31st - Northwest corner molds 

October 31st - View looking East

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! 

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!

New #7 Bridge

 About two months ago, an accident occurred off of 115th street on the south end of the golf course. The vehicle came through the fence and ...