Friday, May 10, 2013

The End

This is my final post as the Golf Course Superintendent of Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club.  Over the last two plus years, I have tried my best to show, educate, and inform our members and the world on how we maintain the golf course.  In the last week, I have accepted a position as the Sports Turf Manager for the City of Columbus.  While I did not come to this decision to move on easily, it was aided in part by the new job allowing for me to spend more time with my family and also a new challenge. 

You are all very fortunate as my assistant of over five years, Jay McDaniel, will be taking over for me as the new Golf Course Superintendent.  Jay's approach is much the same as mine, with a focus on detail and a first class experience, so I highly doubt that you will see many changes going forward.  I want to thank all of the active and willing participants on this blog over the last two plus years.  This has proved to be an excellent forum to share ideas and show the world how we maintained Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club.  Thank you again and best wishes to all. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

March/April Newsletter Article

Greetings from the golf course!  Another quick winter is wrapping up for our staff, as golf season draws near.  A majority of our time this winter was spent in the Turf Center helping our Equipment Manager Andy Kafka to overhaul and service each of the over 100 pieces of equipment in our fleet.  We also removed 32 dead trees from in-play areas on the golf course in the month of February.  Our plans are to spend the first half of March continuing on equipment repair and maintenance, as well as begin chipping brush and limbs from the tree removals.  

Looking ahead, we are very excited about opening the golf course as soon as possible. We know the question everyone has is “When will the golf course open?” The answer is not simple because weather and ground conditions will dictate that decision.  At the time of this publication, the golf course is saturated with some pockets of frozen soil throughout the golf course. The date of opening has been as late as April 2nd (2006) and as early as March 16th (2012), which means we have a fairly wide window in which the golf course is ready for play.  We will continue to monitor the situation and update you on the conditions as they change.  Please follow us on Twitter (@KGFCTurfStaff) for the most up-to-date information on course conditions and projects.

As we head into golf season I would encourage you to keep course etiquette in mind for both yourself and your playing partners.  Fixing ball marks, filling divots, and raking bunkers are just as much a part of the game of golf as chipping and putting.  Policing those in your group, and the group in front of you, is the most proactive and effective means you. as members, have in the care and presentation of the golf course.  We have several excellent tutorial videos on our Turf Staff Blog (www.kinsaleturf.com) under the Course Care and Etiquette tab.  Please use these resources and help us deliver an excellent experience for each round of golf at Kinsale. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

January/February Newsletter Article

Greetings from the golf course and Happy New Year!  Winter is finally here as we had our first two snow events at the end of December.  In fact, these first two storms alone brought us nearly the 11 inches total that we received last winter.  As it pertains to the golf course, snow cover is generally a good thing provided it does not stay on the ground for a prolonged period of time.  Snow is a fantastic insulator that serves to protect the turf from extremely cold temperatures and winter winds that could cause turf loss in certain situations.  On the other hand, prolonged periods of snow cover can lead to certain turf diseases, such as snow mold, as the area in between the snow and the turf acts as a perfect incubator.  With that in mind, we do make a preventative treatment on greens and approaches for snow mold each year in early December.  Tees and fairways are not treated mainly due to the fact that we only see isolated areas of snow mold each year on those surfaces.  Additionally, the cost-to-benefit scenario of a preventative application on tees and fairways shows that it is not warranted.  

Last month, our staff had the opportunity to attend the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Conference and Show at the Columbus Convention Center.  The three day event was focused on continuing education and learning about the latest industry trends.  Some of the most respected university professors, Golf Course Superintendents, and other industry leaders from around the country presented during the Conference.  During the event our staff of five individuals received over 100 hours of continuing education. Our staff takes each of these of these events seriously, as we are always looking for ideas and strategies to improve the golf course and bring value to our membership.

As we progress into the month of January, the primary focus of our staff will be on repair and maintenance of equipment. Our Equipment Manager, Andy Kafka, has been working diligently to service and repair our fleet of equipment. Included in the fleet are mowers, tractors, utility carts, line trimmers, etc. totaling over 100 pieces, each of which is individually inspected and serviced appropriately. This process also entails grinding all of the reels on our mowers that cut greens, tees, and fairways, to ensure a precise and sharp cut throughout the growing season. While the entire process takes nearly four months to complete, it certainly pays off in the summer months when each piece of equipment needs to be in top shape on a daily basis. Without our equipment, and more importantly our Equipment Manager, we simply would not be able to produce the golf course conditions that you, as members, expect. We are very grateful and proud to have Andy Kafka on our staff.

Stay warm and remember golf season will be here sooner than you think!

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Newsletter Article

Greetings from the golf course!  It truly is hard to believe that December and the Holiday Season is here already.  Not that long ago it seemed as if our staff was preparing the golf course to open for play.  Nonetheless, this season has been unusually long as we have now been open for nearly nine months with very few stretches of bad weather.  Even through November we had great weather for golf and an opportunity for our staff to continue finishing projects and clean up work on the golf course.  As we head into the off-season our work is far from over.  The winter months are actually when a great deal of important behind the scenes work is completed that sets the stage for a successful upcoming golf season.  

While this season was not without its challenges, as it was one of the hottest and driest on record, the golf course held up admirably to the harsh conditions.  The commitment and investment that the club made last year to the purchase fans for number 5 and 10 green, along with the tree removal and drainage additions throughout the golf course, truly made the difference in having a great 2012 golf season.  We are confident that with the upgrades already completed in addition to future capital improvement projects, Kinsale will continue to be one of the best conditioned clubs in the region.    

As for the work to be completed over the winter, we will be focusing our efforts on removing approximately 300 dead trees throughout the property, along with cleaning and servicing each piece of equipment in our fleet.  These are tasks that are vital to having the playing conditions you expect and can be proud of.  With this year being a prime example, the behind the scenes, off-season work that we complete truly has an impact on having a successful golf season.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Friday, November 2, 2012

November Newsletter Article

Greetings from the golf course!  November is here and things on the golf course are beginning to wind down for the year.  Although it has been a wet autumn, we have remained on track with all of our typical golf course maintenance practices.  As of the last few weeks, leaves have become the primary focus of our efforts, especially with the string of windy days we had near the end of last month.  As we head into November, we will be finishing the majority of the leaf cleanup on the golf course and the clubhouse grounds.  Additionally, this month we will be completing several important tasks in preparation of winter including blowing out the irrigation system and making our final, and most critical, fertilizer application to the golf course.

The irrigation system is scheduled to be blown out on November 19th and 20th.  During the process we attach a large air compressor to our irrigation system force air through the piping to drain out all excess water.  Removing the water prevents cracking of pipes, fittings, and sprinkler heads from freezing and thawing throughout the winter.  In all, we go through nearly 3,000 individual heads on the golf course and clubhouse grounds in two days.  This process will go forward regardless of the weather, so please bear with us if it is a nice day for golf.

Near the end of the month we will be making our final, and most important, fertilizer application of the season.  This application is critical for building strong roots before the brunt of winter arrives, and also serves to give the grass plants a jump start coming into spring.  This is also an excellent time of year to apply a winterizing fertilizer to your home lawn to gain the most benefit of autumn root development and early spring green up.   

While it might seem a long way off, spring and the 2013 golf season will be here before you know.  Before that we are hoping for some good golf weather throughout the month for our members to get out and enjoy the golf course a few more times this season.  See you on the golf course!