MINNESOTA GOLF COURSESUPERINTENDENTS ASSOCIATION

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  • 05 Oct 2021 12:29 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    By Sam Duininck, Duininck Golf

    (BRAINARD, Minnesota) – Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake – Duininck Golf continues 45-hole renovation at Cragun’s Resort, that will take, Minnesota Resort Golf to the next level.

    General Manager of Cragun’s Resort, Eric Peterson, says, “We didn’t take these decisions lightly—to undertake such a major project and, especially, to put it in the hands of PGA legend Tom Lehman and acclaimed builder Duininck Golf. Thankfully, we’re getting exactly what we hoped for … and more.”

    Cragun’s Resort, long recognized as one of the premier golf destination resorts in northern Minnesota with two award-winning, eighteen-hole championship courses—Bobby’s Legacy Course and Dutch Legacy Course—both designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. is getting a major overhaul. Lehman Design and Duininck Golf were brought in to modify the two championship courses. “Bigger and Better,” Eric Peterson says, summing up the goal, then expanding on it, “We aspire to have 45 holes of World Class Golf—The Dutch 27 and the Lehman 18, and to be considered the preeminent golf resort in Minnesota. No doubt we will achieve this goal.”

    Duininck Golf welcomes the lofty expectations. Chris Kleinsmith, Duininck Golf’s Project Manager states, “A project of this size with so many components and such an aggressive schedule requires all parties to be on the same page in construction and communication. The opportunity to build “new” golf is always welcomed.”

    Tom Lehman’s new 18—a course Eric Peterson promises will be “like nothing else in Minnesota”— “Tom is an accomplished player, with a gift for visualizing what each hole can be long before it is built. It is always very exciting to work with a designer that started out as a tour player”, says Chris Kleinsmith. Project Superintendent, Jacob Cooper, agrees, “It’s always fun to see what architects see, and to listen to them talk their way through their visions.”

    36 holes of new golf will be open by August of 2022—including the new Lehman 18—and the final 9 holes of the Dutch 27 to open in the summer of 2023.


  • 05 Oct 2021 12:27 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    By John Reitman and published in TurfNet

    Customer service, continuing education, staying up to date with current practices and methods, a strong code of ethics and displaying a passion for science. Those are just a handful of the traits that have helped John Steiner, CGCS, accomplish what few in this business have - on-the-job security at the same location for parts of seven decades.

    Steiner, 69, has worked at White Bear Golf Course in Dellwood, Minnesota every year but once since 1967, including as a caddie, member of the crew, assistant superintendent and finally as head superintendent for the past 42 years. The only interruption in his service at White Bear came when he spent the summer of 1969 working for his uncle Jimmy Hines on the crew at the former Desert Air Golf Course in Palm Desert, California.

    "I've just always tried to give golfers what they want, and that is the best possible product that I can produce. I try to be receptive to the things they want," Steiner said. "I've also always tried to be trustworthy. That has gone a long way. I've always had a good rapport with a lot of the members. When you love what you do, it's pretty easy."

    Steiner recently was the recipient of the Minnesota GCSA Chapter's Distinguished Service Award. 

    During Steiner's 54 years at White Bear, a 1915 Donald Ross design, much has changed in the turf business, namely the ever-changing demands of golfers, the problems that arise as mowing heights go down and the equipment and products they use to manage the turf.

    "It has become a lot harder as the years go on," Steiner said. "And it seems to keep getting harder as golfer demands go up."

    In the 1970s, Steiner was mowing roughs with a five-gang unit and fairways with a seven-gang Toro Parkmaster.

    "The changes in equipment and irrigation have been the biggest changes," Steiner said. "I've seen a lot of change over the years."

    Being a successful superintendent . . . for more than 40 years . . . at the same place . . . requires relying on science. In Steiner's case, it means much more.

    Steiner keeps up with current technology and management practices through continuing education, networking, seminars and even trusted sales reps.

    When faced with an unknown disease that threatens to wipe out wide areas of turf, most golf course superintendents are pretty content to carve out a sample and send it off to an expert for analysis.

    The key word is "most."

    Since Steiner graduated from Minnesota in 1976 and became superintendent at White Bear in 1979, he has spent a significant amount of time peering at slides through a microscope, attempting to diagnose one of those diseases that nag at greenkeepers.

    "I did it simply because I wanted to," Steiner said. "I wanted to be good at it, and I didn't want to be dependent on someone else for the information."

    To many of his colleagues, he is known as Dr. Steiner.

    Many of those same colleagues have used him as their turfgrass pathologist - helping to diagnose diseases on the golf course.

    "I've chatted with a number of people about things over the years," Steiner said. "There are people who called and bring things over, turf samples with disease on them."

    He places the samples in a plastic bag to hold in moisture then stores them overnight in the service bay at the golf course to keep them out of air-conditioning. He usually has plenty of material for the microscope by the following day.

    "I think one of the most outstanding attributes that makes John deserving of this (MGCSA Distinguished Service) award is the respect he has among his peers," former White Bear Yacht Club general manager Linda Carroll said recently in Hole Notes, the publication of the MGCSA. 

    Steiner credits Carroll and current White Bear GM Chris Nathlich for supporting him throughout his career and late University of Minnesota turfgrass science professor Don White, Ph.D., for mentoring him early in his career and helping grow his love for science. 

    Although looking at living organisms that attack and kill turf might seem like work, it is a labor of love for Steiner.

    "The thing with pathology is I just always loved it. I studied forestry pathology and plant pathology, and I love looking through a microscope at disease," Steiner said. "I've learned a lot about mushrooms, and mycology is a major passion of mine. Fungi and bacteria are the causes of most plant diseases. I've spent a lot of time grabbing everything I could find and looking at it through a microscope."


  • 11 Aug 2021 8:42 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    (SANDIA PARK, New Mexico.) – Paako Ridge Golf Club – Duininck Golf completes second phase tee renovations in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.

    It is not every day a Top 50 public resort facility in the country, and #1 ranked in the state, opts to undergo a major renovation, but there’s no “leaving well enough alone” when the stated goal at Paako Ridge Golf Club is to always be improving. Ownership’s commitment to excellence and Duininck Golf’s construction expertise created the perfect bridge of opportunity for the two entities to team up.

    “There’s been an increase in golf renovation projects the past couple years,” Division Manager, Judd Duininck acknowledges. “We’re thrilled to be heavily involved nationwide and are excited to be working on such a prestigious property in New Mexico.”

    Paako Ridge sits just a few miles east of Albuquerque, NM in the shadows of the Sandia Mountains. With over 300 days of sunshine and only 14 days of rain, the setting could not be more ideal for the most avid of golfers. With a detailed focus on modifying and modernizing the tee complexes, plus enhancements to the irrigation system and surrounding native areas, General Manager Bill Delayo says, “This is merely the first step in our overall master plan to further elevate Paako Ridge Golf Club as one of North America’s best properties.”

    Director of Marketing & Communications at Paako Ridge, Tyler Kirsch, says, “With the course sitting at an elevation of 6,500 feet, on mountain terrain, the logistical challenges of an operation like this are plentiful, but we’ve been very pleased with the entire (Duininck) team’s operation, professionalism and ability to deliver on promises.”

    20 years after Ken Dye’s impressive design opened, Paako Ridge brought Jon Schmenk of Norby Golf Design and the nationally certified builder Duininck Golf in to begin the renovations. Jon Schmenk explains. “Though consistently recognized as the best golf course in New Mexico, the infrastructure had begun to deteriorate. We’re renovating each nine in its own phase with specific focus on the tee boxes; including adding a new forward set of tees, reducing regularly irrigated turf, and increasing overall playability, while always protecting the native environment.”

    Former PGA Tour Player and Paako Ridge’s “Minister of Fun,” Kelly Gibson is excited this project is so broad in scope but so focused on playability enhancement. “These renovations give additional play opportunities to players of all ages and skill levels. I’ve worked with Duininck Golf on several projects, and they get the job done. It’s that simple.” Work is in full swing, but everyone is already eager to experience the final results.


  • 30 Jul 2021 11:53 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Drought, Surface Water Permit Suspensions, and Groundwater

    • By Carmelita Nelson and Dan Miller – DNR Ecological and Water Resources

      Drought is a naturally occurring aspect of Minnesota’s climate. Droughts affect agriculture, water resources, power supply, tourism and recreation, forestry, fisheries and wildlife, wildfire, human health and many other factors. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is working with all water users to protect our surface and groundwater resources while trying to minimize economic impacts. Because we do not know how long this drought will last, it is imperative to conserve and use water efficiently.

      Depending on your water source, there are three ways that drought can impact golf course water supplies:

    • ·       Groundwater: There has been no discussion of groundwater suspension for any water use. The   main exception is well interference investigations.
    • ·       Surface water:  water appropriation suspensions are occurring on a watershed by watershed basis.
    • ·      City Water: Those golf courses connected to city water will need to comply with individual municipal requirements.



    • Procedures and plans are in place for dealing with drought

      Legislation enacted in 1990 mandated the DNR to prepare a drought plan. This plan provides a framework for responding to droughts, to minimize conflicts and negative impacts on Minnesota's natural resources and economy.

      The DNR and partner agencies have extensive climate and water monitoring networks. Each week, the State Climatology Office within the DNR works closely with the authors of the United States Drought Monitor Map at www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu to ensure that drought conditions in Minnesota are depicted accurately. The map is updated each Thursday. These data, plus the State Drought Plan and existing laws, guide actions during a drought. 

      Drought impacts on surface water are more visible than impacts on groundwater. One of the reasons we are seeing reduced stream flow is because it has been dry since last summer, and especially dry since early March of this year. That means any rainfall we get will replenish soil moisture before it can contribute to stream flow in many areas of the state.

      Surface Water Suspensions

      During a drought, surface water rules are quite different from groundwater rules. If flow reaches a critical level in a river or stream, the DNR must suspend surface water appropriations from that lake, stream or river. We do this to protect fish and wildlife habitat within the stream and to maintain water availability for other users downstream.

      This summer, we’ve suspended a number of different surface water appropriation permit types including:  agricultural crop irrigation, golf course irrigation, landscape and athletic field irrigation, wild rice irrigation, sod farm irrigation, cemetery irrigation, nursery irrigation, mine processing, construction-related activities, pipeline and tank testing, dust control, and sand and gravel washing.

      A total of 15 golf course surface water permit suspensions have been issued out of a total of 143 surface water permit suspensions across 16 watersheds. Below are the number of golf courses and the watershed location where surface water permit suspensions have occurred through July 28, 2021: 

    • ·       St. Louis River and Cloquet River watersheds: 6
    • ·       Crow Wing River watershed: 1
    • ·       Mustinka River watershed: 1
    • ·       Mississippi River – Grand Rapids watershed: 4
    • ·       Mississippi River – Brainerd watershed: 1
    • ·       Sand Hill River watershed: 1
    • ·       Big Fork River watershed: 1

    • Some permit holders have a contingency water supply, such as a well, to use while their surface water appropriation is suspended. Many other permit holders do not have an alternate source of water available. If you are considering applying for a permit to use water from a surface water, it is important to consider what you would use during a drought.

      You can keep track of stream flows near your golf course by going to the DNR Weekly Stream Flow Map: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/surfacewater_section/stream_hydro/streamflow_weekly.html

    • 1.     If your golf course is in an area in red, then DNR either suspended or is reviewing permits for the potential of a suspension due to low water levels and flows.
    • 2.     If your golf course is in an orange area, and there is little or no rain, it may turn red in the future and you should be considering what source of water you will use if your surface water source is suspended.
    • 3.     If the area where your course is located is green, then flows are currently normal, but you should be prepared for changes.
    • 4.     The maps are updated weekly and posted on Mondays.

    The DNR will continue to monitor water levels and flows across the state and keep you informed of any potential changes to surface water appropriation permits. If you have questions about a surface water appropriation permit, please contact your local DNR area hydrologist. You can find a list of staff and the territory they cover at the following website: https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/area_hydros.pdf.

    Sharing the Groundwater

    Groundwater use permits for golf course irrigation are generally not suspended, with two main exceptions. If there is a technical groundwater analysis and report characterizing the impact groundwater pumping has on a nearby surface water, then the permit may be suspended. There is only one golf course where this has occurred.

    Additionally, your groundwater appropriation could be suspended if the DNR receives out-of-water complaints from neighboring homeowners who file a Well Interference Complaint. In 2021, DNR staff are seeing an increase in domestic out-of-water calls, in Polk, Grant, Kandiyohi, Pope and Marshall Counties. All 12 of these investigations have involved agricultural irrigation.

    The DNR has been helping to resolve well interference complaints for more than 45 years. This saves everyone the burden of legal costs and time spent in court. The DNR’s well interference reports are thorough and science-based. While all efforts are made to avoid suspending groundwater permits during the growing season, state law mandates that drinking water is available as the highest priority for water use. It is possible that irrigation may have to stop temporarily, if a domestic water supply is interrupted.

    During this summer of drought, all irrigators (including agricultural, cemetery, nursery and landscape and athletic field irrigators) are encouraged to maintain their systems to the highest efficiency, minimize irrigation to the extent possible, and cooperate with neighboring water users and homeowners. To learn more, sign up to receive GovDelivery drought email updates from the DNR at: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/drought/index.html.

     

     


  • 29 Jul 2021 9:19 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Duininck Golf continues TPC Network partnership with bunker renovation project on The Oaks course at TPC San Antonio, host of the Valero Texas Open

    (SAN ANTONIO, Texas) – TPC San Antonio – Certified Golf Course Builder, Duininck Golf, has again joined constructive forces with the TPC Network, this time to touch up an already formidable PGA Tour host course.

    Greg Norman’s Oaks Course is recognized as one of the most strategically challenging courses in the market, but its 53 bunkers were beginning to show signs of wear and in need of updating to keep the course competitively relevant.  A Par-72, 7,435-yard TPC course that sits in the heart of San Antonio, Texas was the stage for tour professional Jordan Spieth to take home a victory at the Texas Valero Open in April of this year.

    Matt Flory, the General Manager of TPC San Antonio, says, “The new bunkers will be an enhancement both in playability and aesthetics. Not only will they provide a sharper contrast between bunker and surrounding turf, but the sand will better match the slope of greens and assist with the playability from those bunkers.”

    Chris Kleinsmith, Duininck’s Project Manager, explains the rehabilitative scope a bit more specifically. “We are adding Better Billy Bunker flooring to 53 bunkers (133,000 sqft) to help keep the new sand in them. We remove old sand, check existing drainage, install gravel, polymer and add new sand.” Duininck’s operations manager, Ahren Habicht added, “New bunker lining technology has helped the in-play maintenance of bunkers from all sides, reducing washouts during storm events and enhancing playability—a win-win for the golf course superintendent and players.”

    Chris Kleinsmith and Ahren Habicht have expressed their enjoyment regarding working with Tour event sites, and especially with the TPC’s project manager, Rich Brogan and PGA Tour designer Les Clayton. Duininck Golf  just recently commenced a three year, three-phased project with both Richard and Les at TPC Louisiana with the final phase ending in early 2021, just prior to the start of the Zurich Classic. “Were honored to have our work put to the test by the world’s best players and, both (Rich and Les) are straightforward, knowledgeable and flexible with these renovations,” Chris says. “They have high standards, and we make it a point to check every box to meet their expectations.”

    GM Matt Flory gets to see the results of those checked boxes daily and during the PGA event, after the work is done. “TPC San Antonio gets better every year, and we love working with the host organization and our Tour family to accommodate the best players in the world and to be a part of the impact the Valero Texas Open has on the community each year.”

    More information

    About Duininck Golf

    Duininck Golf is part of the Duininck Companies established in 1926 based in Prinsburg, MN.  A member of the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA), Duininck Golf has completed new course, renovation and irrigation installation projects throughout the United States working alongside many well-known golf course architects, many who are members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA).  With offices in Minnesota, Texas and Georgia, Duininck Golf has the resources and regional expertise to provide uncompromised service and attention to detail to its clients.


  • 21 Jul 2021 12:16 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Late Friday afternoon, July 16, the Minnesota DNR sent notices to Minnesota cities instructing them to assemble water conservation actions that will result in daily water use that is no greater than 150% of January averages.  Public water suppliers (municipalities), are calculating water use reductions based on one or more activities including reducing the daily water window, shutting off city irrigation and other systems, complete outdoor water bans, car washes, pools, etc. 

    If you use municipal water, it is suggested that you discuss your Best Management Plans with your city administrators to deflect any concerns over irrigating the golf course.  It may be wise to create a drought management plan to indicate your continued environmental stewardship.

    Helpful information relevant to the current drought can be found here:

    Guidelines for Suspension of Surface Waters Appropriation Permits

    Best Management Practices Water-Use Efficiency/Conservation Plan for Minnesota Golf Courses

    USGA Information on Drought Contingency Planning

    drought_plan_matrix.pdf

    The MGCSA will be hosting two informal Zoom Meetings on Monday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 28 between 10:00 and 11:30 in the morning.  You are invited to join your peers and talk about the challenges you are facing upon your course.  Please use the following links:

    Monday, July 26 Drought Management discussion

    Wednesday, July 28 Drought Management discussion


  • 24 Jun 2021 9:38 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Great interview with Sally Jones, Superintendent at Benson Golf Club, shortly following the US Women's Open at The Olympic Club.  McGuiness on Tap.

    062321 Sally Jones w KMOT.mp3

    and a link to:

    Tiny Moving Part, Life Jacket, filmed at Benson Golf Club

    Thanks for presenting our Chapter and industry so very well Sally.  You Rock the golf course management world!

  • 24 Jun 2021 9:24 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Turf and grounds professionals in Minnesota and beyond have benefited greatly from innovative research funded by the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation. Since 2001, we have donated over $1.75 million to the University of Minnesota (this is over $88,000 per year!); this funding has helped build strong applied research programs focused on turf and landscape management. The ongoing support from the MTGF has given these research programs a foundation from which to seek larger grants that generate new approaches to landscape management that help sustain our industry. Unfortunately, this past year has created a challenge for the MTGF as our primary revenue sources, Northern Green, which is a joint effort between MTGF and the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association, was not held in person and therefore did not generate sufficient income from which to make our annual donations for research. 

    We need your help.

    To continue our important role in support of turf and grounds research, we are asking for donations from individual MTGF members. And, if you are on your Board, consider making a donation from your Association. In a normal year, you would’ve contributed to our efforts by attending the Northern Green, where you would have learned from leading horticultural educators, visited with vendors on the impressive trade show floor, and networked with your fellow green industry professionals. This year, you can have a positive impact by making a donation to help the MTGF continue our mission of funding research, outreach, and education for the turf and grounds professionals.

    We hope you see this as an investment, one that will bring great returns in the form of new knowledge, more sustainable practices, and forward-looking approaches to maintain green spaces.

    As a member of one of the seven allied associations, you are already a member of the MTGF. There are no membership fees associated with being a member or vendor member. However, you have received the full benefits through the mission of the MTGF. The MTGF Board is made up of two individuals from each of the seven allied associations plus two vendor members. 

    The seven MTGF allied associations are:
        + Minnesota Association of Cemeteries (MAC)
        + Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals (MASMS)
        + Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents' Association (MGCSA)
        + Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association (MPSTMA)
        + Minnesota Society of Arboriculture (MSA)
        + Minnesota Sod Producers (MTA)
        + Minnesota Turf Seed Council (MTSC)

    Funding provided by the MTGF through your participation has been able to leverage millions of more dollars for turf and grounds research. 

    The ramification was felt when the MTGF had to decide to put a hold on research grant funding for 2021 in hopes that we can return to normal in time for the 2022 funding season. 

    The Green Industry as a whole has been rewarded year after year through the research dollars granted by the MTGF and we are now asking for extra help for 2021 to be able to continue this same success. Please visit the MTGF website (www.mtgf.org/donations) where you can find additional information on how you can donate to additional turf and grounds research in 2021.

    Thank you for your consideration.                                                                                    Please donate today!

  • 22 Jun 2021 1:54 PM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Editorial comment:

    The following is an actual e-conversation that took place on June 17th.  The names have been changed; however, you could easily interject your course name, your name, your owner, your municipality, green committee chair, president, Mayor etc.  The response is well articulated and a strong case for all the advocacy work our association has been doing for the last decade.  While we may not have achieved our goal of access to water through efficiency and conservation efforts, the industry continues to be a part of the discussion.

    Good morning Carl,

    Could you please call me.  I spoke with Lou yesterday about Bushwood CC.  If you haven’t already done so, could you please minimize or stop any watering of the fairways and water the greens as needed.  Also, wondering how your well is doing?  Thanks so much for your help and cooperation!  Have a great day!!!  Judge

    Hello Judge,

    The risk level of what you’ve suggested is catastrophic.  The fine turf surfaces of creeping bentgrass greens, tees and fairways are not nearly as drought tolerant in comparison to a traditional home lawn of kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass.  When you compound the physical damage inflicted by walking, golf car traffic, golf play, maintenance equipment, the plants can be severely damaged or altogether killed.  23 acres of fairways would require 1,500 lbs of seed to reestablish.  That may not seem like much, but at $12 per pound for the cost for seed alone, the expense to reestablish adds up quickly.  Now factor in the potential for $1.3 million in lost revenue (as golfers tend to refuse playing on dead turf) for being closed for a year to reestablish the course, I’m not sure the Country Club can bear the expense? (hypothetical question). 

    Quite frankly, the threat of water permits being suspended altogether are exactly why our industry has been petitioning to reclassify golf courses from category 6 non-essential users into a classification of it’s own, with at least some water assurances during times water permits are canceled.

    Rather than me writing a 15-page email on the subject of water conversation on the golf course, I will point you to our State’s Best Management Practices handbook as developed through the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association and numerous industry and institutional contributors.  The methodologies explained are well employed at Bushwood, including hand watering, use of wetting agents, use of soil moisture sensors, night time programming, raising mowing heights, decreasing frequency of mowing, etc.

    BMP: Golf Course Efficiency and Conservation Manual in 2018

    In the meantime, Bushwood Country Club will suspend irrigation of all non-essential/out-of-play areas (actually most already are) including the clubhouse lawn.  We’ve already reduced water on rough by 30-50%, so we can allocate the available water time window to apply the necessary water onto the fine turf surfaces. 

    I am available for additional discussion at your convenience.

    Yours in Service,

    Carl S


  • 18 Jun 2021 8:17 AM | Jack Mackenzie (Administrator)

    Rich Spring Superintendent Jimmy Johnson: In the

    New tee boxes coming to Rich Spring Golf Club in Cold

    John Lieser

    Special to the Times

    The year was 1961. The Soviets built a wall dividing East and West Berlin and the Bay of Pigs Invasion ushered Fidel Castro into dictatorial power in Cuba. Freedom Riders traveled throughout the South to test and promote integration measures; many were assaulted and beaten.

    The first lasers are developed. “West Side Story” was a smash hit film. Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22” was published. The average cost of a new car was $2,850.

    It was also the year I graduated from high school and the Rich Spring Golf Club opened. 

    More:Lieser: Pro golf tournaments return to Minnesota this summer

    For the last 32 years Jimmy Johnson, 57, has been the course superintendent at this Tim Murphy-designed course located in Cold Spring that serves a population of 4,284. After being a starter at the sensational Section 8AAA tournament on June 2 when Alexandria eked out a one-shot victory over Moorhead on the 18th hole, I played the course from the championship blue tees the 8AAA participants played and sat down to talk to Johnson about his tenure at the 18-hole layout.

    Johnson grew up in Spicer and learned how to play golf at Little Crow Country Club, which opened in 1969. He graduated from New London-Spicer High School in 1981, and attended the University of Minnesota; he graduated with a degree in agronomy and ultimately became interested in turf management and its companion job to become a golf course superintendent.

    The first question I asked was how his job has changed in the past three decades. For Johnson, the most notable changes have been enhanced water conservation and irrigation practices, revamped mowing patterns for fairways and greens, and the judicious use of chemicals as dictated by guidelines from the United States Golf Association to ensure the course is friendlier to the environment.

    Another advanced change has been in the use of computers and their numerous applications that monitor a golf course’s condition. Even drones are coming into the picture. The job today requires many new skills for a course superintendent which were unheard of in the 1990s.

    While playing the course, I counted seven new tee boxes being constructed. As Johnson stated: “We started a master plan five years ago which concentrated on three main areas, ‘the play it forward’ idea, to incorporate the use of the granite outcroppings which dot the course, and focus on making the course more playable and enjoyable for our membership. The seven silver tees, which will stretch the course to 6,014 yards, will support that playable factor for our senior members and should be completed by the end of June.”

    More:Golf courses look for some normalcy in COVID-19 outbreak

    In conclusion, Johnson was encouraged about the future growth of the member club.  He said: “We have been busy during last year’s pandemic season and this year the course has continued to do a brisk business. We are an evolving golf course and similar to players getting better, we and our 14 staff members who work on the course, will strive to make the course more user friendly, better conditioned, and pleasurable to play for all our 230 members.”


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