Friday, January 30, 2015

Pruning Away

With a links style golf course, you might not think that there is much pruning to be done.  However, the Clubhouse grounds have hundreds of shrubs and trees which require maintenance. 
The snow covered ground gives us a good opportunity to address this important task.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Like Technology?

  In our wireless world, it probably shouldn't come as a great surprise that someone created a "smart" irrigation controller for your home lawn.  By adjusting run times based on current weather conditions and season, the Rachio Iro boasts of saving water even when left in the "set it and forget it" mode.  

Want to chase the neighbor's dog off your lawn without having to get up from the recliner?  No problem.  You can view your system and manually control it from anywhere using the system's smartphone app.
The Rachio Iro can be purchased from their website, through Amazon, or at Home Depot.
So, if you really like gadgets, consider having one of these installed before this summer's heat.

Friday, January 16, 2015

All Hands on Deck

Over the past few winters, we replaced the decking on a single section of the bridge connecting the Clubhouse to the golf course.  However, this year, the decision was made to go ahead and complete the re-decking of the final two sections. 

This meant going from 80 boards to almost 160, and this job is not for the faint of heart.  Given the size and weight of this lumber, sore muscles are guaranteed after hoisting the boards around all day.

However, once again, the crew did a great job working together and tackling this task.  The hardware will be installed on the new boards next week, and we can then check this project off the list.
Good progress on the bridge project.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cold Weather Work

There's no doubt it was cold outside this week.  However, low temperatures didn't prevent the crew from checking one more project off our winter list.  Thursday, we removed and replaced the steps leading to the Honors/Legends tee on #17.
Another great job by the guys, as many hands made light work!

Friday, January 2, 2015

If You Can Measure It, You Can Manage it

How many man hours are spent mowing tees each year?  How many hours did we spend raking bunkers during July?  How much time was devoted to hand watering fairways over the course of the season? 

These are all good questions, however, prior to 2014 we had no way to precisely answer them.  Therefore, in an effort to see exactly where the labor is being utilized, we updated a golf course labor tracking system.

The system is pretty simple--basically we combine a noun and verb.  That is, every area has a number associated with it, and every activity has a number as well.  Each employee writes down the activities they work on each day.  So, if an employee was blowing off fairways, they would record 05-45, and the number of hours spent on that task.

Each employee's activities are then entered on a spreadsheet.  This was set up to allow us to view the labor used in several ways.  For example, we can look at the time spent on a single activity across the entire golf course on a particular day, or throughout the season.  Below, you can see that almost 7,000 man hours were used in mowing all areas of the golf course.

We can also look at information just by area, or a combination of area and activity.  For example, from February 23-December 20, we spent a total of 4,413 hours in all activities related to maintaining the fairways (aerifying, verticutting, blowing, spraying, fertilizing, divot repair, watering, mowing, etc.).  And of those 4,413 hours devoted to the fairways, 839 hours (or 19%), were spent hand watering.

As you can see from the sample above, there are hundreds of different maintenance activities which take place on the golf course throughout the year.  From February through December, 2014, almost 7,000 entries were made on the spreadsheet.  This information will help in the long-term planning of how best to allocate labor, and where adjustments may be made to improve efficiency and condition of the course.

Thanks goes out to the crew for diligently recording their work activity throughout the year, and especially to Don Holgersen for entering the information on the spreadsheet.