Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Welcome to the World HB7 and HB8

Elliott and Eloise have had to endure a lot since she laid her eggs on February 17th and 20th of this year.  Through the bitter cold and snow to the warm days when it just didn't seem like it would ever quit raining, they were both there to protect and care for their eggs with the hope of a successful hatch.

The hatching process began on Thursday of this past week when HB7 began breaking out of its shell trying to be the first of the two to see the light of day.  The hatching process was exciting to watch as it gave us all an insight into the world of a bald eaglet and what effort it takes to come into the world.

After about 33 hours of working to break out of the egg HB7 officially made its entrance into our world at 8:34 PM this Friday evening, March 27, 2015.

Not to be out done by big brother/sister, HB8 started its entry into the world shortly after that on Saturday morning.  It took HB8 over 45 hours to come out of its shell but when it did it was ready for the world.

We are beyond thrilled and blessed to have two new residents of The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.  Each year that we get to watch Elliott and Eloise raise their young just puts a special emphasis on what we are here for as a golf course, not only to provide recreation for golfers but also to provide suitable and sustainable habitat for wildlife.

We are thankful, grateful, and blessed that Elliott and Eloise have chosen our golf course as their home. Providing the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project has been both rewarding and educational but we can not do it without the support of our viewers and sponsors.  We have to give a tremendous amount of thanks to our supporters such as USGA, Jacobsen, The Friends of Harrison Bay State Park, and our many viewers who have been so generous in supporting the project both financially and emotionally.

We welcome all to join us at www.harrisonbayeaglecam.org and enjoy the growth of HB7 and HB8

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ahhh Spring My Old Friend How I Have Missed You

Well, we have finally emerged from the dreary overcast, sometimes snowy, days of winter into our favorite time of the year...SPRING.   Elliott and Eloise's eggs are set to hatch next week, hopefully giving us two more residents of the course, and the golf course itself is coming alive once again.  Spring has to be the best time of the year for us as we get to look ahead at all the exciting times to come and the golfers come back to the course ready to enjoy our hard work.  The greens are always the first part of the course to come out of dormancy and they went from 0 to 60 in about 48 hours over the weekend.

  Over the past two days we have begun the process of removing the "winter coat" from the greens by verticutting them.  Vertical mowing of the greens is done with blades which are set vertically, thus the name, and it lifts the old grass from the greens surface and exposes the new grass shoots to the sun.  We do this very lightly at first just deep enough to scratch the surface, no where close to what we do in the summer when the grass is actively growing.  This process will help stimulate new growth and help get the greens going after their long winter nap.

After the greens have been verticut we come behind it and mow the greens in two directions along the same line to remove all the grass that has been stood up by the verticutters.  Again we are not going deep right now or trying to remove a lot of material, we are just trying to get them off and running.

It won't take long for the greens to get in tip top condition.  Just some sunlight, proper fertility and water, and continued dedicated maintenance by your crack golf course maintenance staff and we will be set for another outstanding season.  We are all looking forward to an exciting and fun season this year and hope you will come visit the course and enjoy it as much as we do.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Golf Industry Show 2015 in San Antonio

This past week Mitch and I had the honor and pleasure of attending the 2015 Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, Texas.  GIS includes both the annual national conference of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the National Golf Course Owners Association, among others. This year was very special as we accepted the 2015 GCSAA President's Award for Environmental Stewardship from GCSAA President Keith Ihms during the Opening Ceremony.  This is the highest member honor given out by GCSAA and we could not be more proud.

Besides being able to address the attendees of the Opening Ceremony after accepting our President's Award I also had the pleasure of presenting to my fellow golf course superintendents on Tuesday morning.  My presentation on our Electric Equipment Initiative and how successful the project has been was very well received and we got lots of positive feedback and questions regarding our results.  Hope some will go back and really research the benefits of using electric equipment on their golf courses.

The Golf Industry Show provides many opportunities to meet new people and reconnect with old friends and this year was no exception.  I had the opportunity on Wednesday to promote our environmental projects on GCSAA TV with fellow environmental award winner Gary Ingram from California in a segment hosted by the one and only Brad Klein of Golfweek Magazine.  This was followed by another interview and then another one and finally the day concluded with a fun interview with John Maginnes on SiriusXM PGATOUR radio daily afternoon talk show.  It is always great to talk with the SiriusXM guys as they completely understand that without the work and dedication of the golf course maintenance staffs no golf would ever get played.

In many ways this had to be the busiest GIS ever with presentations and speeches each day but we still had time to meet with many people to talk about the future of environmental sustainability in the golf course industry.  We were able to meet with the great folks from Golf Environment Organization and discuss the exciting changes in their certification program.  We met with Ms. Teresa Wade of Experience Green to discuss the success of her Sustainability in Golf program.  At the Environmental Institute for Golf reception we got to speak with many like minded persons in the golf course industry and got to catch up with two of my mentors, David Phipps, GCSAA Northwest Field Rep. and Anthony Williams of Stone Mountain Golf Club.  These are only a few of the meetings and contacts and I would like to thank everyone for their time and interest.

It wasn't all work though and Mitch and I had time to relax and take in many of the sights offered in San Antonio.  We did make it up to see the Alamo, unfortunately it was night and the mission was closed.  The Towers of the America's was quite a sight to see especially at night lit up with the GCSAA emblem and the San Antonio Riverwalk was extremely nice even though the unseasonably cool weather kept most from walking along it.  We had a great time at the Jacobsen rodeo on Tuesday night where we got to get up close and personal with some authentic Texas longhorns and then watch a live rodeo.

Once again our supervisors in Nashville showed their continuing support for us by joining us at the event.  Mitch and I have to thank Mr. Nixon for taking time out of his busy schedule to always show his support for us.  It was nice to be able to spend some time with GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans and GCSAA President Keith Ihms over the past few months both at the USGA Annual Meeting and the GIS.  From my standpoint the golf course industry is in good hands and is primed for future success.

Again, Mitch and I have to thank everyone at GCSAA for their generous hospitality and recognition this past week.  It was a once in a lifetime experience that we will not soon forget.  To everyone behind the scenes at GCSAA and GIS THANK YOU.  If you are a superintendent that has not attended the GIS make it a career goal to do so.  You will not regret it and your course will get so much out of it.

Hope everyone who attended returned home safely and did not have to wait in the airports too long.  Til next year in San Diego.