Saturday, March 30, 2013

Open for Play Sat 3/30

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Joe WachterCourse is open and ready for play. Holes changed, cool season tees mowed, greens mowed and bunkers raked. Have a great day!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring pots planted

Becky planting near the casual entrance.
Thought I sent these pictures to my desktop but must of hit my blog account.  Sorry for the separate posts without info.  Here's the information.  Becky has had the spring pot material for more than a week but with the weekend blizzard, she held off planting until today. Entrances to the club and back patio have a new supply of plants that will stay in place until mid to late spring.
Her last shipment of 700 plants came in today so she's under some stress right now parenting nearly 4000 babies in the greenhouse.  We will have to put some protection on these for Monday/Tuesday        
night with temperatures reaching the 20's.
A finished pot of Jonquils in the background, Gerbera, Bellis and
 Hyacinth in the middle and some pansies and Alyssum in
the front.  Purple flower I can't id, I will check with
 her and post it next week. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Course will reopen on Saturday 3-30

The course will reopen on Saturday 3-30. Conditions are still too saturated at this time to allow play. The practice green and driving ranges will be open Friday morning for those of you that would like to hit some practice balls. I apologize for any inconvenience closing the course creates for you.

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Joe Wachter

Course will reopen on Saturday 3-30

The course will reopen on Saturday 3-30. Conditions are still too saturated at this time to allow play. The practice green and driving ranges will be open Friday morning for those of you that would like to hit some practice balls. I apologize for any inconvienence closing the course creates for you.

Baby Squirrels

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I believe it was two years ago that I had a squirrel family fall into my fireplace.  Contacted a rescue group and they told me to place the babies back outside against the house and that hopefully
mother would come along and pick them up that night, at least that was the hope.  Sure enough, no sign of squirrels anywhere later that evening, remnants etc.  Just hope the neighbor cat did not have a feast.

Yesterday, the staff dropped one of the large oaks on #3 that had died late last summer and there were 3 baby squirrels in a nest.  Next to the downed tree was a tree hollowed at the bottom.  The staff placed the remnants of the nest in the hole, placed the little guys in there and then covered part of the entrance to keep them inside and protect them from the wind and varmints, red tail hawks.  This morning when I came in, checked for the babies and they were gone. Everyone was relieved that the mommy found her family  A good tip in case you remove a tree after March 1st which is usually when squirrel babies are born.

Course update

We still have snow covering many areas of the golf course.  Some greens are beginning to clear but most have snow on them and are completely saturated.  The practice green still has a little snow on it but is still saturated with moisture.  The driving ranges are clearing but the hitting stations still have snow on them as well as the walks ups leading to the area.

We will probably have good melting over the next day or two but I do not know if it will be enough to get the facility open by Saturday.  Sorry for the inconvenience this is creating for you.

The view back through #5 tee, #7 into #10.

The view across #10, 16, 15 and beyond.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

When will we play golf?

Don't know that answer for sure at this time.  I'm hoping we can get some golf in this weekend but don't know if the snow will be all gone by then and if the water will have drained from the greens enough to allow play.   We will do everything we can to get you out here.  By the way, have you signed up your children or your grand kids for Breakfast with the Bunny on Saturday and still some spots left for Easter Brunch on Sunday.
The view of #3 today.  We are starting to get some of the features exposed .  

Seeking to fill Mechanic position

Our mechanic has left the company and we are seeking a new person.  This will not affect your enjoyment of the facility over the next few weeks while go through the process of hiring a new person.  Thought we should use the blog to help advertise this position.

Glen Echo CC is seeking a mechanic/technician to maintain our maintenance fleet of equipment and carts including gas diesel and electric power units.


High School Education or Equivalent

Experience Requirements

·         3-5 years of maintaining golf course equipment.
·         Ability to operate reel grinders and maintain quality cut of all equipment
·         Ability to troubleshoot and repair engine issues on various types of engines.
·         Perform maintenance on all transmission, hydraulic systems, and electrical issues.
·         Proficient at welding using both mig and gas welders.
·         Perform regular preventative maintenance of equipment as specified by manufacturer.  
·         Maintain proper records of all work performed on equipment.
·         Assist staff with proper cleaning and maintenance of equipment on a daily basis.
·         Insure all safety features of equipment are maintained based on federal standards.
·         Maintain proper controls of inventory and insure that all supplies that are needed are kept in proper quantities and available for the operations use.

Special Requirements

·         Must possess the ability to work with all staff members in a positive way. 
·         Be efficient and effective in maintaining equipment and the ability to multi-task during the main season. 
·         Be focused and have the ability to work without supervision.  Work overtime as needed.
·         Assist with training operators on proper daily cleaning/maintenance of equipment. 

Date Available

Immediately, resume deadline will be April 5th


DOE   $17.00 per hour Minimum


Contributory medical, dental, and life insurance available, sick leave and vacation available after 1 year of service, holiday pay, 401k with employer match, uniforms, meals provided during golf season, tools provided by operation, education, golf privileges, truck available for parts running/supplies.

Resume/Cover letter Instructions

Must pass pre-employment drug screen, background checks and positive professional reference checks.

Email resume/references 
Fax                                          314-383-3209
Mail                                         Joe Wachter
                                               Glen Echo CC
                                               3401 Lucas & Hunt Rd
                                               Normandy, MO 63121

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Yes, yes we have snow

Looks like 3-4 inches so far with a few more hours to go. It's pretty, just the wrong time of year. Roads don't appear to be too bad. Slushy with 33 degree temps.

Sent from my iPhone
Joe Wachter

Club Closing at Noon due to storm

The Clubhouse will be closing at 12:00 pm. today, March 24th due to the snow storm.

Course Closed March 24th

Spring snow storm closing course today! Better weather coming towards the middle/end of the week.

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Joe Wachter

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sprayer mishap

Sometimes there is human error in our jobs and sometimes there are mechanical errors.  The situation I am describing below was mechanical.

I was spraying the zoysia with RoundUp and Pre-emergent in February, the middle spray boom stuck on after I had left 16 tee area and drove around 15 green surround and in the area of 13 tee.  I noticed it was stuck on when I made a pass along 13 tee and saw the turf area that was not to be sprayed had moisture on it and was blue in color from the dye we use.  The boom switch was off but the sprayer was stuck on so I had to shut the pump off to get the spray to stop.  You will see from the pictures below some of the damage that occurred from this spray.  Most of the damaged turf that will dye is poa annua because it is susceptible to kill from lower rates of spray than the other cool season turf that is mixed in our rough areas which includes bluegrass, rye and fescue.  The last three turf species turn off color but will usually come out of the damage.  We use the lower end of the scale to kill the poa annua in our fairways.  Once we get some warmer days over the next few weeks, the area should heal without much issue.

I was going to mention this issue in a post at the time it happened but I thought I would wait until the actual damage showed up so if  you came out to play you would know what you were seeing.  One of the things we make sure to do is to stay completely off of our bentgrass approaches and of course greens when we are moving around the course with this tank mix so as to prevent a major catastrophe from occurring.  Next to collars, we will do light dobbing applications or brushing of material on plants that we want to remove.

This view is from behind 15 green looking toward 16 tee area.  This area in the deep shade and might have to be replaced  because the amount of shade helps to create a high population of poa annua.   If it does not come out of it in a couple of weeks, we will strip it up and replace it with fescue.

You can see the line off the edge of the tee.  I turned around at the path and came around the back of the green surround.  As you can see, there is a mixture of bermuda and cool season grasses in the mix.  The more orangish spots are poa annua which will probably not come back.  The remaining turf should improve over the next couple of weeks and you will not know anything happened. 

Cool season disease

#2 green with cool season brown patch. "turfgrass"

I normally spray greens coming out of winter to clean up some of the disease activity we experience. This is a spot on the front right corner of 2 green which appears to be some cool season brown patch. The spray I applied the other day should clean up these issues.

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Joe Wachter

Friday, March 22, 2013

Back filling stump holes

The staff used the backhoe this morning to dig out the excess stump grinding chips and back filled them with Glen Echos very own top soil(clay). Tom is smoothing over the holes with the bunker rake. A few weeks of rain to allow for some additional setting and we will cover them with sod.
(Editors note, sorry about the first picture.  Not sure why is gray scaled everything out.  Here's an improved picture)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ornamental plants 2013, potting day

About 2,800 of our plants for this upcoming season arrived yesterday in 5 large boxes.  20 degrees this morning so a great time to stay inside and place all of our plants in their growing pots.  Becky attended the Green Centre Conference in early January at Americas Center and found a source for bulk potting mix while in attendance.  Last season, we spent about $ 550 on smaller bags of potting mix.  By locating the large tote bags of potting mix from a local supplier, our cost will be about $ 250.  Our $ 100 conference fee for Becky was money well spent with this cost savings that we will begin to see on a yearly basis.

We have a production line going on in the shop right now.  Our potting plan includes a pot loading table that places the soil in the pots.  The second table places the plants into the pot and covers the roots.  We will move the plants out into the greenhouse later today when the temperatures moderate.  In about 6 weeks or so, the plants will be ready to go out on the golf course.

Becky removed the plants from their boxes and checked out their condition.  They were kept in the break room overnight which kept them in a warm spot.

The large tote bags of potting mix.  We will be using at least 3 of these which is about 1 cubic yard of material per bag.

Pot filling in the foreground and placing plants in the pots in the background.  Nervous day for Becky getting her babies planted properly and placed into the warmth of the greenhouse.

Finished plants waiting to go into the greenhouse.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

26/30 days respectively for Ladies/Men's Opening Days

Can't believe we are less than 30 days from the Women's and Men's Opening Days but the countdown clock says so.  I'll believe it when I see it.  Weather is breaking later next week they predict so in the meantime, come up and eat some food, get your favorite beverage or two, and watch a little NCAA Basketball Championships in McGrew's Pup over the next week while we wait the warm up!!!!!!!!!


"The Goosinator" goose control

Interesting tool that is being sold to help with geese control on all types of properties.  If anything, fun to watch the geese scatter.  Wouldn't trade Lady Bug but an interesting bit of ingenuity working on land, water, ice and snow.

Vernal Equinox, Welcome Spring

Well, the vernal equinox just occurred this morning at 6:02 a.m., as the sun crossed the equator heading north to bring us the warmth that our turf and bodies long to feel.

Average temperature on this date last year was 72.5 compared to 35 today.  We averaged about 70 last year for the week before spring which was too much warmth too fast.  It was great golf weather but created issues in applying our preventative products at the correct timing.  It usually takes us a couple of weeks to get these products applied.  Last year we sprayed our first seed head reduction product on our greens around March 6th based on the growing degree day model that is utilized in our industry.  We might not reach the threshold of this application until late next week which is one of the later dates in the last few years.

The staff is spending these cold days cleaning up the tree remnants from last week's removal and splitting wood to supply our maintenance building's heat next year and for our members to burn in their homes.  Still have a great deal of sticks and sweet gum ball removal as well after this past weekends rain which always brings down more material.     

Harrison Bay Eaglet Hatch

Superintendent Paul Carter from Harrison Bay reported that the first eaglet hatched this morning.  I've not spotted it yet but you can tell they are sitting on the nest a little differently, more spread out trying to protect their newly born baby and pulling the nest in close.  The other egg was laid about 3 days later so the second should hatch by the weekend.  They expect them to be on the nest for 10-12 weeks.  Below is additional information as well as a link to the site.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Aeration delayed

Editors note(I thought I had posted this but just noticed that I had not.  I believe it was posted on my twitter account)  The wet conditions have ppd our aeration plans this week, March 18th.  Our reschedule date is April 1st when the walking aerator that we use will be available again.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Golf Cart Repairs

The staff spent part of Thursday morning removing 48 dead batteries from various golf carts that we had tested about a month ago.  The new batteries were placed in 12 carts.  Other batteries that we still good in some carts were moved around to insure that all carts are now operational. We have 240 batteries in our carts.  The carts were new in March of 08 so we've completed our 5th year and heading into the 6th.  We will test the remaining older batteries as various times during the season and will change them out as needed to reduce potential breakdowns on the course.  As the chargers for the carts continue to age, we will be monitoring them as well.  Carts that do not receive proper charging will breakdown as well.  The staff from Battery Outfitters who is a Master Distributor for Trojan Battery helped us with delivery of the new batteries and removal of the old batteries for recycling.  The staff cleaned the older terminals, replaced bad cables as needed and placed a little bit of petroleum jelly at each connection to help reduce corrosion.  Batteries for our carts is a significant preventative maintenance expense but it will allow us to get longer life out of our carts over the next few years before we trade them in for a new fleet in the next 3-4 years or so. Barrett and the pro shop staff has been cleaning carts from their winter storage and should have them in good shape for when the weather breaks this golf season. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Harrison Bay Eaglets near hatching

The Harrison Bay eaglets are expected to hatch tomorrow.  Hopefully it will be a better outcome than last season.  Just watched the parents make the hourly switch in the nest.  Very cool!!

Spring Aeration planned for Monday, 3/18

Our spring aeration is planned for Monday, 3/18 but weather is not looking good right now.  We plan to double aerate with our deep-tined Verti-drain machine and follow right behind with a walking unit that we are using from our local Toro dealer which will pull cores.  Double aeration worked very well for us last season so no reason to not do it again this year.  

Dry weather is a must for this practice since we will be pulling up large amounts of sand as well as applying additional sand to go back into the holes.  We can normally get about 14-15 greens accomplished the first day with good weather and then do a couple of greens on Tuesday/Wednesday each so we do not interrupt play.  If we are rained out this week, our rain date is planned for April 1st.  The unit is not available next Monday so we must delay a week.  Below is a video from a couple of years ago of the deep-tine part of our work.

Friday, March 15, 2013

First plants in the greenhouse

The first 125 plants are now potted and in the greenhouse. Big week next week with well over 2,000 arriving. I believe Becky stated we have about 3,500 plants she will be growing this season!!

Sent from my iPhone
Joe Wachter

Outdoor pro shop chairs renewed

"A note from the editor.No the chairs are not in chaos like my first draft that went out stated.  Edited version looks much better."

The staff sanded and put a nice clear coat on the table and chairs that sit out next to the planting bed and the practice green.

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Joe Wachter

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

No wonder the stress got to it

The white oak between 18/1 was completely hollow when we cut it down. It was leaning heavy to the east and could have fallen down during a heavy wind storm at any time.

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Joe Wachter

Tree Management Plan

Our stump grinder contractor is coming into the city this week and we had a few trees that were on the list for removal that we wanted to get dropped and get the stumps ground before he left town.  There are a few others he will clean up for us that were dropped since his visit in March of 2012.  As usual, the stump grindings will be hauled away, soil added where necessary and the areas will be sodded for the upcoming season.  The following trees will be cut up and removed over the next couple of days.

  • White oak between 18 green and the beginning of #1 fwy died during the stress at the end of last summer. 
  • Large silver maple on the left side of 3 red tee had a large limb breakout of it in the last month and is hollow and out of balance. 
  • White oak at the bottom of #3 died at the end of the summer.
  • Large Pin Oak along #4 toward #7 green that lost half of it top a year ago and was out of balance was dropped.
  • White pine behind the field bar and next to the Pin Oak above.
We did not have any other large scale removals this season.  As the trees begin to bud out, we might possibly have another tree or two that did not survive last years drought but we will have to wait to see if this occurs.  The staff is chipping the smaller limbs which will be used for mulching in some of our woodland gardens.

Skip removing branches so tree does not hit nearby trees when dropped.  White oak #18.

Additional removal of limbs on #18.

Lower left side broke off in winter.  Skip dropping remaining forks so trunk can be dropped.

Huge pin oak dropped on #4.  Eastern half of tree fell off  at least a year ago.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Greenhouse covered

Sent from my iPhone
Joe WachterBrutal day outside today but staff finished greenhouse covering today. Working on installing planting tables for plants that Becky is expecting this week. Plants will be arriving over the next 3 weeks. Becky's theme colors this season are Red, purple, yellow and orange.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Course/ranges closed Sunday3/10

The course and ranges are closed due to saturated greens and standing water on the surface.  With more rain pushing in from the south, the course will be closed all day!!  Sorry for the inconvienence.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy Anniversary to Elizabeth

Its been 11 years today on a blustery March day that Beth accepted a journey with me.  Wow, what a journey it has been!!!  I'm definitely not the easiest human to live with and the mentality of a golf course superintendent who never believes there is enough hours in a day to accomplish just one more thing gets the best of me way too often.  At times, its the fear of not doing that one last thing to prevent a total catastrophe, which could ultimately lead to death and destruction of our greens. In most situations that is not true but there is always that fear in the back of one's mind.

The calls she receives saying I will be home at fill in the blank and hours later she knows I've still not left.  Rising early, going to bed early, not being able to make the normal plans as others on the weekends or to schedule activities too far in advance is difficult but it is the job we have and the life we choose.  Not necessarily the life she chose but you know what I mean.  We are lucky as a couple that our membership at Glen Echo allows and encourages us to be a part of not just the work of the club but also to enjoy some of the pleasures of the club.  I might be foolish at times but not a fool, I know the two ladies in my life are my best assets, Beth and Lady.

So as I move into another year of marriage to my wife and working at this great club, here's a toast to Beth that I will arrive at home in a more timely manner more often than not and to you our membership for another healthy year and great experiences at Glen Echo!  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Course supplies refurbished and on the course

Part of our winter work involves painting, staining, coating and repairing our equipment that goes out on the golf course to assist you with playing your round of golf.  With the arrival of March, time to get this spruced up equipment back out on the the course.
We use a product called Vinylguard which is a vinyl shrink wrap material that is applied with a heat gun and placed on the flag poles.  It renews them and improves their overall look.  We also replaced the ferrule that fits into the hole making a tighter fit and helping to keep the flag in the hole during windy days.  A new flag stick costs about $ 17.00 each.  New coating and ferrule about $ 8.00 which allows us to get 2-3x's the life of the pole.

Same Vinylguard material is placed on the bunker rakes.  Fiberglass rakes look fine for a few years but then begin to fade and splinter which is not pleasant on the hands.  We cover them with the vinylguard giving them a new look.  This material costs about $ 3.50 per rake.  Much cheaper than buying new rakes and will last for at least 4-5 years.  They can then be recovered for another series of years.  New rake handles cost about $ 15.00 each.

Marine varnished tee markers which were brushed and dipped a number of times to get this great looking finish.  We should not have to renew these during the middle of the season like we have been doing in years past with a standard clean coat sealer.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Friday Night Dessert

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Joe WachterAlways great to talk and eat dessert before the entree. Staff got a preview taste of this great pie without the ice cream that will be available for Friday night dinner service. Maple bourbon sweet potato pie with old fashioned butter pecan ice cream topped with Joe Wachter's maple syrup reduction. Uuummmmm gooooooooddddddd!!

Course will be open Friday, 3/8/13

The course will open on Friday, 3/8 once the frost has lifted.

Reminder to sign up for Barrett's reception

I know, this is a course blog but it also is used to keep members updated on other activities within the club.  Just a reminder, call and make your reservation or use the website for Barrett's reception on Friday evening starting at 6:30 p.m.  You can also reserve a dinner table at the same time.  Chef Terry and Sous Chef Jeff have had a couple of nice Friday evening crowds tasting their wonderfully prepared food.  Should have a great turnout to welcome Barrett and his wife Lisa to Glen Echo.

Finished table for pro shop

Finished the table for the pro shop to help with display of products.
Thanks to Russ, Tom, and Becky helping to make this old table new again.

Sent from my iPhone
Joe Wachter

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Geppeto would be proud!

The guys are doing a little work for Barrett in cleaning up a couple of pieces of furniture that he would like to place in the pro shop.  Some removal of the old stain finish, some sanding, a little glue and ready for a new coat of stain.

Ready for Opening Days? We Are!

I know, snow on the ground, cold weather, not much thought of golf but its coming.
St. Patty's Day Tournament coming up on  March 16th, sign up sheet in the pro shop.  I also just posted countdown timers on the blog for the both the Women's and Men's Opening Day's for the 3rd week of April.

Maple Syrup to another level

We make maple syrup on property to provide membership with a taste of this wonderful delicacy  In Ontario, maple syrup production is common and big business.  Interesting information below of this great natural product.

Nice production that last few days.  Looks like we might have enough to bowl down to another gallon of pure and natural maple syrup.  

Friday, March 1, 2013

Greenhouse update

New steel tubing was installed which allowed us to raise the roof of the greenhouse where it attaches to the building by about 8".  This will improve water evacuation off the structure.  The staff will install the tracks which help hold the poly in place early next week and will then apply the double walled poly, inflate it and begin to build up some heat for plant production which will begin around St. Patty's Day.  
Lengthened steel tubes(painted white) which allowed for improve slope and drainage away from the building.