Friday, August 18, 2017

Happy Anniversary

In 2006 I was given the opportunity to vie for the job of Superintendent at Glen Echo CC. Every job that I was given the chance to interview I was successful and was given the job since college.  I did not make the cut then but was given another chance in the summer of 2008. I made the cut and began my career at Glen Echo on August 18, 2008. 

This is the longest time at any one job that I have ever had in my working career. As my role has changed this past year from a full time Superintendent to General Manager/Superintendent, the world has become a bit more complicated. As a young teen, I witnessed my father being denied tenure at his teaching and football coaching job. The denial was truly unjustified and an error by Board members who later became regular customers at our restaurant. I saw my father turn the other cheek and move forward with his life. What a lesson for his eldest son who loved him dearly. 

August 23 will be the anniversary of me being named GM year ago The past 360 days have been some of the most difficult in my work life but have also been some of the most rewarding. I have worked tirelessly, not for myself but in the service of our family at Glen Echo and our guests to improve our product and make it something you can be proud of. At times we've failed but I believe our success has far outweighed our failures.

Over the past few months, our clubhouse management team has been doubled in size with the hiring of Dave and Miguel who have done an excellent job in stabilizing our efforts and providing me with some needed relief so I can do some of the duties I've been tasked with completing. Our hourly staff have continued to become more seasoned and our food quality from Chef Brian and his team has improved. 

In the end, what I am asking is that you come visit us a bit more often. Lunch, dinner, cocktails, chicken wings and some drafts. Maybe not enough time for 18 holes of golf but 9 would be just great by us.

In the end, many of you have asked and been concerned about me and my wife Beth and I truly appreciate your concern. I've always been s little more dedicated to my work than I should but trust I do enjoy my time away with my bride. Thanks for your support over the last 9 years and I might not see you on the course as the past but will see you in the clubhouse!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hot Temperatures, Singing the Blues

Well, the heat is on today and for the next week. Why not join us in the Clubhouse Friday night. Cajun/Creole food and one of the best in the Blues business in STL Leroy Pierson. 6:30 Buffet, 8 to 10 to here Leroy.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Extreme Heat, Caution Prevails

A successful Member/Guest as being told by both our members/guests with just a few scars on a couple of greens, we now head into consecutive 100 degree days and upper 70's to 80 degree nights. 

We will be alternating between mowing greens one day and rolling greens the next instead of mowing until we get through what could be the hottest week of the season. We are also raising the height of our mowers by .005 thousandths of an inch. Don't freak out! That is just a little more than the thickness of 1 piece of typing paper. It does increase the surface are by 4% which is significant when dealing with a plant mowed at 1/8". Don't forget to come see us, just do it earlier or later in the day.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Excellent Article On Bunkers

Excellent article from the USGA regarding bunkers and the reasons why they might play different from bunker to bunker.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Bermuda Eradication Part Deux Hundred

First early morning arrival to the course in a while. Don't miss getting up at 4:30 but do miss the course waking up. Shot a little Bermuda Eradication video and yes we will be killing some Bermuda after the Invitational. I have not sprayed this year due to some weakness in the Zoysia.
 Fairways overall continue to improve with some filling in needed on 1,2 and 4. Tees were aerated last week, fairways were spiked which is the reason for the little slices with the brown edges where they dried out. Most of those areas have recovered. Yes and I have the finger ready for the video!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Repairs to 7 Tee Completed

The staff completed the renovation to the front of the white tee on 7 today. It was backfilled with soil, 3 drain lines were dug across it to reduce water pressure in the bank to hopefully stop the hillside from sloughing off again. Sod was laid on it today. 

To our young walkers, please stay off this area or you might end up injured from wet and soft conditions. Should be good to go in 2-3 weeks.

Skip using a mini-excavator to trench across the bank.

Laying the sod. Decided to use Bermuda grass due to its ability to deeper rooting and survive the summer heat.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Greens Venting

Greens were vented today by the staff. We use our deep-tine machine with 5/16" venting tine which places a hole about every square inch or two in a little over 2 acres of greens/collars. Venting is performed to exchange good gas for bad. 02 oxygen good, CO2 carbon dioxide in higher levels bad if green surfaces are not opened up to allow the bad gas out.

The venting also helps improve water infiltration into drier areas and evacuation of water in wetter areas. Rooting is also improved with this process as is microbial activity which has a very positive effect on the plants. There is a battle going on in our root zone between harmful pathogens and those tiny creatures that help offset disease. Holes are not disruptive to ball roll for the most part and will closed in just a few days.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer Stress, Make Changes or Face Consequences

As we push through some early stressful weather, a reminder that turf, especially 1/8" height greens can be impacted severely as summer stress continues into July and August. Pushing greens to their limits is a razor edge margin between success and failure. I tend to want to be on the side of success, not death. There are things we do to reduce stress. Roll more, now less. Slightly raise heights to provide just enough safety, needle tine or vent greens to improve oxygen content in greens. Nice article from @usga below.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tragic News

Michael McLaurin was hired this season as a seasonal employee. He received tragic news over the weekend regarding his son being shot and killed on I-70. Michael was a good find for us this season and has helped Skip and Tom and the rest of the staff a great deal so far. I went and spoke with him this morning and he said he had to come back to work, could not sit around at home anymore. There are not many words to help someone facing this terrible situation. Our thoughts are with Michael and his family. Video below.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Tee Weed Control

We sprayed about 1 acres worth of Zoysia tees with a material that has turned them off color as illustrated in the pictures below. I've also attached a blog post from 2014 where we spot sprayed tees and you can see the off-color tinge in the back of the blue tee on #1. Since 2014, the weed that we are trying to control 'Kylinga' has spread to many of our tees. We are using a combination product which assists us with crabgrass control and will give us control on the Kylinga. We will have to spray the product again in 30 days or so to get any additional or new plants as they emerge. Other courses have had excellent success with this product. The yellowing will dissipate in about 7-10 days.

Blue tee on 1

Red Tee on 10

Below is the link to the blog in 2014 which illustrates the off color spot spray that we did.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

GECC Plant Sale May 13th

The annual Glen Echo CC Plant Sale will be Saturday May 13th from 9 to 11 at the maintenance building. Plants can be charged in the usual manner. Might not have every Plant Becky has grown from babies but she will have a nice supply for you to chose from!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Well Since Everyone Is Talking Weather, Stats for Feb/March/April

I've been so busy inside the building, I don't even recall seeing the stats below 
for February on the news. Mind blowing.. Wettest in April is not what we want to hear 
but also this trend on warmth is not good. Wet and hot can be deadly for old greens
with natural drainage only. I know some wondered about a 2nd aeration. Rainfall
and heat are the reasons why we pound our greens with aeration equipment and sand 
in the spring! 
                 Observed            Avg     Diff    Last Yr
AVG. MAXIMUM     59.0              45.0    14.0     49.1
AVG. MINIMUM     36.4              27.6     8.8     31.2
MEAN             47.7              36.3    11.4     40.2
Rainfall         0.49              2.24   -1.75     0.80
Look at all the records for February!!! 








               Observed            Avg     Diff    Last Yr
AVG. MAXIMUM     59.5              55.9     3.6     62.5
AVG. MINIMUM     40.4              36.6     3.8     43.6
MEAN             49.9              46.3     3.6     53.0 
TOTALS           4.24              3.32    0.92     2.29
Boring Record Month of March


                Observed            Avg     Diff    Last Yr
AVG. MAXIMUM     72.7              67.4     5.3     70.3
AVG. MINIMUM     51.9              47.2     4.7     49.4
MEAN             62.3              57.3     5.0     59.9
TOTALS          10.37              3.69    6.68     4.49





1.58 SET IN 1926. AND 04/29...3.15 INCHES. PREVIOUS WAS 2.29 SET IN

Friday, April 28, 2017

3 Tee Renovation and Zoysia Repair on Approaches

The staff slammed out the work earlier in the week regarding the renovation of #3 white/blue tee. It was laser-leveled by Schaefer-Meyer company on Monday and the staff laid the sod on Tuesday. We narrowed the front of the tee and pointed it properly toward the fairway instead of down the right woods and fence line. I would think it will be ready for play within 3 to 4 weeks.

We also repaired the damage in front of 1 approach and 2 approach on Wednesday before the rain hit that evening. We still have some weakness in a couple of other spots that might take some replacement. We have some extra sod in the parking lot waiting to be laid as necessary when things dry out.

Area in front of 2 green. Same thing was done in  front of 1. 3 is a little weak but a majority of that material is growing back.

Tee was leveled to drain f ront to back and off to the right. We softened the walk off area a little and also will be able to extend the tee ground back a couple of yards.

Mike McNeil painting shape of the tee.

Staff tightening up the sod after it was laid.

This pick is looking front to back. We made the tee more regular rectangular in shape and lost teeing ground on the front so tee would be pointing the proper alignment for players.
Watering the sod. Got a little toasty but will be good after all of the rain we are receiving.

The arrow from a video regarding the old tee. You can see how it aligned down the fence line instead of the fairway. In the pictures above you can see how the tee has been turned to the left to align itself down the center fairway line from the center of the tee.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Weakness in Some Fairways and Approaches

We've greened up nicely is many areas of our fairways but we do have some noticeable weakness in heavier trafficked areas such as approaches, shaded areas, north facing areas etc. There are a number of things that could be attributed to causing these issues. We talk mostly about the good and the work that takes place, every once in a while I have to talk about some bad.

I made the fall application like we normally do with our Bermuda reduction material. We were pretty dry in the fall which the Zoysia was under a bit more stress than normal. Of course going dormant, is a bit stressful as well. We normally come out of winter a bit more delayed than normal because of this spary material. The zoysia is tolerant to it but it can tinge it a little.

With the milder than normal temperatures this winter, our warm season turf staying in dormancy for our RoundUp application in February was a bit of concern. We do spray at the near lightest rate which is effective at killing the poa annua and not damaging the zoysia. The areas most effected, high traffic areas like approaches are a little thinner in dormant turf cover and more chemical material could have gotten down into the canopy and affected live tissue. We have pulled a couple of plugs and placed them in the greenhouse to see if they will green up in the next 10-14 days. If they do, we will be fine. If not, we might have to replace the approach area on a couple of holes.

The issue we are facing could have also been the 15-17 degree low temperature we had a few weeks ago when the plants were just greening up and were very susceptible to freeze damage.

Or it could have been a perfect combination of the 3 things happening all at the same time, weaker zoysia from the fall, just a bit more green up than normal in February and the cold temperatures after the early breakout of temperatures.

We will have a better feel about what is happening over the next couple of weeks. I think a majority of the spots will be fine. One thing I'm probably sure of is the Bermuda got its butt kicked as well.

Greens aeration was completed in 2 days by the guys. Looks good overall. Last major aeration work of the season besides monthly needle tining and maybe a hydrojet application in mid-summer.

# 1 green approach. This is about the width that I sprayed last fall with the Bermuda control product. Its also the width of the area sprayed in February. This also coincides with the turning area of the mowers and rollers which creates excessive wear in this area.

#2 looking across from left to right into front of the green.  Same as #1.

This is an area along #15 we always have issues with. Narrow band of area that is emersed in deep shade for  many hours of the day plus heavy cart traffic due to balls ending up on the down slope of the fairway. I did not spray this area last fall because of the weakness of the turf. Still having issues. Recommendation has been to remove at least 1/2 the trees in this area to allow more sunlight. It is also facing to the east southeast which is not a good situation for warm season turf growth.

Plugs pulled from the approach. Looks pretty weak. There appears to be life down in the stolen area but we will see for sure in 10-14 days.
2 green after aeration

2 green canopy. Holes filled. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

3 Tee Renovation

Renovation begins on #3 Tee today with the removal of 3 trees. Our intentions are to replace the cool season Heinz 57 turf with Zoysia that requires a great deal less maintenance and moisture. It's does need more sun which is the reason for the removal of 3 Elm trees and a Solver Maple.

We then have to strip the sod off the surface, dig out the tree roots that have disrupted the surface, contract tilling and lazer leveling of the surface and laying the sod. Our hope is to have the Tee ready for play in 45 days or less.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring Color in the Ornamental Pots

Horticulturist Becky was busy this past week planting the numerous pots around the facility.
Varieties in the large pot on The Pearson Plaza and other areas include Gerbera, Dianthus, Lobelia,Snapdragons, Agyrathemum, Stock, Margurite Daisy, Osteospermum, and Kale.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Replay, Mr Ballmark, Can't Start Another Season Without This Timely Discussion

Not much explanation here. Consideration for others maybe?

Fairway Bermuda Eradication Version 2017

The Zoysia fairways are greening up early this season. Our fairways at Glen Echo have a tendency to be a bit behind because of our Bermuda Eradication work we are doing with late Summer early Fall herbicide applications. I think most will agree we will take being a little bit behind in trade for the great shape they have been in mid-summer until the end of the season the last few years. First video of the year about our Eradication program describing the area  on the north side of the main road of #8.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

Welcome Little Sister

Been discussing for some time about starting a clubhouse blog or something in that line. Welcome little sister!


  There will be some tweaks to the sight. I'm trying to get email notification for those of you who would like to sign up. Its been 9 years since setting up the last blog so give me a little time. In the meantime, bookmark the link above and keep an eye out for regular posts in the near future. My crystal ball tells me a post from the kitchen for some reason might make it onto the next post!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Spring Aerations, Here They Come

This season we will be doing the DryJect Aeration process from our contractor. Scheduled initially for this Sunday PM and next Sunday PM, the dates were moved due to weather concerns.

We will be completing this process on Wednesday March 15 and Thursday March 16. I don't like to do this work during the work but we had no choice or wait until the end of April which I do not want. It is a pretty non-evasive process but we will have to have you go around the holes that we are working. We will have 2 units working. Takes about 45 minutes per green or so.

Below is the link to last years work. We usually just brush the greens and roll them if they are dry enough and they are ready for play.

Later in the month we will be performing our deep-tined areation which will help us drain water deeper through our profile as needed, especially through the earthen layer that rest 6" below ground.

I will make another post in the next few days catching you up on other work the staff have been performing.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Clubhouse Food & Beverage Service Reopening, Welcome Back Dinner

The clubhouse will reopen on Wednesday, March 1st at 11:00 a.m.

Throughout the month of March, the clubhouse will have Food and Beverage Service
Wednesday through Sunday.
11-8 Wed-Thurs
11-9  Friday
8am -9pm  Saturdays
8am to 8 pm  Sundays

Chef has a great buffet planned Friday night March 3rd and our welcome back dinner. Due to the great buffet planned by Chef and his staff, there will be no Ala Carte service Friday evening.
Help us plan our evening and reserve
your spot today.

Prime Rib au Jus
Horseradish Mousse
Alaskan Crab Legs
Shrimp Cocktail
Crab Crusted Snapper with Sherried Basil Cream
Twice Baked Potatoes
Spring Rice Blend
Oven Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Glaze
Mixed Vegetable Medley
Tossed Caesar Salad
Tossed California Chopped Salad
Assorted Rolls and Cheddar Biscuits

Mac and Cheese
Chicken Strips with Dipping Sauces
Toasted Raviolis

Dessert Station

$38 Adults
$16 Kids ages 5-12
4 and Under Free

Drinks billed in traditional manner

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Fun At The Club, Pizza Night!

A little fun experience at the Clubhouse this Friday night at Glen Echo.  Pizza night! 

Giving our hard working Chef and staff a Friday night off since we've not been closed for multiple weeks in a row with no meals to fix. Brother Ed and I will produce you a casual but great tasting night of Italian splendor. Come and have some cocktails, a couple of beers, a bottle of wine and some excellent pizza. Look at my waistline, wheat belly and non-veggie! Its made for some great eating.

Gonna break out the ol Coach(Dad) to help us out!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Maple Sap to Maple Syrup

We don't have a large supply of Maple Syrup this year to provide any for breakfast but we do have enough for Chef Brian to do some magic with in the kitchen.

The lack of consistent above 32 degree day temps and below 32 degree night temps reduces the proper sap flow required to provide us with large enough quantities of sap to give us a large supply of total syrup that can be used. 43 gallons of sap to make one gal of syrup. We will have about 60 gallons of sap which will make us a little over a gallon of syrup.  As temperatures warm and bud break begins to occur, the saps flavor changes and is not suitable for consumption.

A couple videos I've made over the last couple of days.  One for fun, the other to entice you with the smell of this beautiful naturally occurring product produced right here on the grounds at Glen Echo. Close your eyes and imagine the wafts of this light, natural tasting maple syrup drizzled across some Pork or in a dessert, Yummy!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sap Time(No we are not talking corny jokes in the bar)Maple Syrup

Maple tree sap is beginning to flow with some below 32 degree nights and above 32 degree days. Hopefully we will get a nice supply for Chef to use in something special this season at Glen Echo.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dr. King "Why Do You Care"

I've never posted on Dr. King's Day. I've thought about the man over the years and respected his work.  The movement that helped to transform our country over the last 50-60 years was so important and necessary.

I remember being in 4th grade and outside playing that evening when Dr. King was killed. I was out playing with a neighborhood friend in Desoto where we lived. I came in and saw the news and I think my comment was something like that is terrible, or bad, along those lines. My friend said to me
                                      " Why do you care" 

Why did I care? I guess I was 11 at the time and was a current affairs geek. I was raised in a family of inclusion and equality. My parents went to high school in a small town that was known not to have African American people living within its limits in Southeast Missouri but you would have never known that from my upbringing. Never heard the stereo typical derogatory names used around my family. I think if I would of used those words I would have gotten my butt whooped good. I grew up around African American coaches and athletes which my dad worked with and coached and taught along side. We became friends, we became brothers when my parents became guardian for a young man when I was in Junior High School. We were teammates during my athletic years where we shared the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. We broke bread together, we partied together, we chased girls together, we did everything together.

When I started working I became responsible to parents and their kids who rode my buses, teachers/principals at schools who I worked with as well as colleagues/employees and upper management individuals who I reported.

Of course in the golf business I have customers, peers, vendors, staff and now members from many backgrounds and faiths, everyone deserves equal respect and treatment no matter what your place in society.

We have come a long way but still have a long way to go.

Winter Work

Most supers are questioned what do you do in the winter. Well, staff is in the middle of vacations, sick days(germs from kids and pass it around the group), education which I showed you in December with more to come, and repairing our supplies that are on the golf course. Tee markers, trash cans, benches(personally think we should get rid of half of them), driving range bag stands and etc. Some of the time is spent just recovering from 6-7 day a week solid grind from the end of March through parts of November. Everyone up with 4:00-4:30 a.m wake up calls 6 days a week for all staff/management.

Painted trash cans

Jason and Russ sanding tee markers

Already sanded and waiting on the sander

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year

This past year had its challenges but also some major successes which are displayed in the video below. The loss of Lady this past spring shook my world, 17 years of habits were hard to break, others within our club suffered much greater loss. One of the things they all talked about though was that they could not have done it without the support of their family at Glen Echo. The help and support during their struggles and grief were the only thing that kept them going.

I brought this video back out of the archives because of the new year, new beginnings, a new start. We have a couple months of recharging and planning to do to get our year started out right. I know our young guns are getting recharged and looking forward to another great year of golf at Glen Echo.

We will begin our Friday night dinners on January 13th. We plan on doing some things for the kids in the Pub and Olympic Room area of the club that night and every Friday night during the shutdown period. Movies, putt putt, games, a chance for you to come to the club visit with friends and have some activity for the kidos.

Happy New Year and thanks for your support!