Sunday, December 27, 2009

Geese!

The winter time is when the goose population is the highest. We have nearly two hundred this year that try to make The Rim their home. During the afternoon they will make their way to our course for the nice lakes and beautiful grass. With the average goose making about 1.5 pounds of mess a day. That adds up to a lot of clean up. Our control measures are far and few between. We have our course Border Collie "Chloe". She does a great job chasing them off the course during the day. She keeps the geese from getting a chance to spend too much time on a single hole. We have also tried numerous tactics from spraying the grass around the lake to make it less palatable to setting up fake coyotes to work as a scarecrow to help keep them from feeding in that area. When I was working at Sun City we had great success with the coyotes, but I also think that the geese also had a lot more options once they left our course. The geese in this area have limited options that are close for them. Green Valley Park and the school fields seem to be a good alternative, but with pedestrian traffic at both places makes them prefer the golf course. Their other option is our storage lakes. The problem with those lakes is the limited food supply. They may not be bothered in the lakes but still prefer the grass on the golf course. I also see them head toward Star Valley but again I don't think there are to many lakes around with green grass bordering them. We are trying every possible solution other than getting a depridation permit to lethally control the geese. Harrasment is our only option with Chloe and our carts. Just driving up to the hole is enough to scare them into flight. I was looking into other products that will make the grass less deisirable to taste. Grape Kool-aid or the sour ingredient in grape Kool-aid is supposed to work. I did the math to figure out how feesable it would be to apply it on the golf course and so far it would be a ridiculous amount of grape Kool-aid packets. There are products that contain the same active ingredient but are very spendy and require frequent reapplications. When you're out there enjoying your round of golf and see the reminants of geese we are doing are best to get them off our property, keep them off our property and clean up after them. The recent snow storm left us with restricted access to the golf course and gave the geese more time to feed. This has given us a little extra clean up for the Holidays. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS justinr@therimgolfclub.org

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Let it Snow!

Yes we had our first snow storm this year with more in the forecast. The snow started Monday afternoon and continued until dark. We recieved around 4-5 inches of snow. Tuesday morning a little more snow fell but nothing really measurable.
The course is stilling hanging on to quite a bit of snow even though we had some pretty good melt off yesterday. The shaded areas I suspect will be under snow for quite a while while the south facing slope are already clearing quickly. The next storm is expected this weekend but we are still not sure if it will produce snow or rain. So far the call for a wet winter is proving to be true.
A fun fact about snow is the size of a snow flake. The average snow flake is about a half inch in diameter. The largest snowflake recorded was 15 inches in diameter. Try catching that one on your tongue...
We wish you a fun and safe holiday season.
Justin Ruiz, CGCS

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Golf Course Industry Magazine Cover Photo Shoot

I spent some of the early morning getting picture taken for the Golf Course Industry Magazine cover for January. I had never been asked to do a cover for a magazine so you can imagine it was exciting. Justine Miller was asked to photograph the cover. Since I was a newbie at the whole camera friendly posing she helped me out quite a bit.
The magazine designer asked for both indoor and outdoor photos. Our first line of business was to find a couple locations on the golf course to complete the outdoor pictures. With the temperatures in the high twenties we found some good views to take the pictures. Both Justine and I were frozen trying to get the perfect shot.
We then made our way inside the clubhouse for some warmer photographs. I found that being a model is very hard. I am very one dimensional when it comes to getting my picture taken. The extent of my modeling career has been at the family get together with a count down to saying "cheese". With the help of Justine maybe I will get some calls from GQ magazine next?
The January issue of Golf Course Industry Magazine will be coming out soon. I am excited to see the selection and what I look like. Hopefully I am not as goofy as I think I am. With that being said I felt like I was going to get some pretty good shots from Justine. I can't say enough about her professionalism and making a tense situation a little easier. Follow her on twitter @JustineMiller, Facebook or look her up on the web http://www.justinemillerphotography.com/.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me.
Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Rim Golf Club Internship Program

Each year at The Rim Golf Club we advertise for interns. On my way to becoming a superintendent I too did an internship. I graduated from Oregon State University and did my internship at Waverley Country Club in Oregon. An internship’s purpose is to close the gap between academic skills and in the field experience. I feel like I can teach students things that I was not taught during my internship and schooling. The Rim Golf Club is a great place to learn with many issues that are uncommon to the average facility.

Our past interns have included Adam Troyer, from Ohio State University. He went on from our facility to become and assistant superintendent at New Albany Country Club. William Bosland, from New Mexico State University, went on to become an intern at the #1 course in America, Pine Valley. He is now an assistant superintendent at the Olympic Club in California. Eric Scharf from State University New York Delhi, he became our second assistant superintendent and now resides at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale. Matt Ruth from North Carolina was hired onto our crew for a while and then took an assistant position in Virginia. Andrew Fortin was our most recent intern from Walla Walla Community College. He has proven his work ethic and is considering coming back to be my assistant next season. These are a few great interns that have worked with me over the past three years and have gone on to become successful in the industry. We are going to advertise for interns for this next season. They have a great opportunity to learn about water management, Integrated Plant Management and personnel management on a high maintenance property. These young individuals are the future of our industry and are eager to learn and work hard. They are highly motivated students and are great crew members.

I usually advertise nationally and then select certain schools to send a more descriptive notification too. I usually target Oregon State University, my Alma mater. We also send information out to Walla Walla Community College, because of our recent networking with Andrew Fortin, and University of Arizona.

The benefits of having interns during the season are having knowledgeable crew members that have the common goal of becoming a manager in the industry. In most cases they have been trained on a majority of the equipment and have the “eye for detail”. These individuals are always well motivated and are here to impress. They help keep the quality of the golf course elevated during the season.

If you would like to know more about our internship program or have any questions regarding our interns please feel free to contact me.

Justin Ruiz, CGCS

justinr@therimgolfclub.org

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Freezing and Thawing

The forecast for the next week is calling for freezing over night lows. This will lead to the greens becoming frozen at night and thawing during the day since the weather still reaches the fifties during the day. The constant freezing and thawing we will experience may arouse some questions about course condition. I wanted to write this post to hopefully help answer any questions so you are prepared when you play golf over the next few weeks. Since the weather is not constantly cold the top few inches of the rootzone will freeze over night. Not only will this begin the hardening process and start to turn the grass off color but it also addes oxygen to the top few inches of the soil. We all know when the pipes under the house freeze, the water inside expands and the pipe breaks. The same process happens when the water in the soil freezes it expands, enlarging the pores in the soil. How does this affect you? Soft playing conditions. With the constant freezing and thawing that takes places the greens will become much softer once they thaw. The green will be much more receptive and can feel spongy. This is all collectively the freezing overnight weather. We are not overwatering greens. Actually we have not watered greens for a couple weeks now, even though the temperatures have been elevated and there has been no percipitation. When you tee it up in the weeks to come and you find the greens are a little soft and spongy, it is because of the freezing and thawing conditions that are upon us. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS justinr@therimgolfclub.org

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