Thursday, January 28, 2010

Storm Clean Up Vol. 1

We finally were able to dig ourselves out to the golf course today.  With nearly a foot of snow on the golf course we were restricted to just our four wheel drive trucks.  My daughter and I took a tour of the golf course last weekend to see the extent of the damage, but with the amount of snow, I could not see the extent of the damage.

The crew jumped right in (no pun intended) and started cleaning up the course.  We had several large washouts that traveled across rough and fairways.  With the amount of water traveling across the grass had left behind a considerable amount of decomposed granite from the surrounding areas.  Some drains had been clogged and standing water was present.  The crew was able to quickly free the drains of debris and get the water draining well.
We have also have had trouble getting the geese to stay off of the course.  With limited access we could chase the geese off during the day but they are coming back in the evening.  Since we cannot get our equipment out on the course the geese have made quite a mess as you can imagine.  We will be on top of this issue and as soon as we can comfortably get the larger equipment on the course we will clean the fairways off.  Since the snow is slow to melt the geese congregate in small areas leaving a large mess in a small area.
The crew also took care of the trees that were victim to the storm.  We had one tree fall on the 16th hole, left hand side, across the path in the native.  The other tree that fell from the storm was on the left hand side of the 9th hole.  Both trees were blocking the cartpath.  The crew did a nice job today clearing the paths of snow and debris making the course accessible for cart traffic if anyone would like to tour the course and see not only the clean up we have done but also the snow covered fairways and green,
If you have any questions about the status of the golf course, feel free to contact me.

Justin C. Ruiz,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Golf Course Industry Cover Photo Shoot: Part 2

It is fair to say, without a great membership none of this would have been possible.  They used the members' divot and ballmark repair party as an example in this issue.  I can never say enough about our membership here at The Rim Golf Club.  This is why The Rim Community is ranked as one of the top residential communities in America. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Storm Update Vol. 4

The storm has passed and we are left with nearly a foot of snow on the golf course. Before all the snow we had torrential rainfall that spread decomposed granite across some of the course. Once the snow melts we will have our work cut out for us with clean up. I have yet to see the bunkers and the status on how much erosion they have suffered. After the first day of the storm we had a couple wash outs but nothing major.

Road conditions on Rim Club drive are reasonable with the immediate plowing that took place. Our staff will clean the parking lot at the clubhouse and spa today. In the mornings the roads can still be icy from the melt off the evening before. It is still dropping to the low twenties at night.

I will keep you posted on the clean up progress, the upcoming storm and the course status. The forecast is calling for rain/snow on Wednesday this week. Be safe when traveling for the next few days. Sometimes that ice is hard to see. If you have any questions about the status of the course or our clean up efforts please contact me.

Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Storm Update Vol. 3

It is Saturday morning and everyone has woke up to 8-10" of snow.  What does this mean for the golf course?  We will be closed for a few days for sure.  It looks like rain or snow today and then clearing up next week.  Clear weather also means low temperatures overnight freezing any melted snow.

Here is the local weather camera:


Here is the storm update:


If you have any questions about the course or the storm you can contact me.

Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Friday, January 22, 2010

Storm Update Vol. 2

Overnight we have had some snow.  Here is the latest update for this massive winter storm.  Might want to think twice if you are planning on going anywhere this weekend.


Here is the weather camera located in Payson.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Storm Update Vol. 1

The storm that has hit the South West has proven to be large.  Rain and wind have been persistent and surface water runoff is huge.  When I was on the course this morning the rains had just begun.  Our drainage efforts were holding up and the course had little damage.  Looking at 60' trees swaying in the wind over my flooded backyard has made me come to the realization that we will have our work cut out for us when this storm finally ends.

Here is the local storm update.

STORM UPDATE Thursday 1/21/10

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Large Storm Coming to The Rim Golf Club

I am sure you have seen the news about the storm prediction that will be in Payson tomorrow.  I have heard that they are calling for 6-9 inches of rain in Payson and in the higher elevations up to 6 feet of snow.  It is pretty amazing to hear such predictions but our staff is going to take proper precautions if we do indeed sustain the heavy rains they are forecasting.

We will make sure all the drainage on the golf course is clear of debris and working properly.  We are going to check the culverts that move water under the golf course from outlying areas to make sure they are clear and able to accept water properly. Large amounts of rain in a short period of time will cause run off issues.  Depending on the severity of rain we will be diligent on cleaning the property up quickly after any washouts take place.  We are also going to check our perimeter fence after the storm to ensure we have not had any damage to the fence.

In the three years I have been in The Rim Country and the five years I have been in the Valley this is by far the largest storm that I have seen forecasted.  The moisture is definitely a plus for our state.  After a dry year the reservoirs may begin to fill up.

If you have any questions about the upcoming storm and how we are preparing the golf course please contact me.

Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The IPM tool that Green Golf USA offers is free to anyone who would like to try it. The website is quick and easy to navigate and in a short time you are up and running and ready to create a custom IPM program for your course. The IPM tool is constantly getting updated and soon to be an option on the tool is anticipating pests using growing degree days. I would recommend that you try this tool out if your are interested in impressing the members at your next greens committee meeting and helping you to better manage your property.

I did a quick run through and entered the information onto the Green Golf USA template. It took me around an hour and a half to enter all the info. I was surprised at how easy the tool used drop down menus to select information. I created my own IPM program a few years ago and the amount of time I spent collecting information and writing the program took weeks. The best part of the program is that it takes into account all aspects of golf course maintenance. I focused on mainly pests when I did it on my own while the tool covered the details about the maintenance building, wash area, chemical storage and clubhouse.

The program was simple to follow and I enjoyed the fact that you could pick from a list of insects, diseases, weeds that were important for your course. I felt that this made the process very quick and easy to produce a report that was custom to our course. A program like this is perfect timing for the green revolution. It will make a great tool for superintendents that may be overwhelmed when thinking about creating a program for their course.

I could not believe that after I did minimal data entry the tool produced a professional 40 page report. The report included all the filler explaining IPM and the golf course areas, usually the busy work involved and used the critical data that I entered when needed. I was quickly contacted after completion of the report by Tom and he was very receptive to any comments and offered any additional information from our program could be incorporated for a small fee for the data entry. The cost of a consultant to create a professional IPM program like I created on Green Golf USA could cost thousands and take valuable time, but I was able to create it for free and it took a minimal amount of time.

I look forward to working with the BMP generator next for our water conservation program. It is very relieving to see that something has finally been made to make IPM more attainable to the superintendent and invoke more responsible management practices.

If you have any comments please contact me.

Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Elk, Elk and more Elk

I wanted to do a special post on our current status about Elk on our property because it has been an issue for some time. The three years that I have been on property I have not seen such a problem. We have been pretty successful in keeping the Elk off of the property. We have had problems with breaks in our perimeter fence that has allowed access to many herds of Elk. In the past it has been manageable to sustain a break have some Elk access the property for a few days. We would quickly fix the fence and bring the cowboys out to escort the guests off of the property. Little damage if any would happen. Only a few times over my tenure did we have such an issue. The last few months have been quite interesting with the timing of breaks in the fence. It seemed as though everytime we would go to fix the fence the next few days we would sustain another break from a storm or one of the gates on the Northwest side of the property would get damage. For a while it was like a pattern we couldn't shake. We had a few instances where we would find Elk activity on the course, check the entire fence and make sure it was secure, bring out the cowboys who would be successful in leading the Elk off the property just to have another intrusion a few days later from a storm. It became very frustrating to feel as though you have solved the problem just to get knocked back down with more damage. Recently we have been having quite a bit of trouble with our gates on the Northwest part of the property. One gate is located just North of the main entrance and the other gate is located off of the 260, West of our maintenance tunnel. We have had multiple breaks with what looked like Elk walking right through the gate, ripping boards off as they go. Lane has been our local Elk expert. Over the years he has been able to track Elk and figure out which way they are traveling. He knows the common places Elk bed down and can help guide the cowboys to the location of the Elk. His experience at our property is invaluable and this is one of many ways his knowledge has helped us. With the many problems we have been having with the gates, Lane went to the drawing board trying to figure out how we can keep the Elk off of the property. He came up with a genius idea to make a removeable gate that mimics a section of the fence. His conception was to make the boards easily removable by sliding them through metal holders at each end like an old barn door lock would. The finished product looks exactly like the fence and cannot be noticed unless you are right next to it. Why does this work you ask? The gates stand out from a regular section of fence because of their up right posture. The regular fence is angled to make an optical illusion for Elk making them think they cannot clear the fence because it looks as though it is such a long jump. In reality they can jump the fence, which they have proved from the inside to the outside, since the optical illusion is not acheived from the inside. The Elk started to figure out that the gates were the weak part in our four mile fence. The way it looked is that the Elk were wallking up to the gates and nudging it enough to push boards off of the support poles. Boards screwed in with 4" screws were easily pushed aside by the Elk. The gates were no match for the 600 to 800 lb. Elk. The modifications have been done to the to Northwestern gates and we have had great success. Elk have wallked up to it from both sides and it looks as though they have nudged it from the reminants of Elk hair stuck to the boards and on the ground next to the fence. The strength of these new gate sections are matched to any other section of the fence and also regain the optical illusion that has made the fence so successful. Now that the fence is secure, we are ready to invite the cowboys out for another tour of the course to lead the remaining Elk off the property. We have sustained damage on the course from the repetitive breaks and the interesting gate challenges. We are confident that this new design that Lane has realized will keep the perimeter secure well into the future. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me. Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Big Thanks to our Generous Members

From left top row: Justin, Bob, Dan, Pedro, Tyler and Phil.
From Left bottom row: Cesar, Julio, Lane.
We would like to thank you, the members, for all the support you have given us over this past year and into the New Year. We all want to thank you for your generosity through the holiday season. The positive comments that we have heard throughout the past season have not been forgotten. We have used the comments as fuel to motivate our team to strive for great conditions.
We would like to wish all of our members a Happy New Year. We also want to express our support and ensure that the New Year will be a huge success.
The Rim Golf Club Maintenance Staff

December Green Committee Report

Course Condition The Rim Country has received some snow. With the cold weather the snow has been reluctant to melt. The ground has been frozen most of the day and the grass has undergone dormancy. We are seeing the benefits of our late fall fertilizer application with keeping some color through the winter months. Projects Completed This last month has been slow. Snow restricted crew access to the course for a few days. We have kept the projects more manageable with our small crew. We have finished fire-wise on #5 and the hill on #8. I am sure you have also notice we have given a majority of the native its annual trimming. We have completed the hand work around trees, tees, and steep slopes to make way for a tractor mounted Brush Hog that will make quick work of the flat open areas. Projects in Process The projects that we have on our plate at this moment are fire-wise and pro-shop landscape. We have started the ornamental grass plant trimming behind 18 green and will continue this through the parking lot. This will take first priority now that we have completed #8 fire-wise. We will have a couple staff members continue fire-wise along #11, but it will be slow moving until we finish the trimming at the pro-shop area. We usually do fire-wise in the morning hours while we wait for frost. The late morning is mainly course set up. Now, we will start at the pro-shop then move to course clean up. We will concentrate on fire-wise in the afternoon if we feel there will be members present around the pro-shop area as to not bother everyone with the noise and flying debris. We are also working on goose clean-up. It has been a frustrating winter so far with the geese. We use Chloe to chase them off, but they know when we are done for the day and return before dark. Lane has come back in the late afternoons to scare them off, but we still have had little success. If you would like to see more about the geese clickhere. ElK We have experienced tremendous damage in the past month due to elk. With the recent storm when we lost a few trees we had numerous breaks in the fence. This allowed many elk to gain access to the property. We recently hired the cowboys to round up the elk that were on the property and they successfully removed two. I know that number does not match the amount of elk damage we are getting. The elk travel onto the property at night and leave in the morning when there is an opening. Since the cowboys showed up in the late morning, the majority of the elk had already exited. We have also been having trouble with a couple of our gates. Boards have mysteriously been removed or popped off and elk have gained access that way. We walk the fence once a month and if we see the remnants of elk we will walk it that day. Our most recent issue was the gate near the main entrance. The portion of the fence on the left as you drive in has been slowly sliding down the hill. This caused a gap near the gate that we have been blocking with boards. Recently that gate had boards popped off of it and left a large opening for the elk. With that being said we have straightened the fence and fixed the gate and we will see if most of the elk left the property in the morning or if we have some residents. Since the fence has been mended we will be ready for another visit from the cowboys, if indeed there are still elk on property. Projects Planned Future winter projects that we are looking at are as follows: - Pro-shop trimming. - Fire-wise. - Walk path repair. Ballmark and Divot Repair Party If you missed our first party we are having another 3:00pm on January 15, 2010. We had a great time for the first party. We completed the entire repair in a little over an hour. “Many hands make light work.” – John Heywood. We will all meet at Mr. and Mrs. Paczkowski’s house on #5 after the repair is completed. If you need the flyer that was sent out or have any questions please contact me. Side Notes I was asked to write a case study explaining our water conservation efforts at The Rim. The case study has been posted on the Environmental Institute for Golf web site. You can view the entire case study here. I have recently been asked to be on the cover of Golf Course Industry Magazine. The Editor had many questions about our divot and ball mark repair party and wanted to feature it along with other superintendents doing things a little different than normal maintenance. This will be coming out this month. Read more. I have also begun the search for this season’s intern positions. You can view the blog post about our internship program here. With the use of Twitter, I have been able to keep up with other superintendents across America to gain some insight on how they are dealing with issues on their courses. One of the superintendents is starting a series of posts on his blog called “What we do in the Winter”. I am going to take a similar approach and do a series of posts on what we do on the course. I will try to capture the nuts and bolts that define our work. If you would like to follow along, click here. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dan or me. Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Dan Devere, CGCS 928-951-3272

Monday, January 4, 2010

Internship/Assistant in Training: The Rim Golf Club

Internship/Assistant in Training: The Rim Golf Club Golf Course Superintendent Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS Description: The Rim Golf Club is surrounded by the largest stand of ponderosa pines in America. Each hole has a view of either the surrounding Granite Dells Mountains or the Mogollon Rim. The Rim was Weiskopf and Morrish's finally collaboration. Greens are Providence Bentgrass. Fairways, Approaches, Tees and Rough are all Kentucky Bluegrass/Perennial Ryegrass. The course yields many elevation changes through each hole with relatively subtle greens. Qualifications: Some golf course experience is preferred but not required. Going to school to become a golf course superintendent is a must. Must be able to work long hours. Must have the drive and passion to move forward in your career (advancement may be available). You can look us up at:
A little about our internship opportunity: I am looking for individuals that want to learn the importance of Integrated Plant Management. Our insect and disease pressure is above average during the months of July and August. Learning to scout and properly identify insects and disease is a definite at our location. Calibration of any product applied to the golf course will be the assistant in training’s responsibility. I am open with budgeting and the decision making process. I will allow the intern to manage the crew for one week during the program to get the full experience of scheduling, and managing. You will learn that respect is earned not forced and when you are finished with this program you will be ready for an assistant position in the industry. I do not try to bog our assistant in training down with general maintenance although learning how each piece of equipment is operated will be done. You will be expected to manage projects with my direction and follow through with quality control. Expectations are high at our club and this is not a position for a person that is on the fence about becoming a superintendent but rather a person that wants to strive to become better than the rest. I am a passionate superintendent and would like to see the same in our applicants.

The Rim Golf Club is a Great Place to Live and Play.

GCSAA TV Video Contest Entry

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