Thursday, March 3, 2011

New blog!

This blog will be going away shortly.  If you liked following my blog you can continue to follow me at I am going to try new and exciting ways to better communicate to the membership, guests and potential members about what we do on the hold course to produce quality conditions and enhance playability of the golf course.

While doing so, I hope to gain a stronger network that I can learn and consult with while I manage the turf at Indian Summer Golf and Country Club.

Please stay in touch and follow my new blog.

See you there,

Justin Ruiz, CGCS

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Seems like every year, during the Holidays, we seem to always have some sort of a winter storm. This year it proved to be right on schedule. A few days before the New Year, we got hit with a pretty large snow storm. The golf course received nearly a foot of snow. The storms timing may not be unusual, but the amount of snow that has fallen is a bit unusual.

Since I have lived in Payson, we have been hit with snow each year. I am sure everyone has seen the usual, snow falls and then melts within a week. The roads are usually clear by the end of the day. Snow in The Rim Country is mostly a brief nuisance.
What made this storm unique, were the cold temperatures that followed the heavy snow fall. On New Year’s Day the low at my house was 1 degree. I have only lived in Payson for four years and I have not seen low temperatures like that. It was cold enough that a water line in the wall of my garage froze and burst. I have seen teens for a low before, but rarely single digits.
What does this mean for the course and our staff?

The staff will start working on our maintenance shop. We have a lot of clean up and organization that can be done to prepare for next season. We will also round up the tee markers from the course and start painting the respective colors for each set. This is also a good time for the mechanics to get caught up on replacing worn seals and bearings to get the equipment ready for next season.

I will have some upcoming posts that will illustrate some of the things that we are working on during this winter weather. Also, keep an eye out for our first video blog. It will be part one of our quest to correct the range tee wiring debacle.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me.

Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Molding The Future

This time last year we had snow on the ground, instead, warm weather in the high 60’s, low 70’s this year. The variation in weather is an example of what we deal with annually when we maintain the turf. Temperature is a key factor between growing healthy thriving turf, to doing what you can to keep it alive. That is how much of a role Mother Nature has in affecting how easy or how tough our jobs can be. I want to take a little time to explain what we have done to begin paving the path toward the successful future of our club.

This is the start of my fifth year with The Rim. Of course, you could probably guess what the first item on my list of important procedures ‐ aerification. Anytime we can get oxygen into the soil profile, we increase the breakdown of thatch. Better yet, adding sand into the open holes mixes with the thatch to create a healthy soil profile. The third dimension to this process is building a soil profile, which we have been lacking for many years. There is no getting into the decomposed granite; our only choice is building our own soil through repetitive punching and topdressing to build a new profile on top of the existing granite.
Water adjustments and savings have been another player in our quest for healthy turf. When you don’t need to put the plant under as much drought stress or, like years ago re‐seed everything in the fall, you give the turf a season to build up healthy carbohydrates and much needed energy for the next summer. Three seasons ago we attacked the irrigation system and made changes in all facets from computer programming to field adjustments to effectively save water.  Since this major revamp we have undergone the driest monsoon in many years, but still we were able to maintain the driving range and golf course under healthy conditions. The turf will continue to become healthier each year.

Our Integrated Plant Management Program incorporates the use of degree day modeling, insect trapping, and effective scouting to properly time our applications and successfully control pests that compromise the health of the turf.  I have mentioned how our climate is one of the more difficult climates in the state and this solution has given us the ability to avoid the devastation we had in years past when we did not control for any of these pests. This is our road map to healthy and successful turf management.

Integrated Plant Management is not just controlling insects or disease with chemistry, but rather a well‐rounded approach that takes into account cultural practices that are required to promote healthy turf. Raising the height of cut is a good example of an integrated approach to healthy turf. The longer turf has the advantage toward weed competition and withstanding some disease and insect pressure. A larger plant can create and store more energy for the tough times like summer. Grass is just like us. When you are weak the pathogens can take over and when you are healthy you have the strength to fight off illness. Nutrition, water and sunlight are the basics for healthy turf. The items listed above are all designed to make the basics readily available.

We are keeping the basics in mind as we plan for the future. The most common saying I have heard over the past two years throughout my trade is, “we need to do more with less”. The actions we took three and four years ago are starting to payoff and make that statement a reality. Continuing to bring fresh ideas and new management strategies into our daily operations will increase our future and the sustainability of The Rim Golf Club.

I am always open to comments and concerns that anyone may have about the golf course or our maintenance staff.

If you have any questions or comments please contact me.
Justin Ruiz, CGCS

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Leo Feser Award

This was definitely a shocker.  I didn't expect anything like this.

Oct. 29, 2010
GCSAA certified golf course superintendent recognized for writing Facing Facebook, Talking Twitter

Ruiz wins GCSAA's Leo Feser Award
Justin Ruiz, CGCS, has been honored with the 2010 Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Leo Feser Award for his article, "Facing Facebook, talking Twitter," which appeared in the June 2010 issue of Golf Course Management magazine.
Ruiz is the GCSAA certified golf course superintendent at The Rim Golf Club in Payson, Ariz. His article focused on the communication advantages with golfers/members/customers that social media can provide.
The Leo Feser Award is presented annually for the best superintendent-written article published in GCM, the association's monthly magazine. The award winner is selected by members of GCSAA's Strategic Communications Committee. Ruiz, a 12-year GCSAA member, will receive the award at the 2011 GCSAA Education Conference Feb. 8 during Celebrate GCSAA! presented in partnership with Syngenta. The conference (Feb. 7-11) will be held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 9-10) in Orlando.
"Justin's article does a great job of simplifying social media and its relevance to our profession," said GCSAA President James R. Fitzroy, CGCS. "Through his writing he was able to help readers understand how helpful these new technologies can be to a golf facility's communication efforts."
As the Feser Award winner, Ruiz will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the GCSAA Education Conference and Golf Industry Show. Ruiz's name will also be engraved on a plaque that is on permanent display at GCSAA headquarters.
The Feser Award honors the late Leo Feser, a pioneer golf course superintendent and a charter member of GCSAA. Feser is credited with keeping the association's official publication alive during the Great Depression. For three years (1933-36), he wrote, edited, assembled and published each issue of The Greenkeepers' Report (as the association's magazine was called then) from his home in Wayzata, Minn. The award was first presented in 1956 and has been given annually since 1977.
Golf Course Management is the leading publication for golf course managers. It has a circulation of nearly 30,000 and is delivered to every golf facility in the United States.
GCSAA is a leading golf organization and has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 20,000 members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA's mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. The association's philanthropic organization, The Environmental Institute for Golf, works to strengthen the compatibility of golf with the natural environment through research grants, support for education programs and outreach efforts.

For more information contact:

Ed Hiscock, editor in chief, Golf Course Management, 800-472-7878

Frost at The Rim

It is that time of year in the Rim Country. Overnight temperatures are below freezing and frost is inevitable. Fall is a great season with many colors to look at along the forest, but it also means frost delays are here.
Photo Courtesy of Purdue University
We have adjusted are start times to reduce any frost delay during the winter months. We also have had cold enough weather to have frost stick around long enough to even delay our 1000am start time. We will do our best to get the course ready during the cold weather to reduce any kind of delay that may occur.
During the times of cold winter weather we will need to delay traffic on the turf until frost is melted. We want to avoid frost damage, because recovery is very slow this time of year. Damage from a cart or a walker can take more than a week to recover. The damage will start out purple in color and turn to a straw brown as the leaves begin to dry.
I like to use the analogy of a piece of glass shattering, when I explain frost damage. When the leaf blade of the plant is frozen and becomes crushed by a tire or a shoe it is basically like a piece of glass shattering into many pieces. Microscopically when the leaf blade sustains the damage the cells shatters into pieces. The pieces move through the plant destroying cells in its path. Once the plant begins to thaw the plant fluid leaks out and the leaf blade and will look water soaked and purple. The leaf blade is now dead and will turn brown. Rarely does this damage affect the crown of the plant so the plant itself is not dead. The problem is that growth is slowed during cold weather, which makes for a slow and painstaking recovery.
With that being said, we ask that walkers and cart traffic avoid turf while it is frozen to protect the grass. If there are any questions about frost and how we make the decision to delay golf please contact me.
Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Course Condition

Winter weather has moved in and the grass is starting to slow down a little on growth.

Completed Items

 Broadleaf weeds sprayed on tees.
 Fertigation
 Trimming Native along paths.
 Greens and Fairway Aerification.

Current Affairs

 Cleaning up Javalina damage.
 Edging sprinkler heads, valve boxes and drains.
 Seeding, sanding and fertilizing thin areas in the rough.
 Cleaning rocks, weeds and fixing liner in the bunkers.
 Spraying for moss on the greens.
 Cleaning up plug drop areas from fairway Aerification.

Upcoming Events

 Sodding out Poa encroached collars.
 Fall fertilization application
 Hand picking Poa from greens.
 Winter Projects soon to come.
The season is coming to an end and the last day for the seasonal crew will be the 31st of this month. This will leave us with 3 FT employees and 2 PT employees on staff for the winter months.

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

GCSAA TV Video Contest Entry

Total Pageviews