Busy Florida Fall Continues In Ohio!


Isaiah 40:31

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

You know it’s been too long since my last update when peers across town are calling asking if I’m okay! “Yes sir” Mark all well just been busy great speaking with you sir. I’ll start there we have had many happenings since June or July and even a Holliday or 2 pass through, but it has been mostly dry and warm which is conducive for mycelium development. Our program of fungistats have been working on fairways, tees, and greens. I have taken “cide” out of my terminology for several reasons and here are two. 1. A fungicide does not actually kill a disease it only suppresses it for a given time frame during conducive conditions. 2. As an industry that constantly gets a negative connotation it makes no logical sense to re-iterate number 1 constantly for the subliminal subconscious or unconscious. We utilize Best Management Practices and that’s our adoptive mantra moving forward.

I got to meet another Ret. Air Force Colonel in early September, Bob Darden came over from Beavercreek to check out Players Club. I got to ride nine holes with him and yes we are cousins.

Robert Darden and Darden Robert Nicks above and Robert Darden and his friend below. I believe my entire family was either military, teachers, farmers, preachers, esquires, and then me. Someone had to fall off the turnip truck!

We have finally gotten some needed rain even through the Low is 71 this morning for an October day. It is groundhogish of sorts lately and before I knew it the second week of October was upon us! We have gotten over 2.5” since Friday with a little more on the way. Thanks Nate. Rain gauge at CH and 1 Players this morning. We will be open by noon with a Staff of 1.

Yes I wore red and my NC State hat. I took the fall and let her wear the OSU hat. I did not cheer against OSU. And they beat the turtles which is always great being an old ACC Foe! That’s probably the only ACC school none of us graduated from.

Tree work beautiful sunrises. And there is Nate. Thanks Nate.

Mycelium last Thursday a cultivar of Sceleratinia something like that. Latin ain’t real too swift after Nate got my feet wet.

Thanks Brooks for fixing the second different bridge of the year and painting the tee markers.

9 Quick Coupler Repairs this summer and sodding 9 Fairway Players where the geese roost. Need the Fox to catch them or the Coyotes.

I’m not sure that Fox will hunt if he’s eating hot dogs & bunking at the shop.

We have repaired 15 to 20 solenoids this summer as well as Joel Braun rebuilding an irrigation pedestal! Thank you drunk golfer. Thanks Joel #1

Now we are back through Labor Day I’ll try not to let to much time pass by before the next update. Thank you all for your prayers and support. See you somewhere soon!

D

Fire, Hail, Wind Rain All Came down from the Heavens Week=Over 8″ in 14 days 6″ in 7 Days & 4.5″ In 3 Days! Play Ball! 


Matthew 18:19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

Mr. President as a mere Director I’d like to suggest a redo Summer Stress Event at Lake ToddHo~ especially after all is boys in Cbus went through “beat week”! 

We are open today with 3 outings and regular play. Cart Path Only Players Club and Riding on Foxfire. Showcase PK Sammy on our slightly used new Eclipse. 

Scuba D hookin’ Sump Pump back up so cash register can ring again! ​​

Look Mom​​ Tree No Tree! Picture loaded outta sync but tree gone. 

My Boy Coach Former work mate! Now he just plays golf out here and takes the summers off! What a genius! 

Thursday’s or Friday’s Staff meeting. I don’t know I can’t remember but we have them. Yes Virginia there is a staff meeting daily!  Matty Ice with my $100 Tilley Hat. That’s an offshore fishin’ hat. He was late cause he forgot his hat. Jacob brought his hat and was sleeping already. Great job guys! #16 Players in the Deluge! She held her own! I don’t know what day that was Tuesday Wednesday. But it’s over and it will never rain again for 40 days and 40 nights. That’s in the second book of the Pentateuch. Right Sam? Sammy is my seminary student. He is going on be brighter and better serving the Lord! 
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Started Range tractor for Vinny! Me and Morlan. ​

Verticutt Solid Tine Topdress Too! Thank you for everyone’s help. 

Spring Rains Course Preparations! Happy Easter 2017! 


Maundy Thursday

John 13 12:1612 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.  16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

We have been busy getting the course ready for season and have five staff members for 36 holes right now. Labor in this region is most challenging but we will continue to place our faith that the right team members will come along. We saw several experienced operators retire last fall and I am diligently searching for the next team members.  I have early commitments from some of the college guys that were here last year and they did a good job. Paula has been mowing rough with our only rough mower for 36 holes and Brad has been mowing fairways with our only fairway mower.  We did get the John Deere 8700 today from Alabama on an auction and it will help tremendously keep up!  I do not have my statistical data in front of me right now but review it daily and we have had close to 10″ of rain since January 1, 2017. And with the warmest summer on record for Central Ohio in 2016 we have also experienced a warm wet Winter with minimal days below freezing and the ground never froze solid this Winter. February 12 the trees began to bud!February 17, 2017 we mowed greens for the first time a month early! We had a few solid weeks of play in February this was taken early on February 17.  Then the rains came back at the end of February through March. 

Saturday February 18, 2017 #14 Players The Creek stayed full most of the Winter except for the second half of February. March 1 our greens mower had some issues and the weather was rainy at best with beautiful sunrises. 


With the fall fertility and warmer Winter we are blessed to have an abundance of grass and unfortunately we have many dandelions to eradicate. February 20 dandelions were blooming and we had not received our proucts yet to commence eliminating them. We will begin treating them tomorrow and then apply nutrients on the putting greens. 12/13 Players February 20, 2017. The crabgrass control will be applied after the soil reaches 52°F and even up to early tiller stage which should occur in about 3 weeks.  The product we are using is a pre-emergent and an early post emergent. It is the most ergonomically sound product for control in this region given the resources available and eliminating a second application in August. The efficacy of pre-emergence is traditionally 90 days, however that may vary with environmental conditions such as extreme heat and rain! It also will have to be reapplied wherever divots or holes are made! Soil temp April 6 was 47.5 degrees Fahrenheit. 

We will also begin working in the sand bunkers preparing them and later this Spring we will continue our remodeling project. All the bunkers that were reminded last season have no weeds to very minimal compared to previous seasons. We move the water off the paths as quickly as possible utilizing the resources we have.  The Foxfire pipeline commenced last week and I hope they finish in the next week. The rain has slowed this project and last Friday we had snow and a friend sent me a photo from Cleveland last Friday. Mr. Joel Braun the irrigation specialist had a bunch. Cleveland snow one week ago and Snow in Westerville below that photo. Saturday morning after the Friday snow at Foxfire. 

Paying Tribute the The Judge! And a week later things are shaping up for a great Easter! Sunrise April 12, 2017 we tried to pressure up the Foxfire system today and had to retract after 40 minutes due to a main line blow out on 10 Foxfire fairway. We only needed it to have more water volume at the wash pad. We have a well but the volume is not quite enough to clean items to my expectations. The pipe on Foxfire is anywhere from 24 to 40 years old and this is not uncommon. We will repair it next week and try again. 5 Players below is an example of one of many positive progressions due to the amount of turf! And the day ended on a bright positive note! Paul thank you for getting the fairway unit. I know the dealer where it came from before the city in Mobile used it. Small world. 
See you all on the course it is a pleasure to serve! 

1.63″ in 24 hrs. CPO Players Walking Foxfire 


We have had over an inch and a half of rain in the last 24hrs. I expect a frost delay today. We will try and mow greens and continue working in the bunkers.  The crabgrass preventer will continue to go out. Jim reinforced the small sprayer putting chains on the booms to hold them up and create more ground clearance. 

 Fred installed the new lights in the barn last week while it was raining.  

   
Jim also installed the new air hose and is continuing to get our second tee mower put together.   

   
John Deere brought our Kubota back yesterday and installed a new transfer pump for the fuel injection system. Thank you Justin for arranging and helping get this repaired.  

 Franklin Equipment is bringing back our other New Holland tractor today. Thank you Jason and the guys at Franklin! They installed a new clutch and we have a tractor back in operation after 8 years or more of not being utilized from what I hear!  

 

Thank you Nancy for volunteering some time to paint tee markers yesterday!  

 

Temps go from 75 to 45 CPO Players Walking Foxfire, Grinding! 


Matthew 14:32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

Brad is mowing the fairways that he can on Foxfire and Jose is finishing up the Players Club Tees. A beautiful day yesterday with a high of 75 turned over night with .9″ of rain, which is 1.6″ for the last 4 days. Today is windy with gusts up to 30Kmph. Started out promising for the sunrise and then the clouds have rolled back in. Tuesday and Wednesday should be better with sunshine and highs in the 50’s.  

    
   
Jim is grinding the last reel for the John Deere 2653A trim mower. Reynolds Farm and Turf came to pick up the Kubota this morning and we are waiting on a few more parts for the other 5200D fairway unit that were on back order.  

    
 

2.1″ of Rain in 3 Days! 


Zechariah 10:1Ask rain from the LORD in the season of the spring rain, from the LORD who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.

We had an inch of rain yesterday afternoon with in 45 minutes. That is 2.1″ of rain in 3 days.  Thanks to Tom & Bill for coming back yesterday evening and helping with the water removal! We will need a new gfi outlet for the sump pump. The down spout was repaired. Possible showers again today then the forecast is too cool off for the first day of Spring with possible snow Sunday morning. 

    
   Jim has been working on the frame of the Toro 5200 D fairway unit. Most of the bushings and pins have been replaced.  

  No we are not using the chain saw on the fairway unit!  Billy and I saw another bubble yesterday from all the water. This was on 18 Players.  
 We will get one of our New Holland tractors back from Franklin Equipmnet tomorrow. The TC 48 They are installing new clutches. The photo below is the TC 55. 

 

Happy New Year! Winter Work! El Niño 


Psalms 118:24This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

El Niño has been a topic in the news this past Fall, 2016 Winter &……. El Niño is translated from Spanish as Christ Child or in everyday Spanish little boy! The term was first used in the 1600’s by sailors in the Pacific referring to a temperature inversion of warmer water in a normally cooler Pacific Ocean that is carried by the jet stream from West to East. Most of this phenomenon can be explained in the Bible so unfortunately for many “Global Warmer Believers” this is a normal occurance that has been happening since the beginning of time. I do not have to explain what it is doing we can all see the results. The jet stream may also be referred to as the Pineapple Expressway! Many collegues way down South are battling horrific rain events and the golf industry is taking a big hit financially. What does this mean for Central Ohio right now? Not much snow! Yeah! However, I have been asking many native Superintendents what does this mean for Spring and Summer, and the response is similar. I would expect a warmer drier Spring and Summer! We may enjoy it now with the occasional days to play golf up here and sunshine in the Winter, but have different challenges in the Spring and Summer! I would expect to see increased insect and disease pressure earlier than in the previous two years! 

Jim and I have been working on the reels, rollers, bearings, and seals for the mowers. In early January we received a shipment from Toro with reels, shafts, seals, and bearings,bed knives  and a few other items.  

 With in 14 days Jim had this box empty! 

  
Well, almost. I helped disassemble the rollers, salvage, and rebuild the ones for the fairway units.  

    
    
   

There are ten rear rollers on each fairway mower and each roller has two ends. Each end has 7 parts that need disassembled and reassembled with new bearings, seals, snap rings, and a shaft. Jim did all the grinding and reassembling of the cutting units. This is a very time consuming process that requires precise dexterity, accuracy, and geometry! The reel and bed knife must be sharpened to the correct angle which we determine and is a recipe for each Supernintendent! 

   
   

  
These are completed and we are working on the greens reels now! After this is complete we will need to figure out which engine can run these reels! We have had some rain this winter and below is 16 Players fairway that must have a drainage issue!  Bubbles always mean trouble in the golf industry! 

    
   
We have also been able to do some tree work which will provide more sunlight to areas and create a healthier turf canopy.  Luis below helped me haul some wood for a few days. And I hauled him after a long day! 

  
    
  

  

 Bundled up driving the skid steer loader. We have had a few days of extra brisk weather! Thank you Steve Hines for your help, and Mark Novotny for the utilization of your dump trailer! We have had some wonderful sunrises!  

    
   
   
  The “greens committee” below meets daily in the Winter when it’s too cold to golf at the agronomy center to go over ideas and suggestions!  They are shipped off to South Florida now for golf! Thank you Matt, Cutter, and Dave for the accommodating tee times. 

  I am in the process of upgrading my web site so that updates may be more frequent. I am running out of meta data storage and need to upgrade the storage on it.  The snow has melted and the sun has been shinning. I expect to see many of you all Saturday! Please remember that the ground will be thawing and carts will be on the Cart Path Only on Players Club and day to to day decisions on Foxfire! Thank you!  

    
 

Cart Path Only Players Fairways on Foxfire and 6 Team Members for 36 Holes!


Preparing for another golf outing this morning. We had .62″ at the shop .80″ at the halfway house, which is in another area code or about 1 mile west of the shop, and .7″ on Players. Another great day for golf. The high today was at 3:00 AM with 65 degrees, and the wind will be out of the North at 9mph with gusts up to 15-20! We started at 4:30 this morning to prepare the courses. The forecast for the next ten days has the low in the low fifties and the highs will be in the low to mid seventies! Back to long sleeves and pants. I turned the “pump” off on both courses this morning to save electricty on the Players Club and we have an irrigation leak to repair on #14 Foxfire on Monday!  Travis and I hooked the sump pump up and pumped off two Foxfire green this morning! Shades are on at 5:00 AM for the camera and eye protection of course! After 42 years of living today safety glasses are a must when working outside! 
Thank you Chuck for getting the guys the miner lights yesterday! We will utilize them the rest of the year with the sunrise at 7:10 EST today and tee times at 7:00AM and shotguns starting at 8:00AM we have to work in the dark prepare the Championship golf courses! Travis below hooking Pump up to pump off the green.

   
    
    
    
   Luis above and “The Judge” below.  
   
    
 Elijah on the sand pro on #6 Players. 

    
 #10 Foxfire Green above and T.J. Aka “Ralphy” from The Christmas Story below on #13 Foxfire green. We went from zero mowers working at one point on Thursday to having 3 greens mowers with freshly charged batteries on Saturday! The units are so old the charging systems can not produce enough power to re-charge the batteries because of the after market lights. 

 Thursday morning on Foxfire before the outing on Foxfire we had regular play. This is always interesting and no one was injured. I have seen this many times in the last 24 years but never before any beverages have been consumed! These four guys are in there thirties. The one that jumped out of the cart was an engineer, and we had a Fedex driver, and a Barney and Smith stock broker. The Judge saw it happen. The guy already hit a bad shot across the road from two to seventeen. And went to view the green and went full speed back towards the creek locked up the brakes spun in a flat 360 spin like NASCAR and jumped out right before he went in the creek!  

  Travis, Swampy, and I got it hooked up with a chain and Brad was able to pull it out with the Kubota! Cart 56 went to the pits for about thirty minutes, got a new micro switch and finished the race only a few laps down! Kyle in the blue shirt was the driver like Kyle Busch apparently. I said this yesterday on Instagram @darden73 that they all must have gone to “The Ohio State University” sorry buckeye fans but a N.C. State alum would not have done this!  The poor guy was worried about his telephone. I said we will get your phone sir but I have to pick the cart up first, and get the minnows out of my pockets! 

    
   
I found his phone with my bare foot! I always go In barefooted! Unfortunately for him and his telephone my left foot has about 226 lbs of foot pressure so his water tight case leaked a little bit! Have a great weekend ya’ll! From our course to yours! 

 

1.1″ of Rain on Players & Halfway House .7″ at Shop Monday! Putting Courses Back together today. 


We had almost 1/2″ variance of rain Monday on the property both courses have fairways open to carts. Elias Conkel installed a drain on 16 Players on his last day yesterday before he goes to Ohio Northern for football and school. Jim is back working on replacing a rear ball joint and a hydraulic hose on the left deck on the 2011 4000D Groundsmaster. We are spraying greens today with Secure, 18-3-6, Iron, and Primo.  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Tawny at BlackHawk? More Rain Progress and Play Continue! Course Update! 


Proverbs 12:14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.

I got a call this morning from Kurt Boggs the Superintendent  from Blackhawk and a photo of what appears to be an adult Tawney Mole Cricket. Not native to this region of the country. I have only seen these In the Carolinas Southward, laterally and South West part of the country mostly below the transition zone. If these critters are migrating North that will change the nature of the industry financially for the mid west! I think it is just a rare occurrence and may have even been translocated through a traveler or caught up in the jet stream out of the South West front that blew up a week or so ago out of the Houston area from the tropical weather pattern. The control for these is the same product used on Canine and Feline for the treatment of fleas and ticks called fipronil. It is highly expensive to treat preventatively on golf courses so let’s hope it is just another rare occasion and not a pattern of tolerance and migration Northward for this golfing market. We have enough issues up here with disease pressure on C3 grasses to equate the costs of cricket treatment in the South.  
We have had another deluge of rain this evening and the leagues were postponed today, but we were able to get the leagues and outings off yesterday even with the rain from Sunday! We have not had as much rain at Foxfire as the course North of Columbus but still remain soggy and are keeping up with our regularly scheduled fungicide applications when the sprayers are functioning.   

   
We will remain Cart Path Only on the Players Club today and try to open the grass cart paths on Foxfire but when we allow that the printing from the carts will appear. This is after Monday’s horseman outing on Foxfire. It is no great concern long term it just appears badly due to the clay being brought up from the cart tires on the lower areas. Most golfers seem to gravitate towards the wettest areas and then repeat each other.  There are not enough signs nor rope to increase common sense in people! You can not learn it or buy it! You either have it or you do not. If you see previous tracks from other carts I would suggest you drive to the area where there Are no tracks and the elevation is 10-15 feet higher.  

    
 There is no real lasting damage agronomically.  We pressured up the Foxfire irrigation system today primarily to evaluate the seven irrigation repairs and have access to more water volume for washing equipment and filling the spray tank.   

    
 Grass seed has been ordered to seed any areas that were repaired. Someday a sod cutter would be a valuable tool to have and these areas could be covered back up immediately after repairs were made. We have been continuously working on all the equipment we have and the next unit to go back out will be the 6700 D with modified freshly ground units so we can grind the 6700 Reels that go with that mower. We retro fitted some 5500 D cutting units so that we would have something operational to mow fairways with other than the triplexes. One of the  triplex units had a cylinder leak last week on five Players fairway. It was not noticed by the operator until after several passes were made and it was under the unit. This is not detrimental either it is just a slight set back of discoloration to the turf in a few areas. 

   
   
We were able to add an extra hand in the shop this afternoon to assist in transferring the 250 lb reels since we do not have a lift it takes more than one person to switch the reels over. The triplex that was leaking oil had the lift cylinder switched out today and is back In operation. We found an older model sitting in the barn next door that had a matching  donor so we transplanted the cylinder to the unit.  

   
The new pump on the greens sprayer blew the seals out and will be replaced today under warranty but we have not had a smooth run with the unit and look forward to having it operate properly next time it goes out to spray greens. We did spray the Players Club but the leak got much worse so we switched to spraying the tees on Foxfire to get the product out of the tank and ready for another repair.  

    
 
Weap holes are doing their job by allowing the water to blow out since the seals are blown! This is a feature so the cast iron doesn’t crack and the pump does not need replaced. It just needs disassembled completely and have new seals replaced which is about a two hour project. But we have to have a greens sprayer. Everything else on it has been replaced but the tank, frame, and motor. Those could fail next at anytime given the age of the traction  unit. Toro has quit making some parts for it due to its age. The great news is the staff has kept up with the bunkers after each rain daily and prepared the course for play to the best of or ability given the resources. Weed work continues daily in mulch beds and crab grass break through has been sprayed in fairways and bunker faces on both courses. #12 Foxfire fairway crabgrass dying.  

 
Many irrigation leaks were repaired this past week including many quick couplers and a main 4″ T in front of number one Foxfire.  

    
  I had to jump in on this one and help after they didn’t get the first coupling taught that’s why there are two couplings on the right side of the hole. Nothing major just an extra coupling and the area was back filled with clay and a support block behind the T.  I’m glad I can still teach by showing.   
   
   
 
Travis also cored and seeded the white tee box on 16 Players and began adding drainage at the end of 15 Players Fairway today with Joey. That area will be tilled and seeded as well.  

   
   
  The guys continue to work diligently in the bunkers.  

    
     
 My first shot with new clubs in to 15 green Fox last week with a 60 degree wedge from about 50 yards out! Excited to have new clubs. I hope I get to used them soon! Thanks Matt Auen and Brian Sikema for your assistance in obtaining these! I hope to see yall soon again someday! 

 


 Thank you Todd & Heidi Voss for hosting the COGCSA meeting Sarurday night at Hooch & Hos’ Beach Bar in Galena. Nancy and all of us had a great time!  A little Sarasota in Galena! 

    
    
   
   
 Todd says if the Pirate Flag is flying at Double Eagle you are welcome to stop in!!