Monday, July 11, 2016

Why Can't Green Speeds Remain Constant?

A recent article written by David Oatis, Northeast Region director of the USGA Green Section, answers a very common question that superintendents hear quite often. Why can't green speeds remain constant throughout the year? In the article, Oatis addresses many of the variables that have an effect on green speeds. A link to this very informative article can be found here.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Utilizing GPS Technology for Turf Maintenance

Canway GT740FL
The OTF Conference and Show last winter offered a very informative class on the utilization of GPS technology on the golf course. Jim Moore from the USGA Green Section led the seminar, offering ideas of implementing the use of small, inexpensive GPS trackers to collect valuable data about your facility. These waterproof trackers were purchased on Amazon for under $50 each.

At the start of this season, we began sending a GPS tracker out with our staff members while they conducted maintenance on the golf course. The data that we are collecting so far this season is very interesting. We are able to collect data on total duration of an activity, and observe how changing mowing angles or patterns can have an impact on this. In addition, we are able to log how many miles are traveled to use in conjunction with the machine's hour meter. All of the data we are gathering will allow us to have more accurate data to use for budgeting and planning. 

Data is imported into the Canway program where we can view the details of the event
and make notes of mowing angles, operator, and whether or not a cleanup lap was mowed. 
Reviewing the data has already allowed us to modify mowing and travel patterns to increase efficiency, adjust mowing patterns to reduce mechanical wear from multiple mowers turning in the same spot, and begin to figure out the labor cost of various activities throughout the year. A breakdown of the cost of mowing greens for a season is listed below:

  • Average duration to mow greens: 4 hours 14 minutes
  • Average distance traveled to mow greens: 14.28 miles
  • Average number of times greens are mowed annually: 210
  • Average amount of fuel used to mow greens: 1.8 gallons
  • Seasonal man-hours to mow greens: 889 man-hours
  • Seasonal distance traveled to mow greens: 2998.8 miles
  • Seasonal amount of fuel used to mow greens: 378 gallons
  • Labor cost to mow greens for season (including payroll taxes): $9236.71
  • Estimated fuel cost for the season ($2.25/gal): $850.50
  • Total labor and fuel cost to mow greens for the season: $10,087.21
The GPS tracker data can be exported to Google Earth.
Upon gathering data for all golf course maintenance practices, we will be able to have very accurate numbers on the cost of maintaining each area of the golf course. This data will then be used to accurately predict and budget maintenance costs in our department. In the long-term, the data will be able to predict the life cycle of various pieces of equipment so that we will be better able to plan equipment replacement needs. The data that we are collecting is invaluable, allowing our department to be more efficient and business savvy. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

20th Anniversary

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Beaverceek Golf Club. To celebrate, the golf shop staff has organized an outing on Saturday, June 4th. The outing will be a 9AM shotgun start with gifts, prizes, awards and lunch. The cost to play is $75 per person. To register please contact the golf shop staff at (937)320-0742. In addition to the outing, the turf staff put out new flags this year commemorating the 20th Anniversary.

The course logo has once again been painted on #1 hillside. This year, the beaver is filled with stars and stripes. Prior to the 20th Anniversary outing, a special logo will be added to the hillside underneath the beaver. The staff at Beavercreek Golf Club hopes to see you out on the course soon!