Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter Work

Christmas has come and gone and a new year is soon to begin. Preparations for the 2011 golf season are in full swing. Though the weather outside is dreary, we are excited and working with anticipation for a successful year. People always ask us, "what do you do all winter?" Each day is a mix of equipment repair, washing, painting, sanding, tree pruning, and snow removal. Here are some of the things we have been working on in December:

Pictured above and below are flower planters from the tennis area. We are refinishing them so they will look good and last longer.

Below is a project that was completed earlier this month. The drywall on the east side of our employee break room was damaged by moisture so we replaced it. Our break room is now ready for the return of our staff in March and April.

Pictured above are our putting green cups. This year we decided to recondition cups, flags, and flag sticks rather than purchase new ones.

We have finally begun the process of pruning trees on the golf course. Winter is the best time to prune trees in Iowa. The cold weather inhibits the spread and development of tree diseases. Also, when the leaves are gone, it is much easier to see which branches need to be removed and where to make necessary cuts. All of our efforts are done from the ground using a pole saw. We can reach branches approximately 15 ft. from the ground.

When pruning trees we are looking for a few things to determine which branches need to come down. First, we are looking to remove any dead wood or grown- together branches. Second, we try to give the tree an aesthetically pleasing shape. Finally, we want to remove any low hanging limbs which inhibit a golfer's swing.

We will be leaving the limbs and branches lay throughout the course until our staff returns in the spring. Last year we were unable to do much pruning because of the near record snowfall- we have our work cut out for us this year and want to use the winter downtime to get the wood on the ground. Once our staff returns it will take just a few days to pick up all the branches and run them through our chipper between holes 12 and 13.

Monday, December 13, 2010


The first blizzard of the 2010/ 2011 winter season has come and gone leaving behind 4 to 5 inches of snow. This particular storm took more than 10 man- hours throughout the weekend and Monday to clean up. We plan to keep a walking path clear through the golf course from the clubhouse to the maintenance barn. The course can be a pleasant winter walk but be careful- we do not treat the icy cart paths with salt.

We would like to take the opportunity to mention a few precautionary statements regarding snow removal at Wakonda Club. Driving the plow can be unnerving- slick surfaces, poor visibility, and fatigue weigh on plow operators. Add a few pedestrians and motorists and we have a potentially dangerous situation. For this reason we do the best that we can to get the sidewalks and parking lots clear when nobody else is around. This requires that members of our staff arrive very early in the morning to get a start on removal. The holiday season is a very busy time for the club with parties, dinners, and activities. With so many events happening on a daily basis and the unpredictable winter weather it is sometimes difficult to perform the task while the clubhouse is closed.

Protect yourself and your car! Never assume that the plow operator sees you. Do not pass by within 50 feet unless the plow has stopped completely and the operator has signaled you. Walk carefully through the parking lot. We use salt to melt the ice in heavily trafficked areas but when temperatures are frigid these products take considerably more time to melt the ice.