Tuesday, February 22, 2011
After college John worked as assistant superintendent at Loch Lloyd Country Club in Kansas city. John has been working at Wakonda Club since 1998. He started as the assistant superintendent under Dave Radaj and was promoted to superintendent in 2000.
John resides in rural Cumming with his wife of 15 years Megan, sons Jack (9) and Charlie (6), and dog Norman. John enjoys Jayhawks Basketball, attending his sons' soccer games, and bird hunting with Chris Coen -supt. Glen Oaks. John's current project at home is to refurbish a 1930's era dairy barn. He hopes to create a "clubhouse" for his kids.
John is most proud of developing talent among members of his grounds team. He is also very proud of progress and renovations made at the club through the years. John enjoys sharing his experiences and advice with other superintendents throughout the Midwest who are grappling with various course renovation projects. John enjoys working with the Wakonda Club staff and with member committees to solve problems for our membership.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Jaret resides in Altoona with his wife of 14 years ,Tiffany, and sons Braeden (13) and Deacon (4). Jaret is a hard- core Iowa Hawkeye fan and enjoys attending football games with his family. Jaret's sons keep him busy. He has coached football and basketball and spends many weekend afternoons attending football, basketball, and soccer games. Jaret is also a home improvement guru and is continually working to improve his castle. When Jaret does have some spare time he enjoys playing golf.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
We will introduce each employee one-by-one, in order of seniority; therefore, first up: John Phillips. John has been with Wakonda Club longer than any other maintenance employee, 25 years. His wealth of knowledge is very beneficial for maintenance operations. During the winter months, he services many of our mowers and large equipment, which is a very time-consuming and delicate task. During the playing season, you will most likely find him on his John Deere tractor mowing rough.
Living only a few doors down from the maintenance shop, John is the only maintenance employee who lives within walking distance from the shop. John is the proud owner of one of the manliest garages you'll ever see. Inside you'll find three, large flat-screen TVs, along with comfortable furniture, which is sure to satisfy any viewer. Most of the time, these TVs are tuned into Nascar, football or the Iowa Hawkeyes. John's favorite thing to do is watch Nascar and racing. During the racing season, he also likes to attend most of the races at the Iowa Speedway. His all-time favorite Nascar driver was Dale Earnhardt, which led to his purebred pug's name, Dale, who has an Iowa Hawkeye nametag.
Bird houses were constructed first using natural cedar wood. Below, you can see Assistant Shawn Fopma cutting the cedar wood down to size.
In all, ten bird houses were constructed. Each bird house has a side door that pivots open, which is essential for cleaning out old nests and monitoring the nesting birds. We hope to see various bird species using these boxes this coming year.
In addition to the bird houses, bat boxes were also constructed. Also made out of natural cedar wood, these bat boxes provide a safe, undisturbed home for bats. Bats are essential because they feed on moths, mosquitoes, beetles and other insects. These bat boxes can hold approximately 100 bats; however, it is unlikely each box will reach full capacity. Inside each box is three wooden baffles with rough sides to give the bats something to cling to.
Since bats favor warm conditions, each roof was darkened with stain to increase heat absorption. Five bat boxes were constructed.
Interesting fact: a typical summer colony of 100 bats feeding 200 days will consume more than 2200 pounds of insects or approximately 600,000,000 bugs!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
An IPM Planning Guide improves our ability to predict turf quality problems. We used historical weather records, such as average monthly air temperatures and average monthly precipitation for our location, to plan management strategies to optimize turf growth. This helps us explain turf performance at different times of the year.
The course was broken down into the following management zones: greens, tees, fairways, and rough. Each management zone was given its own comprehensive IPM strategy and plan to predict how they will function throughout the year. These management zones help identify areas of high risk of damage by pests; as well as, aiding in reduction of pesticide usage.
Implementing a successful IPM plan will help us provide greater protection to our environment and help us continue to achieve our environmental goals.
The program begins with a planning stage, which we completed last spring and received a Certificate of Recognition in Environmental Planning. The second step is the action stage, where we implement the environmental measures and goals which were decided upon during the planning stage. One of the action steps golfers will notice on the course is the addition of bird and nest boxes, which will be strategically placed on the property this coming spring. You may also notice the grass height around shorelines is raised to reduce chemical and mineral inputs into the water. We will also be conducting water tests to analyze our water inputs.
Our main focus this winter has been on the third, documentation stage, which we use to achieve certification. We are in the process of filling out numerous forms to verify our accomplishments and progress. In addition, we are also providing pesticide records and photographs to illustrate our stewardship activities.
Once all of our plans are implemented and documentation has been completed, we look forward to achieving designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. We hope to receive certification within this coming year.