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Hole Notes The official publication of the MGCSA

Continuing Education: Irrigation Electrical Troubleshooting

Vol. 50, No. 4 May 2016


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June 15 Bluffs Area Exposure Eastwood Golf Course Host Jeff Minske

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CONTENTS

Vol. 50, No. 4 May 2016

Feature Articles: EAB: They Are Here

pages 16 - 23

by Rob Nesser, S&S Tree Service

by Dr. R. Chris Williamson, UW Madison

by Dr. Angela Orshinsky, UMN Horticultural Pathologist

by Andrew Lindquist, Link Systems Inc.

Managing Earthwworms In Turf

Prescritption Pathology EDITOR DAVE KAZMIERCZAK, CGCS

DAVE@PRESTWICK.COMCASTBIZ.NET

In Bounds Jack MacKenzie, CGCS

Trouble Shooting Shorts, Corroded and Damaged Single and Multivalve Wire Circuits

Monthly Columns: Presidential Perspective pages Dave Kazmierczak, CGCS

pages 18 - 22

6 - 8

pages 12 - 14

Within the Leather pages 54 - 59 This Month’s Guest: Jeremy Chmielewski

Cover Shot:

Hole 6 at Wild Marsh Home of the 2016 Championship Affiliate Spotlight pages 50 - 53

pages

24 - 26

pages 36 - 39

Habits Good and Bad By Dr. Bob Milligan pages 44-48 Event Picture Spreads: MGA Turf Forum Hosted by Reinders TheAppreciation Event

page

37

page

49

Have College Kids? Need a Scholarship? mgcsa.org pages 42-43 Hole Notes (ISSN 108-27994) is digitally published monthly except bimonthly in November/December and January/February by the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association, 10050 204th Street North, Forest Lake, MN 55025. Jack MacKenzie CGCS publisher. Please send any address changes, articles for publication, Page 5 advertising and concerns to jack@mgcsa.org.


Presidential Perspective by Dave Kazmierczak CGCS, Superintendent at Prestwick Golf Club the job status move up the totem Busy. pole instead of down. I’m not sure how much more weed whipping That word my now nearly 50-year old body more than any has in me. Busy takes on new other succinctly definitions and new forms at times. describes a golf course superintendent and his or In my opinion, we had all her staff in Minnesota in the Merry better get used to it. It is going to Month of May. Busy isn’t just a be a busy summer, followed by a description it is kind of a way of busy fall. Just about the time we life, especially this year. Most become less busy, the Ryder Cup courses are, and have been in full will be here and then, once again, upkeep mode all month with an a bunch of us will be very busy advanced growing schedule thanks indeed. A different kind of busy, to some very warm early spring but busy. weather, mixed in with some very cold spring weather. Did we really The MGCSA has been busy have to go from low 90’s to low as well. Executive Director Jack 30’s in seven day span? That just MacKenzie has been busy with wasn’t very nice. Legislative issues, Outreach Programs and water initiatives. Complicating matters is the The Board has been busy grappling fact that most of us do not have the with new agendas and dealing with normal staff levels needed to care a wide variety of things. We have for a fully growing golf course for been busy. any number of reasons. This makes

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Ok, so we are all busy. But what does busy really mean? It means you are doing something, presumably work, and trying to accomplish a goal. That is what is making you busy. The bigger the goal, the busier you presumably are trying to accomplish it. There are levels of busy. There are days you barely have time to eat or use the restroom. Those days are truly busy. Busy can be tricky. There are days you are not as busy but think you are. There are even times you use busy as a crutch. “I can’t talk to him now, I’m busy,” or “That will just have to wait, I’m too busy,” come to mind. Busy can even be a good thing, if used in a positive manor. The course is very busy- the cash register is overflowing or he had dropped 20 pounds because he is no longer sitting on his butt- he’s busy. In these busy times, it is important to focus on the end goal.

Whatever is making you busy, find ways to compartmentalize the busy, set attainable goals and find your way to the ultimate goal of becoming less busy. Often times that gets lost. One becomes so busy with the fact that they are busy that they lose focus on why they are busy in the first place: the attainment of the goal. So if you are feeling stress from being too busy, if you are reaching for the Tums because you are busier than a cat covering up its mess, take second to focus on your goals. Make the goals attainable, set small sub-goals that might lead to accomplishing the big goals and figure out how best to achieve them. Write then down on a piece of paper or plug them into your tablet or lap-top. Realize that as busy as you are, there are ways to deal with the busy that will make you less busy. Let others help make you less busy when they offer, or sometimes even if they don’t!

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Don’t let busy consume you. It is so easy to say “I’m busy,” to any request, suggestion or demand. If not handled properly, busy can become not-so busy in not-so good a way. “You’re services are no longer needed,” is a good way to become un-busy or even “He looks so peaceful lying there, I guess he won’t be busy anymore.” Realize that everybody is busy, even if they are really

not. One man’s busy is another man’s vacation, but each of us has to deal with our own level of busy and overcome it. It is very attainable, but very often becomes overwhelming. If this is the case for you, take a step back, figure it out or even ask for help if too overwhelming. Don’t let busy get the best of you this season.

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MINNESOTA GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS’ ASSOCIATION PRESENTS:

MGCSA Bluff Region EXPOSURE Golf Event

Wednesday June 15th, 2016 AWESOME VENUE:

Eastwood Golf Club

Registration with coffee and donuts between 9:30 and 9:50 Shotgun Start, mixer, two-man scramble, at 10:00/ lunch at the turn Host Superintendent: Jeff Minske

$30 per player includes lunch, golf, cart and prizes

RSVP NEEDED by June 9th

MGCSA and Non-MGCSA Area Superintendents and staff are welcome and encouraged to attend this event Contact Jack MacKenzie, Executive Director MGCSA jack@mgcsa.org 651-324-8873 Please use Registration Form avalable at: mgcsa.org It wouldn’t be the same without you

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In Bounds by Jack MacKenzie, CGCS Thirteen years ago, my then fiancé, now wife, and I were fortunate enough to stumble upon a true “fixer upper” on the south shore of a small, 100 acre lake near Forest Lake. Fortunate in that as it was not a pristine palace, thus the price was right, and, as the purchase would require the combined sale proceeds of our respective homes, it forced us into an immediate and blissful marriage. Some would call it serendipity. Along with the purchase came a rather massive steel “roll-out” dock that was anything but convenient. Weighing in at over half a ton, when it was on shore for the winter season it was a monstrosity and an eye-sore, not to mention it got in the way of sledding. I won’t even go into the struggles to set it and remove it. Upon retiring from North Oaks Golf Club, I took a fancy to making the dock a floater, by placing a series of plastic drums under the steel framework. Because it was buoyant on

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the water, when the ice forms in winter, it rises with the icepack and eventually freezes close to the top of the seasonal cube. Thus, no more need to pull it in the fall and place it out in the spring. In November, I just draw it parallel to the shore and let the freezing begin. The process is pretty slick if you get the dock anchored into the lake bottom. Up until this year, we had been using a solidly set relic pier from a long ago dock system. Last fall the pipe broke and a new arrangement needed to be developed. No big deal, with post pounder in action, I set two new piers and the dock was set…until the west winds of spring came blowing. The strong zephyrs, combined with wave action, pulled the posts from the lake bottom like a knife through butter. The dock and now pontoon too, was placed tight along the shore in very short order. Enter plan “B”, a series of strategically placed 65 pound landscape bricks attached by strong ropes to the framework. The new system could be adjusted for lake level and would make fall “shoring” an easy task. Also, we could move the dock to any location along the shore based upon


our inclination. Once in the water and solidly stuck in the soft lakebed, I could barely move the bricks and backed off when I tried, fearing a herniated disc or worse. Then the wind blew for two days consistently from the west, the dock moved, although not nearly as much, just a slight angle from perfection. As much as I tried to bring it back to the intended location, I could only tighten the ropes as the bricks were now tight to the bottom. Not to worry however, as the wind shifted and blew persistently from the east for two days, straightening the dock back to the intended direction. The moral of the story is that some very large changes require consistent and persistent inputs to accomplish movement that cannot be attained with a single Herculean effort. You could say that moral is also an example of the achievements the MGCSA and, for that matter, the game of golf in Minnesota, have accomplished over the past half-decade. The Environmental Stewardship Committee and allied golf associations, years ago, created and proposed a very simple industry regulated BMP/Stewardship program

to various agencies with great pomp and circumstance and full expectation that it would be implemented quickly and protect the game’s most critical resource; water. Bound in the quagmire of bureaucracy, the proposal went through a series of changes, reproposal, new audiences, dormancy, re-proposal, massaging and again, semi-dormancy as nothing moves ahead quickly at the Capital. In the background, “golf” was not idle and, as you are likely well aware, presented itself consistently as a solid, persuasive and knowledgeable professional industry at many different forums. From Fresh Water Society functions, MDA Pollinator Habitat work groups, DNR water management committees and even attendance at Legislative Water Commission hearings on a regular basis, Minnesota Golf began a very persistent campaign of presenting itself as a community’s largest rain garden with amazing potential to be much more than a recreational destination. Your business even hosted the very first Golf Day on the Hill just a few short weeks ago. This long-term awareness exercise may have seemed to some as a well intended endeavor, but highly unlikely to gain any net results.

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Perhaps the festering pus of negative public perception had infected some of our ranks and, although not rampant, it created the attitude that nothing could move the seemingly steadfast weight of bureaucracy. Over the past few weeks, and as testified by President Dave Kazmierczak in his recent columns, Minnesota Golf, led by you, the MGCSA, has made some significant gains in public perception, water policy changes and state law. With your support, and the forward thinking of several Boards of Directors, golf has been accorded a high degree of respect through our persistent and consistent actions. Since late April, when successful testimony was given on behalf of the MGCSA against a ban on almost all insecticide use on golf courses as proposed in the House Ag Policy Bill, our legislative victory has been published in many magazine and news threads across the country as a heads up. However, and more importantly, I have been contacted by several of our peer associations and given significant kudos for getting ahead of the issue through our advocacy efforts over the last few years.

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Recent changes in DNR mindset, now supporting a written and formal drought management strategy and reduced irrigation, to be used as the contingency plan for courses who use surface water and are at risk of permit suspension during times of drought, has practically eliminated the threat of total permit suspension and/or the installation of a deep well running $150k at one state golf course. This precedent setting outcome would never have been possible without association support of a persistent endeavor to create partnerships with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Our industry has made some very significant baby steps in moving the “dock� of bureaucracy in recent months. Unfortunately this doesn’t equate a happy ending, but rather just a beginning in advocacy initiatives. In the future you will be expected to further support our fledgling efforts through dialogue and actions. One rather loud voice may get state agency and political attention, but a solid chorus will get the message heard and eventually help to evolve golf into indisputable respect as both an environmental destination as well as an economic driver.


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“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” - John Muir

USFS photo

EAB: They Are Here, Maintain your Diligence By Rob Nesser, S&S Tree

How does one tiny bug make such a huge impact on our communities? How do such small larvae destroy the structural integrity of a tree? One is definitely tugging at the other…and winning. Minnesota ash tree populations are under an enormous threat: Emerald Ash Borer. This invasive pest has been menacing around the Mid-west since its Page 14

discovery in Michigan in 2002. It has decimated ash populations is states such as Michigan and Ohio. We’ve seen what they can do to communities, people, and businesses. Besides the financial impact of losing just one tree can cause, losing thousands, if not millions, is almost unthinkable.


But the other side of the coin is the safety concerns this tree if infested and untreated, poses to our properties. Visually unaffected trees can have a hidden secret. Inside the infested tree, larvae have been having a great meal. And their chewing and boring is causing the structure and strength of the tree to decline.

sional to know if a tree is a potential hazard. Valuable trees that are left untreated will need to come down. According to Dr. Anand Persad of the Davey Tree Expert Company, “Wood degeneration is occurring even though the tree appears to be risk free.”

In the May 2011 Tree Care There are visual clues that a Industry Magazine, Dr. Anand tree is infested, such as, the presPersad wrote an article, EAB ence of decay fungi, yellowing/thin- Threatens Tree Structural Integrity. ning leaves, bark splitting, epicorDr. Persad’s study looked at trees mic shoots sprouting from the base in community green spaces includor on branches, D-shaped exit holes, ing some golf courses. The study and S-shaped larval feeding tunnels. evaluated static loading of ash trees and found that moisture levels in These visuals aren’t the whole EAB infested trees were lower than story. It takes the expertise, knowl- healthy trees and those infested trees edge, and trained eye of a profeshad more cracking and breaking of

The Emerald Ash Borer burrows a distinctive “D” shaped entry hole. Photo from the Missouri Botanical Garden

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branches. So with this potential risk what should be done? The risk of leaving an untreated ash tree could come at a very high price. When a tree loses its structural integrity, the potential for loss is high. Losses of limbs or entire trees are a serious hazard to anything nearby: people, property, or other structures. You’re not just losing a valuable tree, but risking liability as well by keeping an untreated, infested ash standing.

It’s the responsibility of ISA Certified Arborists® to inform you of the potential risks and guide you through the preservation and/or removal process for the ash on your property. The process of preserving, treating, and removing is one that only a professional arborist can do. It’s best to be prepared and have your valuable trees treated before they’re infested and become a potential liability.

These trees may be missed...or maybe not. But they pose a risk of limb dropping until removed. Take them down quickly in-house or hire an expert. Don’t leave them. Page 16


Is this the future of your ash trees?

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Managing Earthworms in Turf Dr. R. Chris Williamson Department of Entomology University of Wisconsin-Madison

For those of you who have had to deal with earthworms, you are likely fully aware of the potential turf problems that they can pose. Despite having several beneficial attributes including soil formation, soil enrichment, aeration and drainage, organic matter breakdown and incorporation, and even

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enhancement of microbial activity, earthworms produce earthen soil castings that disrupt the uniformity, appearance and playability of affected areas. Earthworms often occur in turf areas including putting greens, green approaches and collars, tee boxes and fairways. Because these aforementioned areas


consist of low-cut turf, earthworm casts are typically more apparent compared to higher-cut turf areas. Earthworm casts result in an aesthetically unpleasing, muddy surface that not only creates an uneven and occasional unplayable surface, but also impedes the ability of turfgrass plants to photosynthesize due to surface sealing that can result in turf damage or death. Furthermore, mechanical damage to golf course mowing equipment including bed knives and reels is not uncommon.

Earthworms are soil-inhabiting

animals that belong to the animal order Oligochaeta; there are an estimated 8000 species from about 800 genera of earthworms worldwide. Earthworms are found in soils in temperate areas predominantly belong to the family Lumbricidae. In the United States, more than 150 species of terrestrial earthworms that represent 10 families have been reported. Only three species including Lumbricus terrestris, Aporrectodea calignosa, and A. longa, are commonly found in turfgrass ecosystems and are known to construct earthen casts. Earthworms are quite comPage 19


mon in a various ecosystems including natural forests, grasslands, agroecosystems, including turfgrass and even aquatic ecosystems. There are about 42 species in southern states North Carolina while in more northern regions of the United States including Michigan and Minnesota there are less than have as many species.

cuticle) by coarse minerals. Among the three species reported in managed turfgrass, L. terrestris, often referred to as the night crawler, is the primary earthworm species that creates earthen casts. Night crawlers are reported to construct semi-permanent, vertical burrows that can extend up to several feet deep in the soil. In turfgrass ecosystems A bunch of worms. Photo courtesy of animaliaz-life.com where reguEarthworms lar irrigation are typically more common in meand food supplies (i.e., grass clipdium-textured soils compared to pings and soil organic matter) are sandy soils. It is understood that relatively constant and abundant, soil texture likely directly affects earthworms tend to remain close to earthworm activity when abrasive the turf surface, migrating up and or gravelly soils exist. To this end, down in the soil profile with fluctuaearthworms are often much less tions in soil moisture content and abundant or rare in soils with very temperature, and atmospheric prescoarse texture, likely due to physical sure. abrasion of the body surface (i.e., Page 20


Several environmental and cultural factors affect earthworm distribution, activity, populations, and species diversity: climate, soil properties, food, competition, predation, parasitism and disease and land management all influence earthworms. Soil moisture, temperature, texture, and pH are likely the most critical soil properties that affect earthworms. Several cultural management factors have been successfully used to manipulate the soil and turf environment to create conditions that are least favorable to earthworm activity: acidifying fertilizers, removal of turfgrass clippings, pesticide (i.e., fungicide and insecticide) applications and application of topdressing amendments such as sand (i.e., topdressing).

Management Because earthworms are widely considered beneficial organisms, NO pesticides are registered (or can be applied legally) for control of earthworms in the United States. However, research on the negative impact of conventional pesticides has revealed that several products including some fungicides and insecticides adversely impact earthworms. Newer, reduced risk pesticides (i.e., fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, etc.) may have substantially less impact on earthworms compared to older chemistries such as organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Research studies have revealed that the use of soil aggrePage 21


gates (i.e., especially those that are angular) may provide a viable, alternative, non-pesticide management option to turfgrass managers for suppressing (reducing) earthworm casts to a tolerable level. Soil aggregates including fractionated coal slag and other related materials such as angular quartz sand may reduce the earthen soil-mounds created by earthworms after one or more applications during fall or spring when earthworm casts are most common. Expellants are useful for assessing populations of earthworms as well as for management. Expellants are surface applied solids or solutions that cause earthworms to rise to the surface, typically in a matter of a few minutes after being applied to the turf, where they typically die after they surface. Tea seed pellets, formaldehyde (formalin solutions), mowrah meal, dishwashing soap and mustard seed powder are examples of earthworm expellants. However, some products may be phytotoxicity to turfgrass or pose a risk to fish or other non-target organisms. Of these aforementioned products, tea seed pellets are the only expellant that Page 22

results in reductions (80-95%) in castings for about 5 weeks after application. Two formulations of the tea seed pellets are commercially available, they include: 1) Early Bird, natural organic granular fertilizer (3-0-1) and 2) Early Bird, natural organic liquid fertilizer (3-0-0). Both products are manufactured by Ocean Organics (http://www.oceanorganics.com/golf-course/earlybird. htm). For those of you that are challenged with earthworm problems, it is important to understand there is NO “Silver Bullet,� product or management strategy that will eliminate earthworms. However, don’t despair as earthworms can be effectively managed at acceptable or tolerable levels by implementing an earthworm management strategy.

The MGCSA thanks Dr. Chris Williamson for the use of this article and pictures originally published in the October 2015 issue of Grassroots Dr. Williamson is a professor and extension specialist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His goal as an enimologist is to develop effective, economical, and practical alternative, non-chemical management strategies for insect pests to reduce the traditional reliance on conventional insecticides.


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Preventative Medicine for Minnesota Turfgrass By Dr. Angela Orshinsky Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist Department of Plant Pathology University of Minnesota

What a spring! This past winter in I’d like to address the diseases that I Minnesota had the 8th lowest snow am seeing currently and the ones that fall in recorded history of the state. you may be able to reduce through Despite record preventative rainfalls between practices November 16 now. and November 19 (4-5 inches Anthracin three days nose. Anacross much of thracnose the state), snow disease mold applicamanifests tions seemed itself in two to hold their forms. Basal ground. Current anthracnose soil temperatures is favored in MN range by cool and from 45 F in the Many diseases that can be treated for in the spring wet (early to are colonizers of thatch. Reduce thatch to reduce Duluth to North disease now and later on in the season. mid-spring) Shore regions, conditions and 55 F in Central MN and up to 65 F in foliar anthracnose is favored by hot South western MN. Many preventa- temperatures of summer. Both forms tive practices are recommended acof the disease are favored by turf that cording to soil temperatures, since is stressed for nutrients and where many turfgrass pathogens live in the soil is compacted or shaded. Prevent thatch and soil and become active it: On greens, increase the mowing early in the spring before you see dis- height by 0.4 mm and maintain ball ease symptoms later on during more speeds using rolling. Provide adestressful conditions. In this article, quate, complete fertility to avoid nuPage 24


trient stresses, and ensure that greens are evenly and adequately irrigated to avoid water stress. Initiate a preventative fungicide program for areas with historically high levels of foliar anthracnose as soil temperatures surpass 65 F.

uct to the thatch. Evidence suggests that surfactants may improve the efficacy of fungicides used for fairy ring and may alleviate localized dry spot symptoms associated with the pathogens. Caution should be taken to avoid the use of wetting agents and surfactants in combination with or applied too close in time to DMI fungicides. Read product labels to avoid turf injury.

Fairy Ring. There are a few reasons why fairy ring is difficult to treat. The first is that fairy ring symptoms are caused by a large number of fungi that may or may not respond to fungi- Take all Patch, Summer Patch, Necides. Second, these fungi live in and crotic Ring Spot. Although these degrade thatch material and often cre- three diseases may not show sympate areas of hytoms until drophobic soils, later on in making it difthe seaficult for aqueson, these ous suspensions pathogens of fungicides are likely to reach their to be actarget. Prevent tive right it: Employ now in practices that parts of reduce thatch, the state and if fairy ring where is a perennial Fairy ring can be caused by a large number of fungi. soil temproblem on your Some produce fruiting bodies (above), some do not. peratures course, use preventative applications are between 50 and 60 F. Prevent it: of fungicide as soil temperatures Preventative fungicide applications reach 55 F for high value stands. Ap- for these diseases are only necesply fungicides in high water volumes sary in locations with a history of the (2-4 gallons/1000 ft2) to get the prod- disease. Applications of fungicides

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should be made in two to four gallons opment. of water per 1000 ft2 to get the fungicides to the roots. Reduce thatch with What Diseases am I seeing NOW? aerification and top dressing. Choose cultivars with resistance where posYellow Patch. Temperatures are very sible, avoid nitrate good for yelnitrogen forms as low patch right they increase pH now (50 – 65 F). of soils and check Luckily, provided the pH of irrigation that temperatures water to ensure that warm up, this it is not excessively pathogen should high. not pose a severe threat as it Dollar Spot and doesn’t typically Red Thread. Both Appressoria and infection mat of colleto- last into sunny, dollar spot and red trichum graminacola, the causal agent of warm weather (> Anthracnose on turfgrass thread diseases are 75 F). more severe on nitrogen deficient turf. Red thread is likely to become Leaf Spot and Melting Out. Dreactive soon given the optimal temschlera spp. and related leaf spots perature range of 60 to 75 F. Dollar emerge in cool, wet weather such as spot is likely beginning to actively we have experienced recently. Pregrow and colonize the turf since the vent it: Avoid excessive applications pathogen can grow at temperatures as of quick release nitrogen that may low as 39 F and colonizes leaf tispromote rapid, succulent growth. sue ahead of symptom development. Choose turf cultivars with recorded Prevent it: Ensure adequate levels of high levels of resistance to leaf spots. nitrogen fertility, encourage drying Apply fungicides prior to developof leaf tissue with mowing or poling. ment of the melting out phase, when For red thread, collect the clippings to the disease is more difficult to conremove survival structures. For dol- trol. lar spot, choose varieties with higher Thank you Dr. Orshinsky levels of resistance to the disease and for your conti ued support of employ a strategic fungicide program turfgrass pathology. to avoid fungicide-resistance develPage 26


A ToAsT, In ApprecIATIon of Your BusIness.

Here’s To You.

At Par Aide, we’d like to raise a paper cup to you, our valued customer. Because it’s your unyielding dedication to the course that inspires us to keep building the industry’s most innovative products. So from Par Aide, we salute all you do. Cheers.

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Par aide is a Proud sPonsor of MCCsa, GCsaa, The firsT Tee and The Wee one foundaTion.

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Troubleshooting Shorts, Corroded, and Damaged Single and Multivalve Wire Circuits – Part One By Andrew Lindquist, Link Systems Inc.

This two part article is provided as part of a series of monthly articles describing the basic principles of using a voltage-ohm meter (multimeter) in determining the electrical conditions within an irrigation system. The unhealthy wire connections (faults) reviewed in this two part article are the result of shorts, corrosion, and nicks to the wire’s insulating housing or the wire itself. The first part covers single valve circuits. The second part covers multivalve circuits and includes a brainteaser that encompasses both part one and two.

activities. Digging activities can also create nicks and other damage to the wire, causing ‘unhealthy’ (faulted) wire circuits. The use of a multimeter can provide specific measured values that assist you to decisively determine if the fault is due to cut wires or nicked wires.

For this two part article, I will be referencing a five Circuit (station) controller layout. Of the five circuits available, we will be analyzing only the first two circuits. As shown in Figure “A”, Terminal (Circuit) 1 contains one electric valve and Terminal In last month’s article, various (Circuit) 2 contains three electrical scenarios focusing on cut-wires were valves wired in a parallel configurapresented, with the diagnostic reading tion.( 1) Connecting these valves in on a multimeter registering an “open” a parallel configuration will cause all circuit… usually designated by an three valves to energize simultane“infinite resistance” display unique to ously when Circuit 2 is activated. your meter. Open circuits (cut wires) are frequently the result of digging All valves in the system are activities- so once an open circuit di- electrically identical – each having agnostic reading occurs, look for such 30 ohm of resistance and drawing 0.9 Page 28


amps when activated by the irrigation ohms resistance readings that would controller’s 24 volt alternating curbe expected from a healthy (nonrent (AC) output.( 2) faulted) circuit. The ability of a multimeter to measure circuit resistance As mentioned, we have wire variations becomes a very useful tool circuits that are complete, but not in identifying which type of fault is necessarily healthy. That is, the wires present. Knowing the type of fault (or wire connections) may have been that may be present will assist you in nicked, worn, chewed-on, melted, quickly locating the actual fault. or corroded. These unhealthy (wire fault) conditions can cause the electri- As you have probably heard cal circuit to exhibit higher or lower before, electricity follows the path Page 29


of least resistance. More accurately stated, the majority of electricity will follow the path of least resistance. The actual distribution of the electrons is apportioned by the inherent resistance of any path it has available to it. A visual example of this is a lightning bolt that ‘forks’. The majority of electrons follow the least path of resistance, visually represented by the main bolt. However, there may be other higher resistant paths available to follow, and an apportioned percentage of electrons will take the alternate paths- thus visually creating a “forked” lightning bolt. This aware-

ness of potential multiple wire paths will become useful later in this and other articles. Shorted wire circuits: Short circuits are exactly what the name implies; the wire path is shorter than what was intended. Short circuit faults can be caused by many factors, with the most common being: damage to control wires from poor installation techniques (excessive pulling, bending, or damaging of the wire’s protective covering); careless digging; “critter” nibbling of the wire insulation (both in the field wiring and within

(1) Irrigation valves should be wired in a parallel, not in a series configuration. Incorrectly wiring the circuit into a series configuration will increase the resistance of the circuit. Increased circuit resistance can easily create excessive load (amount of amps drawn) when activated and can potentially cause malfunctioning valves, blown fuses, and damage to the controller’s internal components or wiring. (2) The expected electrical performance of irrigation components may be obtained from its product performance sheets, an affixed label, by contacting your supplier, or through the component’s manufacturer. Controller output typically ranges from 19 to 27 volts AC. The amount of resistance created by a valve’s electric solenoid may be found by referencing the manufacturer’s product information or by direct measurement using a multimeter. A valve’s solenoid resistance is measured in “ohms”. Generally, most 24 volt AC irrigation solenoids have between 30 to 55 ohms resistance. However, you can more accurately troubleshoot by knowing the specific expected resistance for the valve’s solenoids being evaluated. Page 30


Page 31


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lower than expected resistance measurements. The causes for corroded circuits are similar to shorted wire circuits, with the notable addition of poor (non-waterproof) wire connects. Overall, poor wire connects are the most frequent factor causing corroded Corroded wire circuits: Faults circuits. Solution: Always use and due to corroded wire and/or wire con- correctly install quality waterproof nections are the result of moisture wire connects. entering that area and corroding (oxidizing) the outside of the wire and/or As a note, some circuit analyzthe contact between wires. This deg- ing equipment available in the marradation in the quality of the electron ket place will only indicate a circuit path will create higher than expected issue when the circuit resistance is ohm resistance measurements- just too high, but will not differentiate the opposite of a short, which causes between a higher than expected resis-

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tance (which may indicate a corroded circuit) vs. a cut circuit (which indicated an infinite resistance). An advantage of using a multimeter is that the ohms resistance value allows you to differentiate between cut circuits (infinite resistance) and corroded circuits (high ohms resistance).

Characteristics of a Short

Circuit: Since short circuits

have a wire path shorter than it should be, the consequential controller’s operation is to: blow a fuse; have the controller’s internal diagnostics indicate a short; or have a nonfunctioning circuit that does not blow a fuse. For example: Referring to Figure “A”, if in a healthy condition, the wire circuit for Circuit (terminal) 1 would have a resistance measurement of 30 ohms. However, if, as shown in “Figure B”, the wire path was ‘short-

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ed’, as indicated by a wavy red line at point “AA”, the electron path of least resistance is through the shorted path, thus avoiding the solenoid’s 30 ohms resistance. Such a shorted path would cause a resistance measurement of one ohm or less, typically blow a fuse in the controller, or be registered as a short by the controller’s internal diagnostics if so equipped. A short occurring at Point “BB” would, when Circuit 1 is activated, would also activate Circuit 2. Likewise, as when Circuit 2 is activated, Circuit 1 would also activate. Depending upon the electrical capacity

Page 34

of the controller, you may immediately blow a fuse, operate with both circuits operating when either one is activated, or cause the controller’s transformer to run warm/hotter than normal – which may damage the transformer over the long run. Multimeter Measurements: When using a multimeter to measure the circuit’s ohm resistance measurements, the expected multimeter measurement for Circuit 1 is 30 ohms and for Circuit 2 is 10 ohms. However, if there is a short at loca-


tion BB, each circuit would be activating four valves. As was presented in the first troubleshooting article, four 30 ohm valves wired in parallel produces a calculated ohms resistance of 7.5 ohms (i.e. 30 ohms divided by four). This ‘shared’ ohm measurement of 7.5 ohms for both circuits is a dead giveaway of a short between their control wires. If this is the case and you are using multi-strand wire, you will want to start by looking for control wires that are crossed near the terminal strip, damage to the multistrand wire housing, or severely bent wire. For single strand wire used on larger systems, check for damaged wire at control boxes and any field wire splices.

If there was an internal wiring short inside the controller or a malfunctioning programming, you could confirm this as follows: Disconnect the field wires for Circuit 1 and 2 then activate Circuit 1. There should be 24 volts AC output expected at Terminal 1 and none at Terminal 2. If this checks-out okay, deactivate Circuit 1 and activate Circuit 2. Again, check voltage outputs at Terminals 1 and 2, with 24 Volts AC expected at Terminal 2 only. If this checks-out okay, then the issue would be in the field wires. If either of the previous two checks are not okay, review the controller’s programming, making sure that simultaneous valve opera-

A quality multimeter is essential in tracing electrical faults. Photo courtesy of Klein Tools Page 35


tion is not programmed into the controller. If simultaneous programming is not the issue, then the controller’s internal components have failed, and controller repair/replacement is most likely required. For locating field wiring shorts, the use of a ground fault locator and/ or wire tracker can be very helpful. Also, if you can’t locate the short, you may need to run a new wire path. If you’re lucky, the original installer may have left a spare wire in the multi-strand wire path. It is “nice” to leave a spare wire or two in the multi-strand cable for future repair or additions to the system. Thank you installers, for doing this! Locating short circuit and corrosion faults: Although the diagnostics for a short and corroded circuits is quite straight-forward, physically locating these ‘faults’ can be problematic. Overall, I would rather resolve a cut (open) wire issue than necessarily a short circuit issue. This is because determining the location of a cut wire circuit is generally both visually and “site digging activity history review” easier to find than are shorted wire circuits. Shorts can be very small or hidden Page 36

within a multi-strand wire bundle. Up to this time, all of your multimeter diagnostics have been at the controller. In order to locate the shorts, corroded wire, or wire connect faults in the field wiring, you will need isolate various aspects of the circuit. That is, you will disconnect the field wiring from the solenoid and measure their resistance individually. To do this, you will: (1) At the controller, connect that circuit’s terminal wire and the common wire together. (2) Go to the valve and isolate the field wiring from the valve’s solenoid by disconnecting the common and control wire. (3) Measure the resistance of the field wiring circuit back to the controller. If the field wire resistance measurement is higher than expected, the fault is somewhere in the field wiring and you will need to track that down. If the field wiring is healthy, you will measure a very low resistance of one or two ohms, indicating that the fault seems to be the valve’s solenoid. (4) Check the resistance of the


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valve’s solenoid- which should be 30 ohms. Theoretically, since the field wire circuit checked-out OK, you would expect to get a higher than expected solenoid resistance, verifying that the problem was the solenoid. If this is the case, you need to replace the solenoid. However, if you get a 30 ohms resistance measurement through the solenoid, indicating that the solenoid is OK, then the fault was the wire connection. That is, the field wiring is checking-out OK and so is the valve’s solenoid… so the problem must have been the wire connection. At this point, inspect and re-strip the wires, put on a waterproof wire connect, walk back to controller, separate the common and circuit field wire and re-measure the circuit’s ohms resistance. It should measure the expected 30 ohms resistance. If it does not, repeat steps 1 thru 4. What if the circuit now checksout OK but does not operate? Well, if internal operations (programming, voltage output, shut-off sensors, etc.) are functioning properly the electrical circuit is healthy, so the problem is internally in the valve or (as embarrassing as this can be) there is no water pressure available to the valve. Don’t assume that the issue has to Page 38

be the controller or the wiring. This is why, when trouble shooting, you want to begin the process by verifying the integrity of the system as a whole… not just jump to conclusions and assume it is the electronics of the controller (as emphasized in the first article). Poor terminal and wire connects: There are plenty of systems that have inadequate/no waterproof wire connects along with loose wire connection at the terminal. You should always check the integrity of the wire connections at the terminal of the controller; the use of electrical tape and connects used on automotive trailer wire are not adequate. They are water-resistant but not water-proof. There are some ‘nationally’ manufactured wire connects that claim to be good… but they are not. Making good waterproof wire connections is key to eliminating wiring issues due to corrosion. Quality wire connects also greatly reduce the opportunity for lightning to enter into the control system. This is especially true on larger systems and extra expense and care should be taken when selecting and installing waterproof connections.


Nicked Wires: Nicked wires can create three troublesome issues. (1) The waterproofing integrity of the wire’s insulation is compromised, thereby allowing infiltration of moisture and subsequent corrosion. The infiltrating moisture may also enter any wire connection. Any such infiltrating moisture will undesirably increase the ohms resistance of the wire and connections. (2) The nick will reduce the wire’s diameter and create a physical “roadblock’ for the electrons to work through, thereby causing increased resistance in the wire circuit. (3) The nicked wire may be exposed to the soil, causing the electrons to travel into the ground rather than back to the controller. This

“ground fault” condition will create very high resistance measurementswhich is a very strong indication of a ground fault condition. Ground faults diagnostics and locating is a somewhat in-depth topic that cannot be covered in the length available for this article, but will be one of the topics covered in future articles. This concludes the first part of this article. Next month’s part-two article concludes the review of faulted wire circuits and includes multivalve circuits. In addition, a brainteaser will be provided, allowing you the opportunity to apply your understanding of variations in multimeter measurements in distinguishing between the various types of faulted circuits presented.

The MGCSA thanks Andy Lindquist for his expertice and inight into electrical circutry. Andy owns and operates Links Systems Inc. and can be reached at alindquist@ linkssystemsinc.com. Page 39


Monarch Joint Venture Partnering across the U.S. to conserve the monarch migration w w w. m o n a r c h j o i n t v e n t u r e . o r g The Monarch Joint Venture is a partnership of federal and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and academic programs that are working together to protect the monarch migration across the lower 48 United States.

MIssIon

Recognizing that North American monarch (Danaus plexippus) conservation is a responsibility of Mexico, Canada and the U.S., as identified in the North American Monarch Conservation Plan, this Joint Venture will coordinate efforts throughout the U.S. to conserve and protect monarch populations and their migratory phenomena by developing and implementing sciencebased habitat conservation and restoration measures in collaboration with multiple stakeholders. Our mission will be achieved by coordinating and facilitating partnerships and communications in the U.S. and North America to deliver a combination of habitat conservation, education, and research and monitoring.

VIsIon

The vision of this Joint Venture is abundant monarch populations to sustain the monarch migratory phenomena into perpetuity, and more broadly to promote monarchs as a flagship species whose conservation will sustain habitats for pollinators and other plants and animals. Monarch Joint Venture University of Minnesota

monarchs@monarchjointventure.org

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Gardening for Monarchs:

Creating habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators

Habitat needs

First steps

Good monarch habitat must meet the needs of all four monarch life stages, and ideally, multiple parts of the monarch migratory cycle. Female monarchs lay eggs on milkweed host plants because their caterpillars only eat milkweed leaves. Once the caterpillar is fully developed, it often leaves the host plant to find a safe place to pupate, or form its chrysalis. After the adult butterfly emerges, it uses its long straw-like mouth, or proboscis, to consume nectar from a variety of different flowering plants. Thus, monarchs need both milkweed and nectar plants during the breeding part of their annual migratory cycle. As they migrate, they need nectar plants to fuel their long flight. Because monarch-friendly gardens are usually focused on breeding and migrating, the information here targets milkweed and nectar plants. More information on overwintering habitat requirements for monarchs in the western U.S. can be found on our website.

Start by replacing a patch of lawn or bare ground, or simply add native plants to an existing garden. Planning and creating a butterfly garden is a great way to increase the amount of time you spend outdoors and connect with nature. 1. Choose a sunny site for your garden. Butterflies need the sun’s energy to warm up and most nectar and milkweed plants grow best in sunny spots. Adding flat rocks can help create basking zones for butterflies to regulate their temperature. 2. Include windbreaks. Butterflies prefer to feed in areas sheltered from wind. A fence, shrub, or a wall can serve as a windbreak, and can also be a good place for pupation. If your site does not have a wind break, consider planting a shrub. 3. Testing garden soil can determine whether the area is suitable for growing plants, or if it needs amendments. Sand, clay or wet soils may be difficult to plant in, and may require specialized techniques. 4. Prepare the soil by removing lawn or other plant cover, and raking the soil. Additional soil can be brought in as needed. 5. In difficult areas, or if space is limited, consider planting in containers.

Increasing use of herbicides, habitat loss due to real estate and agricultural development, and climate change are all factors in a declining monarch population. However, conservation efforts can start in your backyard. Plant a butterfly garden, and provide a safe haven for monarch eggs and caterpillars, and help fuel adults during their migration!

The Importance of Monarch Conservation The monarch butterfly is a flagship species for conservation. As a national partnership organization, the Monarch Joint Venture utilizes the social and cultural presence of monarchs to promote conservation for more than just monarchs. With a tremendous geographic range and amazing migration, monarchs draw attention from all over North America. Many other pollinators benefit from monarch conservation efforts, as people throughout the entire breeding, migration, and overwintering range work to preserve and create habitat. Adding native milkweed to an area provides food for monarch caterpillars, and nectar for a diversity of other pollinators.


Planting the habitat

1. Whenever possible, use native plants for your garden. Plants that are native to your area are hardy, suited to live in the region, and usually require less maintenance. The Pollinator Partnership’s Eco-regional Planting Guides1 can help you find a list of plants that are suitable to your area, and determine the time of year that they flower. 2. Find a nursery that sells native plants. You may find a native plant nursery in your area at the Plant Native website2 or by contacting your local Wild Ones chapter. Most nurseries provide a list of native plants that they have in stock. Choose plants that have not been treated with systemic pesticides, meant to deter insects, as these can affect pollinators, including monarchs, and their caterpillars. 3. Using potted plants or plant plugs (plants that have germinated and are ready for planting) may be the easiest choice for small garden areas. Seed mixes may also be used, and may be more cost-effective in larger areas. 4. Planting perennial plants will ensure that your garden comes up year after year. You can supplement these with annuals if needed, to add color once perennials are done blooming. 5. Choose a diverse array of plants that flower at different times to attract butterflies throughout the growing season. Plants that bloom early are critical for monarchs during the spring migration. Late blooming plants, such as goldenrod, many asters, and blazing stars, are critical during the monarch’s long migration each fall. 6. If using potted plants, plan your garden and prepare the bed before purchasing plants. Group plants by color and type. Butterflies are attracted to large splashes of color in the landscape, especially red, orange, yellow and purple. Place short plants in front of tall ones. 7. Whenever possible, avoid hybrids and cultivars that are bred for their size, as they usually have less nectar in their flowers. 8. Include larval host plants. Monarchs need milkweed, so include species of milkweed native to your area. For a list of native milkweed, see the Monarch Joint Venture Milkweed Information Sheet3. Milkweeds are also a good source of nectar for butterflies and other pollinators. 9. Keep plants well-watered after purchase but prior to planting. 10. When you are ready to plant, dig a hole just large enough for the plug’s roots. Use soil to cover the roots so that only the leaves and stem of the plant are above ground. Add straw or grass mulch around the plants to retain water in the soil and prevent weed growth. Water newly planted plugs. 11. If seed is used, prepare the area by removing lawn and invasive plants. Seed can be spread manually, or for

Photo credits: Janet Allen, Candy Sarikonda, Teal Johannsen

larger areas, use a broadcaster to get an even spread. Frost seeding, or the application of seed in the late winter, when snow is starting to melt, may also help the seed settle into the soil. Add mulch to conserve moisture.

Maintenance

1. Water plants until they are well established. Follow the vendor’s directions on watering, and keep in mind that additional water may be needed during warm dry spells or if the plants appear to be drooping. Once established, native plants typically do not need additional water. 2. Butterfly requirements vary from site to site. Don’t be surprised if a plant that is touted as being a butterfly magnet does not attract any butterflies to your garden. Watch your habitat over time and determine which flowering plants are most popular to butterflies in your area. 3. Weed by hand as needed. Avoid using herbicides and insecticides to rid your garden of unwanted plants and insects, as they may also be harmful to beneficial organisms. 4. Remember that host plants are meant to serve as food for caterpillars, so chewed leaves are a sign that they are doing their job!

Additional features of a good butterfly habitat 1. Keep dead trees and wood piles to serve as winter shelters. While monarchs migrate in the fall, many other butterflies and pollinators may overwinter in the area and use these features as shelter. 2. Consider other wildlife friendly practices. Bird feeders and a heated bird bath can help resident birds in the winter months. Bee nesting boxes can help native bees overwinter. Having bare ground can help ground nesting pollinators find a spot for the winter. 3. Register your monarch habitat online with the Monarch Joint Venture as a “Success Story” to share with others! Resources: 1. Pollinator Partnership Eco-Regional Planting Guides http://www.pollinator.org/guides.htm 2. Plant native Website - http://www.plantnative.org/ 3. MJV Milkweed Information sheet - http://monarchjointventure. org/images/uploads/documents/MilkweedFactSheetFINAL.pdf

www.monarchjointventure.org

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LEGACY SCHOLARSHIPS Deadline June 1st, 2016 The Program: The Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association offers a scholarship program designed to assist children and grandchildren of Class AA, A, SM, C, D, Associate and Affiliate members. The MGCSA provides scholarships to students attending college or vocational programs at any accredited post-secondary institution. The program is independently managed by Scholarship America, a national non-profit student aid service organization. Awards will be granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, disability, national origin or financial need.

Selection of Recipients: Scholarship recipients are selected on the Page 42

basis of academic record, potential to succeed, leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, a statement of education and career goals and an outside appraisal. Selection of recipients is made by Scholarship Management Services. In no instance does any member of the MGCSA play a part in the selection. Applicants will be notified by the end of July whether they have been awarded or denied a scholarship. Eligibility: Applicants for the MGCSA Legacy Scholarships must be: children/grandchildren of Class AA, A, SM, C, D, Associate or Affiliate members who have been members of the MGCSA at least five


years; High school seniors or graduates who plan to enroll or students who are already enrolled in a fulltime undergraduate course of study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocationaltechnical school, and under 23 years of age.

each year they meet eligibility requirements. Awards are for undergraduate study only. Obligations: Recipients have no obligation to the MGCSA or its members. They are, however, required to supply Scholarship Management Services with current transcripts and to notify Scholarship Management Services of any changes of address, school enrollment or other relevant information. Except as described in this brochure, no obligation is assumed by the MGCSA.

Awards: Three awards will be given to children and grandchildren of Class AA, A, SM and C members. One award of $1,500 in the name of Joseph S. Garske will be given to the highest evaluated applicant. That award will be renewable for one year contingent upon full- time enrollment and satisfactory academic performance. One other $1,000 award will be given to other qualified applicants from this group. One $1,000 award will be available to children and grandchildren of Class D, Associate and Affiliate members. These awards are not renewable. However, More info at: www.mgcsa.org students may reapply to the program

Application Deadline: June 1, 2016.

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Habits - Good and Bad By Dr. Bob Milligan, The LearningEdge

Our habits are important in establishing how we behave and how others perceive us. I worked with a supervisor who was habitually discrediting employees with negative body language and derogatory comments. It took great effort, but he was able to establish new habits of body language and verbal comments that provide encouragement to employees. How does this happen? A habit is a ways of acting that is regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. We no longer think before taking action. Good habit examples include looking both ways before crossing a street or ducking when an object is about to hit us. We also often have developed bad habits like reacting defensively or angrily to negative comments. The purpose of this article is to help you recognize that damaging habits can be changed. I will also share a personal example. We begin by understanding the role of emotion and Page 44

behavior. It is crucial to understand the difference between emotions and the behaviors or actions that result from those emotions. Emotions are natural, human reactions to situations. Emotions are normal and very personal. Suppressing an emotion or feeling guilty about having an emotion only increases stress. The effect and impact of the emotion is primarily on the personal having the emotion - it is internal. Our behavior in response to the emotion is VERY DIFFERENT. The effect of the resulting behavior is primarily external. The impact is primarily on others. Since the impacts are external, other individuals are impacted by our behavior resulting from the emotion being experienced. Examples of the difference between emotion and behavior or action are: An employee is late for work. The resulting emotion is frustration or


anger. The action could be to criticize the employee in front of all of the employees (instinctive) or meet privately with the employee and provide appropriate redirection or negative feedback). A golfer complains about conditions on the course. Emotions could include frustration, disappointment, and discouragement. Actions could be to argue with the golfer (instinctive) or investigate the complaint (thoughtful). Uncooperative animals lead to emotions of frustration and even anger. Actions could be to hit the animal

(instinctive) or walk away to cool off (thoughtful). In each of these examples, the emotional reaction is natural and largely beyond the person’s control; the resulting behavior, on the other hand, is controllable. When we react to our emotions without thinking about how those around us will perceive our behavior, we are engaging in instinctive behavior. We then ignore our decision opportunity and express or act instinctively based solely on our emotions (see the diagram below).

Page 45


Behavior choice The alternative is to think before we act - thoughtful behavior. Now we are seizing a decision opportunity. We can proactively consider the best behaviors. With thoughtful behavior we are “putting our best foot forward” to those around us.

styles. Some of our instinctive behaviors serve us well; others do not. To some degree, we all struggle everyday with our instinctive behaviors. Often these undesirable behaviors have become habits. Examples that are problems for supervisors and leaders include failure to use active listening, procrastinating providing feedback, and reprimanding an employee when the failure was not their fault.

Let’s come back to habits. Habits are actions or behaviors that become more involuntary the more we exhibit them. Our instinctive behaviors are driven by who we are To overcome the undesirable in- our personality, our tendencies, out stinctive behavior, especially if it

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is has become a habit, is not easy but is doable. The bad news is that changing to a thoughtful behavior may be very difficult. The good news is that the change becomes easier over time as the thoughtful behavior becomes a habit new

sertive, thoughtful behaviors have become habits.

Sometimes when I have presented the comments in the above paragraph, colleagues have said I must be wrong. Based on my behavior, there is no way I could be accomBefore discussing ideas to start a modating and avoiding. I know, thoughtful behavior, I share a perhowever, that accommodating and sonal example. avoiding comes very easy for me - my instinctive behaviors. I am Today, most people who observe my constantly having to focus on using behavior, perceive that I am pretty thoughtful, more assertive responsassertive. I am a very loud, excites. able speaker. I am very participative in group discussions. It is my Changing an undesirable instincthoughtful behavior that is being tive behavior to a thoughtful habit is observed. challenging. It starts with the recognition that we have an instinctive By nature, however, I am a pretty behavior that needs to be changed. passive person prone to accommodating and avoiding. My instincOnce identified, you need two tive behavior is to accommodate things. The first is a plan. What and avoid discussions, issues, situ- will be the thoughtful behavior that ations. Obviously, those instincwill replace the instinctive behavtive behaviors would not have been ior? If the instinctive behavior is to very effective in my previous role let your mind wonder when others as a professor or my current role are talking, what do you want your as a consultant. At first overcomthoughtful behavior to be. A strating my instinctive, passive response egy may be to focus on looking in was very difficult. Over time it has their eyes or making mental notes of become much easier. My more as- the ideas and emotions he or she is Page 47


sharing. Now practice. The second thing you will likely need is some help. Who can serve as your encourager, reminder, and consistency checker? It will take time for the thoughtful behavior to become a habit. That the thoughtful behavior will eventually become a habit is good news and the pot of gold at the endo of the rainbow. An Action Idea: Select on undesirable instinctive behavior that you need to replace with a thoughtful behavior habit. Now work on it!

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The Appreciation Golf Event Goodrich Golf Course Host Charlie Miller Thank You Affiliates and Committee Members

Page49 49 Page


Affiliate Spotlight: June 2016 will mark the 14th Anniversary of our entrance into the turf industry. We have seen many changes in the past 14 years including two name changes. We began this journey as Cycle Works of Minnesota, and then as we added reps in Arizona and Florida we become Cycle Works Golf Supply and effective January of this year ECO Works Supply. From the beginning, we focused on natural and organic fertilizers and

soil amendment products and we still do. Our initial product offerings were organic based liquid fertilizer and soil amendments. During our first year we joined the MGCSA which helped us understand the turf industry through the many events that the association sponsored and participated in. This led us to also join the GCSAA. Over the years of participating in the Northern Green Expo, and attending the Golf Industry Show we were able to identify many new products that we felt would help us meet the needs of our growing customer base. Our product offerings have grown to include a quality line of granular fertilizers, a unique soluble calcium, a compost tea product with an extended shelf life, a Minnesota produced (beneficial bacteria product, Tazo-B) and a number of amino acid products. Page 50


In 2004, we expanded Cycle Irrigation head leveling, Dave’s Works of Minnesota to the SouthAmazing Pond and Turf Treatment. west Florida area and to the Phoenix area and became Cycle Works Golf We continue to be innovative Supply. Cycle Works Golf Supin our Eco Works product developply conment tinued to and to grow and look for has added best in many class other supsupplipliers iners of cluding products Originathat are tion granof value ular, GSR to our Calcium, customTerra ers. Max Tazo Happy entrepreneurs with clientele. Left to right, Dan In products, Ament, owners Jim O’Neil and Doug Daniel, Jeoff Jordan 2011 Dakotah and Pete Nolan. we creRoots ated an compost and mulch, Texas Earth on-line company, www.ecolawnandCompost Tea, Subligreen Turf Colo- garden.com, to distribute our most rants, Green Jacket Covers, ICS popular turf products to home ownAmino Acids, Graff Turf hybrid ers and the lawn care and gardening turf, Net Connections, Judge Netindustry. Those products are availting and Redden Nets netting solu- able at our web site and on Amazon. tions, and various manufacturers of crew clothing; Challenger In Because Cycle Works Golf dustries and Total Sports Solutions Supply has expanded its product for tee line mats, Hole in White and lines over the years and because it Kirby Marker Systems, LeveLift also has expanded to the sports turf Page 51


and park and recreation marketplace, we made a decision to change our name to Eco Works Supply, with a revised web site www.ecoworkssupply.com. We choose that

Edina CC we have grown to over 250 turf customers and 1000 homeowners using our products. Those range from fields that Major League Baseball and Football teams use;

Cleary Lake Golf Course Tee Line.

name because it reflects our focus on ecological friendly products and our distribution to industries other than golf. All of our supplier products are still the same. We have changed all Cycle Works product names to Eco Works.

that the Super Bowl and College Football Championships have been played on, to local Park and Recreation fields and from Championship Golf Courses to nine-hole par-3 golf courses. We are proud of the fact that we help produce great turf. Because we retired from one job, we We are very proud that starting keep getting asked how long we are from scratch, with products that no going to keep doing this. The anone had heard of, that starting with swer is until we can’t do it anymore. our first check from Mike Kelly at We hope that is a long time out. We Page44

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have learned a lot about turf by selfeducation and from our great customers including Tim Johnson, Pete Nolan, John Malloy, Dale Caldwell, Roger Kisch, Jeramie Gossman, Jack MacKenzie, Max Olson, Jim Temple, Geoff Jordan, Steve Makowske, Shawn Emerson in Arizona and many others. We strive to continue to learn about growing great turf, something that one of our first customers said is both an art and a science. We have a strategic plan to expand in Minnesota and Wisconsin and to

other states. We plan to distribute our products and tools about our products in other innovative ways including our web sites and the internet. And we plan to continue innovation in our Eco Works supply line. We are committed to using natural and biological products to create great soils and turf and help sustain the environment. We continue to support the various associations we belong to including the MGCSA. We want to thank all of the customers and members of MGCSA for their friendship and business over these last 14 years.

Southview Country Club uses Eco Works Supply products

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Within the Leather

by Jeremy Chemielewski, Superintendent at Kilkarney Hills GC

You’re Gonna Do What? We have all seen the final dogfight scene from the 1986 smash hit Top Gun starring Tom Cruise, based on unrealistic storylines and more unrealistic looking and acting naval fighter pilots, Right? OK, for those of you born after 1987, the year the Twins won their first of two World Series titles in a fiveyear span, or in case you’ve been living with your head in one of your sand traps, a brief synopsis…. After 90 minutes of improbable stunt flying, love triangles, and of PagePage54 54

course the obligatory tragedy of a 1980’s summer smash, it climaxes with a cold war-esque air battle involving Cruise’s character Maverick, and his underperforming co-pilot, Merlin. The duo somehow manage to stay alive in the air using a variety of “Top Gun” tricks learned at the academy, yet Mavrick finds himself in a perilous situation with the enemy flying directly behind him, ready to fire and send them both to a movie ending tragic demise into the Indian Ocean below. But wait! Mavrick has another nonconventional plan. The two pilots converse; Merlin in a panic: “What are you doing? You’re slowing down! You’re slowing down!”


Maverick calmly: “I’m bringing him in closer, Merlin.” Merlin exclaims: “You’re Gonna Do What?” Merlin, now frustrated: “This is it Mav.” Maverick, confidently: “I’m gonna hit the brakes, he’ll fly right by!” Spoiler alert number one for those of you already searching for Top Gun on Netflix- it goes down like this. Maverick slams on his brakes, yes in the air, and the other plane swoops by. Maverick shoots him down, wins the battle, gets the respect of his mentor and other pilots, the girl is waiting to take him back. End of scene, end of movie.. So has Hole Notes really gone to reviewing movies to keep you entertained during the winter months? Are you asking yourself am I really gonna be forced to read this guy’s review of Crocodile Dundee? Another 1986 gem, by the way, starring Paul Hogan as an Australian bushman who unimaginably travels to New York City to………Oh, never mind, I’ll spare you the details! The short answer is, no! The point here is there are certain

times in life when those closest to you say or do things that take you back to an exact moment forever engrained in your head. If you do find time to re-watch Top Gun check out Merlin specifically in that final scene, look deeply into his eyes, listen to his tone as he screams, “You’re Gonna Do What?” That movie, that scene, his tone, his excitement, his eyes, that’s my moment and here’s my story. I suppose my wife Liza thought it was an April Fool’s joke when I came home from work the first day of April, 2014 and proclaimed, “I’m gonna quit my job this week, probably tomorrow!” She snapped back unknowingly using her best Merlin, “You’re Gonna Do What?” Of course I figured it was a good time to recite what instantaneously came to the tip of my tongue. “I’m gonna hit the brakes and he’ll fly ………” “Stop it!” She interrupted. (I guess my timing was off, I don’t know.) “What?” “Why?” “How?” She

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questioned as the mood of the conversation abruptly shifted from typical after work pleasantries to full on interrogation mode. Spoiler alert number two, I did quit my job of almost ten years the next day and started my new one just nine working days later as the Golf Course Superintendent at Kilkarney Hills Golf Club in River Falls, WI. As I prepare for my third full growing season, I still feel like Mavrick presumably did when he landed his fighter plane on the ship and climbed out victorious in Top Gun. That feeling, which I slowly lost over my 9-plus year “break” away from being a golf course Superintendent, is back! It’s still without a doubt the first or second question I get asked when I see friends, collogues, classmates, or even vendors who know my story. Why? Why would you quit a well-paying, unionized job with full benefits and retirement, no pressure, 7-3:30 “bankers” hours rain or shine hot or PagePage 56

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cold? Why? Why, after almost 10 years of creeping up the seniority chain and earning almost six weeks of paid time off per year not including Holidays or sick leave, would you leave? How could you give up seemingly what everyone else in the turf industry is so desperately searching for, folks usually ask? I usually answer with another story which took place 15 months or so after I started working at Kilkarney. I was meandering my way home along the back roads of rural Wisconsin after a quick 13 or 14 hour hot July day at the course driving about 45 mph. All four windows were down, forcing the now cool, early evening air into and back out of my car. I was driving west staring into a dark red horizon, feeling very content with what we as a crew had accomplished throughout the day and happy with the product we provided. I remember having nothing on my mind, some would say being lost in the moment. The irrigation pond was full, clocks were set to run, the next day’s plan was drawn out and I was on


schedule with all my chemical and fertilizer applications. I was, after a year and a half, starting to get my feet back underneath me. And that day, driving home, my arm out the window, fingers together, pointed making a snake like up

and down motion, I took a deep breath and smiled.

windows, shut off the car and get out, and then you can each tell me all about it, one at a time,” I said. We all joined Liza on the deck and after they get bored with the whole sitting and talking to

Dad thing, they were off with a blur to bigger and better things. Liza, out of the blue but calmly When I pulled into the said, “You work a lot more driveway, after my less than now, this is getting pretty hard 15-minute commute, my two kids: some nights, but I understand, Noah, ten and Ailsa, six, were at it’s ok,” she continued my car door simultaneously trying “You’ve changed.” to talk over one another telling me how each of their days was Uh-oh, I thought. somehow better than the other. Where’s this going? She explained: “You seem “Just let me put up the much happier lately; so Page 57 Page 57


energized, and the kids and I have noticed.” I cautiously relaxed back into my chair a bit, still skeptical of the whole situation. “And we’re all proud of you!” When those closest to you and whom you love the most notice you living a happier, healthier life and explain to you they support your life changing decision, that’s why! That day, that afternoon, that moment is why I tell people I left. I quit because it made me a better father and husband by allowing me to do something I love. Going to work every day and having the passion, desire, and drive to work hard and make the golf course better using my education and past work experiences, all while having fun, is more important than what I had. Life is short folks.

will, to get through. Then it was rush to be first out the door, hop in the car as fast as I could to beat traffic so my 25-mile ride didn’t take more than the usual hour. Terrible!

On the other hand, a typical day at the golf course has me arriving leisurely a bit after 5am to a quiet, dark shop ready for me to bring it alive. To me there has always been something special about opening vs closing. There is something about unlocking the doors, flipping on all the old gymnasium-style lights that take a solid five minutes to warm up as they flicker to life. Something magical about cranking open the garage doors to the gush of fresh air, checking the rain gauge, firing up the computer, the radio, unlocking the gas and diesel, peeking around the big tree outside the shop to see if the water on 17 fairway is still finishing up I used to begrudgingly its cycle, staging the equipment,work 7-3:30 and by about you guys all get it. I love bringing 10:00am each day I was the shop to life every morning, wondering how I could fill so I do. I can. Honestly, guys the last hour until lunch who know the door code and are break. Every day was a very capable of such seemingly grind, a marathon if you mundane tasks will often sit in

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the dark break room or wait in their cars for me to go through my routine as if they know “it’s my deal”. It is, but I’ve never told them that.

everything that went out that day, make the plan for the next day, set irrigation, make sure the shed has all chemical and fertilizer needed for my next app, check in with the owner, take my If I’m ever late, maybe getting final hot lap around the property, stuck behind an early slow-moving final voicemail and email checks, tractor or stopping along the side lock the office door, and, Poof! of the road, which I have many Gone! Hit the road! (Remember times, to watch deer or turkeys I much prefer opening to closing.) play in a field at first light for a Another slow cruise through the few minutes, it’s ok. I can. No cornfields with excitement to see rush! The dark shop will always my family and hear all about be waiting but the guys will be their days, one at a time of course, cutting. They know me. awaits! After opening, each day is a new journey. Maybe I will be fixing That’s why! That’s why I tell equipment, repairing irrigation, people I made a life changing doing course set-up, top-dressing, decision to jump back into the applying chemicals or fertilizers, golf course management industry or simply monitoring and training. after a 9-and-a-half-year hiatus Wherever each day takes me I can without hesitation and without never seem to figure out where it looking back. It changed my went when I hear what seems to life. For the better! be the synchronized starting of six vehicles as the crew prepares See you all at Kilkarney Hills to “bug-out” at 2pm or so. Sorry, in September for the MGCSA another Top Gun memory. Badgerland Exposure Event. I’ll be here. Smiling. Then, typically or hopefully, with a packed golf course- my time again! Call vendors, check equipment and H.O.C. on

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May 2016 Hole Notes  

A professional golf turf management magazine published by the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association. This issue covers turfgras...

May 2016 Hole Notes  

A professional golf turf management magazine published by the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association. This issue covers turfgras...