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Dodge's Dirt

April 2018

I would like to offer a big thank you to all people who offered their feedback on things like ball washers and bunker rakes on the golf course. The overwhelming majority seemed to be in favor of ball washers located on golf carts-as long as they are maintained properly. When we upgrade to newer carts in the future, we will be sure to strongly consider adding this option to our cart fleet. In the meantime, we will be putting ball washers on the first and 10th tee as well as the Par 3 golf holes.  Ball washers on every hole is simply unnecessary and adds clutter to the golf course-something I like to avoid.  Another way to avoid clutter is to eliminate rakes in bunkers. 

This question elicited some great responses from those of you who contributed. While there were a few (the Traditionalists who actually use them) that felt removing rakes from bunkers was not cool, most of the feedback I received was very positive about giving a try to adding a bunker rake to each golf cart in lieu of rakes in bunkers.  Those of you who responded this way are not alone. I did some research by talking with peers on this topic at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) trade show in San Antonio and this technique has indeed been used with success on many courses. I think that it is worth a try in the future though we will not be implementing this technique this year-our current golf cart fleet does not offer a rake attaching option standard like the newer carts do. We would have to resort to an aftermarket method to install rakes-not something I am enthusiastic about. Like the ball washers, when we upgrade to a more modern golf cart we will be sure to make sure that they have the rake holding option.

Thank all of you for the feedback that I find to be quite valuable in making decisions regarding the golf course. We listen to what you have to say and try to make the right decisions. 

Those of you who have been reading my articles over the years know that sometimes-especially when there is snow on the ground (quite a bit at the moment)-I look at the less technical and more social side of our business. I have amused some in the past with my “a golf course is an aquarium” analogy. By our nature, we feel like we are doing our best work by efficiently presenting optimal conditions to our patrons while being noticed as little as possible by players. Golf professionals and Outside Service staff are the face of the golf course-Superintendents and their staff are the foundation of the golf course. Something that provides necessary structure without being seen. 

This year on May 8, the GCSAA is launching a program called “Thank A Super” where efforts are made to explain what we actually do. The “Carl Spackler” stereotype has been a tough one to shake in our profession-partially because it is pretty funny and partially because of our lack of exposure to customers compared to Pro Shop staff.  For those of you interested in learning more about what it is we do, feel free to click the following link: 
https://www.gcsaa.org/tagcs-2018/thankasuper 
I look forward to letting everyone know how the golf course fared through the winter in our next newsletter. Still too much snow on the ground at the moment to know what is going on. 

See you soon.


Vince Dodge 

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