Monday, August 2, 2010

Interior Trip

Man, time sure flies when you are having fun or are busy or both. I have not posted a blog since the middle of May so I have some catching up to do.

As many of you may already know I help golf courses with certfication in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Along with this I also do some landscaping as well as contract work with local (Vancouver Island) golf courses.

Since I last posted I spent some time in the Interior of BC. My first stop was to visit Jeff Bennett at the Okanagan Club to help him get his Audubon program moving along. Two things were evident to me when I arrived at the OGC. One, the spring was not kind to the golf courses in the Interior. Unfortunately, the OGC lost a lot of turf over the winter and from what I could gather it had a lot to do with ice formation on the greens. There is not a lot that a Superintendent can do about that other than get the ice off as quickly as possible in the spring.

The second thing I realized was the professionalism and committment to excellence that Jeff Bennett brought each day to the maintenance department at the OGC. Maintaining 36 holes and a large staff is no easy task yet Jeff does it with the calmness and care that is demanded of him. In all the course was in great shape despite the damage from the winter.

My second stop was to visit Frits Verkerk at Gallagher's Canyon. Again, the spring was not kind to Gallagher's. Like his colleque Frits exemplifies professionalism and care about what he does. Both are well on their way to Audubon certification and with some changes to infrastructure and administration should have little problem achieving it within a couple of years.

My third stop on this trip was to Predator Ridge where I presented to the National Golf Course Owners Association on the Business Value of Environmental Programs. The facility was spectacular and the presentation went well. Unfortunately there were not as many people there as we had hoped.

NGCOA Regional Director Doug Ferne and the people at Predator were great hosts and I enjoyed the stay all the same. The highlight of Predator for me was the opportunity to tour the course, new 18 recently opened. The course is awesome! I took the chance to stop by the makeshift maintenance facility to congratulate Superintendent TJ McNamara on a job well done and was pleased to be able to shake his hand and tell him personally how great the place looked. Buffer zones and wildlife habitats were certainly abundant. I see Audubon certification in the future for TJ and Predator Ridge.

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