TurfNet SOY trip Bandon 2016

I was honored to be a finalist for the TurfNet Superintendent of the Year in 2015. As a finalist I was awarded a spot on the TurfNet Members Trip this year at Bandon Dunes golf resort in Oregon by the generous sponsor Syngenta. Thank-you Trip Trotter, Stephanie Schwenke and everyone at Syngenta. Last year's trip which Cheryl and I both went on in Ireland was truly special and some of the same people on that one went again this year. It was a reunion of sorts where a few of us met at the first Bandon trip in 2012 and have stayed in touch ever since. That was my first experience with links golf and also playing 36 holes. Many of us went again in 2013 and have forged strong bonds and even stronger grudge matches while enjoying the scenery, camaraderie and maybe even a few pints. That first year ended in chaos with hurricane Sandy battering the east coast and making return flights a nightmare. We had a planned stop at Eugene CC but I stayed at the resort and took in the Northwest Turfgrass Assoc seminar taking place. So when the chance came to play it this year before the ride into Bandon I jumped all over it. The course is over 100 yrs old and the trees close to 300.
wider than a golf cart

just a maple dwarfing Mike Cook

pictures do not do it justice



Sky Rocket
The bus ride from Eugene to Bandon is always a nice one with some great scenery. This year it was an ominous foretelling of the weather ahead. Each mile closer to the coast the rain became steadier. When you travel that far rain is not really an issue. You have prepared and brought the right gear so you suit up and charge on. My roommate did not have a great rain jacket and only lasted 3 holes before being drenched and going in. The other two in the group made it through 7 which left just me and my caddie Matt to muck through the rest of the round. We occasionally saw other groups but were often all alone reenacting a scene from Caddyshack.
It turned out to be a great week with only drizzle on the last day where 8 of us played the 13 hole par three Preserve. It may have rained overnight and been chilly in the morning but most afternoons were shorts weather and simply stunning.
Last day

Me and the face of the resort Shoe
Peter McCormick, TurfNet founder and Maestro visited us one morning on the 9th tee of Bandon Dunes. Click the link for a Video of yours truly teeing off. As I stated above, the weather turned out perfect. The first day set a bottom weather standard but did  help forge a bond with your caddie if you plodded through. I played 3 days of 36 holes and for two of the afternoons changed into shorts and a golf shirt. The total for the trip was 157 holes. The videos below cannot do the resort justice.

Caddie Matt Parise, Doug Middleton, Jorge Croda, Mass Golf Assoc's Mark Gagne

Me being reminded to stay out of the bunkers
I would be remiss in not thanking Mink Meadows, the people who nominated me and all the sponsors: Syngenta, The Care of Trees, Sandtrapper & Ocean Organics. I thought the first trip in 2012 was a once in a lifetime. You assume a repeat will never live up to the first but each time it is the same and possibly better which is truly amazing.

Catching up

Where to begin? With a couple of frosts and an overall dip in temperatures it is clear that Fall is upon us. The leaves have mostly turned and it has been a stunning year for color. They are also dropping in earnest so the fun of cleaning the course and searching for golf balls while playing is in full swing. The course continues to heal from some of the scars of Summer and by all accounts is playing well. We aerated greens again this week to prepare them for Winter. We have also begun preparing the course bathrooms and fountains by draining the water and winterizing them. Next will be the cart barn and irrigation system. We will continue to have nice golfing weather for at least another month or two with an odd day off to snuggle up indoors with a good book (hint hint to the crazies who play in any weather). A few pictures from around the place:

Ollie the Otter in MM pond

2 baby swans reaching full size
Tree and weak rough near putting green

weak collar & aerifier damage
I started aerifying the nursery at 9" I figured we had good roots and should handle the deep tining. The next spot I went to was the weak corner of the putting green and it was a disaster. I raised it up to 5" and was able to get it done without further incident. Looking over the area at large it is obvious the culprit is an oak tree right off the green. The picture above clearly shows weak rough grass leading up to the collar. Even after all the rain we have had and some great Fall weather that section of turf has not recovered enough to handle routine maintenance.

Color Collage

Mushroom collage
Walking to the boat last week WH

Woods Hole terminal
I hope everyone is enjoying their Fall. More updates from the property as we progress into Winter.

Hurricane season needs to end.

How exciting to have a hurricane named after you. Then you start to think if this thing gets massive and starts doing all kinds of damage or worse people die, not so cool. I was following along on Twitter and keeping an eye on it because the last thing I want is to get slammed with a hurricane regardless of the name. When it looked like it would miss us completely I think we all breathed a sigh of relief. Of course some of you reading this have homes in Florida or have friends and family on the east coast where this may be an issue so it is still very stressful when major weather events happen. I hope Matthew peters out before any more devastation occurs. It was fun when it was simply spinning away in the middle of the ocean and now it is time to return there. Here are a few of the posts from Twitter that I found interesting: