Winter Recap

Blog Post By: Craig McKinley, Grounds Department

Everyone’s favorite season is right around the corner. I am of course referring to GOLF season! 

Bucks Run has come out of winter looking great. The turf at this point looks healthy and I am very pleased with how the golf course has drained with all of the rain we received last week. The grounds staff has been using this recent stretch of warm weather to clean up the golf course and get things prepared for your enjoyment.

Winter Recap - The Golf Course

This winter has been a busy one, with staff continuing on our Selective Tree Removal Program, along with removing remaining ash trees affected by the Emerald Ash Borer. Our goal with this program is to get more sunlight and air movement to our playing surfaces. When a tree is competing with turf for sunlight, moisture, and nutrients, the tree always wins. We have made enormous strides with this program, in terms of turf quality on our putting greens and other playable areas. I know that tree removal is a touchy subject, and can seem to not coincide with our environmentally-friendly thinking, but that cannot be further from the truth. The fact is that removing trees where they negatively impact turf is actually helpful in the long run. Healthy turf needs less irrigation, less fertilizer, as well as less pesticides. It also cuts down on labor needed for cleaning-up after the trees every year, as well as our use of fossil fuels. A good example of using less labor and fuel is during fall “leaf” season. Our staff, on most days in the fall, needs two crew members to run turbine blowers to keep the golf course in good playing condition. That is around 90 hours a week in labor just to clean up leaves, not to mention the fuel that is used during the process. Therefore, by selectively removing trees that are inhibiting quality turf, we are saving labor and fuel so that it can be put into more productive tasks.

This winter like every other, our Equipment Manager, Bill, has gone through our fleet with a fine tooth comb. Making sure that our equipment is working in peak condition keeps our golf course playing conditions excellent, as well as preventing down-time with equipment failures. Bill has all of our mowing reels sharpened, done in-house with our reel grinder, and ready to go for the spring. Equipment is also detailed and waxed before being put into cold storage for the winter, keeping our fleet not only running great, but looking great.


Bucks Run Golf Club Mowers Equipment

Winter Recap - Furthering our Education

This winter, our team was also busy bettering our facility by furthering our education. Bucks Run hosted a Chainsaw Safety Seminar this winter, with attendees from across the state. We learned new and innovative safety programs that day, which we will integrate into our safety programs at Bucks Run. Bucks Run was also asked to speak at the 2018 Michigan Turfgrass Conference in January, which is pictured below. We were able to show off our sustainability projects to Golf Course Superintendents across the state, and speak on the importance of making even small environmental changes. One thing that I am very proud of with our program is that by including some of these unique environmental ideas into our greens spray program, we were able to go Mid-April through September without applying a fungicide on our greens! 

I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read this post, and hope to see you all on the golf course very shortly. Have a great week!

Bucks Run Golf Club Michigan Turfgrass Conference



Posted by admin at Mar 06, 2018 Category: Other
Tags: Bucks Run Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant, MI, Winter, Tree Removal, Equipment, Michigan Turfgrass, Chainsaw, Safety