Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Summer Weather Data Review

As summer is coming to a close, it is always nice to look back over the previous years and compare weather data. This past summer never really got hot and rainfall seemed to be relentless in the Miami Valley. Over the last 5 years, the data shows that the weather has been trending towards a cooler and wetter summer. Inclement weather can bring many troubles to the golf course during the summer, as this is the busiest period of the year. In addition to reduced rounds of golf, inclement weather drastically impacts golf course maintenance practices. Below you will find a chart and two graphs that depict the weather data from June, July, and August over the previous 5 years. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

WOTUS Update

On June 29, 2015, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers issued the final rule to redefine the “Waters of the United States’ (WOTUS) subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. This rule, which goes into effect on August 28, 2015, may have a significant impact on your golf facility. As of August 28, you will need to make sure your facility is in compliance with the rule. There will be no grace period for the rule to take effect. As a golf industry professional, there are several things that you need to do to make sure you are in compliance. The first step that needs to be taken is to evaluate your property to see whether your surface waters are subject to federal jurisdiction. These categories include:
  1. Traditional navigable waters
  2. Interstate Waters
  3. Territorial Seas
  4. Impoundments of otherwise jurisdictional waters
  5. Tributaries
  6. Adjacent Waters
  7. Enumerated regional feature with a significant nexus
  8. Waters in the 100-year floodplain or within 4000 feet of a WOTUS with a significant nexus

Waters #1-6 are automatically federally protected. Waters #7-8 are determined to be federal protected on a case by case basis. If your facility has surface water that fall into one of these categories, you may need to obtain permits if you are going to conduct activities that would result in a “dredge/fill” activity or “discharge of a pollutant” to WOTUS. These activities may include making pesticide and fertilizer applications, moving soil, installing drainage, dredging ponds, aerating, and fixing stream alignments. Failing to obtain permits could result in penalties of up to $37,500 per violation per day although that is a worst case scenario. 

This new rule will now encompass more golf courses conducting routine maintenance practices. The complexity and lack of clarity in the rule will create many challenges in our industry. The WOTUS rule is far reaching and will have an impact on many industries. The Ohio Attorney General, along with 29 other states, has filed a lawsuit against the WOTUS ruling. Likewise, there are legislative efforts in both chambers of Congress to force the agencies to withdraw the rule and go back to the drawing board with impacted stakeholders to come up with a better rule. At this time, there are a lot of unanswered questions and lack of cohesion between the state and federal agencies. Additional updates will follow as our industry’s concerns are addressed. In the meantime, golf course managers should be evaluating their properties and identify WOTUS areas. For additional information about the WOTUS ruling, please review the links below and contact the GCSAA Government Relations department with any further questions.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015 Metropolitan

Last week, the Miami Valley Golf Association held their top event, The Metropolitan, at Beavercreek Golf Club. The Metropolitan is the amateur championship for the Miami Valley. This year, 97 golfers made up the field of the four-day tournament. After the first two rounds, the field was cut to the low 32 golfers for the weekend. With the weather cooperating for the week of the tournament, the golf course maintenance staff was able to allow the golf course to play firm and fast. The weekend was filled with great golf, and an exciting finish. On Sunday, the final pairing of Ryan Flick, Jeff Scohy, and Pete Betzold, were all tied for the lead at -2 thru 15 holes. In the end, Pete Betzhold was able to make par on 18 to win his first Metropolitan with a final score of 2-under par 286.

The golf course maintenance staff and volunteers did a phenomenal job preparing the golf course for the event. The staff was excited to be able to show off their hard work and provide playing conditions that the golfers loved. From the Beavercreek Golf Club Turf Staff, congratulations to this year's champion, Pete Betzold, on a great tournament win. We hope all of the competitors enjoyed playing the golf course, and look forward to seeing you playing here again soon. Below are a few pictures from the week of the tournament.

2015 Metropolitan Champion, Pete Betzold

2015 Beavercreek Golf Club Turf Team
Morning Maintenance Practices