This week is the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas. Tim and Steven will both be attending for a week of education and interaction at the largest event for golf course superintendents. We will both be in education seminars, walking the trade show floor or attending events throughout the week. Tim will also be presented with the Leo Feser award on Tuesday night. We will keep you updated throughout the week with blog posts and frequent updates on twitter. Though we will be out of the office, we will have access to email if we need to be reached for any reason. Viva Las Vegas!
With most golf courses under snow (during a normal winter), and the day-to-day tending of the turf and soil completed, winter is an opportunity to take advantage of several education events.  We have participated in a few, hosted one and are preparing for another.  December was the ITF (Illinois Turf Foundation) Winter Education, which we both made presentations. January was a Wee-One fundraiser and a day of education.  February we hosted the Chicagoland Forum for the Chicagoland Association of Golf Course Superintendents (the picture on right shows the ballroom setup for the event).  The Chicagoland Forum has been an annual event at the Club for close to 20 years.  Yesterday was the Assistants Winter Workshop and the Golf House in Lemont.  The week of February 27th is the GCSAA Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas, which Tim and Steven will both be attending.

Tim in the hot seat at the ITF Winter Education with L-R Chuck Anfield, Heritage Bluffs; John Gurke, Aurora Country Club; Jim Canning, White Eagle; Scott Pavalko, Cog Hill Country Club.

Steven giving his presentation at the ITF Winter Education.

These education events are usually one or two days.  The speakers are fellow superintendents, researches, professors, consultants and any other authority on a range of topics covering the management of the golf course.  The Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas offers many educational opportunities over 5 days, but also a trade show for vendors and manufacturers to presents their products.  We will be out of the office during the week of February 27th, but we will keep updated on what we are doing and seeing.
The other big project for the winter months involves maintenance on the equipment.  With the equipment not being used on a daily basis, it gives our mechanic, Greg, time to perform a more thorough inspection of all the moving parts.  Greg also spends time sharpening all of the cutting units on all equipment.  Our equipment fleet is new within the last 4 years, so much of the maintenance is still preventative.

Having equipment that is sharp for cutting the grass is very important for maintaining the highest quality turf.  Through the winter Greg spends most of his time in our grinding room making sure all of the cutting units are ready to go for the spring.  This picture shows one of our two grinders used for sharpening reels.  At this point in the winter, all of the green, tee and fairway mowers have been sharpened and are ready to go for the spring.
The main objective of our crew members through the winter months is cleaning repairing and refinishing the course products.  This included all benches, ball washers, trash cans and tee markers on the tees; the wooden bag stands around the clubhouse, cooler boxes, flag sticks, and cups, etc.

The process involves cleaning the surface, sanding, repairing anything that may be broken and putting on a finish.  We paint the ball washers and trash cans to match.  We use an oil to refinish the wood products-benches, flag sticks, and some trash cans.  We are behind this year with these jobs as a result of the projects that were done in the clubhouse.  While our crew is working on the course products, the mechanic is doing the same thing with our equipment.  More on this later in the week...
With the clubhouse being closed in January, we take that time to complete a thorough cleaning and any projects that need to be done.  This year was particularly busy in January.  Several projects were completed on schedule and the clubhouse is now ready for regular member service.  Come out this weekend for Dining on Friday and Saturday night, brunch Sunday, or the Super Bowl Party Sunday night and see the completed projects.

New carpet was installed in the front hallway, the Grill on the Green, and by the fireplace.  10 of the 12 HVAC units on the roof were replaced.  The ceiling in the Pump Room was replaced.  The ceilings by the fireplace and in the front hallway were replaced.  And, the hardwood floor by the door into Club 21 was replaced.

Here is a list of posts that highlight the projects in progress:

Ceilings In The Clubhouse

New Ceiling Going Up In The Clubhouse

Lots Happening At The Clubhouse

And some videos were made of the work also:

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