Turf Talk

By: Geoff Sheffield

The cost of maintaining a golf course today is like what we are experiencing everywhere else. Costs are rising at significant rates. This is no more evident than in the case of our plant health plan for the year. This includes fertilizer, wetting agents, soil amendments and pesticides where we base spending decisions on the needs of the grass. Chemistry, soil conditions and environmental conditions are often our deciding factors as to what exactly we use. Today some of these choices are being affected by the global market availability and pricing. We strive to offer the best conditions possible within a reasonable budget. 

This is getting harder to do. Grass seed was hard hit by last year’s severe drought as most producers lost much of their crop. Today a 50lb bag of seed has gone up by at least sixty percent. Basic fertilizer, 46-0-0 all nitrogen, that we spray the fairways with has increased by eighty percent. Other plant health products have seen increases in the neighborhood of forty to fifty percent in 1 year.

The sand we topdress with has seen a regular increase in price of approximately five percent but the trucking cost has increased considerably with the fuel costs going up daily. We bought some products that came out of Okanogan and that trucking cost was a phone call to inform me that the regular shipping rate was increasing immediately by $1500. 

These increases are just a few of the inflationary issues that we are experiencing.Our operating budget is comparable to other similar courses in town and the cost of golfing is related not only to demand but also to these increasing costs. 

Our team will strive to manage the budget and find the balance of providing excellent playing conditions for our golfers at a reasonable value.

Geoff Sheffield

Course Superintendent

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