Give Mike Harrison an A for effort.
Harrison, superintendent at Osoyoos Golf Club in Osoyoos, British Columbia since 1991, recently spoke to his town's Rotary Club, providing insight into his job to golfers and non-golfers alike. It might not sound like a big deal, but it is a platform most superintendents are not afforded.
Harrison talked about the challenges of the job, including personnel management at a 36-hole property, water management and more. Osoyoos is in south-central British Columbia along the Washington border and is in an area noted for having the highest average daily temperatures anywhere in Canada.
While much of Canada is under snow cover, Osoyoos has been enjoying seasonably warm weather. The club's Desert Gold Course, a links-style desert layout, has been open for nearly a month, and the parkland-style Park Meadow Course is expected to open soon.
His full-time staff of three swells to 30-35 during the summer, and the club, which was built in 1972, has been using treated effluent water since 1980, long before conserving potable water was fashionable anywhere.
Effluent water means a virtually limitless source of water for irrigation, but it has its downside, Harrison told the crowd.
Putting green turf at Osoyoos usually shows signs of stress by late summer, requiring Harrison to flush the greens. Sometimes he actually floods the greens with fresh water, and a combination of summer heat and exceptional greens drainage sucks the water, and the impurities of the effluent, through in short order.
It might not seem like much, but for Harrison, the club as well as golfers and non-golfers in their community, it's a step in the right direction.