Poa Annua Part 2 The Green Story

We hear a lot about Poa Annua infesting our greens. We also hear, from time to time, about major tournaments being played on golf courses featuring Poa Annua greens – like the 2019 US Open played at Pebble Beach. What’s up with that?Read More>>

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Life with Poa Annua (Part 1)

Here’s a quote from the Michigan State University turf weed website about Poa Annua (annual bluegrass):

“Annual bluegrass is unique among weeds. There is probably no other weed that is so widely adapted to variations in mowing height, site conditions and cultural practices.

Annual bluegrass is the most common and widely distributed grassy weed in the world. It is mentioned as a weed in nearly every plant commodity”.

And we at Niakwa are cursed with poa annua in abundance Read More>>

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Golf in Scotland

Our group of twelve bandits is just back from our golf trip to Scotland. We played 8 games in 8 days on a variety of courses – from the par 66 local Stonehaven course to the Ryder Cup GlenEagles – links courses and parkland courses.

I’ve been lucky enough to have made 3 golf trips to Scotland and one trip to Ireland. It’s a wonderful experience playing the famous courses like St Andrews, Carnoustie and Royal Dornoch, but it’s at the local courses where you really get a feel for Scottish golf.Read More>>

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Niakwa Tradition

I’m on my way to play golf in Scotland with a few of the boys tomorrow. As those who have played there know, when you golf in Scotland you really get a sense of the history and traditions of the game. I’ve had the privilege in the past to play both Musselburgh Links and St Andrews Old Course, each of which claims to be the oldest golf course in the world.

Niakwa Country Club is not without its own rich history and traditions. Read More>>

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Course Etiquette – So Much to Remember

As the weather warms up and the golf season gets under full swing (pun intended) there are so many things to remember – like what are the names of the guys I’m golfing with? And what’s my account number? And what’s that ‘inside out thing again’? Or was that ‘righty tighty, lefty loosey’?

With all those questions occupying our minds, sometimes it’s hard to remember that care for the course, and course etiquette, are also an important part of the game. And as I’ve played my first few rounds of the year I’ve noticed that some of our early birds are forgetting about the course care thing. Read More>> Read more »

Rules, Rules, Rules!

A hearty “Welcome Back”! to all returning Niakwa Members and a hearty “Welcome to Niakwa”! to all new members.

2019 promises to be an interesting year for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the rule changes, which became effective January 1, 2019.

The USGA and the Royal and Ancient did considerable research and testing into a new set of rules, which are designed to make the game simpler, to speed up play and to make certain aspects of the game less onerous for all players. The new rules are simpler, but as we’ve seen among PGA Tour players, there will be some uncertainty early in the season.

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Course Superintendent Search

A few years ago, while I was President of Niakwa, the ‘Private Club Advisor’ ran an article about a golf course in the UK that notified its Members that the Club was suspending its search for a Course Superintendent. The reasoning was that, since there were about 500 grass growing experts among the Membership, the Superintendent position was redundant.

My suggestion to Management earlier this month was that we should ask members to submit photos of their lawns and that the Club should just choose the person with the best grass to run the Grounds Crew.

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The Year in Review

2018 has been an interesting year at Niakwa.

The main topic of conversation for much of the year was, of course, playing conditions.

As I said in a previous blog, the winter of 2017/18 was unprecedented.  (or “unpresidented” as the leader of the free world would Tweet) Lack of snow cover, cold temperatures and unrelenting, howling wind did a number on our greens and fairways. Fairways recovered quickly, but the greens were another story.

Fortunately for members, the Board of Governors and Management had the courage to address greens damage head on. The four greens that were rebuilt in 2018 should be in good shape in 2019 and for years to come.

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A Hard Close

The last time I played golf, my playing partner told me he had read Craig’s (our Course Superintendent) recent blog entry about the course closing on October 15 – which prompted his question “what does ‘course closing’ mean?” My response – “Um, well Jimmie, it means the course is closed and you can’t play till spring”. Which prompted a follow up question – “why is that? I remember playing on Remembrance Day a few years back”.

Good point, Jimmie.Read More>> Read more »


I overheard Aretha Franklin singing ‘Respect’ while I was waiting on the tee box the other day. When the song was released in 1967, of course, there were no remote speakers, no blue tooths (blue teeth?) and no ear buds. I did have a recording of the song on 8 Track, though and played it religiously in my 1964 Plymouth Valiant on the way to the U of M.

The USGA policy on playing music on the golf course is all about showing “a little respect. Just a little bit”.Read More>>     Read more »

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