The Beauty of Green

 A passion for stewardship & green courses

Environmental stewardship is very important to Tetherow Golf Club.  Since the construction of the golf course to present day, an emphasis on environmental stewardship is at the forefront of our maintenance practices.  It started with the certification process through Audubon International as a Signature Sanctuary and it continues today on a daily basis.

Many of the factors that led to the certification were implemented during the construction phase of the golf course and we continue to use them currently.  Thinking ahead and moving forward in an environmentally conscious direction will ultimately allow us to leave the property that we call Tetherow in better shape than before day one of construction.

The certification process was only the beginning.  The desire to continue and promote environmental awareness for Tetherow Golf Club comes from the Golf Course Maintenance department.  It is our job to ensure that the programs set forth by Audubon International and the Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association are implemented and scrutinized on an annual basis to improve the overall effort.  These two organizations have clear and concise programs that a golf course can follow to promote sound environmental stewardship.

Tetherow is very fortunate to be supported by both of these organizations and to have an ownership and golf course superintendent who believe strongly in our pursuit of sound environmental stewardship.  So far we have succeeded at Tetherow by the following: Becoming the first and so far only Certified Signature Sanctuary by Audubon International in the state of Oregon and for Chris Condon of Tetherow being the Chapter Winner in the resort category for the 2010 GCSAA/Golf Digest Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards.  These awards show others that we have succeeded but the real awards come from the hard work of many in our environmental efforts.  In particular, the work of a few volunteers should not go unnoticed.

One of the biggest reasons we are able to win awards, certification and continue our environmental efforts is the help from our volunteers.  In particular, Cal & Alice Elshoff and Erik & Mary Jensen have contributed a lot of time and effort to help us in our endeavors.  I personally want to thank them for all of their work and support in creating habitat for the many species of wildlife we see at Tetherow.

Volunteers help implement plans that will benefit the environment and without people such as Cal, Alice, Erik and Mary, it would be very difficult.  All of us at Tetherow would like to extend our gratitude to the four of you.

You have read what we have accomplished and who is lending a hand so far. What exactly are we doing to continue our efforts in our pursuit of being a good environmental steward?  Below are just a few items that we are doing:

  • Providing over 30 nesting boxes for various bird species.  Most recently, all but a couple of these nesting boxes were occupied with many having eggs ready to hatch.
  • Provide habitat for other animal species other than birds around the golf course.  There is a bat box on #6, a brush pile between #3 and #6 and the lakes have been stocked with Bluegill and Black Crappie which have grown to 4-6 inches in just a few years.
  • Using products that are either sustainable in their production or come from a waste product.  We are using fertilizers that contain plant waste, chicken waste and kelp that is harvested and processed in Ireland.  We create our own beneficial microbes that keep our ponds clean and clear, help with our nutrient release from our soils, produce better soil structure and control the mosquito population.
  • Pesticides are very limited in their use.  The only fungicide application we use is to protect the turfgrass from winter disease.  We have been able to virtually eliminate any disease outbreaks by maintaining the fine fescue dominate turfgrass.  Weeds are taken care of on a spot-spraying basis throughout the maintained portion of the golf course.  Anywhere else, hand picking/pulling is utilized.
  • The Fine Fescue and Colonial bentgrass mixture allow us the ability to use half as much nutrients and water compared to the other golf courses in the Bend area.  The maintenance practices of keeping the playing surface firm and fast allows us to utilize less water.
  • Educational opportunities –  Grade school class field trips and member open house to the maintenance facility allows us to provide answers to question that someone may have during the course of a round concerning the maintenance of the golf course.
  • Recycling, recycling and recycling.  A cornerstone of any environmental program.  What do we recycle?  Plastics, grass clippings, glass bottles, tree branches, paper, bedknives, food waste from the kitchen, wash water/rinse water, motor oil, plant material from thinning projects, rock, fertilizer jugs and barrels, etc.

Sound environmental stewardship is an ongoing practice.  We strive to learn new procedures or products that can help us with our efforts.  Most importantly, it is our responsibility to make a concerted effort to provide the best playing conditions while protecting the precious resources used on the golf course in the most economical manner.

I hope that you are enjoying the golf course and it was great to see all of you who attended our inaugural Golf Course Maintenance Open House.  It was a lot of fun.  As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to send me an email  at [email protected]

 

Thank you,

Chris Condon

Golf Course Superintendent

Tetherow Completes Restoration Project

Hard at Work

Chris Condon, Coulee Prince and the golf course maintenance crew at Tetherow recently completed a 2-year ongoing restoration project on Pine Mountain (part of the Bend Ft. Rock Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest.)

As a team, they planted approximately 300 trees and shrubs on April 25 & 26 to provide food and cover for the mountain’s wildlife. Due to a reduction in hiding cover for mule deer, the goal was to enhance and increase browsing on winter range by planting mountain mahogany.  This tree/shrub is a superb source of nutritional value for deer, and is also utilized by many other wildlife species, including sage thrasher and Virginia’s warbler, which are highly tied to this habitat.

According to the US Forest Service, this shrubby, slow-growing tree belongs in the Rosaceae, or rose family; the common name derives from the dense, heavy wood of this tree, which sinks in water. Additionally, the leaves tend to curl. The scientific name for the genus is Greek and means “tailed fruit.”

The contorted shapes of older trees dominate their habitat, which is unfriendly for most other tall plants: rocky, gravelly slopes in high mountain areas, with little water and plenty sun. Typically, the plant has 1 to 4 main trunks; the trunks are not often obscured by foliage.

As an Audubon International Certified Signature Sanctuary, Tetherow is committed to maintaining, enhancing and preserving the beautiful area in which we live.  The tree planting is beneficial for many wildlife species that occur on adjacent public lands.

 

Keeping the bluegrass at bay this season: Annual Bluegrass or Poa annua and Silvery Thread Moss

Fighting the good fight!

These two plants are as frustrating as spring weather in Central Oregon.  The good thing is that we have the ability to semi-control annual bluegrass and moss.  Tetherow turfgrass has been growing for 5 years and it is maturing rather well.  The first hole (#3) was seeded in May 2007 and it has seen a lot of changes both in architecture as well as the maturity of the turfgrass.  With age comes a few blemishes and they are beginning to appear this season.  What can we do about these two plants?  Below is a brief explanation of what we can do to control them.

Annual bluegrass or Poa annua is a species of grass that is usually considered a weed in many cases.  Annual bluegrass grows in almost everywhere in the world.  The topic of annual bluegrass control can be very intense in the golf world.  There are many considerations to annual bluegrass control that can become exhausting when discussed.  As for Silvery Thread Moss, it is basically a nuisance and becomes unsightly.  Combine the two and the putting surface is adversely affected.    Tetherow is seeing some Poa annua establishment and we are slowing down the establishment process utilizing our knowledge and a few products on the market.

Disclaimer:  Annual bluegrass is inevitable.  Any turfgrass system ultimately becomes dominated by annual bluegrass.  Home lawns, sports fields, golf courses, parks all become dominated by annual bluegrass at some point in their life span.

The following is a list of ideas and products that we are using this season to provide the best results against Mother Nature and Poa annua:

  • Maintain fertility to a level where the fine fescue and bentgrass are competitive.
  • Promote deep rooting of fine fescue and bentgrass through deep and infrequent irrigation and the use of wetting agents.  Annual Bluegrass typically has a shallow root system so the developing plant would struggle to obtain adequate moisture.
  • Cut out young Annual Bluegrass plants from areas such as putting surfaces.
  • Use growth-regulating products such as Cutless and Embark.  Cutless selectively suppresses the growth of annual bluegrass to a greater degree than desirable turfgrasses, in our case, the fine fescue and bentgrass mix.  Embark is generally used for the seedhead suppression of annual bluegrass.  Annual bluegrass can flower and generate new seed at a mowing height of 1/8 of an inch.
  • Use a new herbicide, Xonerate, for the control of annual bluegrass.  This product is very new to the market and was registered for use in the State of Oregon in April.  Trials need to be done to ensure the safety of this product on our fine fescue/bentgrass mix.
  • Quicksilver is a herbicide used for the control of Silvery Thread Moss.  Last season we used the required amount of Quicksilver spread out over four applications, two in the spring and two in the fall.  We observed very good results from the product and will continue this season.
  • Iron can be utilized to help control Silvery Thread Moss.  Rates as high as 1 pound of Iron product per thousand square feet weaken the moss.  Appropriate timing of an iron application just prior to a Quicksilver application will be very effective.
  • Most importantly, we will improve the density of our putting surfaces. This helps control both annual bluegrass and silvery thread moss.  This season we are overseeding the greens three times with our usual fine fescue and bentgrass mix.

This season will provide the information that is necessary in order to produce a practical plan for annual bluegrass control.  Remember that annual bluegrass is considered both a weed and a desired plant.  Annual bluegrass is a weed when it begins to encroach on an existing turfgrass stand, such as ours.  Annual bluegrass is a desired plant when the natural conversion has occurred and it is now being maintained as a turfgrass stand.  The difficulty lies ahead for Tetherow.  An example of the conversion from planted turfgrass to one hundred percent annual bluegrass would be:

Tetherow (0% – 1%), Broken Top (50% – 75%) and Bend Country Club (100%)

I hope that everyone has enjoyed the golf course thus far and is looking forward to a great season.  I am hoping for great weather in May so that the golf course can really shine for our members and guests.  As always, feel free to drop me an email with any questions, concerns or comments at [email protected]

Thank you, Chris Condon, Golf Course Superintendent

The Newest, Friendliest Faces in the Golf Shop

Tetherow is pleased to welcome its two newest staff members to Golf Operations!  Assistant Golf Professional Kelly Wechter joins the Tetherow team from the Kah-nee-ta Resort.  Kelly was involved at Kah-nee-ta for 16 loyal years of service, the last three as an Assistant Golf Professional.  We are thrilled to have his enthusiastic, service-minded skills as a part of our team.

We are also pleased to welcome Nicole Geers as our Golf Shop Merchandiser.  Nicole joins Tetherow after seven years in the fashion and retail industry, most recently working for Men’s outfitting companies, Trunk Club and Hendrick’s Park.  Nicole moved to Bend from Chicago eight years ago, and is getting married this summer.

 

Please stop in and get to know our newest staff members when you’re here for your next round of golf.

 

Your dream is closer than you think at Tetherow!

2017 seemed like the distant future to Bend’s Tim Williams and his family. When they planned out their future, it looked like 2017 was the year they could fulfill their desire of living in Tetherow, a growing community on Bend’s Westside. Patiently waiting, they spent three seasons as guests of the Tetherow Golf Club, enjoying the Scottish links style golf, outstanding dining and a variety of social and family events. As the young family grew, so did their eagerness to live in such a convenient, growing area.

In 2011, the Williams family learned about Tetherow’s Jr. Executive Membership, which is available to those under 46 and includes a family membership to the Athletic Club of Bend for just $390 a month. It was the ideal opportunity to join Tetherow. When they saw an opportunity to purchase a beautiful homesite at a great price in late 2011, they realized they could build a home and actually make their dream come true within the next year instead of having to wait!

“The entire staff is so cohesive and you can tell they really enjoy their jobs. It makes such a difference when the staff is happy at a Club. We also love the other families living there, and the views and prime location to everything Bend has to offer just can’t be beat,” said Williams.

The Williams family is hardly alone in their migration to Tetherow. This budding community has experienced impressive growth the past 12 months. Tetherow welcomed 30 new families into the membership last year alone! With its ideal location – nestled between the Southwest edge of Bend and the Deschutes National Forest – the full Cascade Mountain views and award-winning golf, this renaissance is hardly a surprise.

Since January of 2011, 12 real estate contracts have been written, eight of which have closed with a property sale while the remaining four are pending. Construction begins on three custom homes between now and May. Additionally, local builders Greg Welch and Ryan Duble are both designing showcase homes that will begin construction this spring. They will boast mountain and fairway views, and range from $599,000 to $775,000. With a blend of primary residences and second homes, Tetherow is growing in leaps and bounds.

Tetherow’s Tripleknot Townhomes, which are in the first stage of construction, have already sold the model and construction should be complete by April, when the golf course opens for play.

Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty (CSIR) continues to represent real estate at Tetherow. Deb Tebbs, owner of CSIR, says the trend there is not unique. “Built inventory around Central Oregon is drying up. Buyers recognize that they may not find their dream home already built. With reasonable property prices and construction costs, many buyers are taking the opportunity to create their own dream home.”

A variety of membership options are available at Tetherow, with or without real estate purchase. The David McLay Kidd course is open April through October, while the Tetherow Grill is open year round, seven days a week. The facility is also available for weddings, events and meetings.

Tetherow is located on Century Drive, on the way to Mt. Bachelor, just past the Reed Market roundabout. Stop in for a bite and check out the stunning mountain views!

Ask Tetherow’s Superintendant—Q&A with Chris Condon

Tetherow Golf Club’s Chris Condon is the vital “behind the scenes” guy to all things golf course and landscaping-related. He is the hard work behind ensuring the greens are properly maintained, invasive pests remain at bay, and golfers are happy with the speed and overall quality of the golf course. Essentially, without his hard work, Tetherow Golf Club in Central Oregon just may not have been nationally recognized and earned ranks in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Golf Courses.

Fresh from a pesticide conference which he attends annually, I asked Chris some questions about working at the best course in Bend, Oregon.

Q)     How long have you worked at Tetherow Golf Club?

A)      I have been the Superintendent at Tetherow since December 1, 2005.  I was involved in Tetherow from the very beginning, day one so to speak.  It was and has been a great experience to be involved in the project since the planning phases to today.  Not very many golf course superintendents get to be involved from day one.

 Q)     What were you doing before Tetherow Golf Club?

A)     Before coming to Tetherow, I was busy working for OB Sports.  Working for OB Sports has given me the opportunity to have worked in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and Wyoming.  Just before Tetherow, I had completed the opening season at the Three Crowns Golf Course in Casper, WY.  I was there during construction, grow-in and opening.

 Q)     How did you catch the Superintendant bug?

A)     I have worked in the golf course industry since I was 16 years old primarily to become an Evans Scholar (the movie Caddyshack is about the Evans Scholarship).  After earning the scholarship, I continued working at Broadmoor Golf Course in Portland, OR.  It was during college that I began working on the golf course maintenance staff and that was all it took.  One summer on the crew and I knew exactly what the future held for me.  I have been working on the golf course maintenance staff since.  Caddyshack is somewhat of a biography of my life only by coincidence.

Q)     When did you start golfing?

A)     I guess I was about 10 years old when I started golfing.  I did not actually become a decent golfer until late in high school.  I am still trying to become a better golfer.  If I did not work so much and play more I might actually surprise myself on how good I could be.

Q)     Who is your favorite golfer?

A)      My most favorite golfer was and still is Payne Stewart.  If I had to pick a current golfer, I would say Luke Donald.  His style of play closely resembles mine except that he is #1 in the world and I am #1 in my own mind. 

Q) What makes your tick at work?

A)  I was asked this during the interview process by David McLay Kidd.  My answer was and still is, I like to watch the grass grow and I love to watch a sprinkler run.  Those two things make me want to come to work on a daily basis. 

Q)     What makes you tick at home?

A)     Relaxing at home.  I enjoy a good meal, good drink, a funny movie or tv show and listening to music. 

 Q)     What is the most interesting part of your job?

A)     The interesting part of my job—and the most challenging–is figuring out how to get more done with fewer people and getting things done without anyone seeing us doing our job.

 Q)     What make working at Tetherow Golf Club unique?

A)     Working at Tetherow is definitely a unique experience. Because Tetherow is in Bend, Oregon, we are managing fine fescue in an arid environment which is the most unique.  I know of only one other course in a similar circumstance out of all the golf courses in the United States.  Definitely the look and style of Tetherow is very unique because I am/was in charge of how the golf course ultimately looks.  But I would say the most unique thing about Tetherow is those who are involved from Chris and William to the entire staff.  I have not been around a more passionate group of people who just want Tetherow to succeed.

 Check out Chris Condon’s article about his pesticide conference in January’s newsletter as well!

–Kelsi Shelton

Chris Condon on Maintaining a Beautiful Golf Course

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that you are looking forward to a new year full of exciting new adventures.  Enjoy the rest of the winter season because the golfing season is just a few months away.

The Tetherow golf course has been overwintering rather well thus far.  Our topdressing program has been progressing smoothly and we have taken some extra precautions on a few of the greens in order to prevent any turf loss during the winter.  You may have noticed that portions of the greens have been covered.  The covers came from my good friend and Superintendent, Scott Moffenbeier at Broken Top.  Thank you very much!

This time of the year is just as important as the golfing season.  It gives us an opportunity to reflect on the previous golf season and to prepare for the upcoming season.  It is a time for us to service the equipment and reorganize the maintenance facility.  Winter allows us at Tetherow the time to make adjustments to our golf course maintenance plan according to our approved budget.  And most importantly, it allows us to attend continuing educational opportunities provided by the local and national golf course superintendents associations.

Education generally starts in December with The Pest Management Seminar hosted by The Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association in Portland, Oregon.  In past years, this seminar was intended to provide all certified pesticide applicators with continuing educational credits required to maintain certification.  This year was different.  The seminar was split into two parts and the individual could chose between two days of recertification credit approved seminars or one day of credits and one day that involved specific golf course topics minus the credits.

The pesticide accreditation option had many interesting topics such as; “Broadleaf weed control in Turf”, “Best way to control weeds and algae in ponds”, “Fungicides: How to choose a proper fungicide for least resistance/best control” and “Pesticides: Differences between perception and reality”.  Day two of the seminar included golf course specific topics presented by a few leaders in the academic world including Joe Vargas, Ph.D. from Michigan State University and Rob Golembiewski, Ph.D. from Oregon State University.  Both were very engaging speakers full of information and insight into the golf course management world.  Topics for the golf section included; “Physiology and culture of Annual Bluegrass” and “Thinking your way through problem solving in Turfgrass Management and more” along with updated research information.

Along with the subject matter introduced to us during the seminar, events such as this allow us the opportunity to learn about new products and regulations, network with other golf course superintendents, exchange ideas about integrated pest management with other professionals as well as enjoy the company of friends. A lot of what a golf course superintendent knows comes from the interactions we have with other golf course superintendents.  As with anything, we generally learn from our successes and failures.

Future educational opportunities will include the Wilbur Ellis University in January and the Golf Course Superintendents of America Conference and Trade Show in February.  As always, feel free to call or drop us an email if you have any concerns, comments or questions.

Thank you,

Chris Condon

Golf Course Superintendent

Q & A With Tetherow’s Event Planner: Secrets to a Perfect Party!

With the holiday season quickly approaching, now is the hot time to be booking your holiday party or corporate event at the “Best Golf Course” in Bend, Oregon.

Spend time laughing, eating, dancing and building memories with your family, friends and co-workers at a breath taking location. Golf in Central Oregon is a hot commodity—and so is finding the perfect spot for your event. Tetherow’s distinctive staff, location and personality make all the difference.

Our holiday parties are produced by the finest event staff in Bend. We have a variety of rooms and configurations available. Live music is included on certain dates and special deals are also available!

Weddings and holiday parties in Bend, Oregon have never been the same since Tetherow’s staff showed up on the scene. And when it comes to event planning, Tetherow’s Heather Arns knows how to do it right. With years of experience and insight, she will ensure your next party, private event or wedding is unforgettable.

So as the best event coordinator in Bend, Oregon, we asked Heather some “secrets to success” to planning the perfect party:

Q) What are some most memorable moments at an event that you have planned?

a.  The first Slip and Slide at the Annual Member’s Luau was so much fun! Although, seeing amazing pictures from the weddings– there is truly nothing better than weddings.

Q) What would you recommend to someone planning a holiday party here that most people don’t think about?

a.  Utilize the Fireside Room! The real fire and beautiful decor can really add an     ambiance here that you can’t get elsewhere.

Q) What piece of advice would you give to someone planning a wedding here?

a.  Not to stress the little things… While I understand a wedding can be a lot of work, our staff is amazing at putting the pieces together come “game time”.

Q) Why should a business pick Tetherow in Bend to have their party?

a.   Being so close to town makes it easy for travel and time. There is no better   ambiance, food or professional (but fun) staff around.

Q) Why should a couple pick Tetherow to have their wedding?

a.  With a staff that has done so many events here, we have all of our ducks in a row. Not only do you have the amazing views, sunsets that Bend, OR has to offer, but you also have Tetherow’s spectacular setting and food. Most importantly you also have a group who is truly invested in taking care of you on your big day.

Q) How much time ahead do you recommend booking a room?

a.  Ideally, a month in advance, but for smaller rooms such as the card room or media room, we can often accommodate with just a week’s notice.

Q) What makes you tick at work?

a.  Whether it’s a new event opportunity or a new client that we are excited to impress, every day is different.

Q) What makes you tick at home?

a.  At the moment, football season. I love it. Otherwise it is being active in one way or another, spending time with the people I love and watching my guilty pleasure shows, GLEE and Jersey Shore!

Q) What makes working at Tetherow unique?

a.  Definitely the people that I work with at Tetherow. There is truly nothing better than actually enjoying the people you’re with every day. 

 

 Interview by Kelsi Shelton