reno

Golf Course Review 3 (Lakeridge Golf Course)

Lakeridge Golf Course is one of the staple golf courses of Reno, NV. While it is one of the top recommended courses for tourists to play, it is also a Reno local favorite. The course is a 6141-yard Par 71 located just off of the south McCarren loop. While many of Reno's newer courses boast a desert landscape, Lakeridge was established in 1969 and has several old growth trees across all 18 holes. Lakeridge has several great features to offer, and after my round this past week I would like to offer my pros and cons of this great Reno course.

Pros:

1.) Locals Rate: I am not sure if this is a new feature to Lakeridge, but this year I noticed they started to offer a mid-week, $55.00 locals rate. I believe this is well worth the cost for guys like me who have played it multiple times, and especially for those who have never played it. Although this rate is not low enough to make it an every week go-to course, it is reasonable enough for tight budget Reno locals like myself to try and make it out once a month.

2.) Golf Carts: These carts are absolutely the top of the line in Reno. The carts include a very detailed GPS software with an additional GPS distance locator on the back, which no other course in town offers. The carts also offer a self braking mechanism that doesn't require the operator to set a parking brake. I know it is kind of strange to speak so highly of golf carts, but they are extremely helpful on this course and are included in the course fee.

3.) Scenery: The old growth that surrounds this course is unlike any other course in Reno. It allows trees, lakes, and streams to come into play for a majority of the holes. Their signature hole 15, a Par 3,  provides some of the greatest views of the city. While the scenery from this tee box is spectacular, the hole itself is not very friendly and is almost impossible to hit, especially if there is any wind present. Depending on the wind conditions, it seems standard to take 4 clubs to the tee box and just guess which one might get you to the green.

4.) Greens: While many courses I have played this year are suffering from dry winter conditions, which have affected their greens, the Lakeridge greens were in great shape. The difficulty level of the greens is on the easier side, which allowed me to make up some strokes from water balls on previous holes.

Cons:

1.) Rate of Play: Due to the popularity of this course, the rate of play is rather slow. I have yet to play this course in under 4.5 hours, even during the mid-week twilight time. Given the sophisticated GPS trackers on board, I would hope to see a Marshal on the course in the future to help the speed of play.

2.) Difficulty: I have yet to play the "tips" on this course, and if I was a better player I probably would. I find myself playing the traditional "Lakeridge" tees, which normally involve a t-shot and then a gap wedge or less to get on the green of most holes. Many of the par 4s on this course seem rather short for anyone that can drive 280+. Although this helps my game and I should not be complaining, I find myself attempting to drive the green on holes 1, 3, 5, 14, 16, and 17. This might not seem like a complaint because it is a major advantage to have a long drive, but the length of the course is definitely shorter than some others in Reno.

Overall, I love Lakeridge Golf Course and strongly recommend any local to take advantage of the "locals deal" they offer, which I don't normally recommend for many of the other courses in Reno.

Learning to Let Go and Trust Your Employees

There are so many benefits to being an entrepreneur, but at the same time there are also many headaches. For most of us, there inevitably comes a time when we are unable to be in complete control of our business and therefore must trust and rely on the training and leadership of our employees to run it in our absence. This became a reality a few weeks ago when I left the country for two weeks and had to rely on my relatively new employees to complete the landscape maintenance of 268 homes, all while providing the same customer satisfaction that we strive to provide. One of my employees dislocated his shoulder wrestling with friends just days before I left, so I was at a point of absolute panic thinking that my business would implode on itself while I was away. It was not until I returned and saw that everything was still intact that I realized how dumb it was to freak out so much as to whether or not I had trained my employees enough. Below are some pointers, suggestions, and ideas I realized after going through this experience.

1.) Trust your Employees:

If you are the great boss that you believe you are and you have trained your employees to the standards of your business, allow them to take the reigns of your business in different forms. This doesn't mean dropping the business as a whole on their lap and saying "deal with it," but it means allowing them to make decisions that you as the boss would normally make. This can be as simple as speaking with a client, or as big as making business decisions while you are away.

2.) Train your Employees:

In a small business situation it can be the temptation to just train your employees to do the basic things they need to do when you're around. Since you will not always be around, whether you are on vacation or are sick, it is important to train your employees to take over for you when you are gone.

3.) Don't Freak Out:

When the time comes that you are away from your business and have to leave it in the hands of your employees don't freak out. If you have trained them properly and you have trust that they can complete the job or run the business while you are away then there is no point to run the worst case scenario over and over again in your head. Trust that your employees will rise to the occasion.

 

 

Central Park

I had the pleasure to check out and explore Central Park for the first time. In the heart of New York City lies ones of the largest and most spectacular city parks in the United States. The park consists of 843 acres which includes several softball fields, open meadows, bridges, carousels, lakes, ponds, zoo, etc. The park consists of 24,000 trees and 843 acres of land and water that is all maintained by the Central Park Conservancy. Central Park has a $34 million dollar annual budget and was established as a National Historical Landmark in 1962. The list could go on and on about this place and all I have to say is don't miss the opportunity to visit central park while in Manhattan. While at the park I had a unique opportunity to take a quick video to share what I had experienced in the short time I was able to explore. Since Central Park consists of 250 acres of lawn I found it appropriate to find out about some facts of the lawn by calling the Central Park Conservancy while I was was there. Although New York is on the east coast, they are also considered to be a cool climate region like Reno, NV. After talking with the staff from the Central Park Conservancy I found out that the parks lawns are predominantly Kentucky Blue Grass like we have in Reno due to their similar year round climate. According to a study in 2008, the park uses approximately 5.28 million gallons of water a year to water all the lawns in Central Park. If you have a chance to go to New York City, plan on spending a full relaxing day to explore this amazing area and don't rush to take in the amazing scenery and lakes this place has to offer.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGvPye5cqUU[/youtube]

How to Save Money on Your Lawn When it Rains.

This memorial day weekend has reminded us that it actually does rain in the high desert. We have seen two straight days of rain, and, depending on your area, according to the National Weather Service you have probably accumulated somewhere between .30 and .50 inches of rain. We do not get that much rain during the summer in Northern Nevada, so we should use what God has provided us wisely and not waste water. This will inevitably save money. The cool season grasses that we have in Reno normally require between 1" and 1.5" of water per week to maintain health. It is very hard to pin point the exact amount of water that comes out of an irrigation system, but a rough average I have found is somewhere between 4 and 12 gallons per minute. This completely depends on the size of your piping, sprinkler heads per zone, number of zones, and types of nozzles you use, but for most residential homes we can give this ballpark estimate. If you actually want to calculate how much your irrigation system uses, this LINK can help you determine that amount.

So How Do You Save Water and Money?

First things first. For those of you that do not want to calculate it out, just check with the National Weather Service to see how much rain your region accumulated, and, if it is around .5", then it is probably safe to assume that you can change your irrigation timer from "AUTO" to "RAIN DELAY" or "OFF" for your next assigned watering day. Just don't forget to turn it back on later in the week! For my home with 4 zones I water for 10 minutes each zone, 3 times per watering day, and an average of 8 gallons per minute is used. This comes out to be 960 gallons of water saved just by shutting my irrigation system down for one day.

More Advanced Ways to Save Water and Money:

For anyone who is looking at a more permanent way to save money and water throughout the season, you can install a RAIN SENSOR that works with most irrigation timers. Instead of assuming how much water your lawn needs, this system will determine the amount of moisture in your lawn and will activate the sprinklers when watering is appropriate. The upfront cost of this might be a little hard to swallow, but I have had customers that have saved up to 30% on their water bill over the season, which means the Rain Sensor will eventually pay for itself overtime.

Dethatching Lawns in Reno

Dethatching is something that is normally done in the Spring and often coincides with the aeration process. Just like lawn aeration, dethatching is done in to allow nutrients, air, and water to have better access to the root system. Areas of the country consisting of tall fescue and perennial ryegrass do not have to worry as much about a heavy thatch layer build up, but unfortunately Reno consists of mainly Kentucky blue grass, which does tend to have a quicker build up of thatch growth. A small layer of around 1/2" thatch growth can actually be beneficial for your lawn because it can help protect the turf from the hot summer sun, help prevent weed germination, as well as reduce water evaporation. Although there are some great benefits to dethatching, it is important to make sure that if you hire someone to "power rake" the lawn it is not done right after the lawn has been watered. Unlike lawn aeration, which normally gets better core penetration just after a good soak, dethatching a wet lawn can leave you with damaged and ripped up sections of turf. Another important factor after power raking is to make sure that the loose thatch is properly raked up instead of left on the grass or mowed over. Some companies attempt to just mow over the loose thatch, but this will mulch up the dead stems and roots and put them right back into the lawn. The other day, we took a minute to shoot a quick video to show you just how much thatch is pulled up after dethatching a single 30 foot strip. From a distance this lawn does not look like it has a thick thatch layer, but once the power rake gets rolling you can see just how much dead stuff has been removed. Check out the video to get an better idea of what dethatching is and whether or not your turf might need it done. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3eLWyVjoDI[/youtube]

Reno Lawn Dethatching

thatch.jpg

If anyone that has not heard of de-thatching or your lawn guy just tells you to get it done yearly, there are some basic ways you can check to see if your lawn needs to be de-thatched before you go spending a lot of money to have it done. Although de-thatching a lawn can be done by a hand de-thatching rake, I would never recommended doing this unless you want to have an aching back after wasting a day. The most prominent way lawn care services de-thatch is by using a motorized de-thatcher also called a power rake. Obviously the ultimate goal for de-thatching is to provide you with a more healthy, lush, and green lawn. So how do I know if my lawn needs De-Thatching?

The most effective way to see if your lawn has excessive thatch is to take a shovel and cut out a small 6"x6" square of turf and examine if the area between the root system and the blades of grass. If this area has over a 1/2" of brown matted build up of thatch as shown in the picture, than it is time to de-thatch your lawn. A small amount of thatch is actually good for the lawn which help retain water and protect your grass from the harsh summer sun. If the build up is too much than it will prevent water, oxygen, and nutrients from getting to the roots. The best time to have de-thatching done for our cool climate is during mid to late spring when the lawn is actively growing and can quickly recover from the stress of de-thatching. More tips can be found once you determine if your lawn needs to be de-thatched.

If you are debating between having your lawn aerated or de-thatched this season, take the quick five minutes to do this test and see if you have an above average thatch layer. Both aerating and de-thatching can be done at the same time and most lawn care companies in Reno like ours, offer more affordable packages if you choose to do both. I have found a good de-thatching video if you want a better idea of how it works.