March 5, 2018

Winter Update

It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog, so I decided I would take a crack at it again and update everyone about what is going on with the GFCC Maintenance Staff. I will try my best to do more frequent, short blogs to keep everyone aware of what is going on throughout the season.

Meet the GFCC Mechanic:

In late August, I hired Derian Byfuglien as our course mechanic. Derian is from Roseau, MN and has his four-year degree from UND in Business Management. Derian comes from a background of large equipment operation and maintenance from his family owned business back is Roseau. He has spent many hours in our shop learning and working on every piece of equipment that we own. Derian will be a huge benefit to me and the club, as this will allow me to spend more hours on the golf course during the golf season. The mechanic position is also a very important position because we have well over 30 pieces of equipment that need daily attention and tune ups.

We have been quite busy in the shop since the golf season came to an end. We have sharpened all 23 reel blades that we have with our new reel and bedknife grinders. These pieces of equipment replaced our 27-year-old grinders that were not very accurate and were inefficient for our operation. As a result, this will help keep our turf healthier, as dull mower blades tear the turf plant causing issues such as disease.

Our new Reel Grinder
Our new Bedknife Grinder
We have changed oil, filters, hydraulic fluid, fuel filters and any broken parts that were necessary to replace on our equipment. Besides the new reel and bedknife grinders that we purchased in the fall, we also replaced a few other pieces of equipment. We traded one of our 1997 large utility vehicles for a new one, we traded our oldest rough mower for a new rough mower, and replaced the range picker cart with a much better utility vehicle. None of this would be possible without our great membership, so thank you to everyone for supporting your club! I am grateful that we are able to replace a few of our very dated equipment pieces about every five years.

Our new Range Picker Cart
Finally, Derian and I have spent a few of the 30 degree days that we have had this winter cutting down and trimming trees around the course. The greens committee went out in October to look at trees around the course that have overgrown over the years, are playability issues or are visually unappealing and marked them with an X. This number was about 30-40 trees, so it will take some time to remove them. We will continue this large task to make our golf course great.

Left side of 4 Ash trees removed

I am pleased with the amount of snow cover that we have on our greens so far, this winter. The greens haven’t had much ice buildup and they are insulated pretty well. Keep an eye out for updates in the very near future about the conditions of our greens coming out of winter and our plans for the upcoming season.


  1. Collin is being modest in this update. He and Derian have done incredible maintenance work over the winter and Collin has left out a number of large-scale rebuilds they've accomplished in the shop. No course superintendent has a slow winter and I hope our members understand Collin's commitment to the Grand Forks Country Club. Great work, Collin and Derian.

    Doug Iverson, GM
    Grand Forks Country Club

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