Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Course Update for September

Sorry, I'm a little late for my September course update, but since our seasonal staff left to go back to school, it's been hectic around here.

September has always been a transition month were the first half of the month still feels like summer and the last half starts to feel more like fall.  This past September was very similar.  The only real difference was that we missed several good chances at some rain.  As you were likely aware, we had a minor drought over the past few months.  Several heavy downpours have missed us to the south, east and north, leaving us with only 2.3" total for the month.  This is about half of what we average during September.  The lack of rain didn't help our irrigation water supply issue we've been dealing with all summer and left us still hoping for a big pond filling rain.

Aside from the weather, several noteworthy projects were completed during September.  Our annual fall greens aeration was conducted on September 13th and 14th.  As usual, our staff did an incredible job and I couldn't have been happier with the finished product.  The other big project that was going on was the pond dam project on #3.  Based on the amount of questions and comments I received during the project, there seemed to be a considerable amount of interest.  Everyone seemed interested in the process and were excited to see the finished product.  For those who are interested in more information about this project, I've written a more detailed blog post that can be found here.

Monday, October 10, 2016

#3 Pond Dam Construction Complete

Pond dam before project.
Last Friday, Lowry Construction officially completed the dam reconstruction project on #3, and the #3 tee complex was reopened for regular play on Saturday October 1st.  Over the past month, this project has been the source for the most frequently asked questions while I've been on the course.  It's been exciting to see the project progress from beginning to end and we couldn't be happier with the final product.  Since not many people got to see the daily progress like I did, I've decided to share some pictures I took along the way.  Hopefully you'll find them interesting.  Enjoy.

Once dirt and limestone rocks were removed,
the contractor chiseled into bedrock
to prepare for weir footing.

The footing was chiseled 2' into the bedrock,
then a rebar frame is installed.  
Once the rebar was installed, concrete for
the footing was poured.
The footing cured for almost a week, then the wall forms were installed and
concrete was poured.

After 3 days, the formed were removed and we had "a wall in a hole"
as one of our members put it.  At this point it's still hard to visualize
what the finished product will be.

With all concrete work completed, the contractor got busy installing the clay
on either side of the wall.  Starting to look like something now.

All of the limestone that was discovered early in the project was reused to
stabilize the pond banks and give the downstream side more character

Finshed the project just in time to get a big rain and fill the pond behind the weir.  Couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#3 Pond Dam Construction Project

Yesterday, was the first day of the pond dam reconstruction project on #3.  The earthen dam between the middle pond and lower pond at #3 washed out several years ago.  Early on during the planning phase of this project we discussed not just replacing the dam with clay, but installing a concrete weir with native rocks so this hole would have a water feature.  Design plans were created and the necessary funds were included in this years budget.  The project kicked off yesterday and is expected to last up to 90 days depending on the weather.

While the contractors are working on this project, hole #3 will play as a temporary par 3.  The tees have been moved to the fairway to ensure the safety of the construction workers while they are on site.  The picture on the right shows the signage located at the tee complex.  The aerial photograph pictured below depicts the general location of the work site relative to the in-play areas in the vicinity.  Please note that in order for the project to be completed on schedule, the contractor will be working while golfers are in the area.  We appreciate your patience and understanding while we work to complete this project.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Fall is Coming!

This past weekend brought us some much needed relief from the recent high temperatures and intense humidity that we experienced for the last month or so.  It appears that this cooler weather may stick around until the end of August.  Usually after Labor Day weekend, the daily high temperature falls down into the 80s and continues to cool off through fall.  This could mean that we are done with the extreme heat of summer… hopefully.

The cool-season Bentgrass on our greens enjoys the cooler weather just as much as we do.  When the soil temperature cools down into the 60s, new roots are initiated and the plant begins to rebuild the root system.  As a more vigorous root system is reestablished, the turf requires irrigation and is better able to handle aggressive cultural practices such as rolling, verticutting, grooming and topdressing.  The reduction in handwatering and increased frequency of cultural practices will allow the Grounds staff to increase putting green firmness, speed and smoothness.  We appreciate everyone being patience with the slower than desired green speeds during summer.   

Monday, July 25, 2016

Collar Sod Project

Recently, the staff resodded a few bare spots in the collar on #12 and #13 green.  These areas have struggled for a few years due to foot traffic and shade issues.  The bare spots were stripped out with a sod cutter, replaced with new sod and then topdressed with sand to knit in the seams.  Over the past few weeks, the height of cut of the sod has been lowered from 2" to .450".  During the next few weeks, the sod will continue to be topdressed to smooth any low areas and the height will be lowered to our collar height of .250"

Dog Days of Summer

As we enter the hottest part of the summer, you’ll notice the grounds staff periodically syringing the greens throughout the afternoon.  This practice is critical to the survival of the Bentgrass greens during these extreme temperatures.  When the golf course is packed with golfers, it can be very difficult for the staff to visit each green quickly enough.  

A few things to consider while you are out on the course:

  • the staff has been trained to do their work while staying out of the way as much as possible
  • it is inevitable that you will encounter a staff member watering a green during your round
  • if a staff member is watering a green and the flagstick has been pulled out, please let them finish watering that green, it will only take a few minutes

It takes a team effort to get the greens through this most stressful time of year.  Your cooperation with the grounds staff while they are watering will ensure that we have healthy, vibrant turf throughout the rest of the season.  Thank you for your cooperation. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Edging bunkers

The staff has been hard at work over the past few days putting a fresh edge on bunkers.  The perfect growing weather we've had lately has caused the Bermuda along the edges of our bunkers to grow very rapidly.  This time of year, the bunker edges must be cut every other week to keep them from looking shaggy.  The finished product looks great and very proud of the staff for all their hard work!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fairway Slicing

This week, the grounds staff finished the fairway slicing project using our Aerway solid tine machine.  This machine has blade shaped tines that fracture the soil as they enter and exit the ground.  Sometimes referred as "shattertining", this process helps to reduce compaction, incorporate oxygen into the rootzone, and improve drainage.  As you can see from the picture on the right, the slicing tines cause very little surface disruption.  Once the fairway is sliced, the turf is then mowed and any remaining debris is blown off the fairway.