Tuesday, December 28, 2010

#16 retaining wall project

The maintenance team as begun installing sod along the pond edge and around to the bunker left of the green.  Although staples are being used to help keep the sod in place, please be careful when stepping on these slopes because the sod is unable to root in during dormancy.  The rest of the project is on hold for a few weeks until the bridge piers can be installed.  Then the remaining sod and cart paths can be installed.

Friday, December 17, 2010

#16 retaining wall project

The project on #16 is right on schedule and is beginning to take it’s basic shape.  Now that the pond bank has been sloped back, JonesPlan will begin to contour the area to match the rolling hills behind the green.  A new smaller bunker will be installed in the same area as the original bunker to maintain the difficulty on the left side of the green.  The area directly in front of the green will be sloped so that it can be maintained at fairway height and will allow golf balls to roll into the pond if left short.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

#16 retaining wall project

The project is now in full swing and Public Works has removed most of the retaining wall and has started pulling apart the old bridge.  They will start moving some dirt around to the front side of the green tomorrow and continue removing railroad ties.  Please use caution in this area when passing through and do not stand too close to the pond edge during this time since the soil on the edge is loose.

Monday, December 13, 2010

#16 retaining wall project

Work has begun on the retaining wall and bridge on #16 greens complex.  The City of Owasso Public Works department is pitching in it's equipment and manpower alongside JonesPlan contractors to remove and reshape the pond bank around #16 green.  Public Works has begun removing the old railroad ties from the retaining wall.    Over the next few days all the old ties and old bridge will be removed.  Once this is complete, JonesPlan will begin to reshape the slopes and get the area ready for sod.
In order to keep this hole open during this project, a temporary green has been installed and new yardages have been posted at each tee box.  Since the bridge will not be available to get to #17 tee box, everyone will need to drive around the pond and down #11 cart path.  Signs will be posted but caution should be used because there will be a lot of construction traffic at certain times.  We appreciate your patience and look forward to reopening this green as soon as possible.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#11 Bunker renovation

The maintenance staff installed all the sod and put the finishing touches on the project this morning.  The bunker complex will be roped off and will stay closed until spring when the sod roots have a chance to root in.  We do ask that if your ball goes into the hazard that you walk around to the flat side and enter from there.  If you try to step on the high side of the bunker, the sod might slip and the soil lip might get damaged.  With your help, this bunker complex will stay in great shape for years to come.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Greens reopening

Bailey Ranch Golf Club is excited to announce that starting Friday December 10th, all 18 holes will be open for play.  The weather for Friday and Saturday looks great and we are hoping for a good turnout of golfers to come and see how far we've progressed in the last two months.  Currently the greens are only a few thousandths of an inch higher than the front nine and they putt very similar to the open greens.  The cutting heights will be consistent by Friday so there should be putting consistency on all greens by the end of the week.
We took the opportunity while we were closed to renovate #1 bunker so it has fresh sand and is ready for play.  There will be a continued effort to complete projects such as bunker renovations, bridge and retaining wall renovations and cart path repairs while trying to impact play as little as possible.  Our goal is to have the majority of these projects completed by Spring so we can have the best golf course possible for the next golfing season.
The maintenance staff will be working hard this week to wrap up the bunker renovation on #11 green and replace all the course accessories that were removed when we closed.  All the tee markers, flag sticks and signs will be brought back out, as well as any other details that need to be addressed.

#11 Bunker renovation

The bunker project on #11 green has gone very smoothly and we are on track to finish the entire project by tomorrow afternoon.  The sand is added to a depth of 3-4 inches on the slopes and 4-5 inches in the bottom.  Once all the sand is in place, a smooth raking helps us to determine where more sand is needed.  The bunker will be hand soaked with a hose to help firm and compact the sand.  The crew is completing the finish grading around the bunkers and getting the soil ready for sod in the morning.  Although the bunkers will appear ready for play, the dormant sod will not be able to root into the ground and therefore, we cannot allow foot traffic in this area.  Once the sod has a chance to root down in the spring we will pull the ropes and signs and open up the complex for play.

Friday, December 3, 2010

#11 bunker renovation

Over the past few days, the maintenance team has been working on renovating the greenside bunker on #11.  We decided to start fresh by completely reshaping and resizing the bunker.  This change will fit into our design philosophy of reducing maintenance costs while keeping playability intact.  The main issue with the old design was that rain water drained into the back of the bunker off of a steep slope.  Surface water should never drain into a bunker, it should always drain away from the bunker.  To address this surface drainage issue, the original bunker was divided in two.  This gave us the flexibility during the redesign to shrink and move the back bunker closer to the green to allow us to get the water flowing around the back of the bunker and down into a basin.  This will keep the sand in place, which will help us extend the life of the bunker, and most importantly, improve playability for years to come.  We also carved out the old material out of the bottoms of the bunkers and so the new bunkers will be deeper shape and will be more intimidating to play out of. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Greens aeration

The turf maintenance team has begun pulling a core on the closed greens this morning.  Removing as much of the old profile as possible before next summer is crucial to the success of the greens.  Scheduling this core aeration before winter allows us to improve oxygen and water movement during this crucial time of root development.  The new Bentgrass sod also needs to be aerified as much as possible due to the layering that can develop during establishment.  This new sod has been grown on a very specific soil profile at the sod farm.  Often times the new profile does not exactly match, so water and nutrients can get "trapped" in the sod and not be allowed to flow down into the new soil profile.  By poking holes in the new sod, we are giving the new roots access to the new profile so that the sod can grow long, healthy roots before next summer.  This cultivation of the root zone, coupled with the two planned aerifications this spring, should give us the greatest chance for a successful summer.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Clubhouse landscape renovations

The golf maintenance team just wrapped up a two day project of renovating the clubhouse landscaping.  The large bed to the southeast of the clubhouse and the bed in the circle drive were in desperate need of some attention.  We relocated all existing plants, added some new plants, mulched all beds, added rock features, and solar-powered path lighting.  These much needed improvements are designed to need minimal maintenance, while increasing the overall appearance of the clubhouse.

Frost delays

It's that time of year again.  As the average temperature continues to drop, frost delays will become more common.  Although it is seen as an inconvenience to golfers, delaying golf on frosted greens is a necessity and not something the maintenance staff enjoys having to do.  If we could have our way, we wouldn't have frost and could open early year round.

Frost occurs when the temperature and dew point are both under 40 degrees and there is little to no wind.  This causes the dew to be very thick and then it freezes on the plant.  Under normal conditions the Bentgrass acts like a sponge when walked on, but when the temperatures are below 40 degrees, the leaf blades freeze and become brittle.  When someone walks on grass that is brittle and cannot absorb the weight, the leaf blade will shatter and die.   This is what causes the brown footprints that will appear a day or so after the initial damage.  The maintenance staff will be every morning closely monitoring the status of the frost delay and once  it is clear the course will be opened.

Thank you for your patience during this off-season and stay warm!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Greens renovations

Now that the new greens are established and are beginning to root down into the new profile, the maintenance crew has begun a weekly topdressing program.  This includes adding sand to the green in very light amounts to fill the space around each leaf blade with sand.  Since the grass is being maintained much higher than normal, the green can soft, or "puffy".  Incorporating sand into this space firms up the surface and prevents mowing injury during this crucial grow in process.  During the next 4-6 weeks, we will continue to topdress weekly and slowly bring down the mowing height on the closed greens to make sure that they are as consistent as possible to the open greens.

We have been very encouraged by the progress made on the closed greens over the last month and are excited to get them back into playing condition as soon as possible.  As always, we appreciate everyone's patience during this time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cart path edges

The condition of the grass along cart paths near greens and tees has prompted the maintenance team to take more drastic measures to keep carts on the paths in these areas.  We have started constructing wooden curbs on  most of the holes to keep golfers tires on the path when they pull up to greens and tee boxes.  This will keep the compaction down and allow the turf to remain in better condition.  The maintenance staff will be going around to the worst areas (see picture) and doing repairs throughout the winter.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Greens renovations

Now that all the sod has been laid, the maintenance crew is working hard to make sure all the sod is level and will be as smooth as possible before our first mowing on Friday. A thick layer of sand is added to the greens and brushed in so the seams from the sod will grow in faster. Once a mowing schedule is started, regular topdressing will begin and the green will become smoother and more firm as it continues to establish.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Greens renovations

Now that all the sod has been laid, the maintenance crew has started putting the finishing touches on the renovated greens. We need to plate compact the sod one more time and hand topdress all the seams. Once this is done, the sod will be deep watered and rolled several more times until the surface is smooth, firm and ready for it's first mowing.

Greens renovations

3B Bentgrass and JonesPlan coordinated on Friday to install the new Bentgrass sod on #12-#14. The sod was laid down and watered in a soon as possible to make sure that there weren't any pieces that got too dry. Once the sod was down, a roller was used to smooth the surface and create good sod to soil contact. Each green was rolled several times to get a firm surface.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Greens renovations

JonesPlan is putting the finishing touches on a couple of the greens today. They have filled the greens back in with sand and blended the profile so that the remaining greens mix is uniform. Then they wet the sand and tamp it down to firm up the surface. Once this is finished, the slopes are double checked and then the greens are ready for sod.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

#12 greens renovation

JonesPlan started our greens renovation project yesterday. They started on #12 green got it all cleaned out and ready for sand. You can see in the picture that they are scooping out the old sod and some of the soil profile. Over the years, the top four inches had accumulated too much organic matter and was clogging up the soil. This doesn't allow for deep rooting and results in a much weaker plant. JonesPlan is removing this problematic layer and replacing it. Once the sand is back in place it will be blended and regraded.
Once this green is done, they will move onto #13 and #14. They should be done will all three greens by Friday afternoon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pump house

A finely tuned pump system can deliver years of trouble free service, however, as pumps and motors get older there comes a time when repairs must be made. This summer, during some of the hottest weather we've seen in years, one of the pumps began showing signs of trouble. We pulled the pump out in late July, once out, we discovered that one of the impellers was broken and the screen had rotted off.
This morning we placed the reconditioned pump and motor back into the pump house. Now with the pump and motor back into place, we should get years and years of reliable service out of our pump system.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

#11 fairway

Brown Farms Sod began filling in bare areas on fairways Tuesday. Thirteen pallets were put down and should start to root in a day or so. Once the sod is rooted in, we will begin bringing the height down from 2 inches to three quarters of an inch. Brown Farms will be back this week to finish #11 and #7 fairways.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Native areas

We began mowing native areas yesterday. Mowing the native in early fall allows the grasses time to grow back up before winter, while discouraging the weeds and small trees from coming back. The end result is a much cleaner look without all of the small trees and weeds. We hope to finish this in the next few days.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#11 fairway sod

The maintenance crew resumed sod work on fairways today. Due to the fact that good Bermuda growing weather is rapidly decreasing, we are starting to fully sod bare areas. We are no longer strip sodding because we want to be fully grown in by winter. Bailey Ranch is coordinating with a local sod farm to assist us in getting this project done in a timely manner. We are responsible for all prep work and they will come in and lay the sod. Once #11 and #16 fairway are complete, we will continue going around the golf course removing any area larger than a bathtub. Much of this work will be during the hole closures this fall so we can work without interrupting play.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

#5 Bunker renovation

JonesPlan is wrapping up the renovations at #5 bunker today. The last of the bunker sand and sod will be completed by the end of the day. Just like #9, this area will be marked ground under repair until the sod is rooted in and the sand is firm enough for play. Although this new complex has 6 smaller bunkers instead of 1 big bunker, we were still able to reduce our area of sand by almost half. This will reduce our bunker maintenance costs for this hole for years to come, while still allowing plenty of difficulty and shot variety.

#9 bunker renovation

The bunker renovation for #9 has been finished as of Monday. This area will remain ground under repair until the sod has a chance to root into the ground and is stable enough for foot traffic. We will continue to water the sod over the next week or so to allow it to survive the summer heat. The bunker will also get water to firm the sand and get it ready for play.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

#5 Bunker renovation

Work has begun on the bunker complex on #5 green. The rough grading has been completed and the drainage is currently being installed. The original bunker is being converted into 6 smaller bunkers. The complex will look the same from the tee box but the amount of sand will be cut down by half. Since there will be multiple bunkers, there will still be a lot of shot variety and plenty of difficulty.

#9 bunker renovation

The bunker renovations on #9 green are almost complete. The guys wrapped up installing sand and have started laying sod. The end result for this bunker complex will be a overall reduction in sand but the difficulty will remain. The long term maintenance will be greatly reduced due to the decrease in the square footage of sand. The bunkers that remain will have new material which will allow for much greater drainage and less wash outs after rains.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

#9 bunker renovation

The crew has finished the rough grading and shaping the bunkers. Drain basins have been installed and the new bunker drainage trenches are begin installed today. Sand will go into the back bunker tomorrow and sod will be laid.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

#9 bunker renovation

JonesPlan began shaping the new greenside bunkers this morning. This bulldozer is used for the rough shaping. The most used portions of the original bunker have been turned into two smaller bunkers. Each new bunker will have new drainage and sand. This is done to reduce the overall maintenance of the bunker complex while improving playability. The areas that will be converted into grass will have lots of slope and rolling hills to keep the area challenging.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spiking greens

To help improve the greens, a spiking program has been implemented that will allow the movement of oxygen into the soil. This process breaks up the surface and gives oxygen openings to move down into the soil. Roots need oxygen to remain healthy and strong. If the amount of oxygen in the soil is reduced, roots will begin to shrink and the grass is not able to cope with the intense heat and humidity of summer. Spiking greens, along with sound fertility and irrigation programs, will allow the turf to survive through the rest of the summer.

Summer heat stress

The most intense heat of the summer is upon us and some of the greens are struggling to stay healthy. From July 16th through the 19th, we endured some of the worst conditions for Bentgrass greens that we've seen in several years. That Friday we received 1.5 inches of rain followed by two straight days of triple digit temperatures and no wind. The intense heat coupled with the absence of wind pushed the soil temperatures way past the acceptable range for the rootzone. The extreme soil temperatures "boiled" the roots. The severe damage caused by the excessive heat in the soil has caused the turf to thin and become unable to fend for itself.
We have been lightly cooling them off with hoses frequently and using fans to increase air circulation. Both of these methods will bring the temperature in the soil down a few degrees and help keep the grass we have. Fertilizers and fungicides are being used to increase recovery and keep any disease from further damaging the turf. Spiking the greens and lightly adding sand to the surface will further incourage the turf to recover. New seed will be incorporated into the surface to grow in areas that have thinned past the point of recovery.
Rest assured that the course maintenance team is doing everything within its power to combat these tough summer conditions. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dog days of summer

The heat is back and the maintenance staff is back on handwatering greens. It is called syringing and is done to keep the greens cool during the hottest part of the day. Each green may need to be handwatered several times a day depending on weather conditions such as wind, humidity and temperature. Syringing is a job that takes great skill and considerable training. Each person must be careful to only apply just enough water to survive until the irrigation can run that night. Overwatering can lead to excessively soft and slow playing conditions, disease, and scalping injury from the mowers.

#9 fairway bunker

Renovations on #9 bunker were finished yesterday morning. The remaining sod has been laid, and the bunker is now open for play.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

#9 bunker

The maintenance staff resumed work on the bunker on #9 fairway last Thursday. The bunker sand has been installed and all that remains is some sod work around the outside of the bunker. Once the sod is laid, the bunker will be opened for play. Remember that new bunker sand hasn't had time to pack down and will play much softer than expected.

Monday, June 28, 2010

#17 Bridge

The new bridge for #17 tee box was installed this morning. The new steel bridge was anchored on top of the existing cart path temporarily until this winter when the back nine can be closed down. During winter the bridge will be placed off to the side so that work on the retaining wall and embankments can be completed. Once the new bridge embankments are installed, the bridge will be placed back onto them permanently.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

#10 fairway sod project

The maintenance team began strip sodding #10 fairway today. We will be stripping in fresh sod in bare spots in the fairways during the next few weeks. Strip sodding allows us to cover a large area economically, while still drastically reducing the amount of time required for the turf to recover.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

#9 bunker renovation

The maintenance staff began work on the fairway bunker on #9 today and the new bunker is already taking shape. Once the new bunker shape is dug out and the old material is removed, the new drainage and sand will be added. We hope to start filling in sand by the end of the week.