Friday, October 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014 Growing Season

Based on the forecast low temperature of 27 degrees for tomorrow morning, I think it is safe to say goodbye to the 2014 growing season.  The low temperature, calm winds, and dew point should coincide with a heavy frost which will force the Bermuda to shut down pretty quickly.  This time of year is a big transition period for us as we park our mowing equipment until spring, cut back on our set up schedules and say goodbye to our seasonal staff.

I find myself looking back, at the season as a whole, and am very proud of our staff, and the work they've accomplished.  I feel like we were able to provide a great product throughout the year and had a strong finish.  I can't wait to tackle some projects this winter and get geared up for another great year in 2015!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#18 Drainage Project

Checking the grade of trench
This afternoon, the grounds staff completed the installation of a new drainage structure along the cart path at #18 tee box.  The staff installed three catch basins in key areas along the path to allow the surface water to move underground.  The cart path has a subtle low spot which kept the water from naturally moving downhill and out of the way.  Water would collect in low spots along the path as a result.  Golfers and maintenance staff that would pull off the path would cause these wet spots to turn into potholes.  Once the potholes developed, the areas would never dry up resulting in a persistant problem.

Now that the drainage is in place, the cart path edge will stay dry and we shouldn't have any problems with potholes any more.  Since we have fresh sod down, I would like to remind everyone to please use caution while walking to and from the cart path, as the sod has not rooting into the ground and it could be unstable.  The area has been roped off to keep carts on the path and we ask that golfers slow down as they drive through this area.  With your help, we can keep the area as nice as possible.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you.

Drainage installed,  trench being backfilled
New sod laid over trench

Finished product
Potholes along path before project

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Detail Work

Joe leveling valve boxes and sprinkler heads at #13 green
Cooler temperatures and longer nights have significantly slowed down the growth rate of the Bermuda.  This has allowed the seasonal staff to allocate more of their time to detail work.  Topdressing divots on tee boxes, edging drain basins, leveling valve boxes, string trimming, back filling pot holes along cart paths, blowing divots and leaves off fairways are just a few tasks we are finally able to address.  Individually, these details may not be that noticeable, but cumulatively, they can have a big impact on the overall appearance of the golf course.  The staff has done a phenomenal job over the past few weeks getting some of these tasks completed.  
Joe's finished product on #2 green

Crisp edge around sprinkler heads
Sharp edge around basins

Deep Tining Greens

This morning, the grounds staff has begun deep tining greens.  As you can see from the picture, there is minimal disruption to the surface, and all that is required is a light roll afterward to get them smooth again.  The holes that are left behind are only 1/4" wide, but go 8 inches down.  These channels will not only allow water to freely drain down through the profile, but also increase oxygen content at the bottom of the root zone.  This increase in drainage and oxygen content, combined with the cooler weather, should encourage deep rooting as we phase into late fall/early winter.

This process, although very important, does take quite a long time to complete.  The tractor can only travel about a half-mile per hour.  We hope to have all the greens done by Thursday afternoon.  During the next two days, we realize we will be out amongst golfers.  Our staff will do their best to remain courteous while staying productive.  We appreciate your patience as you make your way through the course over the next few days.

As always, if you have any questions about the process, or the benefits, please don't hesitate to ask.  Thank you.