Friday, December 21, 2018

Winter Solstice

Today is the winter solstice which means it is the shortest day of the year and the official start to meteorological winter.  Leading up to today, we've had a very mild winter.  December has been above average for most of the month and November was also very mild despite getting a little snow on November 12th.  Golfers have been blessed with plenty of nice days to get out and enjoy their golf course.  It has also been nice for our department.  Warm, sunny days are always nice this time of year to be out conducting our work.

With all the nice golfing weather we've been having, the grounds crew has been busy most mornings preparing the golf course for the days rounds.  Aside from daily course preparations, the crew renovated the cart path extension left of #12 green (more info found here), applied wetting agent to collars, installed rock to #2 creek, refurbished the clubhouse patio furniture, trimmed trees, and many other miscellaneous activities. 

On December 1st, we said goodbye to our seasonal staff.  This day is always tough.  As a group, we have fought shoulder to shoulder through a tough summer and they should be proud of the golf course they have produced.  I know I am.  I don't know where life will take them but I would be proud to have them back next year.

Recently, we also said goodbye to our long-time Assistant Superintendent, Michael Liebe, as he accepted the Superintendent position at South Lakes Golf Course in south Tulsa.  Michael has worked by my side for a very long time.  He would have had his 10th anniversary this March.  For the past 9 years, Michael has been here helping us create stability and routine, renovate and improve, and helped us overcome numerous obstacles along the way.  I can say unequivocally, that Michael is a big reason we are who we are today.  I am indebted to him for all his years of loyal, dependable service and wish him much success in his new role as Superintendent at South Lakes.

Looking ahead to the rest of winter, we plan on doing quite a bit of tree work along property edges to improve visibility and airflow throughout the golf course.  We also plan on renovating the creek crossing behind #10 sometime within the next few weeks.  There will also be some drainage and irrigation work to be done as well.  Not to mention, all the budget and agronomic planning that always occurs during the off-season. 

#12 Cart Path Extension

By now, those that have played golf at Bailey Ranch in the past few weeks have noticed the renovated cart path extension on #12 green.  While this project has been complete for over a month, I still wanted to take a few minutes and shine a light on the great work our crew did with this project. 

Rough grading the path
As you can see from the picture above, the area left of the green on #12 had been, for years, a muddy, rocky, mess.  People have used this area under the tree to get off the cart path and get closer to the green surround.  I've tried for years to keep it presentable under this tree using mulch, but mulch moves around when it rains and needs to be replenished every few years to keep it looking nice.  Following the success of the project on #2 tee, we decided to do something similar on #12.  The pictures below so the process used and the finished product.  I am very proud of the staff for their hard work and determination and couldn't be happier with how it turned out!
With gravel installed, RR tie curbs are set
Dirt back fill and sod to tie-in project to adjacent slopes