Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hexagon Plugging To Thin Spots on #7 green

During the months of November and December, hexagon plugs were placed in the thin spots on #7 green to promote healing into the spring. These plugs were taken from the back edges of the greens and transplanted into areas where turf was needed. This will aid in speeding up the progress of "filling in" the thin areas on the greens surface.

Hex plugs were also used on greens #6, #9, and #17.

This is what the areas will look like after growing conditons allow the turf spread. We also follow up with 2 to 3 topdressing applications to smooth and level any indescrepancies on the surface of the green.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bermuda Grass Approach on #9

The Summer of 2010 was one for the history books of weather. Extreme humidity and extreme temperatures that occured from the months of late June into mid September was just too much for turf in some areas of the course. A particular area of the course that really stood out where this happened, is the fairway/approach on hole #9. This area has a history of staying wet longer than other areas, so the old drainage was removed, and new drain pipes and pattern were installed.

This area also receives full sunlight for the majority of the day. The long hours of sunlight as well as the wet conditions that existed, made it impossible for the cool season turf that was there to survive in summer stress periods.

The approach area on this hole was determined as a microclimate within the golf course, therefore we decided to install the warm season bermudagrass, which will thrive in this area. This will correct the problem of playing conditions declining during the summer months.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Maintenance For Irrigation System

Once again it is that time of year to make sure last years water is out of the irrigation system in preparation for the long cold months ahead. The actual pump station has been shut down and winterized since the middle of November. This operation is completed by a contractor mechanic who specializes in maintaining the pump station.
However, the irrigation lines on the golf course and the valves that control the water flow thru these lines are winterized by the maintenance staff. We do this by pressurizing the system with high pressured air supplied by a compressor. Below are a couple of pictures explaining this process.

This is the compressor that is rented for the day to perform the blowout of residual water in the irrigation lines. All valves are opened so that air can freely flow throughout the lines pressurizing the system with air instead of water, so that irrigation heads can be activated to release the water within the lines.

The compressor's air hose is connected into a hose adapting port that is used for the retrieval of water during the season, but used to pump air into the lines this time of year during the blowout operation. When the lines are fully pressurized with air, the irrigation heads are manually turned on one hole at a time until water stops appearing from each individual head on each particular hole. This operation usually takes 8 hours to perform, by starting with the practice area, and then going #1 thru #18 with the activation of irrigation heads.

This is a picture i snapped this morning on December 13th, showing the scene at the clubhouse and practice green. This is just a reminder that winter is here, but hopefully this scene will not appear as many times as it did last year!

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Winter Work"

With Leave cleanup at a minimum now, and cold winter temperatures arriving early in December, our focus has turned to improving conditions for the 2011 season. Underbrushing of tree lines, limbing the lower branches on larger trees, and the removal of dead trees are on going. We have started with hole #11, because of where this operation concluded on #10 the previous winter. We will continue this for holes #12 thru #18 as mother nature and time permits. The pictures below show this work, as well as some detail cleanup we have completed with ornamental beds throughout the property.

The ornamental beds around the clubhouse area have been cleaned of leaves and debris, producing a clean appearance when arriving. The ornamental beds on the golf course are in the process of being completed as well.

All trees along the right side and behind #11 green have been limbed, producing a higher canopy so that air can move freely across the surface of the green.

We have started the underbrushing and limbing operations beginning with the right side of #11. Our goal is to improve the air movement for the turf in the fairway, as well as improve the overall aesthetics of the hole.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New Cart Path Exit Regulations

Our goal is to provide an easy reference point for golfers to know to exit the fairway and improve safety by eliminating many ropes on the course. This system is more visual; however, we must rely on all golfers to follow these regulations to insure peak playability.

Ropes on the ground have been added to mark the exit point for golf carts on the fairway. Exit signs can be found on either side of the fairway too.
Please do not drive beyond, through, or around white stakes. Carts approaching the stakes should exit the fairway at that point.

Follow the rope and signs to the fairway exit point. Then drive around stake nearest the path.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Improvements and Enhancements

The finished look here on hole #12 shows what the new sand does for the contrast of color between turf and sand. It definitely has changed the overall appearance of the green complex.
New bunker sand has been added to greenside bunkers on the back nine. Playability will be an issue at first, but the sand will compact with time and weather.

Three newly planted trees to the left of the blue/white tee on #16 will give the tee shot from the back tee more character and separation from surrounding holes.

Trees were planted to the left of 13 tee to develop a tree line that will separate holes #13 and #16 in the years to come. The trees that separate the holes now are continuing to age, become diseased, and die. When those trees are removed in the coming years, the newly planted trees will become the new tree line.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Aerification, Top Dressing, and Fertilization

Due to Mother Nature's unwillingness to cooperate, the greens aerification scheduled for Monday March 29 has been pushed back to either Wednesday or Thursday the 31st of March and 1st of April. When the conditions of the greens dry down enough this is the process of what we will be doing.

We will be using a .4 inch diameter tine to punch the holes in the greens this time around. We are relieving the thatch layer of organic matter that has built up during the fall and winter months. These holes also allow the release of harmful CO2 gases that are trapped beneath the thatch layer, and allows oxygen into the soil to promote new root growth for the spring.

Using this diameter size of hole will allow for less interruption in the putting surface. With a good combination of sun, rain, and warmer temps the surface should be back to satisfactory conditions within 10 to 14 days.

After the cleanup of cores on the green from the aerifier, we will apply a topdressing of sand to fill the holes with new growing media for the plant and roots. This application of sand also helps smooth out any discrepancies in the surface for better putting conditions after the green has healed.

We also apply calcium, phosphorous, and potassium amendments while the surface of the green is open, so that these nutrients can enter into the root zone and be used by the plant to help produce a new and healthy root system. The sand and amendments are brushed into the holes. (A picture of the brushing procedure will follow up with this post in the coming days)

Goodbye "Old Man" Winter!

Spring time is upon us, it wont be long til trees and flowers on the course will be in full bloom. The slow melt of 40 plus inches during the months of February and March will play a huge role in the color of the turf u will see this spring. Natural Nitrogen levels in the soil are higer than normal due to large amounts of snow.

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Bridge Constructed On Hole #17

Construction of the bridge was completed on Wednesday March 10th, with the exception of a small amount of paving to the cart path on both sides. The paving will be completed next week. The bridge is passable at this time and was opened for play on Thursday March 11th. Below are pictures of the structure:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

# 17 Bridge Damaged

On Friday, January 14th, the Greens Department continued the winter tree pruning to remove dead and overhaning branches from around the golf course.

While in transport from #18 to #12 tee complex, the lift broke through the deck on the bridge over the creek on #17. Fortunately, no one was hurt and there is only minimal damage to the lift itself. However, the bridge was badly damaged.

Two crane, tow trucks had to be used to free the lift from the creek.

After the lift was removed and the bridge was inspected, it was deemed too dangerous to repair the current bridge even for temporary use. Since the accident three bridge contracting companies have come out to design a new bridge to cross #17 creek. Bids were due by February 1st and we hope to start construction early in February, as long as Mother Nature doesn't have other plans.

All 18 holes have remained open except for snow cover since the accident. The Greens Department is committeed to providing our membership with a safe, new bridge well before the season starts. We ask that after playing #17 golfers carefully turn around and drive backward through #11 and #10 to access #18. We appreciate your patience.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Pictures from Friday

Last night, just over 1" of snow fell. It shouldn't take long to melt, but we only had 10 holes clear of snow during the week.

Instead of using the snow shovel, Mercedes was able to clear the sidewalks with a back-pack blower in no time.

Tim is blowing off the parking lot with the tractor blower. This snow is light and dry.

With the snow still hanging in the trees, the clubhouse area offered a ton of nice photos.

No one is making the turn right now.

First tee looks open!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 Tree Work

On Wednesday, January 6th, the Greens Department started using a 45' lift as part of our continuing tree management program. Our goal is to remove dead and hanging branches from cart path and in-play areas. The Red Oaks found on property are prone to Bacterial Leaf Scorch which affects the transfer of water within the tree. It may only affect a branch at first, but can spread through the vascular system into other areas. Removing dead branches is the best way to manage it. While we are out, we are removing some low branches that block sun and thin turf.

Jose needs two things before he gets started. First, he has a saftey harness and chaps to protect himself from falling and a misstep with the chain saw. Second, he needs a little coffee to be alert.
Mercedes is working in front of Jose to remove low suckers and overgrowth. He is in there somewhere.

The OB line on #2 was overgrown on the right side.

Once Jose has identified a dead limb, he executes a "three cut removal". An intial first cut to the bottom of the branch allows for give while he cuts it from the top away from the tree. The second cut is a regular downward cut several inches from the trunk of the tree. Since branches are so heavy and well-attached to the tree, a single cut will just rip off the bark once the branch is cut 90% of the way through. Jose's intial cut keeps that from happening. The third cut is a regular cut at the collar of the branch and trunk. This cut is simple, but is the most important to insuring a health healing process.

You can see how a section of the limb closest to the trunk is cut after the bulk of the branch is already down.

Jose is able to reach almost any branch with a 45' lift.

Some areas, such as #6, had many problems with the Baterial Leaf Scorch. Two small trees in this area had to be removed and Jose is busy limbing up any dead material to keep the bacteria from spreading.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Aeration- The process and benefits

Before the playing surfaces can be groomed day-to-day for golfers, the soil the turf is grown in must support healthy turf and healing from wear and tear.
Every surface in this picture is aerated, including the green which will see atleast three treatments per year.
The green is aerated and the cores are allowed to dry for several hours. Generally, we use 1/2" tines @ 1.5" spacing. In the summer we deep tine with solid 3/8" tines which don't produce cores.

Several guys use snow shovels to scoop up all of the cores. In the past we used a mechanical core harvester; however, it created scuffs and rutts.

After the cores are scooped up, the green is blown off to remove any remaining debris.
With 5% of the turf surface now open, we take apply most of our yearly amendments. We use high calcium-lime and organic based fertilizer for the calcium content. Gypsum and polycoated potash are used for potassium.

This is high-cal lime. It offers 4 times more calcium than what you will normally find at a garden store.
#18 Green under a layer of topdressing sand. This is also allowed to dry for several hours before it is drug in using a mat made out of cocco leaves. The topdressing sand is a special size which is tested to make sure it is compatable with our native soil.

#1 Green after all of the amendments are applied, the sand is drug in, and it has been rolled to remove any imperfections.

This is an upclose look of a completed green.

This is our goal. 6" roots in mid-July will help us get through the dog days of summer.

This is the view from your golf ball. Without regualer aeration, it will be looking at humps and bumps. Plus without the air and amendments the turf itself won't be healthy enough to make it through the season.