Monday, March 23, 2015

Watch Your Step

You'll notice a 1 foot wide green stripe just outside the collar of each green.  We've applied a product to eliminate unwanted weeds in this area.  Please step over this stripe to avoid tracking the product onto the putting surface.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

First Cut of 2015

We finally had an opportunity to get the greens mowers out this week after being cooped up in the snow and soggy conditions.  We mowed greens Thursday and Friday for the first time this year.  That is by far our longest stretch without mowing in my nearly 15 years at Fawn Lake.  Frigid temperatures, frozen ground, frost, soggy ground, and/or snow cover have been present every day since late December.  We've had some mild days, but never a day when the ground conditions made it wise to get the mowers out.  The putting conditions should improve dramatically over the next few days and will gradually get better over the following week or two.  With some luck we plan on getting the rollers out as well in then next few days.  Right now the course is saturated so we have to be patient on getting the big machines out.

On another note, we've gone back to having just one hole per green and are in our normal hole location routine.  We'll be changing the location as often as needed and possible for the time being before ramping up to our 4-5 adjustments/week routine.

Warm air against the cold, ice covered lake early last week

Friday, February 27, 2015

Winter Work Continues

It's been a long two weeks.  Haven't seen grass in awhile and certainly haven't had any golf weather. Regardless, we've been busy.  Once we removed all the snow from the parking lots and clubhouse/pro shop steps and walkways, we hunkered down to tackle a number of inside tasks. We've done some repair work in the clubhouse, created a few things for Christina to use with her wedding and catering work, painted the break room in the shop, painted all the tee markers, worked on equipment, painted the bathrooms on the course,and walked the course to retrieve all 430 hazard stakes for refurbishing, among other things.  

Hazard stakes are made of  recycled plastic and are about 12 years old.  They have faded from red to pink and yellow to almost white.  We are running them through a bench planer to skim off the faded surface and get back to the original color.  Here is the difference...

This was a new one for us.  Christina has a bridal show this weekend and asked if we could create this for her booth.  Golf course maintenance often involves work that doesn't included a golf course. A few weddings can really help the bottom line so we're happy to do our part.        

We do our best to make sure the club can be open all the time.  We also try to keep the pro shop accessible.  We've been lucky this year compared to some of those in the past.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

4 Wheelin'......On The Golf Course

Last week a kid on an ATV decided the course looked like a fun place to ride.  He did a number on the 5th fairway and then decided to take a run at the bunker in the right rough.  Up the bank he went and flew into the frozen sand and rode out the other side.  

If by some stroke of luck we find out who did this, we will sell the ATV on craigslist and use the proceeds to buy some much needed supplies for the shop.  If you see this kid on the course, please let us know.  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tree Roots vs Cart Paths

We've almost completed all the dead tree removals around the course and are now focusing on trees that are breaking cart paths.  These broken sections of path may or may not be replaced this year (budget).  By removing the problem trees we will be prepared for new concrete when budget allows. We are also removing trees that we believe will eventually cause problems in hopes of avoiding future repair expenses.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter Golf

Watching the golf tournament in Hawaii last weekend was the next best thing to actually playing.  It's nice to see green grass even if it isn't ours.  While the pros are bouncing around to all the good climates where golf is in peak season we're patiently waiting for our peak season to arrive.  We'll have some nice days well before the season is really here so be prepared to get out when the opportunity arrives.  Remember that the golf you watched on TV is a lot different than the golf you will see here at the moment.  Our ground is frozen in places and saturated where not frozen.  The greens are lumpy from the footprints of recent golfer traffic.  The fairways are dormant and may not provide a perfect lie.  The bunkers are probably frozen and can't be raked.  Having said all that the course is open for play and a great source of fresh air and exercise.  When ground conditions allow for us to get greens mowed or rolled we'll certainly do it.  We'll also rake bunkers if/when they thaw out.  In the meantime we are very busy cleaning up the many acres of wooded property along the perimeter of the course and will be tackling some drainage work next.

Winter greens are here already but I thought this might be a good reminder 
The vacuum has been running non stop lately
About an inch of snow last week.  We've since removed the dead pine you see behind the tee

Monday, January 12, 2015

USGA Article on Winter Play

There are a number of variables to consider when it comes to winter golf and the status of the course. We tend to err on the side of getting die hard golfers on the course and take some calculated risks. We do, however, have to keep the course closed occasionally when we consider risks for damage to be high.  This article makes a number of good points about the issue.

USGA Winter Play Article