Saturday, May 16, 2015

Wind and Water

The wind has dried things out over the past few days.  Irrigation was used for the first time this week and, as expected, there are some new problems to solve.  Several nozzles popped off, a few heads stuck on, and a few heads never came on.  We tested things during our spring start up and found a few glitches.  Now we have a few more to address.  The system is just over 20 years old and is starting to show some age.  Jimmy "owns" all things related to irrigation and does a tremendous job keeping us up and running.  His plate will stay full with irrigation issues from now until we winterize the system in December.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Greens Aeration Update

We had a very good day Monday with both the weather and equipment all functioning perfectly.  The deep solid tine aeration was accomplished with the help of a contractor.  We followed this process with a very light verticutting that is slightly visible yet not disruptive to putting.  The third step was a traditional spiking with our aerator.  This step is slower than the first two and is now being completed around golf.  We decided to postpone the light topdressing to another day as we could not stay ahead of the big machines and didn't want to put a heavy topdresser on a soft, freshly aerated green.  That was the only tweak to the plan.

The deep holes will hopefully get the roots to move a little further down and alleviate some moisture holding issues in some lower places on greens.  The verticutting was just enough to encourage some more upright growth and clean up some of the longer leaf blades that tend to lay flat. The final step with our aerator is done to help the top two inches breath a little easier.  This step has now been done twice this year and we'll do it as often as we can throughout the summer.  We don't have the luxury of changing out the potting mix like we would in a flower pot.  We can't till the soil like we might do in a garden.  We have to figure out ways to improve the growing medium without screwing up the putting quality.  In the fall we will likely be using our traditional coring tines and backfilling the holes with sand.  We'll make a final call as the season unfolds and we have a better idea of our situation.  The work we just completed should be smoothed out completely by next Monday.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

VSGA Four Ball

We've had a great week getting things together for the VSGA Four Ball Championship.  The weather cooperated and the staff, despite the small size, did tremendous.  The course is playing tough but fair and so far all the feedback has been positive.  Thank you for allowing us to play host to this event.  We know that giving up the course for a Friday and Saturday morning isn't popular.  The club benefits from the exposure and its a little boost to the bottom line. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Spring Update and Aeration Reminder

What a difference two weeks can make.  After a long winter the golf course has come alive and we have our hands full. The seasonal staff is just starting to filter in although we could have easily used them all a month ago.  In the meantime, we've been doing our best with a small team, a busy golf calendar, and mother nature.  We are excited to see a steady stream of golfers and soon we'll be staffed to keep up without a hitch.  Until then, please pardon the excessive growth and/or clippings in the rough.  We aren't staffed or equipped to mow the rough more than once a week at this time of year.  Once the staff is fully in place you'll see things come together quickly.

Greens Aeration is scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday.  It was originally scheduled for mid April, but a few much needed revenue generating opportunities popped up and we made a switch to May 11 and 12.  Moving to an earlier date did not look appealing due to the colder than normal winter and spring.  I think we made the right call to wait although we won't be doing our traditional 5/8" tines with sand to fill the holes. As a result of the change in dates we decided to avoid the aggressive method and do something a little more "user friendly."  We will be using a deep solid tine machine and lightly verticutting.  This process should heal much quicker than our normal routine.  Testing indicates that our greens are doing well and we don't feel like we are risking much to go with this method.  Our new aerator did a wonderful job last year and in reality may afford us the ability to do a little less core aerating each year.  It is such an efficient and productive tool that it can do much more in one aeration than our old machine could do.  We'll continue to monitor the soil physical properties to determine our plan of action for the coming fall and next spring.

A few photos from recent days..

This guy was almost 3 feet long and quicker than I thought
Not warm and fuzzy by any means

We bumped into Gus while playing golf Sunday afternoon.
The geese have been hard to find thanks to Eye Dog
Venting greens with small solid tines.  This will hold us over
until the deep tine machine arrives on May 11.  

Light topdressing and brushing will be occurring regularly from now on

Nice to see the lake again

Planting the wildflowers on one

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Inside Job

When it rains all day we shift gears and focus on the "inside jobs" that never seem to go away.  Today we mixed in some safety training.  We'll make this a staple of our rainy days and drill "safety first" into the minds of our team daily.  Lots of fresh faces soon to arrive and the veterans can always use a refresher.  


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tennis Courts Open Thursday Afternoon

Winter lasted a little longer than usual so we were delayed in getting the clay courts resurfaced.  Last Wednesday things finally dried out enough to start removing the worn out clay and prep for the new clay.  It took two days for our entire golf course staff to complete this step.  We were hoping to have the new clay down on Friday, but rains interrupted us.  Yesterday, we had another "all hands on deck" day from the golf course staff and got all the new clay in place.   Today the lines are going in place, tomorrow the hydro-court bladders will begin to fill up and Thursday afternoon the courts will open for play!

Thanks for your patience and understanding.  See you on the courts soon!

The "BEFORE" Pictures.....

Friday, April 3, 2015

For Those Who Inquired...

I wrote an update for our members last week that got a lot of attention thanks to TurfNet.  A picture of Rob spraying the perimeter of our collars went viral and soon my email, voice mail, and twitter account all lit up together.

Lots of people wondered where we bought the sprayer seen in the picture.  I bought the wand with the shield from H&H Farm Machine Company......

I modified it with small wheels I robbed off of a 32 gallon trash can.  I attached the wheels with a small piece of 3/8" all thread and two small clamps I found in the hardware store.  We had to modify the sprayer tip to an 8003 even spray nozzle so that the rate would be uniform across the width of the spray.  After our first test run we decided to add a small piece of cardboard to the side that would be against the bentgrass.  This just added a little extra insurance against drift.  In our case we attached the wand to a battery powered solo backpack sprayer, but it could probably fit to many different sprayers.