Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Fusion Process

The fusion of the HDPE pipe follows specific manufacturer’s procedures based on several factors. Some of the factors are temperature, both air and pipe as well as the thickness of the pipe. The specific criterion developed by the manufacturer ensures that a proper fusion joint will take place. When fusion joints are done properly the joints are actually stronger than the pipe itself. This is not the case when using traditional materials such as PVC, whereas the joints are actually the weakest point. It is for reasons like these that HDPE pipe was chosen for our installation because of the numerous advantages over traditional materials.

On the day of my visit to Cherry Hills the air temperature was in the low 80’s and the temperature of the pipe was 93 degrees largely due to the color of the pipe being black. These are some of the factors that determine how long and what temperature the pipe is heated. For the conditions that day the pipe was heated to 450 degrees for over four minutes to create the conditions for a properly fused joint.

A Properly Fused Joint

A Fused Tee Joint With Mechanical Flange

Below are some videos that show the fusion process.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Preview of Things to Come

I had an opportunity to spend several hours on site yesterday at Cherry Hills and observe the irrigation installation taking place. Needless to say a project like this is a huge undertaking and requires patience and understanding from the membership, staff and the contractor’s crew alike.

The scale of the Cherry Hills project is essentially the same if not larger than ours; the following pictures will demonstrate similar installation techniques that will be done on our renovation.

The mainline is the first part of the installation that will take place on our course beginning September 8th. The process will be to tie in to the existing Ductile mainline and begin the installation of the new HDPE pipe. The most difficult part of the entire process will be keeping the current irrigation system live and functioning while the new system is being installed.

Crew Working in The Trenchline
16" Isolation Valve Being Installed
Placing The Pipe in The Trench

The mainline pipe that will be installed is 16" in diameter and will run from the first tee all the way to the ninth tees. Obviously a pipe of this size requires that a significant amount of material is excavated, so that the pipe can be installed to a depth of five feet. This is where the top contractors shine in being able to excavate,install,re-sod and cleanup so that little evidence is left behind of their presence.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Carbohydrates provide the energy to the soil system, which helps to stimulate natural existing soil microbes. Carbohydrates contain complex starches and simple sugars.

Carbohydrates are used by the plant and offer some unique benefits.

  1. Provide an energy source to stimulate soil microbes.
  2. Enhance soil aggregation and water infiltration.
  3. Provide bio-stimulant properties and an aid to hormone synthesis.
  4. Provide sugars for root elongation and seed germination.
  5. Aid with anion retention.

    Carbohydrates are broken down during plant respiration to release energy, water and CO2. This is similar to human metabolism where we metabolize oxygen and food in order to live. Like humans, respiration in plants is highest at warm temperatures. Respiration is very high in cool season plants in hot weather, respiration may deplete all of the carbohydrates in the plant.

Growth is the irreversible change in size. Plants grow in two ways: cell division and cell elongation. Cell growth takes an enormous amount of energy. Producing cell walls, cell constituents, proteins, genetic material, etc. requires energy derived directly from photosynthesis or indirectly through stored carbohydrates.

Storage is the last of the four major processes but may be the most important. Carbohydrates and sometimes proteins are stored for future use by the plant. Storage products are utilized for respiration during periods of stress to help maintain the plant when photosynthesis is not occurring or occurring at low levels. The level of storage is a good indicator of how well a plant will survive stressful conditions, including heat, drought, cold, disease, etc.

All cultural practice that affects growth, such as fertilization or mowing, uses up carbohydrates that would otherwise be sent to storage. Great care must be taken not to cause a depletion in reserves, which reduces the ability of the plant to withstand stress.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Resistant To Change

We have been converting our fairways from Perennial Ryegrass to Bentgrass for the last Six seasons. Overall the conversion has gone extremely well, with Total Bentgrass populations exceeding 75% in the fairways. The other components in the fairways are Poa Annua and Ryegrass.

The reduction of Poa Annua populations has actually been easier than reducing the Ryegrass, due to chemical options currently available. The Ryegrass has persisted in heavy cart traffic areas in the fairways because it’s better equipped to handle the repeated pounding of cart traffic. It is areas like these that the Bentgrass has been slower to establish itself and we are now beginning to try alternative methods to help with the conversion.

Rygrass in Fairway(Dark Green Patches)

Currently we have begun test application to some of the fairway areas that contain high populations of Ryegrass to evaluate the efficacy of a new product. I have been speaking with a university professor about protocol of this product and I will be reporting my results to him. As with anything new, we are trying this on a limited scale to see how the product will react in our environmental conditions. If we see positive results we will increase the applications until the desired effect takes place. These applications will be timed with Bentgrass overseedings, so that any voids that might be created will have viable seed in the soil waiting to germinate and fill in.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tornado Touchdown

Yesterday we were fortunate to have witnessed a tornado up close and personal with out any damage or anyone being hurt. It was an awesome sight to see and truly makes you appreciate the power of Mother Nature.

Perhaps the best part about the storm that hit yesterday was that all the rain and hail were south of the golf course. The reports of hail hitting the ground yesterday ranged from marble size all the way up to ping pong ball size. The damage that this type of hail can do is staggering, we were very fortunate to have this storm miss us altogether.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Irrigation White Paper

There has been a lot of work that has taken place leading up to the irrigation renovation becoming a reality. Over this past winter both the Green Committee and Board of Directors asked that a White Paper be created to help explain the issues with the irrigation system. This paper begins with the history of the current system, the operational challenges, committee inputs on new system designs and the bid process.

This paper will serve as an information source for all members to better understand the process of how we got to where we are today. After reading this paper, you will see that a tremendous amount of time and effort went into preparing and justifying this significant capital improvement.

The White Paper can be downloaded by following this link:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Irrigation Renovation Schedule Fall 08

In just over two weeks the irrigation system renovation will begin and there will be times disruption will occur. Below is the schedule of work to take place with a sequence of areas that will be worked on. Keep in mind this is a schedule and a job of this size has many variables, of which some can be foreseen and others not. It is critical that we stay on schedule, so that the new mainline is completely installed and laterals are installed on critical holes. If these deadlines are not met, a significant problem will occur due to the fact that new system will be operating at a lower pressure, which requires that the previously mentioned components are installed.

September 8: Hole #1 Mainline
September 15: Hole #2 Mainline, road bore to #3, ½ of 3, road bores 4 to 5 and 7 to 8
September 22: Balance Hole #3 & #4 Mainline, Complete back 9 Road Bores
September 29: Hole #5 & ½ of #6 Mainline
September 6: Balance #6 & #7 Mainline
October 13: Hole #8 & ½ of #9 Mainline start laterals #1
October 20: Balance #9 and #10 Mainline finish laterals #1
October 27: Hole #18 Mainline complete laterals #2
November 3: Holes #17 and #11 Mainline start laterals #3
November 10: Holes #12 and #13 Mainline finish laterals #4
November 17: Holes #14 and #15 Mainline start laterals #5
November 24: Hole #16 Mainline & clean-up finish laterals #5
December 2008: Install mainline on range, new booster pump & turbine conversion

Water and Plant Growth

Water is the most abundant material in a growing plant. The weight of water contained in a plant is usually four or five times the total weight of dry matter. Water is one of the components of
many of the complex substances found in plants, but water alone is never found in a pure state in the environment of living organisms.

Water serves many functions within the plant:

  • It helps to create a solution of mineral nutrients and the complex substances manufactured within the plant.
  • It is a raw material for the process of photosynthesis-the basic process underlying all life.
  • It acts as a temperature regulator in that water vapor given off by leaves produces a cooling effect.
  • It even acts as a structural agent. When plant cells contain an abundance of water they are turgid and the plant stands erect; when there is a moisture deficiency, the cells are flaccid and the plant droops and wilts.
  • Water dissolves the soil minerals which are essential to plant growth and the major part of plant nutrients are believed to be taken into the plant while they are in solution.
  • Water moving through the soil performs a function in the flushing of pore spaces aiding in gas exchange.
  • Water is the key to the plant regulating it temperature. Water is given off by the leaves through the process of transpiration, and the evaporation of this water creates a cooling effect.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Over the last several weeks I have had the opportunity to get some nice pictures of the golf course. Each morning there are many chances to get some great shots, but for many reasons such as bad light, dew patterns and not enough time ahead of play the shot is not always there. These are some favorites from my last photo sessions.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Moving Sand

After the last weekends heavy rains several of the bunkers washed out even with the liners in place. This has resulted in us having to go back into every bunker and not only move sand back up on the faces, but also check the sand depths in the rest of the bunker.

The depth is checked with a probe so that the sand will be a uniform depth of 4” inches on the bottom of the bunkers and 2” on the faces. Most of the sand remained in the bunkers, but it has shifted in the bunker itself. Some of the sand had to be removed due to silt contamination; new sand will be added to these areas to maintain proper amounts of sand. After the sand is redistributed they will be plate compacted to ensure that sand is once again firm and resistant to a ball plugging. It is very labor intensive to perform this task, but it must be done so that the bunkers will drain and play properly.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Morning After

Yesterday was our final outside Monday event for the year and it by far caused the most damage to the course of all the events hosted. The golf course was still extremely wet due to the 2.5” of rain received over the weekend and this largely contributed to the excessive wear and tear.

The majority of the wear and tear took place in the fairways, from a lack of divot replacement and sand/seed mix being used. The lack of divot mix being used is easy to explain since carts were on the paths, but the lack of divot replacement remains a mystery.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Record Keeping

Record keeping is one of the most important things you do, whether it’s for tax purposes, accounting, inventory, weather and even what takes place on the golf course.

From the golf course side of things accurate record keeping is a key for predicting outcomes of product efficacies based on historical data. In addition, the State of Colorado requires that all pesticide application be recorded and kept for three years. The records are to include; product applied, area of application, EPA registration number, rate of product applied, date of application and even weather conditions.

The Benefits of Record Keeping

  • Records help you evaluate how well a chemical worked, particularly if you are using reduced rates or alterative application methods.
  • Records help to prevent carry-over injury and improve chemical rotation decisions.
  • Records are the key to a successful IPM (integrated pest management) program.
  • Disease prevention and prediction based on historical weather data.
  • More accurate budgeting of product ordering based on historical data.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Good Flushing

We have been going through a summer that has been one of the driest on record and now we are finally getting some relief.

Over the last thirty six hours we have received more than two inches of precipitation, which is equal to the combined precipitation totals for June and July. The rain that has been coming down has been very steady which is even more important than the totals alone. The soaking rains are helping to flush the soils of sodium, which have accumulated all season long.

The sodium has been accumulating in the soils due to the fact that we use effluent water to irrigate the golf course. Without a little help from Mother Nature providing timely rains, the sodium levels build up in the soil creating less than desirable growing conditions for the turf.

Throughout the season we regularly apply soil modification products such as Gypsum, Hi Cal Lime and other soil acidifiers to help correct soil issues created from the use of effluent water. The products are helpful in reducing the negative day to day effects of the sodium, but they are most effective after deep cleansing rains take place helping move the product through the soil profile.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thinning Out

In efforts to keep improving the overall playability of the golf course, some additional Scrub Oak trimming has been done. The clusters of Oak on the left side of hole #18 have been thinned out, so that a poorly placed tee shot can be found. In addition to the Oak being thinned out, the underbrush was also removed. This area will now closer resemble the clusters of oak found on the third hole.

Previously if a ball was hit into the dense clumps of Scrub oak you could barely find the ball, which has led to pace of play issues. Now you will be able to quickly identify if your ball is in play or not and decide what your next shot option will be. This minor change will help significantly with both pace of play issues as well as an overall improvement of playability of the finishing hole.

Friday, August 8, 2008

They’re Back

Tracks Across A Fairway

In the last several weeks we have once again begun to see activity from both deer and elk on the golf course. Although it is quite a site to see these animals up close and personal, they do cause significant damage to the course.

Hoof Prints and Droppings Across a Green
Tracks Through The Newly Seeded Nursery

The deer have been around most of the summer and other than eating flowers and the occasional hoof prints they really do not do much damage. The elk on the other hand cause significant damage with their droppings, urine burn and major hoof marks. It is a little unusual for the elk to be around this early in the season, but the extreme weather patterns we are experiencing must influencing their patterns as well.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

First Cut

It has been two and a half weeks since germination occurred on our fairway nursery and it is now being regularly mowed. The first mowing occurred only 14 days after germination and is now being mowed three days a week at this point.

As a part of the grow in process the new seedlings are being fertilized every 7 days to encourage growth and tillering, that will help the new stand fill in laterally. We are currently mowing the nursery at .500” which is .100” higher than our normal fairway height of cut. The height will dropped down to regular fairway height over the next several weeks as the nursery matures.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Making a Comeback

Early in the spring I made a post about the treatment of our Ponderosa Pines with a new soil amendment to help mitigate excessive salts from the drip lines.

We have been treating these struggling trees throughout the season and we are now beginning to see a positive turnaround in most of the trees. What started out as new candling, has progressed into positive new growth on the trees.

Many of these trees appeared to have a date with a chain saw, but this positive turnaround shows that patience is often times warranted. Philosophically, I believe we should do everything possible to save the trees first before cutting them down. There are several opinions around the Village that think if the tree looks bad it should come down without even trying any last ditch efforts to save them. I firmly believe what you are seeing now is proof positive that all options must be exhausted before finally removing any of these struggling trees.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Burn Lines

Recently distinct brown lines in the rough areas have appeared, have you noticed? If you look closely, the lines appear to be going in patterns back and forth throughout the rough.

The lines have been caused by fertilizer burn from a rough fertilizer application made this past Monday. There was as small leak from one of the tractor mounted spreaders that sieved material through a hole and fell onto the turf. This leak was not visible to the operator applying the fertilizer due to the location being behind the spreader out of sight.
Unfortunately the fertilizer fell to the ground at a heavier than desired rate, which caused a burn to the turf. After the initial damage is done, the grass will recover and fill back in laterally and all signs of burning will be gone.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Magazine Articles

Last month is was interviewed by an Australian trade publication called Golf & Sports Turf for a feature article in this month’s edition found here
. I was first contacted by them after they found my blog and wanted to feature me, based on some of the cutting edge water treatment technologies we are using.

When I received my hard copy of the magazine, I was surprised to see they pulled some of my other writings from the blog on renovation work and I featured it in the publication as well. Unfortunately there is no link to this article, it is found only in the hard copy version.