Thursday, April 30, 2009

Moving Along

Another two holes of irrigation have been completed. The latest ones that are now complete are holes thirteen and twelve.

The contractor is falling into a groove as far as the installation goes and things are beginning to move along more quickly. If the weather holds for the next several days it looks like we might complete one more hole, which will put us back on schedule.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Drain Work

Over the years debris has washed into the drainage systems that are located adjacent to the cart paths and has clogged them. The drains are critical to keep properly operating so that excess water from rain, snow melt and even irrigation does not cause standing water to occur on the paths.

These problematic drains became apparent after our last series of snow events that produced large quantities of water as the melting took place. Each of these drains has had to be physically removed and new ones installed in their place. New pipe, bedding and catch basins have all been installed to properly repair these drains. New materials were used because most of the old components were damaged in some form and rendered inoperable.

Completed drain inlet

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Two More Complete

Over the last week even with the snow delaying us a couple of work days, holes fourteen and fifteen are now complete. The project is now kicking into high gear with staffing and equipment levels allowing for an estimated two holes a week of completion from this point forward.

On the course you will see a tremendous amount of people and equipment working, so please use caution when passing through these holes that are under construction. We will do our best to keep these areas safe and passable so that you can proceed to the next hole. At no time will we have more than two holes closed for construction, so be sure to check here or the golf shop for current hole closures.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Branch Cleanup

The heavy wet spring snow which fell over the weekend caused some minor tree damage throughout the golf course. We were very fortunate that more significant damage wasn’t caused by the snowfall. The trees that were most effected were the younger, smaller Ponderosa Pines.

The damage was limited to only random braches being broken rather than entire trees being lost. Over the last several days we have been going through and cutting out the damaged branches. As time passes more damaged branches will make themselves visible as they die off and at that time we will remove those branches as well.

Debris pile

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Back At It

On Monday we still had over a foot of snow left on the ground, but today we were able to once again resume installing the new irrigation system.

Yesterday my staff cleared off the snow around the tees on the fourteenth and fifteenth holes. This was done in effort to help keep this project from falling any further behind schedule. The areas were a little on the wet side today, but work was still able to take place. Some additional damage was caused to the tee surrounds due to saturated conditions. Luckily these areas are for the most part out of play and have little visual impact on the rest of the golf course.

Work on #14 tees

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Melt Is On

After more than two feet of snow that fell over the weekend, the big melt is now taking place. Temperatures are going to be in the 70's for the next several days with highs reaching 80 by Thursday.

The melting has actually been taking place ever since the snow started due to the fact that soil temperatures have been warmer than the air temperature. The best part about the melting has been a steady infiltration of water into the soil profile. I would have to guess that the snow cover will take another two days to completely melt off. At that point the soils will be charged with fresh clean water which will do a tremendous amount of flushing to our Sodic soils.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Snow Day

This morning a major spring snow storm has rolled in shutting down all activities on the golf course. Forecasters are calling for snow totals in the range of 1-3 feet over the next 36 hours.

How does snow form?

Snow begins in the atmosphere as water which condenses into tiny droplets. As more and more water vapor condenses onto its surface, the droplet grows. Cold air then freezes this water into an ice crystal. As the ice crystals fall they come into contact with warmer air that makes causes a slight melting. The melting acts like as glue, causing crystals to bond together into larger flakes, forming what many people think of as the "classic" fluffy snowflake. If the crystals melt too much and then refreeze as they get closer to Earth's surface, the precipitation falls as sleet instead of snow.
Each ice crystal has a unique shape that depends on the surrounding air's temperature and water vapor content. If it is below freezing and there is a lot of water vapor in the air, the crystal grows six evenly spaced branches. Snow flakes are found in many different shapes and forms of which no two are alike. Below is a chart of just some of the snow forms that can be created under controlled conditions. In nature these snow flakes have endless possibilities of shape and form.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


We have completed the lateral installation on the sixteenth hole and have begun work on fifteen. As more staffing and equipment arrives, the contractor will separate into multiple crews and begin to work in two directions on the holes.

One crew will start at the tees, while the other starts at the green. Over the next several days the two crews will meet in the middle and successfully and efficiently complete the installation. This process will be repeated until the completion of the project.

Installation taking place at the green
Installation taking place at the tees

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We're Done

Over the last three days we have completed our spring aerification of the golf course. It appears the timing will be perfect in having completed all of the fertilizer and soil amendment applications during this three day period of time.

A much anticipated spring snow storm is quickly approaching and will provide more than enough precipitation to help activate the fertilizer and soil amending products. As always the course comes out of aerficiation a little on the rough side, but as time passes conditions improve with each day. Without these invasive agronomic procedures the high quality conditions found on the course could not be possible.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Aerification Day Two

Things have continued to progress nicely with aerification. All of the sand and compost has been applied to the areas that were aerifed and seeded.

Since then, we have spent much of our time cleaning up behind these applications of materials. This has come in the form of brushing in the sand and compost on the greens and fairways. After the material was worked in once water was applied to further move the material downward in to the open aerification holes.

The next step in the process was to mow greens to help pick up any additional sand that was remaining on the surface. The greens look great after their initial mowing and you would be hard pressed to see any visible signs that anything was done to them.
Close up of green after mowing

A 1/2" screen is used in preparing the compost, which unfortunately lets some larger bark like material pass through. It is for this reason that the fairways are mowed in efforts to help chop up the larger materials found in the compost. It will take several mowings to fully breakdown the larger pieces remaining on the surface of the fairways. After a week or so anything that is still remaining on the surface will be blown off.
Close up of fairway after mowing

Monday, April 13, 2009

Aerification Day One

Yesterday aerification got off to a slow start due to a heavy frost in the morning, but once it lifted things went very well.

We were able to topdress and aerify all of the greens and approaches. The sand was applied to theses areas prior to aerification to physically push some of the material in to the holes being created. Perhaps the biggest reason we apply the sand first is so that the newly created holes are not closed in by running the heavy topdressing equipment over top of them. Once the sand dries out after aerification it is easily moved in to the holes and turf surface.
Topdressing applied prior to aerification
Aerifing through the sand

Close up of holes on green

The fairways were overseeded with Bentgrass and then were covered with compost. The compost acts as a cover for the seed to help with germination and also provides nutrients for the turf. We rely on compost as our main fertilizer source for the year on fairways. The compost is applied twice a year and these applications account for nearly 90% of the total fertility applied in a growing season.
Compost being applied to fairways

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Aerification Prep

As aerification approaches, we have spent the last several days completing final preparations. Throughout the golf course both equipment and materials have been staged to help make the aerification process more efficient.

All equipment that will be utilized has been parked in close proximity to the first areas that will be treated. This includes equipment such as aerifiers, topdressers and blowers.

Materials that will be utilized have also been staged at strategic locations on the course. Handing of more than 300 tons of both compost and sand are perhaps the biggest challenges we encounter during the aerification process.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Installation of laterals on the sixteenth hole continues to slowly move ahead. The green is now active along with several other laterals moving sequentially down the hole.

The pace of installation should pick up as more staffing and equipment arrive on site. These additional work forces will be on site early next week and will give a much needed infusion of new blood to the project.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mowing Frequencies

As the turf has slowly begun to come out of winter dormancy, the mowing frequencies have been increasing as well. What started off as mowing once a week has now shifted to twice a week on some areas and greens will now be mowed on a daily basis.

Even thought the grass is beginning to green up and start growing, we typically do not achieve active growth until the middle of May. A general rule of thumb for our area is that once the Scrub Oak has fully leafed out, active growth begins.

Some of the mowing patterns this spring will be different than what you have become accustomed to due to the reduction in early season labor. Many of these areas on the course have been previously mowed with smaller light weight equipment that required more operators to complete the task. We have gone back to using some larger pieces of equipment that will accomplish the same task with less people, but will not be as aesthetically appealing and have a slight reduction in quality of cut.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lateral Installation Resumes

Now that the mainline and other lose end items have been completed the focus is now on lateral installation.

Work began on the sixteenth hole with the installation of the new green loop. Unforunately the weather did not coperate for very long and shut down the lateral installation shortly after it began.

Hopefully the remainder the installation will not have the Weather as a major hurdle in the completion of the project.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Poa Management

As the greens are beginning to come out of dormancy, the injured Poa Annua is showing the effects of chemical treatment from last fall. Back in October the greens were treated with high rates of TGR (a plant growth regulator) to weaken and kill the Poa. These spots are now visible on the greens where the Poa is bleached out or white in color.

Poa Annua is a winter annual that begins to actively grow before the Bentgrass, which gives the Poa a competitive advantage. The chemical treatment has shifted the competitive balance in favor of the Bentgrass which, will now be able to reclaim some of the ground lost to the Poa over time. Fertility will be geared toward encouraging the Bentgrass to grow and fill in the voids created by the Poa Annua.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lateral Schedule

The lateral schedule will be as follows on the remaining holes on the golf course. These dates will be somewhat weather dependent, but the sequencing should remain true to the list below.

The only exception to this specific schedule, could be if we start to encounter significant problems with the old system on holes that have not yet been converted. At that time we might have to switch the sequence of holes to deal with the problems we might be encountering.

Lateral Schedule To Be Completed By

  • The week of April 10th #16
  • The week of April 17th #15/#14
  • The week of April 24th #13/#12
  • The week of May 1st #11
  • The week of May 8th #10/#17
  • The week of May 15th #18
  • The week of May 22nd #9
  • The week of May 29th #8
  • The week of June 5th #7/#6