Saturday, June 27, 2009

All Back Together

After the rains ended Thursday evening the golf course was a little beat up and needed quite a bit of TLC.

Not only were most of the bunkers severely washed out but many of the cart paths were covered with mud that washed in from some of the surrounding areas. It was all hands on deck for cleaning up the mess. We have a staff of 28 people and if they weren’t mowing, they were in the bunkers removing silt and shoveling sand back up onto the faces.

The staff working hard to restore the bunker

The bunkers were put back together by about 12:00Pm most people did not even realize that they were completely washed out some six hours before. My staff did an outstanding job in completing this daunting task, I am truly proud of them for their commitment to CCCP.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Bunker Fun

This afternoon we had our latest bought with Mother Nature in the form of another heavy down pour that put nearly an inch of rain on the course. This rain occurred in a relatively short period of time which flooded many areas on the course in addition to washing out many of the bunkers.

During the bunker renovation that took place nearly three years ago, great care was taken to install bunker liners that will help keep the sand up on the steeper faces. Overall the liners helped, but did not stop all of them from washing out.

In the morning my staff will complete regular mowing operations and after that the remainder of the day will be spend moving sand back up onto the faces. Our focus for tomorrow will be to get the bunkers back in play as quickly as possible. The sand that washed down will need to be re-compacted, so that balls do not plug on the face due to the sand being loose.

As time allows we will get back into all of the damaged bunkers and re-compact all of the sand to help provide consistency from bunker to bunker.

#9 Greenside Bunker
#4 Fairway Bunker/Water Hazzard

#18 Greenside Bunker

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back To Triplexes

For most of the early season we have utilized our old five gang fairway mowers to help with reducing labor necessary for mowing fairways. Now that additional staffing has been freed up from the responsibilities associated with the irrigation renovation, we have once again begun to mow fairways with triplexes.

The old fairway units required two people and four and a half hours to complete the job, whereas the triplexes require seven people and three hours complete the mowing. The math regarding labor usage is pretty obvious, but the quality of cut and appearance is far superior with the triplexes. These lighter weight fairway mowers reduce the amount of wear due to a lower PSI (pound per square inch) footprint along with the ability to easily remove clippings from the fairways. Perhaps the most noticeable difference is in the aesthetic look to the fairways, the cutting width with the triplexes is three feet less than that of the larger units.

Here at CCCP we have only 20 acres of fairway and the scale of the larger mowers is out of proportion to the size of the fairways. The smaller lines are far more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and accentuate the wonderful movement we have in the fairways.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Finding Your Number

One of the final things left to do as a part of the overall irrigation renovation is to install the yardage makers on the new heads.

There will be nearly 700 heads that will have yardages on them ranging from 45 yards all the way out to nearly 300 yards. Unlike the marking system found on the old heads which were only found in the fairways, all new heads will have markings on them in the above yardage range. Hopefully this additional information will help your game in addition to helping with pace of play.

The double heads that are located in the intermediate rough will have only one of them with yardages due to the proximity of each other being located only 18” apart. Additionally the Kirby yardage marker will be removed from the fairways in efforts to help remove the clutter of unnecessary components.

We are hoping to have the yardages installed on the heads within the next two weeks.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

In Bloom

With all of the spring rains and cooler than normal temperatures some of the wildflowers are still looking good. The flowers that are most visible at this time are Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matronalis). These flowers are often found in cooler shaded areas, but there are always exceptions to the rule as found on the third hole.

Dame’s Rock was a common garden flower that was introduced to America from Europe in colonial times, and has since spread through prolific seeding. Technically it is considered a noxious weed by many states and needs close monitoring to control the spread of this plant. Even though this plant is considered by some a weed, it sure adds a lot to the beautification of the golf course.

We pay close attention to the spreading of this weed by applying herbicides to control it in numerous areas on and around the golf course. The definition of a weed is a plant out of place, Dame’s Rocket sure looks nice but if you’re not careful it can get away from you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Irrigation Audit

Yesterday we began to test the distribution patterns of our new irrigation system. The testing was conducted by myself and Larry Rodgers of LRDG our irrigation designer.

We tested both green and fairway locations to determine how uniform our new coverage is. The data that was collected is another tool for me to use in the fine tuning process of the system. After evaluating these areas, I now have better insight as to the true distribution patterns of the sprinkler heads under real life situations found at Castle Pines. This data clearly shows how various nozzles combinations distribute the water differently from the head all the way out to the end of the throw. Now that I am armed with this information, I will be better suited to make adjustments out in the field as we begin to more frequently utilize the new system.

Larry Rodgers laying out the grid

Testing on the fairway

Testing on the green

Sunday, June 14, 2009


We have begun the process of mulching both the beds at the clubhouse as well as the walking paths on the golf course.

The material that is used to mulch each of these areas is different based on appearance and functionality. The mulch that is used at the clubhouse is a purchased material that is selected for its color and size. This new much helps freshen up the appearance of the beds as well as help with moisture retention and weed control.

The mountain of mulch

Spreading the material

The material used for the walking paths on the golf course is a recycled material from Castle Pines Metropolitan District. This material was generated from the community wide spring clean up. Each year the Metro District collects brush and other materials that are shredded which produces a great material for our use.

The walk paths on the course

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Late Afternoon Fun

The skies once again opened up today and hit the course with a rain/hail mixture. As usual the storm did not last long, but still managed to put down more than 1/2" of precipitation.

The down side of this late day storm is the fact that the hail did some damage to the annual flower plantings. Most of what was damaged was the Geraniums which needed to be deadheaded anyway, so I guess it worked out OK. We will add a second liquid fertilizer application for the week to help the flowers grow out of this mild damage.

Shredding of some of the leaves
Natural Deadheading (zero labor cost)
The sun comes back out after the storm

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Serenity Now

As a golf Course Superintendent most of our days are spent at a hectic pace either putting out fires or completing those small details ahead of daily play. Each and every day you have to work long and hard to create the end product that all can be proud of.

Every once and a while Mother Nature cooperates and makes life a little easier in which you can actually appreciate all of the beauty found around you. For us this year we have had more of those "relaxing" mornings than I can remember due to frequent rains and milder than normal temperatures.

Below are some of my most recent "relaxing moments" on the golf course.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Can You Believe it?

It's June 8th and we had light frost today on the golf course. The temperature this morning at 6:00am was 35 degrees which was as cold as i have ever seen it this late in the year.

Fortunately the frost was light and only occurred in the rough at the lower lying areas throughout the course. None of the annual flowers were damaged by this highly unusual early summer frost.

Light frost in the rough

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fairway Cut

In efforts to improve the practice facility and create more purposeful practicing, we have added a fairway cut to the driving range landing area.

Over the last several years the driving range landing area has been more brown than green most of the time due to a non functioning irrigation system. Low and non cost upgrades have been made to the old irrigation system still in service on the driving range. The old underground piping is still being utilized, but the heads have been upgraded and are now being controlled by our new system.

Newer sprinkler heads that were installed in 2005 have been removed from the golf course and are now being used to replace inoperable and inefficient heads that are nearly 25 years old. For the next several years we will limp along with an improved driving range irrigation system, but ultimately it will also be replaced when the driving range tees and landing areas are reconfigured.

The driving range is one of the final areas on the golf course that has yet to be improved and the Green Committee is currently looking at long range plans for improvement. Some of the concepts that are being considered are; raising and enlarging the tees, moving the target greens to create better visibility and even the possibility of several practice par three holes on the east end of the range.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Concrete Repair

The contractor has begun to replace the concrete that was removed or cut during the irrigation installation. We originally had the concrete work scheduled to be done by a sub- contractor and came to find out on the day they were suppose to start work they went out of business. Allot can happen in a couple of weeks in this day and age.

Repairs were made on holes #8,#9,#10 and #17 yesterday and the remaining holes will be completed over the next several day as the weather allows.

Loading Up

Finished Product

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wash Out

Over the last three days we have once again received significant amounts of rain totaling nearly two inches. The rain is great from a moisture and soil flushing standpoint, but it is beginning to hurt us on the maintenance side of things.

As I mentioned in a previous post the rough is growing very well and has been hard to keep up with. Yesterdays the rain forced us to delay topdressing greens and a fairway PGR ( growth regulator) application which will hopefully be rescheduled for this coming Monday. The PGR products we use have to be watered in with at least .25" and it has not been dry enough lately to even consider these applications.

Hopefully these unusual weather patterns will change and we will once again be able to get back on schedule for many critical agronomic procedures.