Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tree Moving

As the dirt continues to come in there is a lot of other action taking place as well. Today we moved six trees that were out in the landing area and next to the old teeing ground. These trees were moved so we could utilize them to help screen the south chipping green from the newly enlarged tee that is under construction.

These trees will not only provide a visual separation of areas, but they will also serve as protection from errant balls that might find their way towards the south chipping green.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Today was the first day that material was actually brought in, so this marks the official beginning of the driving range renovation. With today being the first day of hauling the contractor was trying to get the feel of how many trucks will be needed to efficiently haul the material to us from the Golf Club. Only three trucks were running today and starting tomorrow their will be seven trucks hauling, which will allow us to import nearly 1400 yards a day.

I am projecting that it will take a total of ten days to haul the necessary fill material for the tee pad and after that time a final grade can be established on the new tee. Following that other components of the tee construction will take place such as, irrigation, drainage, spreading rootzone mix and finally sodding.

Many factors need to remain in place over the next several days, but the most important one will be the weather. Rain can and will cause delays to this project by effecting our ability to haul in material and add to the areas of disturbance due to overly soft soils.

The first truck

Trucks filling the lower tee pad
The Dozer pushing the dirt around

Friday, September 25, 2009

Soggy Start

The driving range project has gotten off to a slow start this week due to it raining four out of five of the days so far. The Golf Club has not been able to export dirt due their site being too wet, but the delay has actually worked out in our favor allowing us to complete several necessary details.

Our biggest obstacle was getting final approval from the County, which occurred yesterday. In order for us to begin taking dirt on our site, we had to meet several County requirements for sediment control. These included a grading plan, silt fencing limits and vehicle tracking control. Now that we have met these requirements we will begin importing dirt this coming Monday and should be on our way with our renovation work. The County will be periodically inspecting us throughout this construction project.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Here We Go Again

After recently completing one of the largest construction projects in club history, we are now set to begin another major renovation project. In the next week or so we will begin construction of the driving range improvement plan.

The Green Committee has been the driving force behind the renovation plan. At the committee level we have been talking about a concept plan for the last three years and only recently was this moved to the front of the line. The timing might seem a little off following a high dollar irrigation renovation, but the price was right for more than 18,000 yards of dirt. We will be receiving this dirt free of charge from the Golf Club who also is doing a major driving range renovation.

The concept behind our driving range plan is to create better visibility of the landing area along with the construction of realistic target greens for purposeful practicing. Currently there is limited visibility of golf balls beyond 150 yards off the tee, so it is a guess to how far you are actually hitting the ball. The teeing ground is also undersized for our highly active membership which makes establishing high quality a difficult proposition. The new driving range will include an elevated oversized tee, new target greens that will be moved out of the central corridor of the range landing area to help with visibility.

Another component of the renovation plan will be the addition of a three hole par 3 course on the far eastern end of the driving range. At this point in the renovation plan, this portion will be phase two of this project and will not happen until a future date when funding becomes available. Until then we will be rough shaping in the future par three features as the dirt comes in to our site.

We have an opportunity to take what is the biggest negative of the golf course and turn it into a tremendous positive. Upon completion of these improvements we will not doubt have one of the best practices facilities in the state if not the entire country. Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Aerification is Done

Over the last three days the golf course was closed for aerification and things could not have been smoother with the operation.

We were fortunate to not have any equipment issues thanks to the hard work and dedication of Equipment Manager Chris Maurer and his assistant Anton Johnson. This was no small task due to the number of pieces of equipment that were utilized durring the aerification process. A big thank you needs to go out to some of my fellow Superintendent's and a local distributor who loaned me several pieces of equipment that made our success possible.

All of the main play areas such as greens, tees and fairways were aerified and are well on their way to recovery. We have changed our philosophy a bit in how we approach aerification by using smaller tines with a closer spacing to achieve the desired result. I believe this combination will allow the golf course to be more playable initially and help reduce the overall recovery time. Combined on the 24 acres that were aerifed more than 50 million holes were punched and cleaned up.No small task!

Below is a time lapse of photos that were take every 5 minutes while #18 fairway was being aerified. The fairway is a little over 34,000 ft and six units made quick work of it completing the aerification in just 30 minutes.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Getting Ready

Aerification is ten days away, but we are ready to go. All of the equipment has been borrowed, prepped and ready for three days of heavy usage.

The golf course will be closed September 14th through September 16th in order to complete the labor intensive aerification process to the main play areas. Greens, tees and fairways will all be aerified.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Divot Patterns

Over the last several weeks I have begun to notice divot patterns changing in the fairways and even in the first cut of rough. This is largely due to the fact that the fairways are now playing firmer with more ball roll off the tee shot.

We are now seeing the benefits of the new irrigation system which allows us to keep the rough green with out over watering the fairways. The end result has been numerous balls running through the fairways into the first cut and even into hazards that were not in play before.

Over the last six weeks of consistent irrigation I have been closely tracking our water usage and the numbers are confirming what i have been saying all along. Bentgrass has gotten a bad rap for a lot of years that it is a heavy water user, when in fact it uses less water than the surrounding Bluegrass rough. Statistically for the last six weeks the fairways have received 33% less water than what has been applied to the rough. Keep in mind these numbers are being realized during the "fine tuning " process and i believe there will be additional reductions in the future once i have a better grasp on what the new system can and cannot do.