Thursday, October 29, 2009

It Could Be a While

Nearly two feet of snow has already fallen and the storm is supposed to last until the end of the day. Needless to say there will not be any renovation work taking place for some time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Signs of Life

Today we were able to witness some of the fruits of our labor by activating some of the new irrigation laterals. Over the last several weeks we have been installing pipe and fittings, but have not been able to activate them until today. We have been waiting on an electro fusion machine that was ordered several weeks ago that has finally arrived.

Over the last week progress has been slowed due to winter making an early appearance. Towards the end of the week we lost four days in which work could be done due to the snow cover and subsequent melting causing a significant mess. Unfortunately the forecast does not look good for the next several days with more snow on its way.

Our window for completion of work this fall is rapidly closing, but we will be doing everything possible to get this project as close to completion as possible. Anything that remains incomplete will be worked on over the course of the winter and early spring as weather allows.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not a Complete Washout

As the overnight snow fall has continued throughout the day, we still have been able to receive deliveries of material.

Today we were still able to take delivery on materials that are needed for the construction of the practice area. The materials were bunker sand and additional pea gravel for drainage.

In all likely hood work over the next two days will be limited due to the snow initially and then the muddy mess that will be created as melting takes place. Most of the work that will be taking place will be done by hand in areas that required minimal disturbance in the first place.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Today drainage work on the tee pad began, which will put us closer to the completion of the project.

The tee itself has 1% surface drainage, but additional internal drainage is also being installed to ensure that ideal conditions are present for turf growth. A modified internal herringbone is being installed at a 20 foot spacing making excessive water removal quick and easy.

Following the installation of the drainage system the rootzone mix will be added to the tee surface to a depth of 6". After that time the rootzone mix will be laser leveled creating a perfectly smooth surface for the sod to be layed on.

Drain outfalls being dug

Lateral drain installation

Friday, October 16, 2009

Busy Day

Lots of activity took place today on the driving range as the project begins to hit high gear. The shaping of the features continues and is now at a fine shaping point. Moving forward, the features that are currently shaped in will now only receive minor tweaking tying them into existing grades.

Lots of activity going on

Irrigation laterals and heads continue to be installed at a pace that improves on a daily basis. To date we have installed more than 7000 feet of pipe in the last weeks time.

Today we also poured concrete in a newly enlarged parking area. The new concrete parking area will help to better accommodate multiple carts that are parked at our extremely busy driving range tee.

New forms in place
Pouring concrete

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lateral Installation

Now that most of the major shaping has been completed we have begun to install the new irrigation system on the driving range.

Having the opportunity to watch one of the countries best irrigation contractors install a system on the main course, taught both myself and my staff all the tricks of the trade. It is not often that you find an in house HDPE installation take place on nearly 18 acres, but i have confidence in the knowledge we have gained.

As with anything it always looks easier when your just watching someone else, but it is a lot harder once you begin to take it on yourself. It took us a couple of laterals to figure out how things will go in the ground easier and faster and we are still getting better as we go.

Laying Out The Wire

Dueling Pullers At Work

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Range is Closed

We have gotten to the point where we need to shut down the temporary tee that has been in use since construction began. The majority of the dirt has been hauled into the teeing ground and now more of the work will begin in the landing area, more specifically target green construction.

The relocation and shaping of the target greens will be the next focus of construction and for safety reasons it's necessary to close the range, so that equipment operators and other staff working on the construction are out of harms way.

The driving range will reopen next spring after construction has been completed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Falling Off Schedule

The weather over the last several days has more closely resembled winter rather than fall, which has slowed progress on the renovation work.

We are hoping to get back on schedule this week with the completion of irrigation and drainage installation on the new tee pad. Once this work is completed the rootzone mix can be brought in and spread. This will be one of the final steps to completing the work on the tee pad and after that time the new sod can be laid.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Frost Free Installation Begins

Today we began to install the frost free irrigation system that will be used to irrigate the driving range tee. Unlike the other irrigation that is being installed on the driving range, this line is being trenched rather than pulled in. The reason being that we need to have a pipe depth of four feet so that it is below historical soil frost levels. In order to achieve this depth we have to open trench the pipe which is more labor intensive, but it will be worth the effort when we will be able to readily use this line under winter conditions.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Keep Off The Grass

As we have daily frost formation on the turf, it is important that all foot and cart traffic remain off until the frost has completely melted. The damage caused can be significant, but with a little care and consideration taken by all on the course early in the morning will go a long way.

Here are two pictures that show how quickly the damage can occur to the turf when a heavy frost cover occurs. The first picture was taken early in the morning when the frost was still heavy and clearly shows foot prints from someone out walking the course early. The second picture show the same area later in the day and the foot prints from the morning are now black showing the damage to the turf.

For more information about frost check out this previous post

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Yesterday I completed an article for the clubs monthly newsletter in which I talked about how much of the renovation work is subject to weather. Well sure enough today was a washout due to rain that fell last evening. The rain turned the haul roads into mud which made them impassable.

We were unable to import dirt today, but all was not lost. Today were able to begin moving and reshaping the existing target greens. The greens are being pushed out of the central core of the landing area which will help improve the visibility of golf balls being hit.

Moving dirt on the target green

Monday, October 5, 2009


In the last week we have had night time temperatures that have been consistently in the mid twenties which has resulted in frost occurring each morning.

The frost is not only slowing down growth of the turf, but it has also put an end to our annual flowers for the year. Over the next several day we will be removing the fried flowers from their beds throughout the golf course.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Getting Bigger By The Day

After six days of hauling nearly 7500 yards of material the driving range tee is beginning to take on its new shape. We still have at least another 5000 yards of material to go which will be used in the north eastern corner of the tee pad. That might sound like a lot a of dirt, but in this area alone there is more than ten feet of fill needed.

We are still hoping to have the majority of the fill completed at the tee by the end of next week, after that the final shaping will take place. The next area of fill will go to the eastern side of the driving range and begin stock piling material for the future par three course.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

First Real Frost

Over the last several weeks we have had areas where light frost has developed on the course, but yesterday we experienced our first heavy frost of the season. The temperature was in the mid twenties and was ideal for frost formation.

As we continue to have daily frost the growth of the grass will begin to slow down in preparation for the upcoming winter. The reduction in growth is welcome due to the fact that most of our seasonal staffing has left or will be leaving shortly. We will now be able to reduce the frequency of some of the mowing that takes place on the golf course, which will allow us to keep our focus on the driving range project.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


With more than 15,000 yards of fill material coming in for the tee pad alone it is criticle that we are able to properly compact the soil. This is done by spreading the soil in thin lifts or layers that can be compacted by the equipment being used to spread it. One of the most criticle factors other than soil type that helps with the ability to properly compact the soil is moisture.

Without proper soil moisture proper compaction is hard to achieve. We have been monitoring the dirt for moisture levels as it comes in and adding water when needed. This is being done by running a roller base sprinkler on the surface for extended periods of time.

By not ensuring that the subsurface is properly compacted, this can cause future settling of the tee pad which will lead to an uneven surface.

Running a roller base sprinkler