Friday, November 27, 2009

Last Chance

Today looks like it might be our last chance to get our preventive snow mold fungicide application to the fairways down. The forecast for the next week does not look great, so we will take advantage of the beautiful 65 degree day today.

Blowing off debris prior to spraying

Fairway spray going down

Friday, November 20, 2009

Getting Closer

We were able to finalize some of the last details on the 185yd target green today which needs to take place prior to sod installation.

With the latest round of snow hampering our efforts for completion, we have been forced to work in a very short window. As a lot of the snow has melted it has now created a muddy unworkable mess. Our solution to this problem has been to only work on the area for the first couple of hours each morning while the surface is still frozen. This has allowed us to install the rootzone mix for the green and the sand in the bunkers.

This area probably will not dry out for another couple days and at which time the final grading will occur and sod is scheduled for installation this coming Tuesday.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dual Purpose

The uses for compost are nearly endless and we have found one that kills two birds with one stone.

With the recent snowfall that has once again delayed our project we needed a way to help melt the snow off the areas still under construction. The compost was spread on the surface of the snow to help accelerate the melting process. The dark color of the compost attracts the sun and does most of the work for us. One other side benefit of spreading the compost is that after the snow melts, the compost can now easily be incorporated with the soil below amending and improving it prior to new sod installation.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

X Marks The Spot

As if it is not hard enough to maintain the golf course in season, the Elk and Deer make the winter months an adventure.

It is easy to track their patterns after a fresh snowfall, what is most amazing is the number of hoof prints left after a single night. They also seem to prefer to bed down in our most problematic areas as far as desiccation goes. The bedding down causes the snow to melt and therefore exposing the turf prematurely to the elements. This at times forces us to apply supplemental water to these areas in order to avoid turf loss.

Body outlines of melted snow from bedding down
Heavy foot traffic

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blog Mention

Last week my blog was mentioned in an article found in Golf Course Industry Magazine as one of the best Superintendent blogs. It is an honor to have the time and effort I put into the blog recognized by people in the media.

Click here to read the online article.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Target Green Complete

Some of the final details of the 135yd target green were completed today.

Newly installed overhead irrigation was turned on to water some of the newly sodded areas. The heads and HDPE pipe were installed in house by my staff, it was a great site to see. I believe that my staff was energized after seeing their hard work come to fruition in the operation of the new irrigation system.

The bunker was also completed today with the installation of both drainage and sand. Aesthetically the bunker looks great from the tee and will help provide realistic practice sessions.

Today marks another step closer to completing this project, but as i am writing this post the weather is quickly changing for the worse. The forecast is calling for snow each day this weekend, lets hope the weathermen are wrong again with their predictions.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Coming Back Together

Another positive step towards the ultimate completion of the driving range renovation took place today.

Just over 20,000 feet of new sod was installed today on and around two of the newly constructed target green complexes. Both the 100yd and 135yd target greens now appear as they have been there all along now that grass is down. The shaping that was done on these greens reflects similarities to what is found on the golf course, so that more purposeful practice sessions can take place.

The next area that will be final graded and prepped for sod will be the 185yd target green. With any cooperation from the weather, I will be hoping to have this sodded by the end of next week. In the mean time we continue to receive truck after truck of rootzone mix for the tee surface, of which we have still not reached the half way point.

Final Grading
Outlining The Green Surface
Installing Bentgrass On The Green
Laying The Bluegrass Surrounds
Initial Watering
The View At Sunset

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tee Mix

Today marked a big day for construction on the driving range tee. After numerous delays caused by the weather, we were finally able to start bringing in the rootzone mix for the tee surface.

The rootzone mix is an 85/15 sand peat mixture that allows for rapid drainage, while still having the ability to hold on to some nutrients and moisture. This rootzone is identical to the mix used to grow the new sod that will be installed on the tee.

This is an important fact, so that a future soil inter phase issue does not occur. We will be bringing nearly 2000 tons of rootzone material which equates to nearly 80 end dump loads. This is a slow process that will take us nearly a week to complete the installation of material.

Final Prep To Tee Subsurface
End Dump Unloading Material
Spreading The Rootzone Material

Monday, November 9, 2009

Blow Out

The winter blow out of the irrigation system has begun on the golf course. Over the last several weeks we have had significant snows that have provided more than adequate moisture levels throughout the golf course.

We are probably a week or two ahead of when we would normally blow out, but for the above reasons we have decided to go ahead and blow out now. This is one of the most difficult agronomic decisions that I make all year and getting the timing right is never easy. If you blow out too late the heads will freeze and blow out becomes difficult at best and if you blow out too early then the turf begins to dry out. Fortunately if we miss the timing on the early side we can utilize our frost free component of the irrigation system rather than re-pressure the summer or shallow system.
The Compressor

Blowing Out The Heads

Friday, November 6, 2009

Open For Play

The golf course will once again be open for play starting today. Although the entire course is not playable at this time, there has been enough interest to open the course as is.

At this time only eleven holes are truly playable, while the other holes range from partial snow cover to nearly complete cover. Please use great care while out on the golf course due the numerous areas in which snow and ice are still in place.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Evening Play

The golf course has been a busy place over the last week, but it has not been from golfers. The Elk and Deer have been extremely active on the course causing their normal damage this time of the year.

What makes the damage bad is the fact that the turf is soft and saturated from the melting snow. Until the ground freezes we will continue to sustain maximum damage from the wildlife. My staff will be repairing the damage by stepping down the hoof prints and filling them with sand and seed. This will be an ongoing situation for some time until the weather cooperates and begins to freeze the upper surface of the soil.

The wildlife is nice to look at, but they sure cause a lot of damage to the golf course each and every year.

Tree Limbs Broken
Elk Duds
Hoof Prints On #11 Green

Damage To #7 TeeDamage On #11 Fairway

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Melt is Underway!

Temperatures today reached the mid 60's and the snow is beginning to rapidly melt away. With that being said we still have a long way to go before the golf course would be open for play.

The majority of the melting that is taking place is found in the southern exposures, meanwhile the northern exposure areas are still holding a lot of snow. As the week progresses we will be removing the lingering snow in these shaded areas. This will help us get the course back in play as well as prepare the main turf areas for the preventative fungicide snow mold application.

Snow Disappearing Fast
A Long Way To Go On #11