Friday, January 29, 2010

Something Different

We have begun to experiment with different products to help us deal with snow and ice build up on critical turf areas. For many years we have used compost to help us melt away these areas, but it could only be used on a limited basis on greens. We would try and minimize the amount applied to the greens due to the fact that a significant amount of cleanup would need to be done prior the the years first mowing.

Perhaps the most intriguing alternative to compost is a black sand a product that we have begun testing out. The sand meets with USGA particle size guidelines and is colored with a turf safe black dye. This product was specifically developed for snow and ice removal on golf courses. I will evaluate the efficacy of this product and decide on a future expansion with it.

Black Sand Being Applied
Close Up Of The Black Sand On The Snow

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bunker Repairs

The off season allows us the opportunity to do some more invasive maintenance to some of the bunkers that have had their internal drainage compromised. Over the course of last summer we had numerous heavy rainfall events that contaminated many of the bunkers as far as sand quality and internal drainage functionality. Check out these previous posts here,here and here from last summer that details the carnage that was left over after the storms.

Unfortunately the only way to properly deal with these problems is to completely replace the bunker sand and rebuild the drainage systems. This task can be somewhat of a challenge due to the fact that sand remains frozen and is unworkable for most of the day. In order to remove most of the sand we had to break it out into chunks with a spud bar and then physically load and haul it off. The drainage system was repaired and backfilled with new pea gravel to allow easy access in to the drain tile.

Chunking Out The Frozen Sand

The Finished Product

The finished product appears no different to the golfer, but from a functional and playability standpoint the bunkers will be good as new.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's That Time Again

Over the last couple of weeks we have been consistently spot watering the golf course's more exposed areas. Now that larger scale areas of snow have melted away, we have begun expanding the scope of areas that are being watered.

The holes that have southern exposures are the first ones being watered on a full scale basis. Water is being applied via our new frost free system that allows us to irrigate even thought the ground remains frozen. The frost free mainline is five feet deep and feeds a series of stop and waste hydrants that are located every 110 feet from tee to green. These hydrants were modified with quick couplers attached to them allowing easy access to water with a cannon or a hose.

There is nothing automated about this frost free setup, but with a little hard work we can still adequately protect the golf course from desiccation.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Tee Setup

Over the course of the winter we have been making a sixth set of tee markers for the golf course. That's right I said sixth set. Our daily course setup almost requires the use of a chart as it is for specific tee marker locations, but this new addition will allow golfers of all abilities to better enjoy the golf course on a daily basis.

In the last several years there has been a demand for a more varied setup as far as yardage goes. The result of this demand has come in the form a of a "combo" tee setup. For example, a combination of different tee markers would be used to achieve a particular yardage. This has been done for the current men's and ladies tees for several years.

Currently there exist a 700 yard differential from the men's tees to the pro tees which is too long of a stretch for many of our members who are looking to play a slightly longer golf course. The solution to this problem would be the addition of another combo tee setup that would create only a 400 yard differential between the two. This new combination will now establish a 1 Pine tee that would play to 7061 yards and the new "Bear" tees will play to 7373 yards.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year and New Equipment

Today we began receiving some of the new equipment that was was approved in the 2010 budget. The new equipment will be delivered over the next several days due to the number of pieces that are coming in.

Every year we either add or replace equipment to our fleet so that we can better maintain the golf course for the upcoming season. The extreme terrain that is found on the Country Club property is very hard on the equipment that is used to maintain it. With more than six miles of cart paths and over 600 feet of elevation change on the course we tend to go through wear items like; tires, brakes, clutches and transmissions at a faster pace than most golf courses.

We will be receiving the following items:
(10) Toro Workman MDX Workman MDX Specs
(1) Toro GM3150 Fairway Mower GM3150 Specs
(1) Toro Groundsmaster 4500 Rough Mower Groundsmaster 4500 Specs