Friday, March 26, 2010

Wall Collapse

In the last week and a half we have received nearly three feet of snow and from that a large quality of moisture. This abundance of moisture has been both good and bad. The turf and trees could not be happier, but some of the infrastructure on the course is worse for wear.

During the construction of the golf course several of the elevated tees were constructed with Rhyolite retaining walls for support. Unfortunately these walls were constructed without drainage installed behind them. This has led to many of these walls failing over the last several years when soil moisture levels have become saturated.

When these walls have been rebuilt after a failure we have had our contractor install drainage to help alleviate any future problems.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wrong Turn

Yesterday's storm brought more than a foot of snow that was enjoyed a little too much by some people. Someone made a wrong turn onto the ninth hole and tried to make it up the hill to the green. Luckily they did not get far and did not cause any damage.

For those of you who live adjacent to the golf course and you see any activity like this could you please contact Emergency Services regarding the trespassing taking place.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Week Of First

It has been a busy week of firsts for the season. As usual everything hits at one time durring the transition out of winter into spring. We have been begun to get the golf course back in playable condition for the upcoming season.

This week we have changed cups, removed winter debris from bunkers, put out tee makers, fertilized greens, mowed selected fairways and even aerified many areas on the course.

Last spring we started with an earlier than usual aerification of selected areas and this year I have carried that process forward. With all of the renovation work that has taken place over the last several years, I feel there is a need for additional aerification to alleviate some of the compaction from the heavy equipment utilized.

By the end of next week weather permitting I am hoping to have all of the fairways aerified. This is a slow process because it is being done in a manor not to effect play. We will try to aerify one or two fairways a day and cleanup right behind so that it looks like we never did anything. This different approach works now since it is mid March and we are having limited play.

We will still be performing our normally scheduled aerification April 12th-15th to the main play areas. The bonus early aerification will go a long way to help with recovery from all of the construction traffic the course has been subjected to.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Winter Damage

Winter is a tough time on the golf course for many reasons, but the Elk add another dimension to an already difficult situation. Mother Nature throws many different challenges at us each year some are easy to deal with and others are not. The Elk on the other hand are hard to deal with because you know it is inevitable that they will cause damage but the question is how much.

Even with the prolonged snow cover this year the Elk were still able to cause significant damage to numerous areas throughout the golf course. The damage ranges from broken tree limbs, urine burn,tearing up the turf and leaf shearing.

This year we have numerous areas in which "shearing" occurred, this is a term I will use to describe how the hooves shear or cut of the dormant turf. This is most problematic on greens where the turf must be at the highest quality at all times.

Fortunately most of the "shearing" only damaged the leaf tissue and did not remove the crown of the plant. The crown is where the transition from roots to green colored food-producing stems and leaves occur. The crown is located at the bottom of the plant, right at the soil line. If the crown is damaged the likely hood for turf problems is significantly increased.

Close Up Of A Sheared Area

Upon closer inspection of the sheared areas a lot of new leaf growth is visible which is very encouraging. Any areas that do not make it will be seeded or plugged out to properly repair the damaged areas.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Picking Up Where We left Off

We have once again been able to resume work up on the driving range. After a long three month weather induced hiatus work is picking up where we were at the end of last season.

Our initial focus will be completing the remaining irrigation to be installed in addition to final grading of the teeing ground. These two items must be completed before the new sod can be installed. We have also begun to modify the greens mix that was placed last fall. The mix is a 85/15 sand/peat mixture that will provide a good growing medium for the Ryegrass sod. On thing we are doing to further enhance the rootzone mixture is the addition of compost. The compost will help with moisture retention as well as inoculating the sand with beneficial fungi and microbes creating a viable soil foodweb.

Tilling The compost In

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Initial Impressions

As the snow cover recedes throughout the course I have been given the opportunity to get my first real look at how things faired over the winter. Many of theses areas have been under snow cover since December, so some areas were a mystery as to what was there.

Snow melt revealing areas of healthy turf

Overall I think things have made it through relatively unscathed with the occasional areas of Snow Mold and Vole damage in the rough. The main play areas such as greens, tees, and fairways appear to be in good shape. Minor Snow Mold break through has occurred on a few fairways of which will not have any lasting effects.

Minor Snow Mold break through

I am perhaps most surprised by the lack of Vole damage in the rough areas. Typically when we have periods of extended snow cover the Vole populations explode due to a lack of competition from predators such as Eagles, Hawks and Coyotes.

Our efforts in managing the snow and ice accumulations on the course this season appear to be paying off once again. It goes to show you that a little extra effort does pay off in the long run.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Opening For Play

After nearly three months of snow cover the golf course will once again be open for play. This past weeks mild temperatures combined with snow removal has once again made the golf course mostly playable.

There still will be many northern exposure areas which are holding snow, but overall the majority of the course is clear. Currently three of the holes remain unplayable (#1,#3 and #4) other wise you will be able to get out and enjoy the course once again. We have begun the enormous task of cleaning up the Elk crap and Pine needles that were deposited in large quantities throughout. Our initial efforts have been made to both the greens and tees and will move onto fairways as weather and time allows.

The greens will once again be open for play after being on temporaries through the winter months. The use of temporary greens is perhaps one of the most important things we do to protect the overall heath of the greens. The elimination of golf traffic in the winter allows us to better fight Poa Annua and unnecessary wear and tear on the greens when they are unable to repair themselves. This break allows the greens to come out in the spring in better condition and be better suited for upcoming season long stress that they are subjected to.

Lingering Snow In Northern Exposures
Flags Back On The Greens

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lost but Found

Last week one of our members who works out of the old Castle Pines Village sales office found some of the original field notes from the Country Clubs golf course layout dating back to 1984. Louie Lee was kind enough to share with me these design strategy and conceptual plans for several of the golf holes.

It's pretty interesting to see how the original hole concepts changed from what was on paper to what actually made it in the field. This is a classic example of field changes that are made so that a hole or design feature will better fit with the land. Unfortunately some of these original concepts did not make it on the ground, I believe some of them are better than what was constructed. We still have an outstanding layout with features that are hard to match, but opportunities were missed to make something truly spectacular.