Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bunker Renovations

For the last several weeks we have been working on some of our more problematic bunkers that have had major sand and drainage system contamination.  As a result of this many of our bunkers no longer perform from a playability and drainage stand point.

 Here is a great video from the USGA that show some of our bunker issues.

The issue stems from the last three summers of torrential rains that have mixed soil and clay particles with the bunker sand effectively closing all pore space necessary for drainage. As a result the bunkers now hold water and the sand stays wet throughout the day.  This is problematic from a playability standpoint because the bunkers play like there is no sand in them, when in actuality there is plenty.  Unfortunately the sand is so contaminated  it no longer function in all regards.

The solution for this problem is to completely remove the sand and install new drainage before re-installing the new sand. Going one step further we will be lining the bunkers with a product called Klingstone. This product is a liquid polymer that is applied to the bunker subsurface that solidifies in 24 hours into a hard impermeable surface. This newly formed liner will help minimize any future sand contamination with the subsurface soil.

New Drainge Being Installed

The end result will be a better performing longer lasting bunker that should play the same today as it does in five years. We will be installing the newer liner technology to ten of our worst bunkers this year and use this as a full scale test as to future bunker renovation solutions. For more information about Klingstone and to watch an installation video go to there website Here

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Another One In The Books

The last three days were spent aerifing the course to prepare it form the upcoming season.  We completed aerification of greens, tees and fairways.  In addition to that we handled more than 700 tons of sand that was applied to the freshly punched turf.  Needless to say it is a monumental task moving that much material around the golf course.

This year we used a Verti-Drain deep tine aerifer on greens  that was set at a depth of 9" with 1/4" solid times. At first glance the greens appear as if they were not aerified but that is not the case.  The surface impact appears minimal but a deep fracturing of the soil has taken place now allowing free movement of oxygen and water into the rootzone. The end result will be a deeper healthier root system of the plant.

The fairways have been aerified for a total of three times in the last four weeks.  We took the liberty of "sneaking in" a couple of punches on the fairways back in March with the weather cooperating with us. These multiple aerifications will greatly help us control our surface firmness and allow numerous channels to be filled with sand.  Over the course of the three fairway aerifications 4.5 million holes per acre  were punched and 600 tons of sand was applied to the fairways alone.

Right now the fairways more closely resemble bunkers than anything else,  but over the next week the grass will once again push through and start help the sand to work it's way down.  The next several mowings will be extremely rough on the equipment  but the end result is all that matters.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Little Rough In The Rough

After a long winter with an extended snow cover many of the northern exposure rough areas took it in the shorts as far as damage goes. These areas were effected by both Snow Mold and Vole damage. The good news is that it is not a lost cause and nothing that cannot be repaired. Most of the damage appears to be superficial and with a little work on our part these areas will come back good as new.

The main thing we will be doing is to rake out the matted areas and re-introduce sunlight and oxygen. These areas will either be hand raked out or drug with a steel mat to accomplish this task. This alone will initiate the plant to produce new leaves and stems to repair the damage.

                                                                       Vole Damage

                                                                       Dragging Rough
                                                                       Snow Mold Damage

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools Not

It's shocking to see some of the Scrub Oak buds already beginning to swell and some are even pushing out leaves right now. This is crazy and a good 3-4 weeks ahead of when the Oak normally comes out. We all know this has been a far from normal March, It has been the driest on record and temperatures have been well above normal. The end result has been a fooling of the Oak and this is about to go into dangerous territory.

The forecast for the next several days includes snow and below freezing temperatures all which put The Oak and all other deciduous trees in danger of damage. Time will tell how they do.