Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pouring Concrete

It's only fitting to have a post on the last day of 2013 in a year of infrequent posting.

Today concrete was finally flowing and progress is slowly ramping up as we get past the holidays that have slowed us getting out of the ground. Footers were poured today which will now allow the forming of foundation walls to begin on Thursday. Our next pour is scheduled for this coming Monday.

Today's Action

Monday, December 16, 2013


Talk about stress relief, nothing is better than smashing stuff up to blow off some steam.

My staff was truly disappointed when they learned we would not be demoing the 5 out buildings at our facility. Some things are better left to the professional destroyers.  These guys have made pretty quick work of removing the old buildings and done it an organized surgical like manor.

The building materials are being separated in to three categories; wood, steel and concrete.  All three components are being recycled individually to minimize any waste materials ending up in landfills.  

Here is a video that shows the precision of the material separation.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Maintenance Facility Improvements

It has been a long six months since my last posting and there is no better time to catch up when the outside temperature is 3 degrees.

For more than 2 1/2 years we have been working towards major Maintenance Facility improvements and today we have finally received our building permit. The process included numerous meetings with County Officials, Fire Marshals, Architects, Contractors, Neighbors  and more than twenty building design iterations before coming up with one that will work for everybody.

Every step of the way we seemed to run into a new challenge in the process, many were anticipated and several were not.  After this long process I am looking forward to finally after 18 years of working out of a dirt/mud parking lot having a quality facility to protect the substantial investment of our equipment fleet.

Currently we have only 6000 sqft of enclosed building space, this also includes office and equipment repair areas that cuts into the overall square footage.  The new building will be and additional 8000 sqft that will allow us to get our entire fleet inside and out of the elements. With more than $1.5 Million dollars invested in our equipment fleet this new building will go along way to maximize the life of our equipment.

Throughout the construction process I will once again post regularly with progress, here's to normal weather conditions over the next several months.

Below are some current pictures that show our yard area that most of the equipment sits outside and the renderings of what will be.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Aerification Post Mortem

Aerification is always a difficult process to go through without something major going wrong mechanically or weather related. This year we had both come into play with the weather being the major disrupting factor.  Normally we are able to complete aerification in three long days of the  greens, tees, approaches and fairways.

Below I will layout out our Spring 2013 three day timeline of aerification.

April 8th
Verti-Drain Greens 1-12
Aerify Fairways 1-6
Graden Tees/Approaches 1-11
Topdress/Seed Fairways 1-5
April 9th
Verti-Drain Greens 13-18
Aerify Fairways 7-15
Graden Tees/ Approaches 12-18
Topdress/Seed Fairways 6-13
April 10th
Aerify Fairways 16-18
Topdress/Seed Fairways 14-18
Topdress/Seed all Tees/ Approaches

Below this is the timeline of how Spring 2013 aerification actually played out.

April 8th
Verti-Drain Greens 1-8
Aerify Fairways 1-6
Graden Tees/Approaches 1-11
Topdress/Seed Fairways 1-4

April 9-10th
Snow on the ground
April 11th (still snow on the ground)
Verti-Drain Greens 9-16
Graden Tees/Approaches 12-18
April  12th
Verti-Drain Greens 17-18
April 15th (snow starts mid day)
Aerify Fairways 7-11
April 16-18th
Snow on the ground
April 21st
Aerify Fairways 13-15
April 22nd (snow starts mid day)
Aerify Fairways 16-18
Topdress/Seed Fairways 8,10,11&13
April 23-24th
Snow on the Ground
April 29th
Topdress/Seed Fairways 7,15,16&18
Topdress/ seed all Tees & Approaches
Final cleanup

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Winter Injury Guide

I have put together a quick little guide book for our membership to understand some of the winter turf injury sustained on the golf course this season.  Some of the injury is intentional, some is desired and some is not. Either way the guide shows in basic terms what each injury looks like and the cause of it.  Sometimes  Mother Nature provides the best selective herbicide on the market. 

Winter Injury Guide

Crown Hydration:  Occurs when large amounts of surface water from snow melt turns into ice crystals outside the plant cell (extracellular) of the Turfgrass crown tissue. As these ice crystals form and enlarge, they pull water out of the cell, which will result in dehydration. At some point a dehydrated cell and cell membrane stop functioning and the result is cell death. Many times superficial damage occurs but If enough of the cells in the crown of the plant die, the entire Turfgrass plant will die as a result.

Figure 1 Hole #5 1st Fairway Under Trees

Figure 2  Hole #6 Fairway and Rough Sheet Water Flow Areas

Desiccation: Winter desiccation is the death of leaves or plants by drying during winter when the plant is either dormant or semi-dormant. Desiccation injury is usually greatest on exposed or elevated sites and areas where surface runoff is great. Tree root completion for water also affects the quality of the Turfgrass.

Figure 3 Hole #7 Exposed South Facing Mounds

Figure 4 Hole #4 Tree Root Competition For Water

Selective Herbicide Kill: Selective herbicides kill specific targets, while leaving the desired turf species relatively unharmed. We are using both older and newer chemistries to control Poa Annua in our key playing areas.
Figure 5 Hole #7 Fairway Poa Kill

Figure 6 North Chipping Green PoaCure Trials

Monday, March 25, 2013


It is crazy to think I started this blog 5 years ago with the intention of using it to better inform my membership of the things taking place on the golf course. This blog has grown from a local target audience to something that has reached more than a 140 countries world wide.

Reaching a 100,000 pages views is mind boggling especially given where all the views have come from.  This world wide exposure has allowed meet and interact with some great people sharing stories and ideas.

Hopefully I can continiue to produce content that keeps you wanting to visit, but this gets harder with each passing day.  Last year I started using Twitter for more real time and quick hitting items but still plan on using the blog for more detailed descriptions of relevant topics. Looking forward to the next 100,000!! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Same Time Different Year

What a difference a year makes is a common theme many Golf Course Superintendents are saying. First off it's true the weather could not be more different this spring from last year. By this time last year we had mowed greens several times, aerified all of my fairways and we had nearly 350 rounds of golf. This year we are O for three on these items and with the long range forecast looking sketchy, it's hard to say when things will starting acting like Spring around here.

 The funny thing is that weather pattern we are currently experiencing is more normal than not, over the last several seasons we have been treated to extremely warm early spring temperatures. Those temperatures were great to get things going, but then the inevitable hard freeze would hit putting the brakes on active growth. The turf may have been green but it wasn't happy or growing for a while after that. This year is shaping up to be a slow start of the season with soil temperatures being 5 to 10 degrees cooler than this time a year ago. We as Superintendent's routinely try to manipulate Mother Nature, some times with success and sometimes with disaterious results. The key is knowing when to push things and  knowing when to back off, it's a fine line that is walked at all golf courses that deal with seasonal Turfgrass.

Knowing that the Masters is coming in a few weeks and all that comes with the green is good mentality might tempt you to make a poor agronomic decision based on color alone. Don't do it, exercise patience within reason and remember this is a marathon not a sprint.