Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pine Tree Right of 18 Fairway

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Today we cut down the dead white pine tree on the right of 18 fairway.  This tree was severely damaged in the 2012 spring storm and finally died late last summer.  We counted 114 rings!
Here is a picture of how many limbs came down in 2012.
Another view of the damage from 2012. 

This is a photo of Ed Karcheski, the club's superintendent and golf pro for over 30 years.  Dr. James Beard from Michigan State University is with Ed back in 1967.  That pine was really full and healthy back then.

This is an old postcard I have of the clubhouse that shows how long this pine has been around.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April Warmth, Melting and a Few Photos

Web version

Green grass emerged over the weekend on the golf course.  We haven't seen that sight since November 22.  So far the greens that I can see look excellent.  I will have an estimated course opening date by the end of the week.  

Most of the greens have about 4-8 inches of snow on them.  

This is 17 fairway.

The back of 15 green looks excellent.

Still snow on 15 fairway but a super clean approach.

I bet 3 fairway will be 100% clear this weekend.

You can really see where the edge of our winter fungicide application ends in this photo.

Monday, March 3, 2014

First Week of March

As crazy as this sounds it was -27 degrees on the way to work this morning and that was with no wind.  It was perfectly clear and calm.

Thank goodness the golf course is still covered in a deep layer of snow.  My colleagues in the Detroit area are already seeing dead grass from this brutal winter.  We didn't receive the heavy rains back in December like they did so we don't have a 2 inch layer of ice.

Here is a photo that a member shared with me from this weekend.  We are still grooming the cross country trail on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, come on out.

Dave is working on his last set of reel cutting units.  This is the machine that we use to mow the intermediate cut around the fairways, greens and the walking paths from the tees.

Freshly sharpened plus new bearings.

This is our enclosed state of the art reel grinder.

After these reels are finished we will start our winter maintenance on both sprayers.

This is our 300 gallon fairway and rough sprayer.

Think Spring - Steve

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cross Country Trail & Goodbye to Jeff

What a great winter for cross country skiing!  We continue to groom the 1 mile long trail on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  We normally groom it between 10:00 and 12:00.  We are glad to groom it on other specific days, just send me an email.  

We are busy in the grounds department sharpening and grinding all of our reels, plowing the lot for lunch and dinner and ordering all of our fertilizer and pesticides for the upcoming season.  Winter is also the best time for major equipment renovations like completely rebuilding the front axle and 4 wheel drive transfer box on our 15 year old Kubota tractor.   

Congratulations to Jeff on his move to Birchwood Farms Country Club!  Besides Birchwood being a great club, Jeff has a really great superintendent to work with there.  All of my best to Jeff, Jackie and the kids. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Golf Course Closes Friday

Last weekend we received 2.5 inches of rain and wind gusts up to 43 mph.  The course came through the storm in good shape except for the Thirlby Tree on 11 again.  This was the third time in a year that a huge section of the tree broke off and now there is just a ¼ of the tree remaining.  It was a Bradford Pear Tree and dozens of them line the streets downtown where they are more protected by high winds.  

We have been busy the past month getting the golf course ready for winter and it looks like winter is showing up this weekend.  They are calling for measurable lake effect snow, then highs in the mid 30s for 10 plus days.

On Friday, the course will close for the season.  We’ll be spreading a layer of sand on all of the greens.  This application helps protect the crown of the plant from wind desiccation and helps provide an insulation layer from other winter conditions.   We’ll be bringing in the remainder of the golf course accessories on Friday as well as blowing & sweeping  leaves the remainder of this week.  Sadly, we are also hooking up the snow plow and salt spreader so we are ready to plow the clubhouse parking lot this weekend.  We still have snow fence to install and some brush and tree work to get to next week.   

The irrigation systems and bathrooms have been winterized as well as our sprayers since we have finished spraying our winter fungicides on the greens, tees and fairways.  All of these areas received an application of fertilizer as well.  These nutrients work their way into the thatch and soil over the winter and begin to breakdown so when spring temperatures arrive they can begin feeding the plants for a new growing season.  If we have any winter damage this application helps give them the jump start they need to recover quickly next spring.   

Thank you for another great year on the golf course and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

One last sand application.
The Thirlby Tree on 11 is a Bradford Pear Tree.  Three huge sections have blown off in the past year.  Only one section remains.



Monday, October 28, 2013

Thirlby Tree Damage and Silver Maple Tree Roots on 10 Fairway

The Thirlby tree on 11 lost another huge limb over the weekend.

Here she was in all her spring glory before the damage the last two years.

These are the Silver maple tree roots on 10 fairway. 

Very dangerous for golfers and maintenance equipment.
The after photo of the roots being shaved out of the top 6-8 inches of topsoil. 

Our stump grinding contractor spent four hours pruning and shaving the roots at the surface.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Finishing Tee Aerification and the Upcoming Pro Super Classic

Aerifier on 1 Tee
Today we will be finishing the tee aerification on holes 1-4. Play will start on the back nine today but all 18 are open. Also this week we will start mowing down the natural areas. This process takes about a month because we use the same large rough mower to mow the regular rough a few days a week then switch to the fescue areas. Another project that I hope to get to this week is removing all of the tree roots that are showing at the surface in the fairways on holes 9 & 10.  The Pro-Super Classic is October 17.

Pro Super Classic - 6 Green

4 Flags on 15 Green

Large Holes

Red, White & Blue on 5 Green
Sign Up Today!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Front Nine Fairway Aerification & Collars this Week

Today we will be aerifying a few front nine fairways; 2, 7, 8 & 9.  Click on the above 30 second video to see the machine in action.

After the plugs dry we drag them to break up the soil & thatch.

After the drag is finished we blow the thatch off of the fairways with the big blower.

This is what we are ultimately trying to remove while the soil breaks off of these plugs and returns into the thatch.