Friday, July 29, 2016

Fairway Edges vs. Trees






When the weather is warm and very, very humid, I really decrease the amount of irrigation applied to the golf course.  Grass uses less water when it's humid.  When I decrease the amount of water being applied by 1/2 or 3/4 night after night during the humid weather, the trees still keep taking up water from their roots. Once the humidity breaks, the grass starts taking up water again.  Here lies the problem. 

Where we have a mix of fairway turf and tree roots, our little 1/2 inch annual bluegrass plants in the fairways don't stand a chance against our large adjacent trees and their roots. All of these areas looked great over the weekend but when the weather changed last Monday and Tuesday these areas took a beating from the lack of moisture in the soil.  

To hopefully avoid this damage next time, I've created an irrigation program to only water the irrigation heads next to our trees that compete for water near our fairway edges.  I'll continue watering this program during the humid weather so the soil isn't as depleted of moisture by the time the humidity breaks and there is nothing left for the grass in these areas. Below are a few pictures of these areas.



Left of 17 fairway



Left of 11 fairway

Left of 17 fairway

Left of 5 fairway near the English Oak.
Healthy turf on 11.
12 fairway in mid-season condition.


                                             

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Capital Equipment Purchase












Besides the driving range tee project this spring, the board approved the capital purchase of a new rough mower.  After lots of equipment testing from our big three equipment suppliers this spring, we chose the Toro.  This machine is replacing a 19 year old Kubota tractor which pulled the 17 year old PTO drive Bushhog rough mower.  We did a major renovation on the rough mower about 7 years ago, so we certainly got our useful life out of it.

With the combined breakdowns of both units, we rarely went a week the past few years without issues.  These breakdowns certainly caused the conditions of our rough to be very inconsistent.  Thanks to the board and to all of you for supporting the capital dues assessment.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Cart Path Hump Removal

Click for Web Version


We all know how annoying the bumps are on our cart paths from the tree root encroachment.

They have really gotten bad the last three years.  The cost to remove the black top, gravel and roots with the installation of new gravel and blacktop was astronomical.  At my national conference and trade show I came across a company called Flat Paths.  They remove the above ground humps in a matter of minutes.


Here is a tree root behind 4 tee all the way over the cart path.

Here is the machine grinding down the black top and tree root.


It took about 3 minutes to smooth this one and to match the level on each side of the hump.


Just after, with debris all over.

A quick brush of the blacktop.

Still a crack in the blacktop but the hump is gone and super smooth.  We'll start adding cold patch to the really bad ones and we'll be trying a product called EZ Street crack filler soon.  

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Range Mat Project in 22 Pictures


Click Here for Web Version




Concept - layout - back edge depth - brick spacing - when to start the angle - spacing between mats



Sod removal

Soil removal to six inches

Edge prep and leveling

Stone hauling and leveling

Stone leveling and compaction

The secret is in the stone for leveling.

The east angle

Brick installation starts

The jig

Taking shape, 1/2 done

Heading east 

The cement underground border

Matching bricks under the cooler station and range ball box, out with the old.

The angle turned out better than I thought.
Two new mats to sample

We put our old mats in there until all 15 new ones arrived.


Topsoil around the border

Sod installation

Our new club stands


The finished product, 15 stations, no more moving mats daily, spring and fall, for outings, junior golf and all Mondays.

The finished product from the east.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Deep Tine Aerification & New Range Tee



Click for Web Version

Last night our contractors started deep tining our greens.  This process creates an 8 inch channel which improves drainage, provides space for roots, improves oxygen and reduces thatch.  The biggest benefit is that it breaks through the bottom layer of topdressing sand and the subsoil the greens were built out of.  We topdress after, brush the sand in, water, then double roll.  You won't be able to tell that we even aerified in a few days.

Click here to view the machine in action, turn down your speakers.

https://youtu.be/BlVYmN9g8BA

Our new range mats will be here Friday and we will install sod around the bricks next week.  

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Range Project Update




First we cut out the sod on the back of the range tee 8 x 125 feet long.

We excavated 6 inches deep.

Had some hand work on the inside edges. 

Hauling in the stone material that goes under the brick pavers.

Plate compacting the stone.

Three pieces of 1/2 inch pipe help create the 1% drainage grade and to make the surface perfect before brick installation.

Prepping the east end while stone is being installed in the middle.  The last 6 stations will also be aimed towards the middle of the range as we angled this section on purpose.  Plus it creates a great area for demo day tents and lessons.

Brick installation started by noon on Thursday.

A 5 x 5 stencil is used to form around the future location of our new range mats.

7 out of 16 stations were finished by the end of the day on Friday.

East end stone being installed in this picture.  We should wrap up the brick installation on Wednesday, then soil and seed the edges on Thursday.  Our new mats are back ordered but we'll be using our current mats once the project is completed.