Monday, August 17, 2020

Irrigation Distribution Uniformity

We've been talking a lot lately about replacing the irrigation system, so a recent incident of misfortune is definitely worth explaining. A couple of weeks ago we had a power failure at one of our satellite boxes on the golf course, and the result was the sprinklers didn't run for one night over a large portion of the 9th and 18th fairways.  We were having some hot weather at the time so unfortunately quite a bit of turf dried out to the point of death.   Here's some pictures of the subsequent damage.

This is a shocking amount of damage for one night without irrigation, and that is why I'm pointing this out.  We shouldn't see this much damage from just one missed irrigation cycle.  It clearly shows just how poorly the irrigation water is distributed over the golf course when we irrigate.  The brown dead areas were obviously very dry before the system failure occurred.  This is what it's like all over the golf course during the months of July and August when we are irrigating every day.  We have some areas that are very very dry, and we have some areas that are very very wet.  You just don't realize how serious this condition is until something breaks down like in this case with a power failure.  I guess maybe I shouldn't say that because many of you do realize how serious this issue is, but you most likely notice it in a different way.  Most of you notice it when your ball hits a soft spot and doesn't roll out at all.  The issue is poor irrigation distribution.  This is not a new problem.  We've been trying to improve our water distribution uniformity since the day our current system was installed.  It is in fact getting worse with each passing season as the sprinkler heads age, but even if we had new sprinklers, our system does not have the capability of achieving good distribution uniformity given it's poor design.  I'm not trying to blame the designer.  When you consider all the decisions that were made during the installation of our existing system back in 1989, I think all individuals involved made good ones.  But, like I've said before, what was okay then, is not okay now.  So this is why you see staff out there hand watering all the time.  They are trying to keep the dry areas from dying so we don't have to apply more water which in turn makes the green areas wet and soft.  It's a balancing act.  Everyday day we have to decide how much water to apply knowing that too little will mean more hand watering or dead grass.  If I apply too much water, playability is compromised with the lack of bounce and roll.  I say all this to point out that a new irrigation system will solve a lot of problems.  A modern irrigation system has far better distribution uniformity which means less dry areas, and less wet areas, and therefore better playing conditions.  It also means we'd see less damage in the event of a failure (since even new systems can have failures). 
Luckily, our technician was out the next day to repair the satellite box, and we were back up and running that afternoon.  It would have been even a worse incident had he not been available at the time.    

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Mount Tacoma

Most of you know about the controversy surrounding the original naming of the mountain that today we call "Rainier".  If not you can click HERE and read all about it.  Well, I say we keep Mount Rainier, "Mount Rainier", and deem Mount Tacoma as that big pile of earth on the right side of #2.
So why is Mount Tacoma there?  What are we going to do with all that earth?  The best answer right now is that we really aren't sure, but it's going to be great.  A home builder down the road needed to get rid of some topsoil and fill material, and he asked if we would like to have it.  We said yes since we have many projects on the master plan which require fill dirt, and in fact it's the cost of the fill which has prevented us from doing some of these projects.  You can look at the Master Plan by clicking HERE but real quick just look below at some images of the projects we have planned which require considerable fill material. 
3 Tee
This doesn't look like a huge change but shifting this teeing ground to the left and doubling the size of usable hitting space will require at least 150 cubic yards of fill.
3 Green/4 Tee
The plan to make #3 a reverse redan, and subsequently one of the most thrilling one-shoters in the state will require some fill dirt, but the work we want to do on 4 tee will require a lot.  What's a reverse redan?  Well that deserves the attention of a blog post just by itself, but you can read about "the redan" by clicking HERE
7/17 Tee
This project adds about 50 yards to number 7 and gives us a new angle into 17 green.  A lot of fill is required for this project, but worth every penny.  The dirt is free now, but there would still be a considerable cost to truck it all the way down to this area.
10 Green
The little bump we want to build on the left side of 10 green is a bigger deal than you might think.  This will be a great feature when you want to chase one onto the green, but are blocked out by the fronting bunker.

So like I said, any of these projects will be great improvements, but right now it's not certain what we're going to do.  Right now I just wanted to share with you that we've been gifted some valuable soil and we're excited about the opportunity it presents.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Work Party

Thanks to everyone that came out yesterday to sand and seed the divots on the golf course.  It was really a great time, and the weather was just gorgeous.  Social distancing was maintained and fun was had by all.
The timing couldn't have been better. This week we will get a little rain so the fairways should heal up quickly.  Here's a few pictures from yesterday's work party.  Thanks again, it really was a big help for getting the golf course in the best shape possible before reopening.