Sunday, April 9, 2017

Punching

 Greens were punched last Monday.  We started by using the dryject machine. If you want to know what the dryject machine does click HERE.................
Immediately after the dryject process we rolled the greens and then punched them with the traditional solid tine.  Immediately after that we applied more sand and then drug the sand into all the holes.
Luckily we had a good day of weather during this process and this is how they looked when we finished the day.
We incorporated a lot of sand and the dryject process relieved some deep compaction that we normally can't get to.  As expected the greens are draining well and we know this because we've had a lot of rain since we punched them.  That rain has washed all the sand in nicely and the greens look very good today but all the rain has really caused us some problems with our spring aeration.  The forecast is for more rain this week and we are running out of time to punch fairways.  
On top of that we just got hit by a serious wind storm on Friday so now the course is covered in debris.
This week we will have to focus on cleaning up after the storm and getting the place mowed down and hopefully have it in decent condition for Thursdays Pro Am.  So again it looks like punching all the fairways is simply not feasible.  I have never been more frustrated with the spring weather. Typically we are almost finished with aeration at this time and to date all we have punched is the greens.  My hope right now is to find time to just punch some of the weaker fairways like #2 and #5.  These fairways are really weak due to excessive shade and the very cold winter so punching them will hopefully stimulate some growth and improve the turf density.  
If you were around this last week you may have noticed the excavation on the left of the first fairway.
What we're doing there is building the EVA (Emergency Vehicle Access) for the new performance center.  This is a building requirement and it means the loss of one of the parking stalls in the main parking lot.
The excavated area was back-filled with a gravel mixture which we compacted very tightly. 
On top of the compacted gravel we installed this plastic mesh stuff which can withstand the weight of any type of emergency vehicle including a fire truck.
On top of that we installed sand.  The final step will be installing sod so in the end it wont really look like we built a road there at all.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Now What?

So now that the 12th tee is basically finished, what do we do now?  Well we have to topdress the area a lot.  We are going to spread sand over the area very aggressively for the next few months in order to get the teeing surface smooth and firm.  But really, the 12th tee is the least of my concerns. For the next several weeks we will be restoring the grounds surrounding the performance center which right now looks like a place where a bomb filled with mud has exploded.

The key is we need some decent weather for this area to dry out a little.  February and March were two of the wettest in history and that has not helped the situation around the new facility.

The forecast for this week looks very promising and we will be working on this area to try and get it back together.  I promise you that it will look great and it will be finished before you know it.
One of the key elements to a good looking practice facility is of course good looking turf and the artificial turf strip has been anything but that recently.  The problem with the turf mats not laying flat is now solved.  All we did was simply anchor them down using stainless steel screws.
Before that we did remove all the mats and put down a fresh layer of gravel and then compacted that really well.  The whole thing looks great now and once we get the grass around it repaired I'm sure everyone will be glad we have this artificial surface.
At the pro shop I got the chance to play with the back hoe the other day and dig a trench in order to restore power to the clock.
The clocks been stuck on 11 o'clock for several months now.  It'll be nice to see it working again and that should happen pretty soon.  
 FYI we did replace a few of the trees behind 16 green.  This time the transplant went very smoothly and we feel like these new trees will have a much better chance of survival.  One of the new strategies for improved success is we installed some perforated pipe around the root balls.
These pipes allows us to monitor and influence the moisture around the root ball.  With the caps off we can reduce the moisture around the root ball and of course if we need more moisture we simply use a hose to fill the pipes with water.



Saturday, March 11, 2017

12 Teeing Ground

Monday we received a shipment of sod for the surrounds of the 12th tee.  We installed 11,000 square feet of ryegrass which covered most of the area impacted by the project. The areas that are still exposed are well out of play and will be seeded.
The quality of the sod is very good even though the color is a little off.  The turf came from a sod farm on the east side of the state where it's been frozen solid for several months and therefore is in a slight state of dormancy.  It should green up very soon since we are finally seeing a return to normal temperatures in our region.  
Yesterday we rolled the area with the big tractor, set the tee blocks, and opened it up for play.Over the next several months this teeing surface will receive several topdressings of sand in order to get it smooth and firm.  We started this project on the January 2nd and everything has been done "in house" by my talented staff.  There were countless challenges faced throughout the process of construction given the severe winter weather.   Needless to say all of us are pretty proud of how it turned out.  Here's a couple before and after pictures.
Before taken from behind 11 green
Today taken from behind 11 green

Before taken from the proposed tee location.

Today taken from the new tee location.