Saturday, August 25, 2012

Teeways and Efficiency Part 1

After  the Senior Member Guest concluded today, I was able to get some fantastic photos of the teeways on an empty golf course with the sun high in the sky. Here you see the 18th hole.  This week we mowed the teeways down to our fairway height of 340/1000".  Now we were actually able to mow them with the fairway mowers.  Of course this was a learning experience seeing what we could and couldn't do with the large machines.  Thank goodness I have fantastic operators that were able to just figure it out.

Because of the Senior MGI, we mowed teeways and fairways everyday this week.  Each time we mow, we change the direction to come out with the stripeless look which I just love.  I still don't know why some people today mow stripes.  What a waste of time.  On the subject of time, using three fairway mowers, one small fairway mower, and one walker for the tight areas, we mowed all the fairways and teeways (31 acres) using 15 man hours.  Back in the day, when I wasn't very smart and we striped fairways, walk mowed tees and dew strips, and then mowed rough between tees, that same 31 acres took 30 or more man hours to mow.  Saving 15 man hours is like adding two people to my staff every day we mow that 31 acres.   That's huge.  So this weeks 9 am shotgun didn't really hurt us going into the weekend.  All areas got mowed before the gun was fired.

So mowing that 31 acres of fine turf takes about half the time it used to.  Our increase in efficiency doesn't stop there though.  Now that we don't have to mow the rough between the tee decks, we use the large rough machines to mow around the teeing grounds, and so the time it takes to mow that rough has been cut in half.
Here's the 6th hole.  Before teeways, we could never put the blocks this far up on the blue deck, it would have been 6 inches past the rough which would not have been cool.  We have gained countless new teeing areas with the teeways.
Here is the 10th hole from the white teeing ground.  You can see how now there is no difference in the appearance of what once was rough and what once was tee.  It all blends seamlessly.  I need to fix the mowing line on the left this winter.  It's too busy right now.
Here's the 12th tee.  On this one remember we already sod cut out the transition area to fairway so it is really seamless now.  12 teeway is really a finished product.
15 teeway from the green is pretty cool.
Here's 14 as we played it yesterday.  This small teeing area has not been used since the old days when we used to triplex roundish shaped tee decks.  I think that stopped in 1999 when I came on board and thought it would be smart to walk mow square tees.   That wasn't a good idea at all. that's a good idea.
As part of the master plan, we added this huge fairway height area to the right of the 16th green.  Eventually it will be part of the 17th teeway if all goes as planned.  To establish this area we have been scalping it out just like the teeways. In the center of the photo you can see the unfortunate part of the "scalping out" method.
Here is a close up of what I'm talking about.  On the left of the photo you see scalped out ryegrass which by itself looks pretty good.  On the right you see the original approach which is very old, mature, fine perennial type Poa like you find on our putting greens.
Here is a closer view of the two turf types.  So now here is the question  "how long will it take for the ryegrass to look like pure Poa".  It all depends on how much overseeding we can do and how well we can kill the ryegrass.  How does one kill just the ryegrass and not the other grass??  This afternoon we started a trial with a product called Segment.  Below you see Kevin spraying it on our nursery green.  We sprayed one area at the labeled rate and then a couple different areas at higher rates to see what happens.  Our nursery green is mowed at fairway height and has a mixture of different grasses so it is very representative of our scalped teeway areas.  Hope we see some good results which would be dead ryegrass and living Poa.  Stay Tuned!

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