Friday, December 6, 2013


Some of you have heard me say "Bring on winter, we're ready".  Well I guess I should be careful what I wish for.  What I meant was "bring on the NORMAL winter" which means rain, wind, and more rain.  The golf course was just so firm and healthy this past month that I figured I could take a lot of rain with no problems.  What I didn't want is exactly what I got................or are getting as we speak.  Today we are setting records for low temperatures.  Not really fun and not really good for our Poa greens.  The last time we saw temperatures this low was in 2009.  After that deep freeze, we had significant injury to the greens.  Specifically, our shady greens basically died.
You can see by this picture taken today that the ground is so frozen that frost doesn't even form anymore. It is frigid.   We are cold and dry, and the dry is what has me concerned.  Winter desiccation is very possible right now and there isn't a lot we can do about it.  Typically once we thaw out, the turf will be off color for a while and then things are fine, but this deep freeze is pretty serious.  I expect our weakest greens will reveal themselves and we will have some injury.  Shade is the biggest problem here so we could see some problems on all those greens along the east property line and of course our shadiest green today is #1.   One thing is for sure, when you grow Poa, weather extremes usually result in some turf loss.  Whenever you break records, be it a heat wave, or deep freeze, some Poa is going to check out.   I guess we will know soon enough since the weather man says we should warm up to normal on Tuesday or Wednesday.
So what are we working on during this miserable weather?????  The normal nasty weather jobs.  Everything gets a fresh coat of paint.
The tee markers have been brought in.  Before painting, they get checked for nicks an then are sanded down.  Below you see our sanding contraption.  I like the shop vac hose there catching the dust.

In the chemical storage shed, we have reorganized the shelves and added some new ones.

Both spray rigs are getting all new hose and nozzle assemblies.  The materials to do this only costs about $200 which is well worth it since this exercise eliminates a lot of potential problems during the busy growing season.

Look at that.  There's nothing prettier than a tidy boom.

 The O.B. posts have been brought in.  They will also get a fresh coat of paint.  Check out the new Ipe bunker rakes.  I just love these things.  The Ipe wood is just amazingly durable.  First we give them a light sanding.

Then we wipe them down with a little oil.

The heads are cleaned and wiped down with Armour All.  After that the rakes look like new.  From what I've seen with the other Ipe wood items we have, this type of maintenance is all that's needed to make them last indefinitely.  Honestly, these might be the last rake handles we ever buy.  One very smart investment for sure.

The staging area on #8 has been cleaned out.  Now this takes a brave soul.  Yes, there is heat inside the cab of the truck (sort of), but during the time it takes to load the truck, one can get frozen to the bone.  Some of you know how big that pile of leaves was at this site. It has taken all week to move all those leaves out to the main composting area.  Hey, check out the new side boards on the dump truck.  Pretty sharp huh?

What am I doing?  You guessed it.  Working in my warm office.  There is a lot to catch up on since we have been so busy with the renovation.  Here you see I'm working on the tee set up sheets.  We have built several new teeing grounds and of course the teeways  have changed everything.  This document is in desperate need of updating.  It is important to have a set up plan like this.  Our tees markers are placed in zones that correspond with the pin locations.  This way, we utilize all the turf on the teeing grounds and play the holes at varying yardages while maintaining an overall yardage that is consistent with the course rating.

Tonight the temps could drop into the single digits and winter hasn't officially started yet.  I have a feeling all our documents will be getting updated very soon.

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