Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winter Maintenance: Grinding Away...

Will all the mowers in the shop for the winter, Bill (mechanic) gets to dig in to them and get them prepared for the 2015 golf season.  Here, he is grinding reels (sharpening) and re-building rollers (seals and bearings).  This is tedious and time consuming task, but very pivotal for turf quality. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

#1 Oak Tree Removal

This week we completed the December tree pruning/removal budgeted plan.
#13 & Surrounding Area: 
-Remove 4 Dead Elm and 2 Ash Trees
-Prune up remaining 2 Elm left of Green
-Prune Maple directly West of #7 Tee
-Prune Ash Left of #5 Green
-Remove damaged limb on Locust Tree
-Prune Massive Cottonwood left of Fairway (150 yards out)
-Remove Large Oak that sits on Front Left Corner of Green

Removing the Oak on #1 Green will allow us to utilize the entire green when setting up the course.  Prior to removal, we were forced to place the majority of pins on the right half of the green as the tree blocked access from the fairway to a left side pin.  It also will help eliminate the excess debris (especially in the Fall) falling from the tree on the putting surface.  This Spring, we will complete the cleanup and fill the stump holes with soil and seed or sod them.  All the work dramatically improves the overall look and cleanliness of the entire property not to mention playability! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Course Amenities: From Fake to Natural...

Benches Before
The Process.....
Stained and Sealed.....

Final Look of New Benches
This winter, the maintenance department is working on upgrading our course amenities (i.e. benches, rope/stakes, ballwashers, bunker rakes, yardage post, etc.) in effort to give the course a 'natural' look and feel.  With the historic tradition at FCO, I felt that this would be a nice touch and would give us a different look then the other clubs in Omaha. We are eliminating plastic and converting everything to natural wood.  Some of the conversions are difficult and require a lot of hand work and detail to finish.  We are well on our way to making the changes and here are some examples of what you'll see on the course next season.
Bunker Rake: Natural Wood vs Fiberglass

Friday, December 5, 2014

New Equipment!

Thanks for your continued support as we continue to upgrade our equipment one year at a time.  This season, we have three new utility carts which will replace the ones you currently hear back firing and leaving a plume of smoke in the air.  These are greatly needed to say the least!  Also, we've purchased a used light weight fairway mower which will eventually replace one of our aging units.  We can't thank you enough for all the support and resources you give us which allows us to provide the best possible conditioned course possible!  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Final Stages of Winter Prep......

As Winter slowly arrives, we are wrapping up the final few tasks to winterize the golf course.  Last week, we made the final chemical application for the season to Greens, Tees, Fairway/Approaches.  This application targets both Pink and Grey Snow Mold.  This week, we will complete the topdressing of greens (images above) and brushing it in.  This will affect the ball roll for the remainder of the golfing season, but is a vital cultural practice that's used to help protect the plant from winter desiccation.  We will also be using a Greens Cover to protect #12 green complex this winter.  Once topdressed, we'll cover and the green will be out of commission until the Spring temperatures/conditions allow us to remove.      

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Winter Prep

Monday, we got the irrigation system blown out just before the major cold front rolled in.  We hook up a compressor on the main line and go through every head and quick coupler to make sure there are no pockets of water in the pipe.  Taking your time in the fall saves MANY headaches and hand-dug trenches in the Spring! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#6 & #9 Retaining Wall Project

#6: Before
#6: After

As you can see, #6 retaining wall was in need of a serious upgrade.  Since the wall is structurally sound, we decided to find a paint that would hold up to the extreme weather patterns while preserving the wall for as long as possible.  We used a product from RUST-OLEUM called 'Restore'.  This product is 10X thicker than paint and provides a textured surface to help prevent slipping.  This provided a immediate upgrade and will prolong the life of the current wall.  

#9: Before
#9: After
#9 was approached the same way as #6.  Not only did we paint this wall, we removed the back steps that were no longer structurally sound.  We made a new hand rail for the front, and we will be re-covering the steps (on ALL the tee boxes) with a product made from recycled rubber.  It is a black rubber, 3/8" thick and provides a non-slip surface.  This will be a MAJOR upgrade from the current solution of carpet.  Special thanks for to Gerry Gray ('Bow-Wow') for funding this project!  Thank you for your support!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Tee and Re-Alignment

As you are out playing, you'll notice white paint on top of the reservoir and on #11.  We will add a tee box on the Northwest Corner (front left) on top of the reservoir which gives you a great view and visible fairway shot. 

#11- We will change the mowing pattern on the tee box to align you towards the center of the fairway as opposed to push you along Pacific St. 

Small changes like these make a big difference when it comes to playability.  Hope you are enjoying this PERFECT fall weather!
#10 Tee on Reservoir

#11 Tee Alignment

#11 View from Behind

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October-Breast Cancer Awareness Month

To show support for breast cancer awareness, we have put out our hot pink flag sticks with pink ribbon.  It's a nice little touch to help raise awareness for this disease. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#14 Fairway Expansion


Mowed and Prepping for Seed
Final Shape for New Fairway
To match the existing holes on the course, we added a fairway on #14 this week.  The area was mowed to shape, aerified (2X) and over seeded with Perennial Rye (same as existing fairways).  The area will continue to be roped off and should be established by the end of fall. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

#13 Green Expansion

#13 Before Renovation
Sod Cut Existing Collar and Rough

Sod Removed, Ready to Dig for New Root Zone

Dug Out and Removed Existing Soil

5 1/2-6" Depth for New Blend

85/15 Blend was Brought In

Smoothed, Tamped and Final Grade for Sod

Beginning the Sod Process

Final Look from Fairway
View from Behind the Green

By expanding this green, we're now able to bring the front left bunker in to play.  We will now be able to put pins along the left side of the green giving us much needed pin location options.  This green was built to match the existing profile of the current green giving us consistency throughout the entire green.  The sod that was used was stripped from our Nursery which will give us the same turf varieties throughout.  Once it roots, we will aerify and topdress several times this fall and get it open for play as soon a possible. The project was completed by my maintenance team and they did a wonderful job!  We started this on Tuesday and finished up on Friday.  Great work Boys!

New Path- #15 Green


As you can see, the new path right of #15 Green was installed on Wednesday by Flynn Paving.  They completed the project in 1 day and as expected, it makes in immediate impact on the appearance and comfort of the area.  In the coming weeks, we will backfill along the path edges and eventually seed the bank right of the path. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tee Aerification

Yesterday, we completed the aerification of the Tee Boxes.  Below are pictures of the steps that were taken to complete the task with a brief description that summarizes the step.  Long story short, it went well and they are ready for play!

5/8" Core, 3" Deep
Pulverizing Cores with Rough Mower 
Difference After 2 Passes
The Aftermath....SORRY BILL!!

Cleaned Up and Ready for Play

Friday, September 5, 2014

Time for a Change.....

To the untrained eye, those are just a basic planting of mums around the FCO sign.  However, if you look closely they are Red and Yellow...yes, the colors a powerhouse program- Iowa State.  I know this goes against your core Nebraska pride, but give it a chance and let the new colors take over your life.  If you don't get your fix of the Cyclones, please notice the other batch on #18 Tee.  ENJOY!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fall Greens Aerification

Jose and the boys in action
1/2" Cores pulled and cleaned up, ready for Topdressing
All holes filled and excess sand blown off, now ready for mowing
Double cut with triplex to remove any extra sand on surface followed by a roll to smooth out any bumps

Here is a step by step process of how we performed our greens aerification.  My hat goes off to my maintenance team as they worked tirelessly to complete this process and get the greens back in great playing condition immediately.  Today, we mowed and rolled again this morning and the greens are rolling at a great speed, but more importantly they are smooth! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Roots Need Air!

Last night, we were hit with another 1.6" of rain and more rain is in the forecast for the remainder of the week.  With the extremely high humidity last week followed by the rain on Friday, Saturday and now last night the entire course is water logged and soft.  This practice is a key component in gas exchange, drainage and rooting on the greens.  The greens were walk mowed followed by the needle tines (2" deep) and then mowed again with the Triplex mower to smooth out the surface.  The holes are hardly visible and are rolling smoothly. 

Due to the rains and high humidity, the greens have been softer than we traditionally keep them.  This is causing an increase in ball marks, so PLEASE do your part and repair your marks along with anything that was left behind.  My maintenance team repairs the marks daily before we mow and we have noticed an increase in our morning repairs this past week.  By everyone doing their part, it will improve the putting surface no matter what time you play.