Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Winter Prep Work Complete- Covers Down

Last week, we wrapped up the steps we take to put the course to bed for the winter:

  • Winterize Irrigation System
  • Topdress Greens 
  • Apply Preventive Snow Mold Applications to Greens, Tees & Fairways
  • Pick Up Course Amenities (Bunker Rakes, Tee Markers, Benches, Etc.)
  • Final Course Clean Up- Blow and Mow/Mulch Rough 
  • Cover Greens for Winter
  • Cut 8" Cups in Approaches (Goodman 9 Course)
After this last shot of rain, the course is really in great shape heading into the winter months.  We will stay busy with tree work, updating and restoring course amenities, snow removal and other projects we have put together for the winter.

Thanks for a great 2016 season and we look forward to an even better 2017!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Irrigation System- Blow Out

We're one step closer to putting the course to bed for the winter months.  We got the irrigation system blown out and back-flows removed for the winter.  It's looking like later this week is when covers will get put down and that'll wrap it up for a very successful 2016 season.  Be sure to check with the pro shop on the exact covering date!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Path Edge Repair

Aside from the daily leaf cleanup we took a few days so we could finish up some edge work around the cart paths.  Last month, we finished #2,#3, & #10 on the north side of the course and this week we knocked out #5 and #7/#9 on the south.  Due to the lack of available traffic area space on the course, these are continuous problems that we're going to be faced with every year.  We do our best rotating cart traffic with our rope & stakes, but they take a beating.  We have adjusted our fertility plan (increased) for the 2017 season in hopes to keep the areas as healthy as possible.  The finished product sure does improve the aesthetics of the hole!  

#5 Path Before & In Progress 


#5 Path Completed

#9 Path Prep Work and Completed            

Thursday, October 20, 2016

First Frost: 10-13-2016

We saw our first frost of the season on Thursday (October 13th) morning.  This will get the leaves falling and start slowing the turf growth down.  It's an inconvenience to my maintenance team and golfers, but it makes a pretty picture.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hayrack Ride & Bonfire

Last Friday, we had our annual hayrack ride & bonfire at FCO.  As usual, it was a great turnout and seemed to be enjoyed by all who came out.  With the soft course conditions it made it difficult to get a path mapped out for the hayrack ride, but we came up with one on the north side of the course which separated the kids from the fire.  It worked out perfect as we didn't have kids jumping out in front of the tractor or jumping off the hayrack during the ride.  Thank you to all who came out and enjoyed the festivities!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

#1 Cottonwood Removal

Friday, we were forced to remove one of the large Cottonwoods that overhangs the right side of #1 fairway.  There was a large split on the backside of the tree and it was only a matter of time until it gave way and came crashing down on the fairway.  This is what I would consider a 'high profile' tree and with the Oak tree beside it dying, we will address that area with new trees this fall or next spring.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Greens Aerification Process

September 6th (Tuesday), we completed aerification on the greens.  We used 1/2" cores on 1.5" spacing.  Once cored and clean, we then topdress and drag/blow the sand to get all the holes filled.  It was a long day, but the guys did a great job and the end results show.

The following day, we got greens overseeded with T-1 bentgrass.  It is a perfect time to get that completed with the aerification holes serving as a great seed bed.  In the coming weeks, we'll start to see the germination from the overseeding.  Early next week, we'll get our granular application of fertilizer down which will help aide in the recovery process.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fairway Overseeding

By weeks end, we will complete our fairway overseeding program.  This will be the 4th consecutive season we have overseeded the fairways and it's made a world of difference in the quality of turf. This is a long, 3 day process of sitting on a tractor and dodging sprinkler heads.  Austen is at the helm of the tractor and doing a great job!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tee Aerification & Overseeding

Monday we completed the tee box aerification and overseeding process.  We pulled 1/2" cores on 2.5" spacing followed by 5lb/m of Perennail Rye.  Once seeded, we brushed the tees so the seed would fall in the aerification holes giving it a great seed bed for germination.  With the shot of rain last night (.6"), we should be seeing germination by the end of the week,  The process went great and caused zero disruption to golf.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Emerald Ash Borer- Course of Action

As many of you are aware, the Emerald Ash Borer is confirmed to be in Omaha and is already effecting many Ash trees in the area.  I did a inventory of Ash trees and counted a total of 65 trees with 31 being considered 'high profile'.  The trees that are 'high profile' have been tagged and treated.  Treatments will continue every 20 months until we hear we're in the clear.  The untreated trees (marked with a white dot) will be removed this winter.  To offset the loss of so many trees, we have begun putting together a tree replacement program and will plant new trees in the future months.  To monitor the trees, I will create a inventory book which will include a picture of each tree, measurements and the amount of chemical injection that was used per tree.  We're hoping to stay ahead of this and salvage the best Ash trees on the property we can.  

Monday, July 25, 2016

'Fun Fest'

I want to take a minute to thank those who participated Field Club's biggest tournament of the year, 'Fun Fest'.  We had great weather  for the participants and it seems fun was had by all.  I heard nothing but positive comments about the entire set up (course, staff, food, etc.) and the positive feedback was passed along to ALL staff members who made it happen.   We are blessed to have a great staff at all levels throughout the club, which makes it fun to come to work everyday.  Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to what the future holds at FCO.

The gallery surrounds #16 green to watch the shootout

Christine Steele took time to paint the FCO logo on #1 and #12 approach.  Added a nice extra touch!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Mole Sniper

Andy is proud of his catch!
An ongoing problem on the course is dealing with animals whether it be raccoons, skunks or moles.  Andy has taken this personal and is putting things in his own hands to deal with the issue,  More traps will be out on a daily basis and we'll be taking a head count as we go.  This is not the first catch of the season, but from here on out Andy will be on a incentive based program!    

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cleaning up around the edges....

Since there are so many large trees in such a tight area, establishing playable turf in certain areas is impossible.  To clean up the area, we have cut in an outer edge, applied 'round-up' to the area and covered with mulch.  This is an instant improvement and gives the area a fresh and clean look.  This is the first area we have converted, but we will be doing more in the future months.  The area you see in the below picture is #3 (south of Woolworth) along the cart path.

Monday, June 6, 2016

#18 Tree Work

The last of the planned tree work (until November) was completed on Friday.  As you can tell from the pictures below, right of #18 fairway was overgrown and in desperate need of a heavy prune.  In total, we removed three trees along the right edge and all the remaining trees were pruned up.  This fall, we will remove two more trees that are tucked in there and once done, we will add a irrigation head and seed the bare spots and establish turf in those bare areas.  The fairway mow pattern was shifted over to the right as well.  This will help give a clear shot to the green if you hit along the right edge.  Huge Improvement!


Earthworms in Fairways

Over the past month, most of  the comments are being directed towards the earthworm issue that is on the fairways.  I am aware of them and we are working on addressing the issue.  This is a very delicate issue as there are very few (two) products that will help eradicate the problem.  Both of the products require immediate water (preferably rain) to activate the active ingredient and push it through the soil to reach the target (in this case-earthworms).  For long term control, we will be making a test plot with three different options (Early Bird Organic Fertilizer, Sevin, Topdressing Sand) to determine which is most effective.

Just wanted to touch on this topic as people are asking, so know that we're aware and working on fixing it.      

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Greens Overseeding with T-1 Bentgrass

In effort to promote more bentgrass in the greens, we have begun our greens inter-seeding program.  We seeded greens at 3.5 lb/M with T-1 seed.  This variety of bentgrass was picked due to it's ability to out compete the Poa over time.  We have constructed an aggressive plan and will seed greens 2x/year for the foreseeable future in order to see the results we're looking for.  

Once we got the seed in the ground, we followed with a light topdress and brushed in.  That will help get the seed down in the seed bed made by the spikes on the seeder.  Once brushed, we watered it all in and you can't even tell we did it.     

Seeder mounted on 4-wheel cushman

Friday, May 27, 2016

Project and Course Update

#18 Fairway Before
#18 Fairway After

Three trees were removed along the right side of #18 fairway to help improve playability.  This will give you an open shot at the green when you are in the 150-175 yardage range.  Before, the trees hung over the edge which eliminated a shot to the green from this distance.  Next week, we will prune up the remaining trees along the right side which will be more appealing aesthetically and give us an opportunity to get some turf in the bare areas.  This fall, we will install new irrigation pipe and heads so we can establish the turf in the area (like we did on #14 rough two years ago).  

#14 Tree Removal in Action

#14 Green After
Over the last 12 months, no area on the course has had the amount of attention like this one.  Trees were removed behind the fence as well as on the golf course to increase airflow and sunlight to the green.  We removed a total of 18 trees which allowed us to achieve our goals.  This green used to be under shade by 3 pm, but now it's been under full sun at 7 pm.  The overall plant health is noticeably improved as well as the playability.

On Thursday (26th), we mowed #14 green with our primary greens mower for the first time.  To this point, we have been walk mowing the green and stepping down the height weekly to get it to this point.  We will still proceed with caution on this green and give it a 'day off' when necessary to avoid any set backs moving forward.  

On top of the golf course duties, the crew completed a great landscape renovation at the clubhouse over the past few weeks.  With the new siding and painting on the building, the landscape looked 'tired' and was in major need of attention.  Great job!

*Click on the pictures to enlarge*

Monday, May 9, 2016

Greens Aerification: 'DryJect'

This spring, we changed up the aerification practice and went with a process called DryJect.  We went with this so we could create sand channels below our normal 3" depth.  With DryJect, we got down 4.5"-6" in depth and used approx 25 tons of sand.  This will help increase our infiltration rates in the profiles and allow them to stay firm after rain events.  Below is a descriptive picture (click to enlarge) that summarizes the process.

Monday, April 25, 2016

#14 Tree Removal


Final Look from Fairway
Friday, we removed a total of 14 trees along the fence line/walking trail.  They were removed to allow more sunlight and airflow to the green.  At 4 pm on Friday, the green was still in full sun for the first time it it's life!  In a few weeks, we will plant five new trees to help fill in that open void.  We will select a smaller tree that will not affect the airflow/sunlight issue.  To view each picture in larger format, you can click each one and that will blow it up so you can see it better.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New FCO Logo Bed

HUGE thank you to the Ladies Golf Association for their generous donation which allowed us to install a new landscape bed behind #7 green.  Over the next year, these bushes (boxwoods) will blend together and we will maintain them as the FCO logo.  These projects are fun to compete as it adds a new dynamic to the course. Thank you ladies!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April Weather

I know we haven't seen many nice warm and  calm days yet, but according to the weather channel it's going to be a warm start for spring.  From everything that I've seen, it's looking like it will remain 'well above average' in temperatures throughout the summer months as well.  Hopefully we can get some timely rains throughout the season to help aide in our water bill!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Irrigation Upgrade

Old Set Up
Trenching New Wires 
New Head and Coupler

Up and Running!
Irrigation work on a golf course is a never ending job.  Over the past few years, we've spent a ton of time working and repairing the irrigation system to ensure that system is running correctly and efficiently.  Here we removed the old quick coupler on the front right of #16 green and added a new sprinkler head and new quick coupler.  The approach on #16 is a south facing slope which causes it to dry out faster than others.  This extra bank head will help us get the area the water it needs and will save us a lot of time hand watering it.  Tip of the cap to my crew for their hard work and making this is quick project.