Monday, December 18, 2017

Dry December

On Tuesday of this week we decided to re-charge our irrigation system. Over the past couple of weeks we have been using water tanks (our sprayers) to hand water small areas of turf, but with fairways and tees now starting to dry, we were unable to keep up without the help of the irrigation system. Although it is relatively rare to have to run the system in December; the mild temperatures, extreme wind and lack of any significant precipitation over the past 45 days left us with little choice. This is especially true when you combine the fact that our Poa annua greens and Ryegrass fairways/tees are much more susceptible to desiccation then other cool season turfgrass species. At this time of the year the turf requires much less moisture to stay alive and healthy, but it is still very important for the crown of the plant to stay hydrated. So why it make look bizarre to see the sprinklers going off this late in the season, the turf will benefit greatly from the little bit we give it this week. We are planning on running another cycle or two before we are forced to blow out the system again early next week. It's safe to say that everyone on the Agronomy staff is hoping Santa brings some moisture this year!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Late Season Watering

Due to the lack of moisture we've had over the past 6 weeks, we had to get creative in our effort to get water to the greens.  Since the irrigation system is already winterized we rigged up our sprayer in order to hand water greens.  This time of year the turf plant does not require much moisture, but we were starting to see some areas show some wilt.  The whole course is dry and very firm, so hopefully we can get out of this dry cycle and get some precipitation sooner than later.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Late Fall Tasks

November 20th, we winterized the irrigation system and shut down all the irrigation satellites for the season.  This is a full day worth or work, but very important as we head into the winter months.  The process went off without a hitch and we should be in good shape with the irrigation system as we head in the the spring of 2018.  

We spent several days working on the bunker depths throughout the course.  All bunkers were getting pretty low on sand, so we got the depths back in the 3-4" range.  Due to the amount of sand that was needed to get the where we want them, the bunkers will be very soft but should compact and firm up as winter goes on.  To help speed up the process, we rented a plate compactor and compacted them ourselves.  This really helped firm them up, but until we get some good moisture the sand will play really soft.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

#2 & #11 Landscape Bed Renovation

Below are images of what was recently planted in the landscape bed between #2 & #11 tee boxes.  We tore out the hostas and wild strawberry's (mainly weeds) and put down a weed liner, panted new materials and used rock to finish it off.  Come spring, it will start to take off and give us nice color all year long.  This will be be a huge improvement in such a highly visible area. 
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Astilbe Rheinland
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Veronica Eveline
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Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass
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Hydrangea Pinky Winky


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Venting Greens

With the 3" of rain over the past 5 days, the greens needed some fresh air!  Monday, we used needle tines and went about 3" deep to vent the top layer of the greens.  Besides being a little softer, this process does not affect ball roll what so ever.  The greens perked up nicely and really look healthy as we approach the winter months.  Weather pending, we will do this process one more time prior to covering greens for the season.   

Fairway Overseeding

Last month, we completed the fairway overseeding process which I started doing five years ago.  This process has made a huge improvement on the density and condition of our fairways.  During tee aerification, we overseed the tees as well.  In this process, we use a total of 4500 lbs of seed which breaks down to a 5lb/m application rate.  It is a long process, but well worth it when completed! 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Fall Aerification

Last week, we completed aerification on greens & tees.  Both processes went smoothly are are back to their 'normal' playing conditions.  On greens we went with a process called 'DryJect' which does not remove any material from the greens.  It creates a channel in the green (5"-6" deep) and it is immediately filled with kiln dried sand.  We pump right around 25 tons of sand directly into the green profile during this process.  We also used this time to overseed greens with T-1 creeping bentgrass.  I'm seeing germination already (especially in the aerification holes) as this is our attempt to establish more bentgrass in the greens and slowly push out the poa.  It's a long process and time will tell if we make any ground in this area.  

On tees we pulled a 1/2" core, pulverized them (dusty mess) and then overseeded with Perennial Rye.  As of today, we have great germination and the tees are healing nicely from the summer stress.

Both processes were long  and tiring, but these practices are what allow us to have great surfaces throughout the year.  Great work by my crew on completing these tasks!

Custom Made Railings

A few weeks back, we put the finishing touches on the new stairs with custom made railings.  Bender Ornamental created the railings and installed them with great precision.  They really turned out great and finish off the look and functionality of the stairs.

Here is a before/after picture of #9.  Oh how quickly you forget what it used to look like!



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New Sprayer & Sod Cutter

Huge thank you to the Board & Chris for moving quickly to replace our sprayer that was on it's last breath.  The middle of summer is NOT the ideal time to have sprayer issues, nor is anytime for that matter.  We purchased a new John Deere 300 gallon sprayer.  Having the lager tank (old sprayer was 200 gallons) allows us to make applications (especially fairways) more efficiently saving us several hours each application.

We also upgraded our sod cutter as it saved us money to purchase at the same time.  Our old sod cutter was a 1966, so needless to say, it was time!

Thank you again for all your support!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Topdress & Venting

After last weeks brutal heat & humidity, we're getting oxygen to the roots by venting the greens this morning.  We have a nice break in the weather and hopefully some rain this week, so it's perfect timing to get this done.  We'll brush the greens to work the sand into the canopy and give it a shot of water once they are brushed.  Great work by my staff last week getting through that stretch of weather with only minimal scars!

Monday, June 26, 2017

June 16-17 Storm Damage

Below are just a few of the pictures I took from the storm that rolled through on the evening of June 16th.  FCO was hit with 2+ inches of rain along with 60-80 mph winds.  We lost a few trees that uprooted/snapped in half along with another 8-10 trees that will need to be removed due to extensive damage.  Drefs Tree Service got on property on Friday (23rd) to clean up the large trees and they are scheduled back in a few weeks to start cleaning out trees that have 'hangers' in them.  

I want to recognize my crew for their hard work to get the course cleaned up and playable WITHOUT shutting down the course.  Tee times were NOT even delayed on Saturday morning, so great work (like always) by my team!  Thank you to the membership for playing around my crew as we worked to get it cleaned up!  

Summer Grind

It's that time of year where the majority of Andy's time is spent checking and watering greens.  We use moisture meters throughout the day to monitor moisture levels in the greens profile.  This tool allows us to keep the greens at consistent percentages and takes the guess work out of the equation.  Weather pending, we're keeping the greens as consistent as possible on day to day basis.  So far, so good!   

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

#9 Cart Path Project Complete!

The last 'open' project on the course is now complete!  Last week, Flinn Paving got the new path poured and overlayed.  Since we moved the stairs to the center of the tee, the round-about was moved to match up to the stairs. Once Flinn was finished, we graded out the old round-about and sodded it in.  As the sod takes hold, the area will be roped off for the time being.  Thank you for your patience in getting this wrapped up, but it was well worth the wait!


Saturday, May 27, 2017

New Tee Signs

Thank you to the very generous members and their families for their sponsorship of the new signs.  They have been updated to match the new scorecards and we've added the handicap for the hole on the sign.  There are still several signs available to sponsor, so contact Kevin for more information.  Thank you again for making this happen!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Rough & High Traffic Aerification

With this stretch of wet/cool weather, it makes for perfect conditions to alleviate compacted/high traffic areas by using solid tines and aerifing them.  Andy is getting around the bunker complexes as well as cart path entrance/exits.  We're using 3/4" solid tines and going 2.5-3"  deep.  This makes a huge difference in turf quality, especially come mid summer.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Greens Aerification

Monday we completed the daunting task of greens aerification.  We used 1/2" core tines and went on 1.5" spacing.  That tine size with tight spacing allowed us to remove just under 9% of material which is exactly what we were looking to accomplish.  Tuesday afternoon, we rolled (2x) and mowed greens to smooth them out and clean up excess sand on the surface.  Over the coming days, we will continue to roll greens which will keep them nice and smooth.  If the cool weather forecast holds true, the cool temps will slow down the recovery process, but the greens will be putting true regardless of the temps.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Clubhouse Landscape & Tee Path Cleanup

As spring rolls on, my crew remains extremely busy not only maintaining the golf course, but freshening up the landscape around the clubhouse and on the course.  The landscape beds on the course have been edged and re-mulched as well as the mulch paths on #4, #8, #13.  Everything is coming together just in time for some beautiful weather this weekend.  Be sure to thank the guys as you see them on the course for their hard work day in and day out.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Stump Grinding & Irrigation System Charged

This week, we got the stumps ground out (40) and will have the shavings cleaned up by weeks end.  In the coming weeks, we'll get the stump holes filled with soil and sodded.  With the wet weather, sod companies can't get in their fields to harvest sod, so we'll have to wait until the weather cooperates for us to complete this task.  Below you can see Andy is decked out in protection and grinding away.

Now is the perfect time to get the irrigation system charged up and to make sure everything is up and running the way it should be.  As always there are some bumps in the road when getting the system pressurized, but as of now, everything is operating the way it should be.  I plan on adding another bank head on the front right of #18 to hit the heavy traffic area going to the path.  We're always tweaking the system trying to get it as uniform and efficient as possible.  All the hours of work now pay off in the summer when its our lifeline.  


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Covers Pulled, Greens Open

March 8th, greens covers were pulled and greens are officially open for play.  We got them mowed up and fresh cups cut prior to the cold weather setting in over the past weekend.  Everything looks like it survived the snow-less winter, so we're off and running.  Over the next few weeks, we'll be putting the finishing touches on the course cleanup as well as getting the remainder of the course amenities out.  As you can see from the picture below, I owe Jeff Putnam a special thank you for his hard work as he helped pull that ONE staple out for us! 😎

Friday, February 24, 2017

Retaining Wall Upgrades

*click on the pictures to enlarge*

The warm temperatures gave us an opportunity to get out and complete the overhaul of our old railroad tie walls and convert them to a three piece paver wall.  As you can see from the pictures below, it gives the course a much needed updated look.  We used natural stone slabs of stone as our stairs which not only looks great, but they are structurally sound and will not rot out like the railroad ties.  Early spring, we will complete some landscape work on #6 & #9 as well as install a new cart path on #9.  #15 is the only existing wall that was not completed due to a possible change in the set up down there.  That will get completed next year as well as installing some new stairs on #4,#8,#13 & #14.  Special thanks to Linhart as they were the company who completed walls.  They made the process of on site changes extremely easy and did a fantastic job! Fast too!!   

Before: #10 Path
After: #10 Path

Before: #9 Tee
After: #9 Tee

#6 Wall looking South
#6 Wall from Behind

#17 Stairs