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

Friday, February 3, 2017

#6/#18 Tree Work

*Click on the pictures to enlarge*
These pictures are looking up the left side of #18.  They were in serious need of a heavy pruning to improve the health of the tree and it will also significantly help improve the condition of the rough in this tight area.  We only removed two of the smaller trees and that's due to the large maple canopy's that were growing into the smaller trees.    
As you can tell from the pictures below, this cleaned up the area more than I imagined.  Once the trees leaf out this Spring, it'll still protect balls heading towards #6 green, but will allow for more sunlight to reach the area below.  Huge improvement!

Tee Markers Completed!

With the course being re-rated last summer, we eliminated the 'white' set of tees and will have two sets moving forward.  This layout was done all of last season and worked out great.  As you can see below, we took this time to overhaul the markers and make them perfect.   Every year, we would sand and paint them, but being out in the elements they would look 'tired' by the end of the season.  Last winter, we spent six weeks to complete the restoration....that's a lot of man hours!  This year, I got the logo lasered in a piece of brass that we adhered to the original tee marker and protected the face with an application of spar urethane.  They look amazing and will give us the consistent look all season long with minimal yearly maintenance.        

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Few Winter Projects

Below are a few before & after pictures of some projects that we've been working on.  The first is our pull-behind sprayer (Bean Sprayer) that Austen completely stripped down and re-painted.  The sprayer is from the 1960's and was in desperate need of a make over.  It turned out great and is ready for use this spring.

Here you see the restoration of our yardage markers that sit along side the fairways.  We sanded them down to the bare wood, re-stained (3 coats) and re-painted the tops/numbers  to give them the final look that you see below.  A lot of time goes in to the amenities that you see around the course.  These are the finishing touches that can set a course apart from others and it's something that we take great pride in here at FCO.

Andy's Shelf:  This new shelf was an idea that Andy came up with in order to keep our chemical records organized in the newly restored chemical room.  It's mounted on the wall and has a swing down shelf that will be used to record chemical applications on.  Little touches like this make our operation more organized and are very practical in our department.  Good work Andy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

#7 Tree Work: Before/After

As the winter months move on, we continue to make progress on the tree plan for 2017.  Below are before and after pictures of the area directly right of #7 green.  We removed two Ash trees that were crunched between an Oak and a Maple.  Once the Ash trees were removed, we pruned up the remaining trees to finish off the area.  This will help the turf in that area as sunlight will be able to reach the surface.  In the coming month, I will compile the complete before/after images and post what was completed over the past several months.  It is amazing at the difference we've been able to make over the past five years as we continue to work down the list on our tree plan.  This will be a never ending battle at FCO due to the quantity of trees, but as we finish up the removals we will get aggressive with a pruning plan and continue moving forward.
#7 Tree Work In Progress
Finished Product

Monday, January 9, 2017

Winter Work Update

Time to get back to the daily grind after the holiday season!  Things at FCO are in full force as we continue to get items crossed off the 'to do' list.  In the shop, we are working on the course amenities (benches, tee markers, yardage posts, bunker rakes, etc.) and Bill is busy working on the equipment and making sure everything is ready to rock for the season.

Andy putting the finishing touches on the benches
On the course, we're plucking away at our list for 2017 winter tree work.  We are off to a great start on our list, but got a long ways to go.  There have been some removals (mainly Ash trees), but you'll notice a lot of heavy pruning that's been done as well.  This is a never ending task, but we continue to prioritize a yearly list and knock out everything that we can.  We have made HUGE progress in my five years, and this year will be no different.  
Tree Work: Right of #7 Green