Monday, December 22, 2008
So here is a MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR for everyone from us in the maintenance department. We hope your holidays are safe and bring you joy & happiness.
See you next year!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
How did the aerifying go? What can we do about the worms? Were you happy with the conditions this year? What are you planning for next year? These are the typical things I am asked about this time of year, often the questions sound a little "loaded" to me but they are all legitimate none the less. And the cliche that there is no stupid question is very true, so ask away whenever there is something on your mind.
Worms are something we fight in the spring and fall, the fall always seems to be worse and the annoyance lasts much longer. Our fairways have a great black soil for growing grass on, which in turn is a great medium for worms. When we get these rains every few days and the soil surface stays moist the worms have no reason to move deeper and they stay around the surface. The black mud spots we have in the fairways is a result of their castings being flattened out by traffic. In the spring the soil dries out a little quicker leading into summer so the problem does not persist like it does now. Is there anything we can do? Yes there are a couple of things we can do...
One of the fungicides we currently use in the fairways for disease prevention also deters worm activity. We currently use the maximum amount (10.9 lbs./acre) per year we can according to the label to prevent Anthracnose, Dollar Spot, and Leaf Spot which can be a problem for us. So as a side effect we do get some deterrence of worms.
Sandy soils also deter worm activity. The main reason we do not have problems on our greens is because of the high sand content in the top 4-5 inches of the soil profile. We do not have that in the fairways, it is a nice loam with minimal sand content. We can topdress our fairways with sand, it is showing success at other courses that have chosen to do it. A couple of things to consider there however is building up layers in the soil profile and cost of application. Layers create water problems and root issues so it is a major issue to consider. Once on a sanding program it is very difficult to stop it, until a decent layer of sand is built up it could cause major problems in the future with turf health. And cost is another factor, while the sand is not so expensive the cost of delivery keeps rising. I am currently researching this option for IVGC and plan to present the green committee and BOD with what I find. It appears that it would work in taking care of much of our worm problem, now we just need to make sure it fits into our budget for the long term. It should be noted that turf quality will improve with incorporating sand into our soil profile, not only from less mud caused by worm castings but also with water movement and firmness. #3 & #14 approach would be the first to show some signs of improved quality since there is so much peat in those profiles...
Just something to chew on over the winter months and perhaps plan to start next year...
Monday, September 29, 2008
I am hoping this fall lasts for a while and gives us plenty of time to play golf and get some projects completed. If it is anything like this spring though it won't be around long and we will go straight into winter. Yikes, let's hope not.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The out of bounds along 14 has caused a little confusion this year, so we have decided on this remedy (check the picture). We have removed all the little white stakes and painted an out-of-bounds line along the large steel posts the run the length of the hole. It is not the straightest line, nor is it right up against the field, but it is much clearer as to what line to follow and whether you are in or out. We will also let the grass just outside the line to the field grow long (no mow) to define the area better and also help with erosion coming off the field and on to the golf course. The buffer zone should prevent a lot of the soil from making into the rough and perhaps help with the big washes that move all kinds of debris across 14 and into the pond.
The steps on 16 and 9 are also on the docket for this fall. I am currently working with a couple of bids and deciding on materials to be used. It will end up being a nice rock/paver path from the cart path to the upper tee on 16, and a nice keystone step attached to the planter on number 9. I am looking forward to, as are many others, to retiring the green stairway on number 16.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Anyway, the work is complete on #8 and #10. There are a few loose ends we need to tie up on our side of things but that should all be wrapped up this week. We have received nothing but great comments on the work that was done. #10 should be playable by the end of next week and #8 will probably be brought into play the Tuesday before the club championship. It usually takes a good two weeks to get the sod rooted down enough for traffic and no slipping on the bunker slopes. All the sand will be raked up to the edges before we bring them into play.
This years project consisted of #6, 8, & 10. Providing the funds are there to continue next year, we would be moving on to #7 (which would finish the front 9), 12, 13, and 18. That would about equal the amount spent on this years renovations. That would only leave #14, 15,16, & 17 left to finish off the bunker renovations. The one hole which really needs a close look is #14. The pond needs to be rebuilt, the fairway from 100 yds and in needs some serious work, and there is potential there to scrape down the fairway out as far as 250 yds so it is possible to see your second shot and what lies ahead.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
To carry the new cross bunker here are the estimated yardages from each tee: Blue = 260-265, White = 250-255, Red = 233-238. Now obviously it is a downhill shot from the tee, so it should be a little easier then that ;)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
On another note, regarding the disease and poor turf on the putting green... I have stopped using plant growth regulator on the putting green in hopes to really encourage some growth out of the healthy bentgrass. We will continue to work seed in to the thinner areas and strive to encourage a fill-in of bentgrass over the poa annua. As a result of not using PGR on the putting green it will get a little more "grassy" then the rest of the greens and may roll a bit slower. We also continue to work seed into the thinner areas throughout the golf course...
Sunday, July 20, 2008
So what is it? Anthracnose is the common name for the disease, Colletotrichum graminicola is the scientific name for it. Most commonly, the fungus develops during the heat and humidity of the summer months. It is possible to be active in the spring and fall also, though less common around our area. Turf under stress and in a weak condition is likely to be effected if the disease is present, this is the case for most diseases. The two infection sites are the crown of the plant (basal crown rot) and the leaf tissue (foliar). The basal crown rot is the most severe and kills the plants outright, the foliar form can be less damaging and easier to control.
The one thing with most turf diseases is that they are always there once you have them. They have overwintering forms and will become active once the right conditions come about. Fungicides allow us to prevent the infection of the plant, they do not actually kill the diseases. Anthracnose is one of many diseases that reside in our soil/thatch layer at IVGC. As we go forward from here we will make sure our chemical program for greens covers a wider range of diseases during the summer months. There are a few spring applications we can make to also set ourselves up for better control during the summer.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
We also took down the large tree about half way down the left side of #12 fairway. This tree was very similar in condition to the one on #11. There is also one near the bathroom on #12 that will be coming down sometime in the future, you can see the hollow center. While it appears really drastic the tree is still strong and standing, but it is only a matter of time before it has to come down. All this has really caused us to evaluate the rest of the older trees on the golf course. I plan to set up a meeting with Dennis Landberg of Landberg's Tree Service (who has done the tree work for us over the past 2 years) and tour the course to take a critical look at all the questionable trees. This hollowing out is very common in the older trees such as maple, butternut, and even oak. I would say most of our mature trees are ok, but there are a few that show signs of serious decay and should probably be taken down. The one thing about serious storms, they tend to take care of those trees for us.
Friday, July 11, 2008
We are concentrating on tees, greens, and fairways and should have them in great shape by the end of the day. There are a couple of guys with chainsaws cutting up the trees and hauling the wood down to the burn pile, but that work will take a few days to get complete. For the most part it is all out of the way areas except for the tree down on #10 and the one on #16. Please bare with us while we get the place back in shape.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I enlisted the professionals this year to manage the pond on #6. Midwest Aqua Care out of Chaska will be taking care of the pond and keeping it clear of algae and weeds. With the low pond level due to construction allowing the water to get very warm quickly and getting behind on copper sulfate treatments, the pond algae really took hold following the major rain event we had a couple of weeks ago. It will take about a week before we should see some results, browning of the algae and a reduction in mass. The weeds will also start to die and decay during that time. I will tell everyone now that there might be a little fish kill. When a large amount of algae and/or weeds are killed off there can be a severe depletion of oxygen in the water which in turn can harm fish populations. There is enough water entering the pond though that I am hoping this will not be a problem.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Since Don Wagner and his crew installed the sod I had time to start the finish grade on the forward tee on #2... It is just about ready for sod and we are hoping to get it down before the bad weather that is predicted Thursday afternoon. I apologize to the ladies for the delay in finishing the tee up, when the weather has been good we have been working hard to get all the spring jobs done. I am usually the one that works projects like the tee renovations and because of all the stuff going on in the spring it means projects get delayed. The same thing happened with the tee complex on #3 last spring, that sod did not go down until the last week of May - first week of June. The work on #6 took a little more priority because of the scale and working with contractors, so the tee box got pushed back. But no longer, it is nearly complete and am hoping to have it done by the end of the week, early next week at the latest.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
A quick update on those plans also: The right fairway bunkers on 8 will be renovated and slightly shift into the fairway, more so for the second fairway bunker then the first. The left fairway bunker will be removed and a new bunker built to the right of the ash tree that is along the fairway behind the existing bunker. This creates a larger landing area to the left of the existing right fairway bunker and also makes a landing area to the right of the new bunker for the longer hitters. The first greenside bunker will be removed and the second, or actual greenside bunker, will be renovated and wrapped around more of the front left corner of the green. On #10 the plan is to remove the left fairway bunker and replace it with some mounding, which would have a fairway cut extended partially up the sides. A new bunker will be placed on the right side of the fairway about 110-120 yards out, creating a carry of 245 yards from the white tees and 265 yards from the blues. Due to the new bunker the ash tree next to the 100 yard stake would be removed to open up shots to the green. The rough area to the left of the approach from about 100 yards in will be graded down to a more subtle slope and open up views to the green and greenside bunker. That bunker will be renovated in its existing spot and some of the dirt from grading the rough will be used to build up the backside of it. The rest of the dirt will be used on the new fairway bunker and also a new championship tee for #11. All this work will be taking place in July, the same time frame as the work done last year.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Unfortunately I do not have an update on #6, but with the stretch of nice weather we have been having I would expect to see Hartman working on by the end of the week or early next week. Once they start I am hoping there is only a few days of work and it will be complete.
The range has been looking a little dry, especially around the target greens, and we have finally gotten all the wiring and pipe work done so the range irrigation is up to 100%. We will be aggressively seeding and working the target greens to create a nice stand of grass we can mow at a shorter height then the rough so they should stand out more. The challenge we have with the target green areas is we are trying to grow grass with about an inch or two of topsoil over solid clay. If we can not get something established I think in the future we will have to consider a more major renovation so we can have nice target areas to shoot at.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
On the same note, we did core aerify the collars of all 18 greens on Tuesday. The timing could not have been better with the 1/2" of rain we received almost immediately after finishing the last green. We aerified, picked up the cores, topdressed with a sand/soil/peat mix, seeded with bentgrass, and dragged it all in. The rain was perfect for soaking the seed and "melting" the topdressing into the turf. We may also do this routine on some of the worst areas in the rough that just don't seem to want to fill in. For the few burned out fairway spots (#10 comes to mind) we will be slit seeding and topdressing those sometime this week.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
This Great Egret is one of a few that has been wandering around #6 pond in the morning. We also have a Great Blue Heron looking for food on occasion though I have not been able to get a picture of it yet. They don't tend to sit still when you come tooling along on your golf cart. You will also notice in the picture the normal level of the pond, the top of the grayish rock. Once the work is complete on the green complex we will be bringing it back up to normal level. Because of the low water we can not put the fountain/aerator back in until it is brought up. The water is less then 3 feet deep where we put the fountain and it needs at least 4 or 5 to operate. Let's hope the next few days are the last stretch of rain(snow?) for a while so we can finish up the dirt work quickly and really get some good turf growth in the weak areas.
We are taking advantage of the decent days and getting the course cleaned up and mowing everything to an even height. The areas that suffered over the winter are the only few spots that have yet to green up and get growing. Most of them have some new tissue under all the bleached/dead turf but the weather has not allowed them to really get going yet. Next Monday we will be aerifying greens with a low impact "knife" tine like we have done the past couple of years and the following week we will be aerifying the tees & collars a little more aggressively. We have not normally done a spring aerifying on tee surfaces but with the poor condition of some of them coming out of winter we have decided to be aggressive with some cultural practices to give them a good kick-start to recovery.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Overall the turf looks great and things came through the winter very good. We do have some minor snow mold damage in rough areas that do not get protected in the fall before the winter. We also have a handful of areas that the voles were active in over the winter. They chew on the grass plants at ground level and leave the blades behind. So when a rake gets pulled over it to clean it up you end with dirt. It will take a little time but the areas will fill back in and be fine.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Well before the current storm hit the turf we could see (which was most of it this morning) looked good and ready for spring. I am sure it will be only a couple of days before we get another look. Hopefully by early next week we are running around outside getting things cleaned up for the opener. I feel pretty certain it is gonna be a good couple of weeks before we can start filling out scorecards, but only time will tell. Once this snow is gone we are going to need some solid sun and warm nights to move the frost out of the ground. I have heard estimates that it reached a good 5' deep this winter, which would not surprise me. Once it starts to thaw out though it usually goes fairly quick. Hopefully later this week I have a much more anticipated photo to share instead of the snowy white blanket we see now.
Friday, March 14, 2008
As for the course and the weather and when we open, I know that's why your really here checking up on things... So far so good. If things follow typical patterns, we should be teeing it up early April. So far the weather has been great, and the snow cover since December 1st has been a very good thing. Now, however, we are entering that period when things will be thawing and freezing. This is when the grass can take in water but then have serious injury if it freezes up at night. A couple of things we can do to help things is make sure the greens are free of ice. When things start to thaw out and the water is flowing we will be out making sure it is not pooling on greens. By moving ice and snow obstacles we can keep the water from pooling and possibly freezing when things get cold again. As usual we will be doing everything we can to get the place in shape and ready for action as soon as possible. It's right around the corner.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Make sure you pass on any thoughts to the greens committee or myself so they can get addressed at our meetings. Or if you have any questions email me and I can answer them straight away, or pass them on to those who have the answers for you.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tee markers = $17/ea. (approx. $2,500)
Ballwashers = $180 (approx. $4,500)
Ballwasher Stands = $85 (approx. $2,000)
Metal Garbage Cans = $50 (approx. $1,500)
Those are just a few examples of what we have out on the course, and if we were to purchase new tee signs or benches they would be in the $300-$400/ea. range. Needless to say we try and refurbish everything we can and for as long as we can to save money. However, we will always have high standards for the condition of our golf course supplies no matter what the cost.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Over the last five years one of the two motors had gone out a couple of times and at the end of last season there were some major problems with the motor units. It was determined at that time that replacing the whole unit was the best option for the club. The installers were able to reach the unit with a crane from the front entry drive and it didn't take them long to get the old one unhooked and off the roof. Shortly thereafter the new one was put in place and wired up.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
For a current update on the golf course: The snow cover has been good all winter and that is a good thing with the very cold temps & wind we have had on occasion. And now there is a chance for a few more inches which would nicely cover the exposed mounds and turf areas we do have.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
So what keeps us busy during the winter months? I am glad you asked. There are a lot of things to keep us busy during the few months that the course is closed. Just to list a few... All the course supplies, such as tee markers, garbage cans, flag sticks, cups, etc... are sanded and painted. Every piece of equipment is cleaned and serviced. Mowing units are sharpened. Plans are laid for the upcoming season after we review the previous season and determine what needs improvement and adjustment. But, I will be the first to say things are much more relaxed and save the occasional impact wrench or reel sharpening, there is a nice quiet that lingers around the shop. And so we prep for the coming season...
Here's to making 2008 another great golf season at IVGC.