Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bunker Project Update

Well, with the rain coming down right now it looks as though the finishing sod will go down on Monday of next week. Number 10 was finished yesterday, and some of number 8 was finished up. The only thing remaining is a little drainage in one bunker and sand, then it's irrigation and sod. Hopefully this heavy rain does not ruin things too much so the cleanup/repairing is nothing major...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sodding #10

After 1+" of rain on Friday morning, which put a standstill on the project, the weekend was nice for drying things out. While there was a lot of prep work to do because of the rain we received, the sod arrived and most of the work on #10 has been covered in green. The mounding on the left, and the new fairway bunker are finished off. There has also been quite a bit covered up by the green side bunker and cut-back slope. Work will continue on #8 for the next couple of days, the sodding on both holes will hopefully be complete by the end of the day on Thursday. All in all, we should be playing on the new features in 2-3 weeks...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 3 On Hole Number 10

The new cross bunker on the right side of the fairway has shaped up nicely. It is very nearly ready for sand and sod, the drainage is the only major thing that needs to be done. The left side is also coming around, the renovated green side bunker is a big change from the old one and the widening of the approach will make the whole hole much more playable.

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 ;)

Renovation Continues

Hole number 8 is changing... Two bunkers have been filled in, both on the left side, and the other three are starting to take shape. The new left fairway bunker has been painted out and work should start on that tomorrow. It is amazing how fast the crew can change the face of the course. Hartman's staff has been great to work with and there is plenty of manpower to get the job done quickly. I know temporary pins are not very popular with any golfer, but by keeping play away from the crews they can work so much faster and efficient. And obviously the safety factor is the major point with keeping play out of their construction areas. I hope everyone understands and thanks for being patient...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Renovation Begins!

On Monday the renovations began on holes #10 and #8. Here is a little two day snapshot of the work taking place on #10. The left fairway bunker has been filled in and there is a new cross bunker being placed on the ride side of the fairway about 100-120 yards out from the green. The left side of the approach from about 100 yards in is being cut back and widened, along with a dramatic re-build of the green side bunker. On #8 there are a couple bunkers all ready filled in and Wednesday the work will really get underway on the renovations of the remaining bunkers. I will keep you posted...

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

Disease On The Putting Green

About two weeks ago we had disease break out on the putting green, and we quickly sprayed it with fungicide. We have kept an eye on it since and it appears be under control and nothing is active, but it did pop up on #1 green in a small spot so we sprayed again last Friday morning. We will continue to monitor the turf and make sure we keep it under control. If there are any playability issues we will address them immediately.

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

The storm split the large Butternut tree on the left side of #11 fairway and created a hazardous situation. Today we took it down and realized it was a very good thing we did. The picture shows what the inside of the tree looked like about 2 feet off the ground. There is about 4" of actual wood with a completely hollowed out center. It is amazing how strong that little bit was to keep the tree standing as long as it did.

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

70+ mph Winds!!!

For those of you who were not at the club on Thursday afternoon, wow did you miss a spectacle. The storm rolled in very fast and was gone just as quickly. What was left was a complete mess! We lost a couple of trees on the course, #10, 11, and 16 took it the worst for that. I am sure you can see all the debris in the picture above from the tenth fairway, this is what the entire course looked like after the storm. So today, Friday, we are not mowing anything and just concentrating on clean-up. The mowing will take place on Saturday so we do not get behind.

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

5am Sunrises

At 5:00am there are some real neat scenes as the sun rises. The colors and light are spectacular playing off of clouds and the golf course. If I were a better photographer then perhaps I could capture what we really see at times like these but hopefully the picture here shows some of that. While we normally start our day at 6:00am and the sun is usually past those times when it creates some beautiful colors we do on occasion start earlier. Today, Ladies Guest Day, is one of those times when the 4:15am alarm comes awful early and the mowers are on the course at 5:00am so we can get done ahead of the morning shotgun. And while we might grumble a little bit 'bout the early start, there are some truly neat things to see out on the course at that time. It also means that at 1:30 in the afternoon we have had a full 8 hour day and then the staff can get home and play...

Algae Control

I can't believe it has been a few weeks since I last posted! Things get busy, days seem too short, and then the holiday rolls in and staff is minimal...

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.