Monday, July 19, 2010

How Much Peat? Or Organic Matter for that matter...

( 2010_07_19 - Soil Boring #14 Approach )

In an effort to better understand what kind of soil structure, or lack there of, we did some soil borings on #14 approach today. With the pond banks collapsing, the bunkers in need of renovation, and the approach a rolly-polly expanse, the greens committee is starting the planning process for what will take place over the next couple of years. The amount of organic matter, specifically peat, has always been in question in that area. And with renovation plans beginning we needed to get a handle on what exactly we are dealing with in the area.

( 2010_07_19 - Soil Boring on #14 Approach )

From the looks of things as the cores were coming out, we are not in a situation where we will need to excavate any substantial peat. The soil profile appeared to be made up of about 4 feet soil & peat, then about 2-3 feet very sloppy wet gray clay, and then down to the boring depth of 20 feet it was generic looking clay. Braun Intertec will be compiling a report on the profile and getting that back to us. With that general knowledge we should be able to come up with a pretty good game plan for renovation of the general area. It's nice to know we don't need to dig up 15 feet of junk and then fill it all back in with some proper soils for good growing conditions. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Watering da Turf

( 2010_07_16 - Watering #10 Green )

Over the last month we have had some irrigation issues. Four weeks ago we had one of the main irrigation motors go down and it had to be replaced. We have been running at about half capacity until a week ago, when we installed the new motor and got everything back up and running at 100%. The last few days we have had more issues with low pressure shut downs and the pump house not being able to handle the load. We have tweaked the settings in the computer that controls the irrigation and hopefully have it under control now. Tomorrow morning will give us our answer, if everything runs and there are no more shutdowns then we should be in good shape to finish out the year. We will be updating the wet-well intake in the irrigation pond on #13/14 this winter after we shut the system down. Currently the screen and location of the intake is causing the majority of our problems with the motors and pumps. I would do it now but we would be a week or so without any irrigation water since we would have to drain the pond to do the work. Not to mention digging out firm muck is much easier then slopping out the wet stuff and hauling it away.

The irrigation issues have resulted in some unsightly turf in a few fairways. The annual bluegrass has not taken to being dried out very well. We usually try and walk the fine line of dry but not dry enough to damage the turf. With the night watering not working 100% and day watering only amounting to so much, we have had some poa annua decide enough is enough and die out. The nice thing is we can start cultivating those small patches and try to encourage some good bluegrass, but it is a bit unsightly. Overall it should not effect play too much and things should rebound quickly as we get more water on it and the weather cools a little. The poa annua doesn't really like 90 degree temps with high humidity for any length of time...

I hope everyone has a good weekend and has a chance to get out and play a little bit.

( 2010_07_16 - A View of #5 Green/Approach )

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where Does The Time Go?

It's been a couple of months, yikes! We have been tackling so many little jobs around the golf course that it has been very easy to get sidetracked. To say the least, I have been sidetracked away from my blog.

During the last couple of months we have been tidying up a lot of loose ends around the golf course. There were a few drainage issues on #1, #14, and #17. There are a number of irrigation heads that have been re-leveled, and a fair number more to go. The staff has been spending time cleaning up bunker edges and adding sand to many of the older ones. We renovated the planting area next to the first tee, and removed the large steel bag rack. The driving range received some much needed attention, and though it is more of a band-aid for the time being, it looks much better then it did. The guys have continued tree trimming, and removed a damaged ash tree next to the second green which also allows for a much better view/shot for the first hole. The latest tree trimming was done on hole twelve. Here is the before and after pictures from that.

It might not appear to be much, the first picture does not really show up well, but the one tree in front of the fairway bunkers has been drastically trimmed to open the left side of the fairway. I was concerned with the amount of trimming required that the tree would not look good at all, but it actually is not too bad. We will evaluate it over the next couple of weeks and make a final determination on whether it stays or is removed completely.