Monday, September 10, 2012

Busy Fall

The front entry project has officially started in full force. Southwest Paving is now removing asphalt and will start the grading in the next day or two. Hartman has started the renovation of the first tee also, so there is a lot going on at the club right now. Projected entry project completion time is Mid October. Oh yeah, on top of all that it is aerifying time again. We completed the front nine greens today, plug-collect-sand-drag-brush-mow-water. We did not get the fertilizer down at this time because the winds were blowing 20+ mph all day, it was great for drying sand but not for spreading fert. We will get it down as soon as the winds calm and allow us to.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What A July, What A Wind!

How many days with 90+ degree weather so far this year? I think we are at 25 and counting. The month of July was something that is for sure. We had multiple days with soil temps at or over 100 degrees, it was a challenge keeping the turf cool. Collar areas took the brunt of the stress and there are quite a few poor spots to show it. We will be sodding a couple of the worst areas with bentgrass sod from the nursery area, and aerifying, seeding, and topdressing all the collars to help with a quick recovery. The recent cool down has been greatly appreciated that's for sure.

And now for the topic everyone has been talking about the last couple of days, the storm that blew through on the 3rd of August. Here are pictures to give you an idea of the damage and cleanup challenges we are facing right now. We hope to have 75% of the work done this week and the rest finished up by midweek next week. In all we will lose 17 trees due to the damage caused, some completely came down but many are so badly damaged that they need to come down. There are hundreds of hangers and fallen branches. Once the course is cleaned up and the hangers have been cut down we will start with the removal of the trees. A huge thanks to the members that showed up Sunday morning to help rake and pick up sticks, the effort is really appreciated by the staff. And a special thank you to Dean Geiger for the continued help he is giving us to load and remove brush from the golf course.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Looking Good!

It's pretty awesome the course drains as well as is it does.  Again, kudos to those that spent the time, effort, and money to get as much drainage into the course as they could many years ago.  With about 6" of rain over the last 9 days, we were able to cut all the fine turf and a lot of rough yesterday.  By the end of the day today we should be nearly caught up on all mowing.  The grass is trimmed, the turf is lush, and the course is looking great; You should get out here and play some golf!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rain Rain Go Away...

We added another 0.75" of rain to the golf course last night.  This goes with the 2.0" the night before and the 1.5" the previous Thursday.  Oh yeah, not too mention the 1.5" in the beginning of last week...  Suffice it to say, the golf course is saturated.  There were also some strong winds last night the wreaked havoc on small branches and twigs.  The grounds staff is spending the entire day today picking up debris littered all over the course.  And all this in anticipation of the next volley that is supposed to roll through late tonight.  But don't be deterred members and public golfers; The golf course is still very much playable and in great shape.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Good Rooting

Last week I was changing cup locations on the greens and was extremely pleased to see rooting to the bottom of the cup cutter and deeper.  The cup cutter we use pulls the plug out in one 7" piece and to see roots popping out the bottom is a wonderful site.  We even have rooting that deep in the poorer soils below some of our greens as evidenced in the picture of the black turf plug.  By accomplishing this in the spring the turf plants are set up to better cope with the stresses of summer when roots die back instead of continuing to grow.  It won't surprise me to see root depths as shallow as 1/2"-1" by the end of the summer if things really get stressful.  And then the plant will do it all over again next season...  Obviously the trick is to help the plant maintain as much root mass as possible during the summer.  Syringing, deep/infrequent irrigation, and raising the height of cut are a few things that aid that in happening.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Little of This and That

Governor's golf open is done.  First member tourny of the season is past, the second one is right around the corner.  The heat is here and with the bit of rain we had the grass is growing and the mowers are busy.  Greens mowing height was brought down a notch to 0.135" a couple of weeks ago, we plan to be at summer height of 0.120" by Memorial Day.  During the season at times we do raise the height up a bit to lessen the impact of stressful conditions.  Bunkers have all been edged and sand is being added to a few as I write this.  Sunflower seeds have not been as problematic as they were, it appears the notice over Foretees was noticed.  So here we go... Not that we have not been going for 2 months already or anything.  But with the heat and night time temps up things have really taken shape.

The Greens Committee has approved the concept plans for the front entry make-over.  The design is currently being detailed and bids will be taken for the various parts of the project. The committee is hoping to have a detailed presentation to the IVGC Board of Directors at the June meeting, if not the July meeting at the latest.  Construction/Renovation will most likely occur in September and October.  When things are approved I will post the drawings and plans on the blog.

I was also hoping to show everyone some before and after pictures of the well re-development that was done over the winter.  I currently have the video footage of the before, but am having problems with the footage taken after completion.  I'll get them up as soon as I can, the screen looks brand new at the bottom of the well after the blasting and jetting that was done.  If I can finagle some pictures of the process I will get those up too, I was not allowed to photograph the blasting portion for safety concerns.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A New Insect? Not Likely.

Well this ain't a beetle, but it is a pest all the same.  I'm a sunflower seed guy myself, I carry a bag around in my cart and often have a mouthful while I am out and about.  I do not spit seeds on fine turf areas out of respect for other golfers.  While fairways and tees might not be as big a issue, spitting sunflower seeds on greens is.  There is no reason a person should have to pick up another person's sunflower seed shells so they can putt.  Not only is it a bit disrespectful, it is a tad bit gross too.  Let's keep the shells in the rough and respect our fellow golfers a bit more.

And on a lighter note...  Stump holes are being sodded, most landscape beds have a fresh layer of mulch, and a lot of little things are getting done.  We will soon start addressing cart path edges around greens and tees.  I think it's gonna warm up soon, I did wear shorts today but apparently that might have been a wee bit optimistic.  I started the day with rain pants and a decent jacket on because it was cold...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Well Refurbished

The well renovation was completed on Friday afternoon with the installation of the refurbished pump assembly and motor.  The visible portion looks new, however it is the old motor with a fresh coat of paint and complete rebuild.  Figuring the well was installed in 1989 and lasted through 2011, hopefully we can get at least another 20+ years out of it.  Reviewing video footage of the before and after is pretty convincing that the blasting and jetting process works as advertised.  The 40' of stainless steel screen at the bottom of the well looks brand new and there are visible cavities behind the slots.  Now we just have to put a fresh coat of paint on the rest of the assembly and make it a bit more presentable.  If I can get the video footage I'll try and share some of the before and after stills from it.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why The Low H2O?

When we drained the pond on #6 down last fall we noticed the muskrat control netting had slipped down a few feet in spots and there were some burrows in the pond bank.  With everything going on this spring so far we have not had a chance to rebuild the small portion that got dug out and also install some new netting up higher on the bank.  Another issue with the pond is the gate system has rocks in the bottom of the enclosure that is preventing the bottom gate sections to seat properly and seal water off from draining out.  This coming week we will climb down and pull the rocks out, and also start to rebuild the pond bank and install new muskrat control along the pond bank.

In other news, we have been very busy tidying up the multiple projects we had left over from last fall/winter.  The tracks from the work on the irrigation pond have been cleaned up and sodded over in front of the 13th green.  The drainage on #15 & 16 has been cleaned up and prepped for seed/sod.  Some of the smaller stumps have been ground up and the holes cleaned out.  The larger ones are too big to feasibly do in-house so we will hire out their removal.  Most of the landscape beds have been cleaned out and are awaiting a fresh layer of mulch.  And to go with all of that we have already started some normal rough mowing routines and are getting closer to a regular mowing schedule on fine turf areas (kinda crazy considering it is only April 7th).

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pump House Flush

We had some spring cleaning in the pump house yesterday.  Every spring over the last handful of years we have had Midwest Elevator out with their airlift system to remove debris from the bottom of the wet well inside the building.  As part of that process we have to remove the check valves and turn them around so we can back flush the pump screens and churn up the water in the wet well.  It went very smooth and we removed a fair amount of stuff such as leaves, small sticks, and even the remains of a squirrel.  Since we did the pond work last December we are hoping this could be one of that last times or at least we can space out the cleanings to every few years.  It is not that much of a hassle but wrestling around 6" check valves and steel couplers can get a bit tiresome.  Pond work?  Well, we extended the wet well intake about 4' and raised it about 24" off the bottom of the pond.  The old inlet was flush with the bottom and allowed all sorts of debris into the system.  So between the two jobs we should be clean and good to go for years to come...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some First Cuts of the Season

Just a quick shot of the first fairway mowing of the season.  Yesterday we got out the mowers and put first cuts on the tees, approaches, and fairways.  The greens also were cut, for the fourth time this season already!  Couple of cool days here but things sure are greening up.  There is talk of hitting 80 degrees this weekend! Wow.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012 GIS & Takehome Tidbits

NOTE: With the new blog format be sure to click on the post so you get the whole entry. Even the most current posting, though a larger format, does not show completely...

A few weeks ago I was looking at this landscape; It was the Golf Industry Show in Las Vegas, NV.  For one week a year the GIS brings people from all areas of golf course operations together to learn, network, and relax a bit.  While over the years the conference/trade show numbers have decreased a bit, there was a super turnout for the 2012 GIS.  With a attendance of almost 15,000 people and 540 exhibitors, the trade show floor was constantly buzzing.

I had two really good seminars, one on management strategies to decrease the amount of Poa annua on the golf course and the other on stress management strategies for cool-season turf.  I came home with some great information as well as some things we are going to implement in our maintenance practices this coming season.

With the last of the greens covers being disposed of (worn out and deteriorated beyond usefulness) we are going to be striving for a greater percentage of bentgrass on our greens and less annual bluegrass.  Not that we have not all ready been doing things to achieve this over the years, we constantly modify and improve our cultural practices to encourage the bentgrass over the bluegrass.  This season we are going to ease into some of the chemical strategies for modifying our populations of turf on greens.  It is something that will take a long time to appreciate because we wish to achieve this with little to no effect on playability.  This is just one of the many things we are working on this season, stay tuned for further details on everything we are looking at this season.

Panorama from the clubhouse roof 03-20-2012.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Not Too Much Cleanup Thankfully

One casualty from the storm last night. We got about .4" of rain and I'm not sure, but I think the wind gusts were in the 50 mph range.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Off And Running

We mowed greens on Friday, nice clean-up height. We opened the course at noon on Saturday. And now, on Monday afternoon March 19 mind you, we are firing up the irrigation system! Here we go. IVGC is looking forward to potentially a nice long season. Here's hoping the weather is good to us that whole time.

Posting from my phone in the pump house. Not sure how this is gonna look or the quality of the picture until I get back to the computer. Bare with me...