Friday, May 15, 2009

Week Wrap Up

It was an extremely busy week for us on the golf course, but a very productive one despite the bothersome rainfalls. As usual, the entire staff did a fantastic job keeping up with the frantic pace, which generated more than one dawn 'till dusk work day.

The cause for such a busy week was simply the merging of many time-sensitive factors.
  • Final stages of irrigation project
  • Green and tee aeration
  • GPS data collecting of entire course
  • Finalizing pump house work
  • Rapid growth of rough and other grasses
  • First week for newly hired Equipment Technician (Shaun Hill from Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minnesota) and the training of other new employees
  • Applying time-sensitive plant protectants and fertilizers
  • First full week of new mowing schedules (learning curve of new routes and procedures)
  • Clubhouse grounds work including adding new mulch, planting newly delivered flowers, and resodding entrance areas
  • Completion of #6 forward tee construction
  • ...and continuing to provide our daily conditioning standards.
Aeration was a success, taking only 2 days to complete all the greens and tees.

Irrigation Update: With the exception of the clubhouse irrigation and 1 bunker (we are testing 1 bunker face with site specific heads) on the course, all of the pipe, wire, and sprinkler head installation is complete. The majority of irrigation work done this past week has included wiring and programming satellite controllers, flushing out lateral lines, sodding worn trench lines, and finishing the pump house exterior.

Satellite controller wiring and programming.

Flushing the lateral lines of any debris that may have entered during installation.

The clubhouse irrigation will be a cooperative effort between Leibold and several of our staff members. To date, we have had only manual irrigation at the clubhouse, resulting in many labor hours allocated to hand watering. The new automated system will be much more effective by significantly reducing hand watering and delivering water more efficiently. We will begin the installation on Monday, and if everything goes as planned, it should be completed by the end of the week.

The pump house is near completion as well, and the cultured stone exterior combined with the cedar roofing is really taking shape. We will soon begin to work on the landscaping around the pump house which will include some surface grading and native grass planting. We feel once everything is finished, the pump house and its surrounds will blend in seamlessly to the rest of the golf course.

Finishing the cultured stone exterior.

Sprinkler Head Yardages: Included in the irrigation contract, is the GPS data collection of the new system components, as well as our entire golf course. Besides heads, valves, and other irrigation parts, greens, fairways, tees, bunkers, drain lines, and many other golf course areas have been mapped - which will be of great value to us. The equipment used to gather this data is very expensive and extremely accurate... to less than 1 millimeter to be exact!

GPS base unit set up on #3 early this week.

The company is finishing their data collection today and should have the information available in 2 weeks. At that point, we will be sending this data to the company that manufactures the sprinkler caps. It will then take another 2 weeks for them to make and deliver the new caps with the updated yardages. We estimate these new yardage markers to be on the golf course by mid-June.

Golf Course Maintenance/Projects: It was a productive week for the course itself, and we were able to navigate through the rainfalls quite well. We knocked out aeration very quickly, and the subsequent plant protectant and fertilizer applications were a success. We do plan on topdressing next week to top off any remaining aeration holes, with hopes of very smooth putting surfaces by Memorial Day weekend.

The vast majority of rough blemishes from the irrigation project have been sodded this week. You may notice many small flags scattered throughout the course, as they are placed at all the new sod locations. This is to help ensure our guys don't miss any pieces when they are watering the new sod.

Sod prep work behind #13 green.

We have also completely finished the forward tee on #6. Final grading was done and the entire area has been sodded. If weather cooperates and the new sod roots well, we think the tee should be ready for play within a few weeks.

#6 forward tee shown just after the bentgrass sod was installed. The banks were sodded shortly after.

We are looking forward to the completion of the irrigation and other projects. Unfortunately, the grass won't stop growing in the interim, but we are very confident projects will be completely on schedule and golf course conditions will only get better - it has to dry up one of these days!!

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