Friday, April 22, 2011

Miserable Wet Weather

Ok the weather can start to improve any time now!
Cloudy, cold, wet, and general gloomy conditions has been the norm of late and we've actually had rain on nearly half of the days of this month. This excessive moisture and resulting soft soil conditions has really put a damper (pun intended) on many course activities. Topdressing (both greens & fairways), overseeding of thinned rough areas, rolling, nutrition and plant protectant applications, general mowing of many areas, and more, have all been delayed due to the saturated soil conditions this month.

Aside from these frustrating delays, one area of concern during excessive spring moisture periods is that root systems (that are most actively growing at this time) may fail to develop to the same density and depth as when soil moisture is dryer. This can then result in a root system that cannot utilize deeper soil moisture later in the year when water is needed to a greater extent and a plant that is more prone to the stresses of summer such as heat, drought, and traffic from equipment and players. We cannot change the weather but we can continue to perform the tasks we already perform such as:
  • Aeration - To create pore spaces and encourage root growth.
  • Topdressing - To eventually create a soil profile that drains more rapidly and better supports traffic when wet.
  • Tree Management - Trim and thin trees to improve sunlight and air movement to aid drying after rainfall events.
  • Drainage System Maintenance - Keep our current drainage system in good repair through pressure jetting to maintain functioning lines, and repair breaks and collapses as needed.
  • Drainage System Additions - Adding new lines and drop inlets where appropriate. 
Now all we need is the weather to dry up so we can keep doing these things!

In spite of the wet conditions we're still managing to make progress in a few areas:

"Neither Snow, Rain, Cold, Nor Gloom of Day" will...Make us very happy!
More drainage and topdressing needed here.

Gus works on second drainage repair of this year.

Mainline pipe separation and bell-end deterioration (running under bunker - white pipe is bunker drain) in approach bunker #14. Separation is sealed to eliminate the sink hole that had developed.
Steve and Alicus (the latest member of our G&G Staff) begin installation of Cedar Shakes on the Half Way House Roof.

A Clear Sunny Day...Something we are anxiously awaiting!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Course Prep & More

Course activities at this time of the year are always very busy. Spring start up tasks such as: mowing of all turf areas with increasing frequency; bunker grooming (cleaning, leveling, smoothing); fall and winter debris remnant removal; winter tree management completion (pruning and approved removals); prairie burning; placing course furnishings; early season nutrient and plant protectant treatments; overseeding rough areas; sod patching of winter damaged areas throughout course; filling and pressurizing the irrigation system; and more, are all keeping us hopping! Additionally, we always manage to have a project or two going.

The following photo's show a few of the above tasks and projects in progress:
Fairway mowers clipping off the winter coat

 Bunker Prep - Clean-up, leveling, raking

Irrigation System Pressurization - A full day process to gradually refill, purge air, and pressurize to standard operating pressure. Out of nearly 2000 sprinkler heads less than a half dozen needed repair. It's "all systems go"!

Repair of a blemish (likely from an inconsiderate deer) using hex plugs from our homegrown turf nursery. Can you tell where the plugs have been placed? I think you would agree that they match quite well.

Plug on left showing one of the benefits of deep tine aeration...enhanced root growth. Plug on right is from the damaged area with no visible roots.

The aforementioned turf nursery. Planted last fall. Most of this nursery was used last year to patch winter damaged areas in spring and flood damaged areas in late summer. Hope I don't need to use much of it at all this year!

 General debris clean-up proceeding well.

One of a couple current projects: Our sod squad installing sod in various areas including tree removal and winter damaged locations

 Project 2: Replacing Half Way House Roof. Here Javier and Miguel are stripping old shingles. Felt paper has been installed and we will follow with cedar shakes in lieu of asphalt shingles. 

So that's a quick glimpse of our current course work. I'll keep you posted on our projects and other course activities as they progress. Let's hope for some consistently mild weather anytime now!

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