Thursday, March 20, 2014

And.....Away They Go

After some hard work by my staff and an outrageous amount of paperwork, we were finally able to get rid of a bunch of old equipment that had been kicking around for years. Most of the equipment was more than 20 years old.












Some of the old equipment included old golf carts, greens mowers, a fairway mower, an aerifier and a 3-wheeled E-Z-GO utility vehicle to name a few.


















After two tractor trailers and a flat bed for an old storage locker it's beginning to feel like we are going to have everything cleared out for the construction of our new maintenance buildings next month. Stay tuned for more on that soon.

- Posted by Austin Daniells, Golf Course Superintendent

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ol' Trusty

Today was most likely the last time we will use this Jacobsen Greens King IV.



After 27 years of service and probably an engine rebuild or two, it is finally time to retire "Ol' Trusty". Recently we were able to pick up a couple used Toro 3250-D's and so we now have no use for this old machine.






Goodbye and farewell to our 1986 Jacobsen G.K. IV!

- Posted by Austin Daniells, Golf Course Superintendent

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rounding up some projects

If you've been out on our course lately you most likely have seen some really green turf like you see in the picture below (right of #1 tee).



No that turf has not been fertilized to become that green. It has actually been sprayed with a couple different herbicides to kill the turf. As we move forward in our attempt to reduce the amount of irrigated turf areas throughout the course, one of the last steps is to kill the turf. In this particular area we will follow up with a layer of wood chips to add to the look we have on both sides of #1. We think that this will add a nice clean look to the first tee. Two of the sprinklers were also adjusted to not water this area anymore.

Along with the area on #1, here's another area between #8 green & #9 tee that we sprayed. Along with the turf being killed, two sprinkler were adjusted to water less area and one sprinkler was removed.




There is a lot of thought that goes into the areas we are removing to try and limit the impact we have on the customer. Most of the areas we are removing are located between holes or around tees.

Another project we completed this week was the moving of a sprinkler in the right rough of hole #1.



This was a simple move and helped us to keep up with our goal of moving a minimum of one sprinkler each week. This might not sound like a big goal but with a small staff and lots of other things to accomplish during the growing season this is an attainable goal for our team. With the lack of rain since the first of the year, anyplace we can reduce water only helps our bottom line.

- Posted by Austin Daniells, Golf Course Superintendent

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The spring scramble


In my last post I stated that we were starting to wind down on our projects but this past week we kept moving along with a few more in our "spring scramble."
The first project we finished actually started with a generous donation from a local course. As they were starting their aerification they had about 5 large pallets of sod that they couldn't use from a turf reduction project. With some quick thinking and an awesome staff we were able to go pick up the sod and get it laid on a temporary site before we could prep an area that really needed the sod.


The big question then became where would we lay this sod? We chose to prep an area to the left of #3 green.

This area has plagued us from day one. Poor drainage, poor soil and the lack of sun in the spring and fall is a bad combination for turf. We had added drainage a couple years ago and added another sprinkler this past year. Now it was time to remove the poorly performing turf.


Once the old turf was removed we came in and core aerified the entire area and then put down a generous amount of gypsum and starter fertilizer. Next we laid the new sod in its new home and gave it a little over a week to send out its new roots before mowing. Here's a picture of the final product.



This area will still be "ground under repair" for another week but then should be a major improvement to this hole.
Another project that was finished up last week was the addition of some new pop-up sprinklers along the left side of #9 green. This was another area that has bugged us from day one since the slope is pretty severe and is also very close to our bordering fence. The spacing of the existing large turf sprinklers never really provided the coverage we needed and so we had to spend a lot of our time hand watering to keep things alive.
We started by trenching in a 1" pipe that was connected up to a 1" valve we had installed during a previous project when we had moved 3 sprinklers behind the green. Then at 15' spacing we installed some pop-up rotary sprinklers that we've used on other projects and really liked as they don't seem to mist as much as the spray type pop-ups.












Even with both of those projects going on last week, the team pulled together and edged all of the bunkers throuhgout the course. Here's a picture of their hard work on #14 green side bunker.



- Posted by Austin Daniells, Golf Course Superintendent

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wrapping up some more projects

As the days become longer and the temperature starts to warm up our opportunity to complete projects throughout the week become slimmer as we shift our attention to more mowing, watering and general maintenance. Here's a recap of a few projects we've completed in the last few weeks.
First off was the completion of the cart path curves at #1 & #9 greens. We have struggled to keep the grass growing in both of these areas due to golf cart wear. We came up with the idea to add a few of the 4-6" rocks as kind of speed bumps in some DG to discourage the golfers from cutting the corners. Here's a picture of Tom and Scott setting up the project followed by the finished look at #9 green.









The next project we wrapped up was an area left of #2 fairway where we sprayed round-up and adjusted some sprinklers so we were not watering this area. We then spread some wood chips to finish off the look you see in the second picture.






The next project was actually a set of on-gowing projects where we were again moving sprinkler heads to better utilize our water and create more uniform spacing between sprinklers. A few of these sprinklers were also changed from a full circle to a part-circle to reduce the areas we are watering. The first area we worked on were two sprinklers to the left of #5 fairway. Both sprinklers were moved about 30 feet and repositioned to have better spacing and coverage.









The next area was behind #9 green where we moved three sprinklers and added a 1" valve for a future project.









The last project of note is the addition of some new posts and cable along the cart path at #16 blue tee. Jose planned, set up and finished the entire project on his own. Great job Jose!






- Posted by Austin Daniells, Golf Course Superintendent

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A little vertical trim

The last couple days the turf team has been hard at work with more of our spring maintenance practices. Due to the aggressive nature of our T-1 bentgrass we occasionally need to deep verti-cut the turf to help remove some thatch and smooth the surface. The T-1 reminds me a little bit of some of the bermuda greens we had when I was in San Diego. It really seems to handle some pretty aggressive grooming and tends to bounce back very nicely.
The first process we started out with is what we call a deep verti-cut. We use our carbide tipped verti-cutters that are mounted on one of our greens mowers. Here's an up close picture of the blades.




The greens are only verti-cut in one direction as not to thin them out too much. Here's a couple pictures of what a green looks like afterwards and also a picture of one of our utility vehicles filled with the grass and thatch from only one green.









Following the verti-cutter is our turbine blower that is used to disperse the clippings and try to blow them off the greens. Following the blower is our greensmower to mow the greens and pick up any left over debris.



The front 9 greens were verti-cut on Monday and we finished the back 9 up on Tuesday. On Tuesday we also top dressed the greens with a pretty good amount of sand to fill in any inconsistencies and help to dilute the thatch layer. Here's a pictures of that process as well as the cocoa mat following up to move the sand into the turf.






One of the last of our processes today was our first application this year of the wetting agent Revolution at the 6oz./1000 rate and 3 minutes of water. After a little discussion our assistant superintendent Tom got back out on the course and did a quick top dressing of the collars.






The greens will get around 50 minutes of water tonight to help work the sand into the grass canopy as well as work the Revolution down into the sand profile so it can go to work.
Even after all that work and sand, I took a few putts on the putting green this afternoon and they were still rolling very good. With our watering tonight and the chance of rain on Thursday, the sand should be pretty well worked in by the weekend. The greens will be rolled the next two days before we start to mow them again on Friday.
Another big Thank You to the rest of the guys that make up this awesome turf team. They really have been working hard to make these conditions you see in the pictures below.












- Posted by Austin Daniells, Golf Course Superintendent

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Springtime fun on the course

Ok, aerification for most might not seem like a fun time, but we do our best to have a good time while we're out aerifying the course. The past couple of weeks we've been hard at work aerifying fairways, tees, green banks, collars and approaches. With a tweak here and a couple broken down pieces of equipment there, most of the aerification so far has been smooth sailing. The last part of our spring aerification is to finish up the rough and a few high wear areas around greens and tees. Greens will not be aerified until the day after Memorial Day.









All areas were aerified with 5/8" coring tines except for green banks which were punched with 5/8" solid times. For the fairways, the cores were dragged with a metal drag to break up the plugs and then blown off with our turbine blower.





The plugs from the tees and collars were picked up with our core harvester.






There's also a lot of clean-up with aerification. From back pack blowers to shovels and washing areas off with hoses.



Following the aerification of the second fairway we followed up with a top dressing of compost and then drug in again with a metal drag mat.






The next couple of weeks we will be putting the finishing touches to the course aerification and getting ourselves ready for the summer months. Lets hope for some more rain before we get to June!
- Posted by Austin Daniells, Golf Course Superintendent