Thursday, November 20, 2014

update 11/20

First off, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for my family and the support that they give me throughout the golf season.  You differently need an understanding wife when you work in the golf business.  She has heard it all from me over the years and doesn't bat an eye when I have to go back to work during the summer to check the course after a major storm or even to work late into the early morning hours. She may be used to it by now but still is very hard to be married to a Golf Course Superintendent.  This is the time of the year that I do spend some good quality time with my family considering all the holidays I miss during the golf season.

The golf course is closed right now and will remain closed thru the weekend.  I understand that we will have a few days that you could get out and play but due to the fact that the ground will start to thaw this could lead to considerable damage to the turf .  I do not mind with you were to play when the ground is frozen but not on thawing ground.  This is basically the same protocol that I use in the spring to determine when the course can open.  When the frost is out of the ground it is safe to play this will not happen over the next few days.


Neil






Friday, November 14, 2014

Update 11/14

Outside work has pretty much slowed to a crawl with the cold weather this week and now the ground has frozen on the top few inches.  But I did manage to take care of lowering 2 areas on 16 and 4 green that have been holding back water on these greens.  This will help especially in the winter thaws in removing excess water off the green. Over the course of years of topdressing greens and approaches some of the low areas have raised by almost 3 inches in a few cases. When we lower these areas we may have to remove some green or collar areas to get the proper transition without creating a swale.  What I found on these 2 greens is that there was a 3 % raise just off the green which is the obvious issue and reason for the water breaking up.  Now we have a 2% fall off the green that is barley visible.  What I find very interesting is as we remove the soil and reach the proper fall we almost certainly find the old seedbed from the original construction.  Basically the end result is back to the original design of these areas.  I was not able to complete the finish work for the collar of #4 because the ground was frozen we will finish first thing in the spring.  We were not ale to work on the approach on 7 green this fall.  This will have to be put on a list to complete next year.

16 before

 4 before


16 after


 4 after




















Another item that we did finish up was to core aerate around all the greens, tee walkons,and all drive ons on the course.  All these areas were dragged to break up the cores anything left will break down overwinter and after the first mowing.

Now we are moving in to our equipment maintenance period.  All equipment is broken down repainted, serviced and sharpened.

I am in the process of completing my educational requirements for recertification as a Certified Golf Course Superintendent  This professional achievement is very important for me to maintain.  As a 10 year Certified Superintendent, I must meet stringent requirements.  This is the highest level of recognition that can be achieved with the GCSAA, approximately, only 25% of Class A members are certified golf course superintendents.

I hope that everyone enjoyed the golf course this year, I also wish you all a happy and safe Thanksgiving and holiday season

Neil

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Update 11/9/14

A mad rush to get everything done in a big hurry this week before the predicted winter storm.  The forecast has been changing daily and now we are not suppose to get much snow now till tuesday.  Which is a good thing since I still have a few things I would like to get done on the course.  We did manage to get the entire golf course sprayed for snow mold and winterize the irrigation system last week.  I normally would wait a week or two before spraying but did not want to risk this very important application.  We did everything we could to give the turf an upper hand over the long winter.  We either core aerated or solid tined all the greens, tees, and approaches, this encouraged good rooting and air exchanged over the last month.  I also topdressed the greens lightly to protect the crown of the plant every week going into our last application.  I also applied light amount of nutrients biweekly to help the turf build strong reserves which will help spring growth as well as winter survival.  Then last week everything was sprayed to protect the turf from snow mold disease.  Ideally, we want the ground to freeze and then snow on top of that, as in last winter.  Hopefully, the storm will miss us and allow the soil to freeze up before the next snow fall.

Last week I had a small crew to finish up the last remaining big projects on the course.
We did repair all the drains on holes 2
,5,11,14,15,17,18 fairways.  All work was done by hand to repair these areas which takes a keen eye and experience to obtain the correct slope after the sod is removed.  We had plenty of sod to use from 16 old maroon tee so we took advantage of this and removed plenty of sod to get the proper slope in the fairways.



We also added the stone to the cart paths drive ons and edges of the cart paths that we have been working on.  There are a few other areas that I will complete in the spring.





This week, I will hopefully core aerate around each of the greens and work on removing the blockage in approach on 16 green.  I do not think I will have the time to work on 7 approach this fall.  7 has a huge hump in front of the green that does block water from getting the green quickly which becomes a problem over the winter during melts. If the weather changes again and will allow us to work on 7 this will be done yet this year.  

Overall, another great week for our small staff truly amazing the amount of work we can get done we all should be very proud to have such a dedicated staff to our club.

Neil

Friday, October 31, 2014

Update 10/31






Snow today, I thought I was seeing things this morning haven't seen a snow on Halloween in many years.  Not really the way I wanted to spend the last official day with most of the staff and the planned cookout had to be cancelled.  I will say that our staff sure did a great job with all the work we were able to accomplish over the last 2 weeks.  Probably the best last 2 weeks that we have had.  I will have 4 seasonal staff members next week for a few days to try to button up some of the larger projects we have started. Our mowing is basically done for the year after todays snow storm.  If needed, I will roll the greens to keep them smooth.  We will start making our snow mold spray application next week once the turf has been sprayed it is best not to mow after the treatments.   After Thursday, we will be down to Jeff, Jake and Myself with Mike our Equipment manager getting prepared to start his busy time of the year.  We will keep on working outside as long as possible to finish up most of the work this year.  If you have been out on the course I am sure you have noticed a lot of work getting done.  We have completed the drain work on holes 14,15,17,11 so far and started on 18.  I would like to get to 2 yet this year.   I still am planning on working on removing the high spots in front of 7 and 16 green this fall basically the same process as we did to the other green/approaches last fall. Of course weather permitting, 7 is going to be the larger of the 2 in terms of amount of work needing to be done.  Will need about a good week to complete these 2 projects.  I also, work on removing some excess soil the was blocking drainage off the cart paths on a few holes
yesterday, it will be nice not to have standing water on the paths next year.

















Last month we sprayed to kill the cattails around the pond on
before
10/18 we start to remove them yesterday, planned on finishing today.  But what we did sure does look good






after












All in all another great week here sad to see the staff leaving but I also feel really good that these guys will be back next year and if we start the year like we are ending it well I am pretty happy about that.

Monday we will be closing the restrooms for the season
Thursday we will be winterizing the irrigation system

Neil 

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