Friday, May 13, 2016

Update 5/13/16

I hope that everyone has enjoyed a few rounds of golf this spring.  The weather has not been the best, chilly with many rain events.

  We have come to a decision on our bunker renovation.  I would like to follow up our letter to the members and discuss in greater detail the upcoming project involving the bunkers on our golf course. The bunkers have reached a point that something has to be done to achieve better playability and improved maintenance.  We have been looking at many options over the last few months to solve these problems.  I am sure everyone is well aware of the fact that even after  light rainfall events our bunkers hold water. 

 This is problem is even worse after major rain events, some of the steep faced bunkers wash out.  These problems have been getting worse in the last 2 years.  Playability is an issue, this is directly related to the current condition of the bunkers.  As washouts happen,  silt from the subsoil along with finer soil plug up the drainage system and contaminates the sand within the bunker.  We looked at several options over the winter to solve this problem.  Our final and best option will be to remove all existing sand, replace and repair the drainage system and install a very advanced drainage matrix system into the green side bunkers, Called the Better Billy Bunker.  We will not be installing this system into the fairway bunkers, but will replace all the sand and repair the drainage as needed. Along with this renovation plan, we will be removing some of the humps in the floors of the bunkers to create a more consistent uniform bunkers.  I have chosen a sand for the project but we will be testing the performance of the sand and bunker system throughout the summer.  On May 27th, we will have our chosen contractor Golf Creations complete a Billy bunker installation in the right green
side bunker in front of 5 green.  This process will take 2 days  to complete.  The first day we will remove all sand and install the first part of the bunker system.  In this process; pea stone will be installed in the entire bunker and sprayed with a proprietary polymer that will need to cure for 24 hours before the sand is installed.  It will be very important during this curing process that no one will enter the bunker.  Once the sand is installed the bunker will be put into play.  The main reason we have chosen this bunker is that; it holds water, washes out after rain events, needs major edging work, and the bunker right next to it performs the same way.  We will be able to evaluate the performance of the sand and the Billy Bunker this summer to make sure we have made the correct decision on the chosen sand and also how the system works.  I feel very confident that the system will work and the end results will be well received.  We have also made commitments for the contractor to start the Front nine renovations at the end of September.  The work on the front nine will be done by mid November and ready for next spring.  We have yet to finalize a start date to complete the work on the back nine.  I will keep you updated on the progress and installation of the bunker system 

The bunkers is not the only projects I have been working on this spring.  We have completed our spring grass and weeds control in the fescue.  There are a few areas that we will be reseeding in the next few weeks.  If it's not fescue in areas we have sprayed this spring. The undesirable grass has been either killed or weakened.  We have some work to do but we are making very good progress since starting the program we currently are on.  

Yesterday, I treated the fescue along the path of 12 and to the right of 15 rough using a growth regulator to hopefully control the growth and thin the stand.  I will be evaluating this over the next few weeks to see if it may be an option in a few other areas.  

The golf course is in very good shape despite the cooler than normal spring and rains.  We have seen a flourish of dandelions in a few areas and are spot treating these. 

We have been topdressing and solid tining the greens on the regular basis this spring.  I will continue to solid tine the greens every 2-3 weeks this season.  This process will help keep with proper water and air exchange in the soil profile. I have also been using an old technique of using a broom mounted in front of our greens mowers. We have 2 of these brooms this year.  The broom stands up turfgrass plant up right before the cutting blades mow the turf.  My observations so far are less grain and a finer surafce. I feel the putting surfaces are very good after brooming.  The amount of clippings in our baskets are at least 1/4 more compared to the mowers without the brooms mounted.  At this point, I am not seeing any negative impacts to the turf.  We will continue to evaluate the brooms and the performance of the putting surfaces going into more stressful periods.   

We are waiting for 2 additional staff members to return from college.  We should be fully staffed by the end of next week.  I hope that you are enjoying the golf course this spring. 

Total Pageviews