Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Update

This spring has been a very interesting start to trying to grow turf. Our soil temperatures have been very cool and dry until this past weekend. The 2” of rain that we received this past Sunday was very welcome and much needed.

We are very pleased with the overall condition of our turf on the golf courses. The Bentgrass on greens, tees and fairways look very good. There are damaged spots on some of our intermediate roughs, these are areas of poa annua (annual bluegrass). This is an undesired turf species and some of these areas will come back on their own, while a few of the other areas we will sod out to get rid of the poa. This will be a great opportunity to introduce the correct species in those areas.

The million dollar question all spring is when will the remodeled 9 holes open? The answer is April 27th. There will be a special outing on that day so please check with the pro shop for some details on that.

Our North Course staff has been very busy trying to tie up loose ends on that remodeled 9 holes. We still have some haul roads and small construction areas to reseed. One of my biggest concerns is the condition of the sod that was installed late in the year. This sod is almost a 100% rooted down, it just needs a couple of weeks of some warmer weather and it will be completely rooted in place. Please remember that all areas of construction are very tender areas. We will have some areas marked as Ground Under Repair, these areas we do not want you to play out of. All golf cart traffic will be restricted to the cart paths on those 9 holes until the sodded areas can handle the traffic.

The new bunkers have a little bit of soil contamination on top from the open winter. We had dirt/dust blow into the sand and we had some erosion from the construction areas that surround the bunkers. We are working to remove the top 1/4” so sand and are installing new sand to “freshen” them up.

The new bunkers are built completely different than our existing bunkers. Please enter and exit these bunkers from the low sides of the bunkers. Please do not try to exit up the steep banks. This could result in injury to the sod that surrounds these bunkers.

All of the newly sodded tees look very good. We do have several of the seeded tees that have been reseeded and they will take a long time before we can use these tees. So please keep off of these areas.

The new green on #18 looks very good. We are mowing this surface at a higher height of cut and we will not be pushing to get it to our regular height and speed until we feel it can take that kind of stress. So please keep it mind this green will not putt like the other greens. We are going to keep the new practice green closed for another month or so until we feel it can also take any stresses put on it.

We know you are anxious to play these reconstructed 9 holes, but please remember to pay attention to the roped off areas and the areas that need a little time to heal in. Thank you for your patience during our times of construction. I know it is not easy to lose 9 holes of play and we are trying our best to get you back out as soon as we can. If you have any questions about the golf courses please stop me or send me an email.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Newly seeded tees

Many of the new tees were seeded very late last fall. We are in the process of reseeding many of them. We ask that you keep off of these tees. A lot of damage can occur if you walk on them. You can see the foot print of a golfer who decided it was ok to walk on it. Sorry but this is wrong. Please keep off of them. Thank you for your cooperation on this matter.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Golf Course Update 3/15/2014

We have a had a good week of melting on the golf courses this week. There is still a considerable amount of frost in the soil. Many reports around our area say that the frost went as deep as 5'. With all of the water main breaks you hear around the city the past couple of months I would believe it. I can get a soil probe down in the bluegrass about 2.5" and I can get it down about 5" on the greens. So it is starting to melt. Until most of it is out a lot of damage can occur to the turf if there is traffic on it.

Good news on the golf course - the turf has survived the winter pretty well. I do not see any winter dessication to the turf, no snow mold and hopefully when we pull covers off we will see that the greens look very good. We have been able to get a few staples out of the ground to look under the covers. Where we have been able to look under it the turf appears to be in good condition.

We have 1/2 of our seasonal staff starting back this Monday. We have a lot of clean up to do, but if we can get out everyday this week, we should be able to get a lot of raking and stick debris cleaned up.

I have had a chance to tour all of the golf course and the ground is very soft on top. With all of the freezing and thawing I think we will have soft conditions until it rains and drives that frost out of the ground. Most of the sod that we laid last fall on the new construction is rooted down and doing very well. Some of the sod on the new tees we can still pull up. I anticipate that the NW 9 holes will be delayed a little bit behind the rest of the golf course but it should not be too long for you to wait.

I had a chance to get out and fly my helicopter over 2 of the holes on the North Course this morning. I wanted to give you a birds eye look of some of the new bunker work and how it looks from above. It was windy and cold so I did not stay out to long but you can see a little bit of it. Also you will notice 1 area that we still need to do some sod work but it is our intention to get that completed right away. Thank you and we look forward to getting the golf season started.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A few inside winter time projects

I thought I would show you some photos of some inside winter projects that we have been working on. As many of you know we do all of our own woodworking. Here the guys are putting some finishing touches on our new tee markers.

Part of anytime winter project is doing some sprucing up inside the maintenance building. Mark has been very busy fixing some bad spots in the drywall and then do some repainting. Here is a photo from our locker room area. We also serve lunch out of this area every day.

Here are some of the chain stake posts that we are building. We purchased a new branding iron logo. We are trying to get the Solheim Cup logo out on the golf course a little more. This is our first attempt at trying to get that done.

One thing that we are very proud of is our new job board. In the past our managers spend a lot of their time traveling from their golf courses to the maintenance facility. With 35 holes North of that building there is a lot of travel time and loss of labor just to update the daily job board. So now with our new addition we can update that job board from anywhere. The guys can access it with their iPads or their smart phones. We also using it to do training for the staff.

Last fall we had a main bearing failure in one of our irrigation motors. We had it rebuild and with the nice weather today we took it back out and reinstalled it. It is now all ready to go.

The Importance of Cultural Practices for Golf Courses

One of the hardest things that golfers in cool season turf have to deal with is aerification. We know that you the golfer hates it, we the people that manage the turf know that it is such a positive thing for us to do. Especially when you have very heavy soils like we do here at DMGCC and we use a water that is very high in salts and bicarbonates. Aerification is a must do item. I saw this youtube video and thought it was very well done. If you have the time, please take a look at it.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Aerial Photography

I have always been fascinated with photography and I really started to appreciate it even more when the GoPro Hero 3 camera came on the market. I purchased one because I felt there were so many opportunities that I was missing and the GoPro made it easy to capture those images, time lapses or just videos.

I was on TurfNet’s website a few weeks ago and I was looking at the TurfNet TV. Low and behold Tom Bastis is on there talking about Aerial Reconnaissance. I use to fly remote control airplanes with my uncle back in the early 80’s. He would build them and I crashed them. As every knows I am a gadget guy and the new DJI Quadcopter just looked too good to pass up. I called Tom and we talked about several things. Since I had the GoPro I just had to be able to do flyovers on our golf holes. What a better way to show off your golf course than from the air?

So now I am the proud owner of a DJI Phantom Quadcopter that has the GoPro mounted on the bottom of it. I have done several short flights just trying to get my bearings and trying to understand how it all works. Not being a video game guy I am not very good at it yet. Both of our superintendents Nate and Corey just grabbed it and flew it! Anyway I am also purchasing some First Person View goggles to use it. This allows me to see what the Quadcopter is flying over and controlling like I was on board. It should make my photography a lot better.

My intentions are to give you some shots of the golf course that you may never see. I hope to show you future changes in golf holes during golf course renovation work, maybe show you some stressed areas or just trial areas that we may be doing on the golf course. I really think we should be able to see how the irrigation system works from a different perspective.
We will never use it while golfers are out on the golf course. It is not a dangerous thing to use, but I do not want to disturb your golf or the serenity of being out here. So look forward to some different photography/video from our department.

Here is a short video on Youtube of our first flight. It is really amateurish but I think you will get the point of it all.