Friday, January 29, 2016

Social Media

As an “old timer” in the golf course management business, I sometimes have to work on the new technology things that come along. I spend a lot of time at home in the evenings in front of my computer trying to come up with good, solid methods to communicate to our membership. I have never been a Facebook guy. Why? I don’t know, it just did not seem like the right way to put out a bullet point as to what we were doing on the golf course.

When we started doing our golf course renovation project I noticed that a blog page that I had started the year before really seemed to be getting a lot more hits. About the same time I started a Twitter account and tried to “tweet” the bullet points that I thought our members would be interested in seeing or hearing about regarding the renovation project. I tried very hard to stay away from the negative items. I wanted it to be a learning experience for our members.

So fast forward a few years. I am now very pleased as to how it has all come together. In addition to gaining more exposure on the blog page I have a lot of members following me on Twitter. Many times they will see when we have a frost delay or cart restrictions just as soon as I talk to the golf shop to get it all in line.

This Social Media Craze is a very fast moving thing and it has sometimes been hard to get my mind wrapped around it. I have worked hard and it is very nice now to get some recognition for the things that we have been trying to accomplish. Golf Course Industry Magazine and Aquatrols recognize industry leaders in the Social Media world each year at the Golf Industry Show. This year I have been fortunate to be one of the superintendents that is going to be recognized. I want to thank Pat Jones and all of the staff at GCI and to Aquatrols for their support of this. It is very nice to be recognized for something that you have a passion for.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mid winter update

This time of year is always difficult to write a blog post that might be exciting or interesting for you to read. Many of the tasks that we are doing this time of year are very boring and repetitive for us but they do remain important items that need to be completed.

We have our 2 - 1st assistant superintendents working on sharpening reel mowers. This involves the disassembly of the reels, replacing bad bearings, seals or worn items and then assemble them again and level them. Then the bedknife and the reels are sharpened on 2 different machines. Once completed the reels are adjusted for height of cut and reel to bedknife adjustment (how it cuts paper). Then they are put back on their perspective mowers and are ready to go for the new season.

This photo is Mitch and Andy in their winter home working on reels.

Head Golf Course Technician Ryan Osler oversees the entire maintenance of the golf course fleet of equipment. This is Ryan's area. It can get quite crowded in here at times but he seems to manage it very well.

We have one group of staff members who do all of the sanding of golf course furniture and they also build all of the new tee markers and stakes that are used on the property. Once the items have been sanded then they are taken to our paint booth and re-painted for the upcoming year.

Here is an area where we do some of the sanding work. The only thing that really keeps it up beat is the music that the guys all listen too all winter.

Here are some items that have been sanded and painted. They look awesome once the guys have them done.

All of our traffic signs were made here on site and at times need to be refurbished. Craig Connell is doing that tasks this winter and here are some examples of his work in progress. He is doing a great job on them.

Our 2 superintendents Nate Tegtmeier and Tim Sims are very busy planning the flower beds for each golf course and club house areas. They are also taking on the task of building and sand blasting the new tee signs for the South course along with the yardage plates on the tees.

I am very happy that I am surrounded by such a talented group of professionals. Remember that every time we have any snow or ice these guys have to drop what they are doing and tend to the cleaning of driveways, sidewalks and shoveling the snow around the dome. Hopefully we have a short winter and we are back on the golf courses in March.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 18 Recap

As you all know we got a lot of rain at the start of the week and it virtually shut down the project until Thursday. LUI was able to get out and work on Thursday and Friday. I am happy to say that all of the tees are built. We have to sod some of them yet and once this 6" of snow melts off they will finish that phase of the project. They were able to get 1 bunker completed on Thursday and we still have the bunkers to complete on #2 and #3 fairways. I am not sure we will get to these or not.

With all of the rain and snow the concrete portion of the project is virtually shut down. Hopefully once the snow melts we will get some drying weather to finish the concrete path work on #17 and #18.

The plan is to still drain the lake on #2 and fill the corner of the lake in. This can be done in the winter weather so I am sure getting it filled it will happen yet this year.

It has been a good project this fall and a tremendous amount of work has been completed. We needed a few less rainy days or a few more drier weeks at the end. The good part is that if we don't make it 100% done this fall, it will not take them too long to finish in the spring.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Week 17 Recap

We started out the week laying bluegrass sod as fast as it could be delivered to the site. With the forecasted rain in the middle of week, the LUI crew had a lot of areas prepped for sod and they worked very hard to get it all covered up before the rain event. This is photo of the area around #6 green.

A photo of #17 bunkers before the sodding and then a photo of the area after the rain. You can imagine what the area would have looked like if the sod had not been installed.

We were able to get back into action on Thursday even though many areas were muddy. This week the main focus is to get all of the irrigation heads installed and to finish up the tee tops and getting a bluegrass sod ring around the bentgrass tees. At this time we will be finishing up the tees on #6 today and then on Sunday we will move over to #3 which is the last tee to be completed. If there is no rain on Monday morning these tees should be completed by noon on Monday.

#17 Tees

Irrigation is tying up all loose ends across the project and then that crew will be staying on site to help install drainage pipe in some key areas.

The concrete crew moved in yesterday and we poured some small areas on #18 and #1 tees. They framed up all of the new cart path on #18 by the tees and that area will be poured today. We asked a concrete company to open for us on Sunday and they will be delivering concrete to us tomorrow. We will be installing the concrete from #6 green to #7 tees. Then a small area on #4 tees will also be completed. Getting the concrete in before the bad weather hits is a big part in getting this project completed. If there is no rain on Monday morning we will be installing concrete on the last part of #18 by the south range tees. Then all we will have left to install is #17 tees and #6 tees.

We were able to complete the bunkers on #7 fairway this week and Danny moved over to shape the bunkers on #4. I will be sending photos to the architect this morning for his approval on these bunkers and then we will move him to #3 bunkers and then finish on #2 fairway bunkers. After #4 there are only 5 bunkers left to build and finish.

We are nearing the end of the project for this year. Mother Nature will control what we get done and if we finish totally. We are very close and just need to good, dry days and it will be completed. If not it will not take long in the spring to finish the sodding aspect of the project. Check back with us next week to see how we fared.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Week 16 Recap

Hard to believe we have completed 16 weeks of work on this Phase of the golf course renovation project. The previous 2 years we were completed in 14 weeks of work. However as many of you have seen, this year’s project is bigger and it has a lot more components to it.

We had another great week of work. All of the tees have now been rough shaped and the major bulldozer work is completed. We still will be using the bull dozers but now it is for little jobs that will not require huge amounts of dirt/soil being moved. This may not seem like a big deal but it means we are working our way towards the end instead of opening up new parts to this project. Here is a look at the #7 green site

As I previously had mentioned all of LUI’s teams are working in harmony and they are moving across the SW 9 finishing off different parts to the project. Each project we have sodded 2 of the 4 tees on each hole and then seeded the other tees. This year has been no different. We sodded the bentgrass on #1, #2, #4, #5 and #18 tees this past week.

The new tees on #7 have been completed and will be ready for seed/sod this next week. Drainage will be completed behind #6 green today and then this entire area will be sodded on Tuesday of next week along with the rest of the area on #18 tees.
The concrete crew is scheduled to be back in here on Monday and they will stay on site until they are completed with the concrete installation.

The bunker crew finished the bunkers on #17 green, they will move to #6 green today and then on to #7 fairway bunkers the first part of the week. Daniel is rough shaping the bunkers on #4 fairway then he will move to #3 fairway and then finish on #2 fairway.

#1 Green side bunker

Rain is our worst enemy right now, it takes a very long time to dry out if we get a big rain event. We dodged the storm system on Wednesday and we were blessed that we could keep working.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week 15 Recap

This past Monday started off with a bang. It was a beautiful dry day and Justin Stensland and his crew laid 5 semi loads of sod on #5 to finish off all of the sodding on that hole. The bull dozers were hard at work shaping tee complexes and everyone else was building bunkers and finish grading for sod. Our maintenance team worked with LUI moving excess dirt out of the way. We filled in the greenside bunker on #3 green and the fairway bunker on #7 so the new bunker will be above the grade of the fairway.

Here is a photo of #5, the sodding is almost completed.

Then came the rain on Monday night, Tuesday morning. This time of year with a low sun angle and few hours of daylight it just takes a lot longer to dry the soil where we can get back out to work. On Wednesday and Thursday crews were back out draining the bunkers on #1 fairway and #1 green. #17 tee complex, #4 tee complex and #2 tee complex are all rough in and ready for the tee crews to come in and start their work on building the internal parts of the new tees. The bunker building crews have most of the drainage on #1 finished and ready for liner and sand. Danny was busy shaping bunkers on #6 green and #17 green. As of Friday night he has them ready, we just have to make an adjustment to one bunker on #17 green. He will then move to fairway bunkers on #7 fairway.

With the rain Friday night there will be no construction work this morning. The bright spot is the forecast of some 70 degree weather all next week. I know we have a semi load of bentgrass sod scheduled for delivery on Wednesday to sod the new tees.