Week 3 recap
Things are starting to move at a higher pace now. Landscapes Unlimited has moved in more equipment and they are bringing in more people to do the work. Lots of things have happened across the golf course and things are starting to take on a rough shape. Tree work is complete and so is the asphalt/concrete removal. We found out that the old bridge abutments were never going to wash down stream! Here is a photo of one of them being broken up to put it in the truck. We didn’t expect them to be so massive but we have them out and gone now.
All of the work has really focused on the 2 new greens. Golf Course Architect, Tim Liddy was here on Wednesday to shoot grades and look at contours on the 2 greens. Finally tweaks were made to the subgrade and then final approval was given. The next steps are very critical that they are done correctly and in a specific order with quality control being watched the entire build.
First a tile line trench is cut in the bottom of the green. This is done on a herringbone pattern and water will never move more than 15’ before it gets into a tile. A 4" perforated tile is installed to carry the drainage water. Pea gravel is back filled over the trench lines and then an exact 4” of pea gravel is installed on top of the sub grade. This is all done by hand and is measured continually to make sure it is within the exact tolerances. Once this is completed then the mix was trucked to the site.
The sand and the reed sedge peat were mixed off site in Ames, Iowa. It was mixed by a company from Wisconsin. This mix is blended to a very specific percentage and it has to match the pea gravel so that it bridges across the gravel layer. This bridging is called a perched water table. The science behind a perched water table is that it causes the water in the soil to fill up the mix up to field capacity before it moves across the interface to the pea gravel layer. This is the beauty of a properly built USGA green. It is very labor intensive but it works very well if done correctly.
Mix is brought in by truck to the green edge and dumped. Mix is then pushed across the green by a small dozer. It never leaves the top of the mix and it never disturbs the gravel layer below. Water is added to help compact the sand and peat mix. Grade stakes are placed around the green to help get it close and then the fine tuning phase starts. One guy works to check depths and move mix to the right spot. Other staff are compacting the edges. There is a vertical 16” liner around the green to keep mix in and dirt out. Mix and soil have to be added at the same time to make sure the liner stays vertical and it doesn’t collapse one way or the other.
Final touches are being done to the top this morning and Liddy will be back on Wednesday to give final approval. During the short wait they will finish grade on the outside of the green complex, drainage is being installed in basin areas and irrigation will make its way into the complex on Wednesday. So if all goes according to plan, our staff will add soil amendments to the mix and seed will be planted the later part of next week. We will cover the green with a winter greens cover to help with germination. It will be on and off many times over the next month to help hold heat in on cool nights and help to get 100% cover before winter.
On other areas of the golf course we are still marking areas of disruption, spraying with Roundup and tilling them. The shapers will make a big move this next week shaping in some new bunkers. We will be moving some sod from 2 fairway to 15 fairway. Drainage will start on #1 and some small tree work will be done behind #5 tee. I have been asked how we move a dozer or a backhoe from one site to another. Easy it is 8' at a time with plywood. Here we are getting ready to cross a bentgrass fairway.
Project is going well. LU is a great company to work with and while they might not set records for speed it is more important that they do it correctly and we don’t have to come back and do it again. Please remember to stay off of this 9 holes. We are giving small tours and if you would like one talk to me or Scott Howe and we will try to accommodate you.