Saturday, September 20, 2014

Week 5 Recap

What a beautiful week of weather. Not only did we finish the aerification on the golf course but the construction company worked all week. It is raining this morning as I am writing this update but we had a great week of work and next week looks good.

Cart path installation company is on the scene and installing concrete. Very exciting because it is so difficult to get around the golf course without some good paths. They started on the path to the east range and on #10. They will move to #8 and #11 next.

Drainage tile continues to be installed. All of the new features such as tees and bunkers need to have drainage installed to the general area so they can be drained after they are built. We have just a few major trunk lines to install and then it on to building the new features.

Irrigation is moving along very quickly. These guys are true professionals and they get the job done in a hurry. Once we rough grade #14 all of the irrigation was installed in 1.5 days.

#8 green was approved by the architect on Monday. So the construction team started their process on installing drainage, pea gravel and then the mix. Some topsoil was spread out around the putting green but the architect will be back on sight Tuesday to make the necessary changes around the putting green then we can get it seeded. Irrigation will be installed there on Monday.

I know last year I talked about building a green but I thought I would show you the process again on #14. I am not showing every step but I think you will get the idea of it all.

Once the subgrade is approved by the architect then not many changes can be made because the system of a USGA greens is very specific about each layer. In this first picture we are ready to grid the green and shoot all of the grades every 10 feet to make sure all of the slopes are not too flat or too steep. Golf course architects make their changes to the top of the green here. A 12" barrier goes around the outside of the green to contain the mix and keep it from getting contaminated or compromised.

Once subgrade is ready then the complex drainage system is installed. This is done with a mini excavator and a 12" trench is cut into the subgrade and a 4" tile line is laid down with a tracer wire and all of this is surrounded by pea gravel back to the subgrade surface.

Once the drainage is installed over a given area loads of pea gravel are installed. Eventually a 4" bed of pea gravel is installed across the entire drainage and sub grade matching the sub grade everywhere.

Next comes the greens mix. This layer is exactly 12" deep, again matching the subgrade. It is compacted, probed to make sure it is 12". A golf course architect can make a minor tweak of an 1" of mix at this point. This doesn't sound like much but it could have some effect on surface drainage or putting. In this photo we have installed a few loads of mix and the bull dozer is starting to spread it.

Then a tremendous amount of time is spent on the top making sure everything is just right. If we don't get it correct here then you could have a very bad result at the end. Grades are checked, % slope is checked and everyone has to be happy from the Architect, Builder, Golf Professional, General Manager and myself. At this time there is a lot of things happening around the outside of the green complex. Final drainage is being installed in bunkers, grading and leveling is done to the surround and the most important part, the irrigation system is installed.

Once final approval is done the green is turned over to our staff. Pre-plant nutrients are applied and then we seed the green. A 1/2 pound of bengrass seed is applied to 1,000 sq. ft. This is a very miniscule amount of seed. It is done 3 times so a total of 1.5 - 2.0 lbs of seed is applied to the putting surface. After each application it is lightly raked in and then it is done again.

This first picture shows pre-plant material, seed, spreaders and scales to accurately measure everything.

Then the seeding and raking process.

The final step is to wheel track or pack in the seed. This is done by a sand pro machine. In this photo our North Superintendent is doing the process. The dimples made by the wheels also act as mini areas to hold a small amount of moisture to help in the germination process. At this time a ring of Kentucky bluegrass sod is installed around the outside of the green and bentgrass sod is installed on the approach.

Here is how we transport that sod to the sight. We installed

Here is a photo of Mr. Dye's famous little bunkers that cause problems. This one is on the right front corner of the new green.

Here Leibold's crew is working around that front right bunker and they are installing some Kentucky Bluegrass Sod.

Again this is just a small overview of a green being built. There are many little intricate steps that I have not shown. Last year greens were seeded on September 16th. This year #14 was seeded on the #19th and covered immediately. Hopefully the 8th green will be completed by this time next week and being under a cover.