Monday, April 26, 2010

Seeding Next Week

During the week of May 3rd through the 7th, we will be seeding all of the renovated areas. The renovated areas on #2, #4, #6, #7, #8, #13 and #16 will all be seeded with a fine fescue blend. After seeding, the irrigation will be set up to water the newly seeded areas every hour on the hour starting at 8:00 am til 5:00 pm. We will monitor these areas for water during heavy play to ensure that members and guest are not disturbed by the running irrigation heads.

While we wait for the germination and maturation process, please take care in and around these areas until the turfgrass is mature and we open them up for play. It should take about 14 days give or take a few for the fine fescue to start showing and then about another 14 to 20 days until it is mature enough for play. The golf course maintenance staff will do everything in our power to hasten the maturation of the fine fescue. We would prefer to have these areas open for play sooner than later.

Monday, April 19, 2010

#3 Green

The extension on the 3rd green is really taking shape. After a bit of fertilizer and some warm weather, the new sod is finally growing. Now it is time to start mowing and topdressing in order to get it nice and smooth and ready for play in about a month. We figure that we can have the new portion of the green ready to go in the beginning of June.

The extension once it is ready for play will have some great pin placements and will be a great hole to play. The back, middle and front of the right side has plenty of pin placements for us to use this season. No more going at the pin and ending up in the water.

Today was the first mowing of the new sod as well as a light topdressing of sand to help smooth the putting surface. We will continue mowing, rolling and topdressing until the putting surface is ready for play. Below are a few pictures from today.

First mowing of the new sod. We began mowing at 1/4 of an inch.

Topdressing with a light application of sand.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Time is Money

Efficiency is a very important word for the golf course maintenance department. As the Golf Course Superintendent, I am responsible for a rather large budget and being able to save as much money along the way is important. We save money by being efficient. Everything that is done from filling divots to mowing greens to setting up the golf course is done as efficient as possible.

The simple task of filling divots is made efficient by using a Rickshaw to hold a bucket full of divot mix. This makes it faster for us to fill divots. Time is not lost going back and forth to the gator to retrieve more divot mix in the bottles. Filling divots does not really take long per hole, but setting up the golf course usually takes around four hours. With our next prototype, we should be able to cut that time down to two and half to three hours.

This trailer/blower combination will allow the setup person to do multiple jobs at once. Blowing cart paths, setting the pins, recycling, etc. can now all be done by one person. In the past the entire process took two people.

Our irrigation pump station has been recently tested for pump efficiency. This test will give us a base line on which we can document the efficiency of the station from season to season. Why is this important? The irrigation pump station consumes the most electricity within our maintenance budget. A motor that is used to run the pump is most efficient if it is running at 100% capacity at all times.

Once we have all the information concerning our pump station, we can then calibrate both the pump station and central control system for the irrigation system to run at peak efficiency. This will save money first, secondly we will be using our resources (water and electricity) more wisely and third our watering window at night will shrink thus creating drier and firmer playing conditions.

So like the saying goes, "time is money", we are always thinking of new ways to combine jobs and become more efficient with our labor and resources.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hoping for warmer weather

Still waiting for the warmer weather to arrive. We have had some very nasty days this past week. The cold weather keeps lingering and giving us shots of snow from time to time. This coming week does not look any better.

Despite the weather we must keep on working. The golf course maintenance staff has scheduled a few important tasks to accomplish in the next two weeks. We have scheduled a wall to wall fertilization and an aerification on the greens.

The turfgrass is in much need of a little nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to give it a jump start. The purplish color of the turfgrass is from the lack of phosphorus. After a long winter, the grass plant has used all of its reserves and is in need of some "food" and warmer temperatures to start is growth process.

Once the greens have responded to a fertilizer application, we will aerify with 3/8'' solid tines. The holes will then be filled with the excess sand that remains on the green surfaces. After this aerification, the sandiness of the greens should be lessened. The greens will generally be aerified with a solid tine due to the quickness of recovery. A traditional aerification where a plug or part of the greens profile is extracted would be slow to recover due to the growth habit of the fine fescue.

So the fertilizer application and greens aerification will be our biggest projects the next two weeks. Along with these to projects we will continue with our normal day to day course setup and mowing.