Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pavestone Project

The staff just completed a pavestone project on the driving range tee adjacent to the concrete slab that holds the matts.



This area receives a lot of foot traffic, and the majority of it is during the winter months when the turf is dormant and not growing.  The worn area always was wet from irrigation in the summer and held water during rain events in the winter.  Now the pavestones will be a much cleaner look and create an area to stand behind the matt.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Greening Up

The last three weeks we have seen some unseasonably warm temps, no frost, and some rain.  Compared to last year the golf is considerably greener for the second week of February.
Feb 17 2014
Feb 12 2015

Feb 20 2014
Feb 12 2015

Feb 20 2014

Feb 12 2015

Feb 25 2014

Feb 12 2015

Typically I mow greens a couple times a month to just clean them up in the winter, but we mowed last week and we are going to mow again this weekend because of growth.  We have been rolling once a week, and I am considering putting the first mowing on fairways next week.  That would be Feb 15 this year compared to March 20 last year.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Grinding stumps

We have spent the last 3 days grinding all the stumps from the trees that were removed.

The idea with stump grinding is to get deep enough so you re-vegetate the area with turf.  So many grindings are just below the surface and then you can't grow proper roots and aerify for quality turf.  We grind the stumps in 2 phases.  The first cut is to remove most all the chips and are hauled away.  The second cut is a mixture of soil and removes the flare of the tree where it enters the ground, and any surface roots.  This cut is sifted clean and returned to the whole as a growing media.

The areas will be sodded next week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Goose Control

Every winter we have the same issues with geese on the golf course.  We have tried every decoy and scare tactic out there but with all of them we get the same results, the geese figure it out.  My yellow lab BJ still seems to work the best, but she is not at the pond all day everyday.

This year I tried the trumpeter swans with some pretty good success.

In the last 2 weeks they also figured that out.  We thought we could skip the fishing lines that we have done in the past, but we went back out today and ran them. They have proven to be the best method I have found.

The key with the fishing lines is that it is monofilament so when the geese flyover to land they can see the line and then they cannot.  So at one given moment they cannot see all the lines when they want to land and thus they do not know how many lines are there and they think the pond is netted.  We run them about 20 ft apart, 3-4 ft above the water and just go back and forth side to side.  It has proven to be our best technique and I know we will see a reduction in geese for the remainder of the winter season.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tree Work

This is the time of the year when we do all of our tree work.  In the December greens committee meeting we discussed our tree inventory on the course and decided to remove 10 trees that were either unhealthy or poor golf course trees.  That could be because they drop debris, have a shallow root structure that takes water and nutrients from the desired turf, or causing shade and/or irrigation problems because of their growth type and location.
Maple on #3 that is mostly wrotten and falling apart
Sweetgum tree dropping debris
Thorny gumballs from the tree - not ideal for a golf course
Blocking irrigation and sunlight, paired with shallow roots and being a pine leads no turf under the tree

We also limb up all the trees on the golf course.

After removal and limbing we then chip all the branches

Beginning tomorrow we will go out and grind all the stumps and sod the areas where the trees were.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Cartpath Work

One of our small projects for the winter is to clean-up some of the cartpath ends. Over many years of use and traffic, the end of the path starts to chip away, develop loose asphalt, and show extreme turf wear and compaction.  We do things on a regular basis to relief compaction and improve turf quality, but sometimes the asphalt needs work.  This causes the general traffic to avoid the straight off section of the path and use the two sides for exit.  Below is a picture from last summer, you can see due to the roughness at the end of the path everybody exits left or right.

By improving the asphalt and turf quality at the end of the path, ie a smoother ride and exit, we can get golfers to use more exit points.

As we have discussed in the past, the key with traffic on turf is scattering and moving the traffic around.  This improvement will now allow the golfer to also exit off the end of the cartpath along with the two sides.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Root pruning/grinding

One of our important winter tasks is cleaning up the shallow tree roots on the golf course.  Shallow rooting trees like cottonwoods are very un-desirable species because their shallow roots compete with the turf roots for water and nutrients.  Cottonwoods are the worst, because their roots as so shallow
they come through the surface and cause damage to mowers as they cross over.  Many of our irrigation wires and pipes are too shallow so we cannot use a plow to sever the roots, but instead we use a small stump grinder to cut and grind the roots at the surface.

Cottonwood trees can have roots that go 150-200 ft out from the tree.
Cottonwood tree in the background

After grinding down about 6 inches, we fill the scar with sand a sand / seed mixture just like a divot.