Saturday, May 31, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

Fireworks Display Behind the Scenes

Yesterday we had the fireworks company arrive at noon to start setting up. We have all played with the small fireworks they sell on the side of the road but this does not even compare to what I saw. It was a amazing to see the setup involved and the shear size of the tubes that they were shot out off. We did have to contribute a little effort by drilling (5) 8 inch diameter holes almost 3 feet deep for the bigger shells. This was for safety just in case one let lose, the ground would hold it back. Below is just a few pictures and a short video of lighting the fuses.

First apparatus that was setup for manual lighting of the fuse.

Second setup that was wired for wireless trigger

The big guys ready to be loaded.

Loading the tubes

Manual Lighting process

The Finale

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Course Update

This past weekend we experienced some unusually cold nights hovering very close to frosty conditions. This is a bit rare for this time of year and I do welcome that before we get into the hot temperatures.  Our summer annuals arrived last Friday and I was a little hesitant to plant due in part because of the cold nights and potential for frost injury. Now that we are past that we are in full swing, areas that have received plants are all of the tee signs on the course, the front entrance on glen mill rd, the front of the club house with many more areas to fill in. Our flowers that we use are the yellow and pink cherry lantana and the white and red green leaf begonia.

We also looked at how our rooting is and so far pretty good.  Every green is different in regards to root depth because it really depends on where that green is located. Take a green that gets full sun and good air flow and your rooting should be really good compared to a green that sits in a pocket with little sunlight and very little air flow.  Its generally common for cool season grass roots to shrink up in the summer because of the warm soil temperatures. Really when soil temps get above mid to high 80's this starts the process of root shrinkage. The longer are roots are going into the summer the better prepared we will be during the summer months.

Close to  6 inches, not to bad.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Course Update

We are now experiencing some warm weather and high humidity that feels like summer is finally here. This is when we roll into another phase of our season such as water management.  This involves dusting off the hoses and taking inventory so that we can prepare ourselves for when we really get into hand watering mode. Hand watering is very beneficial practice when maintaining bent grass here in the Mid-Atlantic. Sure we do have irrigation heads that we can run but it would not apply the right amount in certain areas that deem to be hydrophobic (or dry), remember not all areas may be dry and this could lead to saturated conditions which promotes disease and turf loss.  Essentially this is completed tee to green during summer months. We are always looking for ways to cut cost and find supplies cheaper. In years past we have found that cheaper hoses just do not last because of the water pressure we run for the irrigation system, as compared to your house pressure we are more than double that. So we cannot skimp on the hose but we did find a nozzle that we tested out last year and it performed well if not better than the standard high flow nozzles that our vendors sell us.
Pictured left is the nozzle that sells for about $85, the nozzle
on the right sells for $18 and this is sold at a local store that has
life time warranties on their name brand products!

This year we have implemented rolling approaches when we roll greens. I can already tell that they are becoming firmer which is good for the golfer but I am looking at it from a turf grass disease stand point. You see, there has been numerous research that light weight rolling decreases the chances of dollar spot on greens. We are simply taking this knowledge and applying it to our fairways. By combating this very common disease we can hopefully see a reduction in dollar spot. Now this is not something new and they actually have a fairway rolling machine on the market. Our goal right now is to roll fairways twice a week and keep scouting for dollar spot and take note how this practice is helping. And all be darn if you can see an increase in your drivers distance with firm fairways!

Our rolling program

Tranz-Former Roller -Greens, Approaches, Fairways
Fairway rollers in action at another course, these are much
faster and efficient. 

Finally, our teaching green is starting to get a little fuzzy. Seeds are popping every where and before we know it, this green will be back to normal. I am projecting it to be ready by July but keeping traffic to a minimal until we get through the summer.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Course Update and Our first short video clip

After the 6 plus inches of rain we made a few discoveries pertaining to the bunker renovation. The first was the apparent water fall that came from the top of the hill above the chipping green. Nothing can compete with this rate of water so the next day the contractor came back to help us remedy the problem by diverting the water around the bunker. This was done by raising the area by 6 inches and this should do the trick. The other problem we had was the right side bunker on #3 green was not draining. They also investigated to find that a tree root about 12 feet long and 4 inches thick had over taken the drainage pipe. Once we pulled this out water quickly began to drain out.
Clogged drain

Tree root that caused the drainage problem

Raising up this area to divert the water

The teaching green was used to harvest the bent grass for #6 green. This gave us an opportunity to split the green in half and seed a new variety of bent grass. Ultimately the best time to seed is in the mid to late summer with the warmer temperatures but we have no choice and this is the second best.

We needed to revamp our maintenance rakes for the bunkers, currently we do have 8 foot handles that allow us to rake down on these step bunker faces but we needed more of them for the staff. The cost is close to $40 per rake from our vendors, to save money we went to the local hardware store and purchased emt 3/4 conduit in ten foot lengths. We already had the rake heads so it was a matter of putting the conduit on. The cost was less than $4 per handle, 10 rakes $40 dollars.

Cost effective rake on the left and $40 rake on the right.

This week we are finishing up the short game sod and seeding areas next to the paths. We are getting some good seed germination in areas we have already finished, for example between #9 and #3 and to the right of #8 green. Also we started another important cultural practice for our fairways. We use a machine to penetrate 6-8 inches deep. This is a great practice that allows water and air to penetrate deeper as well as increase our root depth for the dry times of the year.

This is why we do this in our fairways, the roots sticking
out at the bottom is growing in an old deep tine hole.
Also notice the amount of sand we have applied over
the past 6 years. A little layering but nothing to worry about
in the fairways. 

The rock under #1 fairway!
This video will not work on apple devices.