Thursday, May 18, 2017

Warm weather means progress

Windy day overlooking #3 Fairway

With what seems like the first week with sustained and consistent weather we have gotten some really nice productivity out of our Kentucky Bluegrass fairways.We are seeing several areas in the fairways begin to mature, and the areas that are thin, are showing signs of new growth.
Seedlings beginning to mature
For the first part of the spring the fairways were not mowed very frequently. This was due to the fact that the grass was not growing enough and did not need to be mowed, also excessive mechanical stress can hinder the growth of new grass and we trying to be safe and cautious.There were times on the course that you may have seen lies similar to this, where your ball landed next to a "bunch" of grass and the areas around that patch appear to be thin.

A golfers lie next to a patch of KBG
Once the grass gets mowed more frequently, it transfers its energy to grow more laterally and the grass begins to nit and fill in.

#13 Fairway
We will be continuing to push lateral growth in order to get golf ball lies tighter. Part of the way in which we will do this is through aerification. Aerification practices help alleviate compaction, by alleviating compaction it frees up soil space for the grass to grow into the aerification holes and the loosened up soil.
Tractor aerifying #8 Fairway
Close up of aerification holes

We are looking forward to some more warm weather and continued growth. If the weather cooperates and stays warm we should see these fairways fill in over the next few weeks.   



Respectfully, 

Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent 






Monday, May 1, 2017

First Substantial Rain


Standing water between holes #1 and #9
This weekends storm was the first substantial rain event since the bunker liners were installed on the front nine green side bunkers. We received a whopping 4.75" of rain over the last two days. With soggy turf and standing water in the fairways, our new bunkers came out of the storm relatively unscathed. 

Renovated bunker on #1
After significant rain events the newly constructed bunkers need to simply be raked after the sand was compacted with all of the rain, but that minimal raking is something that we do everyday during the course of the year anyways, with our daily golf course setup.

# 6 Green side bunker
Other holes on the course such as #6 and #9 green side bunkers use to hold water after large rain events. Since we fixed the subsurface drainage problems and installed the Capillary Concrete liners the standing water,post rain event have gone away. 

#9 Green side bunker

The other bunkers on the course did not fair very well, with washouts in almost all of the fairway bunkers and most if not all of the green side bunkers on the back nine, our staff will have plenty to keep us busy the rest of the week. 
Washed bunkers #16 Green 
The good news is that the washed green side bunkers will shortly be a thing of the past, staff has begun getting the back nine green side bunkers ready for liners. Hole #18 and #10 have already had the old sand pulled out of them. Our goal is to have the back nine completed by June 1st. 

Sand removed from the green side bunker on #10

Respectfully, 

Nick Marfise 
Golf Course Superintendent







Monday, April 17, 2017

The Bunker Liners Are In



View of #1 Green with completed bunkers

The liners for the front nine green side bunkers have been installed. It took a total of two days, Thursday and Friday of last week. Staff moved seven concrete trucks or 61 cubic yards of material into place to cover the 8200 sq ft of bunkers that were prepped and ready. 


Capillary Concrete getting loaded into a work vehicle 
The Capillary Concrete is delivered in a concrete truck, but is not as wet or muddy as you may imagine traditional concrete to be. This product is more like a sticky wet gravel with the consistency of melted chocolate. 


The material is loaded into work vehicles and then transported to the bunkers. It is dumped into the bottom of the bunker, and then staff shovels, rakes, and rolls the product into place. 



Once the install is complete the bunkers cure over night under plastic. By the next morning the bunkers are firm enough to  walk on. You are then capable of getting the bunkers filled with sand the next day. 

Completed bunker #3
The bunker sand was delivered this week, and we spent part of the day beginning to get the bunkers filled with sand. Weather pending our goal is to get the front nine bunkers filled with sand and completed as soon as possible. 

Use of our materiel handler helps conveyor the sand into place


Staff uses the sand-pro to push and level the sand 


Respectfully, 

Golf Course Superintendent 
Nick Marfise 





Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Opening Day!


#4 Green and approach area


Due to the rainy and possibly snowy forecast we will not be opening the golf course tomorrow. We are going to set our sites on the weekend. By that time, the golf course will have dried down some,with the warmer weather predicted.  Once again, the golf course will be open starting Saturday for walking only.

#4 Fairway 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

March Maintenance Update

Sunrise on the course 
Spring is here and that means that the golf course will be opening soon. We wanted to give everyone a brief overview of what has been happening since last fall.

The dark army green Kentucky Bluegrass is what we want to have on our golf course
This past fall the golf course fairways and approaches were re-seeded with Kentucky Bluegrass. During the seeding process the  first attempt at killing off  the unwanted grass  or "Poa annua" was completed. At this time we feel we have made significant progress in this attempt and are very satisfied with the percentage of control over the Poa annua.

#15 Roll off after Poa annua treatments
The desired Kentucky Bluegrass was placed in the ground back in the fall so that it would begin to grow this spring. It is in fact beginning to grow, but it is still in the ground. At this time we need warmer weather, so that the soil gets up to and average of 55 degrees. Once the soil warms up the grass seeds will germinate and grow more rapidly.

Seed covers help keep the soil warm were and incubate the seed where we need it to grow
It is going to take some time before we have lush thick fairways. Our plan is to push the growth with different variety's of fertilizer and we will continue to need some good warm dry weather, By the middle of the summer we are confident that we will once again have a quality golfing product.

#5 Fairway in  the summer of 2016, Poa annua treatments were made in fall of 2015
Also this spring you will be happy to know that the green side bunker project was approved and we are in full swing in getting this project completed. The goals of the project are to take the old sand out of the bunkers, fix any problems in the bottoms of the bunkers, install a permeable hard linear, and then finish the bunkers off with new sand.

A rented excavator is helping get the sand out of the bunkers 

Some hand work is needed to do the detail work inside the bunkers
As of right now, when the golf course opens, we are currently working on the front nine green side bunkers. All of the sand has been taken out, and we have been fixing any minor issues with the drainage system. We hope to have the front nine done by the middle of April, once the front nine is completely finished, we will begin working on the back nine.

The emptied bunkers are then edged back to their original edge

All bunkers are covered in plastic to protect them from the elements, until we are ready for liners 
While the golf course fairways and bunkers are some of our type priorities this spring we have also been focused on several other projects and areas of the golf course. We have been diligently working on the clubhouse landscaping. The club house landscaping has been in a need for a bit of reorganizing, we have been removing old plants and dead trees as well as making better use of perennial plants. 

Mulch going down in front of the clubhouse 

Relocation of perennial plants as made better use of space and plant material

Removals of unwanted trees and weeds has made for a more cleaner look in the parking lot. 
We have also completed the drainage project on hole #14 this spring. An additional 700 feet of drainage was installed in the fairway and approach areas. This additional drainage will help alleviate surface wetness and make for better play-ability on this golf hole. Our plan is to get these areas sodded as soon as possible 

The finished drain lines
Middle of fairway next to the bunker


Golf Course Superintendent 
Nick Marfise 














Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Winter Maintenance Update




With the winter months almost behind us, we thought we'd give everyone an update on our winter progress. Much like the past couple of years the weather has been mild and a bit unpredictable. Its hard to trust or say what will happen.


We started winter with a good blanket of snow, and turned our focus to grooming ski trails. We started with approximately 6" of snow which is the minimum needed to groom and set trails. With no additional snow, it was difficult to groom without the trail becoming to thin. When the snow thins out we back off of grooming so that we do not damage the ground or turf underneath. Unfortunately after Christmas it got warm out, and we have not had good snow or weather for snow to even consider skiing.

The "Sand Pro" or bunker machine completely disassembled 
Since winter started staff has been busy getting all of our equipment ready for the upcoming season. All of our mowers and other specialty equipment gets a complete overhaul. All engines, cutting units, and mechanical components are taken apart, cleaned, and put back together.

Greens Mower engines ready for inspection
This process of preventative maintenance gives our Equipment Technician the ability to address problems before they arise, preventing unwanted expenses and down time during the summer months.
Fairway mower cutting units pulled apart and getting cleaned.
It takes a team of five staff members to get through the equipment this thoroughly within 3 1/2 months to insure that we are ready for the upcoming season.

Trenching the drain lines 

With the mild weather outside, projects have continued. Most recently we continued working on a drainage project located on #14 Fairway.

Staff cleaning the trench debris 
The goal of this project was to address the ample surface saturation that occurs between 20 yards and 100 yards in front of the 14th green. The drain lines that we are installing will insure that daily conditions are dry and playable.

Drain lines in-front of #14 Green 
We plan to have this project completed within the next couple of weeks, weather pending, and then get this area sodded closer to spring when the sod farms are open.

Nursery Green Area (Day 1)
The nursery green project has been underway as well, located between hole #'s 6 and 8. The nursery green project will allow our staff the ability to get grass as needed during the season for plugging and patch work that is sometime needed.


Breaking ground
The green cavity taking shape 
The Greens drain lines have been trenched 

The drain lines and bottom of the green have been covered in Gravel 
The greens mix or sand getting installed 
We will be completing this project as spring continues, the goal is to have the green seeded and grow in in during the 2017 season.  

Future updates on projects and course conditions will be coming soon, with the weather getting nice, we know you will be wondering what is happening on the golf course. As mentioned before the weather is unpredictable one warm week could be followed by cold and snow. Lets keep our fingers crossed. 

Respectfully, 

Golf Course Superintendent 
Nick Marfise