Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Getting a Head Start on Spring

While the grass is not requiring much mowing right now, there are still a number of important jobs that are taking place to care for the golf course turf.  One of these is the application of the pre-emergent herbicide for 2013.  That’s right, we are applying material now that will control weeds such as crabgrass and goosegrass next summer.
Traditionally, this application would be made in the spring, prior to crabgrass germination.  However, when springtime arrives, it often feels as if we have 1,000 tasks that all must be done at the same time.  The herbicide we use for crab and goosegrass control needs to be applied to all areas of the course except the greens.  This is quite a time-consuming job, as we use both a tractor-mounted spreader and several hand spreaders.
So, what’s the advantage of making this application in late fall, instead of waiting until the spring?  With cooler temperatures now, and less traffic on the course, we can focus on carefully applying this material.  And, we can check this big job off our “to do” list next spring—which means we’ll only have 999 things left to take care of!

A heron looks on, as the tractor and hand spreader are prepared to go.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Nice Addition

August's fairway aerification provided us with some some good material to use for the expansion of the teaching tee on #10.  The plugs were spread, graded, and seeded.  After a couple of months, this new area has filled in nicely and will be ready for use next spring.  The addition more than doubled the area of the existing teaching tee.

The bigger and better teaching tee on the left of #10.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Big Blowout

One of the sure signs that things are winding down for the golf season is our annual irrigation system winterizing.  Similar to a home lawn system, we use compressed air to purge the water from the piping, in order to avoid possible damage from system components freezing over the winter.

However, for the golf course, things are done on a much larger scale.  With close to 20 miles of 2" pipe, and five miles of larger main line pipe to empty, a very large compressor is rented.  The course itself is blown out in two halves, where we hook the compressor to the pump station at #5 green, and the station near #9 tee.  In addition to the golf course, we also winterize the club grounds irrigation system, the tennis courts, the cabana building, and the community entrance islands.

This 750 CFM compressor is almost larger than our dump truck.

In years past, it always seemed to be the coldest day of the fall when we'd winterize the system.  Often times the combination of air and water acts like a snow making machine, and having that mist blow on you all day isn't too fun.  Fortunately, this past Monday's weather was a pleasant change, with temperatures close to 70.

The mist from sprinklers on #5 as the system is blown out.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Oh, Deer

In addition to providing a great place for members to enjoy a round of golf, Laurel Creek also acts as a home to all kinds of animal life--including deer. 

While deer are beautiful, graceful creatures, it looks like somebody could use a manicure...or would it be a pedicure?

Some deep marks in #1 green.
A pattern of four steps and a leap across the green.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Cleanup on the Course

Hurricane Sandy made quite a mess on the golf course, however it could have been much worse.  While there was some tree work, for the most part, we only had to deal with a lot of small branches, leaves, and washed out bunkers. 

It came as a surprise to some people, but one of the highest priorities after the storm was to get the greens mowed.  Why was this urgent?  Well, after last week's aerification, we applied liquid fertilizer to get the greens growing and help fill the holes in.  With the hurricane, we obviously couldn't cut the greens on Monday, but we didn't want to  let two days pass without mowing them, as this could set back the recovery from aerification.  So, when we arrived Tuesday morning, we blew off the debris and mowed the greens. 

About half the golf course crew was able to make it in on Tuesday to begin the cleanup.  For some, this meant leaving the cleanup at their home until later, and their efforts on behalf of the Club are certainly appreciated.

A large cherry tree came down on the left side of #15.
Several holes, such as #10, were littered with debris.
Another cherry tree landed in the bunker on #16.