Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Yearly Haircut

One of the things the crew can count on each winter is the annual pruning of our wetlands crossings on #2, 8, 12, and 14.  According to the conditions of our permit, we may only do this trimming during January and February, and only hand tools can be used. 

The finished product on #12.

So, no gas powered hedge clippers or chain saws for this work--the guys go old school with lopping shears and hedge shears to cut back the new growth over these four acres.  By the time they're finished their forearms are like Popeye's.

The crew is debating which one of them is pictured in the foreground.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Turf Will Be Feeling Chipper

When growing quality turfgrass, two of the key components to success are sunlight and air movement.  Over the past 20 plus years, tree growth has encroached significantly on certain areas of the course, limiting both light and air flow.

This winter, in an effort to provide a better growing environment for the grass, we've done extensive tree work.  The areas pruned include behind the Clubhouse, around #2/12 tees, #14 green, and along #17 and 18. 

While a good deal of the cut material can be left in place, some of it must be chipped up.  In addition to the wood we have cut over the winter, some extra chipping was needed this year thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

A small amount of the material we chipped at locations around the course.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Solid Foundation

For several years, the USGA Green Section Turf Advisory Service has recommended the installation of fans on some of our greens that have more challenging growing conditions.  With extreme weather conditions now becoming more the rule than the exception, we will be following the advice of the USGA and others, and installing fans at the two putting greens and #14 this spring. 

Digging for the pad.
In order to provide air movement across the entire putting surface, the fans are large...and heavy.  Each fan weighs over 480 pounds.  With that much weight mounted on a pole like a lollipop, a strong base is needed.  This week we excavated the holes for the fan pads, digging to a depth of 5.5 feet, and poured 1,000 pounds of concrete for each fan location.

Pouring the concrete pad.

Friday, February 8, 2013

More Winter Work

Another task that you might not give much thought to is the maintenance of the golf course ballwashers.  Every winter they are brought in, cleaned and upgraded.

Annually, the agitators and brushes are checked, and replaced as needed.  As you can see in the picture, we have also transitioned most of the ballwashers from metal trash receptacles to plastic, and have attached spike brushes to several of them as well.

While touch up paint is applied by the maintenance staff each year, we have the entire ballwasher stripped and re-painted professionally every three years.  For a very reasonable price, an autobody shop will have one of their trainees sandblast the ballwashers, and apply new paint and sealer to the ballwashers.

While the golf course staff is skilled in many areas, few courses are setup to properly perform this kind of work.  From our experience this is a situation when we let a professional do the job.  Someone who does this daily and has the right equipment, can get it knocked out quickly, efficiently, with great results, and at a low cost.