Friday, June 28, 2013

Laurel Creek Residents

As you probably see during your time on the course, Laurel Creek is home to a wide array of animal life.  With nesting hawks, deer, turtles, muskrats, and fish among our residents, there's little doubt that a golf course can provide a great home for wildlife.  We are proud to have been able to maintain our status as an Audubon Certified Cooperative Sanctuary since 2002.

It's always nice when somebody is kind enough to pose for a few pictures. 
This fellow appears to be smiling for the camera.

Somebody else striking a pose.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fast Fill

In any facet of our operation, we are only as fast as the slowest part.  When it comes to using our sprayers, that bottleneck often is the time it takes to put water in the tank.  Yes, filling a 300 gallon sprayer with the city water supply on our mix and load pad at the maintenance building is painstakingly slow.

For spraying purposes, the irrigation water quality is as good as, if not better than the municipal water supply.  Therefore, it was just a matter of finding a way to make use of the irrigation system.  This spring we constructed a fill area at the pump station located in the maintenance building compound.

We went from a fill rate of 12 gallons per minute from the city water, to over 120 gallons per minute from the pump station.  Now, the spray technician will quickly fill the sprayer to around 250 gallons of water, then head across the parking lot to finish adding the wetting agent, fertilizer, or plant protectants to the tank--a real time saver.


So, why is this important?  We are always looking for ways to make our operation run more efficiently, and increase productivity.  Often, this means trying to accomplish as many tasks as possible prior to play.  Once we have to stop for a group of golfers, we will usually fall behind, and can spend the rest of the day at a lower productivity level than if we were able to stay in front of play.  When things work well, we get more done, and we aren't in the way of our members as they try to enjoy their time on the course.  In other words, it's a true "win-win."

Friday, June 14, 2013

Back to Bunkers

Since the completion of #7 bunker we had a few minor storms, but not a real "gully washer."  However, there is almost a sure-fire way to produce some heavy rains:  Member-Guest weekend. 

Yes, the Member-Guest arrived, and along with it, so did the rains.  We totaled 3.50" from the storm on Friday, another 2.20" this past Monday, and 1.20" on Thursday.  That's just under 7" of rain in less than one week. 

Words can't fully describe the condition of the bunkers after each of these storms, so we'll let the images speak for themselves. 

The washouts on these bunkers on #9 were typical.
A plow was needed to push sand back in place on almost every bunker.

Thor was the only one enjoying the second bunker pumping of the week.

#7 was a different story, as hardly a grain of sand moved.


Yes, the bunker on #7 was the one bright spot amidst the mess.  The porous asphalt base both drained well, and held the sand in place.  With no pumping, plowing, or extra hand raking required, this was a huge labor saver.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Someone recently asked, "What is topdressing?"  When we use this term, we are referring to the application of sand to the surface of the turf. 

Following greens aerification, this will be done to fill the aerification holes.  Depending on the type of aerification that was performed, we may use as much as 100,000 to 150,000 pounds of sand on the greens.

However, we also do a very light topdressing in-season.  Typically, every two weeks, we will use a total of 5,000 pounds of sand on the greens.  This quantity is so small that after a couple of spins of the sprinkler, the sand has been moved into the turf canopy and can't be seen.

This light topdressing is done regularly for a couple of reasons.  First, the sand aids in the goal of continually diluting the organic matter that is being formed.  Secondly, the sand particles smooth the putting surface by filling in the tiny voids between the leaves on the surface.
A dusting of sand is applied to the greens every two weeks.