The course condition continues to be firm. I have seen some improvement in some of the drier fairways as Zeferino continues to spot water. I took some profile samples to see what kind of root structure we have and was very pleased with what I saw.
Now that most of the tall grass is cut we should see less time spent looking for lost balls.
We lost a goose last week. It had a broken leg so I took it to the Audubon Wildlife Care Center and they determined that it could not be fixed and they euthanized it.
Monday we were able to verticut and topdress the greens which certainly helped. By Wednesday they looked perfect. We have cut the nitrogen back by half to control the growth and maintain the speed which seems to be helping. We are seeing some disease on some of the greens but it is mainly on the Poa annua and not in large amounts. As long as the bent is actively growing we will just keep an eye on it.
We are going to try to start aerifying as soon as we can fit it in. Probably next week after Mike gets back from vacation.
Fertilizer is scheduled for next week. This is only the second application of fertilizer this year. We will go with the same plan next year with the Verde-Cal in March and just two fertilizer apps for the year. Soil tests have shown that the Verde-Cal that we applied this spring is still working and increasing our pH which subsequently increases the efficacy of our fertilizer. A stronger soil means less inputs which helps save us dollars in the long run.
This is the tough time of the year for the rough. It has taken a beating all summer with cart traffic and has not received much water to say the least. The positive side is the fine fescues that make of the large percentage of the rough has the ability to recover quickly as soon as the fall rains come. If we get the rain the forecasters are predicting later this week you should see some drastic improvement. If we hadn't used fine fescue in our mix our range would be mud by the fall.
The tall grass mowing is almost complete with just a few small areas between 10 and 18, in front of 4 tees and next to 15 green. We should have that all wrapped up this week. We are planning on mowing the bunker faces on Wednesday.
Steve has repaired the Sand Pro and it is back in service. The core harvester was delivered Friday and the greens mowers should be delivered any time. Steve has his hands full this week with a lot of sharpening to do.
I will be purchasing a new trailer this week from the same people as before. This time I will have them construct it without the two posts on the back which made it hard to load the mowers.
The bathroom fan is fixed in the club house but they didn't give us much time on the motion sensor. I experienced that first hand, mid stream if you will, sorry about that. It should be fixed now and hopefully it will smell better in there. I also had Jack Rawlings bring out some deodorizers that will fit in the dispensers. I don't think we were getting serviced well from our linen company which is responsible for that. Just a reminder to have Sig or someone change the air filters at the club house. I am ordering some new filters for Sig today.
We are moving our start time to 5:30am this week. We are mowing greens and changing cups in the dark up to 17 green each day. It is difficult to do a quality job changing cups in the dark. We will be starting at 5am on those days which shotguns are scheduled and should be wrapping up the course right at 7:30 so it will be important to communicate with us just before you send the groups out to be sure we are ready for them. I will be going off of the Google calendar for scheduling our starts so it is important that those dates are kept up to date.
The guys did well at the crew tournament last week, 3rd Low Net!
The course is still pretty firm. We have been spot irrigating focusing on the dry areas and trying to get more water to the rough. The greens are smooth and running consistently from hole to hole.
Keep an eye on CNBC this week for the airing of their sustainability story on Stone Creek. It was a great morning to shoot video and the course should look awesome.
Since we were down a greens mower early in the week we were unable to verticut and topdress. Steve has the mower up now and we will resume topdressing on Monday.
Still fighting some dry spots but nothing major. Fertilizer may be due soon but they are still holding pretty well.
Still playing very firm. Great to see so much ball roll; the golfers have got to be loving it. Many of the really dry spots have recovered nicely by supplementing them with additional irrigation in the morning. The areas that were hit worse were the ones with lots of Poa annua. This will be a good argument for the slice seeder which we have budgeted for next year.
We have been able to run some extra water on the rough this past week given the higher pond level. It certainly helps but still nothing beats a good rain. The slice seeder will also benefit the rough in the fall after the hot summers.
The bunker work will continue this week, pending Sand Pro repair, as well as the tall grass mowing. Mike has been trying to mow a bit each morning when the dew is still on the grass to keep the dust down.
I don't know if it a coincidence but the large group of geese have been absent the past week or so and Broken Wing and his mate are now hanging out in the lake on six. The new lake beacons may be working. We will see this fall for sure. We may need to order two more, one for the upper part of lake C and the other for lake D on six.
The greens mower is fixed and the ball field mower is ready to go back. George is going to check with Kevin to see they can pick it up with a county trailer. Steve finally replaced the last original starter on a club car. They have served us well but are in serious need of some work. We have a few that back fire constantly and could probably us a valve job. (It is embarrassing when it happens when golfers are on the putting green) It is definitely time to replace the fleet. We hope we will be able to work something out with the golf car lease next year and purchase them then. The Sand Pro went down Friday. With all of the sand pushing the front fork has loosened to the point where Steve is worried that it may break. We still have a back up that we can use in the mean time. Steve has ordered the parts which should be in tomorrow.
Western Equipment got the P.O. from the County but it was off by $600. It was probably a typo and should be fixed before the equipment is in.
Now that it is more than evident that the yard is a popular spot for thieves it may be time for a surveillance system as well.
The men's restroom fan is out again in the club house. There is still have an extra fan from the last time it broke. I have called Winner Electric and they should be out this morning to repair the light ballast, switch and install the new fan. Hopefully we can get that restroom smelling like cherries again!
The crew will be playing in their annual crew tournament at Arrowhead next Tuesday. Mike, Carl, Bob and I will hold down the fort after the morning chores.
Fields are all aerified and ready to go. The weather cooperated this year! The night time temps have cooled down and the water use should be decreasing. I will meet with George this week to make sure he is adjusting the water accordingly.
We firmed up things nicely for the Men's championship. The rain was timely which enabled us to firm up the greens slowly. The water level in the irrigation pond has risen which makes me feel much better.
We never stop learning and the greens have taught us another lesson. This year the greens have been very healthy, probably the best year to date. In this case to much of a good thing can create a problem and what I have seen is excessive organic matter accumulate in the top of the profile. This is the leading cause for the scalping which has plagued us on 14B lately. Difficulty in maintaining a consistent green speed is also affected by this. This year we have utilized a new greens fertilization program which targets root and plant health, not just green and pretty grass. In doing so the greens have become much healthier and are producing a lot of growth. We should have been a little more proactive and adjusted the nitrogen levels accordingly. Also, topdressing could have been a little heavier as well. We will be adjusting our N levels as well as increasing our verticutting frequency in conjunction with heavier topdressing throughout the rest of the season.
We have actually been over watering a few of the tee boxes which are starting to show some soft areas. We will adjust the water accordingly.
As I mentioned under course conditions we were able to get a little more water on the fairways with the cooler weather lately. The fairways are still playing real fast which is a great thing and rewards the golfers with some extra distance.
We have only been watering the dry spots in the morning and have been able to bank quite a bit of water in the last few days. We have been using some of the extra water to give the rough a drink or two.
With the small amount of rain that we received the rough has demonstrated it's ability to recuperate quickly. It is nice to see the green grass come back so quickly.
We have been re shaping some of the bunkers which has caused to inconsistent conditions. Much of the sand has sloughed down from the banks and we have been pushing it back up. When we do that it obviously softens the sand which creates the fried egg lie. They will firm up with rain and time. Just so you know in case you get complaints about it. We hope to get them all done before the winter rains hit us.
We will continue to work on the pushing the bunkers this week. We will start flail mowing the tall grass as well this week or soon after. We will start with the outer areas and finish with the middle of the course. It would be great to be able to burn it to take care of the weed seeds but I don't think that would go over to well with the fire department. We will try to spray the broad leaf weeds this fall so it will look much better in the spring.
Starting with the ball field mower, it had an electrical problem which we can't seem to duplicate here at the shop...go figure. The greens mower that flipped over the weekend seems to be alright. It will cost us around $200 for a new muffler and bracket. Other than that it seems to be running alright. The seat got a little tweaked but I think we can bend it back and make it usable for now. Good thing the new mowers are on the way. Speaking of which I am still hoping to hear from the County regarding the PO.
The summer doldrums have hit and there isn't too much going on. Fields are being aerified today and topdressed tomorrow. The weather is perfect this year and shouldn't see the damage we experienced last year.
ConditionsI would say that the overall condition of the golf course remains the same. The absents of rain in July has definitely contributed to dryer and firmer fairways. The recent cooler weather has allowed us to conserve some water and focus on some of the dryer areas.
I knew we had a lot of grass on the greens but never imagined that we would get the amount of grass off that we did after we dethatched. We literally had an entire pickup load of grass on the compost pad by the end of the morning. Mike laid down the perfect amount of sand which filtered into the green nicely. I actually had a golfer ask me when we verticut. He was surprised when I told him it was the same morning.
With the Men's Club Championship coming this next weekend we will be focusing on getting the greens smooth and a little bit faster. We will lighten up on the water to firm them and do some extra rolling as well. My goal will be to have them around 10 to 10.5. We will keep the pins easy in order to keep the pace of play going.
Zeferino has been able to adjust and reset some sprinklers around the tee tops. There are still a few to go. What I am seeing are heads that are on a slope that need to be leveled or heads that have sunk below grade and need to be lifted in order to operate unobstructed.
I have been seeing some improvement in the moisture level by running some multi-manual cycles on the hot spots in the morning. This cooler weather will allow us to actually turn the fairways off and spot water in the morning where it is needed most. By doing this we will hope to gain some level back in the irrigation pond.
The water is still off. As you can tell by the photo above a lot of the areas are completely brown. I am not to concerned in that I am confident that the fine fescue's will make a fast and complete recovery as soon as the rain returns.
Also, please note in the photo above the work of the crew this week in reshaping the bunker. We hope to get through all of them and reallocate the sand within them. Many faces are void of sand and by simply pushing the sand up from the bottom of the bunker we have been able to successfully reshape them without adding sand.
The BBQ was a success. Gordon thank you for coming. Doug I am sorry you could not make it, Teddy enjoyed your T-bone for you. This has been a good year for the staff so far this year. The guys have been working very hard and have managed to complete many small projects. They all take a lot of pride in the course and it really shows.
The bridge project is finally complete and I am very happy with the outcome. I am confident that this should last for many years to come. While the bridge was out of service I had the guys go through and remove any alders that were obstructing or will soon obstruct the view of Green B. The result turned out great. You can't even tell they were there but now you can see the entire green from any tee.
We have begun to mow down some of the tall grass along the perimeters. We will be using the Counties flail mower which does a real good job. We will begin in earnest following the Men's Club Championship.
We mowed the bentgrass in the nursery this week! The rye/fescue blend is not quite ready yet.
I have sent Lane all of the quotes and am waiting for him to issue the purchase orders. We have spent a few dollars on some pieces of equipment in order to maintain them in peak operating condition. The old core harvester needed two new belt rollers which to our surprise were $400 each and since Steve had it all apart to replace the bearings we felt it would save us time in the long run. We have been having some grief with our walking greens mowers mainly on 14B. For some reason the unit wants to scalp along the back left portion of the green. Steve has been pulling his hair out trying to figure it out. We found out that the mowers require a different bedbar when operating at heights lower than .125. Since we are currently at .105 we went ahead and purchased a more aggressive bedbar. It seemed to help a little bit but still doesn't look right. We have borrowed a new mower from Western Equipment to see if it is equipment related or simple the green that is causing the scalping. I will keep you posted on our progress.
George has been taking some much needed time off and has laid low for the past few days. The fall ball season should be picking up later this month and into September. Pacific Sports Turf will be aerifing and topdressing the turf on the 16th and and 17th of this month. I will make sure that George picks up some seed to hit those areas that got burned out in the hot spell.
The overall condition of the course is very firm. I have been seeing a lot of drives where you don't normally see them. It is a great time to be playing the Black tees! I think the greens have been very receptive but if you land short on the approach you may find your ball over the green. The green speed isn't what I would call lightning fast. It has probably been right about where people are used to it. There is a lot of grass on them and they are about as smooth as I have seen them.
Having my friend John with Aquatrols out to help me look at the moisture content of the greens has been a real eye opening experience. It is great to be able to constantly learn new things about these greens and the way they behave. I actually turned the water off Friday night and by Saturday morning we still had 35-40% moisture in them. Ideally we should be keeping them around the low 30's to the high 20's. Knowing how long they can go without water is great to know as long as we keep an eye on those spots and some greens that like to defy the odds and get dry for no reason. There is a moisture sensor that is available for less than a couple hundred dollars I believe which I think would be a helpful tool for us to track the moisture and keep the greens from becoming over watered.
We sprayed the Daconil/Signature on Friday. This will prevent the summer decline as well as any possible pythium. Monday we will be verticutting and topdressing and Tuesday we will fertilize.
We still seem to be struggling with the water on many of the tee surfaces. The recent hot weather has taken its toll and has really exposed the dry spots. There is still a lot of fine tuning that needs to be done which we will be able to get to when things cool down a little. Many heads are low and need to be lifted. In the mean time we will need to use some magic dust (Cascade granular wetting agent) to help the water penetrate the root zone and continue with hand watering.
Like the tees the hot weather has taken it's toll on the fairways. We are putting down as much water as we possibly can and even running extra water in the mornings. I ended up buying a drum of less expensive wetting agent ($400) and got it out Saturday night. I think it will be worth it. The product that I was using was working beautifully until I ran out. It will definitely be in the budget for next season.
We are still getting great comments on the course. Just yesterday Jorge was mowing rough on the west side of the fourth green and a golfer came all the way across to tell him how beautiful the course was. That to me is great stuff. Jorge was glowing when he told me that.
The tire tracks are really showing up. It is actually worse than driving on frost if the grass is under any type of drought stress. A little water and it all goes away. Nothing we can do but just pray for a little rain. The irrigation has been of for the last 6 days to ensure the fairways and the surrounds are getting enough.
Jason is still doing a wonderful job letting the tournaments know to stay in the fairways. Lets be sure the Starter is getting the message to the regular public as well.
Don't forget to let me know if you are going to make the BBQ Friday at Noon. I need to order the right amount of steaks.
Brian Nishimoto's 90 days is on the 18th of this month which qualifies him for benefits. Do we need to wait for the open enrollment in January or can he get signed up after his 90 days?
I am planning on taking the 10th, 11th, and 12th off to pick up my parents in Bellingham and visit some family. I may even get a chance to play Bellingham Country Club. Mike may be taking the 27th through the first off as well. He is due for some much needed time off.
The bridge is almost complete. We should have it completed by the end of the day today or early Tuesday. The Contractors had time off scheduled Friday but managed to get the bridge passable for the weekend. I think it looks great!
I am working with Lane Miller on the new greens mowers and the core harvester. I have forwarded him some information on a new municipal lease program which gets us an additional 1.5% discount. I need to follow up with him and make sure the County is signed up. We are going with the Toro GM3150. It has new style cutting units but will also be able to utilize our old cutting units as well. When I get all the final quotes in I will run them by both of you before submitting them to the county for a P.O..
George and the gang have been working their tails off. I have not had a chance to get out there but I would probably get in their way anyways. Steve finally got the sidewinder fixed. Toro didn't have a hydraulic motor in stock anywhere in the US. I will exchange it this week for our old one.
I hope you like this format of my weekly update. I got this idea from a constituent who told me a super was doing this for his greens committee. I think it is a good way to be able to track the updates from week to week and look back to previous years with out much effort. Let me know what you think.