Friday, January 19, 2018

Approach Topdressing

You can play 6 lake right and watch it
kick left to a front middle pin
This year we are beginning a new practice for Cinnabar of topdressing approaches in order to make them firmer and faster.  While many golfers fly their shots in like lawn darts, the course was designed in a way to play with some creativity.  2 canyon is a great example of a hole that you can play short and right with a front pin and watch the ball kick left putting yourself close to the hole.  You'll notice that we aren't doing every approach and that is because not all approaches were designed to be ran in.  Take 4 mountain for example; it's an elevated green that is designed to be flown in.  While we'd like that approach to be firm so when you miss short the ball goes back down to the fairway... Stirke that.

This is a practice that won't have noticeable results for some time as we need to build up a large quantity of sand, but it will appreciated once it is achieved. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Built Ford Tough

In 1999, Cinnabar bought a brand new Ford Ranger for the superintendent to use.  We had talked about replacing it the last couple of years, but the truck seemed to be bullet proof.  Last year we put a new transmission in it, but it still felt like it had more to give.  Last month it turned over 250,000 miles and began to show it's age until it couldn't give anymore yesterday.  251,236 miles.  I really enjoyed this truck and I have a lot of memories with it I thought I'd share.

-  Driving my daughter home from daycare singing wheels on the bus and having many one sided conversations.
-   I rear ended a woman who suddenly stopped for turkeys crossing the road.  There were no injuries (human or turkey), but when she told me she was friends with an owner I just about lost my lunch.  
-   Sleeping in it overnight numerous times on the evenings when I deep tine aerated the greens.
-  Another overnight at the golf course when I had to run the water treatment manually.  I had to wake up every 30 minutes.
-  Taking our son Benjamin out early evenings to set raccoon traps. He always wanted to see the pictures the next day.
-  Getting stuck on the side of the cart path at midnight when I went to check on a pump station that I thought was going to flood.  It was dry as a bone.
-  The day I (maybe Cinnabar) spent $500 to get it thoroughly cleaned after I quit smoking.  Money well spent.
-   Either the year 2007 or 2008 where it seemed like I locked my key in the car once a month.  
-   Driving the kids around the block in back of the bed.  
-   Driving other superintendents around and having great conversations.
-  Having not washed it with a hose from 2013-2016 due to the drought.  I'd occasionally drive through the sprinklers or let the rain wash it.  
-  Still trying to explain to my kids what a cassette tape deck is and the difficulty of trying to buy children's music on cassette.  

I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to use a company vehicle and it was a great one.  I know it's just a truck, but I'll look back on it fondly.   

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

My Newest Tool

Over the last 5 years, I can count how many times I've golfed on one hand.  In an effort to see the course through different eyes, I'm giving it a go again.  I'll have played three times in the last month and I'm already taking note of things I'd like to see better.  The way my game is going right now,  I see the most improvement being made to the rough!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Graden Verticutter Demo

This past week we ran a demonstration of the Graden verticutter on the bar putting green.  Where a traditional verticutter tickles the interface between soil and plant tissue, the Graden blows through that interface to a depth of up to 1 inch.  In theory it does everything I want it to.  We have a mild build up of thatch in the top 1" which gets removed and then sand is backfilled into the groove that was made from thatch removal and dilutes the existing thatch layer. 

It did what it's advertised to do for sure.  We removed a little over a yard of material at a 1/2" depth and put in a little more than a yard of topdressing sand.  The real test is in how it heels and what the players think of it.  It is a lot of work having never done it before, but if it yields the results that I hope it does than it would be worth the effort. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bentgrass Removal Trial

Last week we sprayed out some of the bentgrass that is in the fairways of Lake 5, Mountain 4, 5, 8 and Canyon 2 approach.  We are trying two different rates and two different products.  In the meantime, the bentgrass will have a bleached appearance. After the second application on the 20th we will verticut multiple times, shave the areas down with a low height of cut mower, seed and topdress.  I hope to have the process dialed in for 2018 and we can remove the bentgrass that has contaminated the fairways on a much larger scale.

Why would I want to remove the bentgrass?  Bentgrass thatch accumulation is very fast and that thatch holds onto water like a sponge.  For the player, this leads to a plugged ball.  For the maintenance department, we can't get water past the top inch and some products we apply need to get into the soil to work.

Roundup on the left with the crabgrass still green on the right.