Monday, May 1, 2017

Restless Natives

With our first good winter in the last 4 years, the native areas are growing like gangbusters.  When the natives get out of control, it has a big impact on how quickly the game is played.  For that reason, and a few others, we are slowly making our way through the course and chopping the native areas down.  

What was once a safe haven for rodents
is now open season for the raptors.

Another reason we cut them down is for weed control.  The idea behind that is that you give the grasses the competitive advantage and choke out the weeds.  This doesn't happen overnight, but there are areas that have less weeds which have been chopped down annually.  This year is an anomaly as there are more thistle than I have ever seen before. 

Lastly, we chop them down for rodent control.  Does that one catch you by surprise?  Take a look at our worst rodent infested roughs on the course.  4/5 Mountain, 7 Mountain, 7 Canyon ( I know there are more).  All blanketed by heavy grass and weed growth.  The reason rodents do so well is because they take cover from raptors in the taller grass and weeds.  Can it still be called natural selection if we are giving the raptors an edge?


Thursday, March 23, 2017

2017 Greens Coring

Below is a picture I’ve used in a previous post showing the top 3” of the greens soil profile on the left and 3-6” on the right.  The picture on the right is the original sand profile and the picture on the left is the same sand, but with twenty years of organic accumulation.  Results from a physical soil analysis that we do annually indicate that water infiltrates through the profile on the right over 36” per hour.  The results for the sample on the left is less than 6” per hour.  A very dramatic difference and the major reason why we core and topdress the greens.   

So that’s what the lab says.  Here is a picture that may help you further understand why we core the greens. 

That's two minutes of water and in case your wondering, that's not good.  We will core the greens the week of the 27th using 3/8" tines.  We are going smaller and tighter to aide recovery time.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Best Laid Plans

The title of this post is how I know the saying, but the line actually goes, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley" as Robert Burns wrote in 1785.  In English that is interpreted as "The best laid schemes of mice and men Go often askew".  The story goes that Robert Burns destroyed a mouse nest while plowing the fields and was moved to pen the poem "Tae a Moose, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough" or "To a Mouse" in English.  

Either way, we had good intentions as we started the drain work on 7 mountain fairway, but it turned it out that it wouldn't be our day.  Despite having dry weather for almost two weeks, the subsoil was too wet to trench the drain line as the trencher kept sliding down the hill.  I decided to pull the plug until drier days, but that looks to be some time from now with rain in the forecast all next week.  Looking into the bottom of the drain that we were able to accomplish, water is seeping in and doing exactly what we want it to do.  We just need to do another 700 ft.  

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Finally Mowing

We finally got a break in the weather to where we could get out and get the course mowed.  Fairways hadn't been cut since the 16th of February.  The striping effect of 2 inch grass getting cut down to 1/2 inch is pretty impressive.   It should make finding your ball a bit easier too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cart Path Canaries

For those that are unfamiliar with the story, canaries would go down the mine shafts with the coal miners and the canaries would die at human warning levels of  methane and carbon monoxide thus giving time for the miners to get out (hopefully).  So how does this relate to cart paths?

It's actually one of the thoughts that goes through my mind when deciding on carts on or off the paths.  After so many days on the cart path it gets to the point where 50% of the golfers are going off anyways so we let them off the path knowing it's still too wet.  We know that a group will drive through the wet low areas, but afterwards, future golfers will see the tire tracks and should steer clear.  Not the case this time around as you can see from the pics.  I understand one set of tire tracks.  You just hit the shot of your life and your driving to your ball calculating the distance and splat.  Multiple tracks though gets frustrating for a maintenance department.  We'll fix them because maintaining is part of maintenance, but we'd much rather be enhancing your experience.