Friday, March 30, 2012

Irrigation Update

We have begun to pressurize and test our irrigation system.  The greens irrigation project that was executed last fall had all it's pipe, wire and components installed.  Since it was completed late fall after we winterized the system, we did not get a chance to test much of the new irrigation or satellites and control system.

It is exciting this spring to see that the hard work preformed by the installing crew (new irrigation shown top left at 11 green) works! We are in the process of testing all the components of the irrigation system and working through the minor problems we expect to incur.

As with most projects,  problems will be encountered along the way.  We found our first small problem on initial fire up.  A small 1.5" irrigation pipe on #12 green that was not connected from the old to new greens system (photo middle left).  This problem was corrected with an easy fix.

The irrigation project also included restoration of the ground affected during the installation.  The contractor will revisit all these areas and restore low and high spots and top dress trenching seams. (photo bottom left).  These areas will heal in and become unnoticeable as the turf actively grows.

Sand Trap Update

We are at about the half-way point on our sand project.  Approximately 300 ton of sand will be added to our sand traps during this process.  The 2 pictures above are some highlights of trailering sand into the bunkers and the maintenance crew spreading out the sand through out. We are hoping to have the majority of sand in the bunkers by the end of next week.

The maintenance crew will be edging the bunkers starting in April to restore a nice defined transition from the sand trap to surrounding turf.

A reminder to players the sand over the next couple weeks will play softer then desired until the sand is compacted.  We will be focusing on keeping our traps consistent this season with firm playability.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


In our travels around the golf course yesterday morning we came across a Wild Turkey.  Once in a while we will catch a glimpse of 1 crossing through the golf course.  Our biggest challenge to date has been capturing a quality picture. Click on the image for a larger view

Sand Traps

Over the next few weeks we will be adding approximately 2" of new sand to our bunkers.  Every year sand levels in bunkers depreciate. Factors such as daily maintenance, the environment and golfers, all have an impact on the sand, and the bunker design itself.  It has been 6 years since we had added 2" to our traps.  The goal of adding new sand is to restore the bunkers back to the desired sand levels and playing conditions.   We will be focusing this golf season in improving the consistency from trap to trap.

During the process of adding the new sand, players may encounter a bunker that is under construction.  Please rule that sand trap as "Ground Under Repair".  The newly added sand will also need some time to settle, and create a desired firm playing feel.  Unfortunately "Fried Egg" and "Buried" lies will happen during this process, but will improve daily.

Once the new sand is in place, and the seasonal maintenance staff returns we will be edging all the bunkers at Forest Lake, improving their aesthetics.  We will also move into a daily management of our traps and hand bunker rakes will become available.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Course Conditions

The middle of March has followed the pattern of this winter, "unseasonably warm".  The temperatures have reached the 60's, and the outlook for the next few weeks looks even warmer.   This is great news for our members and guests!  We have opened up the golf course for your enjoyment, and have the greens in play and golf carts available.

The golf course has come through the winter in great shape to start the 2012 season.  The greens crew mowed and rolled the greens for the first time on Tuesday.

Now 1 quick reminder, "It is still March".  The golf course is still in the process of waking up from the winter.  Turf is still dormant and greens although available for play, may not break any speed records.  There is still debris cleanup to be done on the property, and course hardware and services will slowly become available on the course through this month.

The trench lines on the greens that were cut out to improve winter drainage have been placed back in the greens (pictures below). Over the next few weeks this turf will improve and blend into the green.  The playing conditions over the sod will improve daily.

Drain Line on #13
Tamping the sod into #13 trench line

We will be adding 2 inches of sand to our bunkers starting next week.  This will restore the sand in our bunkers to a desired level, and will improve the playability and consistency from trap to trap.  The new sand added will take some time to settle and create a firmer  playing surface.

Since the grass is still dormant it has not begun to rapidly grow, any "damage" we cause today and through the month will be visible in April.

I would like to remind players how they can "Care for the Course" during the early season;

1. Fix Ball Marks
2. Replace Divots
3. Carts -  keep on paved paths and high areas where possible

Welcome back!