Friday, April 19, 2013

April has been a month so far of cooler temperatures and an abundance of rain.  The grass has been slow to green up and the trees are trying to bud out but are not quite there.  Yesterday afternoon's warm temperatures finally provided the right conditions for some green up.  The increased temperatures were followed by a rapid drop in temperature and a substantial wind and rain storm with it.  Due to these conditions we lost 2 trees in the Pine grove between 11/12.  One tree was an existing dead Pine that the Red Tailed Hawks perched on, as well as another White Pine.  Both of these trees had health and structural problems.

White Pines between 11 and 12
The last several years the Red Tailed Hawks have nested in the White Pines in this area of the course.  As some of the White Pines have been removed, we are fortunate that the hawks have created nests in other neighboring trees.  This year there are 2 Red Tailed Hawks that are still living on the golf course in the pine groves between 11/12.  So during your golf round look up in the sky and there is a good chance you will see the hawks soaring around.

Red Tail Hawk by #7 Green
The rainfall that we have been receiving is causing an increase in the water level in Forest Lake and the lakes that feed into it.  This could cause a flooding problem on the golf course, in the low lying areas of #2, #6 and the driving range.  The weir system that helps sustain Forest Lake at a suitable level has been opened to relieve water.  This water travels through the waterway on the right of the 2nd Tee box under hole #2 to the creek on #6.  When our network of underground drainage cannot handle the surplus of water it will start backing up and flooding into the driving range area.  This process of lowering the lake levels will be done over the next week.  At the moment we have been able handle the increase in volume of water and move it underground across the golf course. Below are a few pictures from today.

"Lake in the Woods"  bottom right is the culvert just under water
#5 foot bridge with the water level 1"inch from the bottom

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Welcome back for the 2103 season.  We are excited to be back on the course to provide great conditions on the golf course this year.  As many of you witnessed in the fall, the reconstruction  of #2 Tees,#3 Tees and surrounds.   Since the final grading and sod work were finished late in the year, the turf had not had a chance to root in.  With the cold start to spring this process has been slow as well.  We have been able to open the two forward tees on #2 for play, and expect to be playing on #3 Tee boxes for Men's Opening Day.

Standing behind #3 Tees
        Our goal to improve the golf course and playing conditions every year lead us to start improving our greens right out of the gate.  We decided to aerify the greens on Monday April 15th.  Instead of the traditional method of core removal and filling with sand, we brought in DryJect of Michigan to inject 20 ton of sand into our greens.  There equipment uses high pressure water to penetrate the greens surface, and filling with sand simultaneously.  Since no core is removed the disruption to the greens surface is a small clean hole. 
        The more channels of sand we have in our greens tremendously helps our native soil greens drain and also helps us move water through the organic matter build up on our sand greens.  Below are a few photos of Monday's aeration project.

First we deep tine spiked the 12 native soil greens to help out
sand penetration
DryJect machine in action with the maintenance crew bringing
 out dried sand to the hopper.
Injecting sand on #7 Green
Great look at an injection hole making its way through the
 organic layer into the sand base of the green.
Brushing the remaining sand into the green which worked out
 as a nice light top dressing
      Although Monday was a very long day hand loading 20 ton (40,000 lbs) of sand into the aeration hoppers, the aerification was a success.  The benefits will be measured as the season progresses, and the successes can also be measured in the smoothness of the playing surfaces 1 day after aerification.
      We will continue to add sand by topdressing during the golf season, to keep the greens smooth and firm.  Not to forget we will be core aerifying in September to continue improving our greens quality and profile structure.