You will notice a change in the location of the stone wall between 8 and 12. We had a crew relocate part of the wall by removing stones from one end and extend the wall at the other end. The reason for doing this is to create a larger area between the wall and the fairway bunker to allow more room for cart traffic.

(from L to R) Alejandro, Mario, Torres, and Ramon work at relocating the stones.

The new end of the stone wall.

The end where the stones were removed, will be sodded later this week.
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Our sand silo was refilled today. The sand silo houses our topdressing sand for the greens. It is a kiln-dried sand to allow it to be spread more easily. The truck pumps the sand up the black pipe on the left side, and into the silo at the top.
The rain we received Sunday afternoon and evening have left several wet spots on the course. Though the course is not wet enough(currently) to prevent cart traffic, some caution is still need when driving on the course.


When the course becomes too wet, and cart traffic is restricted, the goal is to prevent damage caused by tire rutting and skidding. This type of damage can take weeks to recover or require sodding.


We have set several ropes throughout the course to help identify wet areas. Avoiding the ropes will help prevent possible rutting of the soil. Other things you can do to avoid damaging the turf are to be mindful of the location of drains in fairways, as these areas hold water for a longer period of time. Walking to a ball in these areas rather that driving will help to prevent damage.


Avoid attempting to drive on steep slopes while the course is wet.


Avoid driving through areas that are heavily shaded by trees. The turf in these areas is not thick enough to handle traffic when the soil is wet.


The weather looks like it may continue to rain off and on this week, so the course will likely have wet spots the remainder of the week.
Monday broke with gray skies and some light rain left from the previous night. The clouds left 0.7 inches of rain on the course. We were able to get some mowing done ahead of the final outing of the year. The weather looks like possible rain throughout the week.
This is the first post of a series of posts that will highlight the equipment and controls of our irrigation system at the golf course. This post is giving a tour of our Pumphouse. The Pumphouse is located directly across the wooden fence, north of the 14th green. The Pumphouse houses our motors that drive our pumps, and the controls for the motors, and our lake-fill wells. If you have any questions or comments about the system, I will address them in future videos.

Pumps

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Motors

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Wet Well

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Lake Fill Well

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Filtration System

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Main Line

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Sprinkler Line

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Panel

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Our ultimate task on Fridays is to complete all of the mowing of the primary playing areas. Thursdays are used for mowing our rough, and trimming around trees. The areas we try to mow every Friday before the weekend play are greens, tees, fairways, approaches, green collars, green, tee, and fairway intermediate rough cut, green banks, weedeat around trees and mow the entrance and the clubhouse.

Our beautiful Friday morning.

Green Mowing - The greens are mowed everyday except on Mondays when the course is closed. This job takes 4-5 people to complete. The greens mowers are also responsible for raking the green-side bunkers.

Juan and Samuel mowing the 7th green.

Marcial and Antonio raking a bunker on 6.

Tee Mowing - Tees are usually mowed 2 times during the week. 3 people are necessary for this job. The tee mowers also mow the targets on the driving range.

Armando mowing the forward tee on 15.

Approach Mowing - Approaches are mowed 2 time per week, usually on Tuesday and Friday. This job takes 3 people to complete. Approaches are mowed from the green out to the first sprinkler head in the fairway. The par 3 approaches are mowed with this job, as well as all the collection areas around the greens.

Conny mowing the approach on 15.

Fairway Mowing - Fairways are mowed 2 times per week. We have 3 people complete this job. The driving range fairway, the driving range tee, and the chipping green approaches are all mowed with the fairways.

Ramon mowing a fairway.

Rough - All of our rough is mowed 2 times per week. There are various jobs, completed on various days, to accomplish the rough mowing. Most days during the week involve some type of mowing in the rough. We use a gang mower pulled by a tractor to mow the bulk of the rough. Riding mowers are used to mow around trees and any areas the tractor is unable to navigate. We use a different set of riding mowers to mow the areas from the tee to the fairway, and immediately around the fairway. We walk mow our green and tee banks with walk-behind mowers. The intermediate cut around the fairways, greens and tees is also mowed at various day through the week.

Ramon mowing the rough on our green banks.

Push mowing the intermediate rough cut around our tees.
The irrigation videos are still in progress. Original file sizes of the videos were too large to post on the blog, so new videos are being created now. The first videos should be posted on Friday.

The reseeding on 2 approach was completed today. The ropes will be up for about two weeks to help establishment of the grass. You will notice the area has been marked as "ground under repair" so you may play this area according to Rule 25 (Drop at the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole).


Stay tuned this week for a series of videos we are working on that will highlight our irrigation system. Videos will included a tour of our pumphouse, the components of the system, and how those components operate during an irrigation cycle, a brief overview of the design, and how we set the system up to water.
The extensive tree trimming project that has been underway the last few weeks has been completed. Our crew did a fantastic job of trimming out low branches to allow better air movement, and more playing options from under the trees. This will also contribute to the long-term shape and health of the tree.

The final remaining branches waiting to be chipped.

The mulch pile our crew has created during the tree trimming project.
There are a few areas on the course where the grass has an orange or yellow color. These areas, in the rough, are showing symptoms of a disease called Rust. Rust is a disease that can show this time of year with the proper weather conditions. Along with these weather conditions, the appearance of heavy dew in the mornings contributes to this. Most mornings last week brought fog with the rising sun, this allowed the dew on the ground to hang around longer into the day, keeping the leaves of the turf wet for longer periods of time. As a result of the extended periods of leaf wetness, the spores of the pathogen are becoming very prominent.

A close look at the yellow/orange color some areas are exhibiting.


A close-up of the disease spores on a leaf.

Damage from this disease is usually not extensive. When weather conditions change, the disease will subside, allowing the turf to recover.

These are the weather conditions that are contributing to the spread to Rust. This is taken from the Blue tees on hole 7, on Saturday morning.
This past week has brought about a change in the approach on 2, and various other spots on the course.





These spots are the result of a herbicide application to control weeds in these areas. The pattern was created by the hand sprayer used to spot apply the herbicide. We did anticipate some discoloration of the turf, but not to the point it is currently exhibiting. The application was made now in an attempt to establish turf in the areas where the weeds died before the end of the year.


2 approach is the largest, and is exhibiting the most significant damage from the application. This area is the largest area that has been treated on the course. The weed on 2 approach that is being controlled is called Common Knotweed. The weed has died, unfortunately some of the grass has died with it.



The dark brown plants in this picture are the Knotweed plants. You can see the discolored and thinned turf as well.


There is a good amount of green grass still in the discolored areas, but this will take a couple of weeks for those to reestablish. We plan on dropping some seed in these areas early next week to help recover from the injury and establish turf where the weeds were.


The other areas on the course are much smaller spots, and we do expect those to recover from the injury.



12 approach


We have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather this week to complete some projects, and continue others. As posted earlier, we did aerate the greens and tees on Monday to allow air into the soil. On Tuesday we topdressed the greens. We have completed our fairway slicing. Some of the marks are still visible in the fairways, but will heal shortly, and will not effect playing conditions.


Tree trimming is continuing this week again, after a break during the rain. The guys are making good progress, and creating a large pile of mulch! The painters at the clubhouse continue to make good progress.

This Friday we plan to mow all areas on the course in preparation of, what looks like, a beautiful holiday weekend. Conditions will be fantastic!

After the recent rains, the course has finally dried. The total measurement of rain on the course was 5.3 inches over a 12 day period (Aug. 16-Aug. 27). For the majority of that time, the soil on the course remained saturated. In saturated soil, the moisture displaces the oxygen until the soil is able to dry. It is very important for soil to maintain oxygen levels to provide the best growing environment for healthy turf. This brings us to our projects this week.

Our efforts this week are being directed at providing holes to allow the soil to dry, and for air to enter the soil. On the greens and tees we used our aerators with needle tines to spike holes.

Conny using the aerator on 3 green.

Holes left in the green from the aerator with needle tines.

All of the greens and tees have been finished. The holes were left open on Monday night, and on Tuesday morning we topdressed the greens, brushed in the sand, and rolled the greens. You may still be able to see some holes in the greens, but they are ready for putting.

On the fairways we are using a machine that puts a slice about 6-8 inches into the soil. This machine is pulled behind a tractor. Check out the slicer in action with our first video on the blog!

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Torres operating our fairway slicer.

After Torres puts the slices into the fairway, we follow with a brush in the opposite direction to help stand the grass up, then follow the brush with a mower to even out the surface. Finally, we pull a roller over the fairways to smooth any tufts of soil left.

This is what the fairways look like after the slice makes a pass.

Roberto mowing the fairway after it has been brushed.

Finally, the roller making a pass over the fairway.

The marks in the fairways may be noticeable for the next few days, but will heal soon. The fairway slice should be done on Wednesday.
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