Friday, December 15, 2017

COLD WEATHER HAS PUT THE KIBOSH ON GOLF

Even for the few die hard's their is not much sense in braving this cold snap.  Too much snow.... 


It's time to clean house...Literally. 



We started by cleaning the room, washed floors and walls.  Here you can see the garbage cans will be prepped and painted.  Next comes....
Tee markers and ball washers and more cleaning.   


Small projects like changing light fixtures,  fixing the down stairs bathroom.  (needs a good painting and refurbished floor not to mention a new sink)  This keeps us busy with much need shop improvements.   We expect to be starting tree work next week.  We will work outside when we can but on days like this it just gets too cold and we need to keep our shop organized and clean.  













Saturday, December 2, 2017

WELCOME DECEMBER.

Why cart paths only in December?    This is because the grass isn't actively growing where it has a chance to recoup from excessive wear.   Most problem areas are where carts are congested.  Around greens and tees but also fairway bunkers and even trees can make cart traffic confined to one small area.   In order to prevent damage we have determined that the best answer is to confine carts to paths during the months of December and March.  We felt it was a better alternative than to not allow carts at all. January and February the pro shop is closed so carts are not available.   

Why did you bring in all the bunker rakes?    We are down to a skeleton crew during the off season months so we are not able to rake bunkers.  The rakes get hidden in leaves and can get run over by carts and equipment.  They also hinder our efforts to keep the course clean.  We use the winter months to go over the rakes and make sure they are in good shape and get them ready for next season.  

Any plans for the winter months?    Besides all the sharpening, and maintenance of the equipment we have planned to do some tree work.    Best time is when the ground is frozen and no snow.  We will first concentrate on safety issues, removing dead trees and branches that could cause harm to player or property.  Next we will look at areas where trees have grown   causing playability issues and where we wanted to promote good turf and finally removing trees that were growing into one another.  We feel it is better to sacrifice one tree for the health of another.   Their is never a shortage of work to keep us busy.    


This tree is in bad shape,  you can see the rot around the base. It needs to be removed for safety reasons.   


Shade, carts, and equipment make growing grass under this tree near impossible.  


We are removing two trees near the cart path for better turf and also to allow the other trees to mature.  


This tree on 13 is now restricting play from the tee.   


Work in the clubhouse is progressing.   The bar and everything else has been removed.  You have to break a couple of eggs to make an omelet!!!!


This may be the last time we are able to change cups.   Ground may soon be frozen.  We put the holes closer to the edge to try and limit wear on the greens.  
A sure sign of winter is the return of Buffleheads.  They are in the duck family and spend there summers north of here all the way into Canada where they breed.  They will stick around until the pond freezes over.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

THE FAT LADY IS GETTING READY TO SING

 As the saying goes the show is not over until the fat lady sings.  So lets just say she is warming up for the finally.   The Greens and Grounds staff is now down to its hearty few who will brave the cold and keep the course as playable as possible and ready the equipment and grounds for next season.  Let me take this opportunity to thank the rest of the staff on a successful season.  With out these people we would not have the course we enjoy so much.   "THANKS GUYS". 

Before the final curtain comes down we continue to spend most of our time picking up or removing leaves.   We need to apply our winter plant protectants, top-dress greens, continue our Belgium Block installation and a few other miscellaneous tasks.    The following are a few pictures that were taken last week.
The  Kitchen staff is busy prepping for the big day.   Well over a hundred diners and more than 20 turkeys will be served at the thanksgiving feast tomorrow.
Adding some block along path by nine ladies tee.
Blue Birds hang around all winter.   Nice to spot one posing for a picture.    

Frosty morning work,  time to bring in the Bunker rakes for a winter spruce up.

Installing a drain to the left of 10 green to catch run off from melting snows.  
I had the pleasure to meet "Mr. Monarch".  Dr. "Chip" Taylor on my recent trip to Kansas.   Dr Taylor is the founder of Monarch watch a  program run by the University of Kansas dedicated to the protection and education for Monarchs.  We are  working with the USGA and Audubon International to get golf courses involved  in providing more habitat.  For more info. go to Monarchwatch.org.  
Well said Mr. Palmer!!!!
Our 2017 Greens and Grounds staff.  Thank you gents for a job well done.   Everyone have a great Thanksgiving.



















Saturday, November 11, 2017

WHAT FROST?

 It was 23 degrees when I got to work.  A record setting low.  But where is the frost?  
Doesn't look any like frost. 
May be a little here?  
We have what I call a "Black Frost" this morning.   Its hard to see.  One of the tell tale signs is when you step on it,  It does not spring back.  A sure sigh of a problem.   What you can't show in a picture is it actually has a crunchy nose when stepped on.   This kind of frost can really damage grass if walked or driven on.   We will be extra cautious today and make sure this is gone before we open the course for play.  
On another note work has started on the new patio expansion.  
The putting green will remain closed for the rest of the season to avoid everyone walking across it.  To access the pro shop Please walk around the green.  

Saturday, November 4, 2017

POST HALLOWEEN

Early November and we still have not had a real hard frost.  I am not complaining but the grass is still growing and the leaves are falling.  We are doing double duty with mowing and sweeping.  Glad to announce that most of the sodding is finished.  As time allows we will start placing the Belgium Block around selective areas next to cart paths.  This will add some "polish" to our paths. 

I am not sure if Benny is smiling because this is his last piece of sod or he is just a happy employee.  Either way works for me.   
This time of year worms become an issue.   Last week I was asked if we were letting the fairways grow a little.   I had to say that they are longer,  but not intentionally.   We are trying to mow in the afternoons when the grass is dry to avoid pancaking the worm casts.  When they are dry they tend to break up. If they are wet they turn to mud and can smother the turf.  Because the days are so short the grass doesn't dry until late in the day.  That doesn't give us a lot of time.  Unfortunately sometimes we are forced to cut when the grass is wet just to get them mowed.  
Sorry about the clubhouse area looking a little messy.  We are getting ready for the construction.  Large plants have been removed.  Smaller perennials and shrubs are being relocated around the clubhouse.   

And finally a fitting end to October-----Trick or Treat?    

Monday, October 23, 2017

A BUSY DAY

A Deep - Tine: Dry Ject Day.  As soon as we could see we were on the putting green making sure everything was in working order.   Actually the Club House lights helped us gain a few minutes.   The following are some pictures to show the process.   All the greens are finished.  Considering all that was done, ball roll is very good after this procedure. 
Started at the crack of dawn.   Going to be a long day.  
Work in progress.
This is the Verti-Drain machine with needle tines.  We were going down about 7.5 inches.  





Dry - Ject Machine uses water to inject sand into the profile.  We were getting the sand down about 5 inches.
Close up view.  


Final product after brushing and rolling.  


Close up view of final product.   Ball Roll is not bad all things considered.  By the weekend you should hardly be able to tell we did anything.  Everyone will sleep good tonight.  





Finally,   We released our last tagged Monarch Butterfly this past Saturday.   Hope she makes it to Mexico in one piece.  





Tuesday, October 17, 2017

STILL DRY BUT COOLER TEMPS ARE FAST APPROACHING

Cooler temps for sure.  Today was our first good frost and we are starting to spend more and more time with leaves.   We are also using the cool weather to sod a few areas.   These areas are around  trees, cart paths or "trees and cart paths".  If you see yellow circles and squares you'll know where we are going next.   This area is on the first hole on the right side in the landing area. Many carts exit the path under the trees and have to avoid the far bunker making it a very congested area.  Not to mention shade. 






 If you see an "S" in the middle of the yellow line you know that's where we are going to lay sod. 














If you see a "B" in the yellow line that's where we are going to insert Belgium block.   All of these areas are near paths.  Some are where the cart path curves and we have worn out the sod on the inside of the curve.  Other's are where exit and entrances are used and the paths just need to be a little larger.  we will start with the sod and then move to the Belgium Block.  We can work on the block areas when the weather gets worse.  The sodded areas need to be finished sooner so they have some time to get established.   


When we have a frost we can't work on the golf course (turf that is).  We capitalize on frosty mornings to work on the edges.  For example, getting the areas ready for sod, or mowing native areas and in the case of this picture we are starting to remove the plants that will be in the way of the new patio expansion.   Perennials and some shrubs will be transplanted to other areas of the course and the annuals will be put in our compost pile with all the leaves.   


Friday, October 6, 2017

A MONTH WITH OUT MEASURABLE RAIN

picture shows how low our pond has gotten.   
Mother Nature has turned up the heat and shut off the faucet.  It feels like September was warmer than August and October is following right behind.   Even the best irrigation systems can't do what natural rainfall can.   First, it's the quality of water itself.  Our irrigation water contains bicarbonates.   This is not a major problem and only shows itself when we don't get any rain.  They can potentially build up in the soil.  Rains help dilute and leach the salts further into the soil profile where they aren't able to cause any trouble.   Temperature---our pond water has been as high as 80 degrees.    Rain can be in the low 30's.  Its not unusual for rain to start off as ice or snow high up in the clouds and melt as it falls.   The cold rain does have a cooling effect when it hits the turf.    Finally and most importantly rain is pretty consistent.  If there is one inch in the rain gauge you can pretty much plan that the whole course received one inch. 
Talk about consistency.  What's wrong with this.  A line of brown turf????
The irrigation head is right behind the tree.   With all this technology we can not "bend water" it shoots in a straight line.  Before you ask why did we put the head behind the tree realize that what ever side we put the head there will be an area that does not get water.  This situation only presents it self if we get into long stretches of dry weather.  Normally this is not an issue because there are other heads that help water this area.   
Our bunker edges have become very deep.   We normally would not want this however because of the age of our bunkers and the amount of times they have washed out the only way to fix this is to add sand to the edges.  This would create more "fried egg" lies which no one wants.   If your ball happens to end up next to this edge you may have to be creative to play you next shot but at least it won't be buried.


In Closing:  We ended September with our 7th annual Bill Moran Fishing derby.  Over 15 Children of all ages participated.   Pictured here are the winners.   Jessica caught a 14.5" Bass,  Emma her sister followed with a 10", and not to be outdone was Tristan who caught a 14" Bass. but said "You should have seen the one that got away" !!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2017

A LITTLE OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT

A few small issues have popped up over the season and as time allows we will be addressing them.  One such area is the mulched path to our 8th tee.   We wanted to touch up this area so we decided to use Belgium Block to create a more formal walk way.   As time allows we will be adding more block around paths that have been worn out by cart traffic.  Hopefully the added few inches we allow carts to stay on the paths instead of wearing out the grass.   You may have noticed a  small area along the path on the first hole.
Wanted to touch up this area.  
Finished walk way is a little more "polished".
We purchased some sod and will touch up a few of our bunker edges.  Lucky there are not many of them.  
Owel, Sebastion and Benny installing some sod.  
A few Mums to spruce up the front entrance.  
These are conks and mean that the tree has a rotting fungus which will compromise  the integrity of the tree.   We may have to take this one down for safety reasons.  
In closing,  we had some special Audubon visitors last week.   Allie Eustis is the Program Specialist,  Christine Kane is the Executive Director and Marcus Grey is the director of cooperative Sanctuary Programs for golf.   We have some great news.  Rockland has been selected as a site for Raptor Relocation.   It is a program sponsored by United Airlines and implemented by Audubon International to relocate Raptors that are captured at area airports.   Obviously birds and airplanes don't mix and caught birds are currently being  euthanized.  Audubon is trying to help save these great birds by releasing them on qualified golf courses.    Its a great idea, and this is just a pilot program that we hope to continue around the country.   We will let you know if we release any birds.  Stay tuned.