Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 2014: On the course

After a lot of rain in early July, the last couple weeks have been beautiful.  We are especially grateful for the moderate temperatures this year since the harsh winter left us with weaker turf than usual.  The National Weather Service is predicting a similarly mild August with average rainfall which should equate to great conditions for golf.

Below is the putting green on June 27th.  I am often asked about the ornamental grasses you can see in the background along the first tee.  They are Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'.

Early mornings have been beautiful lately:

5 Green

4th Hole

Karl changing cups on the 4th green

Below is the 9th hole and clubhouse.  On the left you can see some of the Ash trees that were killed by the Emerald Ash Borer over the last year.  For more on this destructive insect see here.

The renovated bunkers are performing very well.  Improved drainage, new sand, and a sod "face" have greatly improved this sand trap on the first green.  A small amount of rain used to wash this trap out and make it unplayable. Now it is playable hours after a strong thunderstorm.
Even the infamous 7th fairway has been cooperating this year after starting out more than 50% dead.  So far, we have not experienced the deadly combination of excessive rainfall, high heat, and solar radiation that damaged this floodplain fairway in 2010 and 2011.
7th Fairway enjoying 2014

And finally . . . Safety first!  Two junior greenkeepers try on bump caps before inspecting the course:


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Drainage Repairs

When it is too wet to mow fairways, one of our favorite pastimes is finding and fixing old drain lines.  There are very few in the fairways so we have been finding the ones that are there and testing them.

We just found the old lines on the 4th fairway.  The good news is that the 4 inch line going to the creek works!  The bad news is that the rest of the system is thin 2 inch spiral corrugated tube that is not flowing.  It is crushed in many places.  There is a good reason 4 inch is the standard size.

2 inch drain line

In a situation like this we will get the system working as well as it can and install a catch basin here.  At least the 4 inch line heading off toward the top of the picture will take water and the pea gravel around the 2 inch lines is collecting some water.  In the future, reinstalling 4 inch lines in this area would help dry it out more quickly after heavy rain.  At least now we have a better idea what is here to work with.
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