Thursday, May 29, 2014

Time to get Dirty!

Back in the summer of 2013 we needed to comply with the new FCC narrow banding regulations.  Our irrigation system at that time was using wide band frequencies to communicate from our walkie talkies and our irrigation computer at our shop to the irrigation satellites you see in the picture above.  Well with the narrow banding we had to upgrade several components on our system.  We needed to have our FCC licence renewed, walkie talkies re-programmed, get a new base station at our shop and replace a card in each of the satellites.  Things were OK for a while until late last year we were having problems communicating with two of our satellites.  The satellites to the left of 4 green and left of 15 fairway were not always running when we needed them to run.  The same thing was occurring this year as well and with all the rain we have been having it was not a big issue.  Now that we are going into summer and we need these to be a bit more dependable we purchased some Yagi antennas to help receive the signal at the satellite.  Above you can see the guys starting to dig the hole and trench to the satellite for the new antenna.
Here is the new antenna in place.  After setting the post with the new antenna we point it in the direction to our shop and all that is left is to back fill.  I know it's not the most attractive thing to see on the golf course but it is necessary that the satellites are receiving the signals to make sure the irrigation system is running properly.
This week we also decided to tackle the wet area to the front right of the pond on hole 4.  I already had a pretty good idea what the problem maybe and I was correct.  As you can see the the left of the red arrow is a root mass from the maple trees to the right of the drain line.  It was about 6 feet long and filled the 4 inch drain pipe.
When we pulled out the root mass from the pipe and a tremendous amount of water continued to pour out of the pipe that was backed up since early spring.  After pondering over the best remedy for this problem we decided to go ahead and dig a new drain line, install a catch basin so we can keep an eye on this in the future and run new solid 4 inch N12 drainage pipe 100 feet to the pond which will not let the root mass enter the pipe in the future.
What a muddy mess this turned out to be.  Here is the start of the new pipe being installed.  All joints are ducted taped to make sure they do not come apart.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Course Update

OK enough is enough.  We received another 3.25 inches of rain Thursday night into Friday morning last week.  Even though we were able to get the course mowed out before the rain it always puts us behind getting that much rain before the weekend.  Typically we like to get another mowing on the rough during this period since it is growing so fast and with all the rain that did not happen.  We took advantage of the circumstances and started to plant our summer annuals around the clubhouse and string trimmed .
Here is a picture from 2 tee looking back on 1 fairway.  You can see the pond overflowing the banks and water flooding the first fairway and the small pond on 9.
All I have to say is that I am glad that this is not our current bunker situation.  After visiting a few other courses last Friday evening and looking at some flooding damage and bunker washouts I had to take picture of this bunker of a course is Virginia to remind me of how lucky we are not to have to deal with this anymore.  This was just one bunker out of 4 around a green.  You can imagine having to fix 60 plus bunkers would be like.  Let me explain the process a little bit better for you.  First - make sure you crew is in a good mood, second - you have to remove the silty sand in the lower most point of the bunker because it is contaminated with silt and the sand will start draining poorly going forward, third - get the shovels out and throw the sand back up where the washouts occurred, fourth -  check your sand depth and make sure you have 4 to 6" of sand throughout the bunker, fifth - if you do not have enough sand add more, and sixth - ask for a bunker renovation because having to go through this a few times a year for a hazard is ridiculous.
On Monday May 19th we finally had the time to do some TLC to the greens.  With an afternoon outing scheduled at 1:00 and no other golfers on the course until 9:00 am we double groomed the greens at a 1/16th of an inch, double cut after that, lightly topdressed, dragged and then went back and mowed the greens again.  This will really help get the "leggies" out of the bentgrass and start promoting some new shoots.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Course Update

The last dead pine tree that was stuck by lightning a few years ago on hole 5 finally came down on Tuesday May 13th.  We do have plans to add additional trees but planting them in the fall would be preferred.
Here is the base for the new path going back to the red tee on hole 11.  There will be 3 inches of asphalt paved on top of the base.  It has been long overdue and I am glad to see it complete as I am sure a few ladies are too! 
This week we were able to start some cartpath repairs.  On the 10th hole where tree roots were coming up through the asphalt we cut the roots along the path and then remvoed the top layer and put down a new layer of asphalt.  It is a little tough to see but the old cartpaths are only about 6 feet across and when they did the last overlayment they added about a foot and half of gravel on each side of the old path and laid a new 9 foot path on top.  This is why we see all of the cracking along the edges on most of our paths.  We will be continuing to do more patchwork throughout the course as time allows for our contractor.
During a late evening wedding on Saturday May 3rd I was told by the pro shop staff that some very intoxicated Duck Dynasty looking men took some carts and went for a joy ride on the golf course.  When I came in on Sunday luckily the damage to the golf course was minor but it could have been worse.  They jumped the golf carts through some bunkers, broke the flagstick on 16 and than ran across 11 green.  We were pretty fortunate that they just bruised the grass on the 11th green and did not really tear up the turf.
Here is some of the aftermath of the damage from all the rain.  Besides having the entire staff fixing bunkers all day on Thursday May 1st we unfortunately found this.  The soil completely eroded the bank on the small pond in front of 9 tee box around the drain pipe.  We will be getting some pricing on this and try to come up with a permenant fix for this.
Water was overflowing every water feature that we had.  The big pond to the left of the fairway on number 1 came out of its banks and was running across the fairway for nearly two days.
The rains continued on Wednesday and dumped a little over 6 inches of rain on the course.  You can see here on hole 13 that the creek that runs to the right side of the fairway came out of the banks and flooded the fairway.