Monday, June 17, 2013

The first 20 of the 100 days....

You're looking at me with this puzzled look on your face,  it's the first 20 days into the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day...

Turf has finally gotten it's big boy pants on.  We have grass that finally wants to be a golf course,  the deep rough is biting back.  Pace of play is up, and the course looks good.  Il Open qualifier low score of 69... not bad for a muni.  CDGA StateAm Qualifier today, I'm expecting 70 to be low.

Soil temps have moderated to have consistent growing patterns for once.  Disease pressure is here, however it's not rearing it's ugly head yet.  Only the 1 flood event this far.

The main focus for the Grounds staff is maintenance of the course.  So no projects of major proportions on the course.  No plans for any either.

Upcoming items :
Greens needle tining
Tree removals on 5 and 9, Emerald Ash issues...
Deck trim at clubhouse
Solid tining of tees and possible fairways
Topdressing of greens and approaches and 14 fairway

Completed items:
Planted 4 memorial trees, 16 Tee, 12 Tee
Replaced bridge decking
Applied disease controls to all playing surfaces
Applied fertility to Fairways and Tees

And as always fix your ball marks and replace your divots.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Still Pluggin Along.

Couple weeks have passed since the Great Flood of 2013.  Bunker sand replacement is starting on the flooded bunkers on 14 fairway.  Most of the debris is picked and gone, if not mulched when the rough finally got mowed.

Bridge on 6 still needs a permanent repair.  Paths on 14/15 need a final grading again.  The retrieval of gravel in the rough on 14 is about half complete.

Repairs are still ongoing on the irritation irrigation system. Turns out that a section of the communication wire will need to be replaced. So 5 modems, a central com board, and 2 transformers later, plans are in the works for a possible moving of my problem child satellite.

On a more positive note, putting surfaces will get their first deep needle tine aeration this Sunday night after 6 pm.

Thanks.  And always fix your ballmarks.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


The whole course is open today...18 holes carts on paths.

There is still work going on on gravel reclaimation, bridge work, and irrigation controls. 

The paths on 17 and 18 had a half inch of just the slimiest silt we've had to deal with.  We managed to wash the paths off.

The damages on 14/15 have been repaired, 2 semi loads of gravel...2 loads of bunker sand...

I would like to thank all my staff for the tremendous work they got done in the short amount of time they did it in.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Little Drier....

Well the front nine opened to walkers, surprizingly good shape.

The damage is still being assessed on the back.  A few for the eyes to see.

The 14 fwy/ 15 green areas.

The bridge washout on 6 tee.

14 Tee had water on top of it.

 14 Fwy with the bunker sand washed out, debris tossed about.

Cart path on 15, violent rise of water tends to lead to violent results.

14 Fwy, that sand is now gone or sitting in the fairway.

12 Tee near the out flow, water rose about 9ft.

18 Fairway, water covered the red and white tee boxes, this was Saturday, 48 hours after start of flooding.

Looking across 17 and 18 freeways.

This was one of the most violent floods we've had in a long time.  Even with full staff we're looking at a cleanup that will last for at least 2 weeks.

As for long term damage, that will have to be assessed.  The plans call for an extended aeration of all the flooded fairways and tees.  Irrigation controllers have to be looked at on Monday and decide their fate.  As for sand in the bunkers, heavy contamination, probably looking at a replacement sooner than later.  Topdressing the heavily used traffic areas on 17 and 18 fairways will commence when the course dries out.

As for play, carts on the path until further notice.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Sanctuary has a new name...

As of this morning the Sanctuary Golf Course is operating under a new name, The Sanctuary Golf, Rod and Yacht Club.

This is hole 5...

This is hole 6...little tougher today.

Water comes in play a little more on #10 today.

Here is view from our wonderful holes 17 and 18.  The top of the 150 yd marker on 17 is 6" exposed.

And finally the par 3 15th... across the creek.

We will be closed to at least Monday.  Thanks for your understanding.  As for storm totals, we are at 3.50" and still climbing.

This will probably be the #3 flood event in my 17+ seasons here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The "F" Word....

Things have progressed here at The Sanctuary pretty good this winter.  No diseases what so ever.  Nice amount of snow,  a near miss on crown re hydration, and now the "F" word.

NO, it's not the "Free" word it's the other one that hasn't been used for a while...Flood.  With the soils frozen, and .85" of rain with 6"+ snow on the course we flooded.  This event has come and now receding.  We are coming off one of the worst droughts (-12.25") in my 25+ years of golf course management and we flood. 

Well one thing this rain event helps with, the pond on the 3rd hole is nearing full pool, first time in 2 years.That pond is the water table in that area of the course. 

So with that all happening, the equipment is still being worked on, the course accessories are being painted and restored, budget forecasting is still being done, and  other inside work is still being accomplished.

And for a note of history , March 9th, 2012, mowed greens for the first time, changed full depth cups and put out course accessories.  This could be a season that the first mowing won't occur until probably April.  And I was planning on charging the irrigation system as soon as possible.....

Friday, February 1, 2013

"No, Be afraid, be very afraid."

There are 2 words that will get a quality, finely honed superintendent to cringe at this time of the year... Crown Hydration, in my case Crown Re-hydration.  

I'm quite sure this scenario has played out at many facilities in the Midwest this week...We went from frozen drought stressed turf to a thawed mess.  The temps went from the extreme of -2 to 61 degrees in a matter of a week and then back.  I was happy with the turf being dormant, a little drougthy, and frozen soils and sand based greens completely frozen solid.

This week the temps reached 60 with a low of 49 that night, then we had 1.50" of rain.  Wrong kind of moisture for January, I'd rather have seen snow.  Sand based greens went from 12" frozen to a thawed surfaces of 2", then the following day, thawed to 9"...puddles on the greens went away.  The next day the greens completely thawed all 12"+, which the temps hovered at 40 degrees most of the day and then plummeted to a balmy 20 degrees...

So back to the Crown Hydration, most superintendents understand that having the plant crown rehydrate in winter in not a good thing.  I'm pretty sure the Poa on the putting surfaces pulled moisture in...last drink of fresh water came in early December.
Many scenarios can happen, from having plants not succeed in having water pulled out of plants leaves, thus leaving the crown with moisture in it.  This would not be good...the plant becomes a Popsicle and probably dies or be severely injured....The plant could also move this water and be successful in moving the water down to the root mass, but with the sharp drop in temps in a short amount of time,  plant hardening off abilities come into play.  Did the plants adapt?  Did the plants move the water through the crown?  Will the plants harden off in the extreme cold after the temperature drop?

These are the questions most Supers are probably answering(warning) right now to who they report to. Which many don't have the answer to. I know I don't.