One step forward, two steps back!

The crew has been working longer days the last two weeks to prepare for Presidents Day this Thursday. Our biggest accomplishment last Friday was opening up the left side bunker on 16 for play! Even though we still have some minor details to complete surrounding the bunker, we were all very excited to have the bunker back in play!

Now we have set our sites on detailing the golf course. We always keep an ongoing punch list of things that need to be addressed but for Presidents day, that list grows by pages. Giancarlo, Assistant superintendent, added to the list over the weekend along with preparing the course for play and keeping the new sod alive on 16 with this summer weather.

When I asked him how the weekend went on Monday morning, he replied”frustrating!” My first thought was we lost the sod on 16. “Nope its fine” he replied but some greens have developed severe LDS (localized dry spot). This was a huge surprise to me since the heat was only two days old and Giancarlo had been watering with both the irrigation system and by hand!  All greens and some tees were checked for moisture and a list was developed for hand watering. This had to be completed before noon’s outing.

Reviewing the list raised suspicion with me, normally wet greens were dry and dry greens were wet!! My suspicion was confirmed when we couldn’t water the SGA tee with the radio. We checked and confirmed we had water pressure at the snap valves at the tee so we immediately went back to the office computer and checked the black box recorder only to find some areas of the course have not been working electronically.

The irrigation software has the ability to run a test on the wires, decoders and solenoids. Running the test revealed exactly what is not working.

As in school, red “F”‘s are not good! Roughly 1/3 of the system is down electronically! This is probably a result of a lightening strike! We haven’t had to run the system since May 21 and have had a couple of storms in that period. Usually we’ll find a tree that was struck by lightening that would indicate where the problem started and we know to check the system when we do see a damaged tree, but we haven’t noticed any such tree!

We are able to water manually and will continue to do so until we can troubleshoot the system and make the necessary repairs. This will commence after Thursday.

Greens 14 and 15 suffered the most damage. Greens #12,13,15 & 17 have some damage, along with # 5 and 18 tees.

I expect a recovery rate of +90% which has already begun.  As in all of agriculture, plant recovery is very slow, especially this time of the year. Wilted turf is not necessarily dead but dormant. My next blog will discuss what happens to wilted turf and the recovery process.

I appreciate everyone’s patience’s while we work diligently to speed the healing process and prepare for Presidents Day.

The ins of wash outs

Last Thursdays heavy rain created a little havoc at the Club. It cancelled men’s league, caused an electrical problem in the kitchen, flooded the second green and wash out the majority of the 44 bunkers throughout the golf course!

Front bunker #2 with gas pump

We use gas powered pumps for the deeper bunkers and electric pumps for the shallower ones.

Once drained, the mud and silt on top of the sand must be either removed or replaced into the washout from where it came from. This prevents the sand and drainage lines from becoming more contaminated.

Then the sand is shoveled or push back in to place throughout the entire bunker.

Raked smooth before compacting.

Compacted using the bunker rake and a hand tamper.

The final process is a normal raking to bring the bunker back into play.

Front bunker #2 restored.

If your a number person, this storm required 130 man hours at a cost of $2200.00 to repair.

I’d like to give a shout out to my staff who worked very hard last week. We were already working 10 hour days to get caught up with the rough and projects when the storm hit on Thursday. A few of them changed their weekend plans so they could come in and help with the repairs. I really appreciate their hard work and dedication in repairing the bunkers!