Along with all the changes required for you to come out and play, I’m gonna add to the list and share with you two significant changes we have made this spring and update you on projects in this blog.
Fairway aerification. This process has always been completed in August and occasionally the fairways have been compromised due to the inefficiency of the irrigation system. So this year we have moved it to the spring, which has presented us with other challenges. Aprils cool and wet weather has slowed recovery from the aerification process. The new seed applied has been very slow to germinate and growth itself has been slow. All of the back nine fairways have been aerated along with # 2, 4, 5, top of 8 and 9 on the front nine. You will find the turf on these on the thin side. Fairways that were not aerated are denser and we have ceased fairway aerifcation until next spring.Warmer temperatures are in the forecast for the weekend and early next week and should help with recovery.
Green aerification. We are gonna try and hold off aerification until the normally scheduled date in August. We had backed off grooming during the shutdown and combined with no play should make it possible to make it through the summer without aerification. We do have other tools to open up the putting surfaces with minimal disruption should the summer weather turn hot and dry. But let me iterate that these other methods of opening up the putting surface are in no way a permanent replacement of core aerification.
On to the projects. 16 tee will be ready for sod next week. The irrigation contractor has assisted us by installing the new system for the tee. This was completed yesterday. We have to remove the leveling wood from the tee, back fill the groves and touch up the perimeter to be ready for sod. Assistant Superintendent, Micheal Crane is pressuring the irrigation system as I type this and if all is good, we’ll be placing an order for sod early next week.
Along the irrigation line, all of the new isolation valves have been installed. You’ll be hard press to find where the contractor installed them. They did an awesome job repairing the areas of disturbance. Today they are installing supplemental rough irrigation along the right side of 4 green and bunker. When completed which should be today, if the rain holds off, will wrap up the project for 4 green!
The photo below of 4 green was taken in early April. Ready for play!
The irrigation contractor will be working around 15 green next week installing the new pipe and heads as part of the green complex renovation. Should only take a couple of days to complete. We are also making progress on the right side bunker. Tie replacement has been moving along with half of the ties replaced at this point. Some of the soil piled behind 15 green will be needed to finalize the bunker cavity. Once the cavity is finalized, we’ll move the remaining soil to the recycling center, fine grade and finish installing rough sod around the green. The asphalt contractor has resumed working last week. Needless to say, their schedule is backed up and the path and curb at 15 green will have to wait until early June at the soonest to be installed.
We are still waiting for new bunker sand. I’m checking on this daily. Now I’m being told that the quarries are overloaded with construction materials from the quarantine limiting production and storage of bunker sand. As of today, I don’t have an answer on when we can expect to see any. I will let you all know when we receive it and it will become the priority for us to get it installed and have the 2 or 3 bunkers up for play. In the meantime they will be marked as “ground under repair”.
Please keep in mind that we are working with a reduced staff and our interpretation of the Governors virus mandate suggests maintenance only:
“No employees are allowed for purposes of facilitating play; however, operations such as landscape maintenance and other “services to building and dwellings” may continue as necessary to prevent deterioration of property condition. “
That said, we will continue with completing these projects with the goal of wrapping them up very soon and increased grooming of the golf course!
We do have to clean up some areas on the course that we use to loose excess renovation materials. The area to the left of 6 tee and behind 8 tee need some attention. Of course I thought we would get more than 3 days notice on opening so my plan to have these area addressed before you returned has been foiled! We will address these as I attempt to bring staffing levels up to normal.
The rest of the golf course is ready for play although the weather forecast may limit mowing and washout bunkers before the weekend. Lets all hope the forecasters are wrong this time!