Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bunker Detail

We are currently adding sand to bunkers throughout the course. It is our goal to maintain sand depth in a range of 4 to 6 inches. Many factors contribute to the movement of bunker sand. The sand can shift with the running water of heavy rains. Other factors include wind, traffic, and gravity.

Our maintenance process began a few weeks ago when we started to redistribute the existing sand. We remove sand from areas in excess and spread it in thin areas. During the redistribution process we notate bunkers in need of additional sand. Once we have carefully inspected each bunker we order sand. This year we anticipate spreading approximately 70 tons of bunker sand- that's the approximate weight of 4 dump- truck loads. The process is difficult, time consuming work.Our technician is given a soil profile probe with marks at 4 and 6 inches for quick diagnosis.
A picture of our sand pile at the maintenance facility. Each cart load is approximately 1 ton of sand.
The carts then drive right into the bunker and place the sand directly where it is needed.
Finally, we spread the sand and smooth the playing surface. The new sand will blend with the old and will not be visible for long.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Continuiing Progress

Good weather is upon us! We are making swift progress on the golf course this week. We are currently sodding fairways, fixing drainage problems, redistributing sand in bunkers, and treating the roughs for weeds. Above is a picture of the left side of #13 fairway. Blemishes are cut out and replaced with new sod from our nursery.

This is a picture of #1 fairway with our drainage issues remedied and bare spots sodded. Once the fairways are finished we will start detail sodding roughs including cart path edges.

Here are some photos of the drainage effort underway on #8. We have miles of old clay tiles throughout the course. Old tile is susceptible to a host of problems which can cause failure and subsequent wet turf and poor playing conditions. Above is a photo of a piece of clay tile extracted from the right side of #8. The tile is completely compacted with mud causing water to run up from the soil and across the surface.

Below is a new addition of drain tile to the left side of #8. This project required 4 men two days to complete. The area was so saturated that our trencher could not operate, therefore, a large portion of the trench had to be hand- dug.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Soggy Bunker Boys

It has been a very rainy week here at Wakonda Club. We have recorded 4.5 inches of rain in May (3.5 inches the past week.) The course is draining nicely but is still very wet this afternoon. We had intended on detailing bunkers this week- we are anxious to redistribute the sand and take inventory of bunkers which need additional sand installed. However, Mother Nature had other plans and has presented us with a daunting challenge just to get our bunkers in playable condition for the weekend. Bunkers maintenance is a very laborious process especially when we receive heavy rains. The processes involved are pictured below.
A snap of the edging process underway.
Our big pump takes approximately 1 hour to empty a bunker.

Water from our bunkers flowing like a river by 13 tee.

Removing the silt and clay deposited by the running water- a process which must be completed by hand.
Finally, we push the sand back into the voids and rake the bunker.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Intern Arrival.

We are excited to announce the arrival of our summer intern. Shawn Fopma is a native of the Lynville- Sully area. He is currently a student at Iowa State University studying turfgrass management. Shawn has previously worked at Pinehurst No. 8 and Hazeltine. He anticipates graduating in December, 2010.
Shawn has worked a few days this spring. He has already helped out with irrigation maintenance and drainage repairs and will play a vital role in our efforts this season. Shawn's main responsibilities for the summer will be fertilizer and plant protectant applications. We feel he will benefit greatly from the experiences he will gain during his time here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day Update

It's been a while since our last blog posting so we would like to take this opportunity to update you on some of our latest progress.

The 5th tee complex has been re- graded since last season. This should remedy the surface drainage issues from last year. The area was sodded on Thursday and is looking much nicer.

The aerification holes have healed nicely on the greens. We began our verticutting and topdressing practice this week. This routine will be repeated every two weeks throughout the remainder of the season. This process promotes a firm, smooth putting surface. We are getting into a more 'normal' routine of mowing and rolling on the greens now that much of the spring cleanup has been completed.

The rest of the course is now growing at a rapid pace. This spring flush of growth is hard to keep up with. We run three machines non- stop through the week and the weekend mornings in an effort to keep the rough at bay.

We recently completed our audit and repair of the irrigation system. We have over 900 sprinklers on the course and found approximately 90 to be in need of repair this spring.

In the coming weeks we will begin to 'fine tune' our efforts on the course.

Wakonda was recently included in an article in the Des Moines Register. Please read it by clicking here.