Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away

Mother Nature has given us plentiful moisture this month. Unfortunately, the rain is considerably more than we need. We received a heavy downpour this morning which added 1.1 inches of rain in a half hour. Our running total for the month of June is now at 10.4 inches. Average rainfall for the entire month is 4.5 inches. We have received a measurable amount of rain 19 of 23 days. Maintenance activities are restricted during wet periods and conditions on the course continue to decline with each rain.

Desperate times call for desperate measures: pictured below one of our employees walk- mows #1 fairway.

There are some positives to be observed in light of our situation. The irrigation system has not been used since the end of May which is a considerable savings of money. We are also lucky that we haven't received a single devastating storm and damage has been fairly limited. We have had one tree blown over, two trees hit by lightning, and several blown fuses and solenoids in the irrigation wiring. This tree, which was struck, is located to the left of the red tee on hole 3.

The bunkers are taking a majority of the storm damage. Tuesday afternoon we were able to make a good push and finally had all the bunkers in good condition for the first time in days... 16 hours later- devastation. Pictured below is the greenside bunker on #17. This morning's heavy downpour washed the sand completely off the faces exposing the drainage beneath. Once the rain stops, it will take days to repair this extensive damage throughout the bunkers.

This type of damage is not uncommon and is nothing our staff has not encountered before. All we need at this point is some dry weather and time. With the cooperation of Mother Nature and a lot of hard work we will have the course back in shape soon.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wet Course Report

June has been an extremely wet month here at Wakonda Club. With this morning's storm we have accumulated approximately 8.5 inches of rain. The excess water creates a myriad of problems on the golf course.

Pictured here is the outflow pipe at the end of the creek on hole 5. On Saturday, June 12th, heavy rains overtook the bank and ran over the cart path. The area around the pipe is starting to erode.

The turf on the fairways will not tolerate much traffic when the soil is saturated. To alleviate the risk of compaction we will often restrict carts to "rough only" and reduce our mowing practices- sometimes skipping the wettest areas entirely. You will also notice the extensive use of ropes to divert traffic from areas of concern.

Bunkers are severely damaged by heavy rains. We outlined the painstaking process that repairing the bunkers entails in an earlier blog posting. It seems that as soon as we get the bunkers to an acceptable playing condition another large storm rolls through and nullifies days of hard work.

Green are soft but speeds are steady in the 10 to 11 foot range on the Stimp Meter. Tees are also performing well.

Pictured above is a tree that stands behind the red tee on hole 7. A bolt of lightning was witnessed striking the tree this morning. You can see where the bark was split vertically down the trunk. Below, a tree on the right side of 11 fairway was blown over by a gust of wind which preceded the storm.

The excess moisture coupled with high temperatures and humidity is a recipe which significantly increases our risk for a turf disease outbreak. Be assured, we will be diligently scouting for any symptoms.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rainy Day Activities

The weather today has presented us with a good opportunity to dispel any notion that work for the grounds crew stops during inclement weather. We are fortunate to have a large fleet of equipment and a nice maintenance facility to compliment our efforts on the golf course. The retail value of our maintenance fleet exceeds $1 million and our shop was constructed at a cost of over $400, 000. When bad weather prevents us from maintaining the golf course all hands are employed to maintain the valuable resources we have in our building and equipment.

Cleaning and polishing cups to be rotated back out on the course.
Large pieces of equipment may have over 100 grease points which must be serviced regularly- thousands of pumps of the grease gun every month.
Golf course maintenance is dirty work. Our 7,000 square foot facility does not stay clean for long.

Blazer Day Grind

With Blazer Days 2010 in the books, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the efforts of our staff to make the event a success. Preparations for the event began weeks ago. We prioritized projects to be completed before the event, established goals, and created a time line for our efforts. We are proud of our accomplishments and feel the course was in peak condition for the event.
Here are some pictures of our staff working late into the evening Thursday, June 3rd.

Everyone on staff worked extra hours for the benefit of Blazer Days. Some employees worked over 60 hours the week of the event.