Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blowing In the Wind

The weather is beginning to take a turn this week. Gone are the brilliant, sunny days we experienced earlier this month. The past few days have brought on clouds, rain, and blustery winds. Our staff is now reduced to 10 men, 5 of which will work their final day of the season this Friday. With the reduction in staff and air temperatures we have taken steps to reduce our on- course labor. We are now mowing the fairways, approaches, collars, and tees once per week. Greens are being mowed approximately once every 5 days and are occasionally being rolled. The biggest task is leaf and debris cleanup. When the wind dies down, you will see us out with blowers and mowers gathering the leaves into piles and mulching them up.

The cooler weather has also reduced the number of rounds being played. In response we have pulled some of our equipment such as: ball washers, trash cans, and water coolers from the course. When we have few people playing the course we will decrease the frequency of course setup. Subsequently, you may notice the hole locations in the same spot for a few days.

We have been able to make significant progress with some cart path extensions. This project will be a big improvement for years to come. Below is a picture of the concrete forms on #3. We have extended the path beyond the bottom of the hill and up the slope. During wet times we will be able to divert traffic to the path in an area that is not nearly as saturated. We buried a drain pipe underneath the forms so that drainage can be installed in the future without destruction of the path.

Here is a picture of the completed path on #6.

Below is the work done between 12 green and 13 tee. We have buried drainage beneath the path here as well. Once the area has been regraded and drainage has been installed we will no longer have to deal with the sloppy mess that occurs after heavy rains.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Turf Recovery

The season is winding down but we have been blessed with a beautiful weather pattern. Warm temperatures and abundant sunshine have been good for golf and turf alike. Our staff will be reduced starting October 15 so our focus will continue to shift from mowing and grooming to just trying to clean up leaves while finishing a few projects before winter.

With the season coming to a close, we thought we would share some photos of the progress we have made this fall. Below we have some pictures of the 3rd fairway and the 8th fairway. We are proud of the amount of turf we have been able to recover in just two months time.

Above are photos of the 3rd fairway taken August 15th and October 14th. In the first picture, the turf in the fairway and intercut are in a state of decline. In the second, you see the same area in a picture taken on October 14. This area has improved greatly through sod replacement, reseeding, favorable weather, and cart restriction.

Below are 'before and after' pictures of the 8th fairway

Friday, October 8, 2010

Autumn Rush

The arrival of the fall season signifies the beginning of many changes in Iowa. One might think that things are slowing down for us with the grounds department. This thought could not be further from the truth. We are working feverishly to complete projects throughout the course before our seasonal maintenance staff leave for the winter. We begin to reduce our numbers on October 15 and will be down to just 5 full- time employees by the end of the month. Below are examples of the type of work being accomplished this week.

Our fairway nursery has been reseeded in preparation for next year.

Above, you can see thousands of seedlings popping up in the rough on the right side of 8 fairway.

You have likely seen (and undoubtedly heard) our staff chipping the many branches and sticks that were shed or pruned from our trees this season.

Above, workers are installing drainage and fresh sod between the pond and 10 fairway.

Here is a picture of new sod being laid along the cart path near 6 approach.