Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ladies Opening Day

 April is nearly over and Ladies Opening Day has arrived.  It has been a month marked with several rainy days and cold weather which has hindered a few projects but the golf course has progressed nicely.  Nearly all of our spring aeration has been completed and all of our spring fertilizer has been applied to the golf course. 

Current projects you may notice include: grinding of old tree stumps that have resurfaced, cart path repairs, removal of poa annua from collars, bunker maintenance, and fairway sod.

Pink flag sticks were put out for Ladies Opening Day.
A close- up picture of #3 green- the aeration holes have healed nicely.
Newly sodded area on the 4th fairway.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Aeration

 It has been a very productive week for the Wakonda Grounds Staff.  We have completed aeration of all greens on the golf course.  We filled the holes with sand and have been rolling regularly to smooth the putting surfaces.  Fertilizer was applied to help facilitate the healing of aeration holes.  We have also aerated 14 of 18 tees.  Tees are also rolled to smooth the surface and provide a firm footing.  Other accomplishments for the week include fertilizing all fairways and installing 16 pallets (8,000 square feet) of bluegrass sod. 

John Phillips aerates #3 green.  The hole is 1/2 inch diameter and 9 inches deep.
Crew members removing excess sand from #11 green.
#6 cart path prepped for sod.
The finished product- once the sod has matured we will open the new section of path for carts.
 Next week will be another week filled with typical spring projects.  We will be repairing irrigation issues, fertilizing the rough, repairing cart paths, and installing more sod!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Week 1 Progress

 Today concludes the first week of work for our 2011 seasonal staff.  We have a very good staff returning this year- we only had to hire one new employee.  We are lucky to have a very experienced crew at Wakonda.  Our full- time staff (6 men) has an average tenure of 11 years at Wakonda and a combined 92 years of experience in golf course maintenance.  Our seasonal staff consists of 18 crew members with an average Wakonda tenure of more than 6 seasons.  To quote Superintendent John Temme addressing the crew on April 1st: "You're here because you are the best."

During the past week our staff focused on cleaning up sticks throughout the golf course.  Our hard- working crew hand- raked the entire rough in four days!  This week they have also been working on installing fresh hardwood mulch throughout the clubhouse grounds.  The fresh mulch gives the club a much needed spring "face- lift."
Staff members installing fresh mulch near the front entrance.
With the stick cleanup effort complete we will change our focus to the turf.  Spring aerification is already upon us.  We will be deep- aerating the greens next week Monday and Tuesday- tees and fairways to follow.  We have already started plugging individual poa annua plants from collars.  We will also begin sodding cart path edges starting with the 4 new sections which were installed last fall.  Also of high priority is to check bunker sand depth and add sand where needed.  We are anticipating needing a larger quantity of sand than usual this spring because of the extraordinarily bad season we had in 2010.

A muddy mess near the cart path on #15.

The bulk of the work has also been completed on the culvert in the stream on hole 5.   We need to let this area settle a bit and hope to get some dry weather so we can replace the concrete for the cart path and the sod surrounding the area.

Jaret Vasey places plywood across the void in the cart path.

Monday, April 4, 2011

All Hands to Rakes!

 It is a cold and brutally windy day at Wakonda Club.  The grounds staff is working hard despite the conditions.  We have begun work on the drain culvert on the 5th hole.  We dug a portion of the old pipe up by hand and soon discovered that the entire length had rusted and was full of holes.  The decision was made to replace the entire pipe and a backhoe has already begun the process.

Below you can see the old pipe and the erosion problems we encountered last season.

The rest of our staff is diligently working to clean up sticks throughout the course.  Every available hand is being employed to collect all the sticks into piles.  We started on the west end of the property and are working our way to the east.  We will be back to pick up the piles once the entire course has been raked.  We hope to have the task completed this week.  Thank you for your patience during this process.

14 Green

On Saturday, April 2 we experienced an engine oil leak on one of our rollers.  The damage is noticeable on the north and south ends of the green in small lines but should not affect ball roll.  Every winter the grounds staff  inspects fittings on all equipment to ensure these situations do not occur. However, it does happen from time to time.

What has been done?
On Sunday, we plugged out areas in the collar that were most affected.

What does the future hold?
The good news is the lines are not that wide and should recover quickly after aerification, topdressing, extra fertilizer and warmer temperatures.  I am confident the green will be back to normal by the third week of April.
Thanks for your patience while we work hard on recovery.