Monday, April 29, 2013

Graden - Aggressive Fairway Verticutting to Begin Tuesday

Below is a link to a YouTube video that demonstrates a process known as aggressive verti-cutting.  Last fall we purchased the Graden Swingwing unit represented in the video for use on our fairways and tees.  The process of "gradening" a fairway removes a significant amount of organic matter (thatch) from the turf in a process that is faster and less disruptive than traditional core aerification.   When the verti-cutting is complete, small lines approximately 2" apart will remain in the fairways for the next 7-10 days while they recover.  These lines will have little to no effect on the playability of the course.

The weather will be absolutely perfect the remainder of the week to get this process completed.  Please excuse or dust as we work this agronomic practice for the overall health and benefit of your golfing experience.

Authored by:  Bob McCurdy, Golf Course Superintendent

New Yardage Tags On Every Sprinkler

 Last fall, we contracted with a company to come out and laser measure all of our sprinklers within 300 yards of any green complex.  We are happy to report as of Friday, all of these new tags have been installed out on the course.  A great big "Thank You" to our MSU Intern, Bryan Kiel, for making it happen so quickly.  Brian volunteered to work long hours in order to finish the installation prior to the Easton Cup last Saturday and Sunday.

Above: is a dated looking irrigation tag that would have been installed with the original irrigation system installation in 1994-95.
Below:  is a crisp, clean looking new tag after installation.
Below:  is a side by side comparison of the old and new.  Quite the contrast!!

Authored by:  Bob McCurdy, Golf Course Superintendent

Thursday, April 25, 2013

No Carts Today...4-25-13

We are sorry to report that no carts will be available today.  Mother Nature continues to keep the golf course saturated this spring but better news is on the horizon.  The 10 day forecast calls for an extended period of warmer weather (mid 60's to near 70) throughout most of the weekend and late into next week.  Finally, some good golfing weather is just around the corner!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Bluestone Path to First Tee!!!

Many have asked in recent weeks what all the paint around the first tee was for?  Below you will find a rendering of the new bluestone path that we broke ground on yesterday.  This path along with some added landscaping adjacent the immediate area and all along the path behind the first tee will be a handsome addition to this area.  

Yesterday the hardscapes team from Backer Landscaping was on site to carefully excavate the area where the new path is to be placed.

By the end of day, the area was completely prepped, grade stakes and wire mesh were placed in anticipation of the base concrete being poured this morning if Mother Nature cooperates.

Below are two additional renderings to help illustrate what the final look we are striving to achieve in this area is.  We hope you all agree this will be a wonderful improvement to the first tee experience!!

No Carts....Again - 4-16-13

Mother Nature continues to be relentless with the rain.  The course was still soaked yesterday after the 3" inches of last week and now it's raining "cats and dogs" this morning.  We will be unable to run carts at all today and the rest of the week is not looking much brighter.  Thanks for your continued understanding and patience. 

Authored by: Bob McCurdy, Golf Course Superintendent

Saturday, April 13, 2013

No Carts Sunday April 14th, 2013

There will be no golf carts available again on Sunday April 14th due to the extremely wet conditions that persist on the golf course. We need some sun and wind to dry out the course after the 3.1" of rain that was received between Wednesday and Friday.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but we must protect the course this early in the season. We will get the carts rolling as soon as we can. Thanks for your understanding and cooperation!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Course Closed 4-12-13

Attention Members:
COURSE CLOSED TODAY – Friday, April 12th, 2013

The course has received 3.1” of rain in the last 48 hours and therefore a decision has been made to close for today.  This closure includes all golf related areas (Championship Course, Short Course, Range, Chipping and Practice Greens).  Greens crews are out working aggressively to remove the water as quickly as possible in order for the course to re-open tomorrow.

Dainforth B. French, Jr.
Golf and Greens Chairperson

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bunker Inspections

Each spring, the maintenance crew spends the better part of one entire week preparing the bunkers for play.  It takes a small army of about 15 crew members, split into two teams, to accomplish this task.  With 73 bunkers (including the 2 at the chipping green) covering approximately 110,000sqft of hazard, it is no small task to get this work done.  The crew have been instructed to ensure there is no more, or less, than 2" of sand on the "face" of each bunker and exactly 4" of sand in the bottom of each bunker.  We are constantly monitoring these conditions throughout the season and are always making adjustments as issues are discovered or reported.  
In the above picture, you can see crew member Martin Perez, who is leading team #1, inspecting the depth of the sand on the left side fairway bunker of hole #14.  The measuring device is nothing more than an old golf shaft that as been marked at the 2" and 4" depths mentioned above.  Behind Mr. Perez, the remainder of his team diligently works to smooth out the bottom of the bunker surface.
Below is team #2 working in the large bunker left of #9 green/approach.  This time crew member Bulmaro Cruz is leading the way and doing the inspections while Salvador Gonzalez is placing new sand where the depth was not correct.  In the areas such as this, where it has been determined that sand must be added, the sand will be raked out and re-inspected by Mr. Cruz to ensure the correct depth has been achieved. 

As of this morning, the combined efforts of both bunker teams have left us with just a handful of bunkers in the 4, 5, 13, 16 area of the golf course to complete.  This work will be completed today and all of the bunkers will be in service for the season. 

Authored by:  Bob McCurdy, Golf Course Superintendent

Monday, April 1, 2013

Course Opening FRIDAY!!!

Although today it feels more like winter than spring, we have made the call to open the golf course for the season this Friday (4-5-13).  Additionally, we will open all practice facilities (range, chipper, and putting green) on Thursday in order to allow a little warm up before your first round of the season.  For those of you looking to use carts...Good News!  Carts will be available on opening day!!!

A couple of things you should know about this years opening:

  • Due to the cold temps and frozen conditions in the bunkers, many of them will not be groomed prior to opening.  The crew is out working today, and will be all week, on the ones we can but many of them are simply unworkable at this time. 
  • While the greens will be mowed prior to opening, many of the other surfaces (tees, fairways and collars) may not be mowed prior to opening unless they begin to grow.  We will mow each of these respective areas as soon as they are ready.
  • Deeptine aeration of the fairways is on-going and will continue daily into the week of April 14th.  It's a slow process but extremely important to relieve soil compaction in the fairways.  After last years unusually long, dry and warm season, the fairways are more in need then ever of this process. 
  • Course Aerification - The greens and tees are scheduled to be aerified April 15th and 16th.  With cooperation from Mother Nature, in about 10 days time the holes should completely heal.
  • Fairway Graden - This spring we intend to conduct an aggressive verti-cutting procedure known as "gradening".  This process is less intrusive than conventional hollow-tine aerification but still extremely effective in removing excessive organic matter (thatch).  We expect the process to take one week to complete all the fairways.  This work will begin April 17th and will continue daily until complete and as weather allows.

Look forward to seeing everyone back out on the course.  Here's to a great 2013 season ahead!

Authored by:  Bob McCurdy, Golf Course Superintendent