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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Heritage Irrigation

The old Heritage Irrigation was put back together and pressurized this week.  
It takes me about 2 days to reassemble all of the pump parts the control parts and charge the hydraulic control system.... Then the fun begins as we fill the lines and get it charged to 100 psi.  
It takes 3 long days in the fall to winterize the system properly.  We reap the benefit in the spring when it is time to charge it back up.  
This year we had zero broken heads during start-up!.... I guess there has to be a first for everything.  
We did have an issue with the jockey pump intake.  A broken pipe joint fitting had to be repaired at the machine shop and a torn foot valve had to be made/replaced.  After those two repairs were complete the system was charged in a few hours and ready for another season.  
The control system charge pump, pressure tank and all of its wonderful fittings.  

It's a greasy job that takes lots of muscle but with good help any job goes smooth.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 Golf season begins

A lot has happened in the last month here at MGC.....
April started like a January with 43" of snow at the course in the first dozen days.  That is not what we wanted; especially after an early March melt.  Our small crew has been busy with snow removal, finishing the revival of course supplies and finalizing equipment preparation.  April 9-10 I spent 15 hours in a plow truck; the following weekend it was 79 degrees and we were getting the Driving Range open....the weather in the UP is always entertaining.
Our focus every spring is to get the primary playing surfaces ready for play as soon as possible so people can get out and walk.  As the rest of the snow melts we finish cleanup in other locations and get directional stakes/ropes out in preparation for golf cart traffic.  Each year is different as snow pack/frost/winter damage/spring rains all play a part in opening dates.  
Rest assured the proper preparation is complete ahead of time and your crew works very hard to get the golfing season started; as soon as Mother Nature allows.  

All signs are hauled off the course every fall and touched up as needed.  New signs are made to replace damaged one or when a new message is needed.  
Hauling all of the course supplies in for winter Maintenance and then hauling them back out to the grounds is time consuming but essential work.  

The Greywalls Hole signs received a complete facelift this winter and now look as good as day one.  

A new chemical storage room was constructed under the shop lean-to we built last fall.  I am very pleased with this addition; it will greatly increase our organization and efficiency.  The room is wired with LED lights, insulated, heated, has an exhaust fan and has a sealed concrete floor under the plastic shelving.  

The old Heritage tee box benches
The restored Heritage benches.... A fantastic project that turned out better than I even imagined.  

During the April snowstorms all of the club leased golf carts were serviced for the season and are ready to go.  
We also cleaned out the rafters in cart barn D.  Years of accumulated clubs and boxes made it a hazard.  Everything was removed from the rafters and lofts were built in them to secure the items properly. 

Some of the greens look spotted this spring from pink Snowmold.  Most of the damage is minor and will recover once warmer temperatures arrive.  The heavy rains that fell last fall after our fungicide applications reduced the effectiveness of our products.  
A close up picture of a Snowmold spot.  

The Clubhouse putting green and the Driving Range opened up on the 16th of April.  
Still lots of snow piles and no turf growth but the mats allow us to open the range early.  UP golfers are a hardy bunch and like to get warmed up and dialed in for the season.  

After blowing off the green surfaces we run a set of brush reels over them.  The brush reels clean up more debris and pick up larger sand particles left from our heavy fall sand topdressing.  
We mow the greens first with our 'sand' reels for the first several mowings.  We also roll the greens several times to smooth them out and firm them up.  
(We solid tine the greens after we close in the fall; that practice along with winter freeze/thaw cycles loosens the surface)

First brush reel on Greywalls
First cut on Greywalls.  It is important to carfully inspect and watch the mowers during the first few greens.  We make sure the mower is working properly after a long winter in storage.  

A birds eye view of 18 Greywalls from the first tee shows how well the greens and Approaches came out this spring.  The fairways were damaged but will recover quickly.  

Our pump station switches and LCD touch screen.  
The Greywalls irrigation system was charged last week.  It is important to charge it slowly and bleed the air out as water fills the lines.  Another very successful irrigation blow out was completed last fall as no leaks were found and the lines are holding pressure.  

The Heritage course officially opened Friday April 22nd.  The weather was 33 degrees with a stiff North wind off the lake making it feel like 18 degrees.... Not the best opening day weather but none the less some golfers came out to play.  

Snow drift locations like this behind 13 green Heritage make it difficult to allow carts right away.  The ground remains frozen under these piles making slimy wet ground that easily ruts and damages the turf.  These areas are identified and roped or staked off.  

A main seal engine oil leak on our Greywalls Apprach mower was identified while running it the first time.  A time consuming job but better to pull the engine and repair it now than during the crazy season; when the machine is in high demand.  We also found a bad secondary clutch on our spraypro and an engine compression issues on the Heritage sand pro..... The shop is a busy place.  

Enjoy the Spring golf season everyone!