Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The rainy/windy weather today had us shift gears a bit and complete a relocation of the Greywalls back nine waste depository unit.  

We cleaned out and smoothed out a location in the native area between number 13 and 15 tees.  This will allow access to the unit from two different holes.  You can now use the unit while waiting to tee off on #13 tee and #15 tee.  The location is also more private and in the shade.  
The pump truck can still get to this location and we feel it is a much improved site over its previous spot by the front tee on #15.  

Still waiting on the day that we have two permanent bathroom facilities which are much more inviting.  
Until then we will try to make the best of what we have to work with.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

1.75 inches of rain this morning in about an hour had our water ways moving today!
The waterfall by number 4 tee was beautiful.
In 24 hours we received 4 inches of rain.  Bunkers and paths were washed out everywhere.  Paths will need to be fix this fall but the bunkers can wait until spring.  This is the bunker on number 8 Greywalls filled to the top.  

Number 5 Red Tee on the Greywalls course has now been leveled.  An over-site in the construction process left this tee with 20 inches of fall from the front to the back.  The tee felt more like a launching pad than a tee off zone.  
We completed a total face lift.  The sod was removed, 4 inches were shaved off the front and 8 loads of fill were added to that material to lift the rear of the tee.  
Some heavy spring topdressing and rolling followed by aerification after the sod roots down into the soil and this tee will be back in business by early to mid summer 2013.

Here are a few pictures from the 8th Fairway on Greywalls last week before I sprayed them.
Those pink fragments are the fruiting bodies of Pink Snow Mold (Microdochium nivale).  Unlike Grey Snow Mold, which is only active under prolonged snow cover, Pink Snow Mold is active under moist conditions when the temperatures are 30-60 degrees.  
This pathogen gets started early and it is this initial growth that I target with my fall fungicide applications.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tomorrow (October 20th) will be the last day to play Greywalls for the season. 

The Original closing date was Sunday but the weather (rain) has put us behind schedule. 
I will need to take advantage of the weather on Sunday to start making our winter fungicide applications.  Five more staff members will be laid off for the winter this week.  I will need their help blowing leaves on Sunday so I have a clean surface to spray onto. 
Once those applications are completed on the Greens/Tees/Approaches/Fairways we need to eliminate traffic in those areas to prevent any tracking or foot/tire removal of the product.  We have long winters of snow cover in Marquette and we need to take every precaution to ensure survival of our turfgrass over the winter months.  Unlike many areas in the country, we do not have the ability to reapply a product during the winter because of our sustained snowfall levels; it is a one and done application.  We need to make sure it is done and done right the first time around.
Using our one 175 Gallon sprayer it takes me 10 tanks to spray the Greywalls course and I must have light to no wind and no rain to complete the applications.  Prior to spraying the Tees we must fill every divot with our seed/sand/fertilizer divot mix.  Two days after spraying Greens and Approaches we will heavily topdress the Greens with sand and make a dormant application of milorganite to aid in spring snow/ice melt.  The next step is roping off the greens to prevent any winter activity traffic from entering the green surface areas.  We will be winterizing the Greywalls irrigation system on the 29th so that gives me one week to fit all of this in before I have no water source on Greywalls. 
Snow fencing around some select areas is our last step to proper winterization of the golf course. 

When completed on Greywalls I will move the winterization operation over to the Heritage and do it all over again on that course (déjà vu for me).  We have a city water supply line to the Heritage shop so I am able to fill up the rig without a charged irrigation system (that system was winterized this week). 

There is a ton to do this time of year (and I never even touched on equipment winterization procedures) and it all must be completed properly so we increase our chances of having a very successful spring golfing season in 2013. 
We do things now for the future.
Another great find by Mike on a rain day.  The lost drain valve behind #18 Green was eroded over and lost since the grow-in of Greywalls.  
In the picture above you can see how the roots grew into the form and lettering of the cover.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Heritage Irrigation system has once again been successfully winterized.  
This is a 3 day process for us.  We hook a 375 cfm compressor up to the pump-house mainline and blow the water out of the irrigation pipes.  Day one we complete the two zones on the North side of Grove street and day two we blow out the South side zone.  During day three we blow out the pond fill line, hydraulic control tubing's for all of the heads and we then finish by blowing out the bathroom water line.  
Taking your time and completing this job properly can not be overstated.  Winter is not kind to excessive water left in PVC piping.
Above is Clayton finishing up on our last head of the season down on #15 green.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Some moron decided his golf game was not worth a damn yesterday and took it out on the Greywalls putting greens.  This individual first did donuts on #15 and #16 greens with a golf cart then thought it was necessary to gouge and dig into the #17 green with golf spikes.
This is a total Heart breaker at the end of the year for myself and my staff, we work so hard to keep the greens as good or should I say perfect as they are.  Makes us all sick to see this happen.
Only 5 groups played yesterday....we are looking for you!
Heavy leaf fall the last couple of days has kept the GW crew busy.  Pictured above is Mario blowing leaves off #16 Fairway on Greywalls.
After we complete the Irrigation winterization on the Heritage our focus will change to leaf removal on that course.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Native/Natural Areas on both courses have been mowed down, some small misc. areas remain that need to be cut by hand.

Irrigation Blow-out/winterization on the Heritage system started today and will be finished up on Weds.  This also means the Bathrooms on the Heritage will be winterized and closed for the season.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

 The winner of 'the disease of the year award' goes to ........ Fairy-ring
This pathogen has been in full force this season creating many green rings and localized dry spots within our soil profile.
Above is a picture of its activity on Greywalls #10 tee.
I did go out and hand spot spray the Greywalls greens about 3 weeks ago for Fairy-ring.  This worked very well and saved thousands over a typical blanket application to the entire green surface using the fungicide Prostar and the wetting agent Revolution.
Above is a picture of #14 green on Greywalls.  The right side of this green had the worst infestation.  After hand spraying just the infected areas the mushroom growth stopped and our turf is recovering.
We are in the process of mowing down all of the Native/Natural areas on both courses.  Many locations can not be navigated with a riding mower so we load up the weed-eaters to cut down the growth by hand and foot.  
Kyle and Jim are seen above working over the hill side on number 1.

Crew Tourney results
The MGC A-Team shot 61 and 60 took the crown this year.  Looking forward to next seasons battle of the ground crews.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Crew and I are off to Bass Lake Country Club today to defend our title from last year.
Every year as an end of the season thank you I take to troops to play in the NGLGCSA Crew tournament.  It is a great event hosted by our local Superintendents Association and has been played since 1975 at different courses every season.  It is our chapter fund raiser for turfgrass research.

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