Monday, December 9, 2013

I have received many concerning questions about the snow  - turned to rain - turned to ice - turned to sub zero temperature weather that we were blasted with last week.
Ice accumulation this time of year are disastrous if they seal the surface and stay all winter long.  We dodged a bullet because we received 6 inches of snow before it turned over to rain for a few hours.  The rain simply froze up the top inch of snow leaving us with a 4-5 inch buffer of snow over the turf surface.
From what I have seen so far I have no concerns at the moment.  As long as it stays cold and snow covered until spring melt off we should be golden.
The course was beautiful, it looked like a white glazed wedding cake before it snowed again last night.

A little late season pruning before the arctic air really settled in.  Andy and I cleaned up the Pines between 4/5/8 on the Heritage course plus a few birches along the way.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I love these late 'squeeze them in' projects.  We were able to install a drain on #14 Heritage last week.  This has been on the table for many years but we could never find the time to complete it until now!
This should help dramatically during the spring melt.  We are really looking forward to seeing this drain in action in 4-5 months.
It is Official both courses have been put to bed for the winter.  Everything that we can do was completed with success!!  It is now up to Mother Nature to be kind to us :)
Between the rain, wind, late leaf fall, snow and heavy frost days this fall it has been the most challenging of my career to get everything completed, but with some good help from quality staffers we got it done!!

We had an opportunity to take the Superior Hills Third grade class over to Greywalls so they could learn some hand-on Geology.  The kids had a wonderful time enjoying the beautiful natural landscape of the golf course.  

The old clubhouse deck has been removed.  The early arrival of winter put a hold on this project so the construction will be completed in the spring.
We have started the painting and refurbishing of the course supplies and signs, always a good job when you need to get out of the weather.
Our friend Porky came by a couple weeks ago over at the GW shop.  He see him a couple of days a week.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Winter Prep is full force
All Irrigation Systems winterized
All Greens solid tine aerified
All signs and supplies hauled off the course and are ready for winter touch-up/refinishing
Greywalls all sprayed, two more spray days left on the Heritage
Greywalls Greens Topdressed, milorganite Spread and roped off.  The same will follow for the Heritage as soon as I am done spraying the surfaces.
Snow fence still be be installed in our strategic locations.
Plow for the truck is ready but plow stakes still need to be installed
Shop water lines still to be winterized after the staff is laid off next week
Equipment winterization process is about 70% complete and reel grinding has begun
Last minute projects to be completed as the weather allows.
Trying to complete an Agronomic budget for next season
Etc. Etc.  no time to take a deep breath yet

Friday, October 18, 2013

We are in the process of completing a quad block solid tine aerification to the greens before we put them to bed for the winter.  The veteran Butch is working with two rookie crew members on this task.  The back nine on Greywalls was completed today and the front will be finished on Sunday after we close for the season.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The cell tower crew looks to be putting the finishing touches on the tower going up behind the Heritage shop.  It will be nice to get our driveway back when they are complete.  
We rented a DR field and brush mowers last week to hand cut many areas on the course that were overgrown.  This is a definite piece of equipment that we will be adding to our fleet next season to manage some areas that become over taken with sapling and weed growth annually.  
Mike H. is shown above going to town next to the bridge on #13.  He did a fantastic job running this hog all week.  A great physical workout and satisfying job performance.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

 Dr. Koch and the University of Wisc. came up last week to lay out their snowmold fungicide trial plots.  They are going to be conducting research on the beginning of the 11th Fairway on the Heritage course.  The early season applications were completed that day, they will come back in early November to make the rest of the applications.  This will be their largest trial to date with over a 100 different plots.  

We had the new concrete pad poured in front of the Greywalls Fuel Tanks.  This is another Environmental protective measure we took this season to eliminate potential soil contamination; which could happen if there were a spill at this location.  
Yup its Fall color season!!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Turf on the Driving Range is now closed for the season.  The artificial mats are now out on the range for use.  Closing the turf now will give it time to recover for the 2014 season.

2014 Closing dates
Greywalls = October 19th
Range = October 19th
Heritage = October 31st

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tee Aerification was completed on the Heritage course yesterday.  We had a perfect day to complete the task.  No morning dew and 30 mph winds dried the cores quickly and made clean-up much easier.  After coring we verticut the tees, blew the debris off into the rough and finally mowed the surfaces.  

One of the environmental improvements that we planned to complete this years is pictured below.  Half of this pad will become a dedicated mix/load pad for our spray rig.  We will no longer have a shared pad with equipment wash off.  The highest potential for a spill is at the mix site.  When complete we can provided more safety precautions to reduce any point source pollution.  
 The truck was able to drive right back making the process easier than anticipated.  
 Great work accomplished together
 MGC crew working as a team
Matt picks while Ned smooths the surface

Friday, September 20, 2013

The small Maple by the shop is in Full Fall color
This usually means peak color for the other trees is only two weeks away.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A great question was asked Wednesday morning during our MGC board meeting.  
What are those black spots on some of the greens?
Those black spots are the die back of Moss.  I have been using a product called Quicksilver this season to burn down the moss and give the creeping bentgrass the advantage.  Many of you never notice the moss in the turf canopy when it is green and health but you will notice it when its black or when the patches grow larger with time and become a detriment to your putting surfaces.  Now is the time to control this pest.  There is not a one and done product for moss control, I will have to continue the multiple low doses applications yearly to keep this bryophyte in check.  Quicksilver is unique in that it is a contact herbicide and is not taken up and translocated within the plant.  The advantage is it has zero effect on the creeping bentgrass greens maintained at 1/8".  
 Moss die back
 Close up of Moss die back

You will also notice the effects of Quicksilver on other weeds growing on our putting surface.  It will take out tiny mouse-ear chicweed and it also bleaches out pearlwort patches, as seen below.  
 Pearlwort bleaching out
Close up of Pearlwort bleaching out.  
I had a few hours this morning before the Senior scramble to complete some repairs to #15 Green on Greywalls.  It was the worst ice damaged area from last winter.  
I moved 32 hex plugs from our Nursery on the Heritage to this low spot location.  Because this spot is located in a shaded area and is on the clean-up pass the recovery has been zero.  
We overseeded all the damaged areas 5 times so far this years and most have had adequate recovery; considering their location on 1/8" putting greens all in full play everyday.  
 Hex plug
 Area being repaired
 Close up
Finished for now

We finished up the solid tine aerification on the Heritage Fairways today.  The used Toro Procore 864 we purchased this season has been fantastic!!  We not only got all the fairways completed but now we have time to go back and poke the worst ones another time.  We are very pleased with the performance of this unit.
Game changer for us :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The vertical mowing on the Heritage went very well on Monday.  We did a double zing on the greens and a single zing on the Approaches.  We used 2 mm carbide blades to do the job.  Organic matter or thatch control is key to long term health and proper play-ability of our most valuable playing surfaces.  Frequent sand topdressing and vertical mowing are the two best methods of achieving superb surfaces.  
The Heritage Tees will be completed Tomorrow.  

Dollar Spot continues to thrive on the Fairways.  The mega drop in temperatures tomorrow will put an end to this pathogens fun days.  :)

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