Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Greywalls vs. Heritage spring opening

I want to take a moment to address a question that always gets asked multiple times in the spring as the golf courses emerge from the snow pack.  
Why is the Heritage open and Greywalls still closed?
The first difference is terrain.  Greywalls sits higher and gets more snow.  The extreme valleys fill in with more snow and it takes longer to melts off.  
The second difference is turf type.  The Heritage course fairways are predominately poa annua; which will start taking in water and growing when soil temps are in the low 40's.  The Greywalls course fairways are fine fescue and bluegrass and those turf type do not start taking in water and growing until the soil temperatures reach 51-52 degrees.  
The pictures below prove my point..

Number 8 fairways Greywalls has not broken dormancy and has not started to grow out of superficial snowmold damage because the soil temp is still 49 degrees.  
As you can see we have began solid tine aerification; which accelerates a rise in soil temperature when air temperatures rise.  

Number 13 fairway Greywalls has soil temps of 52 plus and as you can see it has greened up and is growing out of the superficial snowmold.  

The Greywalls front 9 always holds snow longer and takes more time to begin growing.  

We have a unique situation in that our golf club has two courses.  One happens to be ready for play before the other in the spring.  I know everyone is excited and ready to play but have patience; continue to enjoy the fantastic spring conditions on the Heritage course while the Greywalls course emerges from winter.  

A combination of solid tining the front 9 fairways and warm weather this weekend will have the Greywalls course ready for cart traffic next week.  

Your grounds staff is seasoned and well educated.  We know what we are doing and we work very hard to get the golf courses open as early as possible.  Six short days ago we had cross country skiers on the golf course and we now have it to a point that it will open within a week.  I call that a miracle!  

Snow still on number 7 Greywalls.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Heritage is open

The Driving Range and the Heritage course is now open for play.  With a good week of weather we were able to open the course only one week after our last 12" snow storm - A new record for us!  The weather was great and the crew worked their butts off!  
We are still walking only but after the rest of the snow melts, the frost leaves the ground in those areas and it firms up carts will be allowed. We will also have our directional ropes back up by then to eliminate cart tire damage.  

15 Heritage on Opening Day 4/18/2015

7 Heritage on Opening Day 4/18/2015

Driving Range on its Opening Day 4/14/2015

Clubhouse roof

I am glad to say the small flat roof at the rear of the clubhouse was finally replaced.  The old one was torn off and a new pitch was added to shed water and snow properly.  The under eve was boxed in, insulation was added and a new 8 mil one piece rubber roof was put on.  We will also insulate internally between joist beams for added heat retention inside.  
This will save countless hours in the winter as we will no longer have to shovel it off after every snow event and it will no longer leak.  
A quick/quality job by our contractor.  I am very pleased with the outcome.  

Bridge project

The finishing touches on The #4 Greywalls Bridge is getting wrapped up this week.  Your crew was hard at work removing the old rotten wood; which was a daunting task because the wood was very soft and had thousands of nails in it.  
The main beams (three large tree logs) were still good in good shape so we kept them in place but just added two new support jacks under the center beam.  
For the next layer of side by side support we reused the main 2x8 boards from the old clubhouse deck; which saved use a couple hundred dollars.  
The treated 2x4 nailers, treated thick decking boards and treated 4x4 rails were purchased new.  
Just another check off the list for the MGC grounds staff.  
Removal of the old wood.

Halfway there on the demo

The new treated lumber boards

2x8's in place with treated 2x4 nailers getting installed

Friday, April 17, 2015

Opening for walking

As soon as number 7 green thaws out and the frost leaves the soil on it we can open The Heritage course for walking.  Other areas holding snow can be played around.  
Carts will be allowed as soon as all the snow melts, the surface dries a bit more and we get a chance to get our ropes out.  
We have the driving range and the putting greens open as The season is fast approaching!
Snow on 8 approach 

Drift of snow by 7 green keeping it frozen.  We have been out shoveling off the soft surface snow everyday this week to help the thaw along.  

Getting close!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring has arrived

Spring is indeed here this week!  We started to get the course cleaned up last week then 8-10" of wet (very wet) heavy snow last Friday slowed the effort.  It also created a lot more work by downing even more trees and branches.  
Temps in the upper 60's over the weekend and this week has melted the new snow and taken most of the old snow with it.  Work has again started on cleanup.  

The Driving Range officially opened at noon yesterday.  The range picker cart could not be used because of wet turf conditions and the Proshop ran out of balls within 5 hours!  They closed early so the balls could be hand picked.  

The turf looks absolutely fantastic as the snow melts.  The Fairways look about average but the Greens, Approaches and Tees look better than ever!!  A few minor changes to the Snowmold fungicide application last fall has provided better results.  I am very encouraged and happy with what I see!

Fairway spray lines on Greywalls.  Some tanks just did not work as well as others.  I am still not sure why but I have some contacts coming in today to give me their thoughts.  I am still not worried at all.  Recovery in these areas has already began.  Those harder hit areas will just lag behind a few weeks this early spring.  

I started to test and dial in our new Weidenmann Super 600 yesterday.  This unit is absolutely amazing!  Debris cleanup will be taken to a new level and the begining of fairway vertical mowing starts this season!

Our new Pronovost dump trailer will pay for itself in one season!  This thing has already saved hours of labor this spring alone!  You get something like this and you wonder how you managed without it.  

14 tee of the Heritage had the doors opened and lights turned on last week after an aggressive trim and undergrowth removal was complete.  Looking forward to some healthier teeing surfaces.  

Removal of the three D's (Dead-Dieing-Diseased) was also going on the last few weeks.  Cleanup still needs to take place in a few of these areas.  

The Bridge on number 4 Greywalls is getting a new deck.  The boards were rotten and have not been real easy to remove esp. with the amount of nails used for construction.  The crew is doing a great job so far.  

Our new directional signage for Greywalls look outstanding!  They will be a big improvement for our out of town guests.  The original wood signage was weathered beyond repair and was difficult to read.  

Here is a pic of our new Driving range hitting station dividers.  I am really excited about these also!

Big things continue to happen behind the scene at MGC!!
Your Grounds crew is always hard at work!

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