9 Greywalls before the latest snow storm; the turf on both courses has over wintered wonderfully so far
These old Yardage plates were pulled out of storage and will be cleaned/repainted and used in place of 150 poles
Tee Marker Blocks in the past just had the lettering painted (as the one being held) but are now painted a solid color as the ones in the box to make them easier to identify when cut into the surface.
Stakes similar to these can be built and used on tournament and outing days to identify exact tee off locations
We are indeed in strange times right now as we all feel some level of discomfort but I know Golf will be phased back into business soon and we will all be able to get out to enjoy fresh air, safe recreation and exercise on MGC’s wonderful property; until then wait for the snow to melt and stay safe.
See you all Soon
New sanitation buckets have been created like the one above. They are located at each shop and equipment storage building.
Covid-19 Minimal Maintenance Plan
Course Management under two different scenarios
- Not allowed to be open for play; maintenance at a reduced level that allows quick revival of the playing surfaces (Minimal Staff)
- Open for play but with reduced revenue; adjustments in place with new efficiencies to save time and labor (Reduced Staff)
All Turf Playing Surfaces
- Fertility can be reduced on all surfaces as wear/traffic recovery is no longer a priority. Plant Growth Regulators (PGR) use will increase to slow growth and reduce mowing frequency. Fungicide application can decrease as plant stress is reduced from lack of traffic and wear. Herbicide applications will need to continue as needed or we risk weed establishment on our surfaces. The most efficient mowing patterns and angles will be utilized at all times. Aerification can be scaled back if we do not have compaction issues from surface use. Traffic control measures will not be utilized or maintained as there will be no need.
- We will fall back in line with our Minimal Levels of Sustainable Nutrition (MLSN) fertility program based on soil testing. PGR use will continue as usual to control vertical growth and enhance lateral growth. Fungicide/Herbicide applications will proceed as needed. The most efficient mowing patterns and angles will be utilized the majority of the time; changing those patterns needs to take place occasionally for proper turf surface management. Aerification and over-seeding will take place as usual to keep the long term health of our turf a priority. Traffic control measures will again take place as needed but will be reduced.
- Performance will no longer be a priority so the Height of Cut (HOC) can be raised from 0.125” to 0.150” and will reduce the need for chemical inputs. Surface grooming will not need to be performed as frequently and sand top dressing can be reduced as growth will be less. Mowing will be completed only 3-4 days a week depending on growth rate. Cups will not need to be cut if we are not open for play.
- Performance should be scaled back as we look for ways to save based on reduced revenue. Obviously the putting surfaces are the last place we would want to reduce our efforts but still can happen to save some money in the short term. I recommend we stay focused on firm and true but scale back on speed and raise the HOC to 0.135” so we can increase plant health and decrease plant stress that could need increased inputs. Rolling in place of mowing will be determined based on yield.
- Approach mowing will take place 1-2 times per week based on growth rate. Grooming will take place in the spring but then will be scaled back as other tasks take priority with our reduced staff.
- Approach mowing will return to our normal twice a week mow schedule and grooming will take place as needed to enhance ball movement entering the putting surfaces.
- Fairway mowing will be reduced to once a week but may need to happen twice during times of excessive growth like we experience in the spring and early summer months
- Fairway mowing will take place twice a week to keep the turf managed properly. 150 yard poles will be replaced with our old circular plates to eliminate another commonly touched surface and eliminate the need for moving them while mowing.
- Tee mowing will be completed only once a week and tee markers will obviously not be needed.
- Tee mowing will be completed once to twice a week depending on growth. I recommend we do not use tee markers this year but instead use the 3”x5” tee blocks that are in the surface as guides for golfers. The lettering on the blocks was only painted before but now the entire block is painted so they are easier to see. Having no tee markers to move daily will eliminate another commonly touched surface plus save 8 hours of labor a day between the two courses. It will also cut the mow time in half as the operator will not be needed to stop and get off the machine at every tee surface to replace all of the markers; a huge efficiency and savings.
- Rough mowing can be drastically reduced if we are not open for play. The rough can be cut every two weeks to completion. On the off week we will only complete the perimeter cut (2 passes around the perimeter of the Fairway/Approach/Green and 1 pass around the tees). Clumping is not a huge issue outside the areas of closer mowed turf if golf is not being played.
- We will resort back to mowing rough to completion once a week to keep these areas manageable for the game of golf. Extra perimeter cut will take place as needed based on growth.
- Divots will not need to be filled if we are not open for play.
- Divot care is a top priority for our staff and will continue to be in order to fill voids in our playing surfaces and eliminate weed encroachment. Tee surfaces and select fairway/approach locations will continue to be managed.
- Bunkers will be raked once as a spring clean out and then they will not be raked again until play resumes. If we experience a significant rain event that washes out bunkers we will make those repairs. Bunker rakes will not be placed in bunkers.
- We will rake bunkers only once weekly and touch up as needed in between. Bunker rakes will not be placed back in bunkers this year as we try to eliminate surfaces that are commonly handled by everyone. In the future when we do return bunker rakes to the bunkers we will require them to remain inside the bunker and off the turf. This policy will reduce our trim mowing by approximately 2 hours per week as it eliminates the need to stop and get off the mower multiple times to move rakes.
- Minimal watering will take place and seasonal dormancy will be embraced to reduce the need for mowing. No traffic to damage dormant turf will allow us to do this and conserve.
- Irrigation will go back to our regular conservation methods dictated by our water supply. We will manage to keep the surfaces dry enough for the enjoyment of the game but moist enough for plant recovery and growth but favoring the dry side.
- Cups will obviously not need to be cut if we are not open for play
- We already cut cups based on rounds and wear. If play is reduced we will reduce the amount of times we cut cups. We will place a foam piece around the base of the flagstick so the ball does not fall to the bottom of the cup and the flagstick will not need to be touched to retrieve the ball. The ball will be deemed holed out after it makes contact with the foam. You will be asked to not touch the flagstick.
- Course grooming will be reduced to once or twice a year.
- Course grooming has evolved and has been managed more efficiently every year. A combination of early mechanical and chemical controls has drastically reduced the amount of labor needed to groom many areas on the golf courses. We will continue to utilize these tactics to manage those identified areas for the game.
Equipment will be wiped down before and after daily use. Rags with spray disinfectant will be used to wipe all commonly touched surfaces such as seats, steering wheels, keys, switches, handles etc. Hand tools also fall under these sanitation guidelines. This new protocol will be mandatory and must be followed by all staff.
Staff will be asked to wear work gloves
Shop door handles and time clocks will be disinfected in a similar fashion daily.
Other areas of sanitation will arise as the season goes forward and those areas will be addressed accordingly to create a clean and safe work environment.
Social Distancing will be practiced at all times with no exceptions; morning assignments will be written on the board and given orally outside or across the shop. Close congregation of staff will not be allowed and we will consider staggered start times.
I propose a change to the way we clean our course Bathrooms, pro shop bathrooms and complete Clubhouse cleaning process. We need to assign this task to one individual so proper protocol can be followed consistently for the well being of our membership, guests and staff. This individual will clean the on course bathrooms/pro shop bathrooms first thing in the morning before play begins then they will clean the clubhouse. This is a very important job that needs increased attention. Details for this adjustment are in place.
Essential Employees for bare minimal maintenance will be identified and letters will be written for them to carry in their vehicles.