March 21, 2014

New Tee Markers

I finally had some help in the shop this week as Collin and Mike came in to work during their spring break.  It was nice to finally get some larger projects done, and to have someone else to talk to besides myself.

We just wrapped up a new batch of tee markers of a slightly different design than the last ones.  While I did like the previous markers, they had a very large ground print, and if left in one spot for more than a day or two during the heat of the summer, they would leave some fairly large yellow squares on the turf where they sat.  The new markers are a little more vertical, and will take up a significantly smaller footprint on the turf surface.

We utilized the same wood branding iron from the previous markers, painted the ends red, white, blue, and black, put a nail in the bottom, and a few coats of urethane.  All told we knocked out 160 markers in about 4 days.

I cut all 160 wood blanks at my home shop.

Then Mike, aka "Dusty" had the pleasant job of sanding all of them.

Collin and Mike putting on a coat of urethane.

Finished products.

March 7, 2014

Spring Identity Problems

Spring in the northern plains is a season with a serious identity problem.  While the calendar defines the spring equinox as being less than 2 weeks away (March 20th) we all know that the weather in North Dakota doesn't really care what the calendar says.  Last year didn't give us a taste of spring until the very end of April, and the year before that in 2012 we skipped spring altogether and went straight to summer in the middle of March.

Most long range forecast models indicate that this March will be much like last year, meaning that we likely won't experience much significant melting of our snowpack anytime soon.  While we are all getting pretty sick of winter at this point, a slightly delayed spring isn't necessarily a bad thing for the golf course.  Fortunately this year the snowpack on the course is devoid of any ice layers on the turf surface, so at this point the turf is still very patiently and comfortably waiting for spring.  Furthermore, I am still plugging away on projects in the shop (most notably, making new tee markers) and could use a few extra weeks inside to get things wrapped up before starting back out on the course.

However, at this point I also begin to start planning a list of priorities to get accomplished first thing on the course when the snow melts.  Obviously, this is very dependent on the flooding potential, but most importantly we need to get the 5 new tee boxes finished and seeded ASAP, and following that we need to get sand back in the bunkers we destroyed in the fall and wrap up the drainage projects we did as well.

On the topic of flooding, I think at this point we are all cautiously optimistic that we should be in pretty good shape this year.  The snowpack is deepest north of Grand Forks, and as you approach Fargo and points south at the start of our watershed, the snowpack gets pretty thin.  Barring a massive barrage of snowstorms in the month of March, I am hoping that we will experience a flood even less than last year.  Anything under the 40' mark is essentially nothing more than a nuisance.

At this point it is looking like our greatest chance of a flood will be fairly late again this year, most likely not until the middle to end of April.  Furthermore, it appears that our chances of exceeding the 40' mark are pretty low, but still not out of the question.

Here's to a cool and dry March, which would be just fine by me....