July 23, 2014

Storm Cleanup

The storm that moved through Grand Forks on Monday evening brought wind gusts of close to 70mph and somewhere in the area of 2-3".  This was by far the most intense storm I have witnessed in my three years here so far.  However, after a brief survey of the damage on Tuesday morning at the course it didn't look quite as bad as I had anticipated.  I was thinking we would have massive, old cottonwoods down over the entire property.  As it turned out, we only lost one major cottonwood at the beginning of 18 fairway, a handful of smaller trees, and thousands of smaller branches.

The maintenance staff spent the entirety of the following day picking up branches, blowing and mulching leaves, and pumping water out of bunkers.

Also, with 2" of rain that fell in less than an hour, every bunker on the course was washed out, some much worse than others.  As of this point, 12 of our 48 bunkers have drainage in them, but that didn't stop how much the sand washed off the face, it just meant that we didn't have to pump them out.

Pushing the sand back up the face of the bunkers is a tedious task that requires a lot of precision.  It is very easy to dig too deep with the blade on the bunker rake and pull up chunks of clay, drainage rock, or drainage fabric, all of which are not very good scenarios, so it is a relatively slow process.  It will likely take us the rest of this week to finish pushing the sand back up the faces and repairing all of the bunkers.

The bunker by 15 green was one of the worst, but every bunker will still
need to have some sand pushed back up on the face.

July 19, 2014

Irrigation Upgrades

It seems like just a few weeks ago that I was begging for it to stop raining so the course could dry out some.  Now that the river has gone back in its banks and summer has started for real, we start to switch gears to putting water back on the course.

Utilizing our new pipe puller attachment that fits on the back of our compact tractor, we can now quickly and efficiently add irrigation lines whenever and wherever we need to.  Our first priority was pulling a line for a quick coupler (hose connection) up to the tee box on #2.  The sprinker coverage on that tee in particular is very poor, so it is necessary for us to have to handwater it from time to time.

Next, we added a line across 17 fairway into the left rough where we have frequent flooding problems.  That area has been seeded now 5 times in the 4 years I have been here, and it is always a struggle since there is no irrigation coverage down there.  While seed germinates and takes alright down there in the spring when there is plenty of rain, after a really late summer flood like we had this year, there is no way we would get anything to grow down there (besides weeds) without being able to irrigate it.

Our new 3-point pipe puller laid a new line across 17 fairway in less than 10
minutes, and with very minimal disruption.

In an area that floods at least once, if not twice annually, these 3 new
irrigation heads should be able to help us finally keep some decent
turf down on the left side of hole 17.

One of the downfalls of pulling pipe on an irrigation system that has been
added on to so many times.   Random wires snake through the rough
almost everywhere, these wires in the rough on 6 that power our irrigation
controllers were buried only 3 inches deep, and were 20' away from the mainline
(where they were supposed to be)