June 25, 2015

Staff Appreciation Day

The GFCC was hosting an outside tournament today, so with the golf course packed with golfers, the grounds crew took the opportunity to take the afternoon off from work.  We all went out for lunch at the Blue Moose, followed by a friendly competition of scramble golf at the Valley Golf Course.  It was a great afternoon break from work at the course and fun to do some team building away from our own golf course.

If there is an under appreciated job in the golf business, it is that of the grounds maintenance worker.  Out early on the course seven days a week at 6:00am (sometimes as early as 5:00am during tournaments), our team lives by the mantra "out of sight, out of mind".  Our best work is done early in the mornings when the course is quiet and we can make a mess, get things fixed, complete necessary maintenance tasks, and get the course prepped for play.  This team performs tasks on a daily basis ranging from mowing any of our 100 acres of turf, rolling greens, sodding and seeding, raking bunkers, pulling weeds, digging holes, trimming around trees, changing cups, blowing grass, fertilizing and spraying, trimming tree branches, fixing irrigation leaks, picking up trash, disposing of dead animals, you name it.  

A huge thanks to Collin, Justin, Matt, Alyssa, Terrance, Logan, Max, Michael, James, Hunter, Jake, Jack, Connor, Andrew, and Mitch.  Without these hard working guys (and gal), there would be no golf course at the Grand Forks Country Club.

June 10, 2015

Sod Projects

Our sodcutter has come out of hibernation with a vengeance this spring.   This 18 year old piece of equipment has been doing overtime since early May cutting dead Poa out of our greens, collars, and fairways, and harvesting healthy bentgrass to replace it with, from three different states.

At this point we have finished doing all of the sodding around our collars that we are going to do.  We started by cutting all 4,000 sq ft from our nursery by hole 13.  We then found a course in Minneapolis that wanted to get rid of their nursery, so we made a road trip down there one day with a trailer and hauled back another 1,500 sq ft of bentgrass.  Lastly, we ended up buying one pallet of sod from a farm in Wisconsin.

One of many areas of dead Poa that we cut out of our collars

We cut, loaded, and hauled a full truck and trailer of sod from a nursery
at a golf course in Minneapolis

Putting in new bentgrass sod in the collar on 5

Sodding on 10 collar

Our nursery is officially gone at this point.  We hope to get it cleaned up,
enlarged, and reseeded by the end of June so that it can be grown in and
ready to start cutting again next spring.

We have now moved on to cutting some fairway length bluegrass from our nursery area to start sodding out some of the dead Poa in the fairways.  We are starting in the really bad spots in 11 fairway, and in some of the fairway perimeters by the greens.

All of the dead spots in 6 and 11 fairways were caused by low areas that puddled
water during the mid-winter melts, forming ice.  While we are cutting out and
replacing the sod, we have also been adding sand and leveling the low spots.

The last step in the recovery process has been to cut smaller, cup cutter size plugs out of the back of the practice hole green to fill in all of the smaller dead areas in the greens and collars out on the course.

I was hoping we wouldn't have to, but we are sacrificing the back corner of
the practice hole green again this year.  The crew has already taken hundreds
of plugs out, with many more still to come.
Most importantly, I want to throw out a huge thanks to our staff who have put in an amazing amount of work doing all of the sodding and plugging work.  While we have so far sodded out about 6,000 sq ft of dead grass, that means all told they have hauled about 18,000 sq ft of sod by cutting and removing the dead grass, cutting and loading the new turf, and then unloading and laying it in place.  If my math is right (which it sometimes is) a roll of sod is about 4 sq ft, and weighs 30 lbs.  That means our crew has handled 135,000 pounds of grass this spring.