July 20, 2016

Tuesday Storm

The Tuesday evening storm brought us 2.4” of rain at the golf course in about 25 minutes and perfect weather for disease to grow. Fortunately, we have been current with our fungicide preventative applications that we haven’t really had any issues yet.

Ash tree split in half by 4 fairway

We had wind gusts up to 50 mph, but we only lost half of a large ash tree and a few small branches on the course. When I took a drive thru the golf course around 9:30 pm after the storm, there was standing water everywhere. Fairways such as 4, 6, 11, and 1 looked more like small lakes than fairways. Luckily, most of the water had soaked in overnight and we only had to run a few pumps for the morning hours.

6 Fairway 

Ditch between 11/12

Bunkers were a disaster. When it rains that hard, a lot of the sand on the top face tends to wash down to the bottom of the bunker. It took 4 of my staff members most of the day on Wednesday to get the bunkers back into playable shape.

Cart paths also washed out pretty badly. We spent many hours grading the paths back into drivable shape today. 

The crew worked hard in the hot and humid temperatures today and they definitely deserve a pat on the back. Hopefully we don’t get this same rain event tonight as the weather is in favor for it.

July 12, 2016

Where does the time go?

It’s hard to believe that it is already the middle of the golf season. The weather, for the most part, has been cooperative over these past few months with only a few “dry spells” and the grounds crew has been working very hard at getting the golf course dialed in for many more days of golf this year.

We were fortunate to have about 5” of rain in the month of May and beginning of June as we came into the season very dry. We started to get very dry again the later part of June and had to start the river pump back up to fill the pond. That river pump has been a huge benefit for us, except when a 500lb waterlogged tree was jammed up against the pipe last week. That made it my first swim in the Red River.

Other than daily course set up and keeping up with the fast growing grass, the grounds crew has been very busy with sod work, string trimming, tree and pine tree trimming and various other course projects. We have also been busy with and will continue to add sand to a number of our bunkers that are low so that they have a consistent amount throughout. After each rainstorm, we have to spend extra time on bunkers moving sand back up the face where it has washed down. The crew has kept the bunkers in immaculate shape this season.

Bunkers have all been edged and are raked everyday of the week.
We have spent a lot of time trimming up pine trees this season. It makes mowing and trimming underneath them much easier, speeds up golf play and overall looks great!

Greens aeration was completed on June 30th and has already greatly improved the health of the turf and playing conditions. This process removes compaction and the thatch layer (living and dead organic matter) that builds up in the layer under the turfgrass plant. It promotes deeper root growth and allows water and oxygen to get down to the roots of the plant. This aeration has helped with ball roll and to prevent localized dry spots from appearing on greens.

Justin spent about 10 hours on the tractor during aeration. Half of the crew worked a 14 hour day and didn't even complain once! 

To sum up this post, I want to thank my grounds crew. Without this great group of college-aged employees, the golf course would not look as great as it does, and I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and dedication. Many people do not understand how much work goes into keeping a golf course look as great as ours does. We took advantage of last Thursday afternoon without a tournament at the course and enjoyed a much deserved employee scramble.

We have many things planned for the rest of the season and we hope everyone can come out to enjoy our beautiful North Dakota golf course!

Here is a great article from the USGA that I found on green speed that I would like to share.