Sunday, November 20, 2016

It finally came...cool weather and some needed moisture

I have finally taken my first big breath of air in over 48 days.  To say it was a hot dry summer would be a under statement.  We received very little rain this summer and heat decided to stick around for another month and a half.  We hit record numbers for the month of October.  It turned out to be the 4th hottest October on record since 1946 and we are at least 4 inches behind on moisture.  When you only average 12 inches per year, 4 inches is a pretty big shortage.  The record heat kept going through the first 16 days of November and I kept on wearing shorts and a polo shirt to work!  We kept hand watering the course and utilizing roller bases on the big dry spots.  We had several hot spots on the course in the fairways and rough but we kept at it. 
All of a sudden the forecast finally changed and there was a rain drop/snowflake on the weather forecast.  Finally mother nature allowed me to sleep through the night by dropping down 4 inches of wet snow on November 17th.  We recorded a melt .30 inches from the snow and I was smiling ear to ear!  Time now to apply our annual snow mold fungicide to protect the turf for next year. 
We still have a few project to wrap up to "put the course to bed."  We have delayed our irrigation blow out till December 5th and 6th due to the dry weather we were having.  We still need to bring in all the golf course accessories and install the 1.5 miles of snow fence.  Yup, that's right, snow fence time!


#1 with a little heat stress in fairway and rough
#8 showing a little stress
#16 with some fresh snow! Denver in the background
#8 now covered absorbing in the moisture

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The summer months

It is always about the weather here at Arrowhead.  This spring we received heavy amounts of precipitation in both forms of snow and rain which then turned into snow melt and heavy amounts of runoff.  Now I am wondering where is the precip and can I have it back??!!  We have not received any significant rain in weeks if not several months. The course is holding up pretty well to the heat but we now have that "championship look" around the greens and fairways.  This is an old modified 2-row block irrigation system.   When the heat sets in on the course, the course shows its signs of poor irrigation coverage.  Each day we set up portable roller bases to the struggling areas.  We send out 2-3 hand waters to hit the hot spots around greens and tees.

Both of my Assistant Super's work each day on the tired system.  They have been replacing sprinkler heads that are not turning or are slow turners.  They are checking nozzles to make sure they are not getting worn out.  These two team members are keeping us at peak condition!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Why are those reflectors on the course?

You may notice that on a few of the fairways there are reflective driveway markers along the edges.  We start work every morning at 4:30am to make sure that the course is mowed and set up for the 7:30am shotgun tournaments.  Because we mow in the dark with head lights on, we were having a hard time burning in our lines.  Kevin, a second year seasoned employee decided to put the reflective markers along the edges so could start his first line in the same spot every time.  This has allowed him to start his first pass straight and on the same line.  If you can mow the first line straight, each line after that should also be straight.  That's the plan at least...


We have native grass throughout the course that our irrigation pipes and valves run through.  When the grass gets tall in the summer, it becomes hard to locate the valves.  Years past we staked each valve with a 5 foot T-post that we painted the top blue.  They never looked great but they served a great purpose.  I was reading a colleague's post about how they staked their valves in the native and I thought their idea was great, so I copied them.  I purchased 75 48inch x 5/16inch blue reflective driveway fibermarkers. We were able to pound them into the ground so they so stuck out about 36inches.  The great thing about these markers is that they are hardly noticeable and that they are reflective to headlights if we every needed to find them in the middle of the night or morning...  Its never fun looking for a valve when you have an irrigation leak.


 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

2015 All over again...

We all the spring season snow, it now is affecting the course in a whole different way.  Just like last year with all the rain we received in April and May (around 16.0") the course is flooding from the surrounding areas.  With over 60" of snow melt and course is again flooding.  The entire surrounding property, homes, roads and mountains all drain thru the course.  The pictures below will show some of the damaged areas.  At the moment, there are several areas on the course that we are unable to mow and correctly maintain.



My fingers are crossed that we do not experience the same runoff as last year.  Last year there were several areas that we could not mow for at least 3 months.  There is a lot of causual water on the course that we will mark as Grounds Under Repair.  Everyday new spots pop up and other spots may dry out.  Please be patient with the playing conditions in these areas.  I am not doing it to make you made and we are trying to be as reactive as possible to your request.  If someone can please do the sun dance for me, it would be greatly appreicated.

2016, Starting off pretty interesting!

As I sit here updating my blog on a early Wednesday morning due to frost, I opened up my camera to look back at the pictures I have taken over the past few months.  Let start around March 1st.  Since then, we have received over 60" of snow.  On several of the storms we received over 24" in one night.  Being Colorado, in between each storm it got warm to melt the snow causing rapid snow melt.  See picture below.
 
We decided to stick with the Aerificatin date of April 4th and 5th for the greens.  We received another storm the week prior to aerification.  By the time Monday came around most of the greens were cleared off but several of them had to be snow blown off so we could aerify safely with our equipment.  Since then we have received several snow storms and many chilly night.  Sad to say, but after 5 weeks of heal time, the green are only 80% healed in.  (If you could see me, I am trying to pull my hair out, but thankfully I buzz it close enough so I do not have a chance to grab it!)
I have been watching the soil temps daily praying that they come up.  Yesterday at 1 pm they were 45 degrees.  Because of all the cold wet weather, On May 5th, Pink Snow Mold decided to show its ugly head.  Even though 3 weeks prior I applied a fungicide to all the greens, we had the perfect condition for it to grow.  (Picture me trying to grabbing my hair again)
 
 
So, now the greens are not healed in, they are not putting smooth and now they have PSM.  Awesome! Finally this week, we saw a few seedling poping up on all the greens from when we seeded them on April 4th and 5th.  We interseeded all greens at 1#/M with T1 bentgrass.  You will notice that this week and for the next several we will be topdressing the greens more frequently to assist in the healing process and the smoothness.  Please be patient with us.  All the greens have the correct amount of nutrients, oxygen and our undivded love for recovery.  The only missing piece of the puzzle is the soil temperatures.  



 
 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Its been way to long since my last post...

I can not believe it has been over 8 months since my last post.  How the time flies!  Do not worry, I have taken pictures of all of our projects this past year and I will have them up shortly.  A lot of changes happened this year within our department and the course.  I have included a video of how the wind plays an important role not only in the summer but also in the winter.   This wind stripped the all the snow to the ground that had accumulated over the past 3 snow storms.  The most recent storm dropped 6 inches of fresh powder and then the next day the wind returned!
video
The snow and the snow drifts have played havoc so far trying to put the course to bed for the year.  We had to push back our Irrigation blow-out by 2 weeks because a recent storm dropped 12 inches.  We were unable to drive the large compressor to the pump house.  Golf course accessories are still buried under the snow.  With the upcoming warm weather and the no snow snow fore casted, it should only take us a few days to get caught back up. 

Keep an eye out for more post regarding our course projects this year.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Course Update

After a long winter, we were finally able to open up the golf course on Monday March 16th.  Since opening, we have been able to mow the fairways and tees only once at .625".   We have been able to mow greens 3 times with 2 of the cuts being with the brushes down. Currently the greens are being mowed at .140 and we will be lowering .05" every week leading up to aerification.  Greens aerification will be on Monday April 6th and Tuesday April 7th.  We will be aerifying with a 3/8" quad tine with a 2" spacing.  We were in the process today on fertilizing all the green until today's expected rain has turned into 4" of snow!

We have started our annual work on the repair and maintenance to each bunker.  Each bunker is inspected for correct depth of sand, an adequate lip around the edge and all weeds are pulled out from the edges.  We have started the in-house bunker renovation to the #4 green side bunker.  It was on my list from last year, but it had to be removed from the capital improvement list due to lack of money.  So far we have shelled out the old sand/dirt.  We will reshape the interior of the bunker before we add the drainage pipe and gravel. After the drainage is installed, we will add 5" of sand which will compact down to about 4".  We hope to have this back open in the next week for play.

We are all excited about the course this season and we hope to see you all out there!