Monday, January 25, 2016

#3 Cart Path Extension

Sod and dirt being removed
One of the big project the grounds staff worked on before Christmas was installing a cart path extension at the main exit point from #3 fairway to the cart path leading to the greens complex.  This area has little to no irrigation coverage and almost all the cart traffic for this hole is concentrated at this point.  As you can image, a severely compacted and drought stressed turf is difficult to keep, and so often this area would get thin.  Once an area gets thin, it's not difficult for mud holes to start developing and then the area becomes very rough.  This spot has been a notoriously bumpy ride.  Besides re-sodding this area and adding irrigation, we decided to try something a little different.  Crushed limestone would be brought in and compacted to create a more stable cart path material so turf would not be needed.  First, the old grass and soil were removed and stored at the shop for use elsewhere.  Then, the limestone base was added and compacted with the mini excavator.  Once the material was all added to a depth of 4", it was raked smooth.  We've had several big rains, and lots of cart traffic, since this project was completed and the area has held up very well.  The beauty of the limestone is that when it gets wet, and you drive on it, it gets firmer.  Although this material doesn't look "pretty", it seems like a viable solution for certain situations and if we like how it holds up over the new year, we will likely utilize it in other areas of the golf course.

Limestone being smoothed out with mini excavator
Finished product

Another angle

Tree Work

This picture was taken in 2013 and the trees have only gotten worse
Over the past few weeks, the grounds staff has been focusing on pruning and removing trees throughout the golf course as part of our annual maintenance plan.  Although we don't have as many trees as many courses around the area, we still end up with almost 2-4 weeks worth of work each winter.  The majority of the work is found along property boundaries, pond and creek banks, and where shade or air flow restrictions are found near greens.  One area that we hadn't been in for many years, was the area immediately west of the #1 practice green.  This creek was full of willow and cottonwood trees that was blocking air flow and creating too much shade for the green to survive.  Once again I failed to get a good before picture before we started (I love to just jump right in and get started), however, the picture above was taken back in 2013, and as you can see, the trees west of the green have been an issue for quite some time.  In the summer, when the tree leaves are out, it's like a dense wall of green.  The lack of sunlight and air flow has caused this practice green a lot of trouble over the years and I expect it to perform much better now that it has a better growing environment.
Looking WSW with practice green to left

Monday, December 28, 2015

Winter Storm Goliath

The winter storm Goliath, that is currently working it's way through the state, is leaving an incredible amount of rain across the eastern half of the state.  The graph on the right shows the damage thus far.  The golf course has had almost 7 inches of rain, and it's snowing right now.  Look at Talequah with almost a foot of rain!!  The upcoming week is forecasted to be dry with freezing temperatures at night and forties during the day.  This freeze/thaw cycle will drag out the drying process and cause it to take twice as long for the turf to dry enough to remove cart restrictions.

Our friends at the Oklahoma Mesonet have a great run down on this recent storm and it's implications on the state records that have been broken.  I've included a link to the article below:

The most interesting part of the information listed above, was the impact this week's storm will have on our total statewide precipitation average relative to history.  It's clear this year has made history regarding the amount of rain that has fallen across the state.


Absolutely incredible. I don't know if you're quite getting it there. We just
topped the statewide average rainfall total by nearly 6 inches. Wow. There were
only 7 previous years above 47 inches, so let's rank them so you can see
the enormity of this new record.

2015: 53.71 inches (preliminary)
1957: 47.88 inches
1908: 47.24 inches
1915: 46.01 inches
1941: 45.83 inches
1923: 44.61 inches
1945: 41.82 inches
1905: 40.89 inches

Now we won't get the "official" total until later into January when NCEI releases
their statewide average, but safe to say it will be somewhere in the neighborhood
of 53-54 inches.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Irrigation/Bunker Repair on #9

110 psi leaking out from mainline caused massive geyser
This area was flooded for several days after water was shut off

Last week, right of #9 fairway, a fitting on the irrigation system broke causing a very large leak.  As you can see from the picture above, it caused a geyser about 100' tall.  Once this section of the system was isolated, water continued to bubble and roll out of hole for most of the day.  The entire middle portion of the fairway flooded as the water made it's way to the drain on the left side of the fairway.  The force of the leak blasted enough soil, out of the ground, to fill a pickup truck bed.  This soil came out of the ground and went right into the bunker.  Once the water receded, it was clear that in order to clean the silt out of the bunker, all the sand would need to be removed.  On Thursday of last week, all the sand was hauled away and on Friday 15 tons of new sand was added.

Silt contamination from leak
New sand added and raked smooth

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

#18 Cart Path Work

Last week, a local contractor, J&P Ventures, came out to replace a broken section of cart path behind #18 tee complex.  A few years ago, the ground settled under this section of path which caused the concrete to buckle and sag, asphalt was placed as a temporary fix to smooth and level this area until it could be replaced.  The contractor spent Wednesday afternoon breaking up and removing the old path and had the new concrete poured by Thursday afternoon.  The forms were pulled Friday afternoon and the path was reopened for use.  The only thing that remains to be done is a little dirt work and sod along the edges and this project will be complete.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Short Turf Pigment Application

Based on the positive feedback we've received about the pigment application to the driving range tee and target greens, this week, the grounds staff is applying a similar product to the tees, fairways, approaches, collars and surrounds.  This pigment will give the turf a natural, green look, to make it seem like it  is still actively growing.  As the rough continues to go dormant, the pigment will also provide a nice contrast to the tan Bermuda.

Since our goal is to achieve a natural, green appearance, it was determined early on that a second application would likely be needed.  We will plan on reapplying the pigment sometime in the next 3-4 weeks.  This final application will provide a deeper, richer green that should last for most of the winter.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Driving Range Pigment Application

Last week, a green pigment was applied to the driving range tee and target greens.   It was decided that having green turf on the targets would allow better depth perception of the targets while practicing, and overseeding these areas with Ryegrass would be cost prohibitive, so a green turf pigment was used to stain the semi-dormant turf green to make it look like seeded Ryegrass.  This kind of process is a first for us, and so far we are happy with the positive feedback we’ve received. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Clubhouse Patio Landscaping

Paint is used to mark the new bed shape,
and the grass is killed w/ herbicide
Although the grounds staff spends time each week, throughout the growing season, maintaining the lawns and landscape beds around the clubhouse, a few times a year extra attention is required to make necessary improvements.  This past spring, the bed on the north side of the food & beverage facility was redesigned and has turned out to be a big improvement.

As our mowing schedules and other tasks have begun to wind down, I felt a need to address another issue at the clubhouse while we still had our seasonal help.  The area directly north of the back patio has been an eye sore for quite some time.  This area is in continuous shade and the Bermuda cannot fully grow up to the edge of the patio.  This has created a muddy thin area that hasn't been much to look at.

A few weeks ago, the new landscape bed was outlined and herbicide was applied to kill the existing Bermudagrass.  Earlier this week, Joe, our irrigation technician, redesigned the irrigation in this area to ensure the proper spray distribution.  Yesterday, the staff installed new landscape edging, plants, rock paths, and mulch.  The plants chosen for this bed are all tolerant of full shade and should acclimate very well to their new home.  Each of them will also flower at various times to provide some seasonal interest throughout the year.  This new bed certainly improves the look in front of the back patio, but it also removes the gap that existed in the landscape design which creates some continuity around the back of the clubhouse.

Plants and paths being installed
All finished!