Thursday, September 27, 2012

Third time a charm?

Your Sixteenth green will be the death of me yet!  This is what I was greeted with Tuesday morning after learning of the damage and its cause.  Our blower, when cleaning off leaves from putting surfaces actually lifted sod from a section of sixteen green that to date refuses to root!  This sod actually "shattered" along the slicer lines of the spiker and holes from the needle tine aerifications performed on this problem area to encourage rooting.  If you read my post "I'm back"  (one post back) I explained some of the problems we were facing with our June sodding that died as a result of lack of surface drainage.  We knew the problem needed to be addressed, we just didn't know when.  Well the question of "When" became "Now!"

The result above was the straw that broke the camels back, enough was enough.  It was time to tear this section out and reestablish grade for positive surface drainage while we still have time before the leaves fall in earnest.  In other words, restore the original contours as best we could.  Both greens mix and sod were ordered that afternoon as our inventories were exhausted.  Below is a photo essay of just a few steps used in an effort to fix this problem once and for all.  (A permanent solution to this greens problems would be the belching of black diesel smoke coming from the engine of a D-9 dozer!)

Wednesday morning your green section staff began removing the weak section of the green.

The section of putting green removed for repair was approximately 12' wide by 83' long.  All totaled, 996 square feet of putting surface was removed for renewal.

To restore grade we fashioned a "scrid" board and "struck" this area just as you would do in a concrete pour making sure all low pockets were no where to be found.  We also shot grade with our level and used a digital carpenters level to determine slope.  Unfortunately due to this greens design and construction, 100% of all free water drains to the front at a slope of 1.6 percent.

The subsoil is now prepped for the sod that would be delivered Thursday morning. 

The sod is Alpha bentgrass grown on Sandy Loam soils at Heath Farms near Plainfield, Wisconsin.  It is of some note, but Heath Farms grows sod for Miller Park, Lambeau Field and Soldiers Field to drop a few names.

This area will be topdressed and slowly lowered to putting green height in the weeks to come.  Above you can see the topdressing filling the seams of the sod to prevent dessication and die back.  This area will be treated as ground under repair.  Move your ball to the nearest point of relief no closer to the hole and play away.  This photo was taken at Noon and you can see the shadows of a few trees that will be removed later this fall as weather permits to increase light penetration and a better growing environment heading into the future. _Mk