Friday, July 25, 2014

#17 Drainage Project.

In Agronomy 101, the first rule of growing good turfgrass is drainage. Your green section staff, taking advantage of dry weather, set to the task of retrofitting catch basins to an existing drainage network this week on the Seventeenth hole.  As you know, the smallest of rain events can make this fairway unplayable for days.

We used high pressure water and a sewer clean out tool to make sure drains were running free and clear.  Copper wire was attached to the clean out tool and feed down the tile with the water hose to help us trace the tiles path.  When we found an obstruction, the tile lines were dug up, inspected and repaired as needed. 

Most of our troubles were found where drainage tubing intersected irrigation piping.  Repairs such as these should have been made by the irrigation contractor back in 1994 when the system was installed. As you can see above some where missed.

Three catch basins were added to the existing drainage network and will serve us well in the future as the network is expanded into adjacent poorly drained soils.  We know of several "weeps" that need to addressed.

The water has already filled the bottom of the trench. Our trench cut through a small saturated zone of sand.

PLEASE NOTE:  OUR WORK WILL NOT SOLVE ALL DRAINAGE ISSUES FOUND ON 17! While our additions will not address all drainage needs, it will go a long way in drying up a troubled fairway and rough.  Multiple drainage laterals need to be added.  Future work needs to be funded.  $1,000 is a start, but it does not go very far these days.

PS: In a perfect world, this fairway should be capped with four to six feet of soil elevating the fairway surface above the "gumbo clays" that are so slow to drain.

PSS: It's 7/24/14 with temperatures in the 90's the past few days. As if we needed a reminder of how cold our winter was, a large ice chunk found in the pea gravel used to surround the tubing.  These are just a few fragments of ice as proof.  _Mk

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Golf Spike Evolution? It's Come Full Circle.

Clack, Clack, Clack.  If you're a Baby Boomer or older like me you can still remember the sound of metal golf spikes crossing asphalt or concrete paths.  There was nothing better than the feeling of spikes sinking into warm sun beaten asphalt pathways.  I can still feel and hear the crunch underfoot on tournament parched greens. For your own safeties sake, you always remembered to take extra precaution when making your way across the locker rooms tile floor because if you didn't you would find yourself on your backside.  AND you can still see the damage to wooden bridge decking, steps and carpeting if you look closely.  I can still see the bruised and battered turf, a perfect doughnut around the cup.  Those were yesterdays days right?  NO!  I'm talking about the problem that I see daily brought on by today's golf shoe construction.

As a (over) seasoned golf course manager, I'm always asked if yesterday's outing caused any damage to the turf.  Well yes there is damage, but it's away from the course you'll see today!  It is the principle reason hole locations are constantly changed.

The picture above is the damage caused by spikes around the cup location.  Usually there is a six inch ring free of damage as people stop short of the hole to bend to pick their ball from the cup.  The damage seen came on the "heal" of the largest golf outing of the year that proceeded one half hour after a 2" rain event had passed.

In this photo above this "tricky" tournament hole location produced two points from which putts were taken above and below the hole.  Those area's are to the right of the blue ball mark tool just right of center.

As I began to put together my thoughts for this post, I became unusually aware of the damage not only around the cup, but to the generalized area of the green hosting the hole location for that day.


Looking closely, you can see the imprints of both styles of shoes.  My knife covers the replugged closed hole.  I wish I had a dollar every time the comment was made, "how come the greens are 'bumpy and slow'."

I'm not picking on Foot Joy, however, they're not alone in this game.  They along with the other golf shoe manufacturers are not good for the game if the spikes they use to sell their products cause damage to putting green turf.  Damage requiring costly inputs of chemicals and fertilizers to outgrow spike damage are expenses paid for by you.  I'm aware of courses that have banned this aggressive spike.  Maybe it's time we jump on the bandwagon too?  MK

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Sand Vally," A teasers view.

Here's a couple of pre-construction photo's taken down at Sand Valley.  The logging and stump clearing is in progress on the tentitive routing plan for several new golf holes.


There's a lot of work to be done in the days ahead.