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Showing posts from April, 2009

Spring Aerification

This Sunday evening we will be starting our spring aerification of greens. As we did last year, we will be using 1/4 inch solid tines that do not pull a core out of the greens. We have referred to this as venting and punching in the past. Following the aerification, the greens we will be topdressed with sand in an attempt to fill in the holes. During this process we will have the pins located in the approaches (in front of the greens). If the weather and equipment cooperate we should have the pins back in the greens by mid-afternoon on Monday. Weather permitting, we will be aerifying the tees and approaches next week once greens are completed. For the tees and approaches we will be pulling a core and also topdressing. Aerification and topdressing help tremendously in reducing compaction and thatch and also aid in incorporating sand in to the soil profile. This will result in a firmer and tighter (more dense) playing surface. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these …

#2 & #12 Tees are sodded

Today we layed the Dwarf Bluegrass sod on the tee surfaces of #2 & #12. This variety of grass is very adaptable to lower mowing heights and reduced pesticide and water use. We will slowly lower the height of cut on the tees to match our existing tees. Once the sod is established we will aerify and topdress these tees as we have been with our other tees. With the exception of a some TLC for the sod, the tee projects are now complete.

Fairway over seeding

One of the great features of Highland is our undulating fairways. Before my arrival here there had been extensive drainage added on the golf course and from what I here, the property now drains much faster than in years past. We do however have a number of low spots that tend to hold water, particularly in the early spring during the snow melt. At that time of year the drains are still frozen and surface water tends to sit on the turf and inevitably kill off some turf grass. Today one of Grounds staff members Matt Deans, was out with one of our aerifiers "punching" these areas in preparation to over seed and top dress. We will be seeding the areas with a mixture of fine fescues. This is a very strong variety of grass that can be mowed at fairway height and is rather hardy. This grass will blend in very nicely with our current stand of Poaannua, native bentgrasses and bluegrasses in our fairways.

Capital projects are closing in....

As of this week we have almost completed our capital projects for 2009. The new bunkers, tees and cart path are all sodded in. We will be sodding the tee surfaces early next week with a Dwarf Bluegrass variety. Vergeer golf construction did all of the shaping and sodding to this point. I think that we would all agree that they did an outstanding job here at Highland. Vergeer was very flexible and extremely easy to work with.

Highland bridge on #7

I am sure that most of our members have noticed some renovations to the "creek" on #7. The area has been completely overhauled with the creek now running entirely across the hole. We have designed a system to circulate the water down and through the creek. One of the most interesting components of the renovation is the new bridge. The lumber on the bridge was milled from a downed tree here on our property. This red oak is very solid and very durable. The cost savings were huge and the bridge fits in very well. Our department's goal is to become as self sufficient as possible, regarding projects, equipment and utilizing our own property's resources, when available. This bridge project shows that this goal is attainable. We are planning on putting the finishing touches on this area this weekend and sodding next week.

Bunkers, bunkers, bunkers....

One of the most discussed issues here at Highland is our bunkers. Years ago when the bunker renovation was done a new design was instituted to bring back the Stanley Thompson feel of the golf course. With that feel came very strategic and challenging bunker complexes. Not only are they a challenge to play from but also to maintain. Our department works very strategically and diligently to provide consistent bunker play. Some of the tasks that come with these bunkers are raking and smoothing, mowing and trimming of the surrounds, checking and adjusting bunker sand depth, weed control and sand consistency. Raking and smoothing daily takes 9 man hours (per day). Mowing and trimming are done weekly to present a playable and aesthetically pleasing bunker complex, this takes about 10 man hours (per week). Bunker sand depth is done monthly and if sand needs to be added (which it always does) can take up to 280 man hours (per month). Weed control is done constantly, we use hand pulling method…