Friday, June 28, 2013

Rolling On and Major Maintenance

After a wet spring, our greens are finally rolling between 10 and 11 feet on the Stimpmeter daily.  We have been able to do this while maintaining exceptional plant health by daily rolling.  This practice allows us to maintain the turf at a slightly higher height (think more photosynthesis), while also providing an excellent playing surface.  We will continue to roll daily through the duration of the season with the intention of keeping green speeds in this range.

In other news, the crew has been hard at work accomplishing many large scale maintenance tasks.  In the past week, they have aerified all of the tees, fertilized the fairways, edged bunkers, and completed a lot of regrading/sodding projects.  It is not always easy to accomplish these projects because they do interfere slightly with golf, but the pro shop has been very accommodating in their routing of golfers.  I apologize if any of these practices have affected your experience, but I promise that it is in the best long term interests of the golf course.

The boys hard at work edging a bunker

Justin Lee leveling a drain on Mountain 2

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Aerifying Stag 9 Tees

Last Tee

The Tee Beasts

Jory watering in fertilizer

Now that summer has finally arrived, the playing conditions are perfect for enjoying a round at The Powder Horn.  We hope to see you out on the course!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Events June 17-23 2013

Monday: None

Tuesday: Junior Golf Camp @ 9:00 AM
               Men's Stag @ 2:30pm

Wednesday: Seniors golf @ 10:00 AM
                     Wyoming Mining Association Golf Tournament @ 1:00 PM

Thursday: Ladies Golf @ 9:00 AM
                Junior Golf Camp @ 9:00 AM
                Men's League @ 4:30 PM

Friday: Wyoming Mining Association Clinic @ 10:30AM

Saturday: ENZI Golf @ 9:00 AM

Sunday: ENZI Golf @ 9:00 AM

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fairway Improvements

One of our major goals this year is to improve the play-ability of our fairways.  Due to a lack of drainage, poor soils, and poor irrigation uniformity, our fairways have transitioned from predominantly Kentucky bluegrass to annual bluegrass.  While annual bluegrass is a much weaker plant, it can still provide an excellent playing surface.  In fact, many of the best golf courses in the United States manage annual bluegrass throughout their facilities.

Management techniques must be altered to manage annual bluegrass successfully as a result of its shallow root system.  To account for these differences, we will be making major changes to the way we manage our fairways on the Eagle and Stag nines.  We will continue to manage the Mountain nine as we have in the past so that we can monitor the differences between the two programs.

The major change to our practices will be in our fertility and chemical programs.  We will spray all fairways on the Eagle and Stag nines with a cocktail of fertilizer, biostimulants, growth regulators, and wetting agent every three weeks.  Light rates of fertilizer on a frequent basis will keep the plants strong, while giving them just the right amount of nutrients that they need.  Throughout the season, we will be applying less fertilizer than in previous years.  The biostimulants will help to boost the stress tolerance of the annual bluegrass and also have a beneficial impact on the soils.  Growth regulators will slow the upright growth of the grass will increasing the lateral growth resulting in a more dense playing surface with less clippings.  Finally, the wetting agent is a compound that is used to help us achieve a more uniform distribution of water throughout the soil profile.  It basically helps to rewet dry areas and dry out wet areas.  Ultimately, wetting agents allow us to use less water while still providing excellent conditions.

We hope the differences are noticeable to you, the player, as ultimately they are for you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Repairs and Rejuvenation

Eagle 1 cattails were  removed by hand  in front of the tees this spring, which required a few days of swinging machetes and hauling off the mess. The small ditch that ran to the left side of the cattails had filled in over the years. This area was dug back out to help move some of the excess water in this area that would just sit and allow the cattails to flourish. This should help resolve the problem with the cattails in front of the tees, which many players struggled with. We worked hard on this project to get it out of the way before the course was open.

Eagle 2 path which was once wood chips will now be cobblestone; turf will eventually fill in the gaps. The previous path needed wood chips replaced yearly and raked every time it rained or when equipment including golf carts, drug the wood chips out onto the turf or onto the cart path. The cobblestone path will last much longer and will not take as many man hours to maintain. Matt Overton and Aaron Mines have done an excellent job with the help of Matt Collier on the paths leading to the Eagle 3 tees and Eagle 2 cobblestone.
Matt Overton and Aaron Mines working on path repair

Eagle 3 bunker is near completion after the wash out earlier this year. The bunker was completely dug out by hand, down to the original impermeable layer. Fortunately, the bunker had drainage installed; there has never been a problem with the drainage in this bunker. The drainage worked fine when the bunker was washed out, the problem was the amount of water coming into the bunker all at once. The bunker was then tamped by hand and some edges were re-constructed. New sand was added and watered to help the sand settle and the next step will be to tamp the sand repeatedly. It may seem like a lot of work and manual labor to keep this bunker and not just fill it in, but this bunker is used often. The bunker is necessary for the way the hole was constructed. The bunker looks great and was well worth the time that was put into reconstruction.

Eagle 3, also had drainage installed earlier this year up near the white tee. The cart path would always flood and require a crew member and pump to solve the situation. Drainage was installed under the cart path and down to the ditch from the wet area under the white tees. Matt C. and I installed the drainage early in the spring and it has been working great during these spring thunderstorms that are sometimes dropping more than an inch of rain. All of the water that does not soak into Eagle three tees and  hillside winds up in the wetland area and now has a place to go.

Mountain 2 drainage located midway up the fairway was raised. This required digging the catch basin out and extending the pipe. The sod had to be removed to grade the area. The bowls that were there before are now at a grade that makes a golfers lie better. This will also help with fairway mowing and rough mowing as well as drainage. Before, the dips were a maintenance nightmare and were eventually going to lead to a broken machine. Preemptive measures will keep us from having problems in the future. Thanks to two of our interns from Kansas, Justin Lee and Mason McVey, this project was completed and looks great.

Events June 10-16 2013

Monday: Employee tournament @ 3:15 PM

Tuesday: Ladies Invitational @ 9:00 AM

Wednesday: Seniors @ 10:00 AM
                     Nine and Dine @ 5:30 PM

Thursday: Ladies @ 9:00 AM
                  Juniors @9:00 AM

Friday: NONE

Saturday: Member/ Member 9:00 AM

Sunday: Member/ Member 9:00 AM

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Improving Everyday

The golf course is recovering well from the massive rainfall last week, and I am excited about the position we are in heading into the heat of the summer.  For the most part, all turf areas are healthy, and providing a great playing surface.

The greens are coming around nicely.  We are very pleased with how well they are rolling given all the recent moisture.  They should be in typical summer form with Stimpmeter readings between 10 and 11 in a week or two.

The fairways are thickening up nicely, and much of the winter damage is healing or already healed.  We plan on applying fertilizer to them within the next week, and that should further improve the conditions.

The rough is growing like crazy.  Scott Mikesell and Daniel Taylor are mowing it as fast as possible.  We are also working diligently to get the clumps cleaned up as soon as possible.

One major challenge continues to be with our bunkers.  The rain last week resulted in more than a few washouts and flooded bunkers.  The picture below shows Mountain 3 after the rain let up last week.

The next picture shows the same bunker this morning, nearly 5 days later.

The crew has been working feverishly to repair the bunkers as well as possible given the circumstances. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work to get the bunkers back in shape.

We hope to see you out on the course in the coming days!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Event's June 3 - 9 2013

Monday: SJHS Teachers 5:30 PM

Tuesday: Men's Stag 2:30 PM

Wednesday: Senior's 10:00 AM

Thursday: PHGLA 9:00 AM
                  Men's League 4:30 PM

Friday: Miss Wyoming Tournament 1:00 PM

Saturday:  University of Sioux Falls 12:00 PM

Sunday: None