Friday, March 21, 2014

Tee Project Process

Last week, I mentioned that we have developed a new game plan with the Tee project of restoring all the tees to their original square intent.  If you remember from a post last October, we started this project by identifying our new teeing ground then using a sod cutter to strip the entire area followed by transplanting bentgrass sod.  The problem was that this took a lot of time for each tee because of the amount of prep work (see pic below) prior to laying the sod to ensure a level consistent teeing ground.
And let's face it, unfortunately, patience has never been my strong point.  During a couple of weeks this past fall prior to winter setting in and forcing us to stop because of the frozen tundra, we finished only two holes (8 & 9). Over the past week (yep, one week) we have identified and prepped all remaining tees on the property.
 How did we do?  Well, below is an outline of the process....
The beauty of the new process is that the shape of the tee complexes were built to support the square tees, the square shape had just been lost because of mowing patterns over the years.  Therefore, we started by looking at each individual tee to evaluate what needed to be done to recapture the square design with the least amount of disruption possible.

We started by marking the center of each tee and indicating the proper angle in relation to the landing zone or green for par 3s.

Then we measured to the sides to achieve a uniform width in relation to the cutting width of our tee mowers.  During this stage, we addressed each tee to see how much additional space we could create while maintaining a level teeing ground and considering maintenance practice (being able to operate a mower safely with the severity of slopes on our tee complexes).

After identifying the new tee surface, we took a sod cutter to the outside of the paint lines where any bent was located.

Removal was mainly located to the front and back portions of tees.  Rough sod will replace those voids.

For the overgrown areas inside the paint lines (previously maintained as rough), we began the process of scalping those triangles down to form the new square shaped tee. This process is the time saver of the project because we've eliminated the tedious process of stripping, grading and replacing bent sod.

The scalping process will take a couple of weeks as we slowly take the turf down to the existing tee height.  There is plenty of underlying bent in these areas, which was an additional factor we considered when looking at each individual tee.  How much level tee space can we create while having bent to work with. 
An additional benefit to the project was that it allowed us to address the alignment of a few tees.  As you can tell from the picture of the white tee on #14 below, the existing shape of the tee was aligned with the left fairway bunker.  This past season, we used mowing pattern to create a visual change for the golfer.

This project has now allowed us to tweak the tee slightly to the right, thus creating a properly aligned tee to the landing zone.
This time next week, we should have all the rough sod in place and a new uniform finished product! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Course/Project Update

Course Update:
We have had the good fortune of experiencing a few breaks in the weather over the past week that has allowed the Greens department to button up winter projects and transition into preparing the property for the season.  We have finished our tree removal program for the 2013/14 off season, including all the prep work that follows with removing a tree in grinding the stump and backfilling.  These areas will be seeded in a couple weeks once spring finally sets in.   Along with the long term project of cleaning up woodlines, emphasis was placed this offseason on removing deceased trees along with selecting key areas that removal would aid in improving the agronomic conditions and playability.  An example would be the 13th hole pictured below,  selective removal took place on the tee complex to address the encroaching trees while still providing a screen from the 12th.  In addition to the tee complex, removal occurred on the right side of the fairway to improve the quality of turf in landing zone of those wayward tee shots to the right.
All together the staff removed 40+ trees (not including continued work on the woodlines) over the winter.  In addition to wrapping up tree removal, the staff has begun prepping beds for the spring mulching and have started to address all the debris that occurs on the course throughout the winter months.  We have also dove back into the tee restoration project that was started this past fall with a new method of attack that will hopefully speed up the process (stay tuned for a detailed post of the process in the coming weeks).  I'm optimistic that spring is right around the corner and the next month will be extremely busy with aerification, bunker work, mulching, tee project, yardage tag installation on sprinklers and firing up those mowers!
Project Update:
The tree removal project on #12 gully is coming along nicely despite the limited work schedule due to the weather and conditions preventing accessibility.  Below are a couple of pictures that will show the progress over the past three weeks. 



The renovation of our first building in the Maintenance compound is nearing completion.  All the electrical work has been updated along with the installation of insulation and a new ceiling in the interior of the building.  These additions will drastically improve the working environment of the building as both grinders will now be able to operate at one time and the upgrades will finally provide a building that will retain heat during the winter months.  All welcomed additions to phase 1 of the maintenance compound renovation/restoration. (Thank you members!)  The first building should be complete by the end of the next week as we are just waiting on the delivery of the new doors.  Following completion, we hope to break ground on the new Chemical and Fertilizer building by the first of May.   




New roof being installed
As always, stay tuned to the blog for updates in the upcoming weeks monitoring our progress as we prepare for the season.  Till then, dust off the clubs and we look forward to seeing you on the course!