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! 

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