Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Final Fall Project Update

All the Fall projects have been put to bed just in time for Old Man Winter to settle in since our last post.  Here is a recap of what has transpired.
#5 Forward Tee:
Subgrade for the tee surface and surround was achieved last week for the new forward tee on #5.  The new tee has reduced the hole 15-30 yards depending on the hole location.  With Winter right around the corner (well, it's actually here) and lack of time before the ground freezes, we are going to hold off on bringing in the sand and sod to finish the project till next spring to ensure survival for the turf through the harsh winter months.  An added benefit, is that with all the dirt that was brought in to form the new tee, we can now monitor and correct any settling over the winter prior wrapping up the project.  Time aids in compaction, as well.
#5 Green Restoration:
The restoration project on #5 green was concluded over the weekend of November 8 & 9.  Imperfections and problematic surface drainage issues were addressed following the inch of rain that was received on the day of my last post.  The entire surface was then re-floated and received one last percentage of slope test before the process of returning the sod began.  Here are some pictures:
 Prior to laying sod, we applied soil amendments.
Their crew starting to lay the putting surface

With the surface exposed, our crew took advantage of the opportunity to lay the new bentgrass collar that would eventually be completed next spring with the remaining greens during phase 2 of the collar/intermediate project.

Very tedious process to lay a putting surface

Once all the sod was laid, we used sand to fill the seams and protect the edges over the winter from wind desiccation
We were fortunate to catch a really nice week for of 60's and even a day in the 70s the following week to encourage the sod to tack before the colder temperatures and brutal winter winds set in.  Last week, I decided to put a grow cover on the surface before the "Winter Vortex" started.

The grow cover will stay on till the first or second week of December, depending on when I decide to pull the trigger on our annual snow mold application.  I'd like to get a topdressing or two and one additional touch-up of seams prior to returning the grow cover for the remainder of the winter months.  Of course, a solid snow cover would also be beneficial. 
#17 Middle Tee Expansion:
With a few days left on the rental of the mini-excavator, I decided to tackle a project that has been bounced around to expand the middle (White) tee on 17 to provide more options with course set-up and allow the opportunity to keep the blue set of tee markers down below on a consistent basis because of the added length that was gained to the tee box.  Here are some pictures of the project:

Before Picture (Keep this one in the memory bank)

Before Picture from the side
Once the area behind the existing surface was stripped, we began hauling in dirt

I then started to work the dirt to extend the surface and create our tie-in to the existing slopes

The tee top itself was constructed to allow drainage of the back while providing a base to add sand while remaining level with the existing tee surface

Once we were on grade, I tracked and tracked to compact

Nice side angle to show how much the tee was lengthen

Standing on the back of the tee (refer back to the first picture)
View from the side (refer back to the second picture)
Like the forward tee on #5, the project is ready to go for sand and sod next spring!
It was a fun and productive Fall on the course with projects being completed both in-house and through contractors that will greatly influence the playability and plant health of this golf course for years to come. 
Look for a post during the first of December on the progress on the Maintenance Compound and a status update on #5 green once the grow cover is removed for the snow mold application.  Till then, stay warm and on behalf of the entire Greens department, have a great Turkey day, enjoy your time with family and safe travels!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Project Update #3

Rainy days afford the opportunity for me to play catch-up with the business side of the operation and set aside a little time for a blog post.  Here is an update on Fall projects over the last week:

XGD Installation:

XGD mapped out their final green on late Monday night, which was completed on Wednesday afternoon to bring the project to a close.  With completion, we now have 17 of 18 greens containing the XGD drainage system.  As mentioned in my previous post, timing conflicts will prevent the installation of #5 till next spring or fall.

#3 Black/Blue Tee:

The Tee surface for the new Black/Blue tee was sodded and completed this past Friday. 

Perimeter of tee was first created with string-line and measuring tape to ensure the width of equal mowing lines and the square design feature that we have been working on for all tees.

Starting to lay sod

Plywood was used while laying to reduce imperfections.

The finished product.
The remainder of the complex will be buttoned up next spring following irrigation installation and re-routing the water fountain line.  To help with cost, the sod that will be created from the remaining  holes of the intermediate project will be used.  
#5 Forward Tee:
We continued to work on the new forward tee for #5 throughout the week.  Subgrade was achieved Wednesday afternoon and we had begun cutting the actual tee surface prior to the rain setting in.

Lots of dirt was hauled in.

In addition to forming the tee, we brought in dirt to form a walkway on the hillside to soften the walk from cartpath to tee.

  More Dirt!

Lots of Dirt = Lots of Compacting

 Starting to cut the actual tee top.

Side view of tee.  We are planning to create a stone wall (like we did on the new bed on #13 tee) in the corner to frame the tee.
Today's rain will likely halt progress for the remainder of the week, but with a good forecast for the first of next week, we should be bringing in sand for the tee surface by the middle of next week.

#5 Green:

Work on raising the front left portion of #5 green began on Tuesday morning.  A lot transpired in the two days of work with knowing the strong chance of rain was in the forecast.

First, Aspen began stripping the green

Side view of the portion of the green that was stripped

Close-up view on the area, Aspen would roll each piece prior to removing

Each piece was then moved to an area behind the green, a system was used to return each piece to its exact same location once the re-surfacing is completed

View of the green after being stripped

Their operator then took the posi-trac to begin scratching the existing surface to churn up the material

I think he needed a break, little dizzy maybe...

Then using the bucket, he began to pull material from the back of the green to the front. The back of the green is being lowered a touch to help generate material for the front and balance out the 9% slope from back to front.

Throughout the process, Alfonso was checking slope percentage
Material that was developed from XGD was then hauled to the green for additional fill, 5 total dump trucks were brought in, including a couple of big workman loads as well.

The material was pushed and worked throughout the putting surface, here is a good picture to show how much has been added....take notice to the elevation change between the feet of the employee and the bottom of the posi-trac.  The employee is standing on the existing grade of the green. 

View from front to back

The Architect stopped by on Wednesday morning and together we worked out final details

We shot grades to see where additional material needed to be moved to suttle out the slope

Aspen then used a sandpro to feather out the material in areas that were identified to help with the tie-in to the surrounding contours.

Once we were all happy, the crew began to put a rake on the entire surface to skim away larger particles and rocks

Next they started to bring in a 6-2-2 (same drainage mix used in XGD drain lines) sand mix for final grade.  The sand was easier to work with in raking to fill lows, imperfections and addressing additional areas that needed to be raised.

The operator then used the sand-pro again to push out the piles before the crew put one final rake on the new and improved putting surface.
The rain prevented work on today, but allowed me the opportunity to identify lows (because puddles formed) that will need to be address when Aspen resumes work tomorrow.  We achieved exactly what we were looking for in the form of surface drainage as water moved from back to front, hit the small spine that was created and diverted to both the front left and right corner of the green without going into the bunkers to create washouts.
I would expect a day to iron out the wrinkles from the rain and we should have a sodded putting surface by the end of the weekend.
Phase 1 of Maintenance Compound:
Excavation work began for Phase 1 of the new Maintenance Compound with the construction of Material Storage Bin with overhang and a Chemical/Fertilizer storage building.  Both additions will greatly influence the efficiency and fiscal integrity of the Greens operation.
Currently, our storage bins are located at the low point of the property (where all water runs to outside of into the shop) and do not contain any form of canopy for protection from the weather outside of purchased tarps.  The end result is a loss in material due to contamination because of  exposure to weather conditions and the inability to hold material in bulk.  The ability to keep products dry and clean will allow our purchasing to be in bulk for sand, gravel, mulch, topsoil and greens mix cutting down on cost with delivery, cost associated with being bagged and product loss due to contamination.  The new material bins will be located below the line of pine trees on the north end of our compound with swells diverting water around and a canopy to keep materials dry.

Removing topsoil

The four stakes indicate the corners of the structure with four separate bins within

Getting to grade
The new Chemical/Fertilizer storage building will be located on the west side of the compound directly beside my current office.  This building is going to make drastic improvements in the efficiency of our operation.  Currently, products including chemcials or fertilizers are located in three various locations throughout the compound in areas that are not temperature regulated.  Having the ability to have everything in one central climate control area will improve the time associated with fill-up during applications and increase the shelf life of products.  The fiscal aspect for one of the biggest line items of the budget will also be influenced because of storage capacity allowing us to buy in bulk and take advantage of purchasing programs.
The first step was to take out the brush that was located where the building will stand
I'm meeting with the Structural Contractor tomorrow (Friday) morning to stake out the footprint of the new building.  The excavation company will then work on the subgrade of that site before beginning to bring in the fill for both locations over the weekend.
That's about all I have for now, I'll get an update out to everyone the first of next week with a finished look at #5.  Till then, have a great weekend!!