Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a joyous holiday season spent with family and friends. The start of a new year brought our first recordable snowfall of the winter and the greens department is fully engulfed in annual winter tasks.
As mentioned in previous posts, construction continues on phase 1 of the maintenance compound. The new material storage structure is near completion with only the pouring of the concrete remaining.
The framework began on the chemical/fertilizer storage building last week.
The yearly tradition of tree work is in full swing as the staff is ahead of schedule (thanks to the warm December weather). Various trees throughout the property have been removed due to disease infection or damage due to adverse weather conditions. Emphasis has also been placed on continued cleaning and selective clearing of wood-lines to improve growing environments and aesthetics:
- Underbrush was removed in the area left of #3 green and #4 tee to aid in airflow for both the tee complex and green
- The entire corridor of the back tee boxes of #12 was addressed to improve light and playability for the new tee that was added this past fall
- A small crew has been dedicated to the clean-up on the right side of #6 since the first of December that has drastically improved the cosmetics from the major tree removal projects over the past couple of years
- The removal of the two large Oaks in #3 gully in addition to the limbing of the two Oaks adjacent to the new back tee is slated for the first of March.
Another aspect of the operation that is addressed during the winter months is the maintenance on the entire equipment fleet. Each piece of equipment is worked on from top to bottom by replacing bearings, belts, hoses, fittings, etc to ensure proper working order for the upcoming season. Following the preventive maintenance, each cutting unit is ground and set to be ready for action.
Every accessory that you may or may not notice on the course during the season has brought into the shop for refurbishing. Benches, trash cans, ball washers, tee markers, hazard stakes. rope stakes. cart directional signs/posts and yardage plaques are all cleaned, stripped and painted/stained. There are even a few new additions to provide that attention to detail that hopefully each of you have grown to appreciate:
Our new cart directional signs will have a wooden theme to match the benches and tee markers
The post that accompany the signs in the fairway have been painted/stained to provide that wooden look
Another important aspect of the offseason (and probably my favorite part) is the time spent brainstorming and working with the assistants towards the upcoming year. It is the opportunity to sit back and reflect on the past season while pointing out what we can improve on for the next season. Outside of the daily logistics, the assistants work closely and are exposed to preparing the budget, chemical/fertility applications and capital planning for the 2015/16 fiscal year. All valuable educational experiences for them to prepare towards their next step of becoming an Golf Course Superintendent.
Outside of the business aspect, the entire management staff takes advantage of the educational conferences provided on the local, regional and national level. All of us are attending a local seminar next week for the Greater Pitt section and I will be attending two conferences (regional and national) in February. Continuing education and networking is important for their future, my constant desire to learn and the success it can bring to the course from what we learn in a classroom and from others.
Stay tuned for a update in the next couple of weeks, til then....stay warm out there!