Thursday, April 30, 2009

Been a While

As you can tell it has been a while since I have posted.  The season has picked up and I am getting very busy.  We have done many projects and we are getting a lot done.  I have also added the twitter updates onto the blog to keep people more informed on how we are doing on the course.  I will get a couple more posts up soon.  I have plenty of pictures of our projects and can't wait to share them.  Through the summer months it will be hard to have any kind of consistency but bear with me.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Green Committee Meeting

Saturday the 4th of April we had our monthly Green Committee Meeting.  We get together each month and talk about course conditions.  We address issues on the course that need attention or explain how we are managing certain areas of the course.
I write a report for the committee each month explaining what we have accomplished, what we are working on, and what is coming up on the schedule of things that need to be done.  It has been a successful outline for many years for me at each committee meeting I have been part of.
Here is our last meeting outline that i have created.

Green Committee Meeting

Presented to The Rim Green Committee


Certified Golf Course Superintendent

    Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

April 04, 2009


Course Condition:


The Course is now greening up for the Spring.  Only the North facing slopes are slow to green up.


Projects Completed:


-                     Mulch on all walk-ups

-                     Lightning repair

-                     #13 bunker irrigation

-                     Painted tee markers

-                     Drainage #9

-                     Fairway aerification

-                     Cutworm control

-                     Light trap installation


Projects in Process:


-                     Tee aerification

-                     Pig damage repair

-                     Portable usage

-                     Creek Maintenance

-                     Drain leveling


Projects Planned:


-                     Greens aerification

-                     Dead tree removal #2, #7

-                     Wall to wall fertilizer application


Staff Update:


-                     New intern form Walla Walla, Washington, Andrew Fortin

-                     Joe Trombino, Assistant Superintendent received Top Assistant in Golfdom Magazine.

-                     New Orleans presentation

Fairway Aerification

This last week we aerified the fairways and approaches.  We used 5/8" O.D.tines and backfilled with mortar sand.  Last year we budgeted for USGA spec sand, but after doing some thinking I sent a sample of mortar sand to Hummel for testing and comparison of our soils.  The test came back positive and we were able to save over 7 dollars a ton.  When it takes about 1000 ton to complete the fairways it becomes a heafty savings. 
Our fairways have no soil whatsoever.  We have 2-3 inches of thatch and then decomposed granite.  Since no aerification practices were kept up over the past 10 years since the courses conception the fairways have just gotten worse.  With no cultivation practices in place it was a chore to get anything more than two inches in depth.  This year we moved it to two and a half inches but had several problems with the aerifiers breaking down.
When I first arrived on the property the fairways were so wet since all the turf was grown in the top 2".  The average drive would plug in the thatch layer and the main complaint was why can we never get roll.  The members would say they couldn't wait until winter when the course freezes to get better roll.  Heartbreaking comments when your passion is golf course management. 
With the aerification process now in place we are getting much better roll.  Our goal is to enhance the soil enough to get roots to go beyond the thatch layer.  The course has never been in better shape since the grow-in of the club.  Back when they had no thatch problem on the entire course. Now times have changed and we are trying to rescue a course from years of neglect.  It is pretty nice to know that you can make a difference just by following the basics of turf management.
Back to our operation on the fairways.  We aerified the fairways, intermediate cut and approaches.  We used two tractor aerifiers to punch holes and three vacuums to clean up the plugs left behind.  While the vacuums cleaned the fairway I had a blower crew following them to do the final touches before we spread the sand.  We used two Dakota topdressers towed behind tractors to spread about 2 tenths of an inch of sand over the surface and then dragged it into the holes.  No fertilizer was applied before aerification, but 3/4 N/M will be applied this next week
 over the entire course.
Once we dragged the fairways with the steel drag mat we needed to follow up with a tractor blower to take care of missed plugs and any heavy areas that were difficult to drag in.  The course aerification has turned out to be very successful despite the amount of breakdowns we had throughout the process.  Last year was our first go at the process and it took us two weeks with many breakdowns and in-adequate vacuums.  This year we rented a vacuum and got it done in four days.
I think we all know the importance of aerification and this is the first membership that can't wait for us to aerify the fairways.  They understand the fatal mistake of not being consistent in the past and they now have to pay for it with below average playing conditions form the abundance of thatch.  

The Rim Golf Club is a Great Place to Live and Play.

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