Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ballmark Repair and Divot Party

Our First Ballmark Repair and Divot party took place last Friday. We had a great turnout of 20 members. They were able to complete all 18 holes in about one hour. We started at 400pm on friday with a tutorial on ballmark repair. I explained to our group that using a tee can be detrimental to the surface and starting from the apex of the ballmark and pushing down and forward as you work your way around the ballmark. Many members had great questions on the importance of ballmark repair. The one that I think many people have is, "Is it worth fixing an old ballmark that has already turned brown?" The answer is yes. Even if the ballmark has turned brown. Leveling the surface and pushing some of the healthy grass closer together will help repair that spot quicker than if it remains un-repaired. The members then split up into foursomes and we started off of number one and number ten. With ten members on each side we were able to quickly make our way through the whole course. The members did a great job filling divots and fixing ballmarks. A special thanks to Don Davis Golf Course Superintendent of Chaparral Pines for assisting in keeping the members stocked with sand and seed. It couldn't have been done without his help. I would like to thank all of our attendees for making time to help the course. It was great to see a wonderful turnout. Hopefully this post will show how much devotion our members have with the course. It was a great to see everyone take time from their busy schedules to make a difference on the course. The next party will be held in the spring. With the weather turning much colder and play slowing down we will start our winter clean up. If you would like to join us at the next party keep your eye out for a letter closer to warm weather when play begins to pick up. Justin Ruiz, CGCS justinr@therimgolfclub.org
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Divot and Ballmark Party

Tomorrow is the day we have our Divot and Ballmark Party. All of you that have signed up or will be showing up to help will have a great time socializing with other members while helping the our course become better.
Once everyone arrives we will get started with a quick tutorial on the proper way to fix a ballmark. Once we have finished our instruction we will break up in groups depending on how many people show up and start filling divots and fixing ballmarks. We will have two carts full of sand and seed going with each group. We will also supply everyone with ballmark repair tools to take to the greens.
After we are finished we will all meet in the lounge for happy hour. This will give a chance to everyone to ask any questions about the course. It will be the first Divot and ballmark repair party at The Rim so we can gather information that will help us streamline the process.
This may be the last chance this season for the work party but next season we are planning on scheduling more. Hope everyone enjoys and if you have any question feel free to contact me.
Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS
928-951-3421 cell

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Storm Damage Re-cap

I wanted to take the time to share with you the damage we received from the storm a little more than a month ago. The storm yielded nearly over 2 inches in about an hour. That much rain in a short amount of time cause massive washouts throughout the course. The following pictures help show the extent of the damage. It took us nearly four days to clean everything up.
That weekend we also had The Gods Must be Crazy tournament. I guess that was fitting since it was a crazy weekend. Some of the damage was worsened by the surrounding firewise work in the native areas. More debris washed down onto the fairways than I have ever seen in the time I have been here.
I also want to thank the members for the positive comments they gave us for the quick cleanup we were able to do. The crew worked hard over the weekend to make the course playable for the tournament. Those guys appreciated all the positive feedback.
If you have any comments or questions please feel free to contact me.
Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pine Needles Turning Yellow

Some of the pine trees are starting to shed their old pine needles. I wanted to point this out because each year we have a few questions on the health of our trees. This process is completely natural. The trees around the pro shop and clubhouse are the most noticeable since many people see those as they come in for golf.
If there are any question regarding the pine trees please contact me but I hope this short message answers your questions.
Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Planet Air on the Greens

Yesterday we used the Planet Air on the greens. With the cancellation of the greens aerification this fall, we decided to get some cultivation done. As you can see in the photos disruption is nil. For golf today you will not even notice any difference in the greens. The slices may be noticable but will not effect the ball roll.
Along with the Planet Air on the greens we were able to get fertilizer wall to wall on the golf course. We have about one more month of growing season left and then we will put it to bed with our final fall fertilizer application. We are about half way through with the bunker sand depth check. We are going through and getting any weeds and taking care of any liner that may be showing. I will have a future blog post on the condition of our bunkers. We are also still working on the vertical mowing of the tees. Although slow going and a little disruptive on the greens, the thatch is removed and replaced with sand. This will help firm tees for next season. Also a future blog post will futher explain our process. Have a great week and if there are any question please contact me. Stay up to date by checking the blog on a regular basis. Justiin C. Ruiz, CGCS justinr@therimgolfclub.org
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Water Conservation

I wanted to show the different ways that we manage the water usage at The Rim Club coming into this dry monsoon season to hopefully answer any questions our members may have. We have done our best through the season to conserve in many areas and our major savings has come from the diligent work on our central control, physical spinkler operation and supplemental irrigation.
Our most important piece of equipment is our central control computer. It controls our 2500 heads on the golf course by calculating the Evapotranspiration Rate and managing the operation of each head through individual control. Each head can be adjusted in the computer using percentages to apply more or less water from that sprinkler head. All heads have been designed using triangulation which means each area will be watered by three heads surrounding it. The dry areas generally seem to show up in these areas and it is a balancing game to get all the areas watered enough for turf health but not too much for playability issues.
With that being said we have done major reprogramming to our computer this last winter to prepare ourselves for this season. We have balanced the percentages from rough to fairways since many rough heads were more than twice the percentage than the fairway heads that they were triangulated with. Using this method we were able to begin reducing the moisture along the perimeter of the fairways and spread it though the whole fairway for better playability and water savings.
The next thing we have done over the winter was to make our computer's dry run which estimates our nightly output to match our actual pump station out put by checking and reprogramming every head designation to match the type of sprinkler, nozzle and arc in the field. This gives us leverage when we are reducing water to know exactly how much we are cutting back.
Our last accomplishment with the balancing of the percentages in the computer has given us the ability to be much more accurate when we use ET. Over the summer the plant uses more water and in the past we could not water to match that usage. With the new balance we are watering much more accurately and it allows us to not only save water but put the water right where it is needed which gives us both playability and presentation.
The fact that we had one of the driest monsoon seasons in history and to have the course stay solid through the summer was a testament to our hard work. The history of running low on water was partially the fact that the water was not managed efficiently. The work that we have done has freed us up to concentrate on other problems. It also has given us the ability to manage the course with less man power since we have lessened the amount of handwatering needed by the crew. It has been great timing since we are under more pressure than ever with the falling economy. If we were unable to solve these problem The Rim Golf Club would not be the what it is today.
If you have any question or want more detail into the process or saving our water please contact me.
Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Rim Golf Club Clip Show

Here is a clip show of the past few years at The Rim Golf Club. These are the issues we have dealt with over the past while. Great shots of lightning damage and all the work our crew has done.
Hope you enjoy!
Justin Ruiz, CGCS

Couple's Member/Guest

We are coming up on one of our great tournament of the year, the couples member/guest. The tournament is a good tournament to introduce the golf courses to your guests and let them enjoy the cool Rim weather. The tournament is at a great time of year. I hope all the members and their guests will enjoy our course. The greens shall be rolling at a good and swift speed for the tournament barring any nasty weather. We will have a good turn out and it will be a fun weekend. The major questions that have arised are about the verticutting of the tees. We completed the tees 1-6 last week and were able to topdress the last few yesterday. These tees shall be in better condition for the tournament. This week we turned our focus to just the back tees on the rest of the complexes since they will not be used for the tournament. We wanted to make sure that nothing new would verticut for the tournament tees. We will have a great tournament this weekend and if there are any question about the work that is going on this week and the concern about the tournament please feel free to contact me. I am available for any questions and we will make sure that we steer away from any projects that will affect play for the weekend. On a side note we have been confirmed that we will have the hole of the month next month in Golfdom magazine. Our #13 hole with the backdrop of elephant rock will be published in the magazine along with a small description of the hole. When the issue is released I will make sure we have a few extra hard copies and I will post the link to send out to the members. Justin Ruiz, CGCS justinr@therimgolfclub.org
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009


It is that time of year in the Rim Country. Overnight temperatures are getting close to freezing and the chance of frost is inevitable. Fall is a great season with many colors to look at along the forest but it also means frost delays are here.
Photo Courtesy of Castle Pine Golf Maintenance cccpgcm.blogspot.com/
We have adjusted are start times to reduce any frost delay during the winter months. We also have had cold enough weather to have frost stick around long enough to even delay our 1100am start time. We will do our best to get the course ready during the cold weather to reduce any kind of delay that may occur.
During the
times of cold winter weather we will need to delay traffic on the turf until frost is melted. We want to avoid frost damage because recovery is very slow this time of year. Damage from a cart or a walker can take more than a week to recover. The damage will start out purple in color and turn to a straw brown as the leaves begin to dry.
I like to use the analogy of a piece of glass shattering when I explain frost damage. When the leaf blade of the plant is frozen and becomes crushed by a tire or a shoe it is basically like a a piece of glass shattering into many pieces. Microscopically when the leaf blade sustains the damage the cells shatter into many pieces. The pieces move through the plant destroying cells in its path. Once the plant begins to thaw the plant fluid leaks out and the leaf blade looks water soaked and purple. The leaf blade is dead and will turn brown. Rarely does this damage affect the crown of the plant so the plant itself is not dead. The problem is that growth is slowed during cold weather which makes for a slow and painstaking recovery.
With that being said, we ask that walkers and cart traffic avoid turf while it is frozen to protect the grass. If there are any questions about frost and how we make the decision to delay golf please contact me.
Justin Ruiz, CGCS

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Using Growing Degree Day Prediction Models

Only a few years back The Rim Golf Club was devastated by multiple pests. Disease and insects attacked fairways and rough brining the course to it's knees. My first season here my assistant and I created an Integrated Management Program to directly address our specific pests. Our best way to predicting for the problems so that we would not endure the same damage ever again we decided on using growing degree days to anticipate our pest's development. We started out with our worst pests.
A growing degree day is basically a measurement using a base temperature at which insect development begins. If the average of the high and low temperature is above that minimum threshold than degree days are accumulated. This can help us predict when different stages of an insect will develop and when we can target the most vulnerable stage.
With this information in our hands we were able to anticipate our pests for the last 2 seasons and have become very successful. We have since expanded our IPM program to cover more pests and one day plan on becoming accurate enough to make use of strictly biological and organic control methods.
Now that we know when to expect certain stages of insect development we can also make use of cultural practices to help discourage egg laying or disrupt critical stages with cultivation. This powerful tool has helped us bring The Rim Golf Club to the next level in quality. Our effort have been recognized by the positive movement in our national rankings.
Even though our process is not an overnight change in quality but as each season goes on and we reduce the stress to the turf from multiple directions we will continue to get healthier. Each season will be better as the turf will gain more endurance against outside antagonists. If anyone has questions about our program or how we calculate the degree days feel free to contact me. We have stumbled across some great information to make things even more accurate each year.
Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS

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