Monday, March 1st, 2010

This week couldn't be more different weather wise but what can we expect for Oregon in the winter. At least Monday was nice so we could mow the fairways as we predicted. As you can see by the photo above we started our new mowing pattern. After we get a few bugs worked out and get into a regular routine I think this is going to work out well. It is definitely faster, the only challenge was seeing the lines because of the lack of dew and the light amount of growth. The look is a good change. I really think we can knock off an hour on our mowing.

With the great weather we were also able to get the rough completely mowed for the first time of the year. The outer rough is gradually beginning to green and many of the thin areas are filling in as well. A few spots here and there were damaged by the freeze, two in particular are next to the seventh green and between the bunkers next to the eighteenth green. Our plan will be to lightly aerify them with some old mini times and fill the holes with a sand and seed combination that will fill in as the ground temperatures warm up.

It is almost time once again to fertilize the greens and tees. We will be looking for a weather window anytime to get that done. If we are lucky we will be able to get it done this week. This week we will also be receiving 1500 pounds of Verde-Cal to apply to the greens and tees. This will be our annual lime application. Last year we started using this product and had exceptional results. This will be the first time on the tees which should greatly improve the fertilizer utilization. By keeping the pH levels in check we are allowing more nutrients to become available to the plant. Our target pH is around 6.5. The tees have been averaging in the 5.0's so this will definitely help.

Last year after we applied it to the fairways we saw a three tenth increase in the soil pH within four weeks. We also had some of the most consistent fairways we have seen. The fairways are scheduled this week as well. We will be using the large balloon tire buggy and will try to schedule within a good weather window.

We got a good start last week on armoring the turn-out on thirteen. We should be wrapping that up either today or tomorrow. We are hoping to be able to start on the irrigation project along the path on the right side of the thirteenth fairway. That area has always been too dry in the summer and tended to wither away and loose turf. We are going to ad six Toro 2001's along the path edge and remove a head on the far side of the fairway that was placed too far out of play. We will be able to use that wire to run the new valve. I really think it will make a big difference in the play of that hole.

Crew Update
Both Carl and Bob are on our injured reserve list. Carl had an accident on his new motorcycle and shattered his wrist, receiving eight screws and a plate to pull it all back together again. He should be out for nine weeks but knowing Carl he won't be able to stay away that long. Once the grass starts growing he will be able to mow the rough without a problem. Bob took his trike out for a spin (he calls it his trike but it is one of those stand on things that you sway side to side and make it go) and thought he could jump a speed bump. He said the next thing he knew his was on the ground in a mess and couldn't figure out why there was blood running down his face. Another good reason to wear a helmet, six stitches! He made it to work the next day but asked if he could go home early after his morning chores. If you know Bob, nothing can keep him from doing his job.

I am beginning to get some applications in for summer work, I will be filling two positions and will give those that worked for us last year first shot a reapplying. Matt Coombs who interned with us last summer did get an "A" on his internship paper. I am very proud of him. He is now seeking employment in Northern California and has been getting lots of interest. I wish him all the best.

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