Monday, May 31st, 2010

Happy Memorial Day and thanks to all that have served our great country!
I was hoping for a better day today but it is still raining. The course is draining well but the conditions are still too wet to let the carts on the fairways. This weather pattern is going to have to change soon. In the last week we have received 3.05 inches of rain with Monday being the only day we did not receive any precipitation. This is a little out of the ordinary for our typical conditions. The greens feel a little soft to me, perhaps affecting speed a little bit. Once we get into warmer temperatures they should roll out nicely. Matt Zeffino (KGW TV) has said that this pattern will change and we are due for some nice weather soon. Lets not hope for another "Junuary"! Photo on right, Jim and Steve make their rounds pumping out our slowly draining bunkers.

Regardless of the weather we have still been able to get things done. Thursday we aerified and reseeded the driving range tee. We also sprayed it with a little nitrogen to give it a boost. The area under the tent didn't fair to well so we aerated and seeded that too. We also verticut and sanded the greens this week, in the rain! Sometimes you have to learn to make the best of it and the crew has developed a method of getting it done with out waiting for the sand to dry before it is brushed in.

Friday Zeferino and Jorge placed enough sod to tie in the cart path to the new walkway between the buildings. That should of at least kept the mud down over the weekend. I think we will do more sodding in back instead of seed just so we can get it done quicker. The landscape bids came in over the weekend and I will be reviewing them with Gordon and Doug. I am pleased with the work of Specialized Construction. They have done a great job with all the concrete around the building. We have a few more small projects for them and they will be putting finishing touches on the planter and the retainment wall when the weather cooperates.

As I was driving around the course on Friday I noticed quite a few critters in and around the lakes and reflected how nice it is to be able to see them so close up and on a regular basis. Our turtle is back this year and likes to find refuge on a soaked bale of barley straw. The buffers along the lake edges are full of nesting Red-wing blackbirds. Some have hatched and many nests still have eggs. If you are not careful while looking for a ball you may get a gentle reminder on the top of your head letting you know you are alittle too close.

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Course Conditions
Did I mention rain yet? What is up with this weather? Please tell me there is going to be light at the end of the rainbow! Like many, we have seen enough rain to last us 'till July. As wet as it has been the course is actually very playable. This morning I drove across many of the fairways and with over 2" of rain over the weekend everything appeared to have drained very well. We wrapped up all the aerification but now just have the sand to apply to the fairways. This week will be questionable by the looks of the forecast. It can be extremely dangerous hauling the topdresser around with four tons of sand. We will do what we can. Tomorrow will be a good day to verticut the greens and topdress, we are scheduled to fertilize later in the week and will watch the weather for a break in the action. So much work at this time is weather dependent and it can be frustrating waiting for an opportunity to get it done.

Last week was busy with all the tournaments and it was good to see the new event center getting used. Specialized Construction is doing a great job on the walkways. They should be pouring the west entry today sometime. Friday we got quite a bit done by adding a french drain along the west end of the building and procuring a number of large boulders from the fourteenth hole to place within the landscape. Last week I met with a couple landscape contractors that can help us put everything back together again. I should be getting some quotes in by Tuesday and will hope to get them going soon. I have a call into Chris Anderson Painting and should have an update on his schedule soon.

This morning while driving around I saw our first turtle sunbathing between cloud breaks. It is good to see them back. It is always a good sign to see turtles in the ponds, it's a good sign of a healthy ecosystem.
All of the lighting project has been completed and everything is working well. The new lights in our equipment bay and in the cart barn are way brighter than what we had before. With the new carts and chargers and carts along with the new lighting system in the cart barn we saved over $300 on our power bill over what we did last year at the same time.

Monday, May,17th.

Course Conditions
Last week we got quite a bit done. I am so pleases with how the crew is doing managing the course and dealing with the projects that I keep throwing at them around the clubhouse. Our goal last week was to finish aerifying the fairways and we fell short by three fairways. I didn't count for the 6am split tee on Thursday which limited us on what we could get done. Next week we have four shotgun tournaments but I am confident that we can pick them off by Wednesday. We have 12, 13, and 15 left to do. After we finish we will begin to topdress. On a side note I am going to begin to lobby for another tractor in the future so we will  be able to topdress right behind the aerifyer and have everything done much faster. There are other time when we could use an extra tractor like in the fall when we are blowing leaves and having to topdress at the same time. I think it would really speed thing up and would be worth the investment.

Last week we also verticut the greens and topdressed them. This was the first verticut since we aerified them and they really needed it. They are rolling so much smoother now. This week we will be lowering the cut down to .120 which we will remain at for the remainder of the season. After Mike fertilized them on Friday the greens are looking great!

Gaffney Lane 6th Graders
Friday was our annual bird watching field trip with Kristi McQueen's 6th grade class from Gaffney Lane Elementary School. This was our 5th season hosting the kids and somehow we managed to have another wonderful day. The weather was magnificent and the kids had a blast. 

Each year I ask a group of volunteers to help guide the kids around the course and locate birds. I am so grateful for their support. They are all ardent bird watcher and bring their scopes to zoom in and give the kids a great experience and help them see what our wonderful wildlife looks like up close. In the picture above, from right to left I would like to recognize Steve Berliner, Sally Shook, Ellen Spitaleri, Dick Shook, Terry Flannigan, and Ron Spencer. Steve Berliner is an accomplished photographer and has won many contests nationally and internationally. Steve took these pictures (below) of a Common Yellowthroat and a European Starling while waiting for the bus to arrive. I bet you didn't know Starlings could be so beautiful. This is the same view that many of the kids got to experience during the short hour they had to visit.

Below the kids are looking through a notebook of Steve's photos that he brought to share. These pictures are so incredible. I can vision a gallery of them on the wall in our new event center!

Event Center
Speaking of the new event center things are coming along nicely. I did a preliminary walk through Friday afternoon and found a few blemishes but for the most part the building looks great. It sounds like we have one more signature to go to receive for our occupancy which should happen sometime on Monday.

The sidewalks are in along the east and south entries. Jason and Rick are currently working on the west entrance. I am sure they will be pouring by Tuesday afternoon. The left over spoils have been getting dumped east of the clubhouse which we will be grading and seeding when they are finished. We have been using the fairway aerification plugs to fill in the low grade along the north side of the building. I think it will turn out nice after we are done. Once we get the path tied in to the sidewalk between the buildings, we should have a nice avenue for the golfers to exit the course from the eighteenth.

This week I will be obtaining bids to tie in the landscape. Gordon suggested it since he realized that having the crew do it this time of year may be a little taxing when there are still plenty of work for us to be doing on the golf course.

Monday, May 10th

Course Conditions
We finally saw some warm weather last week which really dried things out nicely. After today's rain passes I think we should be in for another good stretch. We have a few things on our priority list this week and that is to begin and finish our aerification. With one tractor we are limited to one chore at a time and for now we are going to plan on getting all the fairways punched and harvested this week and then begin topdressing next week.

The greens are due to be verticut and topdressed this week so we will plan on doing that on Wednesday. Since we have a 6am split tee on Thursday we will plan on fertilizing the greens on Friday, setting them up for a nice weekend.

We  have a lot to do this week including the work around the new tournament building. We are currently waiting on a plumbing inspection so we can start filling in the low below the deck.  As you can see (left) the sewer pipe had to be set pretty shallow to meet the grade to the septic tank. I may take quite a bit of material to fill and cover the pipe so we have decided to fill the low with the aerification cores from the fairways. I think it will work well since they will be easy to work with and we should have plenty of them. It is going to be a little messy for a couple days but as soon as we get the inspection things should go quickly.

Jason and Rick are beginning to set forms on the sidewalk this morning. If the weather cooperates the will be pouring by 2pm. In order to meet ADA specs off the east entry there is going to be step to the deck. We will have to get creative and tie the sidewalk into the deck later. Our first priority is to get our occupancy permit this week so we will be addressing only those things necessary for that to happen.

Wildlife Update
The jury is out on the coyote and the beacon project. I think they worked well on the migratory geese or the Canadians if you will. The local geese, or Americans I call them seem to be tolerating them. Last week out of the blue 16 goslings showed up. We had no idea where they were nesting and for that matter if they were nesting at all. We always keep a close eye on the lakes for nests and there was no sign this year which means our counter measures may have worked but apparently that only caused them nest off site and return once they hatched.  This will only add an additional 336 pounds of goose poop a week until they decide to fly the coop. They usually hang out until around mid July when they have grown enough to fly. I don't know where they go but they usually come back in the fall. In the mean time Bob will be diligently blowing the tees and greens each morning.
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