Monday, July 18th, 2011

They say that time flies when you're having fun and that pretty much sums up the last couple weeks at Stone Creek Golf Club.When you are able to accomplish many things and in turn see the results quickly, it gives us all a sense of job fulfillment which is why we love this line of work. The entire staff has been extremely productive and their results are evident by the condition of the course.

I'll try to make this post as brief as possible but there is quite a bit I would like to cover. We started the week out with a few spray applications, beginning with our anthracnose control on Monday followed by our bi-weekly fertilizer application on Tuesday. Wednesday we topdressed the greens lightly, remaining on our every two week rotation. The greens were rolling great all week and for the Men's Club Open tournament on Saturday. Mikes fertilizer application has begun to take effect, bringing on a whole new dimension to the course. We don't normally have so much dark green growth but with the additional rainfall we are experiencing The grass is really beginning to take off.

The guys managed to trim all the bunkers once again and have them looking great for the coming week. With our busy tournament schedule this week this should allow us to stay well clear of our guests and be able to focus on some out of the way projects.

Zeferino has been busy working on the irrigation system, making adjustments to increase the efficiency of the heads. Shown here, Zef is raising a head in the approach on fifteen. This is an ongoing job which will never be complete. The sprinklers are constantly being monitored and raised as needed.

We are currently in our 2nd year of a three year program of replacing our sprinklers around our greens. We have been replacing our 730 and 760 series sprinklers with the more efficient 855 and 835 series sprinklers. This is done by simply removing the guts from the existing cans and installing the new ones. There is no digging involved. We have currently replaced all the heads around the greens through the twelve. The old sprinklers aren't going to waste. Zeferino has been using the part circle 760 sprinklers to replace full circle 730 sprinklers in the rough along the perimeter of the course. By doing this we are able to reduce our water use by half in these areas. Another way that we can make use of what we have to make simple changes and incur significant savings.

This week I placed new sand bottles in the landing areas on twelve and fifteen where we seem to accumulate a large amount of divots. It appears it is working since the bottles have been empty each morning after. I would like to implore the player assistants to keep a 5 gallon bucket of sand with them to keep these bottles full. This will help expedite the recovery of these areas.

Driving Range Continued
On a final note, to follow up with my previous post regarding the driving range tee titled "Practice Like a Pro, I am doing a little experiment of my own up on the nursery above the range. From the photo shown here, I hit 25 balls twice using two different methods. The first, which I will call the shotgun method and the second I call the caterpillar method. The photo speaks for itself in the amount of space that was taken by hitting the same amount of balls. The caterpillar method is simply accomplished by placing the ball immediately behind the previous divot. That way you are only removing a very small amount of turf each swing. If you simply make short rows of consecutive divots and space them apart by two to three inches each row, you will see a significant increase of recovery time and also reduce the impact on the overall range tee.

Here are some photos of our current tee box showing some do's and don'ts.

Shotgun Method - Not acceptable

Caterpillar Method- Acceptable

This photo was taken on the back of the lower tee box where we haven't even reseeded yet. Note how well it is healing vegetatively. This area will be ready to hit from in no time at all.
Excavation Method - Not Acceptable!!!
The days of carving large patches needs to end. These are difficult to get to fill back in by the time we come back to this area. The narrower the patch the quicker it can fill in from the sides and the new seed isn't damaged so easily by mowing.

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