Monday, March 19th, 2012

For the third week in a row we have had snow on the ground at Stone Creek Golf Club and we may be looking at a fourth if the predictions hold true. Last week was unusual with over 4 inches on Tuesday. The crew stayed home but Chris and I stayed to attend the Redox seminar hosted by Gary Willis and OVS Proturf Solutions at our event center. As always Dale Miller from Redox gave an excellent presentation on Redox fertility. Seems every time I attend I learn something new.

Tuesday was also our Ladies Club opener but unfortunately that will have to be rescheduled. Sorry Ladies! By Wednesday the course was clear for the most part and we were able to get play out on schedule. As you could expect, the course was saturated. I call 4" of snow "slow release water". It began to rain on top of the snow and by Thursday we had close to 1.5" of rain. As luck would have it, the rain stopped Friday morning in time for us to mow the greens for the OPGA ProAm. Thank you Doug for the invitation to play. The bright sun and the great company made for a great day! Even with all of the precipitation throughout the week, I was very pleased how playable the course was. I especially enjoyed seeing the results all of the drainage projects that we have been working on all winter.

What the golfers didn't realize on Friday was the aftermath of the snowstorm. The snow was very wet thus the fir trees lost quite a few large branches. The crew did an unbelievable job bucking up all the branches, hauling them to our refuse pile and sweeping up all the cones from the rough and fairways.  This was all done in two days and in the midst of one inch of rainfall on Wednesday. If those of you that played on Friday get a chance, please be sure to express your gratitude to the guys for all their hard work.

All winter the repair of the large Dakota topdresser had been looming over us, and this week Steve and I finally decided to see if there was a way we could repair it, instead of ordering a new conveyor box for the side chute. Last fall the tractor jackknifed while topdressing the tees thus crunching the bottom end of the conveyor box. We checked the price on a new one and that was going to cost us close to $4K. If there is a way to repair it,I was confident Steve could find a way. We sat there and stared at it for some time then finally Steve had a plan and off he went.

He started by cutting the bottom roller out of the box then he cut the seam at the corner. With a little heat he was able to bend the box back into shape and then he welded the roller back in place. Steve is a perfectionist and wouldn't be happy with just a simple fix. By the time he finished, he had new paint and safety stickers applied, and it looked as good as new. I can't describe how happy I was to see it back together when I came back to the shop Friday after the Pro-Am. The side conveyor plays a vital roll in our aerification program. Without it we would have to make multiple trips to the sand pile thus using an abundance of time and fuel. Great work Steve!

In the coming weeks we will be applying Verde-Cal to the fairways but will be looking for some firmer conditions. As long as the course is clean we will continue on some small projects along the cart path edges. We also have quite a large debris pile to chip up as well.

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