Week of 9/19/16

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We had another great week on both courses with the weather continuing to be our friend.  We were able to get the greenside bunker on #17 MC completed and will be ready for play this weekend.  All of the MC bunkers were edged and flymowed and nearly all of the lakes and out of play rough were detailed.  We also sprayed the entire MC with a growth regulator to continue to increase turf density and decrease our clippings.  On the TC we applied our fall fertilizer wall to wall to put us in good shape going into overseed roughly six week from now.  Here are some highlights:

MC BUNKER PROJECT

The guys really got after it this week and are packing the new sand in the left greenside bunker on #17 as I type.  Going forward the plan will be to start on #12 greenside on 10/3/16.  We will knock out the remaining back nine greenside bunkers before returning to the front nine.  Once the back nine are done, play will start off of #10 during the week to allow our crew to have more time on the front nine before play hits them.imageimageimage

Due to all of the rains, the guys had to start by removing all of the anchor already installed and clean all of the sock and drainage pipe.  The rains washed a lot of silt into the pipe and sock.  Without replacing and cleaning, the drainage would not have worked properly.

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DETAILS

We finally were dry enough to take care of some out of play rough that we currently mow a few times a year.  These areas are treated as native or secondary rough because they are out of play.  imageimage

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We also have a lot of branches from our long overdue tree trimming.  We were able to borrow a chipper from Shadow Hawk and began chipping the branches to lessen our waste.imageimageimage

TURN ON #16TC

We have upgraded our barrier on the turn on #16 TC.  This is the area where the bayou has failed and is washing away right at the edge of the cart path.  We are still waiting on a definitive plan from the Harris County Flood District to correctly address the issue.  Eventually the plan will be to re-route the cart path through the hole and abandon the area that has been washed out.imageimage

Week of 9/12/16

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Despite another short week, due to the two course shotgun tournament on Monday, the team accomplished a lot.  During the Monday event, we were able to focus on bunker details on the driving range and U of H practice area, as well as the First Tee facility.  All of the driving range tee divots were also filled on Monday.  Also, we edged all of the bunkers on the MC as well as focused more on weedeating lakes.  We were able to topdress the MC greens on Tuesday, using our kiln dried sand and rotary spreaders.  Despite not being able to begin our regular mowing routine until Tuesday, the crew still managed to mow out both courses as scheduled.  Both courses are in excellent shape and we hope you get out this weekend to enjoy them.

MC TOPDRESS GREENS

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Using the kiln dried sand really allows for the particles to settle nicely into the canopy and remain there.  Using the rotary spreaders also provides less of a footprint on the greens as well.  Overall, we used nearly 4,500 lbs of sand on the course.  That comes out to nearly 30lbs/1000 square feet!

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We also finished up sodding the tree well on #17  and will be adding pine straw to finish it off.  

 

TC DETAILS

Now that the turf is back under control on the TC we have been able to focus some more attention to neglected details.  Guys have been working hard to expose the bricks near tees and greens on the edge of cart paths and we trimmed all the trees between #3/#8 and between #3/#11.  This really opens up these areas and will allow our mowers better access as well as improve the plant health surrounding the trees as more sunlight is now available.

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CLUBHOUSE FLOWERS

We have purchased some flowers to replace the ones that died from the heavy rains.  We started at the main entrance sign and will be working our way to the other three signs.  Hopefully the weather continues to cooperate and the flowers stay healthy.image

Week of 9/5/16

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Despite just over an inch of rain on Labor day and losing a full day of work due to the holiday, the guys really have both courses back dialed in.  This was no small feat starting in the middle of last week and continued through the weekend and this week.  Guys worked late evenings, even on the weekend to catch up on all of our mowing.  We are really proud of the crew we have and the tremendous progress they made over the last 10 days.

This week we focused on catching up with our mowing and were able to spray growth regulator on the entire TC and all of the short grass on the MC.  We did this in anticipation of this weekends rain to ensure the turf remains in check even if we aren’t able to get on it to mow due to rain.  While most of the week was spent mowing and spraying, we also were able to edge all of the cart paths on property and weedeat around some lakes on the MC.  We also continued tree trimming on the MC and kept nearly half the crew, for extra hours yesterday, to pick up all of the limbs down from trimming.  We hope to be completed with the MC in the next 7-10 days and then we will focus on the TC weather permitting.

MEMBER COURSE

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We began cleaning out the left green side bunker on #17 this week.  However, we determined that we would not be able to completely finish the bunker before the high chance of rain this weekend.  We did not want to have to re-do our work for a second time so the project was put on hold until this weekend’s rain passes.  We will pick up again in the bunker next week with the goal of having it completed by the end of the week if the weather cooperates.

The greens have healed great from the aerification.  We weren’t able to do a topdressing this week because of the 1+” rain on Monday.  We will plan to do this early next week and the sand will continue to smooth the greens surface.  There is still some puffiness associated with how wet we have been but it has improved each day this week that we were dry.

Now that we were able to catch up on mowing to get the turf back to our cut heights before the 17 out of 19 days of rain, we will be able to re-focus on details such as cleaning up around the lakes.  We began edging all of the sprinklers in the fairways and that will continue next week, moving to the roughs after the fairways.imageimage

While we have had roughly 6 hatching’s of army worms on the TC, we are just starting to see activity on the MC.  You may have noticed more birds hanging around the course recently.  They are what we call a “natural” control for the army worms.  These birds eat the army worms as they hatch and unless the population explodes, the birds will eliminate the worms for us.  Mowing is considered a “cultural” control that also helps prevent damage from the worms as they are killed during regular mowing.  We will also be wiping the eggs clean from the flag to help limit the population that actually hatches.  Overall, we are not overly concerned about the army worms because the population has remained small.

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Just a friendly reminder to always enter and exit from the low side of the bunker and rake out your footprints for the next golfer.  Coming in or out of the bunker at the steepest point damages the bunker slope.

TOURNAMENT COURSE

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It’s been a pretty amazing transformation on the TC as we were able to catch up on all mowing.  All turf is now back to the original cut height and has been sprayed with a growth regulator.  The growth regulator will keep the turf in check for 4 weeks and will put us in great shape going forward for these final two months before we overseed in preparation for the 2017 SHO.  In addition to edging all of the cart paths, we were able to edge all bunkers as well.  Our next focus will be on continuing to clean up pine straw beds to remove weeds and keep a clean perimeter edge.  imageimage

One improvement we made on the TC this week was moving the tee yardage markers from the rough to the tee surface.  We think this provides a cleaner look that will make it easier and quicker for golfers to find the yardage they need.

 

Week of 8/29/16

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This pretty much sums up how we have felt this week.  It has been all hands on deck trying to mow as much as we can each day.  We had guys mowing rough as late as 7pm every night this week to try and catch up.  Monday dropped just over a 0.5″ on us and then we got hit with another 0.15″ on Wednesday.  We have received some sort of rainfall in 17 of the last 21 days, totaling just over 11″.  Overall we were able to keep up with our normal mowing schedule on the MC.  We also were able to detail and edge all MC bunkers and continue with our tree trimming program.  We are in pick up mode before we continue cutting more limbs, so please pardon our progress as we continue the cleanup efforts.

The TC is finally coming along but overall we are probably still another week or so away from returning to normal.  Also, we were able to put down 18 pallets (8,100 square feet) of sod on the TC this week.  There are still some smaller, out of play, areas that we will sod but likely won’t need more than 5-8 pallets when we include the first tee facility.  This will allow us to get back moving on the MC bunker project by starting over on the left greenside bunker on #17 due to all the rain ruining our previous progress.  We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday weekend.

MC GREENS RECOVERY

The MC greens have been recovering very nicely.  We had planned to topdress the greens this week but the 1/2″ of rain on Monday ruined those plans.  Instead we were able to double cut the greens on Tuesday and it really cleaned them up.  The fertilizer from aerification has really kicked in with all the rain and the greens were juiced up this week.  We sprayed our weekly foliar application with a preventative fungicide and growth regulator yesterday.  We stop applying the growth regulator before and during aerification, so that we aren’t limiting recovery in any way.  Once the greens are 75% healed, applying a growth regulator will actually help the last 25% recover, encouraging lateral growth, as well as reducing the amount of tissue removed during our daily mowings.  You will notice the greens are experiencing the same grain/puffiness issues we have seen on the MC tees and the TC greens as well.  Hopefully we will get out of this recent weather pattern so that these eye sores are eliminated.imageimageimageimage

TC CONDITIONS

It’s been a tough 21 day stretch for the TC.  We have been trying to mow fairways since this past Saturday, only to get stuck or cause a mess and have to stop.  We are very thankful for our new trimax mowers, without them we would be much farther behind than where we currently stand.  The TC rough was as high as 6″ in many spots, so our first cut on rough was at 3″.  We were able to mow nearly all of the TC rough on Wednesday.  So, yesterday, we lowered the height to 2″ and started back over.  Also we were finally able to mow most of all of the fairways yesterday with a trimax set at 1″.  We then tried to use a regular fairway unit set up at 0.650″ but the ground was still too soft and the turf too dense.  So we lowered the trimax to 0.750″ and sent it back around today.  Overall, it’s starting to look like a golf course again!  The greens have remained excellent and we have been able to keep our regular mowing heights on tees, greens collars and surrounds.  Also, the bunkers surrounds were flymowed this week.  We are just a good week of weather away from being caught up on mowing and getting everything cleaned up.imageimage

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Yes, unfortunately that is a fairway!

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#1 starting to take shape again!

Week of 8/22/16

imageIt’s starting to feel like we are in the movie Groundhog Day with 14 straight days of rain and counting.  Our total is nearing the 10″ mark and the forecast is for another 1.5″ to fall this weekend.  We were able to work around the rains and complete our final MC greens aerification.  Results have been great and we were able to get our first mow on them today.  Also, we were able to mow all fairways, tees, collars, approaches, and intermediate cut yesterday for the 2nd time this week.  Despite being cart path only, the MC overall is in great shape.image

This is what we came into this morning after receiving nearly an inch of rain in 45 minutes yesterday afternoon.  Luckily the rain was light and we were able to mow all greens and cut fresh pins on both courses this morning.  MC bunkers are currently being repaired with the goal of having them finished by tomorrow if the weather cooperates.  The new bunkers have held up awesome and greatly reduces our repair time for the entire course.

The TC is extremely saturated to the point that even walking through fairways is tough right now.  We are unable to get equipment to the bunkers for repair today but our plan is to begin repairing them tomorrow if we are able to dry out some.  Before the downpour yesterday, we were able to mow the short grass around the TC greens with walk mowers and were able to mow some rough in high spots around tee decks. imageimageimage However, we have been unable to mow anything else since Monday.  We are planning to use the Trimax at 1″ to cut the TC fairways when we are able to drive on them.  If they dry out enough, we would follow the trimax with our regular fairway mower at our normal height of cut to try and get them back to normal mowing height.  We will be working extra hours this weekend to try and catch up, weather depending.

MC AERIFICATION

Despite the weather, we were able to complete the greens aerification earlier in the week.  Overall the rain helped to work the sand into the turf for us, so the greens are very clean.  We double rolled only for the first two days after coring and will be back to daily mowing starting with this morning.  They are well on their way to recovery.  We will likely do a light topdressing next week to continue to help with smoothing out the surface.  We were very proud of the crew for producing such great results despite our challenges with weather and some equipment breakdowns.  imageimageimageimageimageimage

The last two pictures above show our material handler that is used to haul sand to fill up the smaller topdresser.  The tongue snapped on us with 5 greens left.  The smaller topdresser had to make 15 trips back and forth to the shop for sand in order to finish the final 5 greens.imageimage

The final two pictures above were taken after our first mow this morning. 

FLOWERS

Not only have the rains prevented us from our regular routines, they also claimed most of the new flowers we planted.  These areas became oversaturated and caused the flower to wilt and die.  We will be replacing all of the areas later next week and we have pulled all of the dead ones for the time being.  image

MC BUNKER PROJECT

We did attempt to get back into the left green side bunker on #17 yesterday morning but it was too wet to work in.  With all of the rain, we are going to have to redo all of our trenching and anchor because most of it washed.  The plan going forward is to finish the sod on the TC early next week then get back into the bunker project full steam ahead as soon as the sod is done.  As long as we get some dry weather next week, we should be able to make great progress on #17.

 

 

Week of 8/15/16

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Felt like this picture really sums up our week!  It will definitely be a week we will want to forget weather wise.  Looking back we have only had about five hours each day where it wasn’t raining or threatening to rain.  Currently we almost to 7″ in the last 7 days but we are trending in the right direction as only 0.75″ has fallen in the last 48 hours.

We are doing our best to pick up the pieces and make an impact on the golf course without causing unnecessary damage.  We have not been able to mow fairways or rough at all, on either course.  We have been able to mow greens everyday and MC tees as scheduled.  Today we are able to mow most collars and approaches, as well as TC tees.  We will be working extra hours today and through the weekend to repair all bunkers and hopefully mowing fairways and rough as soon as they are dry enough.

Also, we have had to delay finishing the sod work on the TC from our transition.  The sod farm received more rain than we have and have not been able to get to the sod to cut it for us.  We are hoping to take a delivery next week if everything is able to dry out.

Just a reminder that we did not aerify the MC greens this week due to the weather.  Our plan is to complete this final aerification this coming Monday and Tuesday the 22nd and 23rd.  This aerification will be exactly the same as our recent TC aerification using smaller, 3/8″ tines that will allow the greens to recover in roughly 10-14 days.  Right now the forecast is calling for 100% chance of rain on Monday, so we are hoping that this turns out to be wrong.

MC TEE SCALPINGimageimage

Not only has the rain kept us too wet to mow most areas, it has also made the turf puffy.  We wanted to make you aware that our tee mowers are cutting great, but it doesn’t look that way on some tees.  When the turf gets puffy from the leaf blades swelling due to the excess moisture, this is how our cut will look.  If you notice the top picture we mowed what we call a 6 to 12 direction.  The next time we cut, we changed to a 3 to 9 direction and saw the same results.  This tells us that the puffiness and grain of the turf are the issue.  We are hoping to verticut and/or use a spring tooth rake that mimics verticutting on the tees next week when we are dry enough.  In combination with a break in the rain, this should help us improve the appearance of the tee after mowing.

TREE TRIMMING

We have still been chugging away at the tree trimming project, focused more on trees near the cart paths this week because of the rain.  We will not be cutting anything new today and hope to have nearly all limbs picked up today and through the weekend.  Once we are able to repair all of the bunkers on both courses, we will have more labor dedicated to cutting and picking up.  Holes #1-6 have been trimmed, minus a few touch ups on the larger spanish moss trees specifically between #2 and #8.image

STORM WEEK PICTURES

imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage As you can see, the weather has been ruthless to the courses this week.  Yesterday we were able to pump all of the water from the MC bunkers and began the TC bunkers.  The areas around the bunkers were still soggy yesterday so we weren’t able to start repairing bunkers until this morning.  We are beginning with the greenside bunkers first, on both courses.  Once we finish the greenside, we will work our way back around repairing the fairway bunkers.  Our goal is to finish most if not all greenside bunkers today and the rest by the end of the weekend.  The crew will be working outside of their normal hours to help us catch up as quickly as we can.

NEW NURSERY GREENS

The one benefit from the rain is the new nursery green is really coming along nicely.  Just two weeks since planting and we are very happy with the progress.  We will be rolling and topdressing these greens as soon as the weather cooperates and hope to get our first mow on them early next week.  imageimage

Aerfication Rescheduled

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We have received 4.84″ of rain since Saturday afternoon with 2.15″ of that falling in the last 24 hours.  Due to the weather, we will not be able to aerify MC greens as scheduled this week.  We will shoot for next Monday  and Tuesday the 22nd and 23rd. We were able to perform our circle verticut yesterday, so that part of the process is complete.  We are hopeful that a break in this weather pattern is coming.