Monday, June 10, 2019

FYI 6/7/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·         It was yet another hot week without rain. Feel like temperatures over 104 degrees made our labor-intensive work quite challenging this week. Compliments to my staff for continuing to work hard and complete our tasks.
·         A special thanks to Char Swob and Helga Reynolds for providing our staff with some Gatorade to quench their thirst and replace lost electrolytes. It is greatly appreciated.
·         The Curfew application on Tuesday was a success with 60 acres of turf being treated. As mentioned at every opportunity, the scarring of the turf after the application is less than desirable; however, within a short period of time the “burnt” lines will disappear. The machines caused some damage where they hit buried rocks, however, there was less damage than I had anticipated.
·         I met with our electrician on Wednesday where he confirmed that splicing into the irrigation system power supply will work to power the proposed decorative clock. The approximate cost is $2,500 to run the wires and appropriate components from Hole 18 red Tee to the practice area. The electrical connection will only be able to provide power for the Clock and no other future considerations.
·         The Clubhouse, Tennis Courts and Hole 13 landscaping was trimmed this week. Compliments to Flavio Lopez for his tireless work trimming all day in the heat and humidity.
·         All bunkers were edged this week.
·         We started trimming the Hong Kong Orchids throughout the property this week. One member was so impressed with the work he has offered to provide pizza to our staff on Wednesday!
·         Greens were fertilized this week with a 19-0-15 fertilizer blend to maintain health.
·         All fairways were sprayed with liquid fertilizer on Monday to maintain health and encourage recovery from the Curfew application.
·         Roughs will be sprayed with a growth regulator next week to reduce grass clippings and provide consistent playing conditions.
·         We hope to complete the installation of new sprinklers along the fence of Hole 6 this coming week. New plants will then be installed in open areas.
·         50 new Cabbage Palms were installed on Wednesday and Thursday including Holes 4, 6, 7, 18 and between 16 and 17. An outside contractor performed the work.
·         David Forrey and I will be attending advanced training for our Irrigation System Software on Thursday and Friday next week. The class is being held at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples.
·         I will be attending a 3-day Trees Florida conference on June 20-22. I will be attending classes each day and securing CEU’s to maintain my Certified Arborist license.
·         We did experience some rain early this morning, which was much needed, but the timing was frustrating. Our staff got wet as they were preparing the course and we had to stop mowing fairways and rough. I will be mowing fairways this afternoon to catch up.
·         Overall, everything seems to be going well. The lines in the turf from the Curfew provide an unsatisfactory look and I look forward to a full recovery.

FYI 5/31/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·         It has been another hot week outside. In fact, Monday was one of the highest temperatures for May on record with a “feel like” heat index of 104 degrees. We have been making sure our staff are well hydrated throughout the day.
·         The hot weather, coupled with no rain, are both highlighting the deficiencies of our irrigation system. Dry spots are becoming more prevalent where water coverage is inadequate. However, overall, the golf course remains in very good condition and continues to receive compliments from both members and reciprocal players. On average, we have been watering over 800,000 gallons of water per day.
·         Tina Fry applied wetting agent to all the dry areas this week to help the irrigation water penetrate into the soil. As the soil dries out it can become hydrophobic causing water to not penetrate. The wetting agent helps break water tension – like adding soap to your dish water – and allows the water to enter the soil profile and improving turf conditions. Over 12 acres were sprayed throughout the golf course. 
The dew pattern on Hole 1 after the Wetting Agent Application

·         The Memorial Day golf event was a success with golfers appreciating the American Flags both on the flag sticks and the inserts of the cups. We will do this again on July 4 and September 11.
·         Pine straw has been installed along the fence between golf maintenance and Sago Point to complete the landscaping project. It is a vast improvement from what the area looked like previously.
·         I am still waiting to confirm the electrical options for the clock. I am hopeful that we can tie into the electricity used to power the irrigation controllers on the golf course. I will be meeting with an electrician this week to confirm. If this is possible, it will be a significant savings compared to adding a new electrical service.
·         Curfew will be applied to the golf course on Tuesday of this coming week. Signs will be installed at all access points for the golf course educating residents to keep off the course for 24 hours. As a reminder, the Curfew will help control the parasitic Nematodes that feed on the turf roots impacting turf quality. Sprinklers will be running all day on Tuesday to keep the soil moist and to help with recovery from the machines.
·         During the application, our staff will be trimming around the clubhouse, tennis courts and common grounds to keep them off the course.
·         Bunkers began to be edged this week and will be completed next week during the course closure.
·         Greens will be fertilized with a blend of both nitrogen and potassium next week.
·         We hope to complete the installation of new sprinklers along the fence of Hole 6 this coming week. New plants will then be installed in open areas.
·         Over 40 new Cabbage Palms will be installed on Wednesday next week including Holes 4, 6, 7, 18 and between 16 and 17. An outside contractor will perform the work.
·         The South Florida Water Management irrigation permit was renewed this week and will be in effect for 20 years. As a reminder, now that we have our own permit, we are saving the Club over $80,000 per year.
·         Unfortunately, we did have to put one of cats, Garfield, down last week. He had developed Glaucoma in one eye, was in pain and did not have a good prognosis. Thanks to Tina Fry for all her help in looking after Garfield. He will be missed :(
·         I have secured another Florida Golf Course Best Management Practices education event for August at our clubhouse. This has become an annual event for local Superintendents to become certified in Golf Course BMP’s. David Forrey, Tina and I are all certified.
·         I attended a board meeting for the Environmental Research and Education Foundation on Friday of which I am a board member. As previously mentioned, many local governments are adding additional fertilizer restrictions to the State 4-month blackout period of June 1 to September 30. Thankfully, Lee County has not made any changes; however, Alachua County (Gainesville area) has just placed an 8 month ban on all Nitrogen and Phosphorous applications. The City of Naples is meeting on June 11 to increase their blackout period and implement a limit of 4 lbs. total nitrogen application for the year regardless of turf species. So far golf courses and professional sports fields are exempt, however, it does affect our Common Grounds. Unfortunately, peer reviewed science and professional recommendations are being ignored in favor of emotion.
·         Overall, the golf course continues to be in very good condition and our staff are working very well together. The Wednesday closures are extremely beneficial to our productivity.

FYI 5/24/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·         It has been another busy week at Golf Maintenance.
·         All fairways were raked, and circle cut on Wednesday.
·         All greens were double verticut on Tuesday.
·         All greens were top-dressed with sand, aerified with small tines, dragged and then fertilized with potassium on Wednesday.
·         Typical dry areas on our greens which require daily hand watering were treated with an organic fertilizer; Humus, that will aide with moisture retention. This will ultimately improve turf conditions and eliminate, or at least reduce, the arduous task of hand-watering.
·         Roughs were mowed two times this week and the turf is now becoming more accustom to the 1.25-inch height.
·         All fairways were sprayed with a liquid fertilizer and growth regulator on Monday. The fertilizer strengthens the plant and the growth regulator minimizes grass clippings. We utilize Growing Degree Days (GDD) to determine when the next application is due. Different turf grasses and different heights of cut determine when to re-apply the growth regulator. A computer program is used to calculate the GDD and when to next apply. We utilize both soil and tissue samples to determine what fertilizers are needed so that we are providing exactly what the plant needs. Attached are examples of the lab reports received last week from 9 Green.
·         Celebration sod was installed along the edge of Hole 14 tee complex to aide in drainage.
·         St. Augustine sod was installed around the pump station to repair damage caused when the large generator was stored there.
·         Plants have been installed along the maintenance fence line and Sago Point. Pine straw will be completed on Tuesday to finally complete this project.
·         Garden beds started to be edged and treated with a herbicide to provide a crisp definition between the turf and pine straw.
·         Bunkers will begin to be edged next week.
·         Soil behind our rock walls were negatively impacted after the heavy rain events 2-weeks ago. The rain created sink holes and washouts. It will be a time-consuming task to dig behind the rocks and install new erosion material, backfill, compact and re-sod. We plan to undertake the repairs to the practice area rock wall during the course closure in July.
·         The clock meeting went well on Monday and I am now waiting on proposals for the electrical connection to finalize pricing. The rendering of the clock looks wonderful and it will be a great addition to the Club.
·         I enjoyed a tour of the golf course with Traci this morning and it was nice to showcase what golf maintenance has been doing.
·         Thanks to Heather Becht for coordinating the Health Benefits program for golf maintenance staff this week.
·         We are hosting local golf course mechanics and Superintendents at our new facility on Tuesday, May 28. People are interested in seeing the new building and to learn the successful process we undertook. A local vendor is sponsoring the event and is providing BBQ from Rib City for attendees.
·         Overall, everything continues to be very good and we remain extremely busy both on the golf course and common grounds.