Friday, August 26, 2011

I-75 Berm

I am pleased to announce that the CDD approved to spend up to $13,000 to install 3,000 1 gallon Florida Slash Pines along the outside perimeter of Copperleaf, Shadow Wood and Lighthouse Bay.

Once the construction work on the concrete fence was complete, a local company, Earth Balance, quickly moved in to weed eat the berm before installing the plants.

Over time, these new saplings will mature into 40 to 60 foot specimen trees and provide much needed noise suppression as well as reduce maintenance practices, secure the soil with their extensive root system and prevent soil erosion.

The exposed berm along the east perimeter of Copperleaf, Shaddow Wood and Lighthouse Bay will have up to 3,000 Florida Slash Pines installed in August. In this image, the concrete fence can be seen to the left and I-75 to the far right.

Changes to the golf course

If you are playing golf at Copperleaf over the next two weeks you will notice several areas where orange paint has been marked on the turf.
The paint is used to guide the machine operators where to mow. There are several areas throughout the course that are being scalped down to a new mowing height, whereas there are other areas that will not be mowed to enable them to reach their new height as either a fairway or rough cut.
This area on hole 18 has been extended to act as golf ball catcher. It will allow golfers to easily put back onto the putting green.

Tees will also have paint marks on them as we enlarge the teeing surface in preparation for the upcoming golfing season. This will allow for more tee locations and ultimately provide increased time for the turf grass to recover from divots and golfer traffic.

Greens encroachment

Over the past 11 years, the Tifway 419 Bermuda grass that is planted on the course and used for our tees, fairways and roughs has been encroaching into our Tif Eagle putting greens.

The 419 is designed to be mowed at 1/2 an inch or higher to provide superior playing conditions whereas the Tif Eagle putting greens are designed to be mown at 1/8 of an inch or lower.

During the summer months when the 419 turfgrass is actively growing, it persists into the putting green where increased moisture and fertility are used. Unfortunately, when the 419 is mowed at greens height, it is easily scalped and produces a white appearance around our greens perimeters.

The white/yellow color is the Tifway 419 Bermuda grass that is growing into the putting green as seen here on hole 18.

To help mask the issue, a specialised mower has been dedicated to mowing the perimeters of the greens at a higher height and which also utilises a solid roller to keep the blades from digging into the turf grass as it turns.

To correct the issue in the future, I am working with Green Committee Chairman, Ike Eikelberner, to gather costs to present to the BOD to have the affected areas removed next summer. This practice would involve spraying Round Up on the affected areas, mechanically removing the dead turf and then aerifying the greens. The cores generated would then be raked into the perimeter and encouraged to grow. The benefit of this program is that the turf being used is the original turf from Copperleaf and not one from an outside sod farm.

Although the entire process would take approximately 8 weeks to accomplish, the end results would be worthwhile. Only the outside perimeter of the green would be affected for golfers during the summer months.

I will keep you informed as to whether this project is approved for 2012.

Manhole covers

Now that the road work has been completed, the finishing touch on the entire project was to repaint the manhole covers throughout the community. Over 100 manhole covers exist throughout the property but the task has proved to be worthwhile with the finished product complimenting the new asphalt.



Over the past week, Copperleaf has experienced over 9 inches of rainfall on the property. Our lakes that were still very low for this time of year are now full after increasing by over 1 1/2 feet over the past week.

Unfortunately, there was damage to the course, and in particular the bunkers, that had our maintenance staff scrambling to present the course to our usual high standards. In fact it took 3 full days of 6 to 8 employees to simply repair the washouts that affected nearly every bunker.

The front bunker on hole 10 green complex is notorious for washing out. The black layer is organic material that floats to the top of the puddle that forms during heavy rain. The maintenance staff have to first remove this organic layer before pulling the sand back to the edges.

The bunker behind hole 18, with its steep face, had no chance on the Saturday rain event that saw 4.5"s of rain fall in less than 4 hours.

Other areas of the course were also affected including cart path edges and newly installed landscaping beds with fresh pinestraw.

This area on hole 3 had large volumes of water wash the fresh pinestraw away.

Thanks to the hard work of our staff, most of the damaged and affected areas were repaired by the end of the week. There remains a few isolated areas that will require further work in the coming week. I appreciate your patience as we continue to work in these areas.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hole 13 Landscaping

I appreciate everyone's patience with regard to the landscaping of the roadside along hole 13. It is important to remember that the first priority of the maintenance department is to 'maintain' the golf course. All other enhancement projects are secondary to the overall daily presentation of the course.

Last week, all of the ferns were removed from under the Shady Lady and Oak trees and new plants installed along half of the area.

A hedge of Silver Buttonwoods and Jatropha have been installed along the tee complex. This hedge, once matured, will provide a screen between the road and the golf course.

Unfortunately, as the project commenced, it was realized that there was insufficient irrigation coverage in the area south of the tees. Rather than install hundreds of plants in an area without sufficient water, it was decided to improve the irrigation first and complete the plantings at a later date. Neil Johnson, our irrigation technician, has now installed new pipes and sprinklers and the plants are on order. The area will be completed within the next two weeks.

Irrigation Work at front entrance

There has been a lot of activity at the front entrance of Copperleaf this week. Brinkman Group, the contractor responsible for maintaining the landscaping and irrigation along Three Oaks and Coconut, identified an irrigation mainline leak last week. They valved closed the affected pipes and have now begun the arduous task of digging up the affected area directly in front of the Copperleaf sign.
The exposed hole was over 6 feet in depth and revealed a network of pipes and wires.

Brinkman expects to be completed within the week at which time they replace any affected flowers and plants. 

Road Work

After weeks of preparation, the roads within Copperleaf have all been coated with up to an inch of new asphalt. Ajax, the company responsible for the work completed their final clean up last week and the finished product looks great.
A street sweeper makes its final pass throughout the Community to complete the project.

All of the man hole covers were sand blasted to clean them of any residue and are now in the process of being repainted to blend into the new road surface. This repainting project has been delayed due to the recent rain events and will be completed within the next two weeks.

Also delayed due to rain is the re-striping of the cart crossings. Three crossovers remain to be painted; hole 8 to 9, 9 to 10 and 17 to 18. As weather and time permits, this will soon be completed.

I appreciate all of our summer members patience throughout the process and am confident you will be satisfied with the completed product.

Mole Update part 2

After several weeks of limited activity around the hole 12 green complex, the Mole returned with a vengeance and tunneled its way on the green over the past weekend.
The damage was quite severe and took 2 employees all day on Monday to repair the putting green surface.

Mole damage on hole 12 green

On Tuesday morning, I came to Copperleaf at 4 am to try and capture the pest personally. When I arrived, the Mole had already been busy and tunneled back onto the putting green. After viewing some activity, I made several attempts to dig down and capture it but without success.

This is what the green looked like at 2:30 am
On the following day, Wednesday, I came to Copperleaf at 2:30 am, determined to rid us of this nuisance once and for all. It had already made progress deep into the green and I was confident I was in the right location to trap it. To my utmost disappointment, the Mole somehow avoided my attack and was gone. After waiting patiently in complete darkness for another 2 hours, I made another attempt and was finally rewarded with the Mole's capture.

This is the Mole in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket

It is truly remarkable that such a small animal can cause such destruction. It is the about the size of a large thumb with sharp digging claws and covered in fur. Needless to say, this Moles tunnelling days are now over.

Rain Event

Wednesday, August 10, there was an intense storm that rolled through Copperleaf halting work and causing washouts in several bunkers throughout the course.
This is a photo of hole 2 green after 1" of rain fell within 1/2 an hour.

Fortunately, Copperleaf drains very quickly and so the course was open for play on Thursday without any restrictions. It will take at least two days to get the bunkers repaired so please be patient.