Friday, October 18, 2019

FYI 10/4/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·         The golf course continues to look great with the greens in superb condition. The weather has been very surprising for this time of year with the lack of rain. We only experienced a ½ inch of rain for the month! That is by far the driest September on record for Copperleaf. Thankfully our lakes have been full since May and so our water supply is satisfactory at the moment. That being said, it is possible that we will not see substantial rain for many months of which ‘will’ be of great concern. Hopefully by me writing this, the rain gods will surprise us and deliver rain when needed – at night!
·         Plant and tree trimming continued this week throughout the golf course and will be completed next week. Several trees throughout the Community have had branches removed to improve their appearance and structural strength.
·         Common ground plant material will start to be trimmed on Tuesday around the Clubhouse and Common Grounds in preparation for the annual mulch pine straw application scheduled for mid-November.
·         The tennis courts had over 2 tons of new clay added to their surface in preparation for increased tennis play and to replenish the material that gets washed away during heavy rain events. The courts are scheduled to be completely resurfaced in September of 2020.
·         The golf course bathrooms had the irrigation improved around the surrounding garden beds this week. New plant material will soon be ordered and installed to enhance these areas. Thank you to Luis Altuzar and Silvestre Flores for their tireless work digging through the soil and tree roots to add new pipe and sprinklers.
·         The paver installation around the decorative clock was completed this week as well as the plant bed for the annual flowers. The clock is scheduled to be installed on Wednesday, October 16 and will complete the project.

Retaining wall and pavers installed around the clock foundation

Not the clock I was hoping for??

·         The Royal Palms at the front entrance were trimmed this week not only to clean them up but to prepare them for the decorative Christmas lights that will soon be installed. Compliments to Ricardo Gomez and David Forrey for their work high up on the tree lift.

Ricardo high up in the Royal Palms at the front entrance

·         Thanks to David Forrey and Luis Altuzar for helping with the security scanner at the front entrance. A new wire was installed that has eliminated the issue with the scanner not reading bar codes. Thanks to Ray Houle for identifying the problem and coming up with the fix.

David Forrey cutting a thin line through the concrete

·         All fire hydrant reflectors were replaced throughout the community this week. Thanks to Estero Fire Rescue for following through from our communication a month ago. I am now waiting on BSU to refurbish the fire hydrants by the end of the year.
·         I was able to receive a $4,000 credit from BSU after following up with them regarding water leaks experienced at the golf course bathrooms. Just goes to show you never know until you ask!
·         I will be enjoying some time off next week. David Forrey and the leadership group have everything scheduled in my absence and I look forward to not worrying about Copperleaf for the next 7 days 😊

Friday, October 4, 2019

FYI 9/27/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·       The golf course is looking great as we approach the weekend. Without question, the weather over the past 10 days has been spectacular with lower temperatures and humidity. Interestingly there has been very little rain over the past 4 weeks which is extremely surprising for September. There is rain forecast next week which will be welcomed.
·       Areas of raised turf along the cart path edges preventing water to enter the drainage system has all been lowered this week. This will be a great improvement in alleviating puddles that form on the cart paths.
·       Plant and tree trimming continued this week throughout the golf course and will be completed next week. Several trees throughout the Community have had branches removed to improve their appearance and structural strength.
·       All common ground plant material will be trimmed over the next 2 weeks in preparation for the annual pine straw application scheduled for mid-November.
·       Tina Fry enjoyed a 3-day seminar revolving around the success of women in golf maintenance. It was a great experience for her and around 30 other women across the country. Copperleaf is fortunate to have Tina working with us as she brings great experience, knowledge and attention to detail – thank you Tina.
·       The golf course bathrooms were pressure washed and cleaned this week. Thank you to Mark and Silvestre for their efforts. Adjustments to the irrigation will be completed next week followed by improvements to the surrounding landscaping. It will be a great improvement to these areas once completed.

Mark and Silvestre at Hole 4 bathroom

·       The retaining wall around the decorative clock was completed this week. Next week a ring of pavers will be installed along with annual flowers in the garden bed. The clock is scheduled to be installed on Tuesday, October 15 and will complete the project.
·       The practice tee will be open for play from the turf on Tuesday, October 1. It is currently in great condition due to not being played on for the past month. The mats will still be utilized on weekends and shotgun events throughout the golfing season to help preserve the turf and allow for new grass to grow. I encourage all golfers to be respectful and follow the guidelines on how to properly hit their shots.

·       We continue to battle Moles on the golf course. These small animals can be quite destructive when they reach the fairways, tees and approaches. We are constantly setting traps and applying baits to remove the animals from the turf. I believe it will be an arduous battle!

Hole 9 Approach on Friday, September 27, 2019

Hole 9 Approach on Saturday, September 28, 2019

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

FYI 9/20/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·         The golf course continues to improve from the cultural practices completed last week. The greens still had some excessive sand on them over the weekend and Monday morning due to the aerification and topdressing performed last Tuesday. The greens were brushed and mowed Monday afternoon and showed significant signs of improvement.
·         The greens were sprayed with a fungicide on Wednesday that will prevent any disease pressure over the next month. With ‘feel like’ temperatures still in the low 100’s the stress index on our turf remains high. The greens were sprayed with a liquid fertilizer on Thursday to continue the spoon feeding of nutrients to the turf. Looking at the greens today, Thursday, it is impressive that they have recovered so quickly from the aerification and verticutting performed last week.
·         All bunkers were edged and weeded this week providing a crisp, defined edge. The Kipp Schulties bunker design receive many compliments from golfers. The Green and Grounds Committee will be reviewing the bunker sand in the coming months. Several bunkers are below the normal level of sand and several have contamination of native soil and gravel. These issues are predominantly from the effects of Hurricane Irma in 2017 when there was considerable erosion.

Hole 3 Greenside Bunker
·         All lake banks were manually string trimmed this week. Due to the high-water levels in the lakes our machinery cannot easily get close to the waters edge without causing ruts or possibly getting stuck.   
·         A new irrigation zone has been installed along the maintenance fence on Hole 3. The new sprinklers will be used to irrigate the Clusia that were installed last week and will also help with the historical wet areas in the rough as you exit 3 Fairway. Compliments to Luis Altuzar, our Irrigation Technician, for his tireless work.
·         We began work this week on lowering turf along cart path edges where rain and irrigation water collect. The sod is first cut and rolled back then the excess soil removed and leveled before putting the sod back in place. It is a tedious task however, the improvements in appearance from not having standing water each day is worth the effort. During this process, the excess soil is used to fill in sink holes along the rock walls caused by the excessive rain in the summer months.

Hole 3 Cart path – All areas are marked Ground Under Repair
·         It is exciting to see an Osprey utilizing the platform located near the bathroom on Hole 4. Hopefully this will be the season to have a successful nest and offspring.

Our Osprey enjoying the view from its perch on Hole 4

·         The roughs and fairways are responding well to last weeks fertilizer application and are growing up to their new heights. Roughs are now mowed at 1.75 inches and Fairways at 0.500 inches. These heights will help to provide improved definition on the golf course.

Hole 18 Fairway, Tuesday September 17, 2019
·         We have been experiencing issues with our equipment wash station over the past month. The system was installed 15 years ago and is now starting to show signs of wear. Considering that the machine was outside in the elements for all those years it is impressive that it has performed so well for this long. The Green and Grounds Committee will be reviewing this piece of equipment in the coming months.


            Black water from the equipment wash station is quite disgusting

·         The clock project remains on time and as planned. The electrical wiring has been installed and the concrete foundation was poured on Wednesday. The small retaining wall be constructed by the end of next week with the pavers installed soon after that. The clock is expected to arrive the week of October 7 and will be installed the week of October 14.
Our members donated $37,125 to the project. All hourly labor, pavers, concrete and wiring is being charged back to the project. The clock comes with a 1 year warranty and maintenance program. It has a GPS time management system that will reset the time in the event of a power outage. More information can be found at
Compliments to David Forrey for his efforts on this project.

David Forrey connecting the wires in the foundation prior to the concrete. The foundation is over 6 feet deep.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

FYI 9/13/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·         It has been another busy week on the golf course as we enjoyed the 3-day closure to get some late summer cultural practices completed.
·         All greens were verticut, aerified, topdressed with sand, fertilized and brushed on Tuesday. They were then rolled 2 directions and brushed on Wednesday. Lastly, they were rolled 2 directions on Thursday followed by another verticut and brush on Thursday. Thankfully the weather cooperated and there were no issues with rain or lightning.

Aerified Greens using 1/2 inch tines
Picking up plugs

Cleaning off debris

Topdressing with sand

Fertilizing with organic fertilizer

Brushing the greens to incorporate the sand and fertilizer into the aerification holes

·         The entire golf course had granular fertilizer applied on Wednesday and Thursday to help with turf health and to aide in turf recovery from the summer cultural practices.
·         All Collars around the greens were verticut and all Collars and Greens Surrounds topdressed with sand on Wednesday. This practice helps smooth out the playing surface and encourages new growth.

Sand topdressing Approaches and Greens Collars

·         New St. Augustine sod was installed in a notorious washout area behind Hole 8 Back tee. It is a substantially improved appearance and the members in that area are very thankful.
·         New concrete curbing was added to the bathrooms on Holes 4 and 14 as well as new curbing on Holes 1 and 5 where golf carts continue to cut the corner impacting turf quality. Broken concrete pieces were also replaced on the cart path leading from Hole 13 to 14 to improve the overall look of this area.

Addition of concrete curbing to Hole 5 green complex - keep 4 wheels on the path now please!

·         Over 3000 native grasses were installed throughout the golf course this week in areas that were void of vegetation. It will not take long for these new plants to mature and provide additional color and beauty to the golf course.
·         Rough was not mowed this week as I am raising the height from 1.5 inches to 1.75 inches to improve definition between the fairways and roughs. It will be interesting to hear member response to the higher height of cut and to assess the turf appearance.
·         Additional Areca Palms, as well as 30 Clusia shrubs, were installed along the golf maintenance fence this week to improve the view for the residents in Cinnamon Ridge. 
·         It was an extremely productive week and I can’t thank my staff enough for their continued efforts and hard work.
·         We are watching the Tropics again this weekend with the possibility of feeling some of the effects of a Tropical Depression on Saturday. It has been surprisingly dry for the past 2 weeks so some additional rain to help activate the applied fertilizer and moisten some dry areas would be helpful.
·         Next week we will continue to detail the golf course with edging of bunkers, basins, weed-eating lake banks, lowering sod along cart paths to allow water to reach drains and fixing sink holes along rock walls.

FYI 9/6/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·         There is no question that we are extremely fortunate that Hurricane Dorian slipped up the east coast this past week. Our thoughts and prayers are with those that the massive storm did effect.
·         I can’t thank my staff enough for their willingness to get the golf course ready for play for the past weekend and the Labor Day event. The course was in great shape and our members thoroughly enjoyed getting away from the Weather Channel updates and being outdoors. Great work by Traci, Jason, Chef Paul and Brian for communicating and coordinating everything. #teamwork
·         We are preparing for our 3-day closure this coming week that will involve verti-cutting and aerifying the greens on Tuesday. They will then be top-dressed with sand, fertilized and brushed to incorporate the sand and nutrients down into the soil profile. I am confident the greens will recover quickly.
·         The golf course will be fertilized with a complete fertilizer this week to strengthen the turf before the cooler weather and increased golfer traffic arrives.
·         During the closure there will be some new concrete curbing added along the cart paths in several locations including Hole 1 tee complex, Hole 5 green and the bathrooms on Holes 4 and 14. These areas are routinely run over with cart traffic and have a negative impact on the turfgrass and vegetation. The broken sidewalk from Hole 13 to 14 will also be repaired.
·         Several areas throughout the golf course are having additional plant material installed where there have been voids or dead plants removed. The new plants will provide an improved appearance and help reduce weed pressure.
·         Additional Palm trees will be installed this week along the golf maintenance western fence to provide an improved appearance for those residents in Cinnamon Ridge looking toward the east.
·         The ice machine at Hole 4 was repaired this week and is now operating perfectly. I have received many compliments for the upgrades to the beverage stations and the overall appearance of the bathrooms.

·         An irrigation issue was identified on Court 1 at the tennis facility. A new irrigation valve will be installed on Monday. The courts will have additional clay applied at the end of September to have them in great condition for the upcoming season.
·         Electrical work for the decorative clock was completed this week. The new clock is expected to arrive the first week of October.
·         Bonita Springs Utilities has confirmed that they will be refurbishing our fire hydrants throughout the property. They hope to begin in October and finish by the end of the year.
·         Estero Fire Department has confirmed that they will be replacing any missing reflectors used to identify the fire hydrants. They hope to have this completed by the end of the month.
·         David Forrey will be enjoying some time off next week visiting family in Minnesota. It is a much-deserved break for this outstanding employee.

FYI 8/30/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·         This week has all been about watching the Tropics. Hurricane Dorian has been on the radar for the past 5 days and we have been watching it closely and making the necessary plans well ahead of time.
·         We learned many things from Hurricane Irma with probably the most important lesson being that these storms are extremely unpredictable.

Although meant as a joke, this model shows the unpredictable nature of Hurricanes

·         At present time there is no definitive path of the storm and so we are taking all precautions to ensure that the golf course and its assets are well protected. This includes providing enough time for our employees to prepare their own families and homes.
·         All turfgrass was treated with a growth regulator to prevent excessive growth. We are predicted to receive over 5 inches of rain over the next 4 days. This rain could cause difficulties in mowing the turf grass next week.
·         All basins have been inspected and cleared of debris. Basins prone to blockage have had a stake placed next to them so that the drain can be easily found and cleared to allow water to subside.
·         All equipment has been filled with fuel and our large fuel tanks filled with both diesel and regular gas.
·         All chainsaws have been inspected and tuned as well as spare blades and chains purchased.
·         All rakes will be removed from the course Saturday morning followed by all flagsticks at the end of day Saturday.
·         Sand has been purchased to use for members sandbags if needed.
·         All fairways were top-dressed with sand to help with drainage
·         Our staff have been fantastic this week in preparing the course and are here to help if needed.

Friday, August 23, 2019

FYI 8/23/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·       Where did the week go? It has been yet another busy week on the golf course with the weather finally cooperating to allow us to mow all turf grass and present the course to a high standard. In fact, it feels that the weather has finally started to change with cooler mornings and evenings.
·       Greens were verticut, top-dressed, brushed and fertilized this week. Verticutting and top-dressing with sand aides in the elimination of grain, smooths the putting surface and firms the greens. All of this provides a quality putting surface for our golfers.
·       The new beverage stations were installed this week at the bathrooms on Hole 4 and Hole 14. Unfortunately, there was an issue with one of the new ice machines and we anticipate having that issue resolved early next week. There are a few small details to finish next week including touching up some paint, replacing the bathroom signs and the addition of colorful flowers. Overall, it is a great improvement.
·       Trimming continued on Holes 12 and 13 this week and we will continue on Holes 14 and 15 next week as we progress throughout the course. The trimming removes woody material and allows for new fresh growth to occur.
·       Compliments to our mechanic, Roman Gomez, for continuing to organize his office and a multitude of nuts, bolts, washers and various parts that he uses to keep our equipment operating. His new office, as part of the building renovation, has been improved with cabinets and storage bins to allow him to keep everything in plain sight and improve ordering and efficiency. It has been a tedious task but is now nearing completion.
·       Our tees were sprayed with a combination of liquid fertilizers and a seaweed extract this week. The liquified seaweed provides organic substances to our soil that has proven to be extremely beneficial to root growth and ultimately improved turf health.
·       All Fairways will be sprayed over the coming days to continue to improve turf health and provide necessary nutrients. It is critical to allow the turf to strengthen as much as possible during the growing months so that it can withstand the cooler weather and increased golf cart traffic that will soon be upon us.
·       Please remember that the golf course will be closed for 3 consecutive days – September 10, 11 and 12. These days will be used to aerify the greens and granular fertilize the entire golf course.
·       The St. Augustine grass was treated with an insecticide this week to control an outbreak of Chinch Bugs that are damaging to the turf. It will take a week or two for the turf to fully recover and regrow in some of the thin areas.
·       The golf course superintendent Best Management Practices training was a great success this week with over 40 local Superintendents and Assistants attending the class. Our local Chapter leads the State in certified applicators, and I am proud that Copperleaf supports this event by providing a central location. Thank you to the Food and Beverage staff for their efforts. It is greatly appreciated.
·       This week I have requested that Estero Fire replace any missing reflectors used to identify the fire hydrants throughout the property. Likewise, I have requested Bonita Springs Utilities to repaint the deteriorated fire hydrants throughout the Community as their current condition is less than ideal. I am hopeful for a quick response from both parties.

·       You never know what you might see out on the golf course every day, however, I came across this 'hazard' as I was spraying the red hazard paint to the lake banks last week on Hole 18. Be careful out there!

Hole 18 Lake bank 'Hazard'

FYI 8-16-19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·       The weather conditions over the past week have been challenging to say the least. Rain at all times of the day have made scheduling work on the golf course extremely challenging. Compliments to our staff for their dedication and persistence in preparing the course each and every day.

Lena Tovar mowing her last green in the rain to “get it done”.

·       The weather conditions throughout the entire summer have been extremely challenging. Excessive heat and humidity coupled with high rain fall and cloud cover can easily cause our turf to be under stress. A website that is utilized to help predict disease outbreaks for our area highlights the extreme conditions we have been under for the past 30 days and provides a ‘stress index’. As can be seen in the attached photo, our area has been in the red for the past month. The cultural practices as well as correct fertilizer and plant health product applications have our greens in very good condition at present time.

·       All bunkers, basins, cart paths and sprinklers were edged throughout the course this week
·       All fairways and tees were sprayed with a liquid fertilizer to improve turf health and aide in recovery from the course closure in July.
·       We will continue trimming the plant material throughout the golf course next week including Hole 12 and 13.
·       Work will begin next week on updating the beverage station at the golf course bathrooms. Upgrades will include a new ice maker and improved cup and lid dispensers and an overall improved appearance.
·       The Golf Course Superintendent Event held yesterday was a great success. Over 60 participants enjoyed the hospitality of the golf staff, the food and beverage operation and a pretty nice golf course. Compliments to Mother Nature for not raining and the golf maintenance staff for their outstanding efforts including a 5 AM start. The entire operation received many compliments from the participants. Thank you to Traci and the Membership for allowing the event.

Hole 18 on Thursday, August 15

·       I will be hosting a local Superintendent educational seminar here on Thursday, August 22. It will be held in the clubhouse and will include lunch for 30 to 40 participants. It is an annual event for Superintendents to obtain their Golf Course Best Management Certification that is valid for 4 years. David Forrey will be renewing his certification. Tina Fry and I are currently certified.