Monday, July 15, 2019

FYI 7/12/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·         The first week of our annual 3-week closure was challenging at best. The first two days we were fortunate to miss the rains that circled us; however, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday saw rain fall throughout the day. The rain causes soft, wet conditions making it difficult to not only get out on the golf course but to also clean up the plugs and verti-cutting material.

The rain has created challenging conditions to clean up debris

·         Our lake levels are now above the high-water line of 14 feet. This creates a saturated soil profile and causes our low areas to become very soft creating a challenge for our equipment to pass through. Additional handwork is needed which simply delays progress and impacts other planned projects.

The water level is only inches below the basins causing saturated soil conditions

·         Compliments to my staff for working through the rain, heat and humidity over the past week to accomplish as much as possible. Their work ethic and dedication to Copperleaf are simply amazing and I can not think of a greater compliment to have employees that want to work with me and get things done. Thankyou to Char Swob for providing snacks and Gatorade to the team this week. Also, a big thank-you to John and Helga Reynolds for providing pizza to the staff this week. The staff were so thankful for the thoughtfulness and it is these little things that encourage them to perform at their best.

A photo of the team with Char Swob in the middle

·         David Forrey has been outstanding again this week coordinating the cultural practices. He had to be extremely creative to navigate around the golf course and identify the driest areas to perform the work with the various pieces of equipment.
·         Over the past week the following cultural practices have been completed:
o   All greens verticut 6 times, aerified, top-dressed with sand, fertilized and dragged
o   All fairways double verticut, vacuumed, aerified, dragged and fraze mowed
o   All greens collars fraze mowed to eliminate the mounding around the collar
o   Practice tee double verticut, vacuumed, aerified and fraze mowed
o   All tees double verticut and vacuumed
·         I can’t thank Ricardo Gomez and Raul Sanchez for coming in on Saturday, their day off, to finish fraze mowing the fairways. Without their efforts we would not be as far along for the upcoming week. I provided them each a $50 Amazon gift card to reward their efforts.

Verticutting Greens

Greens aerification plugs

Aerial view of Hole 9 showing the Verticutting process

Verticut Fairways

Vacuuming the Verticutting debris

·         The amount of material generated is quite extraordinary with over 400 yards of grass cuttings already being hauled off property.

Debris pile ready for pick up

·         Hopefully the weather cooperates this coming week as we will be:
o   Aerifying and topdressing with sand all Tees
o   Aerifying and topdressing with sand all Greens again
o   Verticutting, aerifying and topdressing all Approaches
o   Aerifying all Rough
o   Aerifying all fairways again
o   Topdressing all fairways - will take several days to complete
·         These cultural practices allow our turf to recover from another busy golfing season and to prepare for increased golf play starting in October.
·         The event hosted by Bayer last week was a great success. I was interviewed by several industry journalists on our success here at Copperleaf. This culminated in a site visit on Friday and a more in-depth interview on my own unique story and especially regarding the use of female employees in golf maintenance.
·         Our very own Tina Fry has been awarded a trip to North Carolina in September to recognize women in the turf industry. She will be one of 30 attendees from the US and Canada attending a 3-day conference. It is a credit to Tina and her hard work for being accepted.

Monday, July 8, 2019

FYI 7/5/19

Golf Maintenance FYI

·         What a difference a week makes! It is still hot and humid with heat advisory warnings being issued by the county as the heat index approaches 110 degrees. However, we have now had over 6 inches of rain in the past week and the turf, and your Superintendent, could not be happier.

The heat index at 3 PM, July 4, 2019

·         Compliments again to Tina Fry for fertilizing the greens on Tuesday afternoon in what would I believe to be one of the hottest days I can remember. Pushing a 70-pound spreader across all 20 greens in that humidity was simply an amazing effort. Tina was determined to get it done as we knew rain was coming Wednesday and wanted the course to look its best for the Fourth of July tournament on Thursday. Her efforts are simply amazing so please thank her next time you see her working out on the course.
·         Compliments continue for my staff that are currently trimming all the golf course plants. They work from 6 AM to 4 PM with a hedge trimmer in one hand and a rake in the other. It truly is exhausting work. The trimming removes woody material, provides for new succulent growth and improves playability.
·         A big thank-you to Char Swob for providing Pedialyte powder to our workers to put in their ice water to replenish lost electrolytes. It truly makes a difference and is appreciated by all the staff.
·         Compliments to David Forrey for his work at the golf maintenance building adding a hot water heater to the Chemical room and re-piping the wash sink and rinsate tanks. His work over the past 9 months at our new facility is to be commended.
·         The rain on Friday afternoon, July 5 was simply extraordinary with almost 2 inches of rain falling in less than an hour. There was substantial flooding on the course; however, within a short period of time the course had drained and was quite playable.

Rain on Hole 18 green from looking from the Clubhouse. The green is covered in water and looks like it is joining the lake behind it. Within 2 hours golfers were back out on the course.

Hole 13, July 3, 2019

·         The turf grass has responded well to the rain over the past week and is looking great. I received many compliments from our members that enjoyed the 4th of July golf tournament.
·         I have been invited by Bayer Crop Science to be a guest speaker at an event they are hosting in Naples next Thursday. The event is called “Focus on Florida” and is highlighting some of the successful local Superintendents in the area.
·         I look forward to the summer closure starting on Monday. All turf areas will be verti-cut, aerified and top-dressed. There will be an extraordinary amount of work performed and I am hopeful that Mother Nature cooperates and keeps the rain away during the day.