Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Out with the OLD. In with the NEW.

The course got a little face lift this week. Post aerification means a whole new set of pins, flags and cups. It is amazing to see the difference in the flag color after a year in the sun. New pins and cups means 'hopefully' straighter pins that have not been worn down from the repeated use. Also the new tee markers have replaced the winter globes. This means the return of the senior gold tees, which we have had many questions about. Overall it just makes the course look more attractive and shows us season is finally here!

We found an old microscope in the office last week and decided to test it out. You can see a few tiny blue/green spots here on the leafblade of our nursery green. This is the tracker dye that we use when greens are sprayed.

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Welcome to aerification week! It was a long couple of days out here on the Ridge. Though Monday morning was held off about an hour and a half due to a frost delay, we were able to finish all 20 greens within two days! With holes spacing 2.5x2 inches and an optimum depth of 5 inches, there were about 4 million holes punched in the bentgrass overall. I have taken pictures of every step of the process along the way, and added a note on the bottom explaining what is happening. 
Here you see Jose making the first few passes on #1 green. 

Samples of the cores being taken. Usually I would add keys or a golf ball to show comparison of size. Like I said, the holes are 2.5x2 inches.

Uriel on our core harvester. The cores travel up a conveyor belt to the back of the workman where Eduardo will then spread them around.

I tried to squeeze the whole process in one picture. Victor and Daniel would then follow with backpack blowers opening up more holes and blowing loose cores off to the sides. 

Superintendent Andy Klein was our topdress man. Making many trips back and forth to the shop, as it took roughly three workman loads of sand per green. 

Once the sand was on the green, Wes took a steel mat around to disperse the sand more evenly. 

I then put a double roll on each green to try and smooth them up before the final drag the next morning.

Finally it was my job, along with some help from Letty, to take a finer coco mat and try to fill in all remaining open holes. The greens were then rolled one more time, followed by fifteen minutes of water. 

This is the ideal finished product. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Every green has drain tiles running underneath that gets rid of water and excess gasses. Over time these drains can get clogged causing problems on the greens. As you can see here the drains have been capped underground allowing no way to reach them. Using maps we have been able to locate the drains on a few of our problem greens and bring them to the surface. The next step is to blow air or flush water through if needed to make sure the drain gets cleared.

 'Why is it that every time the greens start to get in perfect condition, those guys go and poke holes in them?' Just one comment that I overheard this week. Yes it is already time for aerification! Monday March 21st the front nine will be closed, and Tuesday the 22nd the back nine. We have started this year with a light verticut. The lines that you will see in the greens are where multiple blades tickle the turf pulling out part of the thatch or organic layer.


Friday, March 11, 2016

One of our final winter projects was cleaning up the underbrush behind 16 green. Some of the shrubs were tall enough that they were in play from 17 blue and black tee box. It was no easy task, taking multiple days and requiring tractors to remove some of the larger shrubs and stumps. Eventually we hope to add mulch and tidy up the rock wall along the cart path. With aerification less than two weeks away, all winter projects are on schedule to be completed!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

It has been a little over a week since we have completed our zoysia spray. As you can see from the photo below, we are already getting some great results! This is close to the green on hole 2 where we decided to use plywood to help us cover tight corners. By using boards we were able to spray a nice clean edge along the collar. Hopefully we continue to see great results and remove most of the cool season grasses out of the zoysia. 
Shown here is frost damage. Everyone did an awesome job this year, as we did not have any human frost damage on the turf. However, we did have a few greens where animals walked across and caused damage. Though we have minimal control over the geese, deer, or coyotes; we ask that if you are walking your dogs during frost days, please refrain from letting them on the greens.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Spring Tease

Its that time of year again when the fairways turn blue! We couldn't have had better weather over the past few weeks to get prepared for the upcoming season. Hundreds of golfers were out to enjoy the 70 degree weather that gave us an early taste of spring. Weed control was our main focus as you can see from the picture below. Annual spray of non selective herbicide along with a pre emergent and blue dye has been completed. It was a full team effort, taking all four members of our staff three days to accomplish. Also with no extremely low temperatures in the near future, it was decided to charge the irrigation system back up. A sometimes complicated process went fairly smooth this year with no major leaks(knock on wood). We hope the warmer temperatures continue as we are ready to get the 2016 season started! Come out and enjoy a round at the Ridge!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Inside work

Inside work has begun here at the Ridge! With low temps and snow falling two days this week, we decided to stay in and stay warm. As you can see from the photo below, Jose and I used our artistic abilities to paint new tee markers. Tee markers received two coats of paint if needed and then a clear coat to protect from weathering. Meanwhile Uriel spent the week disassembling and sand blasting ball washers.

Friday, January 15, 2016

These past few days we have been blessed with a few warmer temperatures. With that we were able to get out on the course and accomplish a few tasks other than tree work (Front 9 completed). Surrounding our tee features are clumps of pampas grass. These tall grasses are easy maintenance and only need cut back once a year. Usually this process takes place in late winter as to enjoy the plumes for as long as possible. It is now time to start preparing for the upcoming spring season. We have retrieved all ball washers and tee markers to be refurbished or remade. The tee markers have been replaced by the old satellite balls until March. Unfortunately there will only be two sets of markers on the course at this point but feel free to hit from your respected tee box. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Goose Problems

Every winter golf courses run into one problem that no one can seem to solve. Geese. Canada geese can be considered one of the biggest nuisance pests to not only golf courses, but many parks and suburban areas with ponds or lakes. Because these giant birds are federally protected, superintendents are forced to come up with creative ways of keeping geese off their courses. Many courses around the nation use dogs to rid their facility of any unwanted birds. Occasionally we will bring our German Shepard pup Letty out to do the job. Unfortunately she is not able to be here every day with us. Rarely do just one or two geese show up and invade an area, they come in masses. When a large gaggle of geese take over they can excrete a large amount of waste and cause turf damage. It is not pleasant trying to putt on a green with all of that in your way. In order to reduce this problem, we have decided to rope off holes 11 and 12. The idea being that the rope will hit the geese in the chest and will stop them from creating any further problems on the greens.