Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Doctor is IN

(Picture of Wired and Crazy Tournament logo painted on the first tee)
When you get wired and crazy...

(Picture of California Women's Amateur Championship logo, CWAC)
 You could go see a quack and get some advice to medicate...

(Picture of latest product for turf...Aspirin.  If it is good for you, it is good for the turf)
Take two of these and call me in the morning, he will say.

(Picture of Monterey County Vintner's Logo for recent tournament)

Or you could just drink a bottle of wine.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Back from the Dead

Our two oldest pieces of equipment suffered injuries that I thought would be life threatenting.  I was wrong.
The 1973 Toro Sandpro that is used to brush topdressing sand into the turf finally blew a head gasket.  As we carried it back to the shop in the bucket of the backhoe, I thought all hope was lost for our old, slow but effective friend.  After convincing the parts department that we really had a 1973 machine and we really wanted a part to fix it, the part was shipped and the a full recovery was made.  She is back in action and running like the day she started.

Our 20,000 plus hour Ford tractor needed a new muffler and head gasket as well.  The fuel pump failed to work when everything was put back together so it was replaced too.  The day will come when these workhorses will be retired, but until then Brian will keep them going with duct tape and bailing wire.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Black Out

 We love ferrous sulfate and the color response from the turf but it also dries down the thatch and makes it break down more rapidly.  High rates of iron on the greens, tees and fairways are normal and the side benefit is a reduction in the weed population.  The iron sits on the wider leafed weed and dries out the plant causing it to suffer and die.  The turf grass survives but the weed withers.
Rick Smith has played with the rates of ferrous sulfate and has found that an ultra high rate will kill even the strongest, most difficult weeds.  Safe, effective and CHEAP.  Just the way we like to do things around here. 

French Fries? or is it Churros?

 Alternative energy is the wave of the future but what works best?  I think use what is available and inexpensive to try.
Kitchen waste oil is cheap (free) and available... let's use it!

This past winter we purchased the only Toro MDX Diesel powered vehicle in California.  It has run smoothly but it is a little louder than the electric golf carts.  The great benefit to the diesel power is the fuel costs are very low due to the fact that we make our own bio diesel out of the used oil from the kitchen.  It costs roughly 90 cents per gallon for this fuel and it has done great in all of the vehicles.  All 100 hours of use put on our Toro MDX have been fueled by the kitchen's waste oil. 
There is one problem ... no one can agree on whether the exhaust smells like french fries or churros!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tee Leveling


The 13th tee was expanded and leveled on Monday and sodded with big roll sod on Tuesday.  No need to wait for the seams to heal, the rolls are so big that the sod is stable and ready to be played on Wednesday.  Speed of completion for a job like this makes it more palatable for the membership since the downtime for the area is minimal.  The area for the black to was expanded 4 yards back, the blue area was enlarged by 400% and the white tee is better than ever.  The surface will be firm for awhile but with topdressings and aerification your tee should be easier to push into the ground soon.

The 16th tee was completed the following week in two days as well.  Dirt work on Monday and sod on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On a slow day we...

Everyday isn't as busy as today was, but they sure seem to be. 

Whenever we start something that needs to be completed on a time schedule...something goes wrong.  Today we are topdressing fairways and the spinner broke off while topdressing the second hole of the day.  Weld it up and get going.
We needed to drag the sand in afterwards so we built another drag mat.

The bridge railing needs to be installed so we started cutting the wood.

Altered the posts to fit into the sockets...

Moved fertilizer around to use later on the greens and to move it out of the way of all the work...

Topdressed the fairways

Mowed fairways, tees, collars, approaches...

Needle tined greens...

Cut out and graded for some concrete stairs at the clubhouse...

Drug the sand into the fairways...

Started installing the posts for the railing on 16 bridge...

Router, table saw, wrenches, epoxy, sledge name it we used it o this bridge... 

After the needle tine passed over the greens, we fertilized them, topdressed them, drug them and rolled them.

More fairway dragging...

Custom railings take time to create...

Tonight the wind will pick up and we will be cleaning up Tuesday... all in the life of a greenkeeper!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Drop In Sometime"

videoMinor repairs and improvements are a part of the daily maintenance of the course.  This drainage drop inlet was raised and leveled today.  This little improvement is good for the mowers (less scalping), players (less awkward lies) and the course (drains correctly keeping the surface drier and firmer). 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Backpack Attack

Spot spraying disease on the golf course is a much more cost efficient and environmentally friendly way of controlling localized disease areas.  Instead of spraying 120,000 square feet of turf, we might spray 1,000 square feet and control the problem before it gets out of control.
A 3 gallon backpack sprayer is used to apply a fungicide that should control whatever particular disease we are currently hosting.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Raining Fish and Kelp

Keeping the greens (and all the other areas of the course) green and growing during the winter is a tricky job.  Convincing grass that would normally take it easy for the winter to keep growing takes some special ingredients.
We have talked about some of the fertilizers that we use and the philosophy in the past.  The method of application is also interesting.  We use a nozzle made by FCI (Rainmaker) that we have calibrated to apply 11 gallons of mix per 1,000 square feet.  That is important so that we know how much nitrogen or other ingredients we are really applying to the turf.  The application may look hap hazard or unsophisticated but it is really a great way to insure proper over lap without tire marks or doubling up of rates on the over lapped areas.  Also, it is a great way to get the fertilizer to interact with the soil, thatch and plant tissue all in the same application without the need to apply water through the sprinkler heads after the application.
Applicator "raining" the fertilizer

 This method is good for the environment because the fertilizer lands and stays where we want it.  The need for irrigation to be run after an application is removed as is the chance that the fertilizer will be washed to a concentrated area or washed away from the intended sight.  Sometimes "old school" methods are still the best.  It certainly works for us.

Monday, January 23, 2012

16 Bridge Update


The crossing over the 16th hole will open soon.  The railing needs to be installed so no accidents occur.  The wood railing should be completed this week or early next week.