Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bunkers and Greens

My Assistant, 5 seasonal workers and myself are in full swing trying our hardest to make Heart of America in the best shape possible.  There is SO much to do and maintain.  Seems like everyday we come to work and experience one of the following: a sprinkler is stuck on, a tree has fallen down, a crew member called in sick, or a mower breaks down.  HOA is home to one of the largest range tees in the metro with 1.5 acres of hitting space.  3 separate golf courses with a total of 4 acres of Putting Greens. 18 holes of Footgolf.  17 Sand Bunkers (that are long overdue for repairs).  And an equipment fleet that isn't as reliable as it once was. At times it can feel overwhelming.

If you have played here recently you are aware of our poor bunker conditions.  This year we made a goal to get at least the most played out of bunkers repaired.  It is a slow process but we are making some headway.  So far this season we have completed bunkers on 8 Rock, 2 & 3 River, and the Hill Practice bunker.  Below are some photos of the work.

Since making these repairs greens haven't  been getting the attention needed to allow for a firm, smooth surface.  We are up to date on the fertilizer and chemical scheduling so they are very healthy.  However, we are long over due to topdress them with sand.  Topdressing them with a light layer of sand weekly or bi-weekly is necessary to allow for a firm smooth surface.  Much of our sand budget was used in the repaired bunkers and not to topdress the putting greens.  Starting next week we will get back on our topdressing schedule and begin the process of firming them up.  

I love being a Golf Course Superintendent especially at the Heart of America and hope to one day give the golfer here the best of both worlds...firm greens and fluffy bunkers.   

Hill Course Practice Bunker

#2 on the River Course

#3 on the River Course

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rock Landscaping

To get to the Heart of America Golf Course you must travel on Blue River Road.  Aside from the litter that is along the edge of the road it is a very scenic drive.  In fact you might even think you are in Colorado driving next to the base of a mountain.  My point was proven when a large boulder fell onto the road last week.  

The city brought there loaders and large dump trucks to clean up the mess that caused the road to be closed for a few hours and was kind enough to deliver a load to our shop per my request.  Below are a few pictures of how we were able to use the rock. 
We also removed the old wood railing retaining wall along the cart path and chipping green and made a rock wall which I think is a little more pleasing to the eye. 
Next time traveling Blue River Road be sure to watch out for falling rock.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Keeping Zoysia Weed Free

Every year around this time we spray the dormant Zoysia turf with a pre and post emergent herbicide. The pre emergent herbicide keeps weeds from growing in it. The post emergent herbicide is glyphosate aka roundup. Because the zoysia is dormant (not green) the glyphosate cannot enter into the plant through photosynthesis. What we are targeting in this spray is mostly annual bluegrass and clover. Those weeds are green and will take in the glyphosate. The blue tint that you see is simply a tracker so we are able to see where we sprayed. The result once temperatures rise is a weed free playing surface. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Driving Range Targets

The Driving Range Targets got a fresh coat of paint and we made some new Bulls-eye targets.  Come on out and enjoy this amazing January weather and attempt to hit them!! 

Monday, December 7, 2015

2015 Recap

 I haven't posted in a long while so I thought I would give a recap of the season.  2015 has come and is almost gone. The Zoysia turf (Fairways and Tees) had another great season.  Unfortunately we were unable to get them aerified due to unusually wet conditions.  The cool season turf (rough and greens) became weak and saturated due to the heavier than normal rainfall. Then the heat came. It was a recipe for disaster.  Because the roots were over saturated the plant failed to grow due to a lack of oxygen, and once the wet soil profiles get hot it in effect boils the plant.  The main recourse is to vent them with solid tines as much as possible during the heat stress period. Thankfully, the weather has cooperated this fall and allowed for us to get seed germination in areas that were damaged.  We also fertilized the entire course to strengthen the plant for winter.   In the fall the plant uses the nutrients to strengthen the roots, bottom growth.  When fertilizing in the spring or summer the plant uses the nutrients to produce more leaf blades, top growth. Which is why I tell homeowners, if you can only afford to fertilize one time a year make the application in the fall.  Thanks for reading, have a good Holiday Season, and come out and take advantage of this nice December weather! 
River Nine, Hole 2 behind the forward tees

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Footgolf, Walking Trails, and Beavers Oh My!

Like every Spring, it is one of the busiest times of the year for maintenance at a golf course.  This year our to-do list was even bigger than normal. Here is a recap of what has been accomplished thus far... All greens have been aerified, vertical cut (removes thatch and dead turf), fertilized (several times), and received a pre-emergent to prevent goosegrass and crabgrass. All other turf on the course also received a pre-emergent and fertilizer.  Added to our list this year was the installation of 9 more footgolf holes on the Hill Course.  These 9 new holes will be used primarily for leagues, birthday parties, or other special events.  Yes, you read that correctly, HOA now has a total of 27 footgolf holes on property.  In addition to adding this new course we made a trail through the timber that will allow for a quicker and more scenic route.  The 18 main footgolf holes also received a little face-lift. Our goal was to be a certified footgolf course again this year.  To become certified the American Footgolf League (AFGL) has hole distance regulations.  Par 3's are now required to be 98-167yds, Par 4's 187-247yds, and Par 5's are 267-327yds.   In order for us to accomplish these yardages we had to move a few holes.  For example 18 now finishes by the clubhouse.  Also, all 27 holes now have tee podiums that hold a map inside to show the hole layout.  To top off this post I added a photo of a tree that has been getting damaged by a beaver.  We have a total of 3 trees he has been targeting.  Our solution was to wrap the tree with chicken wire fencing, and it has proven to be successful!   

New tee podiums with Hole descriptions and yardage

18 Footgolf Green

New walking trail to the Hill Course

Dam Beaver Damage

Chicken wire fence to protect the tree

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter Painting Projects

When the weather outside is frightful...We head inside to paint! Below are some before and after photos of the Rock Nine Tee signs. Also, all ballwashers, garbage cans, tee markers, enter and exit posts, and benches get a fresh coat of paint.