Sunday, September 27, 2009

Welcome to Lucy!

Introducing "Lucy" to the CCC Maintenance Staff!

My family and I recently decided there was a need to fill the void left by the passing of Maggie, our 12 year old Brittany.  Maggie had been with our family for her entire life and was a veteran of three golf courses.  She has been missed by both the Rinks and the CCC Maintenance Staff. 

This past weekend, my wife came across a listing for Brittany pups located near Brazil, IN and, quite honestly, there was very little discussion involving the decision to get a new puppy.  We all new it was time!

"Lucy" was chosen out of the litter and named by my 4-year-old daughter, Sarah.  Lucy comes from a long line of champion hunting dogs and will surely find a warm and exciting home both at the Rinks house and at CCC!  Over the next weeks, months, and years you will surely get to know Lucy as she joins me on my morning rounds and accompanies me throughout the day on the course.

Friday, September 18, 2009

2009 Fall Aerification/ Demo Equipment

First of all, my apologies for not posting for awhile. My intent is to post frequently to keep you abreast of all that is happening on the course at CCC, and I haven't exactly fulfilled my end of the bargain. Again, my apologies.

Moving on to the golf course... another round of aerification has come and gone and with the cooperation of Mother Nature, we were able to complete the entire course in the two days. Every year it is our goal to finish in two days, but occasionally Mother Nature throws a curve ball and we have to finish the course on day three. This fall we had the opportunity to look at some new pieces of aerification equipment perform on our course (demos) and so far the results are just so-so. Our current aerification is either not ours or is getting very old and temperamental and will need to be replaced soon, but with what? I lined up several demonstrations with my John Deere and Toro salesmen to see what was out there. Both companies brought with them three pieces of equipment: a greens aerator, a fairway aerator, and a core pulverizer. The Toro fairway aerator actually pulls the core pulverizer (see embedded "One Pass Operation" video)and makes for a "one pass operation." While conceptually this is a great thing, logistically it becomes difficult. We had some "set up issues" with the Toro aerator causing some heaving of the turf while being aerified. While the heaving itself isn't a major problem, the fact that the pulverizer was being pulled six feet behind the aerator was. The heaved turf wasn't able to be pressed back down and frequently would get caught up in the pulverizer causing damage to the fairway. Certainly not what we want. Unfortunately the "set up issue" was not resolved and the demo fell short of expectations.

The John Deere fairway aerator (see embedded "JD 1500 Aerator" video) performed much better, but still caused some excessive heaving and subsequent damage to the fairways.

When all was said and done, the end result was better performance from our two old-and-tempermental machines than the two new demo units. Toro has already asked for a "re-do" next spring now that they have figured out the correct set up for the machine. I've got a bit of time to decide on that one.

The greens aeration went very well. We pulled 3/8" cores, harvested the cores off the greens and topdressed heavily to fill the holes. We sped throught the actual aerification process due to the two demo units we had in addition to the two older Toro aerators we borrow from HG Golf Properties. As expected the new demo units performed circles around the two older units. Toro's ProCore 648 (see embedded "ProCore 648" video) performed well as expected, finishing 5 greens to John Deere's three.

Both units pulled excellent cores and the holes were untufted and vertical. I'd give the edge to John Deere on hole quality (and subsequent recovery) but to Toro for overall productivity and versatility.

The demonstrations, as chaotic as they were, were truly beneficial for the "due diligence" that will be needed as we start thinking about equipment replacement. None of the equipment is cheap (individual units ranging from $15k to $30k) but is an essential part of a fleet of maintenance equipment.