Monday, January 25, 2010

Tree Work Continues...

We lost all of our snow over the weekend due to the warm weather we had.  Now with temperatures going back down below freezing we should see the ground re-freeze and our outdoor work will be back in full swing.  Today, with the ground still soft, we were limited in where we could go, but were able to take down the Oak on #12 tee that has been dying for several years due to a vascular disease.  We have been watching this tree for several years and decided this summer that we would finally take it out this winter.  As you can see in the picture, it was nearly void of leaves this past year and several branches were beginning to rot.

We will also be taking down a medium sized Ash tree on the opposite side of the #12 tee.   The absence of these two trees will allow for more sunlight on the tee provide for a more open tee shot. Their absense should also help improve turf quality and lessen the impact of earthworms on the tee.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dangerous Situation...

Our recent "warm up" has melted away quite a bit of our snow cover and caused our underground drainage system to flow again.  The result is the melting of our pond ice both from the top and the bottom.  While it is never a good idea to venture out on our ponds in the winter, the next few weeks will be more dangerous than usual.

Our ponds are "in-line" with our drainage system and quite a bit of water travels through them on a daily basis.  Because of this water movement, the ice that forms on the ponds is rarely predictable.  It may seem thick enough to walk or skate on, but there are plenty of thin areas that are largely unnoticeable from above.  The pond on #13 is especially prone to this and, in fact, rarely completely freezes over.  You, or your children, should NEVER be on the ice on #13 pond.  Our ponds are relatively shallow, about 5' to 6' deep, but plenty deep if a child should happen to go through.

Please make it a practice to avoid our ponds in the winter and remind your children the same.  As I make my occasional rounds throughout the winter,  I am always impressed with the amount of use our course gets in the off season.  With a little common sense we can ensure that it is a safe off season!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Time flies when you're having fun...

How do you survive the monotany of painting the lettering on all 144 tee markers?


Audio/ Visual Master (also pronounced as-sist-ant sup-er-in-ten-dent) Mick Tempel has once again set up his TV with a surround sound home theater system for the annual tee marker painting project (also known as the "CCC Film Festival").  Staffers have submitted their recommendations for movies to watch, tee markers are prepped, and the party is on!  We expect to be finished with the tee markers in about a week.  Last year the entire season of "24" was viewed along with a few choice movies.  This year Jack Baur is being pushed aside for some newly released movies! 

Sometimes creature comforts make even the most tedious of projects go by quickly!  Now please excuse me, I've got some popcorn to make...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tee marker, tee markers, and more tee markers...

As I mentioned in my last post, the recent snowfall has sort of forced us indoors and caused us to change modes from tree work to indoor jobs.  One of the many required winter tasks is the refinishing of all of our wooden course accessories, most notably our custom tee markers.  We have been making significant progress on the tee markers with nearly all of the prep work complete.  Pictured below are some of the grounds staff hard at work.  Each marker must have all of the lettering cleaned out and must be completely sanded down before new paint and sealer are applied.  We usually plan for the better part of two weeks just to get through tee markers.  The end result is a custom tee marker that is easy to read, and well protected from the weather extremes of the golfing season.  Kudos to the maintenance staff for their hard and very tedious work on the tee markers and all of the course accessories. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter Bliss!

As memories of the 2009 golf season slowly fade to the deeper reaches of my mind, I am reminded of yet another reason I love living and working in the Midwest....SNOW!  Last night we were treated to a 6" snowfall which puts our snow cover total to around 8" (depending on where you measure, of course.)  This is good news for the winter activists as cross country skis and sleds will be the common mode of transportation around the course for the next few weeks.  The 8" of snow is bad news, however, for our outdoor winter work as turf equipment does not fair well in the deep snow.  Until the snow melts down a little (or blows away) we will be concentrating our efforts indoors.  Our many "refinishing projects" will see some progress and, with a little help from Mother Nature, we'll be back outside in a few weeks.