Friday, August 31, 2012

While I'm on a bunker roll......

I want to take a moment and explain the curve on the handle of some of the rakes. These rakes were made popular by the notion that 1) they are easier to reach for members with back, hip, or knee problems and 2) the handle stays out of the sand and clean.
It seems that these rakes make many members angry, for they are a popular discussion item. I literally receive more comments about these than anything. Some people think the black handle is what you hang on to, other people will turn the handle sideways so the rake lies flat like all the others.
Please refrain from turning the handle to make the rake lie flat, they are supposed to stay off the ground.
When you are raking the bunker, use the main straight portion of the rake, leaving the curve behind you.
Hopefully this will clear up the purpose of these rakes, then we can get a clear feeling whether we like them or not.
They are beginning to make me angry as well. :-)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rakes in please

Unlike the USGA, the Briar Ridge Green Committee has no problem with making a decision regarding the placement of rakes. The long standing debate of rakes "in" or rakes "out", is over. Please place the ENTIRE rake inside the bunker. The one photo shows the popular country club placement of heads in, handles out, which makes for a major maintenance headache.
The USGA lack of decision stems from a conflict of maintenance and ruling. Rakes inside the bunker create a problem when a ball is stopped on a steep slope by a rake handle. When the rake is moved, the ball rolls down. If the original lie cannot be recreated, a penalty must be taken. Easy fix; please do not place rakes on steep bunker faces where they will keep a ball in a position that will be difficult for the player to recreate.
Can someone know notify the governing body of golf?
In the current golf economy, we need decisions that make sense, are good for the game, and speak to the challenges the game is facing.
Great job M,

Thursday, August 23, 2012


The mother of invention. The management of twenty seven holes of golf and a large fleet of equipment means that stuff is gonna break. The larger the fleet, the more common breakdowns are. We rarely drive equipment on smooth roads, most of the time, equipment is bounding down the rough and over cart paths. Imagine driving you car through a field.
We do our best to properly repair equipment, but once in a while, we cannot tolerate any downtime. When a breakdown occurs and a piece of equipment is essential, a temporary repair is necessary. Such is this case.
I needed this blower. A weld had broke that mounts the throttle actuator. My first thought was to unhook the actuator and go manual. After a quick examination, I thought I could get away with some zip ties and duct tape. Two minutes later, functional blower!
Back in business,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nine red pond

The ponds have been a struggle this year. The warm weather means higher than normal water temperatures. Water temperature affects chemical and biotic factors like photosynthesis, O2 concentrations, and stratification. These factors play a role in pH, nutrient release, and respiration.
The aquatic community is very complex and dynamic. Most shallow ponds need supplemental oxygen in the form of a fountain or a bubbler.
The panel shown in the photo has recently been updated to allow for a fountain in nine red.
As you can see in the photo, it was in dire need of an overhaul.
We hope to have the fountain installed soon and it should help with the anaerobic situation in this pond.
Something's fishy,

Monday, August 20, 2012

What is making scout upset?

Well, I think it is the size of this divot!!
Scout visited us at the maintenance facility and suggested we encourage people to replace their divots. The rains have softened up the course, increasing the amount of turf impacted by golf shots. The cooler temperatures allow divots to recover faster than seed this time of year. Scout and I ask that when a divot can be recovered, please replace it. Please use the seed and sand only for any divots that disintegrate.
The softer surfaces also mean more ball marks, even on shorter shots.
Scout says "thanks"

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Skunks and long fairways

My latest nightmare includes furry nocturnal creatures digging for grubs. We knew this year would be difficult to achieve grub control an know the skunk activity is evident on the red course.
The course remains very wet from this weeks rains. We are dry enough (sort of) to mow, and boy are the clippings crazy long. Check out the photo of how much grass is being cut by the fairway unit.
The rough is long, trust me, I know.
Great night for a fire on the patio,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bunker madness

One of the favorite topics for golfers are bunkers. These hazards are often vilified for ruining perfect rounds, sabotaging the blitz, and general unfairness.
Seriously, one of the complaints we get is that there is little or no sand in the bunkers. This perception comes from the soil that is washed into the bunkers after rain events.
The photo below shows an area where the bunker rake did not cultivate, why? I will explain later.
Notice how dirty the sand appears. The next photo shows a small channel in the sand where soil has eroded off the face during the rain. That soil is carried to the lowest point in the bunker where water accumulates, shown in the last photo (different bunker, sorry).
The next photo shows the sand profile in the dirty area. Notice how the top layer is much darker than the lower layer, that is where the soil has contaminated the clean sand.
In order to properly care for bunkers of this type of construction, the soil that settles in the low areas should be uncultivated, and removed (skimmed) by hand and disposed of.
We have years of contamination in our bunkers, as you can see that a good inch and a half should be removed.
The contamination compounds the problem, as it plugs up the sand in the area that the bunker was designed to drain from.
The "flashing" of sand was a popular golf course architectural effect, that I am particularly not fond of.
I think this topic deserves a worldofturf video,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Isn't she lovely,

Isn't she wonderful!
Well she may be, but we have some trees that are not!
Several trees on the property were damaged as the result of a herbicide application.
We will be removing the trees as soon as the reimbursement process is defined.
I anticipate this being soon, but wanted to make everyone aware that I did not lose my mind, or eyesight in the heat, which is hopefully gone.
Cool nights!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Almost there

The weather has been brutal! It looks like we may return to some form of normal Sunday. The turf is holding up, but it is definitely running out of gas. Please help us by.........
1. Following green stakes placed in fairways to return carts to paths.
2. Repairing yours and one other ball mark on the green.
3. Soil and seed divots
Thank you for helping us make our golf course great,