Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday blog

I wanted to send a note out today and as I looking for a good photo, I came across this one from in season. Manny, our gentleman who mows rough, and lots of it, found this Robin who was tangled in string from a balloon. Instead of going around him, or worse, Manny stopped to help the distressed bird. I happen to carry scissors, along with a hundred other tools, and I joined Manny in the rescue. We managed to free the bird. The guys I manage are an amazing group, I am happy and fortunate to lead them. I owe it to them to be a great leader.
That's what I want for Christmas,

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter equipment maintenance

Winter equipment maintenance time is here. If we are not on the course during the winter, we are busy with equipment. One of the challenges in the past was our ability to thoroughly clean all the equipment outside before the temperatures dropped below freezing. Cleaning the equipment indoors made a mess of the shop. Oils and grease would spatter on the walls creating a disaster.
We came up with a solution that is essentially a giant shower curtain. The first photo is inside the curtain which includes our equipment lift, so cleaning the under carriage is possible as well. The second photo is outside the "shower."
The skating rink is open, come out and enjoy an activity that us "northerners" are lucky enough to enjoy,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Skating in the forecast?

Possibly, the long range forecast is the best we have seen in a long time for making ice!
The rink is up and we are filling it.
Please, please, please.....observe the rink closed sign and direction from staff. The rink may look solid, however, breaking through thin ice and puncturing the liner results in air pockets and moving water. Any tear in the liner makes it nearly impossible to maintain ice. Please stay off the ice and check with clubhouse staff for rink status.
We look forward to some quality ice shortly,

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


That is just one of the types of shots needed to win the cross country!
A trophy is in the making and traditions honored.
Do not be left in the warmth.
Friday registration at 9:00, mental and physical preparations begin 9:05. We will draw teams and honor family ties. Bring a loved one.
9:30 cut off for team placement.
Be there or email me Friday morning.
No shows will be publicly humiliated appropriately.
The excitement is mounting, I can feel the electricity in the air (might be static from my long johns though).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cross country

Cross country this Friday!!
Bring your family.
These ladies are tough, and they braved some serious conditions! Great job ladies and I hope you had fun. They needed one player and someone was conveniently underdressed (yours truly). Sorry it didn't work out.
Forecast looks perfect, shots off the ponds!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Regular greens closing, open on temporary greens

For anyone new to the process, here at Briar, we cut a large cup in the fairways that allow for us to make some swings in the winter on warmer days. We close the regular greens to play for a variety of reasons. The USGA has a good article about winter play at this link,
The fall weather is yielding to more winter-like conditions as you can see in the forecast. The men's cross country looks good for Friday after thanksgiving. 10am shotgun, $25 a man, scramble.
The ladies are going to hold a cross country this Saturday, awesome!!
We have the cross country set up, and all the holes named. Don't miss out!
It's all about the journey,

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Looking like winter

The sun angle, leafless trees, and the forecast.....all give the impression that winter is here. The forecast looks like we will be closing greens soon, if not this weekend.
We will be watching it closely and updating as we go.
The ladies will be doing the cross country this Saturday, brrrr!!!
I love that event!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Last weekend???

Looks like a great weekend for golf and football!
May be close to the last good one for a while!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cross country and the closing of regular greens

It is almost that time of year when we cut the temporary greens in the fairways and approaches. This practice of closing our regular greens is important.
1. We refrain from making damage at a time when the turf cannot recuperate.
2. We keep traffic off saturated soil profiles that are unstable, protecting the turf from foot printing and root shear.
The decision to close the greens is made entirely based upon environmental conditions. We monitor soil temperatures and the forecasts. Once the greens begin to freeze deep enough to prevent the entire profile from thawing out, we will move to temporaries.
As you can see the soil temps just below the frozen surface are above freezing. The forecast lows have increased, and it looks like we will keep the greens open for another weekend.
The cross country event is planned for the Friday after thanksgiving with the Saturday as a rain/snow/sleet/ day.
More panoramas to come!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Greens closing / cross country

The forecast looks like we will be keeping the greens open, we may have long delays for a few days this week as the temps dip.
The determination of closing the greens is all based on the soil profile freezing. Once the greens soil profile freezes to the extent that they will not thaw out, we will go to temporary greens. Right now, the soil temps are in our favor, we can tolerate a few cold nights and still thaw out during the day.
We will have the cross country event over thanksgiving weekend, day to be determined based on the forecast. This event is takes you on a wild 9 hole adventure. Please sign up by responding to this email.
Have a great weekend,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Things I love as much as golf

Of those things, fresh fish, namely sushi. In case you missed it, Wednesday in the Turn, we have a sushi station!
Check with Chef Harry for more information.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Final spray of 2013

We started the season painting greens and we are ending in similar fashion. This final fungicide application will protect us from cold weather fungus. We have added a pigment (more on that tomorrow).
We are still busy with leaf debris, and making some of our final mowings.
The cross country event, which is awesome, will be played over thanksgiving weekend, day TBD.
Stay tuned for more detail.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fall divot time

There is a nip in the air, but today is nice!! Come out and enjoy the color change!
If you venture out, please replace divots. Spring and fall we like to see the divots replaced as they will heal nicely. The seed on the other hand, is either blown out of the holes as we clean the leaves from the fairways, or feeds the birds. Either way, it doesn't help us grow fairway turf.
See you soon,

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Frost delays

It is that time of year.
The daytime temps look good for golf, but the nighttime lows will delay our starting times. Today we have frost in the shade at this time (8:50 am). Expect delays into mid morning.
We have an excellent breakfast, so come out and enjoy some camaraderie while we wait for the sun.
Have you played this golf course pictured?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Snow on the radar?

The forecast below is for snow at 10:30 am today. Yuck!
We are beginning to get the questions about closing the greens.
Greens will remain open as long as the soil temperatures remain high enough to prevent frozen layers. Once the greens begin freeze and the entire profile doesn't thaw, it will be time to say goodnight.
We will be putting temporary greens out again this year for the occasional winter break.
The cross country event is a big cup scramble that is played over thanksgiving weekend. If you don't think big cups can be fun, you haven't played in this debacle.
Salmon are in the river.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cold weather coming

It is that time of year!
Nighttime lows are predicted below freezing. We are beginning to prepare the course for a short winters nap.
One of the preparations we make is closing the bathrooms on the course.
I apologize for any inconvenience.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Practice bunker renovation

The short range bunker's drainage was replaced. The old bunker sand was pulled out and new sand put in. It is now ready for some practice. The sand is a little soft and needs to be compacted before it is similar to the ones on the course.
Special thanks to Fred for helping me get this done!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

A new look for 7 blue

Here is a photo of the new fountain in 7 blue pond. This fountain will help the water quality of the pond and looks very nice.
The fountain can bee seen from the entrance as well. We have some cattails to remove to improve the view from country club drive.
Looks like a great weekend for golf!
Come on out and enjoy the weather.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bunker issues

One of the ongoing maintenance items of a golf course is bunker drainage. The golf course is a living entity, dynamic, and susceptible to aging. Bunkers age. Sand that was once pure and drained well, becomes clogged with organic debris. Leaves, grass clippings, pollen, and other particulate matter is carried into these systems by wind, rain, and irrigation. Eventually this organic matter will clog drainage systems.
This photo is of three blue fairway bunker, not after a rain storm, but after a regular irrigation schedule. The sand is contaminated, as well as the irrigation. The sand needs to be removed, drainage replaced, and sand replaced. We have found that we can improve the condition of the bunkers significantly even if we only remove and replace the sand in the immediate area of the drainage.
We hope to address some of the worst performing bunkers this fall. The practice bunker at the short range is one of the highest priorities this fall. Next spring we will have a quality bunker for practicing!
Up and down!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Greens aerification

We had a long day yesterday, we completed 18 holes of aerification. We have the red nine to go. The weather looks good to complete this work and the green should grow out of the disruption quickly. We will be rolling the greens daily to return them to a smooth condition.
We are all working hard and I am very proud of our staff. This work is the foundation behind the quality of our greens.
The should recuperate soon,

Friday, September 20, 2013

One blue repair

The cool weather has given us some relief from hand watering. We have taken the opportunity to address this situation. Shown below is a profile of the area. The problem area has very little topsoil and a heavy grey clay underneath. We are excavating this area and will replace it with topsoil. While it remains close to the path and the tree-line, we are finding some tree roots, but believe the soil composition is the greater problem. After .7" of rain last night, this photo of the clay was taken, it is bone dry.
We will be aerifying greens next week, weather permitting.
Closing scramble this Sunday, call today to get in!!! Great format!!
Awesome prizes! Free beer!
Sign-ups close Saturday at 3:00pm

Monday, September 16, 2013


We have begun to aerify.

Tees on the blue today!

We will update the schedule as we progress. No aerification will take place Thursday-Sunday.

Closing scramble should be excellent!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Course rating day

The golf course is being re-rated today. 
Some of the old factors of the rating system are no longer in use, so the rating may or may not change.  The rating sheets are shown in the photo below.  I will have a full report when the rating is complete.
The biggest discussion I hear in regards to the course is the handicaps from the different tees.  This situation requires more than simply taking your course handicap to the first tee and firing away.  There are a few steps to calculating the shots necessary to level the playing field.
This is taken from the usga website, where the entire process is explained:
My Handicap Index converts to the same Course Handicap from two different sets of tees. This system must be screwed up because I definitely score higher on the longer set of tees and I need more strokes. Example, a player has a Handicap Index of 10.4. The white set of tees has a Course Rating of 70.9 and a Slope Rating of 118. The blue tee has a Course Rating of 73.1 and a Slope Rating of 122. In both cases 10.4 converts to a Course Handicap of 11. As we learned in Example 1, the Slope Rating allows us to receive enough strokes to play to the level of a scratch golfer from a particular set of tees. So, when this player plays the white set of tees, he needs 11 strokes to play down to the Course Rating of 70.9. When he plays the blue set of tees, he needs 11 strokes to play down to the Course Rating of 73.1. So, to play to his Course Handicap, he needs to score 70.9 + 11 = 81.9 or 82 from the white tees and 73.1 + 11 = 84.1 or 84 from the blue tees. The system recognizes the difficulty difference in the two sets of tees, but it doesn't show up until we take into account both the Course Rating and the Slope Rating.
Visit this link for a thorough discussion.

Hope this helps, 

Sent from Erwin's phone, please excuse grammar and punctuation.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wet spots next to dry spots, next to really dry spots, next to.....awwww nuts

We are in a very dry spell. One of the interesting and super fun things that happens in times like these is that the irrigation system will make some areas very wet, while other areas remain bone dry. Irrigation coverage and modern controls can help manage this, but even the best systems have to rely on handwatering.
Our staff has been "pulling hoses" for some time now. It is not uncommon for a staff member to have 150 feet of one inch hose out in the fairway. If you have ever seen one of these, you know they are not lightweight. Rated at over 200 psi burst rate, there is quite a bit of material to these hoses. Once the hose is full it carriers 73 gallons of water. A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds. The hose is heavy. Granted, they are only pulling sections, it is still tough, especially in the sun, when it is 90!
I want to congratulate my staff on doing a tough job and sticking with it. We are looking for a break from Mother Nature soon.
The nuts (acorns) are starting to fall, please avoid driving over them. If we smash them into the turf, we will have nuts where we once had grass. Grass is better to play off than acorns. So tempting to go on and on, but I won't.
After Labor Day we will begin aerification of tees and fairways, we limit this activity to Monday-Wednesday, then focus on clean-up an preparations for the weekend. The green aerification dates are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of September 23-25.
Don't get above the hole,

Friday, August 23, 2013


Depending on your definition, it might have rained yesterday. There was definitely some precipitation, and some stuff got wet. The areas on the course that receive regular irrigation took some moisture, but the outer areas still are stressed as the dew patterns in the turf reveal.
How dry are we? We are installing a fountain in seven blue and the plan was to use a vibratory plow to pull the pipe in. The ground was so hard, the plow couldn't move through the soil!
Should be a good weekend for golf before the heat and humidity arrive.
Happy Friday,