Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ice rink closed

The warm temperatures melted our ice! Although the cold has returned, it will take a couple of days of cold to freeze the rink solid again.
We also had high winds that buckled the liner blew the kick plates and top rail into the middle of the rink. We will have to retrieve these items. Retrieving the items will cause additional damage to the ice surface. When the surface gets disrupted, we must re-coat the surface several times to get a smooth, safe surface.
Please be patient and keep off the ice until we re-open.
The ice may look solid and it may be cold, but this is going to take a few days.
Again, any disruption to the ice surface will result in additional delays. Please keep off the ice until the closed signs are removed.
We will update the blog at as to when we will re-open.
We appreciate your patience, and are happy that the rink is such a success.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter equipment work

The winter is a very important time for northern golf courses. The cold awfulness is filled with preventative maintenance, reel mower grinding, scraping and painting of metal surfaces, and repairs that were put off during the busy summer months.
Golf course equipment functions under some extreme conditions and takes a beating. Washing equipment is important to ensure longevity, with care taken to avoid hot surfaces sucking water into bearing housings. The seals and bearings of equipment are inspected and replaced. Diligent equipment maintenance programs ensure minimal downtime in-season. Course set-up and preparations rely on efficient workflow as we work on a tight timetable. Setup of the course takes place on the open holes right in front of play and any breakdown changes the workflow and must be met with quick decision making and realignment of resources. Just thinking about equipment malfunctions make me cranky and anxious.
One of the most common breakdowns is the orange roller in the photograph. We use this machine three to four times a week and when it breaks down, my hair turns more grey. Yes, it spends that much time in the shop.
Winter is back this afternoon,

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Now for something you'll really like.....

Anyone recognize that quote?
Since we are not out mowing all the time, I get to see things on the course that would normally get chopped up by the mowers. In this case, it is a pellet. Pellets are indigestible material that is regurgitated by birds of prey, namely hawks and owls. This is important for the health of the birds as it also scours parts of the digestive tract an gullet. Some may even remember putting together a mouse skeleton in biology class from a barn owl pellet.
This find reminds me of the wonderful habitat that a golf course provides. Green space, wildlife habitat, and water filtration, all are things that golf provides.
Sorry I had to be kinda gross to make my point,

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Buckeye tree

This tree is the largest buckeye tree registered in the U.S.
As a wolverine, I'm not sure how I feel about it. The tree is very cool, and is located at hamburger university in Oakbrook, Illinois.
The Illinois Turfgrass Foundation is holing the 2013 expo at this site, and it is impressive.
Today's list of talks consists of progressive and interesting topics, kudos to the board for the lineup!
I feel smarter already,

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Rink is open

The rink is open, the surface is a little bumpy in spots.
Believe it or not, but certain weather is better for making ice, and wind is not your friend.
It's a bit chilly.
Bundle up,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ice rink status

The ice is almost ready!!
We are hoping for the weather to cooperate and we will open tomorrow. When the rink is closed, it is important for traffic to stay off the surface. Thousands of gallons are needed to smooth the slightest imperfections. A single boot can disrupt the surface by more than an inch. When this happens, a great deal of time and effort are required to make the surface smooth again.
We appreciate your patience.
Sharpen em' up,