Sunday, June 22, 2014

When fresh bark is in the middle of the cart path.....

I know to look up.  Lightning strikes are amazing.  In my experience, I have witnessed a few lightning "strikes" on the golf course and several "consequences."  I have seen 
The results of strikes on a green, fairway, and trees are remarkable, and leave me with the realization that 1. They occur in places I frequent, and 2. They are powerful events that I hope to never experience.  
The strike on a tree turns the water inside the tree to vapor and the expanding gas blows the bark off the tree.  In the last photo, you can see debris a hundred feet away from the tree.  The third photo shows a tree that was two trees over from the initial strike that suffered damage.  
Please exercise caution when lighting is present, or potentially present.
Please seek shelter (a place with indoor plumbing and wiring) and know the following.

When a Safe Location is not Nearby

Remember, there is NO safe place outside in a thunderstorm. If you absolutely can't get to safety, this section may help you slightly lessen the threat of being struck by lightning while outside. Don't kid yourself--you are NOT safe outside.

These actions may slightly reduce your risk of being struck by lightning:

  • Avoid open fields, the top of a hill or a ridge top.
  • Stay away from tall, isolated trees or other tall objects. If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees.
  • Stay away from water, wet items (such as ropes) and metal objects (such as fences and poles). Water and metal are excellent conductors of electricity. The current from a lightning flash will easily travel for long distances.
For more information visit 

Know where to go,

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

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Coming to a backyard near you

When you have to make a mess in someone's backyard, you want it to be in the most understanding people you know. That was the case on this six inch main leak. The staff did an amazing job restoring the yard and working conscientiously with the homeowners property in mind.
Today we begin a speed-bump elimination project on six red. The asphalt has been cut out, and we will be removing the root that is making for a bumpy ride.
Smooth sailing today,

Thursday, June 12, 2014

And so it begins....

Pinehurst is ready for the Open!  There are several areas to be watching closely, golf digest outlines them here
The greens are reported at 12-12.5 feet.  There is some concerns about a few of them as the rain that was predicted didn't come.  In order to keep greens at these speeds, they have to be on the edge of death.  They don't push them too soon, they are meant to peak on Sunday.  Pay close attention to how these greens look over the course of the tournament, you will notice that their is a price to pay for keeping them fast.  Pinehurst hosts the Women's Open immediately following the Men's, so it will be interesting how the greens will come out of this weekend.

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

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

US Open week

The USGA is ramping up its efforts to demonstrate sustainability to the golfing community. "Firm and fast", "brown is the new green" were simply industry buzzwords until this weekend. The US Open will be played on an awesome looking Pinehurst! There is so much to love about this game and we have simply gotten away from the roots of it all. The rub of the green is part of the game, and this week we will name a champion who gets the better of it. Please make time to watch some of the open and catch a glimpse of a simpler, pure golf course.
These are not old photos by the way, these were taken this week as preparations are finalized.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Factors affecting green speeds

I could write several paragraphs on the factors affecting green speeds, it would be incredibly interesting to some, informative to several, and boring to the majority. So let's keep it short and simple......leaf orientation and density.
We mow the greens at a height to optimize plant health and canopy density. The more dense the canopy, the less resistance to ball roll. The sharper the blades, the smoother the canopy. The rollers that determine the height of cut, need to roll smooth and true, any deviation affects height of cut and that = a canopy that is less than optimal. Here we see how our friends the cottonwood weed, affects mowing and green speed.
In four passes with the greens mower, I can make a cottonwood seed baseball! Which is cool, unless that baseball is preventing you from achieving some other goal, like optimal canopy density for true and smooth ball roll.
This will pass, and soon we will be mowing regularly without any disruption. The rough is still growing wildly and seeding at a tremendous rate due to the winter we had.
We will be working on irrigation under the bridge on red 8 today, expect the bridge to be closed for a portion of the day. I will take some photos to share,

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The no-dig necessary irrigation leak

I had good news and bad news for my irrigation foreman. Found a leak and we don't have to dig. We will however have to close a bridge, rig up our climbing gear, and work while suspended. Good thinking not putting two unions on both ends of this pipe!
Any guesses where they did put the union? If you guessed in the middle of the span of the bridge thirty feet above the water, you would be correct!
While scoping out the project, we found a robin nest with four eggs..
Rockin robin tweet, twiddley deet,