Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Another one in the books

Today we finished planting all the new oak trees along Burning Tree Dr, and it was a challenge. 

Due to space constraints between buried infrastructures I wasn't able to get as large a tree as I wanted to. 

I had to size down the plant material so the root ball would be able to squeeze the trees in between buried electric lines and the City's potable water mainlines. 

The good news is that the smaller sized trees are cheaper so I was able to save some money. That let me buy more trees to replace the ones that were lost over the years due to storms. We cut down 9 trees along burning tree and I put back 13. With any luck we won't get any major storms over the next 10-15 years and the trees will get huge and canopy the road a little. 

My team also finished the curbing install on 13 green. Looks fantastic! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

We're ahead but time is running out

If this time of year could be equated to a football game it would be the fourth quarter, two minutes to go, and we are in a no huddle offense. Things are really starting to move quickly here at the club while we get ready to wrap up our summer season agronomics, as well as begin landscaping the clubhouse grounds.  The next 3 to 4 weeks are going to be insane with all varying stages of chaos trying to get everything done before season gets here. 

The cart path curbing project on 12 is complete. I had the guys curb the entire tee from the white's to the red's. Looks great! I also added some new pond cypress trees to match the existing cypress head where I could between 11 fairway and the new tee on 12. The area of grass between the cart paths has irrigation and drainage pipes below it so the space for trees was limited. 

Trevor is beginning to install curbing on 13 green. The ground is so rocky we always try to do most digging with a machine when possible. 

The back nine new green's perimeters are growing in nicely. To help some of areas fill quicker in I am having the team plug out some of the larger spots. The front 9 perimeters are completely grown in and look great. It's amazing what 30 days difference will make when growing in turf. 

Because our summer agronomics are so aggressive we create a ripe opportunity for weeds to invade the golf course. Instead of spraying lots of chemicals to control weeds, a lot of times it is much more effective to just get some guys and a good 'ol fashioned knife and cut them out. Over the last week Trevor had a couple guys in rouging the turf for weeds and the results have been a tremendous improvement. 

I was finally able to get this little machine in to trim the ficus hedge behind the Club's sign on the corner of Solana and Burning Tree Dr. The ficus was starting stretch way out and almost touch the sign. The hedge is going to be a little thin and you'll be able to see my shop area for a bit until the ficus thickens up to conceal my area. I tried to get this machine in back in July when the other hedges were trimmed but it had broken part of its robotic arm. Took a while to repair. 

I had all of the utilities located along Burning Tree Dr so my team could start installing the new Oak trees. Install should start later today. 

Essentially the new course restrooms are complete. There's a few items left but the building is there and they look great. It's time for me to landscape them as well. Over the next two weeks my goal is to wrap up all of my golf course projects. Site work for the new clubhouse is going to start soon and I'm going to need to be able to shift staff to it as there is a LOT of work to be done to get the landscaping back up and running. What was ripped out had to be replaced and what was trampled by construction trucks needs to be identified and repaired. Then we have to add all the new plants to make the Old Florida look shine. 

Lots going on and lots to do......

Monday, September 12, 2016

Pushing rope up hill

With the daily afternoon down pours, trying to get things done around the course has been like trying to push rope uphill. When it looks like we need to go right, things go left and bunch up!

Despite the daily rain event, my team has continued to make small daily progress. The new par 3 tees are open, the range tee is back open (when not to soggy), the new green's perimeters are filling in nicely, and we began some new projects. 

Railroad tie curbing install has started. My team began installing 3 green today....but got ran off by rain. We have a full docket of new curbs to install this year: 3 green, 6 silver tee, 11 green, 12 tees, 13 green and 16 green. It's an ambitious goal!!!!

Our annual cart path "cut back" is getting ready to take place. To prepare for the trimming we sprayed the edges of the cart paths with a herbicide to kill the grass. This way when the grass is removed the roots will not take a large chunk of cart path material with it. 

My team has also just finished laying out 6500 square feet of sod on some thin spots in the fairways.  These areas are the ones that we are constantly struggling with in season. Experience has taught me that most of the time if you just cut out the struggling grass and sod it the issues go away. Most of the sod is on 5 fairway but there are spots here and there. 

The weather forecast is to be rainy all week. There's a short window of opportunity left before everyone returns and a whole lot to get done still. If we could just catch a break from the weather we could make up some needed ground. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Clubhouse tree removal

Over the last several days I had a tree company in to remove the large Mahogany trees lining Burning Tree Drive.  The reason for removal is because the large Mahogany seedpods would fall and crack windshields or worse, dent cars.  Additionally the trees were very messy,  dropping tremendous amount of leaves into convertible's interior and car windshield wiper hood gaps. 

New Oak trees will be installed to replace the removed trees. 

I also had the very large Royal Palm behind the Clubhouse that was adjacent to the putting green removed. The palm was so large that I couldn't trim it any more which left it to drop things all over the green, and it didn't fit into the new landscape plan for the back of the Clubhouse. 

The plan is to accentuate the enormous Black Olive tree. All the shrubs and electrical stuff under the tree will be removed, new up lighting will be installed under the Black Olive to light it at night, and beautiful seasonal flowers will be installed to make the tree a signature spot.  It's all in various stages of chaos, but I needed to get the trees removed now before the major palm tree trimming season starts at the end of the month and the vast majority of tree trimmers are busy. 

How my day usually goes

My father is one of those guys who has a saying for everything. He would of characterized yesterday's rain storm as a "frog strangler!" Although the recent tropical storm had long past, you would of thought is miraculously reappeared here and unleashed it's fury and then left as fast as it showed up, dumping 1.2 inches of rain in 30 minutes. 

Mr. Benson in Moorings Park sent me this picture looking out the window of his unit on the top floor right after the storm passed. The view is looking north down hole 7 and all the flooded drain basins are a good indication of the intensity of the rain.....course closed, see everyone tomorrow. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

What's happening around CCN

Lots of sprinkler leveling happening

Lots of landscaping trimming happening. All ficus hedges were trimmed and cleaned up. 

Lots of local "recips" happening

Lots of new green's perimeter grow-in happening

Lots of fertilizing happening

Lots of raining happening....like every day happening 

Lots of new bathroom construction happening

Lots of new teeing grounds happening
Lots of new range tee grow-in happening
Lots of preparing to sit down happening

Lots of drain basin leveling happening

A lot of getting ready to start installing rail road tie curbing

Lots of new Solana Road landscaping by RP happened 

Lots of beautiful new Clubhouse construction has been happening 

Lots of prepping for our annual cart path refurbishment happening. Line them out, spray them out, edge, then cap them all. 

Lots of new grasses happened....2000 of them

Lots of equipment repairs happening too

It's been a pretty wild summer so far with all the improvements and hurtles to overcome, like weather. And by the looks of the tropical depression in the Atlantic it might get to be a really crazy place here soon. Guess we have to wait and see what happens. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Finally, a bright sun shiny day....oh wait, spoke too soon

This blog post was over a two day period. My how things change fast.

Sat afternoon.....

Ever since the first aerification in June it's been raining a lot. So much so that it's been difficult to do most remedial things like mowing some times. Here is a list of rain events since June. 

As you can see the rain has been pretty consistent. Due to the constant rain threat I've been hesitant to fertilize the course in fear of it being washed down the drains. The result has been a slowly  recovering turf. 

Thankfully this last week the rain subsided a bit and my team was able to get the course fertilized to promote growth. Due to the rain being so relentless this summer the grass is still a little thin, so I am going to modify the third aerification series a bit so it's not so aggressive. It is better to have more grass this time of year than not enough. 

This aerification session my team will just punch holes and sand most things, plug bare areas in the new green's perimeters, sod some areas where the insects have destroyed the grass, continue raising sprinkler heads and drains, and general maintenance stuff.  There will be no wall to wall heavy verti-cutting. 

So it was a beautiful weekend, Sunny, hot, and then Sunday evening rolls in.

Monday morning.....

Over night the course received constant rain for hours totalling 1.25" in all. Thankfully the rain stopped around 3 a.m. and the course drained a bit as today I am having the course injected with a chemical called Curfew to kill soil living pests. Wouldn't you know it though, it rained again right before the Curfew guys started. Thankfully it was just a quick blast and not substaintial. 

The Curfew material is custom injected by an outside company. It is sliced into the ground six inches deep as a high pressure gas that vaporizes and diffuses up through the soil killing all insects and pests except ants. For some reason ants are immune. The super high soil moisture content of the course actually helps in this case. Since there is no tarping to hold the gas in place, irrigation is needed afterwards to retard the volitity of the gas. Due to all the rain, my staff will not have to irrigate as much after the application. The reason the course is closed for 3 days is because of the re-entry restrictions. Any treated areas cannot be entered until 24 hours after application. So all day today and most of tomorrow my staff will be working in the landscaping and other areas of the course. Wednesday my staff will be out repairing any sod damage and putting the course back together for play on Thursday.