Wednesday, December 7, 2016

There's a new blog in town....last post on this page

It's been a while since I have put out a blog posting.  It's primarily due to the fact that I do most of them from my iphone on the fly as I'm out on the course.  Despite several attempts lately, I have not been able to post anything due to an app glitch on my phone that keeps crashing the blog post I was working on for the previous 5 minutes.

So, I have decided to switch blog platforms.  I will now be using WordPress instead of Blogger.  The address for the new blog is .  Many of you will automatically get the feed as I tapped into the Clubhouse renovation blog subscriber's list to include those people already.  However, if you do not get the posts automatically and wish to, you can go to the new blog page, scroll to the bottom and add your email address into the database for auto delivery.

This blogger platform lasted me many years and I will leave it up, but its time to move onto a better blogging experience.

Thanks for following along,


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Flowers on 12

I have received a lot of questions regarding the flowers that used to be around the 12th tee since a lot of the membership is has gotten back.  Don't worry, I have a plan.

As many of you remember, the 12th tee used to have a rock face along side the cart path that was landscaped seasonally with flowers.  Due to the tee expansion project the rocks and landscaping bed were removed to make room for the needed additional teeing ground.  Since there is no room on the tee to make a landscaping bed, I'll make a new one between the cart paths.  Beginning in the Spring, the grass area between the two cart paths that are close together will be spray out in preparation for a new flower bed.  The small strip of grass has irrigation lines and drainage lines under it so I couldn't put trees there as the roots will grow into the drainage lines and around all the pipes.  However, it will make a great spot for the replacement flower bed. 

The grass is going to take several applications of herbicide over a few months to kill the Celebration effectively.  Remember, bermuda grass is one of the world's worst and most persistent weeds....we just utilize it to play golf on.  If it gets into a landscaping bed it is exceptionally difficult to remove.  Thus the long and deliberate methodology to kill before planting the flowers.  This is why the area hasn't been converted yet.  I didn't want there to be a giant section of dead grass just sitting there for months when everyone came back. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Happening stuff

The final push is happening to prep the golf course for "season" and things are looking good. Here are a few of the items we are doing this week. 

Annual cart path rehab. This is a major event as it is super labor intensive. First the paths are edged and then they are capped with new material. This project will take about 3 weeks. 

Sand trap rehab.  This process is known as the sand shuffle and is key to longevity and playability of the bunkers. Every trap is checked by digging down through the bunker sand to the native soil below to see how much actual bunker sand there is. If more than 4-5" of sand is present, it is moved to where there is not enough. If not enough sand is there to move and more sand is needed, sand is hauled in. Depth uniformity is key to maximize playability and you'd be shocked at how much the depth changes over a year's time. 

Mulch bed rehab.  The entire course has fresh pine straw put in the beds. I love it when the straw goes down, makes the place look "ready." 

Accessories rehab. All of the tee signs have been painted and look amazing. They are black with silver letters and numbers. The signs look so good I am having the ball washers and posts painted as well. 

Not really rehab, but definitely needed maintenance. All short grass areas are being topdressed this week. This is a key component to maintaining a firm playing surface. 

Palm tree rehab. The process of trimming all 1200 palms have begun. It's a 3-4 week endeavor. We recycle all the fronds into landscape mulch to use on the perimeter fence lines. 

Ficus hedge rehab. All trimmed up and looking good. 

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.