Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Early May Update

With the warmer, and relatively drier, weather last week, the course started to dry out and firm up allowing us to mow much more of than in previous weeks and we are beginning to look like a golf course again.   Some wetter areas of the course are being mowed for only the first time this season and some have yet to be touched.  After yesterday's storm, I doubt they will be mowed this week.

It feels like we are behind from a maintenance standpoint, and this is likely due to the mild, although wet, start to the year.  But the reality is that we are right on schedule, and maybe even a little ahead.  All greens have been aerified, the Lake Course two weeks ago and the Hill Course last week. With the warmer spring, the soil temps are almost 20*F warmer than last season resulting in quick healing of the greens.  The Lake Course greens are almost fully healed and the Hill will be roughly one week behind them.

As we head into the first of May, all sets of tee markers are being set out, bunker rakes are placed at each bunker and maintenance begins to be a little more routine as the weather gets better and our staff size increases.  Golf season is here!

The next week, weather depending, will see fertilizer applications, weeds treated, and leveling of #4 and #17 Lake tees, which will begin as soon as we dry out a little bit.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

To Cart, Or Not To Cart

THAT is the question!

And, for the near future, the answer is a resounding, no.  The rain from the last 48 hours has pushed us back over the saturation point making navigation difficult throughout the course.   Next week looks great for golfing, but the forecast for the next 2 days is not encouraging.  Flood warnings and impending snow fall (6"-11" possible) will make carts out of the question for the weekend and maybe the first part of next week if the snow does not melt quickly.

Making the decision on carts is one of the least favorite parts of my job.  I have to balance between making the customer happy and protecting the course from the inevitable damage, and there is a lot of grey area in deciding.   How wet is it?  What is the forecast?  How much play are we expecting? Will we likely lose a day of strong revenue?  Will it be superficial surface mud brought up, or will there be ruts and large scale damage near greens and tees?  Will my staff have time to repair damage or tow out a stuck cart?  These, and more, are all questions to be asked, and I have to calculate all these answers into one simple "yes" or "no". Golf is a service industry and we want to keep our customers happy, but allowing carts on a soggy 50* day in early April could have a negative effect on your more enjoyable 70* round in May.  

So, the next time you get an answer you're not happy with, please understand that the simple "yes" or "no" is really not that simple.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

And the Crystal Ball Says............

As we head into late March, the Crystal Ball is a little cloudy as to when we will be able to open for the season.  Last year, although temporary, spring came early and allowed us to mow greens on March 17th.
With the heavy snowfall last week, 2017 won't be a repeat.  Today we still have good snow cover, but the long range forecast looks a little more promising with temperatures in the low 50's most days and some rain to speed up snow melt and thaw what little frost we have in the ground.  If all goes well and the forecast holds, we will likely be mowing by the end of the first week of April.  BUT, we are dealing with the very unpredictable WNY weather which keeps the Crystal Ball obsolete.

Regardless of when we are able to open, we are excited to get the season rolling and look forward to seeing everyone when weather permits.

If you haven't renewed your membership for the 2017 season, please contact Troy in the proshop.  He'll be more than happy to assist you in any way possible.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Watch That First Step

With the floor sinking a little bit every year, causing cracks, a severe slope, and unsafe footing, we have decided to remove the concrete floor in the Ladies' restroom at #5 on the Lake Course to find a solution and make it safe and comfortable.  A crew from the CI Buildings and Grounds department was in yesterday with an air hammer making a lot of noise and dust.  Today we will inspect the sub floor to see if we can determine why it keep sinking on this side but not on the Men's side.  We will then remedy the problem, add a new sub base and pour a new concrete floor.  The floor will not be painted this summer as the concrete cures over that time, but we will add mats for safety.

In the meantime, please use the Men's room on the other side and watch your step around the building.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Early May Updates

We're still in the "Herd of Speeding Turtles" mode here in WNY.  All greens have been aerified and topdressed but recovery has been slow due to low soil temperatures.  We have finally crept into the low 50's for soil temperature and should begin to see the fertilizer kick in to accelerate recovery.

The bridge on #15 Lake is nearly complete with only the stone work, landscaping, paving and staining to be completed.  As part of the project, we were able to both make the bridge wider and eliminate the abrupt ramps on each end of the old bridge resulting in a quieter and more comfortable ride.

As we do every spring, we are renovating a few bunkers in advance of the NJCAA National Championship.  Assistant superintendent, Bill Peterson, has already completed #9 Lake and is currently tackling the greenside bunkers on #2 Lake in an effort to improve drainage.

If you have been out to play lately, you may have noticed some white lines and arrows on the paths.  These indicate sections of paths that are scheduled for repair and another coat of blacktop for a smoother ride.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hmmmmmm, Something's Missing

With the nasty weather we've been having, you probably haven't been out by #15 Lake in the last week, but if you have, you may have noticed that the bridge is missing.

No, it wasn't stolen, nor was it swept away by all the rain and melting snow. We have been wanting to renovate it for several years, but the right time never presented itself. Thanks to a generous gift from the Connolly family, that time is now. Improvements will be a wider, flatter and much more aesthetically pleasing bridge as well as a wider pond bank on which we will be able to add some nice landscaping.

As with any project, there will be a temporary inconvenience. Our inconvenience will be a re-routing of golf cart traffic around the other side of the pond. When taking this detour please be considerate of people teeing off at #16 and be careful of the wet areas. We will have a pre selected route marked out for you, but it will still be a little wet regardless of where you drive.

Thank you for your patience during this and all projects. You will like the finished product.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, April 1, 2016

Off Like a Herd of Speeding Turtles

It has been an unbelievable start to the golf season in 2016.  Cups changed and greens mowed twice before April 1st for the first time ever.  Golfers have burst out of the gates and some had several rounds played by the end of March.  It's always great to see the course being used at normally slow times.

The turf, on the other hand, hasn't been told that golf season has started.  The soil temperatures are still cool and well under what the grass prefers for growing, just now starting to green up and grow a little.  And that growth is about to come to a screeching halt if the 10 day forecast holds true.  Highs in the 20's and 30's and lows down to the teens early next week.  This should serve as a nice reminder that it is only early April here in Chautauqua County.

Good golfing weather will be here again before you know it but, for now, we are just a bunch of speeding turtles going nowhere fast.