Friday, April 29, 2011


Carts are out!

It's not dry in all places, but it is firm enough with the use of good judgement.

A couple hints for navigating the course in wet conditions:

* Always look ahead to keep an eye out for puddles and other wet areas to avoid.

* Stay on paths as much as possible.

* Keep to high ground where paths are not available.

* If ruts and worn areas are being created, drive somewhere else.


This spring has been a test of everyone's patience thus far. Mine, my crew's, and of course the golfers. Golfers are having a hard time finding golfable days and are unhappy with carts being kept off the course.

On the maintenance end, we have been making very tough decisions on what we should be doing out on the course. I have had to make a choice between keeping the course looking good and clean, and mowing to keep the turf at a healthy and manageable but leaving mud tracks everywhere. In the end we mowed because the weather forecast called for more rain and if it got any more wet we may not have been able to mow until next week. As it turned out, we were incredibly lucky and avoided the heavy downpours other areas received and, with the strong winds, we have been able to dry out significantly and get some areas mowed twice this week.

Here is a link to a nice article from the USGA explaining the difficulties most golf courses in the Northeast are dealing with. You may have to copy and paste to your browser. It doesn't appear to be coming up as a direct link.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mid April Update

It has been a long tough month here in Chautauqua County.  Temps well below normal and constant rain and snow showers have slowed any major projects.  Everything has been mown and most of the sticks and debris in the rough has been picked up at this point, some areas a second time after last weekend's heavy winds.

Other than being wet and cold, the course looks good and is just waiting for some players.  We have some die hard junior golfers from local HS teams that have been out nearly every day this week, but even the golf nuts on my crew have only been out a couple times this year.

We are replacing the culvert under the cart path on #2 Lake Course this week. The old galvanized pipe was rotting and caving in.  In the attached picture I have circled a hole in the path that kept sinking and was a health hazard.  The old pipe is out and we have replaced it with a double wall plastic pipe that should last another 50 years or more.  The area will be graded and reseeded after it dries out a little.

The new pump station will be here tomorrow morning at 9:00.  We will get it set in place and the pumps attached tomorrow and the electricity hooked up sometime in the next couple weeks.  I expect to be fully operational by May 6th.  I will post a slide show of the whole process from demolition of the old pump house to the final piece of siding put on the new pump house when the project is completed.

Home Lawn Crabgrass Control

Forsythia in bloom, shown above, is an excellent indicator of when to apply your crabgrass prevention weed and feed.

If you do it yourself, please read the label carefully before application and calibrate your spreader to make sure you are putting down the proper rate. More is not always better when it comes to chemical applications and too little will just require more later.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Let's Play

Both courses are mowed, open, and carts are out.  We've had a good week and managed to work around the rain quite nicely. 

Please remember to repair ball marks, replace divots, rake bunkers,etc to keep the course enjoyable for everyone playing behind you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Driving range open, see Troy in the Pro Shop

Every year the opening of the driving range is delayed due to drainage issues in the landing zone. Balls plug and get lost, ball pickers and mowers get stuck and make a mess, etc.

In an effort to get you on the range earlier we have opened the range at the learning center where the ground is firmer than in the old range.

Stop in the Pro Shop for more information and to get your ball machine tokens.

It's Golf Season!

We really caught a break Monday and Tuesday this week with the rain breaking up as it got to us.  It rained a little, but not enough to slow us down as we get out on the course for "spring cleaning".

As of this post, all Lake Course greens, aprons and tees have been cleared, rolled and mowed, and Lake Course fairways have been cleared and rolled.  Cups have also been changed for the first time this season on the Lake Course and the Hill Course will be done Thursday.  Hill Course greens have been cleared, rolled and mowed and Hill Course fairways have been cleared and some rolled.  Tees will be done Wednesday if we can get lucky with the rain for a third straight day.  There is still a lot of debris in the rough, but that will be cleaned up once the main course areas have been completed.

The course really came through the winter well and is off to a good start for the season, even if we are behind in growing degree days comparatively for the season.

Hope to see everyone out here soon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I was wrong about getting out on the course by today.  We had a good 4" of snow yesterday.  This afternoon's warm sun melted most of it, but now the course is covered in runoff water and will delay any spring clean up efforts by at least a day.

Carts aren't permitted on the course yet, but will be out as soon as we dry up a little.  Due to the drainage work in the last few years we have been able to get carts out earlier in the season with little damage to the course and I am optimistic that the ground will firm up pretty quickly once we get by our current wet weather pattern.

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Update

April is finally here and, with the exception of a few dark corners, the snow is gone.  Today is upper 50's and rain which should help get some of the frost out of the ground.  Tomorrow is upper 30's with a chance of snow.  But then the forecast starts looking a little more normal and there is hope we can get out on the course for cleanup, rolling and a first mowing on the greens.  Tees, fairways and rough will follow greens.

We are just about done with winter maintenance on the equipment.  The only pieces left are waiting for repair parts to arrive so they can be assembled.

Tee markers, ball washers, etc are all being inspected, repaired and painted, and we have brought in all yardage markers for some updating and painting.  A nice improvement from what they were.