Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Winter Trail Update

As most of you have noticed, this December has been much different than last year when it comes to snowfall.  On this date last year, the snowpack on the golf course was almost two feet!  Meanwhile, it is about two inches out there now... hopefully, this storm cycle produces more!

As is our typical practice, we will wait until the average snowpack on the golf course is 8"-12", at which point we will begin "packing" the trail with a snow machine and roller compactor.

Last season, we learned many "do's & do not's" in our first year operating the Ginzugroomer and tracksetter.  Perhaps the most important is how vital it is to have a firm trail of at least 12" deep of packed snow before we begin setting a track.  This ensures that the grooming equipment will not dig through the snow and damage the turf beneath.  Therefore, we will begin the finishing grooming and tracksetting when the depth of the packed track averages 12".

You may also notice some small changes to how the trail travels through the golf course.  The goal of these changes is to produce the best possible skiing product.  In order to make this happen the trail will travel over more "fairway" acreage this year.  Because of this we may see a slightly higher incidence of "winter kill" in fairway areas next spring, but nothing that a little early spring TLC won't take care of.

I will continue posting updates as the trail takes shape this winter.  For now, pray for snow!  

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Closing Weekend & Irrigation System Winterization

This morning we arrived to a golf course with 5.25" of fresh snow on top of it!  We seemed to be right on Mother Nature's schedule for closing the golf season... Hopefully, the snow melts and we will be able to get in that last round tomorrow!

Please keep in mind that beginning October 16th the golf course will be closed to all foot traffic until the Nordic Ski Track opens.  This is to allow our winterization processes to be as effective and efficient as possible.  Furthermore, we will be treating the golf course with fungicides to prevent snow mold infestations.  The fungicides we use have various properties so to prevent any inadvertent exposures, please refrain from walking on the golf course during this period.

We are scheduled to winterize the irrigation system 18th-20th of next week.  Our goal is to work on holes #1-#8 on Wednesday the 18th, holes #12-#18 on Thursday the 19th, and holes #9-#11 on Friday the 20th. 

If your home's irrigation system is connected to the golf course irrigation system, you are welcome to use the system's air pressure to winterize your irrigation system.  Please keep in mind that the golf course is not responsible for the winterization of homeowner irrigation systems.   We will provide air pressure just as we provide water during the summer season, but are not responsible for any repairs and maintenance.  If you have any questions please contact the golf maintenance facility at (307) 733-7802.

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Greens Agronomy - Day 2

As of 2:00 pm this afternoon the back 9 was re-opened and ready for play.  The process went well, thanks mostly to a fantastic crew and partially because of the clear weather.  Below is a photo of the hole created by the "talon" tines (this is our chipping green, you may also see the sanded holes left from the 5/8" hollow tines two weeks earlier). 

The "talon" tines are essentially a small cross, instead of the traditional round tine.  With slow recovery speeds this time of year, we tried something new.  This season, we coupled the above treatment with relatively intensive vertical cutting.  In the end, we are hoping to still accomplish the four goals of aerification: thatch management, compaction relief, gas exchange, and improved water infiltration, without the impact on play.  

Throughout the rest of the week we will be "topping off" the greens that require a little more sand.  In addition, we will be brushing and rolling frequently to smooth out the putting surfaces for the last few weeks of play. 
Thank you for your patience with the process.  Practices like these keep our greens healthy and rolling true.
Below is a photo of our Procore operator, Joe, and the talon tine pattern on the chipping green (you may also notice how this treatment "squeezes" the 5/8" holes together possibly speeding up healing time for the slow growth we observe in September).  

Monday, September 25, 2017

Greens Agronomy - Day 1

Today we will begin vertical cutting, aerifying, and topdressing the putting surfaces on the front 9 after the Monday afternoon group.  We will close the front 9 this afternoon during this process in order to make the most efficient use of time.

Tomorrow morning the front 9 will be open, while the back 9 will be closed until the afternoon. 

These agronomic practices are important for long term health and playability of the putting surfaces. 

Thank you all in advance for your patience around these course closures.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Approach Aerification - Day 2

Today we will hope to aerify holes #9-18.  That is, if the weather cooperates.  We will also be topdressing the approaches after the aerification process starting on #1 today. 

As always, with this process we have two goals: 1. to execute the cultural practice as best as possible for the health and playability of the golf course; and 2. to minimize any disruption to the player.

Above is a video of the Procore taking 5/8" cores out of #4 approach.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Approach Aerification

The crew is hitting the front 9 to begin our approach aerification process as I write this.  The approaches have the biggest build up of thatch on the golf course so we will be using 5/8" hollow tines in order to remove as much organic matter as possible.  We will follow with a heavy topdressing in order to get as much sand into the soil profile as possible.  This should help create a firmer playing surface in the future.  With wet weather forecasted for the coming days we will try to accomplish as much as we can tonight to take advantage of the Tuesday PM maintenance closure on the front 9.

Thank you all in advance for your patience and for keeping golf carts off of the approaches during this process.  Especially if we are unable to work sand into the holes due to the wet weather.  The bigger the holes, the more sand gets in, and the better the approaches will play.  As always our goal is to minimize the intrusion to the player as much as possible.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tee Box Aerification

Yesterday we completed tees #1 through #6. Today we will be continuing our cultural practices on the tee boxes.  Primarily we will be using vent tines and topdressing.  We will begin on #7 today and attempt to finish the rest of the tees on the golf course.  We will do our best to interfere with play as little as possible.