Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 29, 2014

We want to ask you to not use any type of bug repellent while standing on any turf, whether it is a green, tee, fairway, or rough.

Most aerosols, including bug repellent sprays, contain unnamed ingredients that are not safe for turf – besides DEET, one popular brand also contains ethanol/ alcohol 50-60%, propane 1-5%, isobutane 1-5%, butane 1-5%, N-N-diethyl-meta-toluamide 25-25%, and water 3-7%.  I am no chemist, nor do I pretend to be, but these extra ingredients, except for the little bit of water, are what “burns” the turf, and in some cases, thins or kills it.

On a cool, overcast day, the ingredients might do very little damage, but on a hot sunny day, the damage can be quite extensive.

The accompanying picture is of the 7th green. Someone used the repellent on Sunday and we found this Monday morning. Sunday was sunny, dry, and hot, and as you can tell by the amount of over spray and the area involved, quite a lot of repellent was used. I am concerned about how this area will “come back”, or more to the point, how much turf we might lose and the length of time it will take the surviving turf to recover.

Friday, May 16, 2014

May 16, 2014

Francis, Irene, Mary, and Ellen are back to work after spending a cold, but relaxing, winter being spoiled at home. This year the girls will concentrate their duties on thinning out the brambles in the natural area that borders holes 8, 9, and 10. Our intention has been, and still is, to keep this area natural without the use of pesticides as part of our efforts to provide wildlife habitat under the guidelines of the Audubon Sanctuary program. Over the years the area has become over grown.

We ask that you not tease or bother the girls, and especially, do not feed them, as it is a falsehood that they can eat anything. There are many plants and human foods that are poisonous to them. Before putting them in any area, I survey it for poisonous plants first, and I have found areas they cannot go. Please don’t throw beer cans in their area thinking that they will eat it, because they won’t! Its interesting how many appear in their fenced area.

The best way to enjoy the goats is to simply watch them; they are very interesting animals – they will rise up on their hind legs and push down brush so they can easily eat it, play with each other, chew up thorns, make little dirt beds and take naps, etc. If you do want to pet one or meet them, give me a call or find me and I will do my best to introduce you to them. They are very friendly, and each one has an individual personality, just like dogs.

If your ball should land in the pen, please take a drop. We can replace your ball later. If the pen affects your shot, treat it as a temporary movable obstruction and take relief in line of sight, but not nearer to the hole.

Just an interesting note...Francis weighed 45 lbs when she began work here and now tops 160 lbs! I can hardly believe I once lifted her into the truck...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 6, 2014

The drill and fill machine close up.

 We finished up the drill and fill today. It is a time consuming and labor intensive project.

Two machines, fitted with10” drills, drill into the green, bringing up the native soil. Sand is then poured into the hole. The sand must be carried by the staff from the truck to the machines, bucket by bucket to keep the hoppers filled. For the 18 greens, we used approximately 90 tons of sand, which translates to somewhere over 9,500 buckets filled, carried to the machines, and tipped into the hoppers. It takes a lot of work. And its non stop.

After the green is drilled and filled, it is rolled and then cleaned up with our core harvester. As soon as it is cleaned, we graden the green to a 3/8th depth, and once again, the core harvester cleans the green. The green is then dragged, or matted, blown off, and dragged one last time. From start to finish, an average sized green takes two hours to complete.

Drill and Fill is different from standard aeration. This process is done to create sand channels in the greens and help change the soil profile deeper into the green than what a standard aeration can. The sand creates pore space, aids in drainage, helps keep the green firmer, and helps reduce compaction. Since this process does not necessarily remove thatch, we follow with the graden, which does. 

Filling the machines.
Graden on left and clean up on the right.
The final drag.

After the drag, and ready to heal!