Monday, December 5, 2016

Turtle Basking Structures

As part of the Traver Creek Restoration Project through the City of Ann Arbor owned Leslie Park Golf Course in 2013, a permit was submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ.) To satisfy the MDEQ permit of the project, turtles were relocated to avoid  the construction. You can read more about the turtle project HERE and HERE

After the project was complete, turtle habitat was supposed to be improved. One way to do that is to install basking structures. This is a place where the turtle can lay in the sun to warm up, while also having the ability to drop quickly back into the water to escape a predator. If you ever go canoeing along the Huron River, you will see lots of turtles on fallen trees along the river banks. We are trying to replicate this type of basking area in the ponds on #8, #12 and #17.

The first step was to find some suitable branches. An opportunity came in the form of some tree trimming we were planning on doing along #11 tee. In order to frame the shot from the Championship tees, we needed to trim back some Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila) trees. These trees are non-native and are considered a semi-invasive species.

Once we had the correct size branches, Natural Area Preservation staff started to install the structures.

Positioning the branch in the pond.


Installing lag bolts to hold the anchors.


The "Duckbill" anchor is driven into the ground.


When the drive rod is pulled out, the anchor rotates to lock into the surrounding earth.



Waders were a necessity to place the structure properly on this cold December day.


You can see one of the structures in the pond on #8.


Another basking site near Traver Road on #12.

Friday, December 2, 2016

November 2016 Weather Summary

The high temperature for the month of November was 77.3 degrees (Nov 1st) while the low was 18.6 (22nd.) You can see how this month starts the transition from Fall to Winter. The average temperature was 45.6 degrees, nearly ten degrees cooler than last month. Over the last 60 days, the average temperature has dropped by more than 20 degrees. Nine days had temperatures that were below the freezing point in the morning.

There were 10 days of precipitation with a monthly total of 1.90 inches. Four days saw more than a tenth of an inch of rain and the 28th had the most rainfall with 0.64 inches. The total for the year so far is 28.71 inches.

Average windspeed was 2.7 mph. The highest recorded sustained windspeed was 31 mph, on the 28th.

Friday, November 4, 2016

October 2016 Weather Summary

The high temperature for the month of October was 81.7 degrees (Oct 7th) while the low was 32.0 (28th.) The average temperature was 55.0 degrees, eleven degrees cooler than last month.

There were 10 days of precipitation with a monthly total of 3.26 inches. Eight days saw more than a tenth of an inch of rain and the 20th had the most rainfall with 0.93 inches. The total for the year so far is 26.81 inches.

Average windspeed was 2.2 mph. The highest recorded sustained windspeed was 26 mph, on the 17th.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fall Project Update

We finished aerification on the Huron hills greens today. We hope to start Leslie next week. We have aerified some of the tees at Leslie and hope to continue "plugging" away at those. (That is an aerification joke.)

We had a tree company come in to trim up one of the oaks on #5 as well as cable the three parts of the tree together. The large oak on the left of the hole was developing a split and in order to cause less stress on the joint, they took some of the heavy limbs off. After the limbs were removed, you do not notice a difference, but the weight reduction was significant. Hopefully, this tree will be around for several decades.

How many climbers can you find in the tree? There are 3.


We have also built a new forward tee on #11. The tee that was on the far side of the wetland was too small and also accentuated the dogleg. This made the hole more difficult than it should be from the forward tees. The new tee will give players a straighter shot to the hole.

Half the sod in place.

From this view, you can see down most of the fairway.

Another project we have started was on #16. When the Traver Creek Project was going on, the approach on #16 was used as a haul road. Hundreds of dump trucks full of silt from the pond were hauled over this portion of the fairway and dumped on the left side of #14. When the project was done, this area was supposed to be excavated and filled in with topsoil. If you have played during the summer since the project, you probably noticed that this area was never looking good. After digging it up and examining the soil, it looks like the compacted soil was never removed. It was just graded out and two inches of topsoil spread on top. 

We excavated the area down 4 inches. The we roto-tilled the compacted soil.

Topsoil was dumped onto the area and spread around.

The next step is to lay some bentgrass sod over the leveled topsoil. It should be fully grown in by next spring.









Tuesday, October 4, 2016

September 2016 Monthly Weather Summary

The high temperature for the month of September was 90.2 degrees, on Sep 6. That brings the number of days with high temperatures above 90 degrees to ten. The low temperature for the month was 49.0 degrees (27th.)  The average temperature for the month was 66.7 degrees.

#17 green and pond. 

Total rainfall for the month was 4.06 inches, bringing the yearly total to 23.87 inches. The highest daily rainfall was 1.77 inches on the 29th. Seven days in the month saw more than a tenth of an inch of rain and 9 days had at least a trace.

The average windspeed for the month was 1.4 mph. The highest sustained windspeed was 23 mph, on the 7th.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

August 2016 Weather Summary

The high temperature for the month of August was 92.2 degrees, on Aug 10th. That brings the number of days with high temperatures above 90 degrees to eight. In 2014 and 2015, there was only one day each summer that got to this mark. The low temperature for the month was 55.5 degrees (23rd.)  The average temperature for the month was 74.1 degrees. This is slightly above July's average temperature, which is normally our warmest month of the year.

We finally got significant rainfall in August, starting on the 13th. During a stretch of 6 days, Leslie Park got a total of almost 3 inches of rain, capped off by a soaking 1.93 inches on the 16th. This rainfall filled up our irrigation pond and replenished the soil moisture enough to bring un-irrigated areas out of dormancy. Total rainfall for the month was 4.07 inches, bringing the yearly total to 19.49 inches. This is about an inch short of what we average since the weather station was installed in 2010.

The average windspeed for the month was 1.5 mph. The highest sustained windspeed was 28 mph, on the 12th.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bunker restoration

We are trying a bunker restoration on the greenside bunkers on hole #11 at Huron Hills. The sides of the bunkers were very steep between the sand and the green. This area was starting to collapse from lack of support. We are going to soften the slope while shrinking the bunker size slightly. We would also like make the bunker have a flatter bottom so the sand does not wash out after heavy rains. We are starting on the left hand bunker. We hope that it will be the easier of the two bunkers, which will allow us to perfect out technique before trying trickier projects.



You can see how the edge has started to collapse. Over the years, this has expanded the bunker toward the green.


The boards allow us to form the new edge.

The slope has been taken down and used to fill in up to the boards.

Looking east, toward Huron Parkway.

The fill was covered with topsoil and raked out.

The bunker face will be sodded next week.

This slope will be easier to maintain.