Thursday, August 30, 2012

Project Update

On August 29th, we began the yearly ritual of greens aerification. We started with the practice green because it is a good way to familiarize the workers that have not aerification before with how it works and what needs to be done. This year, we were also trying out a new core collector from Turf Pride. This collector is attached to the back of the aerifier and pulls the cores along. At the end of the pass when the aerifying head is raised, the cores are dumped into a pile at the edge of the green.

Here you can see the aerifier with the collector attached.

An action shot. Notice the piles of plugs in the background.

The collector at work.

In previous years, we had too shovel the plugs into the middle of the green and then pick them up. This collector will deposit the plugs on the edge of the green and allow us to use less manpower to get the greens aerified. It will hopefully also allow us to get them done faster. Here is a video from three years ago on #17 green.

After the cores are removed, we end up with 3/8 inch holes on 2 inch centers.

The collector came with two different collecting scoops. The first one ended up rising up over the plugs after a long pass and leaving cores on the green. After switching them out, the green was much cleaner.
First pass with the collector installed.

We will do the back 9 greens on the Tuesday after Labor Day and the front 9 on the next day, the 5th of September. With the small holes and some co-operation from mother nature, within 10 days, you should not even notice the holes.

In other news, some of the areas that did not survive the drought and heat of this summer are starting to sprout new grass.

Here is the fairway on #9. You can see the lines of bentgrass seedlings that we put down using the slit seeder.

This is in the rough between #4 and #5. The bluegrass/ryegrass mix is starting to sprout in the aerification holes.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cool Temps and Recovery

The cooler temperatures this last week, coupled with some rain, have enabled a lot of the areas that were hard hit this summer to recover quite a bit. Unfortunately, there were areas that the grass died. We aerified some of these areas and put some bentgrass seed down. In the early morning, with dew on the grass, you can see the bentgrass coming up in the aerifer holes. The predominate grass in these areas was Poa annua. Getting some bentgrass to establish will help keep these spots from declining in the future.

Here are a couple of pictures of one of these spots on #16 fairway.

Monday, August 13, 2012


When the crew came in Saturday morning, they were greeted by this.

That is the power lines that run just outside the maintenance barn. The power lines running into the barn were burning. We don't know exactly what happened, but the barn and the irrigation pumphouse had no power.
DTE came out quickly and started the repair.

By Saturday afternoon, the power was back on. This enabled us to find out that neither the irrigation pumps, nor the irrigation computer were working. After some sleuthing and guess work, we got the pumps back on, but the irrigation computer had lost it's hard drive. Thanks to a service agreement with Toro Irrigation, a new computer will be here on Tuesday morning.

For those of you wondering why the weather station is not reporting to, it downloads all of it's data into the irrigation computer. The data is still there, it is just not getting sent to the internet. It should be back up and working soon.

Thankfully, no one was hurt and we got almost 1.5 inches of rain over the last couple of days, so things should be okay.

Friday, August 3, 2012

July 2012 Monthly Weather Summary

For the month of July, 2012, the high temperature recorded at Leslie Park Golf Course was 100.6 degrees on the 6th. That is the highest temperature the weather station has recorded since we got it in June of 2010. There were 10 days were the high temperature for the day was at least 90 degrees. The average temp was 77.1 degrees. The lowest temperature at the golf course was 53.7 (July 21st.)

The rain continues to miss the Ann Arbor area for the most part. The monthly total was 1.67 inches. While the normal monthly total for July is 1.84 inches, this follows a spring and summer (so far) that has been abnormally dry. For the year, we have only gotten 10.22 inches, while the normal total would be close to 21 inches. We have gotten almost a half inch in the last week. This has helped green-up the areas in which we have irrigation, but the rough, where the irrigation does not reach, is still brown and dormant. The rain will help those areas survive until we get more rain but don't expect them to turn lush and green until we get much more rain. We had 7 days with at least a trace of rain and 5 days with over a tenth of an inch. None of the rain events totaled more than 1 inch. The most rain we got in one day was 0.71 inches (July 5th.) We had 13 days without rain between that event and the next rain  which was on the 19th, when we got 0.08 inches. Durring those two weeks, we had 5 days with high temps over 90. The lowest high temperature during that time was 83.3 on the 10th. It was hot and dry.

The high wind speed was 30 miles per hour. It occurred on the 5th. The average wind speed was only 2.2 mph.