It has been a little while since I have posted, I apologize. Though slow on the course, the winter months can be quite hectic back at the shop. As the season winds down and we begin minimizing our staff for the winter, we change gears and turn into a rebuild team.
Doug and Rex started our equipment list in October and are nearing completion, while working through the list they inspect every piece of equipment and make any repairs needed to bring it back to a like new condition. During inspection they complete a fluid change and any other factory recommended service. Upon completion they sharpen blades or reels and finally each piece of equipment is detailed and waxed. The upkeep of our equipment is not only important due to the cost of equipment but also to keep us efficient through the season. Any breakdowns through the season can set us back weeks trying to repair while trying to keep up with the rest of the daily maintenance.
This season, Kyle has been our accessory refinishing master. Every wooden accessory is brought in from the course in the fall, sanded and refinished to maximize its life. This includes flag sticks, tee balls, divot boxes, traffic control stakes and arrows, benches, hazard stakes, etc. We also sandblast and re paint the putting green cups in order to rotate them through the year and keep a like new condition. This year we are also working on building a few new accessories to introduce to the property; a divot container for the halfway house, new trash cans, additional directional arrows, planter boxes for the clubhouse, and additional benches.
Between Cutting down trees (30 this winter so far), helping with equipment, and helping with accessories; Will and I have been putting the final touches on the agronomic plans while beginning to build our team for the upcoming season. We are excited to start the year fresh and with some new talent to introduce to the property. Our seasonal staff has been slowly building and by May we expect to be more or less “in full swing.”
The weather has been interesting thus far but hopefully not too indicative of what the year has in store. February was the wettest on record with 5.67″ of rain on property. This winter we received a total of 25″ of snow and a little over 18″ of rain, these totals in conjunction with fluctuating temperatures have caused puddles to persist on the property for extended periods of time. Most areas are out of play and free of damage but can make it a challenge to navigate the course at certain times. The most challenging part of every spring though, When do we open greens?!
Opening greens before the ground is ready can be detrimental to the start of our season and cause issues that will persist through the summer. Root Shear is one of the biggest concerns with a chance that the thawed top layer can shift above the frozen subsurface causing roots to shear at the interface of frozen/thawed soil. Below is a picture to help illustrate what’s happening –
I have also located a pretty good article from the USGA, titled “Should We Do It?” which can be found HERE.
Know that we never want to restrict play for any reason other than protecting the course and making it more enjoyable when it matters most. We are all excited to get out and start the season but want to be sure we are doing so when the time is right. Greens will be open for play this week but depending on overnight temperatures, there could be a delay early in the day.
Thank you for your patience! I hope to see you on the course soon!
– J.R. Lynn, GCS