Thursday, April 25, 2013

Its Fish Time!

     Every year in late Winter through early Spring, I get calls and emails from all the fishermen at HFCC wondering when, where, and how many fish I'm stocking this year.  I am happy to say that we have just finished stocking the lakes for the upcoming season.

Stocking at #18 bridge.
    We had hoped to stock the lakes with a hybrid trout called a Tiger trout.  However the hatchery informed me that none of the fry made it past a couple months.  Hopefully next year they will have more luck, and we can try again.
Brown Trout
    Even though we could not stock the lakes with the Tiger, we did stock them with a combination of about 75% Rainbow and 25% Brown trout.  While we had no trouble getting Rainbows, Browns are harder to get so we bought all the Brown trout that the hatchery had.  We were lucky to get what we did since few hatcheries raise Browns because they grow much slower than the Rainbows.

Rainbow Trout
    This year is one of the largest fish orders we have had in some time.  With the lakes now stocked with some good sized trout, I expect this years fly fishing to be exceptional. 


Friday, April 12, 2013

#5 Fairway Drain Pipe Project

One of the problems with an older course is construction materials used 30+ years ago do not meet the construction standards used today.  Case in point, the corrugated steel drain pipe used throughout the course.  Today, courses use either concrete or plastic drain pipes throughout as they have a near unlimited life expectancy.

Discarded steel drain pipe.
Steel drain pipe completely rusted through.
While steel pipe is relatively inexpensive, it also has a relatively short life span in the mountains.  With the acidic soils found in Highlands, the steel corrodes and deteriorates quickly.  Replacing these pipes has been an ongoing project for some time and is part of the current 5-year improvement plan.

New HDPE drain pipe being installed under #5 fairway.
We are currently in the process of replacing a large drain pipe on #5 fairway.  This pipe had several sections completely rusted away, while the bottom of the entire pipe had corroded through.  We are replacing the steel pipe with double walled HDPE (plastic) pipe which has an expected life span of over 100 years.  This project should be completed within about 2 weeks.

Sometimes the install is slowed to avoid other infrastructure such as irrigation lines and power wires.

Leveling the Croquet Courts

  Its almost time for croquet and we are hard at work preparing the courts for this season.  Since the courts were built using fill dirt, there was some settling expected during the first year.  One area had settled 1.5 inches.  While that does not sound like much, it really shows up on an otherwise level court.  My staff has removed the sod in this particular area and used a laser to level it.  The sod is back down now and will take a few weeks to root in.  Barring any unforeseen problems, the courts will be ready when the Club opens on May 1st.  Here are a few pictures of the work on the courts.

Removing sod on the croquet courts.

Rolling up sod.

Adding mix to raise the courts.

After leveling the court, reinstalling the sod.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pre-emergent application time

  Despite the poor weather we have had this Winter and Spring, we continue to move forward preparing the course for opening day on May 1st.  Rain has been the dominant weather pattern this Spring and has delayed the bunker renovation by at least a week.  At this point we are scheduled to spray the renovated bunkers on Monday providing it does not rain between now and then.

We have also begun to apply pre-emergent herbicide and fertilizer to the entire golf course.  Pre-emergence herbicides are meant to be applied prior to weeds emerging in Spring. The benefits of pre-emergence herbicide applications go beyond getting a head start on weed control. While the management practice improves overall aesthetics, it more importantly promotes healthy, dense turf.  When the turf does not have to compete against weeds, it grows thicker and more substantial.

Applying pre-emergent herbicide and fertilizer
Pre-emergent applications put down a microscopic layer on the soil that prevents seeds from germinating, including crabgrass and dandelions.  Most pre-emergent herbicides will also keep grass seed from germinating.  Do not put down grass seed if you plan on pre-emerging your yard for weeds.