Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Hazard Markers

There will be a slightly different look around the course this year.  After about 12 years of the same plastic hazard markers, we have decided it was time to replace the markers with new ones that would better reflect the image of HFCC. 
New hazard marker.
Hazard markers after painting.
The new markers are made from mountain laurel branches cut from throughout the golf course.  The new markers fit in with natural surroundings while also being simple and elegant.  Best of all, they are unique to HFCC!  We are also making extra markers that will be painted green and used for traffic control.  My staff is making the markers during the times that we cannot work outside.
Hand painting a marker.
Mountain laurel hazard marker.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Course Projects Update 3/7/14

With this being one of the most cold and difficult winters in recent memory, we have had to make many changes to our winter project schedule.  While drainage projects were our #1 project, it is clear now that only hole #2 will be completed.  The ground has been frozen for the past 2 months leaving the trencher unable to dig.  Because of this we have refocused our efforts on other projects throughout the course.

Chestnut Cove before dredging
Chestnut Cove during dredging
Chestnut Cove after dredging
One of the most notable projects has been the dredging of all the lakes throughout the course.  We were fortunate enough to be able to rent a long arm excavator specifically designed for lake dredging.  Our staff spent three weeks digging out the lakes and moving the machine from one hole to another.  All of the dredge material was deposited next to the lakes so that it could "de-water" and then be relocated with our utility vehicles to other areas of the course.  This has been a much bigger project than originally envisioned because the lakes were much worse than anticipated.

Removal of dredge "trash"
Dredging the front of #10 green complex
#10 green complex ready for sod
We are nearly finished moving all of the dredge material to areas throughout the course where it is needed for tee enhancements.  The G&G committee approved adding a new red tee to hole #4, enlarging the white tee on #5, lengthening the gold tee on #11, and constructing a new gold tee on #17.  These projects are about 60% complete at this time. 
Construction of new red tee #4
Construction of new red tee #4
 Another major project that we have been working on is replacing the cross-tie wall at the gazebo on #15.  This has been a difficult project since we have to construct a new boulder wall around the gazebo without damaging it.  In addition to the wall, we will be constructing a new parking area and improving the landscaping.
Rock wall construction #15 gazebo
Rock wall construction #15 gazebo
In addition to the aforementioned projects, we have been busy on many smaller projects such as refurbishing course accessories, tree removal, landscaping and agronomic practices. 

Removal of tree stumps at #1 tee


Cushman Truckster Update

As I have stated in the past, part of what we do in the winter is repair and refurbish equipment.  With the cost of golf course equipment regularly exceeding that of a luxury car, making our equipment last as long as possible is very crucial.  I feel that you as members should know what the equipment costs and what we do to protect that investment.
Cushman being stripped down for refurbishment.
Three finished Cushman Trucksters
Our third Cushman truckster is now finished (we are currently working on a 4th one).  All have received engine and transmission servicing, new cables and hoses, new HEAVY DUTY dump beds, seats, bushings, custom front bumpers, in addition to new paint jobs.  As I have stated in the past, a new Cushman truckster costs around $20,000.  The cost to refurbish this equipment was about $4000 each, including labor.  Because of this project, I am happy to report that we have been able to save the club approximately $70,000 in new equipment costs!
Finished Cushman Truckster with custom front bumper.
So long as parts remain available, these refurbished vehicles will continue to serve the club for many more years.
Custom "Heavy Duty" dump bed

Monday, March 3, 2014

"Live" Video From The Croquet Facility

Over the past few years, I have received several requests to add a webcam to the golf course so that you could see HFCC while away during the winter.  I am happy to announce that we have installed a camera at the croquet facility for your enjoyment.

Site selection for the camera was challenging due to the fact that it was necessary to balance need, cost, and availability of utilities.  Any potential location had to have power AND an unobstructed view to the maintenance facility where there is access to web service and a computer.  While hole #9 would have been ideal, we could not get a strong enough signal from the camera for it to be reliable enough.  The croquet facility proved to be the only location that was cost effective, provided an unobstructed view, and had the necessary utilities.

The live feed is currently available only on my blog   However, Lynn is working to add the feed to the club's website.