Monday, February 20, 2017

Drainage, Rock, & Stumps

What was suppose to be a simple drain pipe install on hole #4 has turned into a major project.  It shouldn't come as any surprise though as rock is everywhere at HFCC.  While digging a trench for 100' of drain pipe, we have dug up boulders and stumps.

Left side of #4 fairway looking back at the tee.
Left side of #4 fairway looking towards the green.
Unfortunately for us there is very little fall available for the drainage, which means that any rocks, boulders, or stumps that cannot be removed must be be either jack hammered out or cut out with a chainsaw.  What was hoped to be a 2-3 day project is now going to be a week long one.  However, it is better that we take the time to do it right than to do poor job that will only need to be redone.

Wilfredo Cruz loves using the jackhammer so much he won't let anyone else use it!  Notice the boulders and stumps in the trench.
Hammered rock.
The project is being done to unify all the drain lines on the hole into one drain pipe.  This will alleviate any extra water that my drain onto neighbors of the club.

Monday, February 13, 2017

2017 Golf Industry Show

Last week I attended the Golf Industry Show (GIS) in Orlando, FL.  The GIS is an annual conference that brings together golf course superintendents, owners, architects, and suppliers from all over the world. The conference features several days of educational seminars followed by the annual trade show.  I was able to take advantage of the trade show, the educational opportunities, and networking that the conference provides.   The following is a brief synopsis of my week at the conference.

Seminar - Turf Insecticides:  Modes of Action and Resistance Management
  This seminar provided techniques for improving the effectiveness of pesticides by better understanding how they work on the pest and by minimizing the effects on the environment. Additionally, strategies for slowing the development of resistance in certain pests were also discussed.

Seminar - Sure Fire Ways to Improve Plant Health:  Products Edition
  While I have an extensive knowledge of the many products used on the course for the improvement of turf health, I am always ready to learn what the newest research has to say about those products. By reviewing the newest data and available research, I was able to understand the synergistic and antagonistic relationships between products to better understand which combinations will best compliment our agronomic programs at HFCC.

Dr. Frank Rossi from Cornell University

Seminar - Low Maintenance Roughs and Natural Areas for Golf Courses
  With the natural environment being one of the major draws of the golf course at HFCC, I felt that there was some merit in attending this seminar and I was right.  This turned out to be my favorite class during the conference.  I experienced the science behind selecting and establishing the best plants for low maintenance areas on the course and the costs associated with them.  Additionally I came away with ideas on how to improve aesthetics, pace of play and overall course quality by properly incorporating these areas.

Seminar - Plant Growth Regulators for Fine Turf:  Cool Season
  Plant growth regulators are the single most common pesticide we apply to the golf course.  They help to improve root and shoot density in the turf while also "slowing" growth which ultimately reduces grass clippings.  This seminar paid specific attention to multi-year research results on how to use growing degree days (GDDs) to schedule applications for consistent shoot suppression on creeping bentgrass, Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue.

While walking the trade show floor, I met with the representatives from the major sprayer manufacturers to view their latest and greatest.  Since we will be in the market for new turf sprayers in the next year, this was a good opportunity to see which company could best suit our specific needs. Additionally, I met with an unnamed mower company to voice some issues we have had with their product.  It turned out to be an opportune meeting as I got to discuss my issues with the president of the company.  Long story short, said company will be taking our mowers back and upgrading them to the latest standard.  Seeing what the "latest standard" looks like, I do believe that this will solve our issues.  It was gratifying to see a company stand behind their product and proved the value of meeting and talking with people.

Last day of the trade show is the best time to meet with people, less crowded.

Finally the best part of the show was the interaction with my peers.  The amount of knowledge that I gather from simply “talking turf” with the guys is immeasurable. I would like to thank everyone at HFCC for providing me the opportunity to participate in the GIS and for understanding the value in it. By attending the trade show and participating in the educational seminars, I have consistently been able to bring back useful information that has benefited the Club both in savings and efficiencies, not to mention the agronomic information that improves the course.