Friday, December 22, 2017

Safety Training

  Throughout the year, we regularly have training and safety meetings with the staff.  With regular training and communication, we can greatly reduce the number of workplace accidents that happen throughout the year.  Most of the time, we use rainy days to have our meetings.  The staff get together in the break room and watch videos on various topics related to our industry.

The golf course maintenance staff watch safety and training videos.

  Some of the topics include, Chainsaw Safety and Use, Safe Mower Operation, Workplace Safety and Emergency Response, Golf Course Etiquette, Slips, Trips, and Falls, Small Power Equipment, and many more.
One of the online services we use at HFCC for golf course safety training.

  The recent rains, have allowed us to spend a considerable amount time with our staff reviewing a whole host of topics.  While the time invested in this training may not prevent an accident from happening, it is the best avenue for prevention. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Visit to the Quarry

  Working in the mountains, rock is an everyday occurrence that you get used to and sometimes take for granted.  While planning for the croquet expansion, I did not put much thought to the rock that we would need because its everywhere and we had a supplier that I knew could provide the necessary boulders.  However, at the insistence of our rock supplier, I visited the quarry where all of our boulders are coming from.

Sheer wall of granite at The McNealy's Company quarry.

Granite quarry.  Note how small the VERY large bulldozers are.

Drill machine drilling holes for explosives.

  With the rock wall for the croquet expansion reaching 20' at the highest point, just any old rock would not work.  The boulders for the wall need to be relatively flat and very large.  As I found out at the quarry, large flat boulders are actually a mistake in the blasting process and need to be individually picked out of the rubble.  It's a time consuming process that yields the best boulders for our situation.

Each large flat boulder must be individually picked out from the piles of blasted rock.

The new wall for the croquet expansion.

  With about half of the boulder wall now finished, I feel good in that we have selected the best supplier for rock as they are taking the time to give us the best material for our job.  After, viewing the mining operation at the quarry, I won't be taking rock for granted anymore.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Golf Course Update 12-1-17

 So far the weather during the off-season has been very mild and that has helped us focus on our winter projects with little distraction.  The only thing that has slowed our progress has been our staff taking their much needed vacations.

Trimming at #2 White tee.
Chipping the limbs.
  Trimming rhododendrons and tree removal has been a major focus for our staff.  We have completed a thorough trimming of the #2 tee complex and are currently working on the #6 tee complex.  Once we finish at #6, we will be focusing on the #3 and #5 tee complexes.  This trimming is long overdue and will help to open the holes up for play while also improving the turf by allowing for more light.

Widening #9 approach.

A widened #9 approach.
  We have also completed a couple of small but necessary projects.  First, we added additional drainage along the cart path on #2 and also replaced a main drain pipe that had been crushed by a boulder.  The second project was the widening of the approach at the ninth green.  By removing the rough sod and hauling in several loads of dirt, we were able to double the size of the approach. 

Drainage along #2 cart path.

Preparing the catch basin on #2.
  In addition to the course projects, we have been busy with the croquet expansion.  After all of the blasting was completed, our staff spent several days collecting rock for future landscaping projects.  We have also removed some of the sod from the old lawns and used them on the course.  As for the rest of the project, it is going very well.  Boulders and fill dirt are now coming in at a steady pace.  About 25% of the new rock wall is complete.  The footers for the pavilion have been poured and some of the utilities have been installed.  With good weather, I expect the slab for the pavilion to be poured by the end of next week. 

Croquet expansion before starting the rock wall.

The rock wall is currently around 7' tall.  It will be 18' at its tallest point.

Preparation for the footers.

Forms for the pavilion slab (floor).  Several utilities will be installed under the slab.