Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lake bank mowing

The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is located on a beautiful peninsula which extends out into Harrison Bay.  It has eleven holes which touch water and these waters are regulated by the Tennessee Valley Authority which regulates how we can maintain the banks around the lake.  We use buffer strips around the golf course to filter fertilizer and chemical residues as well as restricting possible soil particles from running off into the surface water.

We have several holes which play across the water from the tee and occasionally the vegetation grows high enough as to impede the play of the hole.  This is a big problem for us because TVA restricts our ability to place any equipment near the waters edge or apply any chemicals or growth regulators in these areas.  It is times like this when having friends with the proper tools to do the job comes in handy.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation, TDOT, has been very helpful this week by bringing one of their reach arm right of way mowers out to the golf course to safely and properly maintain the lake banks without damaging the lake bank or endangering the environment.
The mower is capable of remaining a safe distance from the waters edge and mowing the vegetation down to an acceptable and safe height.  The work this machine can do in a day would take weeks and weeks for my employees to do by hand.
When all is said and done the high vegetation is removed allowing a clearer view of the hole, while protecting the stability and structure of the lake bank and observing the rules and regulations by which we are bound. Many thanks to our friends at TDOT and job well done. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Deep Drilling Greens

What do you do when your greens reach the point where they are so contaminated with organic matter and have formed a hard pan layer from years of conventional aerification that roots, air and water cannot penetrate through the soil profile?

Answer...You bring out the big guns.  Today we deep drilled three greens (14, 16, and 17) with 5/8" tines which penetrated the greens to a depth of 10 inches.  This process was masterfully done by Southeastern Turf Maintenance in a matter of just a couple of hours.

The drills are set on a continuous plate which holds 50 drill bits which allows for a quick operation. 

Standard 16" 1/2" soil probe placed in a drill hole.

Depth of soil probe when place in drill hole.

Deep drill tine in comparison to soil probe.

We chose to double drill #16 green since it has given us the most issues this year.  This is half way through the second drilling on the green.

All the material which was brought to the surface from the drilling process was picked up and removed from the green.  The green was then topdressed, allowed to dry for a while, then drug in with a carpet drag and the green was then rolled several times.  The deep drilling will allow for water and oxygen to move throughout the soil profile of these greens which will allow for the roots to thrive and the green to recover completely in a matter of a week or two.  If this works out to the extent we believe it will we will look at doing all the greens next year when we close for mid season aerification.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Environmental Outreach

With all that has been going on at the golf course over the past month posting on the blog has had to take a back seat.  Hopefully things are slowing down, or at least the grass will slow down on its growth, and I can get back to the blog. 

I was very encouraged this past week though that we are making an impact with our environmental activities, both near and far, when I received a comment on the blog about our Mallard Duck Nesting Tubes.  The comment came from Mr. and Mrs. Chris and Heather Miller which stated "My son loved the idea and used it as an Eagle Scout project.  He is 13 years old and just completed them and installed them in the pond around our community in Utah.  Thanks for the detailed instructions."  It is great to see environmental stewardship activities taking place and to know that we had a small part in it.  Great job young Mr. Miller and best of luck to you and your mallard ducks.