Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cowan Creek Drainage Project #1 Fairway

Submitted by Brad Sladek, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, Cowan Creek

  In response to a few issues with #1 fairway drainage laid out by the Playability Sub-Committee our staff addressed the following:
  • Wet area from middle of fairway down towards the creek at 125 yards on #1 fairway
  • Wet area on the left side of the fairway and rough to the creek at 85 and 50 yards on #1
  • Exposed large drain pipe in left rough #1
    Our staff utilized the scheduled closed day on Monday, January 27, 2014 to work on these issues.   We used our new John Deere skid steer with a trenching attachment to excavate the trenches (Figure 1).  This machine allowed us to move through the digging portion of the project much more quickly and efficiently.  Only a small amount of hand excavation was necessary to obtain a satisfactory sub-grade for our drainage lines. 

    Trenching Attachment
    A large contributor to why we had standing wet areas on the course was the fact that the lower 20 to 40 feet of the fairway and rough was not capped with sand to specifications.  This area contained essentially no sand and lots of heavy clay and rock.  Not only did this area not drain, but it kept the areas above it from draining as well (Figure 2).

    Figure 3 shows the cross section of the drainage installation we used, utilizing four inch corrugated pipe, pea gravel, a sand capped layer, finished with the sod.  Some of the clay-like soil and rock we excavated was used to cover the large, exposed drain pipe in the left rough on #1.
    With help from White Wing and Legacy Hills crew members we were able to move quickly through the process, completing the entire project in one day.  All three areas are marked as Ground Under Repair (GUR) with white paint.  Our staff has plans to continue to improve the drainage on holes #3, 6, 9, and 12 in the future.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 2014 Course Conditions Update

Course Conditions

This month has been primarily about getting the bunkers done at White Wing, which is still an ongoing project. The individual courses have also been spraying post emergent for any ryegrass or poa annua that has germinated on the greens and/or surrounds. All three courses are very clean in terms of weed pressure and we will start our spring pre-emerge applicationsnext month. Something new that we are going to be trying next month is an Organic colorant for the greens. Recently we had a company come out and use the product on the Cowan Creek putting green as a free trial. We liked the product and the results, this will make the greens a natural green color similar to what they look like in the summer. Not only does this make them look more appealing to the golfers but the darkness of the green helps attract heat and in turn heat up the soil temperatures. This product is very inexpensive compared to the other products out there today and the results are better as well. 
As you can see, there is a dramatic difference in appearance.  

Staffing Levels
Staffing has been a problem over the past month but recently we have started getting some new employees in and staffing levels are slowly increasing back up to where they need to be.
White Wing Greenside Bunkers
The White Wing Greenside Bunkers are still being worked on and we have almost completed removing all of the old sand out of the bunkers on the front nine. Currently we have filled the greenside bunker on #1 and would like some feedback from the committee on the new sand. The sand that we have switched to is the same sand used at the TPC San Antonio course and they have been very pleased with its playability.
Initially we thought we would have moved more quickly through this process but due to a reduction in staff over the past month it has taken more time than we expected. This is the highest thing on our priority list and we will continue to work hard to have this completed before March. Since this project has been so time consuming we have decided to alter our original plan of having all of the greenside bunkers as GUR and will now only play the bunkers that are marked GUR on the front nine at White Wing as ground under repair (GUR). We will send out update when we have completed the front nine and inform everyone when we are moving to the back nine to begin work. We would like to thank you all for your patience and understanding during this major project, we look forward to its completion.
Currently working on submitting a site map that displays our natural areas throughout each course and the surrounding areas.
GCSAA Certification
Continue to work on case studies and Supt. portfolios.
2014 Golf Industry Show
The first week of February Craig, Jonathan and I will be attending the GCSAA Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Fl.  While attending we will be taking numerous classes that we will report on at the Feb. GC meeting.