Friday, October 12, 2018

What a Rush

I believe in one of these posts I proclaimed that our foot comes off of the gas pedal once the calendar flips to October.

I lied.

Big time.

I will preface the remainder of this post by stating just how amazing this tiny little Turf Team of ours' is.  For a lack of a better term, this month has been wild and yet somehow these people have kept the train on the track.  I hope to pass along a little bit of praise with this post, so pardon the mushiness you are about to encounter....

Exactly what have we been up to?  Here it goes....

Municipal Drain Installation

Step One: Strip 7500 square feet of fairway sod and relocate for temporary storage
This step was extremely labour intensive as we prepared for the install.  Conditions were wet at the time, making all 1200 rolls extremely heavy.  The secondary problem was with the warm temperatures, we needed to roll out each roll knowing that it would be on the ground for approximately 9 days.  

Step 2: Disconnect irrigation system
We followed this by having to disconnect the three main lines, and our main power line to the irrigation system.  We had to remove sprinkler heads, and pre-cut all of the lines to prevent further damage when the big machinery arrived.

And then of course it rained....
The day the contractor was to move in, it rained....hard.  Nothing new for 2018, but certainly not welcomed.

Once the contractor moved in on October 2nd, the installation of the 30 inch line commenced with some very deep holes!  The contractor was very clean during this process, and despite the extended time needed, they were very gentle on the course.

Unfortunately, during this extended period of time, we still had to care for the fairway sod that had been removed.  Of course the temperatures soared and with a little bit of rain all 1200 rolls decided to root to the field it was laying in.  In what may have been the worst day of his life, Jake spent 8 hours pulling up on semi-rooted sod making sure that we would be able to get it back to its home base when needed.  An absolute awful job to hand out, but one which ensured that we would be able to re-use our turf.

 Meanwhile, as the contractor was trying to get off of the golf course, we had to work around them in an attempt to get our irrigation system back together.  In what can only be hailed as meticulous planning prior to the job, Claude managed to put everything back together with nary an issue at all.  This was no small task; anticipating all materials needed, following less than accurate maps and a nightmare of working around both turf and outside contractors.  This could have been a nightmare, but instead turned out perfectly - well done Claude.

What was most amazing out of the project was the cleaning out of the outlet of this drain in Errol Creek.  It had been discussed many years ago about the prospect of the Town cleaning out the creek  on our property and bringing it back to its original depth.  As a part of this current project, the contractor had to ensure the outlet was clean....and clean it now is.  

I lost count of the number of dump trucks that were needed to remove the material in this small area, but it was incredible.  It is now clear to see just how overgrown this waterway has become.

Fortunately, the engineer responsible for this project called in the Town to view the severity of our creek.  Upon inspection, they agreed; something needs to be done.  We have now received commitment from the Town to begin work in January on cleaning out the creek!

And finally, today we were able to revisit the fairway sod, and actually reinstall it....16 days after cutting, and 7 days longer than what we had anticipated....

Lena, Shelley, Dan, and Jake slugged it out entirely today, managing to get the fairway back together.  It was a long day, but they knocked it out of the park.

Greens Aeration

Meanwhile over the last two weeks we have taken advantage of sporadic course closures and performed our annual greens aeration.

With my time and energy being spent on the drainage project, I had to do what not many Superintendents can, or will do: I had to pass off the cultivation of our putting greens to Jim, Dan and Jake.

I had not stepped foot on our greens in days, and yet everything was perfect; holes punched and plenty of topdressing down; a supremely successful aeration!  Well done gents!

Winter Prep

Meanwhile, Shelley, Lena and Ruth tackled something that had not been touched in 5 years; the bamboo around the pumphouse.  What a jungle!  

Turf Crew Addition

We have been blessed on the crew to see the arrival of our newest member; Sasha.  He joined us on Labour Day to patrol the grounds, assist with the removal of geese, and to provide a morale boost to everyone on the crew.  So far, he is batting 1.000!  

Sasha is a Gerberian Shepsky; a half German Shepard and half Siberian Husky.  He has done remarkably well thus far, and is extremely obedient.  He is still learning however, so I apologize in advance if the puppy in him momentarily takes over...he is after all only 15 weeks old!

What is next?

The winterization of the irrigation system is slated to begin on October 22nd, and will run for two days.  We are still tackling the annual cultivation of the natural areas, and will continue to do so over the coming weeks.

We still have significant cleanup to do on #10, and hope to have it all buttoned up by mid-November.

Seasonal Staff Departing

It is also of course that time of year when we unfortunately have to say goodbye to some of our seasonal staff.  Last week, Randy finished his second season on our crew, and today we said goodbye to Tyson following his third season on the crew.  Both of these gentlemen were considerable assets to us on the Turf Team this season.  Thank you both!

Thank you for reading, 


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