August 23, 2014


View from the Clubhouse putting green

The greens are in great shape and rolling nicely. Come out and enjoy a round at Sandpines and see for yourself. I was able to get out and play with a friend from high school yesterday. We had a great time catching up and enjoying the golf course. Golf is a fantastic way to enjoy a day with a friend.


3 green basking in the sun

The agronomy staff has been hard at work keeping the golf course ready for play on a daily basis. Our focus has been on routine golf course maintenance tasks such as mowing all turf areas, changing hole locations, rolling greens, making fertilizer applications, hand water greens, raking bunkers, weedeating, and performing maintenance and repairs on equipment.


Flyboarding at Sandpines

On July 24th, I had an opportunity to do something called flyboarding. It was an absolute blast. I want to thank Jason Hardy, owner of Fly Board Of Bend for the opportunity to fly over the lake at Sandpines. I would also like to thank Michael Pearson for connecting me with Jason. I would highly recommend taking the opportunity to go flyboarding. Check out the video below that was captured during my flight.


video


Jason is a great instructor, he had me flying within a few minutes of getting in the water. He travels to multiple locations in Oregon. Below are some upcoming dates I pulled off Fly Board of Bend's Facebook page:

UPCOMING AVAILABLE DATES:

August
Florence Oregon: Fri 29th, Sat 30th, Sun 31st

September 
Newport Oregon: Mon 1st, Tue 2nd, Wed 3rd
Florence Oregon: Fri 5th, Sat 6th, Sun 7th
Newport Oregon: Mon 8th, Tue 9th, Wed 10th

Reserve your flight today!!! http://flyboardofbend.com/index.php?id=book-your-fly-board

(541) 419-5458

July 23, 2014


Hole 11 prepped for EARS (Eugene Area Radio Stations) Tournament

Sandpines has received over three quarters of an inch of rain so far today. The last time we had this much rain in one day was on May 8th. We really need the rain. According to the forecast, the sunny weather will be returning tomorrow, so I am going to enjoy the rain today. What a perfect opportunity for a blog post.


Jerry venting the clubhouse practice putting green

The greens were vented at the beginning of last week. The tiny holes healed up quickly. They were only visible for a few days. Venting is great because the holes don't have much impact on play. The greens get the benefits of improved gas exchange and infiltration. Venting is one of the reasons we have been able to keep our greens in such good condition. It allows us to keep the greens healthy in between hollow core aeration events.

Putter cam

During my last post, I mentioned we had a hydraulic leak on 13 green. Unfortunately, three weeks later, we had another hydraulic leak on 14 green. It was similar in severity. This time the culprit was a hydraulic line instead of a lift arm. All hydraulic hoses on the greens mower were replaced after the leak on 14 green. Hopefully, we will not have any more hydraulic leaks on greens. Both greens are healed up nicely at this point.

Robert from Leisure Excavating removing sand off the cart path

We recently reached an agreement with Leisure Excavating to have them remove sand from the cart path behind the tees on hole 8. The encroaching dune can make it a real pain to keep the path navigable for golf carts and maintenance equipment. The big loader that Leisure has makes quick work of the sand. The sand removal typically takes place in the morning between 8:00 and 8:30 before players arrive. They can move more sand in 20 minutes with their equipment than we can in 2 hours with ours. This allows us to spend more of our time working on the golf course.


Peterson working on the rough mower

One of the challenges we have been facing over the last couple of months is mowing rough. Our Toro 4700D has been in the shop for a few different issues. It started off with a cracked cylinder head. Then, it was having some issues with the injector pump and injectors. Peterson has been working on it while juggling all the other maintenance and repairs that are needed to keep the golf course equipment operating. There were several weeks we were using our Toro 3500D (surrounds mower) and Laztec Articulator (previously retired) in order to get the rough mowed. Working with diesel injectors and injector pumps requires special test equipment in order to properly diagnose problems. It took awhile to acquire these items. The Toro 4700D  is currently operating, but not at 100%. Peterson is in the process of making and installing custom shims in order to get the mower performing at its best.


Filling multiple divots

Thank you to those of you who have been filling your divots. I noticed the lady in picture above filling multiple divots while waiting for her turn to hit. I thanked her for filling so many divots and snapped the picture. I know there are many other people that fill multiple divots as well, so I thought I would take this opportunity to thank you. Your efforts do make a difference, so keep up the good work.

June 12, 2014


9 green basking in the sun

The agronomy staff has been keeping busy just doing routine gold course maintenance tasks such as mowing, rolling, changing hole locations, fertilizing, hand watering, raking bunkers, repairing equipment, making irrigation adjustments, and weedeating. Our hard work is paying off, as I am continuing to receive compliments on the condition of the golf course. Most of those compliments have been specifically regarding the condition of the greens, which are rolling great.


Putter cam

The Boys & Girls Club Tournament is one of our biggest tournaments of the the year. This year it took place on Saturday May 31st. While mowing the 13th green in preparation for the tournament, one of the hydraulic lift arms blew apart, leaving a hydraulic oil spill right in the middle of the green (see the picture below). We had just enough time to get the reels cleaned up and swapped onto another mower so that the rest of the greens could be mowed prior to the start of the tournament. Needless to say, that really wasn't the way we were hoping to showcase the 13th green.


Hydraulic leak on 13 green

Jerry and I repaired the hydraulic leak with sod from the chipping green first thing on Monday following the tournament. The damaged sod was placed on the edge of the chipping green where the repair sod was taken from.


Jerry repairing the hydraulic leak on 13 green

The repair process went pretty smoothly. First, we cut the sod on both greens. Then, we took out the damaged sod from 13 green and swapped it with the good sod from the chipping green. Finally, the sod was tamped down and swept off. The repair turned out great. Hopefully, we won't have to try out our greens sodding skills again anytime soon.


Finished product

The new tee on hole 8 had filled in enough prior to the Boys & Girls Club tournament that I thought it would be fun for the players to try it out for the first time during the event. It wasn't perfect, but I think everyone enjoyed the opportunity to give the new tee a try. We will work the new tee into the rotation for regular play in the near future.


New tee on hole 8

I had a great time playing in the Boys & Girls Club Tournament. I think our group finished somewhere in the middle of the pack (67 gross). We had all the usual highs and lows associated with scramble golf. In the end, it was all about raising money for our local Boys & Girls Club and having fun in the process.


2014 Boys & Girls Club Tournament



May 19, 2014

A beautiful Sandpines rhododendron

We have had three days with temperatures around 80 degrees, and two days with temperatures over 90 degrees since my last post. For those that may not know, that is not normal for the Oregon Coast. Sandpines is more accustomed to seeing "warm" temperatures in the low to mid 70's. We also had a few spring-like days with showers and sun mixed. Overall, the weather has been nice for golf. It is a great time to get out and enjoy a round at Sandpines. I have received several compliments on the condition of the greens, they are rolling nicely.

Dylan's (my son) tee shot on hole 8

I was able to get out and play 9 holes with my son on Friday. The highlight of the round was the tee shot he hit on hole 8 (pictured above). He hit driver from the tee (the hole was playing about 170 yards) and he knocked it about 16 inches from the hole.


John aerating, Steven blowing, and Jerry shoveling during greens aeration

The greens aeration went very smoothly. We used small tines (1/4 inch), and the holes healed up quickly. The greens were aerated and cleaned up, rolled, top dressed, and brushed once. At this point, you can't even tell they were aerated.


Jerry aerating and Thaddeus harvesting hole 6 approach

Approaches were aerated using larger tines (5/8 inch). They are healing up nicely, but they will take longer than the greens to fully recover.


Syringing the green on hole 4

The turf at Sandpines is not used to 90 degree temperatures. On the afternoon of April 30th, the temperature hit 91. In order to cool the greens down, we turned on the greens sprinkler heads for 3 minutes (about 1 turn). This process is called syringing. We don't syringe greens very often (0-5 times per year). The purpose for the syringing is to cool the turf, it really isn't so much about the water. In fact, it is important not to over water when the temperatures are high. High temperatures and wet turf can lead to Pythium diseases, which are far worse than having dry spots. We normally hand water dry spots on greens with a hose instead of using sprinklers, but syringing allows us to cool all the greens in a short amount of time when the temperatures are hot.


Thaddeus mowing the new tee on hole 8

The new tee on hole 8 is growing in pretty well. It has been mowed a couple of times, which should help encourage lateral growth. It was recently spot seeded to help the thin areas fill in. It isn't quite ready for play yet, but we are getting closer.

April 23, 2014


View from the clubhouse conference room

Sandpines had a 10 day stretch in early April with no precipitation (April 7th-16th). We had to fire up the irrigation system again. Jerry and I have been happy the results of the new irrigation programs we put in place in the off season. We now have programs for dry spots on tees, fairways, and rough. In the past, we used multi-manual programs on the irrigation computer to achieve similar results. The new programs can be turned on or off and adjusted up or down quickly compared to adding or removing multi-manual programs one station at a time.


3 green basking in the sun


Peterson recently finished a complete rebuild of our primary greens mowing reels. The reels were in need of some attention and he put a lot of time and effort in to make sure they would be ready for our peak season. He really went above and beyond with the project. The reels look brand new. It reminded me of the type of work you would expect to see on American Restoration (History Channel) from Rick Dale and his staff.


Vintage 1993 Toro reels recently restored by Peterson

The driving range tee is now open for play. The hitting stations are painted with marking chalk and are designated with 4 green stakes with bag stands/club holders behind the hitting area. They will be moved as needed. In order to maximize the use of the grass on the driving range tee, please place your ball at the grassy back edge of your previous divot, removing just a small portion of grass with each swing (as shown in the picture below).




You may have noticed a gentlemen walking around the course with a weird looking back pack and antenna combination a couple of weeks ago. He was here on behalf of SkyGolf in order to create accurate maps and information for SkyCaddie products.


Member of SkyGolf staff working on hole 11

Greens aeration is right around the corner. Monday (April 28th) 9 holes will be aerated, and Tuesday (April 29th) the other 9 holes will be aerated. All holes will be open for play both days. We will have a delayed starting time both days. During the aeration process small (.25 inch) hollow core tines will be used. The healing time will be greatly reduced compared to large (.625 inch) hollow core tines. I feel we can get away with smaller tines during this aeration based on our current turf conditions. This will not always be the case, and we will likely use larger tines again in the future.

I am often asked why aeration is important. The video below does a good job answering that question. I encourage you to check it out.


March 25, 2014


Hole 5

March started off as a pretty wet month. Sandpines received 4.4 inches of rain during the first 9 days of the month. However, the last 14 days (March 10th through the 24th) have only yielded about an inch, and 60% of that came in one day (March 16th). Last week, the golf course dried out enough that we had to water a few areas (tees and fairway hot spots). Irrigation in March on the Oregon Coast is rare. It was especially strange considering we were dealing with frost delays for most of the week. It looks like we won't have to worry about either of those issues this week.


Hole 2

We have groomed the greens a couple more times since my last post. Greens mowing frequency has increased and we are starting to get some grass growth in all areas throughout the course. Fairways were mowed and fertilized (lightly). We have spot mowed the rough and surrounds as needed.

As we have time, we have been aerating areas of the rough in order to provide better playing conditions in the long term. In the short term, the cores will remain in the rough. The cores will be mowed up and will break down in the coming weeks. In the mean time, play winter rules in areas where the rough has been recently aerated.


6 green

The tees have been verticut a couple of times recently in order to remove some of the moss that has accumulated. The tees have also been fertilized with a high rate of ferrous sulfate following the verticutting processes. Moss does not like high rates of ferrous sulfate. Hopefully, after a few more applications, the moss will be gone.

We are in the process of top dressing the tees. We should get most of them done today. If the weather holds, we will finish them tomorrow.

The new tee on hole 8 is starting to green up a bit. We still have a ways to go before the tee will be ready for play, but I thought I would include a picture (below)  to show the progress it is making.


New tee on hole 8


February 26, 2014


12 green basking in the sun

The weather in February has not been as dry as the previous few months, but there have still been good days for playing golf. I have received a number of compliments on how well the greens are rolling lately. It has been awhile since I have played a round of golf, but I am starting to get the itch. Hopefully, I will get out soon.


Jerry mowing 6 green

Yesterday, we walk mowed the greens with the groomers engaged. We don't walk mow greens very often due to the extra labor required, but the triplex reels with groomers are being rebuilt at the moment. The greens are not growing a whole lot right now, but there is some lateral growth that we have been wanting to mow. The groomers are blades mounted between the front roller and reel that cut any lateral growth near the surface of the green. Grooming is similar to verticutting, but much less aggressive. Yesterday, Peterson set the depth of the groomers to about the thickness of a nickel (1/16 of an inch) below the rollers for a light grooming. Groomers can be set lower, but going more than 1/8 of an inch below the rollers is hard on the equipment. With verticutting, the blades are wider and the depth below the rollers is typically at least 3/16 of an inch. Grooming is used to reduce grain by cutting the laterally growing grass blades near the surface of the green. Verticutting is usually employed to remove organic matter (thatch) below the surface of the green.


Surface of a green after light grooming yesterday

Most of our time lately has been spent on routine maintenance tasks such as: mowing, changing hole locations, raking bunkers, moving tee markers, filling tee divots, and cleaning up wind blown debris.  In addition, we have been continuing our brushing clearing efforts between holes 3 and 4, and also between holes 3 and 13. The chances of locating and playing a ball that goes into the trees in these areas has improved dramatically.


Hole 17