November 28, 2014


A gorgeous fall day at Sandpines

The golf course maintenance staff has been busy since my last post. The aeration of greens and approaches went well. The surfaces have healed up nicely and are currently in good playing condition.


Greens have healed up nicely following greens aeration

In early November, we were able to aerate, overseed, and top dress the hydrophobic areas in the green surrounds rough. A wetting agent was also applied to these areas in an effort to increase water infiltration.

The fairways were recently spot aerated with 5/8" hollow core tines during a nice stretch of dry weather. The areas that typically collect water during heavy rain events were targeted. This will help the fairways dry out more quickly after rain storms.


Jerry spot aerating 3 fairway

During wet weather and frost delays, we have been making new trash boxes for the golf course. The old ones are in pretty bad shape. So far, 12 boxes have been completed and are out on the course. They are turning out really nice.  Thaddeus and Jerry have been doing a great job on them. We hope to have the rest of them completed in the near future.


New trash boxes


Jeri (from the golf shop) has some great fabrication skills. He recently built a new ball picker for the driving range. The old one was in bad shape and was constantly breaking down. Nice job Jeri, it looks great.


Jeri's new ball picker


Jerry has really been in the Cougar spirit this year. Since the Apple Cup is tomorrow, I thought I would include a couple of pictures of him. Go Cougs!







October 15, 2014


View from the cart path above 18 green

It has been quite a while since my last post. It was a beautiful summer with many warm (for the coast) days. It has been hard to justify spending time in the office writing a blog post. However, today it's raining, so I thought it would be a perfect time to let everyone know what the maintenance staff has been doing at Sandpines.

As always, we have been focused on providing the best possible playing conditions with the resources available for golf course maintenance. Therefore, the vast majority of our efforts are concentrated towards preparing the course for daily play by performing routine golf course maintenance.  In addition to routine golf course maintenance, we have been working on the items below since my last post.

Jerry venting 17 green

In late August, the greens were vented again. I really like the improved rooting we get from this process. It helps the turf remain healthy in between core aeration events. It also has minimal impact on play. I would have liked to vent the greens in September, but we weren't able to fit it in.


A green after venting and rolling

Also in August, the fairways were aerated with solid tines on our GA-60 aerator. There was basically no effect on play with this process.

The hydrophobic areas (dry spots) in the fairways have been more noticeable during the last 2 summers due to decreased use of wetting agents and longer stretches of dry weather throughout the year. In September, the hydrophobic areas in the fairways were aerated with solid tines on our Procore 648 aerator. The areas were then over seeded and top dressed with sand.


Jerry solid tine aerating fairway hydrophobic areas

These areas are starting to recover. The key to long term improvement will be the consistent use of wetting agents on the hydrophobic areas. Once the areas dry out, it is a real uphill battle trying to get them to recover during the summer. At that point, it is sort of like trying to growing grass on concrete.


Clinton over seeding hydrophobic areas

Greens aeration is coming up quickly. The practice greens were aerated on Monday. The greens aeration process is scheduled to be performed on the rest of the greens beginning this coming Sunday (October 19th) after morning play. The course will be closed on Monday (October 20th) and Tuesday (October 21st) in order to complete the process.

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.


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.