Thursday, January 21, 2016

All Tucked In

18 Green

Greens were covered on Monday the 18th to protect them from the impending cold weather.  It took our team 4 hours to cover all 22 greens.  They remained covered about 45 hours, until the temperatures on Wednesday reached above the freezing mark.  Low temperatures both Tuesday and Wednesday reached in the lower 20's, however the temperatures under the covers did not go below 35 degrees.  We've seen just how important these covers are to the health of the greens over the past couple of winters.  They will continue to be an important tool in providing excellent putting surfaces on a year round basis for us at The Dunes Club.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away!!

Pictures from the storm are much more fitting to show then a bunch of rambling from me, so I will keep it brief.  18.13" is the final rainfall total I recorded.  The golf course was closed both Monday and Tuesday, but should reopen Wednesday.  My team is working hard putting the pieces back together, but it will take time.  Please be patient as you encounter them while playing this week.  Now for some pics.

Back Yard



Range/#1 Tee Pond



New Chipping Green

234 acres is the total owned property of The Dunes Club, that in itself is a large footprint.  Being that we are adjacent to the ocean, our watershed is at least triple that.  We receive water from numerous surrounding residential and commercial properties.  When we get that much rain, it's going to make a mess.  Again, luckily it's all cosmetic, and this too will pass.  Interesting note, check out the new chipping green above, be nice to have the other 80 look like this one.  Definitely something to consider. 

Friday, March 13, 2015



Spring has finally sprung.  It's been a long, cold, wet winter for us at the beach.  I will say others along the east coast haven't had it much better.  I'll take cold and damp over snow and ice any day.  The golf course is slowly waking up from its' winter nap.  Trees are beginning to push out new growth, bulbs are popping out of the ground, and our warm season turf grasses that have lain dormant over the past few months are yawning and stretching, and getting ready to join the others at the breakfast table.  The golf course is in great shape for our spring golf season.  There are a few low lying areas that still need some time to dry out, but overall things are looking and playing great.  The putting surfaces are extremely healthy coming out of the winter, thanks in large part to the use of covers during the coldest of periods.  Heights of cut have been lowered to in-season form and cultural practices such as grooming, verticutting, and light topdressing will again be a normal occurrence.  Our team is looking forward to sunny, warmer weather, as I am sure everyone is.         

Friday, February 20, 2015

Hoping 3's a charm

Nursery Green

As I sit down to write today's blog, I can honestly say I don't recall another morning in my history at The Dunes Club that the temperature outside was 13 degrees.  If you were to include the windchill, we are hovering just above 0.  That's cold, I don't care who or where you are!  We covered the greens this past Wednesday afternoon, and will remove them sometime Saturday morning for play Saturday afternoon.  The covers definitely help retain heat on these cold nights.  There can be as much as an 8-10 degree difference between greens that are covered and those that are not.  This can be the difference between life and death with ultradwarf bermudagrass.  The covers also help retain our color, and will allow the greens a shorter green-up period once warmer temperatures return.  Just look at the picture above where a cover blew off a section of the nursery green back in January.  Left side remained covered, the right side did not.  That's a huge difference. 

It takes our entire team about 3 1/2 hours to cover all 22 greens, and about the same time to uncover.  The tarps are not an exact fit, they are more or less a rectangle of the longest width and length for that particular green.  Because of the bunkering on many holes, excess material often times overhangs into the sand.  This can be quite problematic when trying to secure the edges.  Factor into the mix the wind, which is usually howling because of an incoming cold front, and those afternoons can get interesting to say the least.  I have seen many a team member drug across a green, or even lifted off the ground while battling the wind.  The covers are secured to the ground by sod staples on handles that have been sewn into each cover.  We also use sandbags on the prevailing wind side and in areas that overhang into bunkers, since the sod staples would easily pull out of the sand.  There are over 3,000 sod staples and 400 sand bags that are used each time covers are applied.  It's a great deal of work, and my team does a fantastic job under extremely tough conditions.  We covered greens 3 times in 2014, and this is the third time for us in 2015.  Let's hope 3 is a charm, and warmer weather is on its way.        

Friday, February 6, 2015

Drainage Improvements

 Winter is a great time to make improvements to existing drainage.  There are many locations around the course where tweaks to drainage are occurring.  This happens to be # 15, and an area next to one of our ponds that receives a great deal of runoff from the fairway following large rain events.  Over time, this basin was failing, and allowing water to pass beyond it and erode the pond bank.  

Now that all repairs have been made to this location, it's ready for our next raining day, which unfortunately looks to be this coming Monday.  Other areas that are receiving some drainage attention are along the path at #7 and #10.  Mother Nature will soon begin to help us out when plants,trees, and turf begin to wake-up from their winter rest and start up-taking some of this excess water.    

Friday, January 23, 2015

It's that time of year again!

Annual pruning right of #7 Fairway

Over the next few weeks you will notice our team working throughout the wooded areas surrounding the golf course.  Yup, it's that time of year again, when we take to the lift and partake in our annual preventative tree maintenance program.  It typically takes about a month to get around the entire property.  We are looking to remove any deadwood that will eventually fall out of the canopies, thin out any over growth and better balance the tree, and improve upon turf health and/or playability.  It's almost impossible for my team to see everything, but I believe they do an excellent job on maintaining these valuable assets.  This is an ongoing process that must be done on a continual basis.  Our trees mean so much to this great playground, and ensuring their health and coexistence requires constant monitoring and maintenance.  Once material is removed it is either chipped and distributed on the property, used for tee marker replacement, or in some instances split and used for firewood. 

Small limbs being fed into the chipper

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Winter has arrived!

#3 Green

With the threat of cold nighttime temperatures we decided to cover our beloved putting surfaces last night.  Luckily we did, the low dipped down to 15 degrees this morning, which actually felt like 0 degrees when the wind chill is factored in.  The greens however stayed a toasty 34 degrees under the covers.  Our remote sensors, located in numerous greens, allow us to monitor not only temperature, but moisture and salinity at any given time.  Technology has really come a long ways in all industries, and this is just one example of how it helps us better manage one of this clubs largest assets.