Welcome Wing Point Members

This blog is intended to keep the members at Wing Point up to date on the course conditions, the challenges we face with weather, the day to day update on projects, and hopefully add some insight to your overall golf experience. The blog will be updated as much as possible. Information on things that may impact your golf experience such as sanding or aeration will be posted as well. Take time to read one of the polls on the side of the page. The results will help us make decisions on course maintenance practices and give us feedback on what you, the members are thinking.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Been a while...

Sorry to all my loyal followers!  The tail end of the irrigation project resulted in a lack of blogging.  In other words...a lot of hours at work!  We are 95% done.  The irrigation install has been complete for 2 weeks, but clean up is still getting done.  We've ran the system 3 times with very few issues, which have already been resolved by the contractor.  On that note, I must say that it was an absolute pleasure to work with James Milroy and his staff.  Dealing with a second generation irrigator really paid off.  James will turn 40 this week, he's been installing irrigation since before he was a teenager working for his father.  Wing Point is just the most recent on his long resume of golf courses he's installed irrigation.  Some of those courses include Seattle GC, Overlake GCC, Meridian Valley GCC, Chambers Bay GC, The Plateau Club, all of the Bandon Dunes golf courses, etc., etc., etc.  We finished 5 weeks early after starting 2 weeks late, we are under budget, and my life is back to normal again!

The remaining areas left over from construction will be seeded this week.  The bunker on #10 will be sodded this week, then sand added in a few weeks.  The 5th tee will open for play next week.  The 14th and 13th tees will be a few weeks out. 

It's been a long winter that started with turf loss on greens.  In our industry, they say the 2 most stressful things for a superintedent in his/her career are turf loss on greens, or going through an irrigation installation.  I made it through both in the last 6 months.  Our greens are back to normal with the exception of the thin turf conditions on #10, and we now have a state of the art irrigation system that should last for decades to come.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Greens and fairway aeration

The new process is quickly showing us how much better it is.  We mowed today!  I watched a few putts rolling and they seemed pretty good  for just 2 days after aereating.  I'm excited to see how long it takes for them to be back to normal.  #10 is really close to opening.  My plan is to open it on Monday, April 19th.  We will aggressivley verticut it this coming week and topdress it with sand again.  It will still have thin areas, but I believe they will fill in over the next month with our usual spring green up.  We will be fixing any bare areas from the winter turf loss during that week as well by cutting them out and replacing the area with turf from the chipping green.  I think we will likely see the greens completely back to normal in about 2 weeks time.

We will be trying to finish all the fairways, tees and aprons this week.  Milroy will be finishing up the irrigation as well.  Some fairways are still too wet in areas, so we're hoping the rain subsides so we can finish the aeration we started last month.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Greens aeration is complete

Mother Nature gave one back to us yesterday and we were able to finish all the greens easily.  The new process looks really good at this point!  We still have about 2/3 of the fairways, tees and aprons to aerate and are waiting for things to dry back up to finish those off.  We only have half of #12 fairway, and all of #10, 13 and 14 fairways left to finish the irrigation.  They will likely be done next Thursday, then the following week we will spend on cleanup, testing and tweaking.  We're almost there!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A few updates


The greens have been aerated...for the most part.  We had a surprise delivery of the Kiln Dried sand on Monday.  The delivery was called off last Wednesday due to the forecast this week, unfortunately the message never got to dispatch!  I was by myself shaping the new bunker on #10 Monday morning when my mechanic called me and said the sand was here...I thought he was kidding with me since he knew we weren't expecting it.  He does that sometimes when he knows I'm stressed to lighten my mood.  This time he wasn't kidding and it didn't lower my stress level!  I had NO plans on aerating since last Wednesday when I called off the order. Oh well...

So, we decided to accept the delivery, all be it reluctantly.  The weather was OK Monday so we decided to drop everything we were doing and just go for it...we got 1 1/2 greens done and then it started raining.  Tuesday was cloudy and there was severe weather 2 blocks north of the golf course all the way to Hansville, but we got lucky and stayed dry.  We finished 6 greens.  Today was suppose to be 56 degrees and sunny...NOT!!!!  We got all the greens we wanted to do excpet #11 and #13.  It started raining about 2 o'clock and wasn't letting up, so we had to quit. 

The shady greens that don't accumulate thatch through the winter, #4, 10 and 15 were going to be done differently anyway.  So, we got almost all of them done.  We'll finish the rest when the rain stops.  The new process we are doing is very slow and my personality certainly doesn't fit it's tedious nature, but the end result should be much better with a much faster recovery time.  Stay tuned on that...

The process:
  1. Aerate with 1/2" diameter tines spaced 2"x1.5" apart.  The traditional method was 5/8" diameter spaced 2"x2" apart.  More holes closer together + smaller holes = same amount of material removed, but more potential for holes closing if driven on before sanding.
  2. We never drive a vehicle over holes that have not been filled with sand.
  3. All sand (Kiln Dried which has zero moisture content) is worked into the holes by using the backside of a wide rake, nothing else.
  4. No vehicle is driven over the newly aerated turf until all holes are filled.
  5. Double verticut at 1/8" depth to create more area for sand to settle into the turf canopy.
  6. Drag a cocoa fiber mat over the green to brush the sand into the canopy.
  7. Allow Mother Nature to water the sand in, or handwater the green to achieve the same effect.
The result???  No excess sand left on the green to be "worked in" for the following 3-4 days.  I am hoping the process will equate to a healthier root zone (more holes) and a smoother/faster recovery (smaller holes + less excess sand).


Milroy has finished all of #17, 18, 11 and #12 tee.  If the weather isn't too bad tomorrow, they will finish #12.  That will leave #13 tee and  fairway, #14 fairway, and #10 fairway.  They should be done by next Thursday.  That will only leave some cleanup and a couple of days of tests and fixing issues.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What is actually left to do on the irrigation?

We are getting close!  The light is glimmering at the end of the tunnel.  We only have these areas left to install sprinklers...
  • #10 fairway
  • All of #11
  • #12 tee and fairway
  • #13 tee and fairway
  • #14 tee and fairway
  • All of #17
  • #18 tee and half the fairway
I am pretty sure Milroy will be completely wrapped up and gone on April 22nd.  We should all be thankful for a strong El Nino season.  Even with a 2 week delay to the start, we will finish 1 month ahead of schedule thanks to good weather in February and March.  We will still be cleaning up on our end for about 2 weeks following Milroy's departure.  Let's hope for warmer weather ahead so the seeded areas can germinate quickly and we can enjoy an unblemmished course by Memorial Day.