Saturday, December 17, 2011

Winter Work

Here Butch is checking a reel as it is ground.  He is also grinding a bedknife in the next picture.  Before grinding, he inspects the entire cutting unit and replaces bearings and seals as needed.  With the help of Jose, all machines receive oil changes and new filters.  Repairs are made to anything that is broken.  This could include hoses, head gaskets etc..

Tee markers, ball washers, garbage cans etc. receive a fresh coat of paint.  This process takes a couple of weeks because we are outside when weather permits.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tree Removal

3 trees were removed from the ditch on #14.  They were all cottonwoods that had died.  As you can see, it opens up the left side.  We have a couple more to cut over between 11 and  12 in the ditch.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fall work wrapping up

We had a few late season irrigation leaks this year.  These needed to be fixed before we could blow out the irrigation system.  That was done on Tuesday and Wednesday.  We rent a 375CFM air compressor and it takes about 9 hours to complete.  Jose gets most of the water out through the quick couplers while I blow out the heads.

Most of the leaves have fallen.  Willows and some of the Oaks usually are the last to fall.  The windy weather has really sped up the process.

Course accessories are being brought to the shop.  Tee markers, ball washers, garbage cans, etc.. are sanded and painted.  In the next couple of weeks, I'll explain more on what we do in the winter.

Friday, November 4, 2011


We should have a good dry weekend.  Friday, we mowed the greens and changed the cups.  We also mulched leaves.  We're still a bit wet, so be careful with the carts.
This is the wild area behind #14 tee.  We mow this areas down each fall.  It helps keep the weeds and trees from taking over.  In the spring, I usually spray with a herbicide for weed control.  This year I did find some oak trees.  I will mark them so we don't mow them down next fall.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Port a John's and November Work

This is the time of year tha we start getting ready for Winter.  Jose and I will be doing most everything now until the end of March.  Juan will work a couple of days per week until Thanksgiving.  Butch will soon start going over every machine.  Jose and I will bring in the course accessories including benches, tee markers etc..  They will be sanded an painted.  I'll take many pictures over the off season to show what we do.  Just a reminder, the 3 port a johns are going back Friday, November 4.  I purchased our snow mold protection and in a couple of weeks, we'll blow out the irrigation.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ron Kittle and Drainage

Ron Kittle dropped by today to work on our baseball bat bench.

With another .55 inches of rain last night, we were unable to mow.  This gave us an opportunity to continue drainage work on #14 fairway.

Here, Juan and Jesus wrap up their work.  There are several more spots at the beginning of the fairway we need to address.  Improved drainage will save turf in the future.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rain Total 2.3 inches

Total rain for the past 2 days is 2.3 inches.  We'll do our best on Friday to get the course ready.  Please check in with Pro Shop about carts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rain then cold

It looks like a couple days of rain.  We were catching up with leaf mulch, but this rain will slow us down.  The ashes are about done, oaks and cottonwood are starting, maples next and last the willows.  Willow are the hardest to control because they don't blow or mulch nicely and keep coming until the snow flies.

Just a reminder, we are probably going to have frost by the weekend.  Please check in with pro shop before going on the golf course.  Walking on a green with frost can damage the turf.  You will see foot prints for several weeks as it damages the crown of the plant.  The next couple of days we will change fluid in the ball washers so they don't freeze.  We will also bring in water coolers on cold nights.  November 1, we'll start bringing in course benches and ball washers as we let staff go.  Jose and I will keep Juan around until Thanksgiving.  He is the most versitile staff member.

I would also like to introduce Butch Liptak.  He will be our new mechanic.  He has 26 years experience as a golf course mechanic at Beverly Country Club.  He will work mostly mornings from 7 to lunch time. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Meet the Lansing Grounds Staff

Tees aerification was completed today.  The greens are healing up nicely.  Fall is a great time to come out and play.  You may want to bring some extra balls as the leaves fall.

Meet the 2011 Lansing grounds staff

Left to right

Dan Augdahl, Golf Course Superintendent, 4 years at Lansing, 25 plus on golf courses.

Dennis, Groundsman, 2 years at Lansing, main jobs include greens, rough and bunkers.

Salvador, Groundsman, 3 years at Lansing, main jobs include tee service bunkers, and flower bed maintenance.

Juan, Groundsman, 4 years at Lansing, main jobs include greens, tees, fairways, rough and handwatering.

Jesus, Groundsman, 2 years at Lansing, main jobs include, cup changing, greens, fairways, rough and landscaping.

Jose, Foreman, 5 years at Lansing plus 4 years at Woodmar, main jobs include everything.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Greens Aerification Complete

This is #5green.  It was the last green we aerified on Thursday.  We applied about 35 tons of sand and dragged it into over 1 million holes for the 18 greens plus putting green.

This is the putting green.  It was aerified on September 12.

This is green #18.  It was aerified on September 23.

This is green #5.  It was aerified on October 6.

This shows the importance of aerifing early.  The later we aerify the longer it takes to heal up.  As the days get shorter and cooler, recovery slows.  The entire process took us 7 working days.  On the best days we completed 4 greens so we didn't go into overtime.  With the smaller staff, we had to put other jobs on hold as we needed the entire staff to help.  Our aerifier only goes 4 inches deep.  I hope we can get back on the deep tine (8-9 inches) next fall to improve the root zone on our greens.

Next week, we plan on finishing the tees and small fairways.  We need to finish as I need to start cutting staff after next week.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekend Update

Hopefully, the rain has stopped for awhile.  1.75 inches this week.  We were able to mow fairways Thursday and again Friday.  The back nine was mowed with a walker pm Friday.  It's not filling in as fast as I would like because of the cooler cloudy days.  Next week looks better for that and for finishing the front nine greens.

Carts should be good for the weekend.  Just be carefull of the wet areas.  As we finish up aerifing, the mulching season begins.

We had an early morning visitor this week

The seed on the new hill has germinated.  In a couple of weeks, we will plant an area of wild flowers that you will be able to see from the pro shop.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Another day of rain.  1.6 inches since Sunday night.  With the wet conditions, we will finish aerifing the front next week.  The plan is Monday 1,2,3,4, Tuesday 9, Wednesday, 5,6,7,8.  We will then finish up the tees and small fairways.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday, September 27

More rain.  The back 9 is closed until further notice.  We had another .3 inches of rain last night on top of 1 inch.  No carts on the front.  This really puts a hold on aerifing.  We may have to wait until next week. to finish the front.  The grounds staff will switch to a 6:30 start on Wednesday due to darkness.  This means no shot gun starts until 9:00.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday September 26

We had an inch of rain overnight.  The front is open for walking.  I don't see any aerification until Wednesday.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Aerification Update for Friday, September 23

The putting green, which was aerified on the 12th, is healing up nicely.

Here, Jose is finishing up green #18.  That completes the back nine as of Friday.  If weather holds up, we plan on starting the front on Monday.  We again will put a temporary pin in the fairway.  Just be aware of the workers as much of the equipment makes noise and they can't hear you.  If it's dry, we should finish the front on Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Aerification Update

We finished 10,12,14 and 15 today.  Perfect weather with sun and wind. Thursday we will try for 11,13,16 and 17.  It will be cooler, but no rain in forecast.  We will again put a temporary pin in the fairway.  When we finish the green, the flag will go back on the green and will be ready for play.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wednesday Aerification Schedule

We will go for 4 holes on Wednesday.  Our goal is to aerify 10,12,14, and 15.  The spoils will be used on the new chipping green and new #15 tee.  We will then blow the greens, topdress with sand, drag, fertilize and water.  It's a lot to do for myself, Jose, Juan, Jesus, Salvador and Dennis.  Dave will help after he takes care of some of the equipment that needs attention.  That's in addition to mowing greens, tees, and fairways in the morning.  The crew has experience with the process, so that makes it go faster.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Aerifing Update

With the overnight and morning rain, and cloudy conditions, we will postpone aerifing until Wednesday and Thursday.  We hope to finish the back nine on Friday.  This will leave the front nine for next week.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ball Marks

Please fix ball marks.  This picture is from Saturday.  A ball mark fix that days heals in a couple of days, but if done the next day or mowed, it may take a couple of weeks.

Just another reminder, aerification begins on Monday on the front.  Play will be allowed on the back.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seeding On New Hill

We seeded the hill under the power lines today.  We used a low maintenance mix that contained fescue and rye grass.  It was picked because once established, minimal water is needed.  I hope that it will germinate next week.  After it was seeded, Jose followed with bunker rake to spread it around more evenly.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Aerification Has Begun

Here, Jose is aerifing the putting green with a Toro walking aerifier.  We only have this machine, so it's going to take a few weeks to get throught the greens, tees, and small fairways.  In the future, we need to purchase a machine for the fairways.

Here, Salvador is shoveling the cores to the side.  They will be picked up and used as the growing medium for the new chipping green and new tee on #15.  When we do the rest of the course, we will use more workers.  High end clubs have special equipment that picks up cores.

This is the green after Jose applied the topdressing sand.

After the sand has dried, we drag the green with a special coco mat.  Our goal is to fill as many holes as possible.

This is the goal.  At this point we use a blower to remove any extra sand.  Holes that are filled heal quicker.  Later, we will go out and fill any areas that need more sand.

This is the 1st tee.  We do a similiar process except that we drag the cores instead of picking up.  The soil falls into the holes and we blow away the thatch.  After finish a tee or green, we apply some irrigation water.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Vietnam Vet Outing

Thursday, we had a Vietnam Vet outing.  Many fished, some golfed, some sat in the shade and told stories. All had a good time.  There was also a Middle East Vet that attended.  Chef Bob was in charge of the burgers and hotdogs.

Just another reminder, we start aerify greens on September 19.  Please be patient as we do this necessary practice to keep the greens in top shape.  We are doing this in house this year, so it will take a couple of weeks.

Mike Locke supplied us with some seed for the hill project.  We plan on getting the seed out next week.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why are the Lakes Green?

Every year at this time, many members ask why are the lakes green?  Mike Ogorek wrote up a report for me for the blog.
This is a natural fall time happening on lakes with a good weed population.  As temperatures drop at night, the top water of the lake cools.  Since cold water is heavier than warm water, at some point the heavier cold water falls to the bottom.  This is what happens when a "Lake Turns Over".  The shock of the cold water kills a lot of the weeds which turns the water green.  The water should clear up within the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Mike also gave me some information on the weeds in our pond.  He spoke with PHD from Central Michigan University about our ponds several years ago.  He reported that we have mostly Pond Weed.  We have the type that has a short like cycle(3-6 weeks).  He recommended that we leave it as is because the habitat is good for fishing.  The cloudy green in the Spring is a type of algae and not dying weeds.  It aids in controlling weed growth.  The weed bed we have is great for fish spawning.

Work continues on the natural pipeline inspection.  Monday, they drained the line of any gas.  Wednesday, they plan on cutting into the pipe and use a scope to check the line all the way back to Torrence.  If all is OK, they will back fill and dig up the other pipe that runs parallel.

The tee shot from #14 men's may change next year.  This group of cotton woods died this summer.  The crew will cut them down in early November on a frost morning.  We've been loosing a couple of cotton woods in the ditch line each year.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Work is being done to test the 2 natural gas pipelines that run parallel with the power lines that cut across the golf course.  This is done every 6 or 7 years.  The pipeline is about 70 years old.  Hopefully, the pipe is in good shape so no repairs will be needed.
Except for a little rain on Sunday, the club championship was completed.  Congratulations to Mike Kotich and Melissa Kerr.  We got green speeds back to normal since the hot spell.  Cool weather is in the forecast for the next 10 days.  We held up much better than most courses in the area.  We missed most of the rain the decimated much of Chicago.  August is actually very dry.  We have received only .85 inches of rain with the average being about 4 for the month.  We could use some rain to keep the course looking nice.

Remember, September is aerification time.  We plan on doing it the last 2 weeks of September.  We will do the back first and then the front.  We need to finish before October because I start losing workers.  The sooner we finish, the sooner they heal up.

If you haven't noticed, the days are getting shorter.  We are having a hard time getting the course ready for 8:00 shot guns.  The sun rises at 6:00, and it takes a minimum of 2.5 hours to do the basics ahead of play.  It would be a great help it you could have 8:30 shot guns in August and 9:00 in September.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dollar Spot and Brown Patch

Dollar Spot

Brown Patch

I was hoping to make it until Wednesday before spraying again.  I made an application this morning to stop Brown Patch and Dollar Spot that appeared.  The hot spots at Lansing CC are #9 and the putting green.  I would say that they have micro climits the favor disease.  Poor light and air circulation encourage disease.  Links style courses with few trees tend to have less disease.  This year, disease pressure has been greater than normal.  Preventative sprays that last 14 days are only making it 10 days.  For budget purposes, I leave room for a couple sprays like this.  If we go back to normal temps the rest of the year, it would really help the situation.  These spots should heal up in the next couple of weeks.  If they don't, I'll add some seed at aerifing time.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Rain and Weekend

We got only .25 overnight.  It was much heavier to the North and South.  The course really greened up this last week.  The forecast is dry and warm for the weekend and up until Tuesday.  That should make for a great weekend.  We kept only #14 to cart paths only, and hopefully will open it back up on Saturday.  We will catch up on some mowing on Saturday and Sunday.  I let the crew go home early on Thurday with the rain.  They are tired from the heat and took advantage of the afternoon off.

We started work on a project behind the practice tee.  Plans are for a putting green or chipping green.  It should be seeding by the end of the month.  I hope it would be ready for play next spring.

Plans for Greens aerifation are mid September followed by Tees and Small Fairways.  We will be doing this in house to save money this year.  I can't wait any longer because I need to cut staff October 1.  Also, the earlier I start, the more time we have until the first frost.  Frost really slows the process down.  The average first frost is around October 10.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rain Update for Thurday 7/28

We only had .5 inches of rain last night.  Our total for the month is 3.2 inches which is below average.  Most of Chicago is at record levels.
We got the Tony Lema sign ready last week.  I missed the dedication, but I heard it was a nice ceremony.

The hot humid weather is taking its toll on some of our turf.  This picture shows poa under stress on #1 collar.  We hand watered these areas and backed off on mowing the last couple of weeks to help our greens, tees and fairways.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Rain

We got .7 inches of rain on Friday.  After taking a few days off of mowing we started up again.  Greens speeds should be better.  The rain was kind of unexpected. Scott and I had on at 7 am with all rain up on the border.  At 10:45 it came.  The front dropped about 50 miles and the cool air hit the warm humid air.  We needed the rain and it should soak in nicely.  Jose started raking the bunkers after lunch and we should finish on Saturday for the Copper Muggers.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

100 degrees

We hit 100 again today.  That's 2 in a row.  A couple of years ago we only had 5 days in the 90's all summer.  90 on Friday will seem cool.  We skipped mowing greens, tees and fairways again today.  We instead rolled the greens.  I had Dave raise the height of cut on greens for Friday and the weekends.  I'm affraid we'll damage turf if we stay at the lower cut.  We'll go back to normal when it gets cooler.  After being wet in April, May and June, we now have drought contions.  The forecast is for rain on Friday and Saturday, but only 50%.  We could really use .5 inches.  The course is holding up, but another week of this could really hurt the rough.  It might stay brown for the rest of the season.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heat and Drought

Come out early and beat the heat the next couple of days.  We are backing off on some of the mowing to help the turf get through the extreme heat.  We are doing more hand watering to get through the day.  Too much water in this heat can create a situation for disease.  If you play, drink plenty of water or Gatorade.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hot Weather

Water management will be critical in the next 10 days.  High temps are expected.  The easy thing to do is irrigate at night.  A better option is to irrigate and hand water.  Some of our greens have isolated dry spots.  Instead of watering the entire green, we try and hand water these small areas.  This will help keep our greens health.

This is another image of the reason why we aerify.  Notice the darker soil on the bottom.  Roots can't penetrate this native soil.  This comes from the putting green, our worst green to maintain in my opinion.  On most of our greens, the deep tine aerifier can penetrate twice the depth.
This picture shows that our fungicide program is working on the greens.  Notice the line in the approach where dollar spot begins.  This line is where I turn off/on the sprayer as I make an application.  I currently spray greens preventative, tees curative and fairways only preventative for grubs and crab grass.

This is garbage near the lake.  Please pick up garbage when you fish.  This could end up in the lake and clog the irrigation intake or get into one of the pumps.