Friday, December 28, 2012

First Snow of the Year

I had to do some plowing this morning.  We had about an inch of snow.  The last snow we had was back in early March.  The lake is starting to freeze.  Before anyone thinks about ice fishing, please check in with Dave.  He keeps track of ice depth.
I would like to wish a everyone a Happy New Year.  Jose, Butch and I are busy getting everything ready for another season.  In about 3 months, we'll be out cutting greens, tees, fairways and rough, raking bunkers and changing cups.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Golf in mid December

December 14?  Many LCC members snuck out of work and got 18 holes in today.  This is the latest I've ever let cart go out.  This may be the end of the season if we get the predicted rain on Saturday.

Jose and I have been cutting problem trees this week.  Several are in the ditch and a few more are on #16.  The ditch trees are cottonwoods while the others are green ash trees infected wit emerald ash borer.

Butch has been working on carts until this week when he switched to our equipment.  The walkers are first of his list.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Irrigation Blowout

Jose and Juan pulled in the irrigation intake pipe last week.  It was easy this year.  Usually the guys are standing in water to disconnect the pipe.

Last Thursday, we blew out the irrigation system.  We rented a 375 CFM air compressor.  It takes Jose and myself about 8 hours.  It's always nice to get this job done.  Again, we got lucky and had a fairly warm day without rain.

Jose started painting course accessories this week.

We had a swan make a visit today.

This November, we have a trapper help us with our muskrat problem.  He is licensed in both Illinois and Indiana.  In one week he caught 14. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Winter Prep

On Thursday, we are blowing out the irigation system.  I watered tees and greens this morning and maybe 1 more time on Monday.

After the last watering, Jose, Juan and I will bring in the intake pipe.  As you can see, the lake level is way down because of the drought this summer.  I checked the meter in the pump house.  It showed that we used 15 million gallons this summer.  Average for the last 3 years was about 7 million.

It takes several days, but I've been mowing down the wild areas.  It's much easier to do with the dry conditions.
We have been using demo rough mowers the last couple of weeks.  This one show's stripping which is the result of a mower with a roller system.
Over the next week, we will continue bringing in ball washers, water coolers, and hazzard stakes.  We are down to 1 seasonal worker until Thanksgiving.  We then go into winter mode.  This involves working on all machines, tree work, plowing and painting.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Demo's, Wentworth update

This is our John Deere rough mower.  It's 13 years old and starting to be a maintenance problem.  It's been down several times this summer and fall.  It's main job is mulching leaves this time of year.
Below is a demo unit.  We are getting to try several different machines from various vendors and hopefully we will be able to upgrade by next spring

This pictures work being done on Wentworth.  Along with paving, the county is installing curbs and sewer.  There will be two inlets and a new outlet.  The outlet will have a valve that will be used to control lake levels.  The inlet side has three pits the collect sediment before it reaches our lake.
On Thursday November 8th, we will be blowing out our irrigation system.  Jose and I can usually finish in one day.  Also, we are pulling the port a johns on the first Thursday in November.  As the season wraps up, Jose and I have only 2 seasonal workers left.  Please be patient as the 4 of us try and get everything done.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Greens Aerification, Drought, Leaf Season

Aerification of greens was completed on Wednesday.  Our 1991 model year aerifier broke down, but Butch got it fixed.  This put us a week behind schedule.  All greens, tees and fairways were fertilized in the last couple of weeks.  Tee aerification will start next week and should take about 3 days.  We will also do small fairways if we have time.
This pictures shows that our pond is at its lowest level in many years.  Our irrigation system has now pumped 14.8 million gallons in 2012.  2011 was  6 million, 2010 was 7.8 million while 2009 was 7.5 million.  We have had only 1 month this season above normal.  That was August.  September we only received 1.15 inches at Lansing CC.  We will need many steady rains to start filling up the lake.  The dry condition have let us skip a fungicide application this fall which saved some money.

It's now leaf season.  Be patient, as we try and keep up with this.  It's a team effort as we blow leaves to the rough and mulch with another machine.  We've had a couple of breakdowns with mulching machine, but Butch always seems to keep it running.  The next couple of weeks are probably going to be the worst.  As one variety of tree finishes dropping leaves, another one is just starting.
If you haven't noticed, our crew is getting smaller.  Jose and I now have only 3 seasonal workers.  With the cooler temps and shorter days we start our Fall schedule.  Everything will be cut back.  We will now cut tees and fairways twice a week instead of 3.  Greens mowing will go to 4 times a week instead of 7.  The course is actually in really good shape.  A couple of good soaking rains will set us up nicely for Winter.  My biggest concern is if it stays dry, we'll have to keep the irrigation system on longer.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Back 9 Greens Aerification Finished

Greens 10-18 where aerified on Tuesday and Wednesday.  We plan on finishing 1-9 next Tuesday and Wednesday.
We had a visitor this morning on #2.

LCC Grounds Staff 2012
Ricardo, Jose, Juan, Dan, Butch, Alex, Luis

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Aerifing Update

With rain last week, we had to change our aerifing plan. We will use solid tines and apply sand after. This will speed up the process, so we should finish in a couple of weeks. I will try and reschedule deep tine aerification for next spring.
This is Jose our foreman. He's been at Lansing since 2007 and can do about anything on the golf course. He was at Woodmar for 4 years before coming to LCC.

Some of the wild flowers are finally blooming.  The rain in August help to germinate the seed.  We planted more seed in the bare spots.  I'm hoping for more flowers next spring.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aerification Reminder

Just another reminder that next Wednesday, September 5, the course will be closed as we aerifiy all the greens in one day.  We once again hired Gritten Turf to deep tine.  When we do this in house, it takes us 2 weeks and ties up 3 greens daily.  By doing this early in September, I'm hoping the holes will heal up quickly.  If you remember last year, we waited until September 12 and finished October 6.  We did have to take a week off because of rain.

The putting green was aerified on September 12 and was looking good on October 6.

This green was completed on October 6 and with an early frost last year never completely healed by winter.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Club Championship and Storm Clean Up

I would like to congratulate our 2012 club champions.  I wasn't there for day 2, but I hear their were epic battles on both the men's and women's events.  Chuck Starcevich had a come from behind win over Mike Kosich while Judy Loria had to go 3 extra hole to beat defending champion Melissa Kerr.  Early rain led to softer, slower conditions but play well.

The rain this week is nice, but the moisture also leads to disease.  We don't treat our fairways like the greens and tees, so this is the result.  Dollar Spot.   The number 1 disease at Lansing Country Club.

Name this insect.

The pumpkin patch on the hill.  I saw an article about Flagg Creek that had pumpkins and thought that looked like a good idea.

We got Sam Schlesinger from the pro shop to help on the storm clean up last week.  He got help from member Gene Eenigenburg who also let us use his trailer.  They made about 13 trips to the dump in 6.5 hours.  Thanks guys.

The micro burst a couple of Saturday's ago damaged the pontoon.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Storm Pictures

Limbs from a Locust tree at #8 tee.  A quick micro burst with .55 inches of rain hit Lansing on Saturday.  This will take a couple of days to clean up.  Most of the crew can come on Sunday to start the removal of branches.  Power went out again.  Scott was able to get 3 generators going quickly.

The area with the most debris is #12.

Guy Liptack purchased new white flags.  With budget cuts, we have tried to extend the life of some items on the course. 

This is common on courses around Chicago this year.  The 2 inches of rain a couple of weeks ago, followed by heat, put a some of our fairways over the edge.  This was a result of poor drainage and week varieties of turf.  Poa annua, Poa trivialis both couldn't handle the conditions.  With Fall coming, I'm hoping it will fill in naturally.  If not, we will aerify and seed.  The last few years, we have improved drainage, but still have several holes to work on.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Early Warning For Aerification

I'm giving everyone an early warning that we are aerifing greens on Wednesday, September 5th.  We will be deep tining this year and hired a company that will enable us to do the entire process in 1 day.  By doing this in early September, the holes should fill in quickly.  When we do this in house, it takes us 2 weeks and ties up our crew during the process.  Our aerifier is from 1993 and showing it's age.  We still do tees and small fairways with it after the greens are finished. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

No Power and Course Clean Up

After a reported 63 MPH wind gust on Wednesday with .55 inches of rain, we had a clean up day at Lansing.  The course is very playable, but we are still waiting for power in the clubhouse.  Scott got a report of a Thursday return of power.  Check your e-mail for updates of a clubhouse reopening.  If anyone has an extra generator, e-mail Scott or call his cell to see if we could use it.

On Thursday, if we don't get power, we may have to manually turn on sprinklers if needed.  The soil moisture seems to be good, so we may get away with hand watering.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rain and Cool Temps

This is Juan our newest member to the staff.  His main duties are green mowing, bunkers and the occasional odd job.  After the 2 inch rain, Juan used a squeegee to get water off many of our fairways.

Finally some rain.  We received 2 inches on Wednesday/Thursday.  It is soaking in fast.  I expect no restriction on carts for Saturday.  I'm very happy about the rain, but equally happy about the cooler temps.  It looks like low 60's tonight, but then another hot spell starts.  Only 41 days until September.

This is Ricardo.  He is also a first year grounds crew member.  He is already mowing fairways, greens and rough.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pump Station and "C'MON MAN"

This is the pump station.  9 million gallons have come through so far this year.  In 2011, we pumped 6 million gallons.  We still have to finish July, August, September, October, and part of November.  The front pump is 25HP while the back pump is 75HP.  Together, they can pump 650 gallons per minute.

Lansing has a very large spring fed lake for its irrigation needs.  The drought is putting a serious dent in the lake level.  At this time of year, the level is usually about even with the end of the pallet.

I'm going to give this a "C'MON MAN".  With the emerald ash borer taking out trees, we can't be reckless and run over new trees.  This tree is a river birch plant last year.  It was healthly and just starting to grow.  We have spent time caring for our new trees with mulch and watering, not to mention the cost of the tree.

This is new ground crew member Luis.  It's his first year on a golf course, but he is catching on quickly.  His job duties include greens mowing, rough mowing and bunker work.  He can mow 9 greens quicker than anyone on the staff.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hot On The 4TH

100.5 degrees at 5:00 pm on the 4th of July.  Notice it was 91.2 degrees in my office.  We don't have air conditioning.

To cool off the greens this afternoon, I hand watered some hot spots and syringed the greens to cool them down.  We have to be carefull not to overwater on these hot humid days.

The wildlife didn't seem to mind the hot day.

The funny looking spots on our fairways are dollar spot.  It's the number one problem for most golf course around here.  We treat greens and tees, so these are usually clean.  The rain from last weekend gave enough moisture for it to grow.