Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tree Removal and Member Help

We have started cutting some of the infected ash trees this month.  Jose and I hope to have all marked trees cut by early February.

NIPSCO is now required to keep the area within 50 of power lines free of trees.  Several years ago, a tree in Ohio took out power for most of the East coast.  Now if a tree hits a line, there will be a huge fine.

John Sulek and son put some new shingles on the 19th hole.
Santa and some helpers were here last weekend.  Guy Liptack makes this possible every year.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Golf Season Coming to an End

Tuesday, I treated the greens for snow mold.  This is the last application for the season.

Here, Butch started grinding reels.  He will do this on all mowers.  He also grinds bed knives, and checks all mowers.  With the help of Jose, all machines will get oil changes, new filters and plugs.

With frost this morning, we cut down an infected ash tree.  We plan on cutting about 20 more this winter.

This shows what happens to ash trees after they are infected.  Basically, water movement is cut off under the bark.  The top of the tree then defoliates and the tree eventually dies.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Irrigation Blow Out

We rented a 375 cfm air compressor from Burris Equipment to blow out our irrigation system.  Matt Davis dropped it off early, so I got a head start and started blowing out the system Sunday morning.  With weather looking not so nice this week, the jump start to the process helps out.  We hook into the compressor at the pump house.  Since we are flat and small, I don't have to move it around the course.  Jose actually started Friday by winterizing the pump house and by disconnecting the intake pipe and pulling it up on shore with the help of Juan and Alex.

First, we go around and get most of the water out through the quick couplers that are on tees and greens.  This took me about 2.5 hours this morning.  Jose will go around Monday morning and do it again before I turn every head on with the radio.  We get 99% of the water out before I start with the radio.
We keep the heads on until we see mostly misty air coming out and go onto the next head.  I check off each station as I go.  With about 500 heads, I need to keep track to make sure I get them all.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reminders of the next couple of weeks

Reminder that we are bringing in the porta a johns on Thursday.  In November, we slowly start bringing course accessories like ball washers, benches and bunker rakes.  On Monday, November 11th, we are blowing out the irrigation system.  We are down to 2 seasonal workers that are now part time.  We'll try and cut greens 3 times a week, tees and fairways twice, change cups and rake bunkers when necessary.  More time will be spent blowing and mulching leaves.  The driving range will be closed after this week.

We had some success with the wild flowers even with drought conditions.

The fescue came in nice by the pump house.

We've been cutting the native areas down the last couple of weeks.

Lansing Country Club grounds staff for 2013.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Greens Aerification Complete

On Tuesday, we had CS Turf aerify our greens with 1/2 " solid tines.

Jose then applied sand.

Alex and then Juan waited for the sand to dry and then used a coco mat to drag.
I then blew off any excess sand.  Alex then reset the cups followed by watering.  The hole process was finished in 8 hours.  Wednesday we received .4 " of rain and we were able to mow again on Thursday.  The holes should be completely healed by the end of this week.
We will try and fertilize greens this week and aerify a few par 3 fairways.  We are down to 3 seasonal workers and lose Ricardo next Saturday.  Juan, Alex, Jose and myself will try and keep up with all daily tasks.  This is the time of year when we start to back off on mowing.  Longer, cooler nights and shorter days will start to reduce the need for daily mowing.  Leaves are starting to drop, so that becomes priority for the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back Nine Tees Complete

We were able to complete the back nine tees on Thursday.  We will take a week off and finish the front nine the week of the 16th.  We generally do the back nine first because the front side has more issues with tree roots from trees planted close to tees.  This usually results in broken tines that need to be replaced.  With leagues, outings and a small staff, we spread this process out.  Jose and I start the aerifing and the crew joins up in the clean up as they finish their morning tasks.  Our goal is to finish the day in 8 hours.
After mowing the tee we used our Toro aerifier.  We used 1/2 tines at a depth of 3 to 4 inches.

After allowing time to dry, we use a metal drag mat to break up the cores.

We then blow off the left over thatch, clean up any debris, and turn on water.  This process goes best when you have a sunny, slightly breezy day.  Thursday was cloudy, so the drying process took an extra couple of hours.  With continued warm temps, the holes should recover in a week or 2.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Finally Some Rain

We finally got some rain the last couple of days.  Between Friday night and Saturday afternoon we received about .9 inches of much need precipitation.  That put us just over 2 inches for the month and about 3.5 since July 1.  The average for the 2 months is about 9 inches.  Myself and the crew will finally get a couple days off from hand watering.
Upcoming grounds activities include aerification of tees, fairways, and greens.  We plan on starting tees this week followed by some fairways.  New tines were put in our 1991 Toro aerifier and it's ready to go.  We hired a company to deep tine our greens in early October.  The Lansing staff will then apply sand, drag, blow, fertilize and water in.
We continued planting more trees last week.  I have enough donated money to buy about 11 more trees.

We went with Vinca in our logo bed this year.  I like it because when established, it needs very little care.

I'm sadden of the passing of my good friend Russell Erikson.  He was a member at Lansing since 1987.  A huge Cubs fan, we enjoyed talking at how bad my team the Twins and his Cubs were doing.  If the temp was between 50 and 85, Russ was out there playing golf my himself.  He may only play 3 holes or all 18, but he was out there.  He had his table at the window for lunch.  Half a Panini with a cup of soup and a hot cup of coffee.  Morgan new the routine and had it ready for him.
RIP Russ.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Course Record

Here are the  2013 club champions.  Sammi Sloan won her first title that included a course record 59 on day 2 that even included a bogey.  Chuck Starcevich retained his title.  Congratulation to the both of you.
Lets roll back the lunch menu to 1975.

We are already cutting the new tee on #15.  Seed has germinated but we need to take care of some crabgrass and weeds.  It should be ready for play next spring.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Club Championship and Meet the Staff

Good luck to all playing in the club championship.  We are double cutting greens each day to increase green speed.

Jose has been at Lansing since 2007.  He also spent 4 years at Woodmar CC.  His main job is running the crew.  He can operate all equipment and fixes all irrigation problems.
Juan has been here since 2008.  His main jobs are greens, tees, rough, fairways and bunkers.

Alex is in his second year, but has 15 years experience at several other golf courses.  His main jobs are cup changing, tees, greens, fairways and watering of flowers and new trees.

Ricardo is in his second season.  His main jobs are fairways, greens and bunkers.
Luis is also in his second season.  His main jobs are greens, rough and bunkers.
With 4 of the 5 seasonal workers returning this year, we got off to a great season.  Training of a new employee takes several weeks.
Remember the drought of 2012.  We are actually drier the last 2 months compared to last year.  The difference is that this year is much cooler and we started off wet.

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Tee, New Motor for Pump

We were finally able to get water to the new tee on #15 today.  We have been dumping aerifing plugs on the hill behind #15 for the last couple of years.  This year we got several donations to take the next step to make this possible.  I was able to purchase some used heads with money donated by Jim Weidenfeller.

Today, Rich Tabloff donated his time and machine along with pipe and wire to make the project happen.

We tied into the regular tee and had to rewire the hole.  The new tee adds about 25 yards, but also changes the angle to the green.  It still needs some time to grow in.  I plan on aerifing the tee and adding some more seed.  It should be playable in about a month when we start to lower the height of cut.  Don't worry, you can still play from the original tee if you choose.

We had some irrigation issues the last couple of weeks.  The motor on our main pump died on us a couple of weeks ago.  Here, Mark from Midwest Irrigation installed a new 50 HP motor for our main pump.   It took a week for the new motor to arrive, we used only our jockey pump.  Ok for the short term, but not  a long term solution.  I was able to pump only 175 gallons per minutes.  With the big pump back up and running, we got back to 700 GPM.

Friday, July 19, 2013

First Heat Wave of the Year

This has been a difficult week at Lansing.  The motor for the main pump failed on Sunday.  I made a few calls and got the system set up with only the jockey pump.  A new motor will be installed on Monday.  Our pumping capacity is 650 gallons per minute when both pumps are working.  With only a jockey, it is reduced to 175 GPM.  That has meant that I had to start watering very early and ending as play starts this week.
Many golf courses have been busy this week hand watering.  Even though we've had warm temperatures, it's been humid.  If we overwater during these conditions, disease will become a major concern.  By limiting water, we hit the hot spots with a little extra water during the day.

The greens have held up well this week.  A nice rain would be welcomed.

The fairways are showing the most stress during this heat spell.

This is Mike our newest employee.  His brother Ricardo has worked here for 2 years.  Even though he's a rookie. Mike has caught on quickly.  He has already learned greens mowing.  He will also do some rookie jobs like weed whipping and bunker work

Friday, July 5, 2013

Clean Up Continued

To be honest, our clean up has been much easier than the guys on the north side of Chicago.  While we are way above normal on precipitation, they've had to deal with major flooding.
A week ago on Monday, the big storm came through Lansing CC.  After over 200 man hours of clean up, its close to looking like a golf course again.  We've gotten behind in a few detail oriented jobs, but we should catch up next week.  Thank you for your patience.
We had a hydraulic leak last week on #2.  The operator noticed it quickly and got it off the fairway.  We will probably have to dig out some soil on the fairway and seed.  The part in the rough may fill in naturally.  If not, we will airify and seed. 

The cottonwood near #12 tee is finally cleaned up.  We were able to pull it down with a chain and a tractor.   Jose is very good and tree removal.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Storm Clean Up

The crew spent most of the day cleaning up after Monday nights storm.  We lost at least 10 trees and many limbs.  We hope to have the back nine ready for the outing on Wednesday.  We got help from Scott, Dewey, Josh, Sam and Marvin.  Thanks.


The port a john was blown about 30 yards from its normal location.

We ran out of carts so Dewey used a golf cart.

#12 approach shot just got easier if you are on the right side.