Friday, March 18, 2011

Some fun "Before" and "After"

I like photo documenting the things that happen outside here at Indian Lakes Resort.  It can be even more enlightening to photo document the aftermath of those same events.  So let's have a look back into the past and then to the present, shall we?

9 Island Greenside Bunker 11/2010 
The same Bunker back in November during the race

The same bunker 3/17/2011

9 Island and Driving Range Field Cyclocross Course 11/2010

 Portion of the same course 3/17/2011
Portion of the same Course 3/17/2011

The resulting compaction to the turf is at the top 4" or so of the soil profile.  In this area we will routinely get between 12" to 36" of frost in the ground during the winter months.  Further, that frost will come and go in what is commonly referred to as a 'freeze/thaw' cycle.  I am of the opinion that the compaction from the cyclists is, by and large, taken care of naturally during that cycle.  The damage is almost imperceptible in the spring and I would guess that it is more difficult to notice, which is why I outlined the areas in red.  The bunker damage is a bit more of a problem but it is just a matter of a couple days of checking the depth of the sand across the hazard, adding where necessary and ensuring the sub-surface drainage is in tact.  If the drains are damaged we can easily make repairs.  In the end I like the Cyclocross event.  The good by far outweighs the bad.

Remember this picture?  This is the Driving Range field on 2/28/2011

 This is the same field on 3/17/2011
Again, 3/17/2011
The standing water here throughout the year basically 'drowns' the grass first then asphyxiates it after the water goes down.  Beyond that constant saturation results in a lot of extra work for Tom Denklau and the Pro Shop staff in having to hand pick golf balls out of these areas where the ball picker can't operate because it gets stuck.  I suppose we will just keep re-grassing this area multiple times throughout the year so long as we are a water storage facility for the Village of Bloomingdale.

So much for the before/after pics.  Let's talk a little about what's happening right now at Blackhawk Trace.  First and foremost is the debris clean-up from winter.  It seems like a long time ago but the blizzard in February brought with it uncharacteristically high winds (gusts up to 70 MPH and sustained winds in the 50 MPH range).  This, as you can imagine, generates a great deal of tree debris as evidenced below.
Hunter is admiring Dale's mulch job on the Honey locust seed pods

It's still a bit soft this time of year as evidenced by Dale's mulch job.  The tracks won't be an issue moving forward as the ground firms throughout Spring.  We've been blowing and mulching leaves across the golf course for much of the week while the weather is still nice.   

We also managed to clean off our putting surfaces and roll them.  Rolling greens is essential prior to the first mowing to smooth the surface from the 'freeze/thaw' cycle that can heave the soil vertically and the foot printing from winter golf that can move the soil laterally.  It works very well.  The line separates the rolled portion of the left side of the photo from the unrolled portion on the right.  The change in color is a good indicator of just how much movement can be present in the soil. 

This post has been too long already.  I will be out all next week so look for another blog update the week of the 28th.  The forecast is on the right (and it doesn't look so hot) so enjoy the nice weather today while you can.  Have a great weekend!

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