Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"....and when it rains on your parade look up instead of down. Without rain there would be no rainbow" - Gilbert K. Chesterton

G.K. Chesterton 1874-1936
Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an English author, poet, playwright, and philosopher.  I have no idea about the things he wrote, what he wrote or why he wrote it but the above quote leads me to believe he was a 'glass half-full' type of guy.   So far June 2011 (not including the rain pouring outside my window pane right now) is at 3.9" of precipitation and the monthly average is just under 3".  From April 1st of 2011 through today we've received approximately 11.6" of precipitation which puts us about 3.25" ahead of our average for the months of April, May and June.  I provide this information because I feel you might be interested, because you might want to understand why you have to mow your lawns at home like every other day almost and why the grass keeps piling up outside on the golf course.

So we've spent more time in our bunkers, albeit not quite enough.  The weather is the single determining factor in how much or how little we can accomplish in a day.  Thankfully the grounds crew is versatile, veteran and enthusiastic about performing several tasks in a day or over many days and for that I can't thank them enough.  Here's a couple of pics of what we've been working on.

Cesar Chavez is shown here installing new drainage in a fairway bunker
This bunker required renovation after an irrigation pipe (that should never have been in there in the first place) heaved out of the ground this winter and burst during the startup of our irrigation system. Cesar and Nicacio Hernandez should have the drain in today and the sand will follow shortly after.
 We are continuing 'rip' edging our bunkers on Highland and Woodland
That's a pretty big difference.  Amazing how much they encroach if you're not careful

Jr., Angel and Barrett did a nice job returning this bunker line back to its original design.  We will keep doing this as long as it takes to recapture lost lines and bunker space.  Once they are all completed we will perform this task once every other year or so depending on how fast they grow.  I want to thank my colleagues at Skokie Country Club and Onwentsia Club for sharing this method with me.  Thanks, Don and Scott.
 Jose Rivera vertical mowing greens on Island last week
 This is the pattern left by the vertical mower
 Jr. then follows the vertical mower with a dusting of sand
  Finally Jose Escobar brushes the sand in with this contraption
Topdressing greens is an important component of putting surface management.  The vertical mower reduces thatch accumulation, creates new growth points and allows for a more upright plant growth habit.  The topdress smooths the surface to improve ball roll, dilute organic matter accumulation and helps keep the surface dry and receptive.  The brush incorporates all the sand, cleans the surface prior to mowing and helps in creating a better quality of clip during mowing. Pretty fancy stuff, huh?  We look to perform this task once every two weeks, or so, as the weather and schedule allow.  Tom Denklau.....
 ...deserves a great big 'attaboy' for affording us some opportunity to perform this task by opening up the schedule for us a little bit.  Our resident Director of Golf is one heck of a guy!

We added some more flowers to the Conference Center walk through since my last post.  The location stays fairly shady and damp so our grower from Terrona Farms in Peotone suggested Fusion Impatiens that can handle a wide variety of locations. John Pascente....
...has done a great job filling a new role after 21 years at Indian Lakes by heading up our Hotel Landscape crew.  Thank you, sir, for your hard work and versatility.
 Carlos Hernandez and Manuel Cruz installed new irrigation at Shiraz last week
Testing the new Toro mist heads
The Hotel Landscape crew spends a few days each week watering, weeding and tending to the flowers.  John, Carlos and Manuel C. spent a couple of days installing new lawn and plant bed sprinklers to reduce the amount of hours needed to hand water the plants.  We have the parts in inventory and (since it never stops raining) we can squeeze a day here and there to do some hand work to save us more time as the summer progresses.  I'm happy they did this stuff, for sure!
I will leave you with a picture of my daughter, Molly, who turns SEVEN MONTHS tomorrow!  Where did that time go?  Thank you so much if you made it this far and have a great week.