Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Renovation 2014 a Success!

It has been a very busy summer here at The Preserve and we are excited to be near the end of our renovation!  I could not be more proud of our Agronomy Team.  These guys and gals worked 1000's of additional hours this past summer successfully growing in our new putting surfaces, installing several 1,000 feet of new drain lines, topdressing the course with over 8,000 tons of sand and the list goes on and on.  All this while still keeping up with regular maintenance practices around the rest of the course. Their dedication to the task at hand was crucial in making this project a success and I greatly appreciate all the work they have done.

Agronomy Team Renovation 2014

During this renovation our Agronomy Team, Jerry Pate Design and TDI Golf collaborated to correct several issues related to the infrastructure of our putting greens by completely rebuilding them from the ground up.  The turfgrass variety chosen for our putting surface is Tifeagle and for our collars Tifgrand.  As of October 1st our oldest greens (1,2,4,5 and 10-18) will be 83 days old, our 2nd set of greens (6-9 and putting green) will be 63 days old and 3 green will be 42 days old.  The first and second set of greens that were planted have comparable green speeds already and this will only improve with age.  Green 3 is only 42 days old so it will be slower compared to the rest of the course but what an awesome job our team did to get this green ready for play with the opening of the course.  Our team will pay close attention to 3 green since it will require more frequent water applications through the fall due it's young age.  During this time there may be times our staff needs to water the putting surface during the day.  If you come to a green and a team member is watering with the flag pulled please wait patiently while he finishes the water application.  It will only take a few moments and it is imperative that they have the right of way to ensure our new greens have a healthy transition into the winter months.

3 Green ready for play!

While working on our putting surfaces we took the opportunity to replace the degraded lining system and sand in our bunkers.  The old fabric liner was replaced with Capillary Concrete and a new sand called Gangle was installed.  The combination of these two products will provide a more consistent playing experience for those who prefer to play their ball from our hazards.  All major construction has been completed on the bunkers but our team is still making there way around the course checking and finalizing the sand depths for ideal playability.  Other projects completed include laser leveling of all tee boxes, enlarging several tees on holes 1 and 2, re-decking the bridge on hole 12 and building a new bulkhead for 3 green. 

You may notice recently sodded areas around the course that were part of the final punch list our contractor completed at the end of the project this past week.  Please try not to drive your cart in these areas and play your ball as ground under repair if it comes to rest on the new sod.

I hope you enjoy the new golfing experience here at The Preserve and welcome back!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Greens Mix Production

 Agromax began blending our greens mix today!  This officially kicks off our project and I am praying for continued dry weather during the blending process.  A 90/5/5 blend of sand/peat/zeolite was selected for our site.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tree Line Restoration Winter 2014

This past winter we selected trees for removal that were casting shade on our bermudagrass putting surfaces.  During this process we also surveyed all trees and shrubs that were growing in our tree lines making note of their species, light requirement, current size, annual growth rate, mature height/width and expected lifespan so that we could manage these areas to reach their full potential for long term sustainability.  With this information we selected the highest quality specimen trees to remain while removing fast growing weak wooded trash trees with a short lifespan like Water Oak (quercus nigra) and Sweetgum (liquidamber styracifolia).  Small tree saplings were also removed that were spaced to tightly and growing into the larger specimen trees.  These immature trees weaken the structural integrity of our selected specimen trees by forcing abnormal growth angles as the tree reaches for light in competion with other plants.  These abnormal growth angles exposes the tree to an increased risk failure under high wind events that frequently occur in our area. The removal of the smaller tree saplings allow for the larger specimen trees to grow stronger for a longer lifespan while becoming more visible so that it's individual beauty may be appreciated at our facility for years to come.  Once the selected trees were removed shrubs were evaluated for their value and contribution for seperation and beauty to our landscape.  Any shrub that was deemed low quality or could not perform based on site specific circumstances were removed and a mix of native shrubbery and grasses were transplanted along with the installation of nursery grown plants in areas where immediate screening was necessary.

We must manage our landscape as it matures and grows because since man settled this area he has gotten in the way of Mother Nature's management plan.  Mother Nature, if given time, will eventually select the strongest specimen plant for us by thinning the forest through catastrophic wind events that frequent our area.  By managing our forest now we minimize damage and clean up cost in the future and provide a much more consistently sustainable habitat.

Looking from 5 tee to 7 fairway

View from 5 tee to 7 green

View from 9 green

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Irrigation Well Installation Completion.

This week we completed our new irrigation well installation and it is now up and running. This current well is pulling around 300 gallons per minute.  This is half the amount of water our old well could provide. We will monitor the aquafier for the next few weeks with the hope that it will be able to support another well in the future. 

What does this mean for our facility and why is it important?  It is important because "as your water so goes your soil". This is a greatly improved water source that will have a very positive effect on plant health and course conditioning for years to come. The new water will have improved water infiltration while eliminating the toxic ion sodium as a hazard for our facility. This results in improved soil/water infiltration, less disease and improved rooting for our turfgrass ecosystem.  Plants thrive when their need for four basic elements are met. Good water, good soil, adequate air and light. If any of these elements are lacking a reduction in plant health will occur. With this new source we have positively impacted 2 (water and soil) of the four elements.  Below is a highlighted comparison of test results from our old irrigation source versus our new. 

Old Water Source

New Water Source