Weekly update

The course greened up this week despite the weather. It was warm over the weekend and early in the week. Add to that an inch of rain Wednesday and the soil temps are climbing. Soil temps dictate everything. It is the biology in the soil that makes everything happen. Plants cannot live without roots and roots do not grow well in sterile soil. As the bacteria and fungi in the soil wake up and become active so to do the roots and then the shoots. It is best to listen to your individual property and look for the signs instead of the idiots in the  commercials as to when to feed your lawn for instance. This place greened up all on its own and thus far we have only applied the greens with a little spoon feeding through the sprayer today. The rest of the week has been awful with wind, snow, cold raw Winter-like weather.
sunrise 9 fwy

slush on windshield in April 

Pump panel showing 492 gpm out of well

Road to the beach

Thursday night sunset

Sure sign of Spring couple of Toms strutting for the girls
We had some good news in the irrigation department this week. When the new isolation valve arrived Will installed it and I was able to run the well through its paces. Sort of like when the Prodigal Son returns even though it may be flawed with its salt water intrusion it was nice to see the old girl working once again. The alternatives were not very good so this will be a huge stress relief at least for now. The pump station company has to return and run it through the preventative maintenance tests and calibrate the flow meter. We know the bowls are worn and will need replacing and these tests tell us how much and how soon. We added sand to all the bunkers this week and once again mowed everything. I imagine next week we will be mowing everything twice and probably even the rough in spots for the first time. Greens will begin an every other or every third day schedule. We have had closures of golf club road this week as the town installs a new water line. I have helped them back fill the trench to speed up the process and limit our inconvenience. Hopefully they are able to wrap up this project next week. Remember to check out the Tee up NE auction for golf rounds all over New England. I will add the link HERE but you can also look in the previous post this week for a description and link.

Golf Auction great deals

The annual Tee Up New England fundraiser is going on right now. Proceeds from the auction go to fund turf research in NE. check it out HERE There are four pages of clubs from all over NE and some real gems.

Good News - Bad News

Where do I begin? It was actually a fairly productive week. We had some rain but very moderate temps. The wind never really let you feel the warm 50's but hey it's a start. At the beginning of the week we started filling the irrigation system with town water. You may recall from the last post we had an issue in the pump house that we assumed was the well based on the symptoms. We installed the buried hose reel on 6/15 and then tackled digging up a valve on 5 fwy that had a minor leak last year to investigate further. It is Friday and that hole is still partially open (more on that later). The irrigation system appeared to be in decent shape. There was one head on 4 stuck on and when we tried to shut the valve we discovered the handle is broken. That has now turned into an entire valve replacement, still an open hole. From the clubhouse as I was heading into work I witnessed a head break on nine at the bottom of the hill and the water shoot 20-30 feet in the air, yet another open hole. That rarely happens on either account. The video in my brain is pretty cool, I wish I could share it. You will have to take my word.
Fairway Fred back in action
 We mowed Tees, Aprons and Fairways for the first time this week. Greens received their third mowing and a spray application to suppress seed heads. Next week I will begin Preventative fungicide applications. I was able to stain more of the clubhouse decking and of course it was 30 degrees the next morning but it has dried OK. After a few phone calls with the pump station company and well company we installed a pressure gauge on the well head and ran the pump as another test to check a theory. It panned out that the isolation valve broke shut during the start up and that is the cause of our lack of water last week. Great news as this should be under $1,000 to repair. The bad news is that we still have worn pump bowls that need replacing, a well with salt water intrusion, and an original irrigation system from 1936.
Will cutting the rusty bolts off clamps holding bad valve

notice the rust accumulation at bottom

there is active pipe under all that rust

spaghetti plumbing old and new combined

inside of pipe - Rust Never Sleeps
The job on five fairway is a perfect example of our patchwork plumbing. It is mostly a plastic system put in in the 90's but they attached it to the original AC main line and then some galvanized piping as well. We are way over due for a new irrigation system. Completely new this time.
5 Fairway
We decided to replace as much of the galvi pipe on the 5th fwy job as we could. Each time we turned the water on another section of pipe would spring a leak. That is why a single hole has been open all week on 5. I made what I thought was the last repair and while Chris and I were back filling and tamping I tapped the pipe with the tamp and the above picture was the result. They don't refer to irrigation as "irritation" for nothing. But we finished the day thinking we will have our well back and the stress trying to figure out how we were going to water this year has been temporarily abated. Fingers crossed the valve replacement solves this problem. Have a great weekend.