Sunday, April 3, 2016

One Year Later

I have not blogged since last Spring and quite honestly, a lot has happened since then.  So, those of you that have been waiting patently for my next post, lo and behold, here it is!  I started the 2015 season with a brand new assistant as the former deservingly moved on to take his first superintendent's job.  After that we were plunged into our first summer with water restrictions due to abnormally dry and hot conditions (in Seattle!?) and then subsequently went through one of the wettest offseasons on record.  I have spent 10 seasons here at TPCSR and never experienced either one at these extremes.  Go figure they happen in the same year.  It's always a interesting ride being at the mercy of continually moving forces whether it be driven by nature or man.

Despite the challenges of 2015, I mark it as a very successful year as we were able to maintain the positive momentum of the last few years in terms of course conditioning and infrastructure upgrades.  A list of infrastructure accomplishments over the past year include:

  • Drainage.  Installation of 9,000 linear feet of drainage on holes #15, #16 and #17 plus a few small in-house projects.  It sure was fun being able to drive a cart down #15 fairway after a heavy rain this winter when a year ago, that thought would have never crossed my mind.
  • OB Posts.  Replacement and installation of 350+ custom made OB posts throughout the property.  The old ones were beginning to rot, faded and just plain ugly.  The new ones are a little more tasteful in design and look much better.
  • Stairs.  Those of you that routinely walk the course are sure to have noticed that all of the stairways and bridges on the golf course received a face lift this past winter.  Rotted stair risers were replaced, new stone was laid, new non-slip matting was laid on the bridge on #4 and stairs down to #6 red tee and we installed a new handrail as well. 
  • Irrigation.  The staff spent countless hours this past winter making improvements to our irrigation programs in our central control, upgrading maps, replacing worn out nozzles and raising sunken heads for better coverage.  The irrigation system is the lifeblood of our golf course and the work completed will make the operation and management of the system more efficient, thereby producing better turf conditions. 

Right now, our focus is on putting the final touches of getting ready for the 2016 season.  The aforementioned list in addition to our upcoming plans will greatly contribute to this year's formula.  We have aerified the greens as of this past week which unofficially (from a turf manager's standpoint) marks the true beginning of the season.  I expect they will heal up quickly if the warm weather we have been having lately continues.  

On top of that, I am also excited to announce that Golf Plus Construction will be returning to the property on April 11th to install 5,000 linear feet of drainage.  If the weather cooperates, we will average about 1,000 linear feet a week putting the timeline at approximately six weeks to complete.  Primary focus will be put on holes #2 and #3 this Spring with a little bit of clean-up work in other areas on the golf course.  At the end of this project, we will have installed 21,000 linear feet of drainage in the past three years.  That's almost 4 miles!

When work is happening on the golf course, we will be following the same practice as the past few years of placing the tee markers on the fairway ahead of where work is happening.  This is the only way to keep the staff working safely and productively.  Tee markers will always be returned to the tee boxes for weekend play and most Friday afternoons.  Updates on drainage work will be given to the pro shop daily so be sure to check in before your round so you know what to expect on the golf course.

Furthermore, we have ordered all brand new accessories for the golf course.  All items are scheduled to arrive within the next four to six weeks and once we have them, you will begin to see new items appear on the golf course such as tee markers, trash cans, divot bottle racks hole identification and directional signage.  Then of course, the new cups, flag sticks and flags on greens.  These items will give our golf course a much needed face lift and quite honestly, a more polished look.  

A lot happens in a year, right?  I plan to return to my active blogger status so check back for more updates as we move forward with this season.  I hope you are just as excited as I am to see some of the new upcoming improvements and changes.  Welcome back to the blog!






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