Between the Trees Blog

April 2011

We started our core crew members today with the first task being removing covers from the practice tee and the putting greens. It certainly feels very good to finally get this season underway.

Inspection of the golf course over the past few days (the snow is finally for the most part gone) revealed that we came through the winter in very good shape. Greens and tees are very clean while fairways had some snow mold damage but nothing severe enough to warrant much concern. Considering we had a heavy snow year with the golf course being completely covered for over 150 days we are very happy with the golf course and its condition. We are confident that we will be able to deliver a decent layout by the time we open in the next three weeks or so.

Setting a solid opening date at this point is not so easy with the weather being so unpredictable. While the early part of this week was very warm the forecast shows colder temperatures moving in which could make preparing the golf course more difficult. The best we can hope for at this point is for warm temperatures and no snow.

This month’ picture was taken today of the tenth hole from the tee. A quick look at this photo will give you a pretty good idea of how the golf course came through the long winter. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Vince 4

See you on the golf course.

Vincent Dodge

 

March 2011

This month’s article is short and sweet-the snow is melting finally and we hope to be outside preparing the golf course for opening as soon as possible in the spring. This is the time of the year that people begin to ask, “When are you opening?” and my answer is always the same-we do not really know. Last year was record breaking for the Wilderness as we opened on April 16th. I can say with confidence that this will not happen this year.

I was hoping in this article to give everyone an idea of how the golf course fared over the winter but unfortunately there is still too much snow coverage on the golf course to get an accurate assessment. My gut feeling is that we will come out of the winter in fairly good condition and should be ready to offer our players the conditions they have come to expect as soon as possible.

I wish to thank all of you for your continued patronage of the golf course and look forward to seeing you when we open. Have a great Easter season.

February 2011

I am probably not alone when I say that the winter gets a little long on the golf course though as I write this article I can feel a little bit of spring in the air. Snow is actually melting at this time. That being said, we are hoping for the best this spring and that the golf course gets through the winter with minimal injury.

We have been receiving a few calls this year in regards to greens aerification this year. The plan is to aerify greens this year on May 17th weather permitting. If the weather does not cooperate then we will perform the work on May 24th. We have decided to aerify a few weeks earlier than usual this season in order to better work around our players.

Recovery time depends greatly on the weather conditions at the time that we aerify. Warmer temperatures in the spring will make for a quicker recovery. Cooler temperatures will delay recovery. It is as simple as that. Rest assured that we will do everything in our power to make the process as painless as possible for everyone. I have listed below a few interesting facts about aerification:

  • Aerification is a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits for golf courses.
  • For grass to grow at 3/16-inch, they need to have deep, healthy roots. Good roots demand oxygen.
  • Aerification is a mechanical process that creates more air space in the soil and promotes deeper rooting, thus helping the grass plants stay healthy.
  • In most cases, aerification involves removing 1/2-inch cores. The spaces are then filled with sand "topdressing" that helps the soil retain air space and makes it easier for roots to grow downward.
  • Other aerification techniques use machines with "tines" or knives that simply poke holes through the soil profile. A photographic example of the process is shown below:

Vince 27    Vince 28

                                               Pulling Cores                                                                                                            Removing Cores                                                

Vince 29  Vince 30

                                     Topdressing Heavily                                                                                                    Dragging in Sand                                     

Vince 31  Vince 32

                                Rolling to True Surface                                                                                                       Finished Product                               

Sincerely,

Vincent Dodge

                                                              

January 2011

We hope that the winter season is going a long well with everyone and that 2011 has started out as a great year for everyone. Work proceeds indoors on the golf course with winter preventative maintenance on golf course equipment.

One of the most common questions asked to me is “What do you do in the winter?” A good question and the most common answer is maintenance work on equipment. The golf course has a great many mowers and other equipment that needs thorough preventative maintenance in the off months. Particular attention must be paid to some of our older equipment with high hours. Sometimes these units require a very thorough inspection and extensive repair. Pictured below are both Trevor Rintala (Assistant Superintendent) and Jori Hughes (Mechanic) performing some of the typical jobs that we perform in the winter months. Work in the shop in January equals more time spent on the golf course for Trevor and less mid-season emergency repairs for Jori. This type of work will continue throughout the winter months until the snow is gone in the spring.

Have a great day and hope to see you in 2011.

Vince 36        Vince 37

Trevor Rintala performing brake work on             Jori Hughes grinding bedknives for use on

                       rough mower                                                                      tee mowers

December 2010

First and foremost, the crew here at the Wilderness at Fortune Bay would like to wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. As I reflect back on this year I find myself feeling very thankful to have such as excellent group of people to work with. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to our entire maintenance crew as well as everyone else in the golf course operation. In addition, I would like to extend a sincere thank you and Happy Holidays to our players for making the 2010 season a successful one. Without you none of this would be possible and we look forward to seeing you in the spring.

A wintery picture of the golf course seems to be appropriate at this time. This picture of hole number 4 was taken a few weeks ago while grooming cross country ski trails. Feel free to come out and try out the trails-they are free for use by the public.

Vince 24

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