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Dodge's Dirt

November 2015

I hope that all of you are enjoying the unseasonably warm weather leading up into deer season and I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to visit our golf course and enjoy what we have to offer. We take pride in what we have developed on this site since work began in 2001 and the improvements continue, as they always do, in the time period from after we close until conditions make working outside productively prohibitive. The most important fall project we have worked on over the years is drainage and this year was no exception.   This year, with nice weather and better equipment, we have installed close to twice the amount of drainage than in previous years and while this chore is truly never done, I feel very good about the impact that these projects will have on the course for years to come.

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Retired “49er” Roger Makela cutting in drainage trenches using rented mini excavator.

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Nick Mathews, Jack Vraa, and Anita Lynn preparing drainage trench on 1 for 6” drain tile and pea rock.

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Note how line is routed in order to intercept water “bleeding” out of the hillside on the south side of 1. This drainage technique of utilizing “interceptor” or “curtain” drains has worked with great success on the golf course-notably on 2, 8, 9, and 11.

Another problematic area has been the 10th fairway though for a different reason-with 10 we are constantly dealing with underground springs that continue to flow even when conditions are not excessively wet. This is a common phenomenon on fairways such as 1 and 10 that were blasted out of existing ledge rock during construction. The tricky thing about this type of drainage is that these springs can move around underground, changing location depending on how freezing water within rock fissures over the winter cracks new avenues for water to follow underground. With this type of drainage, we create a “herring bone” pattern that covers a larger area in the hope that even if the spring moves there will be a line nearby to collect the water underground.

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10 fairway drainage intended to correct problematic springs.

Drainage work is not the most fun work in the world but it is highly satisfying seeing the improvements a dedicated program leads to over time. It is a chore that never ends-especially on this site which was built on woodland growing on a mixture of solid rock, boulders, and impervious clay/muck. Indeed, the soils used to actually grow turf on this site were hauled in from a pit located about 5 miles from the golf course since there was nothing suitable on the actual course itself.

While these improvements will not miraculously make the course firm after an extended period of wet weather or an extreme rain event (both of which are common in this area), they will speed up the drying time on the worst areas of the golf course, allowing us to lift cart path only restrictions much quicker than in the past. Drainage work like this, combined with the deep tine aerification program we began in 2015, will lead to improved playing conditions in the future.

Thank you all for your patronage and we hope to see you again in 2016.

Vincent Dodge

Superintendent

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