Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Clubhouse Fire Pit Propane Tank Installation

With the vision of GM Jerome Louie and the supervision of Assistant Superintendent Matt Smith, the installation of a fire pit behind the clubhouse has begun.

Yesterday the propane tank was put in place and the excavation for the pavers and fire pit itself was completed.

On April 10th the placement of the pavers and fire pit will be done by ProGreen Landscapes of Delaware

We decided to take advantage of having the mini-excavator onsite to prep the area for the pavers and fire pit even though installation is not until April 10th.

Some pictures of what was accomplished.

Plenty of rock at Fieldstone while digging the hole for the propane tank

Placement of the tank. The white bag is an anode that is placed inside the hole and connected to the tank to prevent corrosion.

Tank in place.

Backfilled and ready for mulch and landscaping.

Barberry bushes removed

Ready for installation

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cultural Practices for Fairway Improvement

Starting April 10 a contractor will be coming to Fieldstone to verticut and aerify fairways. This is something that very much excites us as we know these important cultural practices will enhance the playing quality of the golf course moving forward.

The benefits of aeration are widely known and by doing so in the Spring a quicker recovery is expected. While we verticut greens often, the fairways have not had this done to them in quite some time. Possibly not for over 10 years. Therefore, the first few times this occurs it may be a bit messy with the amount of thatch and leaf removal that will occur. Over time, once the practice has occurred on a routine basis the messy portion of the process will lessen. In the meantime, the verticutting process will help firm up the fairways and improve overall plant health.

Here is the machine that will be used with photos and a video to familiarize with the process.

Fairway Verticutting

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Upcoming Course Schedule

Would like to update everyone on the overall schedule for the next three weeks. While my last day at Fieldstone is March 31, projects and agronomic practices will continue smoothly under the guidance of Assistant Golf Course Superintendent Matt Smith.

All of the following items are weather dependent:

-Week of March 27 will be the construction of the Durabunker in front of #18 green
-Seasonal H2B staff from Mexico should start work on April 3 or 4. That week pre-emergent herbicide will be applied to ALL areas of the golf course.
-Week of April 10 will be aerification of greens, tees and fairways along with the verticutting of fairways. Additional information to follow shortly on these practices.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

18 Greenside Bunker Cont.-by Matt Smith, Assistant Superintendent

Due to the in climate weather on Tuesday we were delayed in the demolishing of the green side bunker.
Today we resumed the project and have completed the demolition. With the lost day due to weather the completion of the new Durabunker will be delayed until later next week.

Tommorow we will begin the process of making a shelf for the new Durabunker wall to sit on.  Once we have established a solid shelf we can begin the building of the new wall. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

18 Greenside Bunker-by Matt Smith, Assistant Superintendent

Demolition has begun on the old stacked sod bunker in front of 18 green.
 The new DuraBunker should be completed in about a week (weather depending) and will offer a fresh look and new feel for those of you who I see playing out of it. 

 With this project in process we will be placing a temporary pin on 18 fairway.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Durabunker Construction at #18 Green

Next week, weather dependent, we will be transforming the front greenside bunker on #18 to a stack sod bunker using Durabunker. This is the same material we used on the large bunker in #18 fairway.

Our Assistant Superintendent, Matt Smith, will be in charge of this project and updating the blog on a daily basis during the construction process. Matt started at Fieldstone in June of 2015. He is a graduate of the Rutgers Professional Turfgrass Management Program and has previously worked at French Creek Golf Club in Elverson, PA.

He looks forward to communicating through the blog during this process.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Plan for Area Between #6 and #13 Greens

With the trees removed between #6 and #13 greens there is a large area void of vegetation. The goal is to grass with Fine Fescue. However, seeding this turf type in the Spring is very difficult. Here is a link to a research article on the subject: Spring Fescue Seeding. I have also reached out to local golf courses to determine if any have had success with spring seeding. Unfortunately, no one has.  

Therefore we will seed in late summer, most likely using a hydroseeder. In the meantime we have tilled all the wood chips into the soil.

We will establish groundcover in this location and keep it mowed to 6 inches for this year. Then we will remove the groundcover in late summer and seed the Fine Fescue.

Please note, it takes 2-3 years for the Fine Fescue to fully establish.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Course Update 2.20.17

-We have completed underbrush removal to the left of #5 and #7 greens. In the future undergrowth will be removed along the entire length of each of these holes. In the spring we will treat the remaining stumps with a systemic herbicide to ensure no regrowth occurs.

-The area to the right of #9 tees which was temporarily used as an area to place material has been leveled.

There is a pile of branches that need to be chipped then spread out over this area. Natural regrowth will begin this summer and after a few years this area will be as if it hadn't been touched.

-Clean-up of leaves and branches throughout the course has begun. Emphasis on cleaning leaves from the Secondary Roughs so as much pre-emergent herbicide that is applied this Spring will be able to reach the soil.

-This week I will have a blog post describing our plans for the area between #6 and #13 where tree removal occurred.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Storm Water Pipe Repair

Last December we had a camera inspect our storm water pipes for corrosion and any other defects. The pipe that is connected to the inlet structure on #5 pond had small holes in the bottom of the pipe allowing groundwater to enter. Delaying repair would allow these holes to become bigger and multiply in number. While the long term plans do call for making this pond into an area that is more playable, the pipe would still be used to discharge water and therefore needed to be repaired.

A fiberglass material was used to bond to the corrugated metal pipe and thus fill the holes.  In order to get the material into the pipe, a plug is inflated and the material plus the chemicals used to harden the fiberglass are wrapped around the plug and inserted into the pipe.

Once in place, the plug is inflated to its full capacity so the fiberglass can adhere to the walls of the pipe.

After two hours the plug is deflated and removed.

The pipe is now sealed and ready.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Tee Markers

Starting on Tuesday, February 7th we will not have tee markers on the golf course for the month of February. This will give everyone a chance to use different parts of the tees. We will compare this to having the tee markers in one location. The idea of putting the tee markers in one location is to only have to repair that area. However, without tee markers the turf wear may be spread out enough that repair will not be needed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Work Between #6 and #13 Greens

Another project undertaken during the Winter shutdown involved the removal of trees between #6 and #13 greens.

There are quite a few trees in this area and being on a hillside made it too much for us to handle ourselves. Shreiner Tree Care came and did an excellent job getting this area cleared in a safe and efficient manner.



Day #2

Day #2

Day #3

Day #3

The stumps will be ground to just below surface level and this March/April seeded with Fine Fescue. While Spring is not the ideal time to be seeding, we will do our best to establish cover this Summer and re-seed any bare areas in the Fall. Please note, it takes 2-3 years for these Fine Fescues to mature and establish. However, when completed this area will look like the area between #10 and #15 which has come in and done well.

Seeded Fine Fescue area that has been established from seed and matured.

In order to make sure we are removing trees that block the most sunlight we use an app called Sun Seeker. We can tell from any day and time where the sun will be.

March 28, 2017

July 30, 2017

Another feature we use with this app is to tell the exact location of the sun from the turf's standpoint by laying the iPad on the green itself.

As can be seen from these photos the newly removed trees will allow lots of morning sunlight to reach the green.

Friday, January 27, 2017

2017 Winter Shutdown Tree Work

The work being done during 2017's winter shutdown has focused on two projects. The first being the installation of electric to #6 and #11 greens for fans. 

Trenching for the electrical conduit between #3 green and #11 green.

The area behind #3 and #11 greens will be sodded as soon as the weather allows.

Our other focus of work during the shutdown has been tree removal. Both hazardous trees and limbs and those that are blocking sunlight and air movement to greens.

The final standing tree behind #15 green was removed by professionals.

With the removal of the trees to the back right of this green we will have additional morning sun and eliminate the competition between tree roots and turf for water and nutrients.

Another area has been #14 green. In the Fall we removed all the underbrush and several trees behind the green to promote air movement.

Now we are focusing on increasing morning sunlight by removing trees and vegetation to the left of the green.

We will plant Fine Fescue along the hillside next to #15 tees. The area behind #14 green will remain natural but mowed so the underbrush does not grow up.

My next blog post will have pictures of the tree removal between #6 and #13 greens and an explanation of an app we use to determine which trees block sunlight from reaching the turf.