Wednesday, March 1, 2017

February 2017...The Groundhog was Wrong

On Groundhog's Day, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow predicting that winter was going to extend another six weeks this year. His prediction couldn't have been worse... unless he had predicted the Cleveland Browns were going to win the Super Bowl next year. The month of February was very Spring-like with many beautiful days to enjoy the outdoors. At Beavercreek Golf Club, we recorded 711 rounds of golf during the month, nearly 200 more rounds than the previous record. The average daily high temperature was 51.8 degrees this year, nearly 13 degrees above normal. There were 11 days where we set a new record high temperature, including a day reaching 75 degrees. It's always nice to start the season on a positive note. All we can hope for now is the weather to continue to be conducive to golf. The table below depicts February weather data gathered over the last seven years. The weather station at WPAFB is used for data.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 Winter Update

Winter is upon us, even if the weather hasn't been very typical, and the turf staff has been very busy getting ready for the upcoming golf season. Many people wonder what goes on around the maintenance department during the winter months. The turf staff is certainly much smaller, now made up of 3 full time staff and 4 part time staff working 2-3 days per week. What may seem as our "down time" is filled with many projects and tasks to be able to get everything ready for the new season. Listed below are some of the projects that our team has been working on over the last few months.

Equipment Maintenance
All of the equipment is fully serviced during the winter months. This includes fluid and filter changes, inspection and repair, and sharpening of cutting units. Many of our pieces of equipment that we rely on have well over 4000 hours, so preventative maintenance is crucial in ensuring that they will be reliable when it is "go time".

Equipment Technician Andy Amburn putting a greens cutting unit together
Shop Floor
During the last few weeks of December, the turf staff removed everything from the heated work bay of the shop and applied a new epoxy floor coating. The original epoxy coating lasted nearly 10 years and was beginning to show signs of wear. The new epoxy coating was applied by the turf staff and material cost was under $300. The new floor coating looks great and should last another 10 years.

Tree Removal
Through the end of January, we have removed 24 trees from the property. The trees that were removed were either dead or in severe decline and consisted of Ash, Cherry, and Crabapple. The trees were removed near 1 tee, around 12 green and left of 16 fairway. Over the coming weeks, the turf staff will continue removing dead/declining Ash and Cherry trees from the left side of hole 16. Our goal is to remove roughly 25-30 more trees this winter. During the month of March, we will rent a stump grinder to remove the stumps so that they can be filled and seeded.

Hazardous dead Locust tree that was rotten inside

Course Accessories
The turf staff has worked diligently to refurbish and replace many course accessories for the upcoming season. All ball washers, fairway yardage plates and recycling cans will be repainted in the coming weeks. New tee markers and enter/exit posts were made using Ash limbs from EAB affected trees removed last winter. The 150 yard marker poles in the fairways were replaced by refurbishing the old enter/exit 4x4 posts. Ten new bluebird boxes were constructed and will be installed before the end of February. A single rail split rail fence, recycled from Rotary Park was installed near 7 tee to control cart traffic around the tee complex. Finally, two walnut log benches were made using a large log from a walnut tree removed from hole 5 in 2010. All of these projects were done in house by our turf staff.

New tee markers
New enter(green) and exit(red) posts

New 150 yard marker poles

Bluebird boxes will be installed in coming weeks

Split rail fence installed at 7 tee complex

Two walnut log benches were installed at clubhouse entrance

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 Weather in Review

A new year is upon us and ahead lies a whole year of opportunity and optimism of another great year of golf. 2016 was a rather good year for golf at Beavercreek Golf Club, as the number of rounds played were up. This certainly didn't come without its challenging weather conditions during the summer. Although the summer didn't come with scorching heat, the humidity and dew point remained elevated, making an average day seem a little extra sticky. During June and July, rain events came in large storms with prolonged dry stretches in between. While we are able to supplement water needs with our irrigation system, the disease pressure remained very high. During mid August, we received 4.52" of rain in a 7 day window all while the temperatures were in the upper 80s and lower 90s. If you ask any turf professional, they will tell you that these conditions are among some of the worst you can ever deal with. For a 10 day stretch, the turf staff was not able to mow many areas of the course because they were entirely too saturated, and turfgrass diseases were prolific in the untreated areas of the rough, wiping out almost all of the ryegrass population. Upon resuming maintenance activities, many areas were injured because of lingering wet spots and mechanical damage. Most of the damaged areas were able to recover during the fall, and by the start of the new golf season, turf conditions will be back to normal. There was not a single golf course in the Miami Valley that didn't deal with similar conditions on their course during that August stretch of weather. We all hope that 2017 brings a great year of weather and plenty of ideal opportunities to play golf.