I would like to extend a welcome back to all golfers for the 2018 season. The Haymaker is in great early season shape thanks to the hard work of our maintenance staff.
I would like to start by addressing the most commonly asked question this time of year; “What’s up with the greens”? Every season we begin aerification on the greens ASAP. No other process on the course receives more scrutiny and ire than aerification. It goes without saying that this cultural practice is aggressive and has an undesirable effect on the surface of the greens. It’s difficult to convey to players that the long term benefits of the process far outweigh the temporary inconvenience but I promise you that this process is the most critical step to guarantee that Haymaker’s greens continue to thrive for years to come.
- Allows water to move into the soil profile more efficiently
- Increases the space available for oxygen to enter the green, this promotes healthy roots early and prepares the greens for heavy traffic and maintenance
- Removal of organic matter from the upper profile of the green. At Haymaker our greens are USGA standard putting greens built upon a sand base. We continually remove the organic matter from the upper portion of the green and fill the voids with topdress sand to keep the organic levels in check. When organic levels increase the thatch layer can act as a sponge holding moisture and creating a potential for disease.
- And finally, aerification alleviates compaction caused by traffic from both maintenance practices and play throughout the golf season. This also softens the surface allowing them to be more receptive to approach shots.
Where are we now and what’s the next steps for the greens?
Every season the greens react differently to aerification. Most of this has to do with a combination of weather and nutrient recovery/overlap from seasons past. Our approach to nutrition is not on a whim but rather is calculated and planned from a soil analysis that’s done every season to see what we do or do not lack as far as micro and macro nutrients are concerned. What this means is that when the greens wake up from a winters’ nap we feed them exactly what they require to put them in an optimum state for growth and recovery. This season what we seemed to lack from said combination was that soil temps did not climb as quickly as we would have liked. Now that soil temps are on the rise and the bentgrass is fed, the greens are beginning to fill in nicely and growth has taken off.
The next step for the greens is a gradual lowering of the mowing height and our first vertical cutting. At the moment our greens are at our highest height which is .187” or 3/16”. On Saturday morning the mowers will be lowered to .171” or 11/64”. The following Saturday,6/2, our greens mowers will be brought down to our target height for the summer months of .156” or 5/32”. The lowering of the greens mowers in combination with scheduled rolling will dramatically increase the rolling distance of your putt (greens speed) and also provide a smooth and uniform surface.
Our first vertical cutting of the greens will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week 5/29 and 5/30. This will also help get a clean clip on the greens and even out the surface. If you are interested in reading about the vertical cutting process at Haymaker it is posted on Turf Talk from 2017.
Our goal every season is to afford customers at Haymaker an opportunity to play quality and consistent greens. The month of May is always a bit frustrating for both players and the maintenance staff as we all want the greens to recover quickly. In short time we’ll be there and you can bet that that 10 foot left to righter will do exactly what you read.
Stay tuned for upcoming plans and projects in the month of June.
As always thanks for your patience and support,
Adam Sando, Assistant Superintendent Haymaker Golf Course
PLEASE DO NOT PLAY FROM NEWLY SODDED TEE BOXES
Sodding of the new tee boxes has begun! #5, 7, 12 and 17 tees are completed. The lower range tee is be partially completed.
Please do not play from the newly sodded tee boxes! As tempting as it may be, divots on new sod can permanently damage these pristine new surfaces. We need your help to ensure great condition for years to come. Alternative tee boxes are clearly marked. We thank you for your cooperation!
It’s a great time to play golf at haymaker! Enjoy discounted rates and fall colors!
Today (9/11) the Landscapes crew will be working on #1, #5 and #7. All holes will remain open and playable today. The driving range will be open today.
#1 The Landscapes crew will be using the gill blade and laser level on the tee surface.
#5 Areas around the tee box surround will be shaped by hand. When the tee surface is complete they tie in the surround of the tee box with the existing grade by hand. This hand work softens all the rough edges and melds new lines with old providing smooth transitions.
#7 Similar to the work on #5 the crew will finish up laser leveling the forward white tee and begin hand shaping the surrounds.
Tomorrow (9/12) the Landscapes crew will begin cutting and stripping sod from the upper driving range tee. They will also begin gilling and tilling the lower driving range tee. Hand work will continue on the #1 and #7 tees.
Tee boxes are set to be completed and ready for sod by 9/14
Tee box sodding is set to begin on 9/15
The driving range is set to be completed and ready for sod by 9/21
Driving range sodding is set to begin on 9/22
9/9,10,11 DRIVING RANGE will be OPEN.
9/12 DRIVING RANGE will be closed for improvements.
Today (9/7) the Landscapes crew will be working on #5, #12, #17 and the Lower Driving Range Tee.
THE DRIVING RANGE IS CLOSED TODAY!
#5. The Landscapes crew will be gilling the surface of the #5 gold/white tee with scarifier blades to break up compacted soils. All of the work is being done on the surface of the tee. The hole will remain open all day.
#12. They will be finishing up leveling the forward blue tee box. While this is being done the hole will be closed because of the close proximity to the temporary teeing area. They should have this completed rather quickly and #12 will be open by late morning/early afternoon.
#17. Yesterday afternoon the scarification process was completed on the #17 gold and white tees. Today the crew will begin roto tilling the surface and laser leveling. The hole will remain open for play.
Lower Driving Range Tee. The driving range will be closed today. The Landscapes crew will begin to cut and strip the sod from the lower driving range tee surface. The removal of these teeing surfaces will be tedious. Because of the amount of divots and the large amount of sand in the subsurface from top dressing over the years the sod will crumble when it is lifted. A good amount of the work will be done with a skid steer.
Allterrain Excavation will finish up work on the #7 bathroom site today and begin work on the #15 bathroom site. We may be cutting a temporary road from #14 green to #15 tee if they decide to stage the mini excavator in close proximity to the cart path. If this is the case we will have clear and detailed signage in place to route traffic to the #15 teeing area.
This morning (9/5) the Landscapes crew will be working on the #1 gold & white tee box. They are using a mini excavator and skid steer to remove the upper tier of the tee and pulling material forward to make a long and flat teeing surface.
After they have finished work on #1 they will be moving to #12 blue tee to begin stripping and removing sod. When they begin work on #12 the hole will be closed and customers will be routed on the temporary road to #13 tee (signage will be in place). All other holes on the course will be open and playable.
Today (9/1) the Landscapes crew will be localized to the #5 gold tee. The cart path is open on the entire course and all holes are playable from their designated teeing areas.
Tomorrow (9/2) the Landscapes crew will be working on #5 gold tee in the morning and moving to #1 gold/white tee in the late morning early afternoon. The beginning section of the cart path on #1 will be closed and customer traffic will be routed down the temporary road on #1 to the forward tee box.
Sunday and Monday (9/3 & 9/4) Landscapes will not be working and all holes will be open and playable from their designated teeing areas.
Tuesday (9/5) Landscapes will be receiving tilling equipment and laser leveling equipment.
Wednesday (9/6) Landscapes will begin laser leveling tee boxes, I will send an update in the morning on the order in which they will be working.
If you’ve wondered why they have spent so much time working on #5 it is because this tee box is being completely reshaped and shifted to align it with the green. What Landscapes is doing is a cut and fill. They are removing a large portion of the front right section of the tee and using it to fill in the back right (which was not a teeing surface in the past). They are also harvesting material from the tee surface in order to drop the tee box lower and using this material for further shaping. When this tee box is complete it will have a flat and forgiving surface and also more square footage to handle play.
Course Improvement Plans for today (8/30)
Landscapes will be removing the surface from #1 gold and white tee box. We cut a temporary road that routes customers around the work area. Signage is up and the starter has been informed on the work being done today and he is also directing traffic. The pro shop has also been informed and we will keep them posted with updates as the Landscapes crew moves around the course today.
This is how today will play out.
1st they will remove the sod from #1 tee box and use a laser to take shots of the area being worked.
2nd they will move to #12 tee box and begin moving topsoil around and shaping the tee box.
3rd they will move to #17 tee box and begin using the mini excavator to remove the tier and begin shaping the tee box.
The most common question going around is ‘Why are they moving around the course and not just completing one tee box at a time?
The answer is that material from some of the tees will be used to finish other tees. An example is that the #17 gold tee tier is being removed and some of that material will be transferred to #12 gold tee to fill and shape. Also the sod will be brought in in one large shipment. So all the tees will be prepped before sodding begins.
Snap your fingers & the seasons change in the Yampa Valley. Fall is just around the corner and the golf season is in full swing. The golf course battled through one of the hottest June and Julys I can remember and is looking beautiful. The tawny hues of the native grasses are defining the edges of the golf course. Birds are stopping by on their way to wintering grounds and preseason football is underway.
This summer created challenges but I’m happy with where we are. We struggled to keep up with Mother Nature running our irrigation pumps at full tilt for weeks on end. Now that cooler nights are upon us and daytime temps have come down we are able to focus our attention on other projects.
We have finished up some draining projects that caused both playability issues as well as esthetic issues. We have completed solid tine aerification on our tees and have begun the process of solid tine aerification in the rough grass areas. We have a few other projects worth noting that are set to begin in the weeks to come. On August 28th we’ll begin the process of renovating several tee boxes on the course and practice facility. In early September we’ll be installing new restroom facilities on the golf course. And finally, in October we’ll begin the process of core aerification on tees, fairways and rough. This may seem overwhelming but we will do everything to keep the golf course playable and enjoyable throughout the entire 2017 season.
Tee boxes are where the imagination of every hole begins and it’s now time to address the issues of the less than ideal conditions on some teeing grounds.
Many of the tee boxes at Haymaker are showing their age. For some it’s compaction that’s difficult to alleviate. For others it’s a crowned surface that makes finding a playable lie difficult. For other tees it’s a design characteristic that does not allow us to take advantage of the square footage necessary to handle the amount of play this golf course receives.
The American Society of Golf Course Architects recommends that tee boxes be replaced every fifteen years if heavy play is a factor. We have made it well beyond that time and have been playing on less than favorable conditions on several teeing grounds. Although it’s not ideal to play on a crowned tee box, you can still enjoy hitting that smooth draw when the ball is teed a few inches above your stance! (Silver Lining!)
As the projects begin we’ll post which holes we’re working on and the time frame for that hole to be completed. We’ll also post which tee box we’ll be using on that hole whether it’s a forward tee or a temporary tee. We’ll also post where cart traffic will be routed to get around the construction if needed.
We are happy to say that Landscapes Unlimited is the company that’ll be renovating our tee boxes. Landscapes Unlimited is a company that specializes in everything from golf course construction to renovation projects.
The holes with selected tees that’ll be completed this season are #1, #5, #7, #12, #17 and the driving range. The project will comprise of 5 steps on each tee box that is selected. 1st the sod will be removed from the tee surface. 2nd the subsurface of the tee box will be rototilled to alleviate compaction and create uniform material. 3rd the tee box surface will be laser leveled with a 2 percent grade for drainage. 4th the tee box will be re-sodded. And finally the tee box will be watered and cared for until the root system is established.
When all is said and done this project will be a stepping stone in a direction of improvement for our golf course. Maintaining a golf course is another way of getting through a season. Improving a golf course is making a difference. There is never a right time to do something on a course. It will always come across as an interference or annoyance to a round but if you have patience in the process and we take one step at a time this will be the beginning of something great!