Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Driving Range Grass Tee Opening

The grass practice tee will be opened for members use on Friday June 3rd. The clubs standard practice for using the grass tee is Friday - Sunday starting the first weekend in June until the final weekend in August.

This schedule has been determined based on the size of the tee and how long the grass takes to fill back in after a weekend of use.

Please review the range tee etiquette video as a refresher on how to most efficiently use the grass tee, minimizing divots during practice/warm up sessions.

Hawk Greens Aeration June 6th

Monday June 6th the Hawk golf course will be closed for putting green aeration.

The original date of the scheduled Hawk golf course greens aeration was Monday May 23rd. However due to a late start because of snow we moved the aeration date to Monday June 6th.

Soil tests that are performed a few weeks prior to the scheduled aeration provide soil physical property data that enables us to track the aging process of the putting greens and helps us to develop specific parameters for aeration strategies.

Last season we experimented with non invasive solid tine aeration on the putting greens. Playability following the 2010 aeration process was improved and the time it takes to heal from aeration was quicker than normal. The information from soil test results show that with the exception of increased compaction on a few greens the solid tine aeration worked well.

Based on the results of the soil tests, we will be once again performing a relatively non invasive type of solid tine greens aeration. However, there will be 6 greens in total (1-5 and 15 ) that require a small hollow tine used during aeration because these greens show more compaction than others.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Golf Course Update May 29th 2011

Flood Repairs Almost Complete

Staff and contractors have rapped up most of the repair work from flood damage on 9,10 & 11 Hawk. With the exception of more silt removal, pedestrian bridge replacement and final debris clean up the golf course will be ready to re -open on all 18 holes Monday May 30th.

The repair work completed over the past two days has enabled us to re-open the golf course. However their will be more repair work in the near future to stream banks that have eroded and silt build up in creeks to mention a few areas.

More significant repairs to cart paths, culverts, bridges and creek banks will have to be completed in the off season to prevent this type of flooding from happening in the future.

When the golf course re - opens tomorrow it will be very wet, and golfers must be extra careful to not walk through silty areas and track mud onto greens and tees. Pay special attention while walking next to creek banks as stabilization may be still shifting. Golfers that carry or pull their clubs will have to use the cart path on 9 Hawk and 11 Hawk to cross the creek as the pedestrian bridges have not been replaced yet.

I would like to give a special thanks to the Turf Care staff, many of whom worked early morning until late at night for 3 days straight and numerous staff came in on their scheduled days off. The summer job cutting grass for many has turned out to be more than they signed up for that's for sure. Sr. staff members as always, showed great resilience and personal sacrifice to get the golf course repaired and back open for members.

Pedestrian bridges on 9 and 11 Hawk will be out of action for a few more days.
Staff washing silt off 10 Hawk fairway and final touches repairing damaged cart path at the culvert crossing 10 Hawk.
Turf Care staff mowing fairways with ride on greens mowers. The ground is so soft that regular mowers would do damage.
Repairs now complete on 9 Hawk culvert crossing. Water is now running through the culvert and not over the path. Goodwin Golf Inc.. Assisted with earth work and rock replacement to repair erosion.

Turf Care staff taking advantage of the Hawk valley holes being closed today. Sodding winter kill turf beside 9 Hawk tee was worked on.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Golf Course Update May 28th 2011 (1:30pm)

Flood Update

The flood waters have receded significantly over night and we are now simultaneously working on damage assessment and have began the repair process. The entire staff of 50 plus are bringing in sand bags, repairing bunkers that have washed out and picking up debris that has accumulated from rivers running through the golf course. We also have contractors mobilizing to assist in repairs to eroded and damaged cart paths cart paths , culverts and creek banks that is prohibiting the golf course from re opening.

The goal is to get the golf course open as soon as possible. The practice facilities are now open, the back nine Raven and the old Hawk nine will open as nine hole golf course today at 1pm. The goal will be to open the Raven 18 tomorrow morning and we hope to have more information later today about timing for re opening the entire Hawk GC. The limiting factor is going to be repairs to culverts and cart aths that were washed out during the flood.

After 4" of rain in the past two days the golf course is extremely wet. The soil will remain saturated for many days to come and the hill sides are supercharged with ground water so expect water to run and seep for some time. Staff will be unable to mow turf on fairways, rough and tees for a few days, so turf will be long until equipment can get out there without causing damage.

Although the ground is saturated, staff will resume sodding Raven rough areas on Sunday.

Check the members log in page on the PG web site for tee time status updates at 4pm today.

10 Hawk creek and cart path. Water flowing over the cart path due to a plugged culvert (Saturday May 28th)

Damage to cart path, cluvert armouring and irrigation pipe. This needs to be repaired prior to re-opening. Work being performed starting today.

Contractor working on plugged culvert and damaged cart path 10 Raven

Bunker sand wash outs. Staff have a massive amount of bunker repair ahead of them today and tomorrow.

Flooding of pump station #1 yesterday. Motors will be pulled out and sent in for servicing monday.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Golf Course Flooding

Priddis Greens has received 84mm (3.25")of rain in past 28 hrs and 131mm (5.25")"over the past week 6 days.

Due to this heavy rain the golf course is flooding. Staff are working hard sand bagging and doing what ever they can to minimize erosion. There has been creek and ponds breech or over flow and foot bridges have washed put.

Water running over 9 Hawk cart path

Staff using sand bags and sod rolls to re route water - preventing erosion

3 Hawk green under water

10 Hawk Creek bursting its banks

17 Raven pond over flowing and crossing the cart path

Diverting water across path at 17 Raven using sand bags and a tarp for the water to flow over .

9 Hawk creek and cart path over flowing - walking bridge washed out

Culvert under 9 Hawk and water crossing cart path

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Golf Course Update May 25th 2011

Sodding in the rain this morning May 25th 2011 (2 Raven Tee)

2011 Winter Injury on Rough Cut Turf Areas
Extreme snow mold pressure has caused significant turf loss throughout the golf course mostly in rough height turf areas. All areas of the golf course that were treated with a preventative fungicide application came through winter in good – excellent condition. Rough height turf areas have never been treated with snow mold protection in the past.

The major cause of this snow mold damage was a combination of the following factors.

1) Abnormally warm weather in October and first 2 weeks of November
Air temperatures in the first few weeks of November that reached daily highs of between 16 and 22 degrees Celsius limited the turfs ability to prepare for winter.

b) Turf needs cold dry weather to harden off (dehydrate) in preparation for a long winter. The Hardening off (dehydration) of turf is essential to combat snow mold and crown hydration injury (ice damage). The hardening off process requires cold weather and hard frost which is normally prevalent in the fall at Priddis Greens (not so in 2010).

c) Very little to no frost in the ground over winter also contributes to snow mold. This was the situation in winter 2010-2011.

2) Dormant fertilizer application
Dormant fertilizing is a practice we have followed for 15 years with excellent results.

b) The timing of the dormant fertilizer application (October 23rd - normal) in combination with the above seasonal temperatures in November could have played a factor in the turfs limited ability to harden off (prepare for winter).

3) Duration of snow cover:
An unprecedented 170 days of snow cover produced extreme snow mold pressure. The number one factor causing snow mold is the amount of snow and most importantly the duration of snow cover throughout winter. This was the longest period of snow cover since record keeping began at Priddis Greens in 1994.

4) Cool wet spring:
As snow melted the slush and water stayed around keeping the turf wet for extended periods which continues to add to disease pressure. Areas of shade are much more susceptible as they don’t melt or dry quickly enough.

**Note: The evaluation process is under way to determine the cost benefit analysis of treating rough with snow mold fungicide in the future.

Repair Work on Damaged Rough Areas

1) Sod highest priority areas:
- Around greens and tees, and landing areas along the cart path side of fairways

2) Seeding of rough:

- Areas that are somewhat out of play and where cart traffic can be managed.
- Mowing equipment and golf car traffic has to be managed to give the seedlings the best opportunity for survival.

3) Cart Path Rule:
- Golf cart traffic will remain on paths only for a period of time until the seed and sod work is completed.
- Although some rough areas will be replaced, if it is wet and carts drive through them excessive damage will be realized and the playability and appearance of the golf course will deteriorate.
- Every effort will be made to allow carts on fairways when and as soon as possible.

Timing of Work
• The installation of sod has begun and will continue daily as long as environmental conditions allow. Dry weather is required to perform big roll sod repairs as the equipment will cause damage in wet weather. However, staff will continue to work in wet weather, changing gears from laying big roll sod with equipment to laying small roll by hand.

• Seed work should be completed by the end of May – first week of June.

• If weather cooperates we will take approximately 3 weeks to complete repairs. If the weather is wet it will take longer.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Mosquitoes Are Back

Please remember to apply bug spray while standing on a cart path, because bug over spray will kill the turf when you apply it to your legs.

Turf Hound Mats on Par 3 Tees

Nine Hawk Tee with Turf Hound Mat

The new Turf Hound mats on the par 3 tees will be removed prior to golf on Saturday morning May 21st. The exceptions will be number nine Hawk and number eight Raven. These two mats will be removed before play begins on Tuesday May 24th.

The reason we use the mats on the par 3's in Spring is because bentgrass on the tees is very slow to start growing in the spring and has very limited ability to recuperate from divots. If we didn't use the mats the tees would get severely beat up from divots before the season really gets going and would be in terrible condition all season.

The micro climates for holes 9 Hawk and 8 Raven are even less conducive to turf growth early in the season so we will give those holes a few more days.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Golf Course Update May 17th 2011

Salt and Pepper Mowing Pattern on 13 Hawk Fairway

Salt and Pepper Mowing Pattern on 7 Hawk Fairway

Cutting Patterns on Fairways:
Members who have had the opportunity to play golf over the past 10 days may have noticed that Turf Care staff have continued the "salt and pepper" cutting pattern on fairways. We have been testing out this new "salt & pepper "cutting pattern periodically during the last few seasons and have determined it to be 30% more efficient with labour, time and fuel costs and it requires 2 fewer machines to complete the daily mowing of fairways compared to cross cutting. The mowers are also able to stay ahead of golfers in the morning following this mowing pattern which creates better efficiency and less golfer interference.

At this time the number one reason for performing this cutting pattern is to minimize mower turning in the rough. Because the rough did not winter we would like to keep mower traffic to minimum in the rough to provide the turf the best opportunity to recover. Fairway mowers turn up to 90 times while cross cutting a 400 yard long & 40 yard wide fairway and yet will only have to make approximately 15 turns while performing the salt and pepper pattern. Fairway mowers making sharp turns in wet or dry rough can cause tearing of the turf.

Salt and Pepper Cutting Pattern and Grain
Through the continual mowing of turf areas such as fairways and rough, grain or turf laying down in a single direction can develop. Because we have a significant amount of Annual Bluegrass with a very upright growing habit grain on fairways is minimal. If grain becomes a problem we will back cut or reverse the mowing pattern to reduce the effect of grain.

A golf ball on a (into grain) side of the fairway, shows minimal grass between the ball and club face at this time.

A golf ball on the (down grain) side of a fairway. At this point not a lot of difference between either side of the fairway.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Golf Course Update May 16th 2011

Raven Front Nine Rough Repair

We have been testing numerous methods and equipment to be used in the repair of the front nine raven rough. You will notice the equipment has been working on the right side of number 4 & 6 Raven in areas that are planned as low maintenance areas that will be seeded to fescue.

Tilling dead turf to the right side of 6 Raven in preparation for seeding

Over the next 3 days members will have to contest with staff as they prepare for replacing turf on # 4 Raven. Staff will begin by stripping sod from the left side of hole in preparation for new sod to be installed on Thursday May 19th if the weather remains dry.

Members can please take relief from the work area if equipment or staff are in risk of being hit.

Cart Path Relocation Project 16 Hawk

The cart path relocation project on 16 Hawk is nearing completion. The gravel base for the new path has been installed and is now in use. The irrigation and drainage have been completed, the old path removed , top soiled and the entire area has now been sodded. Staff will complete a few small sod tie ins tomorrow and the final step of asphalting the new path is scheduled for Tuesday May 24th.

New sod installed on the old 16 Hawk Path Location

The new sod in this work area will be played as ground under repair until the sod has rooted well enough to handle foot or cart traffic.

10 Hawk Bridge

We will have a contractor on site Tuesday May 17th doing some repair work on the footings that are failing due to erosion at 1o Hawk bridge. The repair will be a stop gap repair and a more significant repair will be undertaken at the end of the season when the bridge can be removed and an improved foundation can be built.

Repairs to 10 Hawk bridge left of green. Note the concrete pile leaning out of place.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Golf Course Update May 14th

Golf Course Opening Schedule

Hawk Golf Course - Today the Hawk Golf Course will be open on 18 holes at 8:00am on a walk on basis only. The irrigation system will be pressurized on the Hawk Golf Course today so you may see sprinklers popping up and down.

The cart path relocation & paving project continues on 16 Hawk. Members can expect 3 or 4 staff members completing the drainage, irrigation and top soiling components this weekend. Sod work is scheduled for Monday and paving will be completed Tuesday May 24th.

Raven Golf Course - The back nine Raven holes will be open this weekend and the front nine will open on Monday at 12:00pm.

The irrigation renovation behind and to the left of 18 Raven green will be completed as soon as the irrigation system is up and running, this should be early - mid next week.

Par 3 Mats

The new Turf Hound mats are being utilized on the par 3's because the grass hasn't started growing yet and tees will become riddled with divots before the season gets to far under way. The plan is to utilize these mats until the turf is actively growing which depends on soil and air temperatures. Members can expect to see the mats removed by next weekend.

Winter Injury To Many Turfgrass Areas in the Rough

Members that have had the opportunity to enjoy the golf course this week have noted that the rough is in poor condition. It is very obvious to see that any areas of turfgrass that were treated with winter fungicide treatment (greens, tees and fairways) wintered quite well. There is a stark difference between areas that were treated and not treated.

The green grass seen in this photo had been sprayed with a preventative winter fungicide application and the rough that is brown has not been sprayed. It is normal procedure to only spray greens, tees and fairways. The major cause of the snow mold damage in the rough
was primarily due to a record duration of snow cover up to 170 days (November 17th- May 7th).

The many areas in the rough that appear dormant are not going to recover and staff are going to have to re sod these areas. This repair of the rough is going to be a significant project that will take weeks if not more than a month (weather is the wild card).

A plan is currently being devised and repairs will begin early this coming week. In the mean time, strategy for dealing with issues such as traffic control with golf carts and maintenance equipment, and golfer inconvenience to mention a few challenges are being considered. Full communication to members will happen immediately once the repair plan is devised and member impacts are understood.


Approximately 40 members are now following me on Twitter. For those of you not familiar with Twitter you are not alone. I am just now learning how to use this resource as a tool for communication with members. If you log onto http://twitter.com/priddissuper it will take you to my tweets. You can follow instructions from that page to sign up for Twitter to get up to date brief communication tweets (140 characters or less) on issues relating to the golf course. If you are a smart phone user you can download a twitter application for free and tweets will automatically be sent to your phone.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Golf Course Update May 7th / 2011

Number 16 Raven ready to go

Back Nine Raven To Open Monday - What to expect.

- Greens: will be in Range

- Tees: Good Condition. Members will be using new Turf Hound mats on par 3's until the turf starts actively growing. The club has switched to plastic tees exclusively this year. Check with the starter for inventory.

- Fairways: Fair condition but wet

- Rough: Dormant and thin from snow mold damage

- Bunkers: Some bunkers will be raked and others will be covered in snow.

- Cart Path Ruling: Paths only until the fairways dry up and the turf damaged by snow mold has started to grow.


*Reminder that we have gone to a single colour flag system  this season so you may want to take a pin sheet if you don't carry a GPS or Laser.

*The golf course will open on a no frills basis until all 36 holes are up and running. This essentially means that staff will be prioritizing opening the remainder of golf holes instead of fine tuning the holes that have been opened.

*Winter rules are in effect (Is it still winter?)

After 20 mm of rain on Friday, the Turf Care staff are hand raking to prepare the Raven back nine for opening. It is too wet to get equipment out on the golf course.

Update For A Remainder of The Golf Course
- The Old Hawk nine will be opened on Wednesday May 11th

- The new Hawk nine (6-14) has some snow remaining and is very wet. Staff continue blowing snow but have been unable to perform any spring clean up tasks with the exception of preparing the putting surfaces which look good. This new Hawk nine will be the next set of holes to open up following the old Hawk. Staff need dry conditions to prepare for opening.

- The front nine Raven has the most amount of snow remaining. The snow is melting rapidly however conditions are extremely wet, preventing staff from performing spring clean up with the exceptions of the putting greens which look good. The front nine Raven will be the final nine to open.

Number 4 Raven Fairway (May 7th, 2011) - After staff removed snow in grid lines to facilitate melting.

- Short game practice area: Staff have spread most of the snow around and are waiting for it to dry to finish the clean up. We hope to have this area open in the next few days.


Cart path relocation and paving: The trees and stumps have been removed and the new path has been excavated on # 16 Hawk. Unfortunately the rain 20mm last night has slowed this project down to a crawl. Looking at the forecast I am certain that contractors and staff will be working on this project for the first few weeks that members are out enjoying the Hawk golf course.

New cart path excavated to right of the current path 16 Hawk (photo looking back from green to fairway).

Removing stumps from left of 18 Hawk tee(May 7th) - preparing to widen the cart path.

Irrigation Installation 18 Raven Green: Irrigation Manager Steve Lockhart is busy installing new irrigation around 18 Raven green. This project will fix a deficiency around 18 green that will provide improved irrigation system performance, increase efficiency, reduce labour and also provide more consistent turf conditions. Steve and his guys are working very hard to get this project wrapped up prior to the rain that is forecasted and Monday's opening.

18 Raven irrigation Installation (May 7th / 2011)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Golf Course Update May 5th 2011

Driving Range and Chipping Green are now open.
Please try to avoid concentrating all your chipping from the same location around the chipping green. The turf has not started to actively grow yet and if we get a lot of divots in one area, the chipping green area will get beat up before the season even starts.

Practice Putting Green to Open Friday May 6th
The putting green will be opened Friday May 6th. We ask that members use flat souled shoes (no spikes, maybe sneakers or spikeless golf shoes) so the spikes don't tear the turf, again because the turf hasn't started growing yet and it has very little ability to recover from foot traffic. We are certain that with the golf course not open the practice green will see a lot of action this weekend.

Short game practice area - May 5th 2011

Short Game Practice Area
The short game practice area is still covered with quite a bit of snow. Staff will continue to spread snow around and work toward getting this area open as soon as possible. Maybe by the end of the weekend or early next week.

Golf Course Opening Schedule
We will have Turf Care staff in all weekend preparing the golf course (shoveling snow) to get open next week. We plan on opening the back nine Raven Monday morning May 9th at 8:00am on a walk on basis only. Once staff have completed preparing the back nine Raven we will continue working on the old Hawk Holes in preparation for a Wednesday opening. The front nine Raven and new Hawk holes remain covered in snow and have a lot of melting to do before we can predict an opening date.

9 Raven fairway Thursday May 5th 2011

4 Raven Fairway Thursday May 5th 2011

Fire Wood
We are desperately trying to get rid of a large pile of fire wood that is being stored at the compound near # 2 Hawk and beside Priddis Greens Dr. Please take as much fire wood as you would like and encourage your friends and neighbors as well. If we can't get rid of this fire wood by the end of the weekend we will have to pay to have it hauled away. The wood is cut into fire place/pit length and is primarily Poplar with a small amount of Spruce mixed in.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Golf Course Update May 3rd 2011

Although it wasn't a very warm day we did lose alot of snow today. Turf Care staff continued to blow, shovel and spread snow to help it melt quicker. The following photos show each of the back nine Raven holes. We will be focusing our efforts during the next few days to help spread and move snow on holes 13,14&17 the holes have the most snow. Once the snow is gone and the ground has had time to dry, staff will continue verticutting, harrowing, sweeping and mowing of all turf areas in preparation for opening day.

It is still to early to forecast an opening day, however we would expect to have the back nine Raven open sometime next week and the old Hawk nine is usually a few days behind that. We should have a better idea on an opening schedule by the end of this week.

Back Nine Raven Photos

10 Raven Tee
11 Raven<
12 Raven

13 Raven
14 Raven
15 Raven
16 Raven
17 Raven
18 Raven

1 Hawk - Fairway remains largely covered in snow

1 Hawk fairway very wet as snow continues to melt

Monday, 2 May 2011

Sunday, 1 May 2011

May 1st Golf Course Update

Driving Range- Turf Care staff have finished blowing snow on the driving range and we expect the remaining snow to be gone in the next few days. If the weather forecast holds true, we think the driving range could be dry enough to open sometime mid week. We will update members as soon as possible.

12 Raven Green - Just pulled the green cover off today. The green looks great and an encouraging sign, the fairway in the background is starting to open up.

# 8 Hawk Green - Blowing snow off the green this morning. There is still a lot of snow on most of the new Hawk holes.

#5 Hawk Green - This green was covered in snow earlier today. After blowing off the snow and removing the covers you can see the green is in great condition.