Sunday, 30 October 2011

Covering Greens

Today, Turf Care staff at Priddis Greens begin day 2 of green cover installation which is the final step in preparing the golf course for winter.

The process includes installing (5-6) 12' X 100' rolls of bubble wrap plastic tarps per green, followed by covering the bubble wrap with a one piece 120' X 70' plastic impermeable cover. Once the covers are in place plywood strapping is spiked into the ground on 2' centers along the perimeter of the cover to secure the tarp from wind.

It takes 6 - 8 staff approximately 1.5 hours to cover each of the 15 greens that requires covering. Wind is the greatest challenge while installing these covers as both the bubble wrap and the non permeable covers are easily blown away in light to moderate wind conditions.

On a average non windy day, staff will be able to complete 5 greens. We hope to be able to have all 15 greens covered by November 3rd.

Turf Care staff Installing the bottom covers (bubble wrap) on 5 Raven green.

Number 8 Raven green after the tarping process is complete

Friday, 21 October 2011

Winter Preperation & Construction Projects

Winterizing the Golf Course:

Although Turf Care staff are no longer mowing grass and preparing the golf course for membership play, the work load has actually ramped up as preparations are under way to put the golf course to bed for the winter.

The following list includes some of the tasks that must be completed prior to snow fall and the onset of winter:

1) Irrigation system blow out and pump station (4) winterizing
2) Spray fungicides on tees, greens, fairways and select rough areas (90 Acres)
  • Leaf removal must be complete ahead of sprayers
  • There can be no wind when spraying
  • Temperatures must be between 1degree and 10 degrees
  • Frost limits the window throughout the day
  • All fungicide spraying takes 7-9 days to complete
3) Tee Aeration (36 holes)
4) Fairway aeration - deep tine (36 holes)
5) Topdressing greens
6) Green Cover installation
7) Topdressing tees
8) Dormant fertilizer application tees, greens, fairways and rough (110 acres)
9) Leaf debris removal
10) Install 300 Vole traps
11) Tear down all golf course accessories, clean, inventory and store inside for winter
  • Range mats
  • Range tents
  • Ball washers
  • Tee Markers
  • Flags / poles
  • Bunker rakes 400+
  • GC Signage
12) Install snow fence, ropes and stakes around greens and tees to deter wildlife and people

The list of tasks above normally takes approximately 17 days to complete with seasonal weather. The 7 day forecast looks reasonable, so all things working in our favor we will be completed all tasks by Halloween with the exception of covering greens. Greens will be covered just prior to when the forecast shows no more warm days.

Construction Projects:

We have had a productive week replacing one of the three culverts in the plan and have a good start on the second culvert.

The photos below show the scope of the work being performed. A more detailed update will be provided next week as the project winds down and we have more photos and progress reports to discuss.

Excavation begins to remove the original 1.2 Meter Original Culvert
Removing the old 1.2 Meter Culvert
Installing the new 2 Meter Culvert near 11 Hawk tee. Two Turf Care staff (Ross Moore & Layton O'Dwyer)  and our contractor  worked through the day and wrapped up at 11:30pm to complete the installation of this culvert in challenging conditions. Thanks for the extra effort and commitment guys.
Installation of Rip Rap Erosion Protection on Upstream and Down Stream side of The Culvert

2 Meter Culvert prior to installation

Work begins on the second of three culvert crossings in front of 10 Hawk Tee (October 21st / 2011)


Monday, 3 October 2011

Priddis Greens Hosts Turf Management Degree Students

Last Tuesday, September 27th, Priddis Greens was host to a group of students from Olds College. The students are in the Turf Management degree program at the college. Olds College is one of two programs that are the primary places that aspiring superintendents in Western Canada attend to gain the educational background required to one day become Superintendents at private and public golf courses in Canada and abroad. It was part of a class in which they tour golf courses that have environmental practices and programs in place.  
Priddis Greens has long been a member of the Audobon Sanctuary program.  In fact, Priddis Greens was the first in Alberta and the 11th in Canada to become a Certified Audobon Cooperative Sanctuary. As a member of this society we are encouraged to share our programs and practices within the “Education and Outreach” of the program. Highlights include our water conservation policy, our safe use of pesticides, and our wildlife habitat creation.   The 4 hour tour we gave the students highlighted our programs and practices and gave the aspiring Superintendents an opportunity to ask questions and hear about real world implementation and challenges of what they are learning in college. The students also toured other courses like the Banff Springs, and Country Hills.
In addition, it is a great way to recruit future staff for upcoming seasons. Currently, we have 7 Olds Golf Course Management graduates on staff. Included in the class, is our very own intern, Cam Champion who has worked at Priddis Greens for the past 2 years and is in the 3rd year of the Turf Management program.

Par 3 Mats

Range Mats on Par 3 Tees

Starting Monday October 3rd, range mats will be placed on all par 3 tees for the remainder of the golf season.

Range mats are used on the par 3 tees as the season comes to an end to minimize wear and tear from excessive divots. The grass has essentially stopped growing at this time of year and with many rounds of golf still being played, excessive divoting would happen because the turf can't heal in this cool weather. If mats were not used, tees would be covered in divots in the spring to the point golfers would find it hard not to step in divots while addressing their shots.

The club invested in new mats this spring to ensure the artificial hitting surfaces on the par 3's in the spring and fall are consistent with the mats used throughout the season at the practice facility.