Friday, 31 May 2013

18 Hawk Pond Retaining Wall Reconstruction

  In late April, work began on the demolition of the railroad tie retaining wall, and reconstruction using stone around the first pond on 18 Hawk.  Over the years the ground behind the wall had started to slough. This caused safety issues for golfers, and an unpleasing appearance.

Sloughed and uneven wall
One of a few sloughed and dangerous areas

    After pulling the existing wall out and stripping the work area of sod it was discovered that most of the the area around the pond had been backfilled with sand during original construction.  This explained why the area had sloughed so badly and why so much material had 'disappeared' over the years.  This caused an unforeseen issue, whereas the sand had to be removed and replaced with clay fill in order for the new wall to be constructed properly.  Approximately 500 cubic yards of fill was brought in.
Pulling ties, often one at a time

Sand backfill that almost reached the Fairway needed to be removed

Hauling in fill, and removing sand

Fill in and bench for stonework set
   After hauling in fill and improving the work area, work is set to begin on wall construction. Filter fabric was laid out and a gravel base laid. With that the first course of stonework and base of the wall is ready to be set.

Setting the base course
    Keeping a constant eye the on line of the base, the wall began to take shape. Each layer of rock was also backfilled with drainage gravel as the wall was built.

Eyeing up the line

Halfway through base course

   Once the first course had been placed,  the real challenge began.  This wall took on the properties of a puzzle, trying to fit this rock here and that rock there.  It took many long days to get the right pieces into place and at times a lot of head scratching.

Final grading and loam before sodding    

  After a few setbacks and unpredictable but typical Priddis Greens weather events (snow)  the pond was completed on the 23rd of May almost a month after breaking ground. Thanks to Construction Foreman Ross Moore, Intern Ethan Bailey and an outside contractor from Goodwin Golf.  The result of their hours of hard work is a visually stunning wall that members will be able to enjoy for years to come!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Driving fairways after the rain


Approximatley 2.5" (63mm) of Rain Tests The New Drainage System on Holes 6 & 7 Hawk

From Wednesday evening to Friday evening Priddis Greens received in the neighbourhood of 2.5" of rain, putting to test the new slit drainage system installed last fall on holes 6 & 7 Hawk.

During and after two days of steady rain, we are pleased to report that the drainage system is working very well. It is safe to say these two holes have gone from the wettest to the driest on all 36 holes of golf.

Holes 6 & 7 Hawk were chosen as a a test case to perform this style of drainage installation for numerous reasons,  primarily because drainage patterns from the surrounding areas impact both holes simultaneously. Also, these holes remained very wet during extended periods of wet cool weather.

While this recent rain event has provided feedback that the drainage system works very well, Turf Care staff will be observing and monitoring the effectiveness of this drainage system throughout the next few months. We expect there to be a learning period of a full season on how to best manage these holes in regards to changes in irrigation, fertilizer and topdressing strategies.

What members can now expect on these two golf holes:

1) Dry firm playing conditions throughout the season
2) Healthier turf providing better playing conditions and improved aesthetics
3) Access to these fairways with golf carts while other holes are paths only due to wet conditions
4) The slit drains will grow in throughout the golf season and be covered in by August

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Turf Care Department Guest Blogger

Golf Course Maintenance - a Members Prospective:

This is my second entry in the Priddis Greens Turf Care Blog as a Priddis Greens Golf Club member and a member of the Priddis Greens Turf Care Team.               (see Sunday, April 21st entry)

Now that we have finally opened all 36 holes and the Turf Care staff has begun their regular daily golf course maintenance schedules, I wanted to highlight an area where 'members' could assist with an ongoing maintenance task.

You may not notice, but a very significant amount of time and effort is devoted to raking every bunker, every morning to provide members with the best 'playability' aspect that we can.  The Bunker Team grooms each bunker first by turning the bunker rake upside down, (teeth up) so they can smooth the sides of the bunkers.  This is done to help golf balls roll down to the bottom of the bunker to a flatter surface to assist golfers in being able to hit the ball out.  In addition the bottom of the bunkers are raked to fill in any leftover footprints and ball marks and to fluff up the sand, again for better playability.  All this work however, is often negated by golfers who have the misfortune to hit into a bunker and then not raking it carefully (or at all) when they leave it.  After a day of this type of activity it takes the Bunker Team a lot longer to get them back into proper condition the next morning.  If you are playing later in the day you must wonder why the Turf Care people never seem to rake the bunkers.  In fact on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we run what we call the GAP Program, where we put a full team out on one of the 18 hole courses between 11 AM & 1 PM.  We go through all the morning routines again including re-raking all the bunkers, alternating between the Raven and Hawk courses.  Yet each morning when we go out, the bunkers often look like golfers have been playing Beach Volleyball in them!

Bunkers come in all sizes and shapes but they all have one common characteristic and that is, there is a 'low side' and a 'high side' to each of them.  Rakes are normally placed near the 'low side’, which should be your 'entry and exit' point to any bunker.  Many bunkers actually have a very steep high side, which should NEVER be the side that one enters or tries to exit a bunker from.  This breaks down the sides and creates a great deal of work to repair.  In addition to breaking down these higher sloped sides often contaminates the sand in the bunker with dirt/clay that is dug up from ‘climbing’ in and out on these steep slopes.   Please take the time to walk around to the low side to step into and out of the bunker.

So, quite simply if you find yourself having hit into any bunker, please enter at the lowest point, take your shot and then rake the sand as smooth as possible as you back out on the same path and exit at the lowest point.  This will reduce the amount of raking you need to do, reduces unnecessary repair work by the Bunker Teams and it saves the integrity of the bunker for the next golfer who has the misfortune on hitting into it.  Turf Care will still rake the bunkers every day (sometimes twice a day) but we would appreciate the cooperation and assistance from all golfers in helping us to maintain the beautiful golf course that we have here at Priddis Greens.
                                                                                                                                                            - Dave Harron
                                                       Priddis Greens Member (Past President)

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

18 Hawk Pond - May 8th,2013

First rocks are being place to start building the pond wall.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Pin Sheet App

If you haven't already, download the ezLocator Pin Sheet App through the iTunes store.

This App displays the daily pin locations, with a detailed view of the pin location, the shape of the green as well as measurement from the center and front and edge of the green. This application is easy to use and provides a unique amenity to our membership.

We have set up “Private” access for our club. To access our club, click on the "Private Club" tab in the App and enter the provide ID and password.


Member password: 742417

Saturday, 4 May 2013

April 27th - May 3rd : The week in Review

As usual, spring in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains has been predictably unpredictable. The following is an overview of the work performed last week to prepare the golf course for opening.

Saturday / Sunday April 27/28th 
Last weekend had temperatures between 14 and 22 degrees and strong winds that helped to melt snow and dry out the golf course. A staff of 35 strong worked long days over the weekend to get the golf course ready for opening nine holes on Monday April 29th.

Monday April 29th
The back nine Raven was opened on Monday morning for play, however withing two hours a snow storm blew in and the golf course became unplayable.

Tuesday April 30th
The golf course was covered in 4" of fresh snow. Most staff that had worked through the weekend were given the day off because of the snow cover. Sr. staff continued to work projects, tree work and planning.

Wednesday May 1st
- The golf course remained snow covered until approximately 6:00pm. Again staff were given the day off due to snow.
-Sr. Staff continued on projects, tree work and preparing for the next week.

Thursday May 2nd
- The back nine Raven re opened and staff continued to work on course clean up, bunker repair, verti-cut and fairway clean up, charging the irrigation system and preparing greens for old Hawk nine opening.
-  Bunker repair / clean up from winter erosion (crew of 10)
-  Steve Lockhart (Irrigation Manager) works late so we have irrigation ready for Friday to irrigate in a preventative fungicide for Take - All Patch prevention  on specific greens.
- Stump Grinding
- Repair begins on a 6" mainline irrigation break behind
- Fertilize all practice greens and original 18 greens.

Friday May 3rd
- The Old Hawk nine was opened , we are now open on 18 holes. Turf Care staff focusing all efforts on preparing the front nine for a possible Sunday opening.
- The front nine remains very wet from the recent snow fall and heavy shade. The surface moisture makes clean up from fairway verti cutting extra labour intensive and less effective. We need warm windy conditions would be terrific to help this process to get this done.
- Wetting agent sprayed on new Hawk Greens
- A rental stump grinder arrives and we begin 2 weeks of stump grinding more than 250 stumps from the winter dead tree removal program
- Fairway aeration began on front nine Raven