Saturday, May 28, 2016

Busy Spring

New Sod #7 Tee
New Sod #10 fairway
It's been extremely busy around here in the last month.  The weather hasn't always cooperated but we have managed to get a lot of work done and get the course in great shape.  The greens came out of winter great and are really starting to smooth out and putt well.  They might be in the best shape this early in the year that I've seen in the past eight to ten years.  The entire course really is in good shape.  There are a few areas yet to fill in from winter damage which we are slit seeding now.  We have also sodded the approach on two and the upper tees on seven.  The upper tees on seven are closed and the approach on 2 is ground under repair. 

The work on the tenth fairway, driving range and chipping green is coming together now that the ground has dried up enough to work on it.  The tenth hole is now open for play with the sod across the fairway playing as ground under repair.  The contractors that are working on the driving range and practice green are leveling the trench across the back of the range floor and getting it prepped for sod. The practice area is being rough graded to prepare it for irrigation work, then the new green will be built and finish work around the practice greens.

Chipping Green Rough Grade
We have another crew working on leveling tees and installing a bunker on the alternate 15 green.  So far the gold and green tee on 12 and 17 have been leveled along with the green tee on 15.  Today they are working on the bunker for alt 15. 

We ask for your patience and stay off the sodded areas and give them a chance to root and get healthy before they are opened to play.
Driving Range finish grade

Bunker addition on alt 15

Friday, April 15, 2016

Greens are looking good

#15 Green 4-12-16
After receiving 30" of snow the second half of March we have been rather warm and dry to start April.  The snowpack has melted significantly, you can now see a lot of green grass showing and everything is looking pretty good.  I have walked all the greens this week and they all are healthy with only a small amount of snow mold that has popped up since clearing.  There is snow in the forecast for the weekend and it sounds like we could get a fair amount of needed moisture from this storm.  This will help the greens by preventing them from drying out until we are able to get the irrigation system charged up.

Friday, April 1, 2016


Snow is all off now it time to work on the ice.
The ice has started to melt, time to shovel.
We cleared 15 green on Monday and found a nice ice layer.  It's not really a surprise but almost expected at this point of the season.  It's one of the reasons that we begin clearing greens the first of march.  This ice layer has plenty air in it and has not glossed over yet.  This means that it hasn't been here very long and shouldn't be much of a problem.  With that being said 15 green is notorious for giving us problems year in and year out and ice is not the only factor.  We will monitor it closely and will get out the green covers as soon as the next break in weather allows us to.
We will finish clearing greens this coming week.  Greens 8, 9, 10, 12 and the old 18 green will get cleared over the next few days.  In most years 8, 9 and 10 melt off by themselves.  In fact in the past nine springs this will be the first time I've done anything more than a little shoveling to those greens to finish them off.  We will have to get the blower on them this year because of the reemergence of winter for the second half of March.  We have picked up 30" of snow since the 15th and still have 12" to 20" of snow on the course. 


Friday, March 18, 2016

Greens Clearing

nice view to start the day
It's that time of year again. We spent the first two weeks clearing anywhere from 18" to 30" or more off of the greens.  So far we have cleared 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, and the putting green.  Overall they look great.  We did have some ice built up on a few greens but once that layer melted off the green below looked good and healthy.  Number 2 green did have some snow mold pop up a few days after removing the snow but it should just be superficial and not cause any long term damage.  All other greens were disease free after clearing and before this last storm system dropped 13"of snow on us over four days. 
snow mold on the front of #2
#17 looking good

I've been asked if the new snow is good or bad thing after removing the snow and if we would have to re-clear the snow from those already cleared greens.  The new snow is a very good thing!  Once we clear the green the first time we put down a granular fungicide to get the snow mold protection to last until the end of the season and it needs the moisture to release the active ingredients.  Another reason the new snow is good is that it provides water to the plant to prevent it from drying out while we are waiting for the rest of the course to melt off and before the irrigation system can be fired up.  Once the skies clear this weekend and next week we will continue clearing more greens.  Greens 5, 7, 15, and 18 are next on the list while 8 though 12 usually melt off without having to do much more than some shoveling to finish them off.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Golf Industry Show

Scott and I spent a week in San Diego for the Golf Industry Show.  Although the weather was about as good as it gets we spent a fair amount of time inside the class room.  We had a number of classes to choose from on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Classes ranged from the business to agronomic practices, and equipment maintenance to staff supervision and many other topics that help us to do our job better.  The trade show was open on Wednesday and Thursday.  The trade show floor has so many pieces of equipment and tools of the trade it easily takes two days to get around to see everything.  Many of the things at the trade show will never be used in Vail but some will and it gives us the opportunity to see what is available to the Golf Course Superintendent and gives us ideas on how we can continue to improve the conditions at The Vail Golf Club.

Friday, October 23, 2015

First snow of the season

We received some much needed moisture in the way of a rain snow mix yesterday and last night.  There was about an inch of snow on the ground when we arrived this morning and .9" of an inch of rain and melted snow in the rain gauge from the last 24 hours.  The course is closed for the day but are expecting good weather for the last two days of the season this weekend and hope to be able to open by mid-day tomorrow so you can get a couple more rounds in before closing for the season Sunday.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Audubon International Re-Certification

Native area between 5 green and 6 tee

Native area behind 11 green
 This summer The Vail Golf Club earned our re-certification with Audubon International which began for us in 1998.  The Audubon helps golf courses to protect and enhance the natural environment that exist on golf courses. Some of the things we are incorporating now are additions of more native rough that is out of play to reduce mowing and water use.  With this we have turned off 8 irrigation heads and reduced the coverage of 4 more. Look for more areas like this to pop up as we continue to assess other possible areas. We also have added two wildflower beds and plan seeding more into native areas to help honey bee population and aesthetics of the areas. Certification helps us continue to improve on our standard environmental practices.  Making the golf course a great place to play and enjoy nature.

Turnaround at 17 green 
Wild  flowers starting to bloom in turnaround