We developed this blog to provide golf course maintenance information to our members. From projects, small and large, to updates on course conditions, we want to provide as much information as possible. Although we hope this blog answers all of the pertinent questions regarding our operation, we always welcome more personalized dialogue. If you have questions beyond the information found on this blog, feel free to contact our golf course superintendent, Trevor Hedgepeth.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Incorporation of New Sand in the Tees

Over the next few years, the maintenance staff at Kinloch will be incorporating new sand into the tee and fairway surfaces.  The course was originally built and subsequently amended with a gray sand.  While this sand provided firm conditions and great nutrient retention, it has become increasingly fine and we have decided to discontinue use.  Therefore, the management team researched new sands that will blend well with the current rootzone.  After finding a sand with the right particle size and uniformity, we began the process of amending the current tee surfaces.

Rather than just applying the new sand on top of the older sand layer, which could cause water bridging, we wanted to incorporate it into the current rootzone. To do this, we begin by poking holes in the tee surface with solid tines.  These half inch holes will allow the new sand to penetrate into the existing sand mixture. Shown below is the process.

The surface is then topdressed with the new sand and, using our new Sweep-and-Fill, swept into the holes.  This new equipment has provided us the ability to incorporate the new sand without disrupting playing conditions.

The above process allows the sand to be incorporated into the existing surface, rather than just layered on top of the current rootzone.  This process, along with yearly aerifications, will allow us to completely amend the tees and fairways with the new sand.  Golfers can expect to see firmer conditions and healthier turf due to better surface drainage.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Verticutting of Tees

Over the course of the last few days, the Kinloch maintenance staff has completed the verticutting of all the tee boxes.  This is a necessary cultural practice that should be completed at least once a year.  Throughout the golfing season, the tees are mowed in the same pattern in order to produce the definitive lines Kinloch is known for.  The process, however, can cause the grass to continuously be pushed and grow in one direction, a term we call grain.  Excessive grain in turf can cause scalping and irregular growth.  In order to correct this grain, we verticut the turf perpendicular to the mowing pattern.  This allows the plant to stand upright, correcting the growing direction.  The process of verticutting also allows the lateral growth of the plant to be cut, which causes the plant to grow in a tighter, denser pattern.  By competing this process, we can ensure that the turf is healthy and beautiful for the year to come.

Shown below is a close up of the turf surface after verticutting is complete.  Notice the small lines going away from the camera.  These are the slits that were cut into the surface.  They will heal quickly and not cause any effect on playability.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Reconditioning of Play Supplies

As the cold weather continues, the maintenance staff at Kinloch has begun the process of reconditioning some of the play supplies used on the course during the season.  It is important to maintain these play supplies, as they are continuously exposed to the elements, as well as heavy use on a daily basis from the golfers. During the month of January, we will be restoring all of the wooden benches and trashcans, as well as repairing all of the bunker rakes. These item have seen quite a bit of use this year, and we hope to continue to use them for many years to come.

The first task we are undertaking is the stripping and staining of all wooden benches and trashcans.  During past years, the wood was cleaned and a new coat of stain was applied.  This provided a clean look throughout the year as well as added an additional layer of weather protection.  This process, however, has caused a buildup on the wood's surface over the years.  To counteract this, we begin by pressure washing the surface, followed by a thorough sanding.  After the majority of the old stain is removed, a fresh coat of UV protection stain is applied.  Once dry, the benches and trashcans will be placed back on the golf course, providing another year of use.

The final look of the benches is is a much lighter red color, which will look great on all the tee boxes.

The second assignment of the Kinloch maintenance staff for January is the repair of all bunker rakes.  Three years ago, all fiberglass bunker rake handles were wrapped in a fade resistant plastic.  While this plastic has protected the existing handles from damage resulting from sun exposure, the heat has caused the wrapping to shrink and expose the fiberglass handle.  The rakes are brought back into the maintenance shop and disassembled.  The exposed edge is then removed using a hacksaw.  Once completed, the rake is cleaned, reassembled, and a fresh application of glue is applied to ensure the handle remains in place for the coming season. Shown below is a before and after picture of the rake head.  Notice how in the before picture you can see the lighter green of the fiberglass handle, while in the after picture, the green plastic coating is sitting flush with the rake head.