Course Notes, 8/10/2020

IMG_1833.jpgHeading into what is officially called the “Dog Days” of summer, the golf course continues to look and play extremely well.  We as a staff have had quite a busy season so far, and I could not be more proud of their efforts this year and the product they have produced for you to enjoy. Throughout the next couple months most of them will be leaving us for the season and will be missed until they return in April 2021. So a huge “Thank You/Muchas Gracias” to Adam, Steve, Greg, Ron, Bob, Paul, Harold, Larry, Caity, Jeff, Migler, Andonis, Yony, Keenan, and Joe for all your hard work and dedication to Elcona this year!IMG_3283

Other notes and information from around the golf course:

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Cart parked well within 30 feet of 2 green
  • With the current state of our world, rounds and golf course activity has been much higher this year, and it is awesome to see all of you enjoy your golf course this year.  It has also become quite noticeable lately the effects of golf cart usage and traffic in the rough, especially around greens and tees.  Carts continue to be observed parking way to close to green and tee surfaces, which greatly impacts the playability and health of those areas when they continually get exposed to the tire traffic of a golf cart.  Per the Elcona Membership rule book and the Golf/Greens Committee, I would like to remind everyone that golf carts are to be parked no closer than 30 feet of a green or 15 feet from a tee, except when a path is available.  30 feet is about 10 normal paces.  Thank you for your cooperation in this matter and remember to RESPECT the golf course:

Repair your ball mark and one other.

Every divot should be replaced when possible.

Sand should be thoroughly raked each time you are in a bunker.

Please park your cart 30 feet from greens and tees to help keep the    surround turf more playable.

Enter and exit bunkers from the flat back side.

Care and think about the members playing behind you.

Together this will make a HUGE difference!

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New wire ran behind 15 green
  • We have had our share of electrical issues with the pond pumps on holes 3 and 15.  We have these issues resolved, and will treat those ponds this week to clean up the excess duckweed and algae that developed as a result of no water movement.
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Billbug damage, hole 12
  • Some insect damage has been observed in the rough surrounding 6 and 12 green.  These areas have received one treatment insecticide to eliminate the grubs that are eating the roots of this turf, and a second application may be necessary.    It will be overseeded later this month.

 

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Below ground view of a sprinkler.  The black component is the decoder.  
  • Many of you also have asked why I am continually digging up sprinklers.  While I do actually enjoy digging our beautiful sandy soil as a workout, most of the time it is to replace a decoder that has failed.  A decoder is like a mail box for the irrigation system.  Each of the over 1200 sprinklers on the property has a unique 5 digit address that is programmed into both a computer in my office and each decoder in the field.  When I want to run a sprinkler, the computer sends a 24 volt signal through the miles of wire below ground to find the specific sprinkler’s 5 digit address and turn it on.  The computer does the same to turn the sprinkler off.
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Tree roots creating issues with a decoder connection

So why are these failing?  There are a few reasons why.  Our beautiful sandy soil can be difficult to make/keep a firm grounding connection, and can create a short in the system.  Lightning strikes can reek havoc on the electrical components, sending surges through the system.  I have also observed tree roots and ant colonies push open the grease packs that protect the wire connections, exposing the wires to drainage from rain and normal soil moisture that can cause a short.  As these issues are found, we repair them as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the components.

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  • With this spring and early summer’s heavier rainfall, crabgrass pressure has been through the roof and a challenge this season. We have spot sprayed the crabgrass that emerged in a few areas on the fairways and rough with great results. The bronzing of the fairway turf surrounding the crabgrass will grow out within a couple of weeks.

 

  • Our pollinator areas have continued to see a large increase in butterfly activity this year, especially Monarchs. The areas of milkweed you have noticed along the native areas are the Monarch’s main source of food and habitat for them to complete their life cycle on their migration from Mexico to Canada and back. Where appropriate, we will continue to provide habitat for pollinating insects while not impacting your experience on the golf course.

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  • Finally, an update on the upcoming Golf Course Improvement Plan, which you can view the plans here.  All the materials needed for the project will begin to arrive on property within the next 10 days, including 600 tons of pea gravel, 7300 feet of irrigation pipe, and 1200 tons of bunker sand.  There will be increased truck traffic on County Road 21 delivering these materials, so please be cautious as you enjoy your round crossing CR 21.

The project will begin September 8th at the Practice Facility.  The Facility will be available on a limited basis that week, so please be on the look out for information as you visit the club that week.  On September 15th, work will begin on the golf course. In discussions with Golf Creations (contractor for the project), the Design Committee, and the Golf/Greens Committee, 9 holes will close at a time.  While this may not be a popular decision, it is in the best interest for your safety and the installation crew’s safety and efficiency to have 9 holes closed at a time.  The less the crew has to stop work to allow play through, the quicker the project will be completed (as long as the weather cooperates!).

You can also expect weekly updates from me on the progress of the project.  I will also have more as we get closer to go time on what you can expect to see as our staff prepares the course for this project.  We are extremely excited to begin this project next month and am looking forward to what will be a beautiful improvement for the next 30 years and beyond.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at ryan@elconacc.com, or stop me when you see me out on the course. Have a great, safe week, and I will see you out on the golf course!

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Ryan