Welcome to my blog!
It is my intention to give the readers a better understanding of what we do to maintain The Farms Country Club's 18 hole championship golf course and grounds.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tee Aerification Update and More!

I thought that tee aerification would be completed by day's end. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate because the sand didn't dry fast enough. This is a very minor setback and will not effect play. We did mow all the tees today and we anticipate a considerable amount of rain tomorrow. Tomorrow's rain will wash-in / compact the topdressing sand into the holes. It is imperative to fill the holes completely. We will be able to achieve our agronomic goals with a light topdressing next week. This practice will not effect playability in the slightest!

We have been working on overseeding two damaged fairway areas. The two areas include the fairway in front of #14 green and the beginning of #17 fairway. The problem is completely attributable to excessive thatch caused by a reduction in aerification. The governing committees have recognised this situation and have addressed it in the 2012 / 2013 budget. In the mean time, we have taken aggressive steps to fix the 1/2 acre of fairway damage (there are 27 acres of fairways).
We have aerified, seeded and topdressed these areas twice. The following pictures show the second aerification and overseeding we performed today. The first oveseeding was successful enough to reduce the damaged areas to less than 1/4 acre. We have accomplished all fairway repairs within budget!

Aerified holes in fairway before seeding
Topressing after seeding
Dragging sand & seed into aerification holes

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Aerifying Tees!

We will have completed aerifying the tees by Thursday, September 27th. Thursday is just about fine tuning the majority of the work accomplished on Tuesday and Wednesday. The weather did not co-operate completely but enough for us to accomplish our agronomic goals while reducing member inconvenience.

Alan Aerifying Tees With 5/8th's Tines on 1.5" spacing
4" depth of plugs
#7 Black Tee Aerified Before Cleanup Takes Place
Chris and Ryan Pick up Cores on Hole #8
Andy Makes The First Pass of Three in The Topdressing Process
When the aerification process is completeted, we will have covered five acres of tees. We will have used at least 75 tons of sand. We had a couple of issues to overcome. #1 was some slight rain which slightly slowed our maintenance procedure.
#2 was the company we normally use for topdressing sand. I won't stoop to the level of their poor business practices by continuing to explain.
We will now be using another company's approved topdressing product N.E.S.S..
The sand specifications are being confirmed by an independent outside company. Hummel & Co., Inc. (the most respected independent company in the industry).
I would like to thank N.E.S.S. for stepping in and helping us finish the job in my alloted timeframe.
Representative, Ed Downing, is helping us finish the job, at a moments notice, with a supperior product! Thank You Ed!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012 Men's Fall Member Member is in the Books!

Congratulations to the winners! Dennis Damato and Hugh Kurtz!!!
Hugh Kurtz & Dennis Damato

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lupus Benefit 5K Run! Just Awesome!

Lupus? I really didn't know much until this event. I have learned a lot! I'm all in!

You can find all about this worthy cause at...
Today was awesome!
Our maintenance staff will feel so good when they see this!
They will be proud of what they accomplished this week in preparation. They are awesome!!!
How about the clubhouse staff... U kiddin me...  We mowin it and setting it up but not one of us beatin SCOTT (in the run)!!!
Here are a few pics of such a great day... a million more comin tomorrow
The Runners Are Pumped!!!

Here We Go!
Look at all the love donated on the board behind President Joe Benvenuto and  Assistant Pro Jeff Beale!

Yep... Just Another Harte Bringing It! Ur mom kick ur but every day!!!

Farms Staff kickin butt out there!!! It's all about family!

This Is Cool! I kept messing up on pics because they run faster than my carts!!!

Everyone a Winner For All The Right Reasons!!!
What A Great Day!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wildlife and Coyotes damaging #5 Green

I actually wanted to write about this earlier but the subject of green's aerification had to take precedence for obvious reasons.
The maintenance staff and I have the opportunity to start our day, basically, on a wildlife preserve. Most players never get to see what we see every morning, every evening and every day. Deer, foxes, coyotes, hawks, eagles, muskrats, bobcats (I still say I saw a mountain lion), every kind of bird from bluebirds to cedar waxwings, etc.  The list is much longer.
I love the mornings and hearing the staff talk on the radio about the family of turkeys on #7, or the fawn they just saw on #2, or the mating snapping turtles in #6 pond...again, the list goes on.

The snapping turtle mating ritual goes on for hours! Nobody sees it except our staff!

I have so many pictures of these two in #6 pond on 8-27-12
As beautiful as it is, there are instances that create problems for us. We have a family of coyotes we've been watching daily this year. Our best estimate is that there are five or six pups. They are always around five green and six tee in the pre-dawn hours. They will stay until one of the mowers or carts drive by, then they are spooked for the day. We have truly enjoyed watching them mature all season!

Pup's running away from #5 green because I'm 200 yards away trying to get a picture.

Another picture of the "spooked" pups leaving #5 green. I photoshoped these pictures to make them more viewable. It is still before sunrise so the quality is not great.
The problem now is the coyote family has decided to start digging up the fifth green! I don't know why. The first day was Saturday, August 25th. The damage was minimal. We fixed it easily. This kind of thing happens all the time... animals dig a small hole, deer make rutted footprints, etc. Sunday the 26th was much worse. They went right back to the same spot on #5 green and started digging deeper holes and more of them.

Holes on #5 Sunday, August 26th

This is not small!
Our Assistant Superintendent, Andrew Fenn, had to try and repair this before play got to #5 green. He said Mr. Dimugno's group, one of the fastest playing four-somes, were completely understanding that they had to wait a few minutes for us to finish repairs (thank you).

Sunday's damage was bad. I decided that it would be a green we would aerify first. An environmental change might make the spot undesirable for the coyotes. It didn't work out as good as I had hoped, but it was better.

Andy surveys the damage Tuesday morning after aerifying. It's not as bad, but they still want to dig in the same darn spot!
We made our planned fertilizer and wetting agent applications after topdressing was completed. Our simple physical changes and fertilization techniques seem to have made the coyotes want to find a new place to practice digging. As much as it was an inconvenience and it caused us  more work, it was awesome to be a part of a positive and mutually beneficial environmental change! Can you say symbiosis!
Very Cool!