It has been a very busy fall season at the golf course. Unseasonably warm weather has allowed us to complete many projects. This week I am providing you a run down of the past couple of months at the golf course:
Our greens were aerified during the month of October. This process helps reduce compaction in the soil, allow deeper root penetration, and helps move water through the soil profile. After aerification I noticed quite a few of our greens need to be mowed back out to their original size. I documented these greens as well as the tee boxes. These areas will be mowed shorter in the spring to achieve the original shape of these greens and tees. It is normal for these areas to become smaller over the years and this practice needs to be done every five or so years.
The irrigation system was blown out and winterized mid November. The process went smoothly with no issues. I documented about a dozen small repairs that needed to be completed prior to the 2022 season. There are still a couple of small repairs to complete that don’t affect the operation of the system.
We were able to complete those repairs late in November. I also submitted the 2021 irrigation report to the Iowa DNR. We irrigated 118.97 acre feet (out of a maximum 121.5 acre feet) and pumped 70.23 acre feet of water (out of a maximum 81 acre feet) from the well April 1 thru November 10. An irrigation permit was received to irrigate in the month of November. An acre foot of water = 326,000 gallons of water.
This fall we pruned trees around the entire golf course. Trees were pruned to make maintenance easier around each tree without affecting the integrity of the natural shape of the tree. We also removed multiple dead or damaged trees around the golf course. The only part to complete is the stump removal.
The past couple of months we spent time addressing our sand traps on the golf course. We went through each trap several times to remove rocks or debris present. Then we pushed sand from the bottom of each trap to the face. Over time the sand is washed down by rainfall, irrigation, and wind. After pushing the sand to the top of each trap we were able to measure how much sand was present and calculate the amount of sand to add.
#5 trap finish (2).jpg
The next part of this process was repairing damaged areas around the perimeter of the traps. We removed soil and added new sod to bring the sand traps back to their original shape. The front right sand trap on #14 was another large project for us. We cut three feet of sod away from the face of the trap toward the green. Next we added 12” of soil to this area and replaced the sod. By raising this area it will help limit how much surface drainage goes into this trap in the future.
#12 trap repair.HEIC
14 bunker project 8.HEIC
Finally, we hauled 132 ton of sand to the majority of traps around the golf course. Several of the sand traps had minimal sand present and they received a total of 6”-8” of sand throughout. The street division hauled the sand to the golf course 12 tons per truck. We used our loader and one ton dump trucks to haul the sand to the traps. We leveled the sand evenly with our trap rakes. We tried to leave the sand compacted so the wind will have less influence on it moving into the winter months. There were only five traps not receiving sand (#2G, #11F x 2, #11G, and #14F x 1).
#3 new sand.HEIC
The tile area behind #12 was not functioning properly a few months ago. Cemetery staff used a small track hoe to dig up the area and expose the tile in the damaged area so it could flow properly. The repair process was on hold until this fall when the water flow in the tile slowed down. This tile had over five feet of tree roots plugging the line and impeding the flow of water This caused saturated soils across #5 and #13. Probing the soil would produce water shooting several feet into the air. On December 3rd we finished repairing this tile and added a couple of valve boxes which will allow us to clean it out easier in the future. The tile was functioning during these months, it simply needed to be put back together and buried.
Friday, December 3 was the last day for golf in the 2021 season. There were quite a few players taking advantage of the beautiful weather in November which extended into December. Early next week I will be spraying the greens with a fungicide and wetting agent. This application is done to help prevent “snow mold” on the greens. This fungus is dark gray or pink and leaves very unsightly turf in the spring. The fungicide application is always the last golf course procedure on the grounds. Golfers will compromise the integrity of the application so the course is closed until the 2022 season.
The clubhouse will still be open as we move forward. I will be completing a thorough cleaning of the facility. Patrons can also stop in to purchase gift certificates or pay any fees that are due for 2022. Please contact me with any questions so I can provide further information.
Brian C Mohr
Director of Golf Operations
City of Spencer
101 W 5th Street
Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Spencer, Iowa 51301