Alright lets get a little update going. Been a while.
Last week was a big one for us. Our goal was to get the course into peak spring shape to record a fly through of the entire course. The group brought the heat and got it done. The product we were able to present Saturday afternoon into Sunday was the best visual shape it has ever been in. Ideal playing conditions are not far behind.
Here is a look at what a fairly heavy week of mowing greens, green surrounds and running other tasks on the property look like. These are good numbers expressing only the BCN work days as I do not bring my phone during exercise or my at home tasks.
Y’all ever pushed sleds in football practice? That is what it is like pushing the green mower. Basically my ass and quads are going to be bodacious.
The greens are in full grow mode. We could cut them daily right now. Cut them three times this week and was BARELY able to bring them down below the 1 inch mark we have been maintaining at. Even still, that little bit lower helps.
Friday while I was trimming the ridge and creek, Zach rigged up his trailer and went to the materials store. He snagged 3 ton of sand for top dressing. Him and Mark got right to work with a heavy top dress on the 4th hole and all the tee boxes.
Finished the night with a loop – just us three. With a few bonfires going on around the neighborhood including finishing up the remains of our last pile, crickets and frogs adding the audio, it is safe to say the evening was spiritual.
The Three Amigo’s bridges:
Saturday morning before the sun was all the way up:
Had our first folks pop out trying to play with no warning. Felt bad I couldn’t take em around as we were in a time crunch. Too bad for them, had they come a few hours later, they could have joined us in a loop of glow golf! Some Twitter friends got together and bought us a night golf set and boy, it was so fun. Great way to cap off a successful Saturday. Brought my fiance out and everything. We all LOVED it! Consider it a Barn Burner staple moving forward.
So here is the deal – we have come a long way in this short spring so far. infrastructure is roughed in and the grounds are completely under control. Even around the house and barn look sharp which is something we have neglected in a big way. All the tree removal is done and stumps cut and brush burned. We are at the point in the process where it is time to focus 100% on the playing conditions.
What does that mean? To me, it means that we will be focusing on soil, grass and other ways golfers will interact with the course using club and ball. Playing conditions has always been and always will be fluid, but we are now primed to ratchet up the level of playing conditions. It won’t be a quick process, but we have a plan to get there.
Phase 1 (yes we are using the COVID phase plan for our golf course): SAND!
All the sand. Every last grain of it. We need to DUMP sand on all the greens and tees. This is more of an act of leveling the surfaces then topdressing. On Sunday, the guys put down the remainder of the 3 ton Zach snagged on Friday. All that got us was tee boxes 1, 3, 4, and 5 and greens 2, 4 and 5 complete. However, it is a very heavy dose compared to our usual topdressing which is great.
With some rain here today, that sand should settle in nicely. The goal is to have Zach try and snag one more load before he goes away for a week or two to finish up the first stage leveling.
Once that sand has settled for a week and we have got a few cuts on it, we will run it back and do it again. That will be 12 ton of new sand dumped on greens and tees. If we can swing it, we will start sanding collars as well. This will help us bring green surrounds height down as well providing a more firm and fast experience. This should bring us up to late May at which point the night temperatures should stay in the 60’s prompting strong growth from our Zoysia.
Phase 2: Soil prep and aeration
Once the night time temps are in the 60’s, it will officially be time to fertilize the Zoysia. We will start out with a simple Iron application to spark a green up. This will not make the grass start growing like hell, while still giving us a nice consistent color. Plan to do this here in the next two weeks. Then we will move into a fertilization. Nothing crazy – just a basic high nitrogen fertilizer. Plan is to do this the last week of May. This will make the grass grow faster. The first weekend in June we will rent a hole puncher and get to work on the greens and the surrounds. We will pick up the plugs on the greens and fill them with sand while letting the plugs on the surrounds break down back into the earth bringing that nutrients back to the soil. This will be a LONG weekend, but the most critical of weekend. Ideally, we will start to see our past work of leveling paying off now. The fertilization will be strategic in that we will kick the Zoysia growth into high gear ideally helping close the holes quickly. We will be approaching 20 ton of sand by this point.
Phase 3: Rolling and tee expansion.
A week or two after the aerification, we will go rent the roller again. This will help tremendously with the leveling and should make a huge impact since there will be space for the turf to move with the holes punched. This will be where all the sand pays off. Really really hopeful that the micro contours will be all but gone at this point and the greens will be rolling smooth.
If we have the time and resources, we will look to get another pallet of sod to expand tee boxes. We really need to add teeing space to 2 tee, 3 tee and 6 tee. 450 Sq Ft should do it.
Phase 4: Overseed
We are now hypothetically past the peak of the summer. At this point, we really need to buckle down on green surrounds and other problem areas. We will spray for weeds which will wipe out a huge amount of green plants throughout the property. We will then scalp the grass pretty darn short and spread Tall Fescue and blue grass seed. Our green surrounds right now are on life support. The rye we threw down before the burner came out great this spring, but the heat is killing it. We will have problems with surrounds this summer if the seed we threw down in a rush doesn’t catch.
All this should bring us up to the hopeful barn burner. It will be a totally different course compared to the one the folks played last year. Really excited to execute this plan. It will really really be showing what it is capable of. To get all this done, we will need to find a few more grand, but I am confident we can do it.
House keeping items:
I did a video interview with GCSAA last week. That should be airing this Wednesday.
Got some really sick patch hats coming out here in the next week or two. Have been long in the works and stoked to finally get them out.
Our new Toro greens mower is being built right now and should be delivered by this weekend or early next week. That will be a massive game changer.
Get pumped for the course fly through. Evan is going to work some magic and damn the course and footage was looking good.
This is my last week working from home and plan to make the most of it out at BCN.
- Ben SGB