Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ball Mark Repair

One of the biggest questions that I get year round is, "What are we going to do about all of the ballmarks on the greens?". The simple answer is that each golfer is responsible for fixing their own ballmark. Now, realistically that's not going to happen, but I do encourage everyone at the club to fix theirs plus one more. I started having the greens mowers take ballmark repair tools with them each morning so they could walk the entire green fixing marks before they mowed. I have been very happy with the results of this process. The problem is that we only have the staff to do this in the peak months of the season. So, please remember to fix your ballmarks. The video below is an example of how to properly repair a ballmark.

Notice the guy in the video was using a golf tee. You don't have to have a divot repair tool to fix the ballmarks (I use my pocket knife). Also, he just pulls the surface turf back to the center of the mark, he does not lift the center, this is textbook repair practice.

If your out there playing and you see someone in your group not fixing their ballmarks, ask them kindly if they have a tool, know how to, or just to please fix them. Thanks for your help.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our New Water Source

I'm sure almost all of our membership knows that we are now accepting reclaimed water from the Pillsbury plant across the river. The main comment that I get from our golfers is something along the lines of, you won't have any problems putting out water now. In some respects this is true, but using reclaimed water has its draw backs too.
Reclaimed water sources typically have elements in it at unwanted levels. Typically the problem sources are pH, Bicarbonates, and Sodium. They are present in natural water sources also, but usually at an acceptable level. I have some numbers to show acceptable levels, our previous water source and our new water source below.
Acceptable Levels
pH- 6.5-7.0
Bicarbonate- 0-111 ppm
Sodium- 0-70 ppm
Calcium- greater than Sodium
Old Source
pH- 7.2
Bicarbonate- 144 ppm
Sodium - 13 ppm
Calcium - 42 ppm
New Source
pH- 7.5
Bicarbonate- 451.4 ppm
Sodium- 259.17 ppm
Calcium- 50.91 ppm
As you can see the numbers drastically increased in every category with the exception of Calcium. Unfortunately Calcium is the only part of that list that we want to be really high. What this means is that we will have to make more chemical applications and Calcium applications to combat the higher numbers of pH, Bicarbonate and Sodium.
So, yes we will be able to put out more water, and get water to areas on the course that haven't seen anything but rainfall in a long time. At the same time we have to monitor the levels of water that we put out. Sometimes too much of a good thing can turn bad. Hopefully as we can get more of our irrigation system operational, we will be able to get ample amounts of water to the turf within the scope of the irrigation system.
Also, we were able to get some national exposure for the club with the reclaimed water project. Golf Course Industry Magazine used our project as a case study in water management practices in its September 2009 issue. Here is the link for anyone who is interested in reading it.