Friday, December 6, 2013

Number 7 Water Feature is Back!!!!

As all of you golfers and homeowners that live on or near hole #7 know the water feature on this hole was drained.  The cause was a fissure in the limestone that opened up to an underground stream.  I am sorry that it took so long to get the water feature back, but it was a precarious process,  We had to wait until the area quit leaking water to determine what the problem was.
The Problem Hole is 2 feet wide
After we found the problem we called in some experts on the subject for advice on fixing the problem. ( I personally have never dealt with a problem such as this before.)  So we spoke with the geology experts who were very helpful and very enthusiastic about their profession.  Their recommendation was to expose the hole and fill with a material called Bentonite.  Bentonite is a clay byproduct of mining and it is devoid of water.  When it comes in contact with water it swells to about 3-5 times its size and creates a clay barrier layer or expands to clog holes whichever is needed.
The pond was as low as it was going to get and we were in the middle of the dry season (late October).  We Brought in an Excavator to search to find the problem.  The more we dug the wetter the hole got.  We were running two 2 inch trash pumps to keep the water out and we could barely keep up with the water coming out of the fissure I took 3 attempts with the excavator to clean up the hole.  At this point we were getting out of the dry season and having to schedule around weather events, but we finally got close enough to the fissure to attempt to plug it with the Bentonite.
link to a video of the underground stream in action

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tree Removal

This is the time of year that we take care of bigger projects that we can't accomplish during the growing season.  One of those projects are Tree removal.  Before I go any further let me say this,"I do not enjoy cutting down trees.  I do not look for reasons to remove trees that I don't like.  Tree removal creates a lot of work for me and my staff.".  That being said there are reasons that we have to remove trees and they are as follows; The tree poses a threat to a person or a structure., There is a shade Issue that cannot be cured by limbing up the tree., The inability to grow quality turfgrass due to shade issues., The tree blocks a sight line that can create a dangerous position for golfers.  We have 4 holes that we are currently working on tree removal. #'s 9, 10, 12, and 16.  All of the work that we did on #9 was to better open up the hazard (Pond) in the dogleg of the hole.  We also have had a very hard time in the past growing grass on the pond bank due to the heavy canopies that were present.  I hope to have those areas grown in next year instead of bare ground.  The removal of the trees along the pond on #9 also allows the golfer to have a better view of the green from further back in the fairway.  This ensures that there are no golfers on the green when a golfer hits in to #9 green.
We are currently working on Hole #10.  We have removed 4 large Cedar trees.  the first was closest to the tees on the right side of the cart path and overhung the path.  I did not want to remove this tree but it had a lateral crack or split through the limb over the path and was getting ready to come down naturally.
The before picture from #10
  As we cut the tree down we discovered that the tree was rotten throughout the trunk.  The three trees that we removed were on the right side of the hole from 150-100 yards out.  The reason that they were removed was the inability to grow grass in the area.
  The heavy cedars were creating the most of the shade problem in the area.  There are still about 5 Oaks in the area and one Hackberry.  There are still obstacles that you need to avoid as a golfer on that side of the hole.  Hopefully next year there will also be rough there to hit from.

The after picture from #10