Fertilizer Application

I hope all of you are enjoying this weather we have been having since the end of January. The course responded beautifully after that cold spell we experienced in early January. The greens are rolling great and the course is nice, healthy and lush. We are continuing to work diligently to provide you top playing conditions at all times and hope sincerely that each of you are enjoying the conditions we have been able to provide this season. We have been fertilizing the course regularly and have been working with some new vendors on various blends that will give us the response we are looking for as well as saving the club money wherever possible. Through some of these trials we have found products that worked great and others that did not produce the way we had hoped. If you have played golf recently you may have noticed some odd-looking little bleach spots on the tees and fairways.

These spots are from a fertilizer application we made on Monday and Tuesday last week. It is called fertilizer burn. While that term sounds very bad, I can assure you that it is not as bad as it sounds. Fertilizer burn usually happens with sulfate products in fertilizer. Sulfate can burn the turf if the right environmental conditions are present. Usually when iron sulfate or ammonium sulfate, the two most common threats for fertilizer burn, applications are made it requires watering the fertilizer in. While we did water the fertilizer in as required, the dew set back in heavy, unexpectedly and cause a chemical reaction with the fertilizer that caused these little burn spots on the turf. While it is a little unsightly, it will be short lived. The turf should grow out of the issue quickly and the spots should disappear within a week or so. The grass is very healthy and growing very fast right now so we should see a quicker healing of the turf than we normally would this time of year. We have already contacted the vendor and resolved this issue so we can make sure this issue, hopefully with not happen again. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work hard to correct the issue and we hope that all of you continue to enjoy your wonderful golf course.

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Mole Cricket Application

Last Thursday, January 3, 2019, golf course maintenance requested the closure of the golf course after the morning shotgun. The purpose was to administer a mole cricket chemical treatment to the golf course. Mole crickets have been damaging to our course in recent years and it has been very costly to control the outbreaks. The application made last week is a one-time cost to the club and warrantied, meaning if we experience any outbreaks in the areas that they treated within the 2019 calendar year, the company will give us the chemical to retreat the affected areas free of charge. This should reduce the amount of chemical we use to treat for mole crickets significantly, as well as reduce the money spent to control them as well. The chemical application has left us with some minor damage to the turf. Many of you have seen and questioned the brown lines on the course. This is a direct result of the way the chemical has to be applied to the golf course. The chemical was slit into the ground using metal disks.

When the disks slice into the tur they do cut the roots of the turf a little and it pulls up a bit. This slicing does initially stress the grass out, causing the brown strips you see on the golf course. I understand this is a little unsightly, but the turf will heal up in a couple weeks and will be back to looking great. Please bear with us during this healing process as we are doing everything in our power to provide the best playing conditions possible and are working diligently to make the golf course as perfect and beautiful as we can. We thank you for your understanding and patience.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew
Spring Run Golf Club
Superintendent

Maintenance Facility Project

Dear Member,

The Maintenance Facility project has been slow to get started, but we expect it to ramp up throughout the month of December. On the plus side, we still anticipate completion by the end of February at the latest.I would like to reassure all of you that the area will look much better than it does now, and once the clusia fills back in, it will screen the building.

Of course, we are only in Phase 1 which is site work and surrounding buildings. Phase 2, which is the renovation of the main building, is tentatively scheduled for Nov 1 of 2019.

To recap, Phase 1 will include installing a pipe in the culvert laterally next to SRB and paving over it, resulting in brand new usable space for parking. At that time, we will bring the employee’s cars off the street and back into the facility. In January, we will have a new roofed steel building for fuel tanks and a water reclamation unit, and the materials storage area should be completed. The area of the entire facility will be expanded and cleaned up, and we will work on moving any areas that collect green waste or discarded equipment out of sight. Finally, we will work to cover it all back up again!

In Phase 2, the existing pole barn will be refurbished and expanded to house more equipment, and to expand the deteriorating office and employee break, locker, and restrooms.  The leaky roof and gutters will be replaced, and insulation will be installed in the ceiling to reduce the temperature of the building. A protective block base will be installed around the exterior, and the entire facility repaved.

I thank you all in advance for your patience throughout this project. Pardon our dust.

This will be a major improvement for the community, and even though you will rarely see the actual facility, the results will be visible on the golf course!

Mike

GCM project starting Tuesday

Dear Spring Run Member,

Just a note to let you know that the Golf Course Maintenance Facility Phase 1 project will begin tomorrow, Tuesday Nov 13. You may notice more increased activity and construction vehicles coming and going over the next few months. Also, the staff will be parking along the street until such time that the new parking area has been constructed. We anticipate this project lasting through February.

Phase 1 is the reconfiguration of the maintenance site to make better use of the existing space, and to make room for materials bins. A new fueling station will replace the 20 year old rusting tank, and a new wash station will be installed to improve efficiency and to be more environmentally responsible with the chemical runoff. Finally, a new sand silo will be installed to ensure top dressing sand stays dry and to improve the logistics of storage and loading.

Phase 2 is slated to start next November 2019, and will involve renovations to the existing building.

Feel free to reply with any questions. Thank you.

Mike

Our new Supervisor of Outside Operations – Trevor Hill!

DSC_0107Dear Spring Run Member,

Please join us in congratulating Trevor Hill on his promotion to Supervisor of Outside Operations.

Trevor has been employed at Spring Run Golf Club for thirteen years, and has been an invaluable asset to us. Trevor’s new responsibilities will be educating and training the Outside Staff, communicating with the Membership and Golf Shop, and creating outstanding service experiences for our Members and Guests.

Trevor brings a wealth of experience to the Outside Operations, and we are very excited about his new role at the Club! Make sure to say hello and congratulations during your next round at Spring Run.

Mike

Rangers – By Jeff Carter, Head Golf Professional

The Ranger serves a very important purpose throughout your round of golf, even though it may not always seem so. To that end, I would like to give you an explanation of their duties, discuss Pace of Play, and provide a little insight into why they do what they do.

The pace a round of golf at Spring Run Golf Club has been established at Four Hours and Seventeen minutes (4:17) by the Florida State Golf Association rating team.  The Florida State Golf Association rates the difficulty of the hole, the driving distance from the green to the next tee, and time it takes to make the turn, eat some food, and use the facilities.  Each hole has an established time for a foursome to complete the hole.  For instance, on hole #4: when the flagstick is located on the back left, it will take longer to play than if the flagstick is located on the front right.  That is why you may see more than two groups on that hole: it is due to the tough pin position.

Back in 2014, the average round of golf was four hours and forty-five minutes (4:45). The average round this year so far has been (4:17).

Duties

When the Ranger arrives at the club in the morning, their first duty is to get their cart out of the cart barn, pick up the tee sheet, and see if any cart restrictions are in place.  Each Ranger cart is supplied with extra tees, pencils, scorecards, towels, green repair tools, and a first aid kit.  Every Ranger has been certified in CPR as well.

They proceed out on the course to make sure the restrooms on the course are well supplied and clean. If trash is overflowing, they will empty it. They provide a light cleaning until our Day Porter, Josefina, makes it out to the comfort stations for a more thorough cleaning.

Once they have completed their rounds, it is time to monitor the Golf Course.  The Ranger’s cart has the GPS screen that shows the location and pace of each group.  If a group starts to slow 5 minutes behind schedule, they will immediately go to that group and ask the group to speed up and get back on schedule.  Just this year alone, Rangers have moved over 15 groups to get in position.  They have full authority to move groups on non-league days, though only Scott or myself will move groups on league days due to the penalty shots.  We will not move a group until after the groups receives the first warning; however, if they are still behind after the warning, we will move the group where they should be located on the course.

What are they doing there?

Normally when you see the Ranger sitting in his cart between the fifth and seventh hole, they are monitoring groups that have been behind pace, and informing the members behind the slow foursome that the pace will be improving.  From this location, they can monitor the three holes around them.

Where are they?

Some complain that pace is slow because they haven’t seen a Ranger all day.  With the GPS monitor, they can see your group. If your group is on pace, they will go to other parts of the course where they are needed to speed up play.  The Golf Shop is monitoring three GPS screens as well, observing pace of play. They will inform a Ranger where to go to expedite play.

The Rangers are often bringing members out on the course who were late, or bringing members off the course if they are not feeling well. Sometimes there is an emergency at home.  They are locating lost clubs and bringing them to the player who lost it.  They also direct play on shotguns as to how get to a certain hole on the course.

I will be having training sessions with the Rangers on how to talk to the members on the course. We want to be better able to communicate to you so that all our members can enjoy their round. If you read my monthly article in the News on the Run, you may recall I always sign with “Play Well and Play Fast.”

Certainly, you will experience slow days out on the course, but just remember that we are constantly striving to help improve the pace of play, communicate more effectively, and ensure that you enjoy your round.

Play Well and Play Fast

Jeff

Here’s what happens to bunkers after heavy rains

Dear Spring Run Member,

I thought I would share the results of the “test” from Friday’s (August 25) heavy rainfall. Over the past two weeks, we have installed a material along the face of the rear greenside bunker on #12 and the Fairway bunker to the right on #18. Here is visual proof that it worked.

The image below is one of the bunkers in front of #12 green, with erosion of sand down into the bottom of the trap that is now full of water

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The image below, featuring its new bunker material, was unfazed by the rain event.

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The image below is the fairway bunker on #18 . While a couple areas along the face show small patches of erosion, the vast majority of the hazard remained intact. Normally, this would be in the worst condition on the golf course.  Now it is one of the best.

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The plan is to begin a program of installing Bunker Solutions material to the face of all the greenside bunkers, and likely all fairway bunkers as well, depending on the cost, priority, available labor, time of year, and Board approval. The beauty of this system is that it can be installed by our own crews, as opposed to specially trained installers for the other products. And the best part….it’s considerably less expensive than any of the previous options!

The attached photos were just taken this morning after 3 ½ inches of rain here at Spring Run. This was a very good test of the Bunker Solutions System that we have installed in 2 traps already. The photos show you what the bunker on hole 18 looks like compared to the green side bunker on 18 which is much less severe a slope as the right side fairway bunker with the new system installed. These are pictures Vince Corso took to show the effect of erosion on bunkers and soft paths following these rain events.

The images shows the amount of water in the cart path just before the hole 17 tee box. It is 6” deep and flowing.

The images below are of the fairway bunker on hole 18 which has the Bunker Solutions System installed in it. The images show the only washout in that bunker. You can see that the Bunker Solutions material is intact and retains sand. NO CONTAMINATION occurred!

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The image below shows how far the water in the pond next to the 18th hole is out of its banks.

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The images below show the damage to the bunker on hole 18 which is relatively flat as compared to the fairway bunker.

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The images below show the right side fairway bunker on hole 10. That bunker along with the greenside bunker on hole 18 and I’m sure many others on the course are contaminated as well as washed down and will require a lot of manhours of work to rake the sand back up; but also will require a lot of new sand to cover up the contaminated sand.

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