Cart Etiquette: Traffic Stakes & Rope

Dear Members,

            In light of the recent issues concerning the ropes and stakes on the golf course, I would like to take a moment of your time and discuss the importance of their presence on the golf course. I will acknowledge that they are unsightly and inconvenient at times on the course, but the role they play is vital to the health of the turf, playability of the golf course, and overall aesthetic value. With as much play as Spring Run gets throughout the season and all the cart traffic it receives, the turf at the entry points and exit points at the tee and green get worn down very quickly. The turf won’t grow, and if left uncovered, will turn to dirt and the grass will die.

We, in the maintenance department, make a daily effort to move or add ropes and stakes to cover up these areas and allow them time to heal. Once they heal, we remove the stakes so the area may be used once again. It is very important that during the time these areas are covered up by stakes that all traffic stay off the affected area so the turf can heal faster and we can maintain a much nicer golf course. With that said, I would like to take the time to review our cart traffic rules and guidelines that we ask all our members and guests to adhere to. At the beginning of each par 4 and par 5, there is a big green and white topped stake. This stake marks the entry point for all carts for that day. We ask that you enter at that point to drive to your golf ball.

Please do not drive further down and enter, as it will create other worn turf areas. This will also cause us to have to add more stakes to the course, which we all would like to avoid. We strive to use as few stakes as possible so we keep everything looking nice and clean. Further, two white balls at the approach to the green. These balls mark the area where carts are supposed to exit the fairway and go no further down unless the cart is on the path.

 These balls also get moved routinely to prevent the traffic wear patterns and maintain the health of the turf. You can exit the fairway earlier than the marked areas, but we just ask that all member and guests do not pass these markers and drive any closer the green. Along with the cart entry and cart exit areas we ask that all members and guests keep their eyes open as they play golf and avoid any areas that appear worn down significantly or look like a lot of carts have driven there. We do not want to stress the turf out any more than necessary. We will continue to strive to provide you the best golf course and playing conditions possible at all times. Thank you again for your support and understanding.

Sincerely,

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Spring Run Golf Club

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Cart Path Ropes

Dear Members,

We have recently experienced several instances of cart path ropes being cut, presumably so that a cart can enter the fairway closer up, rather than driving to the end of the staked area. Its bad enough that carts will drive over the stakes and ropes, but cutting them is vandalism. The ropes are being cleanly cut, so it is not an accident. I have spoken to the Greens Committee, and they agree that anyone caught cutting ropes will be subject to a loss of golf privileges.

These stakes are very important for maintaining the health of the turf on the course. Traffic repeatedly wears down the turf, which is already stressed from lack of rain and cooler temperatures. Just take a look at the path along #9 where carts turn on the grass instead of driving to the end and using the turnaround. There’s hardly any grass left there. Staking it gives it a chance to grow back. I think we all agree on the importance of maintaining our golf course to the highest levels, and actions like this to save a few seconds of driving time compromises its condition.

Thank you

Mike

Building Maintenance Project – Phase 1

Dear Spring Run,

            I am pleased to inform you that phase 1 of the Maintenance Building Renovation Project is 100% complete. The added storage space around the outside of the building has allowed us to organize and store our working materials in a much more productive and aesthetically appealing manner.

The added parking spaces and shifting the parking area to the side of the building has given us much needed space for all our staff as well as any vendors that stop in to see us.

The new wash pad has been a huge positive addition as it has allowed us to get more vehicles and equipment cleaned up faster and in a more time efficient manner.

This has allowed us to get employees turned around faster on other jobs on the course which has allowed us to get more done during the work day. All these improvements around the outside of the building have already paid dividends as we have seen an increased productivity with our staff and course conditions. The grounds maintenance staff along with myself would like the thank all of the membership for their patience during phase 1 of this renovation. We would also like to thank the membership for allowing this renovation to happen. By the end of phase 2 next year we will have a fantastic maintenance facility that will be much more state of the art and allow us to operate in a much more effective capacity and will allow us to better serve the membership. It will also allow us to continue to provide a top-quality golf course for our members and their guests and to continue to strive to improve our processes and our golf course even more. My staff and I would again like to thank each and every member for their patience and support during this process.

Sincerely

Benjamin S. Hanshew

Superintendent

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.

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