Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!
It's been a chilly and white December at the course. Intermittent snow and temperatures flirting around freezing has kept the course pretty secluded from golfers and even our maintenance staff. After the coldest November on record, December has continued the winter weather for us. Every year, there are certain tasks that must be done during the winter months. The most important being draining our irrigation system.
Blowing out our irrigation is a preventative measure to pipes freezing and breaking during the cold winter months. Although many of our pipes are multiple feet underground, enough days of sub-freezing temperatures would be able to freeze any water left over in our lines. By isolating the course in two halves, we can build up enough pressure using a commercial compressor to blow out every hole, sprinkler head by sprinkler head.
Blowing out irrigation on 12. (Above)
Another winter task is sharpening the reels from our reel mowers. Our fairway, green, and tee mowers all use reels rather than blades to cut the turf. This year, we purchased two new grinding apparatuses. One is for the reels themselves, the other is for the bed knives that the reels spin against. These are very specialized and automated machines. Our new full time mechanic, Sam Marlin, was trained by an official dealer expert, so that with proper initial settings and close monitoring Sam can sharpen the reels with the push of a button. The reels from Swope, Minor Park, and Heart of America will all be serviced here at our shop. Swope alone has over 20 reels, hopefully the new grinders will help this task get accomplished quicker and more effectively than past years.
Sam leveling out the reel on the grinder. (Above)
With freezing temperatures and snow on the ground, most days are spent in the shop organizing, cleaning and servicing equipment. Throughout November and December, every piece of machinery was serviced and deep cleaned. Along with the machinery, our shop floor was swept and our parking/safety lines re-painted.
Our entire fleet outside, cleaning and painting the lines on the shop floor. (Above)
December continues to be a month where the majority of our work isn't focused on the course. Our shop receives the care and repairs that its been needed all year, our equipment gets checked and worked on, and paper work from the year gets completed. Also, my supervisor and I attended Common Ground, a Kansas City area wide convention for education on certain turf and environmental topics. It is a great way to meet other members of the golf course career and learn something new about the job we do everyday.
Have great start to 2019, and remember to fix your ball marks!