August is here, the end is in sight!
(Checking 18 irrigation after a main line break)
Summer is a stressful time for the golf course industry. Any day could bring 90+ degree days, 6" main water line breaks, and send us into survival mode. During the spring we push our turf, greens especially, to reach optimal health levels. We want our course to enter the summer months as healthy as possible so it's prepared for these survival mode days. Without rain and with hot days, we rely completely on our irrigation system to keep the golf course alive. So far we've had two main line breaks and multiple sprinkler issues in July alone. These are issues that get addressed and fixed the moment they break, because without water, grass just doesn't seem to grow.
(Digging up a main line break on hole 18.)
Staying on irrigation, the Kansas City public works has been fixing a main water line along Gregory road. This has caused what seems to be about 29 tons of calcium and lime deposits to break free and fill up our sprinkler heads and irrigation lines. A sprinkler head will either be stuck on because it physically cannot return into it's shell, or it cannot turn on because its supply line is completely clogged with the deposits. These must be completely dug up, the hole has to be isolated meaning there is no water supplied to the sprinkler lines, sprinkler removed, line cleaned out, and then all put back together and filled in. All in all, these repairs take around 1 hr for each issue. You can imagine when an entire hole has line that look like the ones below.
(Sprinklers on hole 1 with sediment issues.)
(July 10 thunderstorm.)
As said before, summertime is in full swing in Kansas City, bringing hot and humid days, torrential downpours out of no where, and a handful of nice days strung throughout. Above is a picture of a rainstorm that showed up out of nowhere, leaving us and our equipment stranded on 12 green. Storms like these are a welcome break from the stressful high heat days of July and August. They bring needed moisture to the course and some relief to us, unless of course the storm also brings down some trees along with the rain....
(Full size Black Walnut tree on #15 that fell as a result from the July 10th storm.)
Barring anymore downed trees and irrigation breaks, we will focus on keeping Swope in the best shape it can be in. Many green banks need treated for Nut-sedge, our zoiysa treated for goose grass, and as always a continuous buzz of mowers keeping up with the turf growth.
Remember to fix your divots!