Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Approach Expansion #16

We have received multiple requests from our members to expand the approach area on #16 at Blackstone to provide a more forgiving landing area into this extremely difficult par 3.  With that said, this is the perfect time of year to bring down the mowing heights in order to establish a new approach.  We will continue to mow this area down daily until we arrive at our 0.450" target height, and top dress it heavily over the next few months in order to have consistent playing conditions with the rest of our approaches.  We hope you like the new changes, and as always your feedback is greatly appreciated!

New approach expansion on #16

Spring Cocktail

This week we sprayed our second "spring cocktail" on the greens and tees at both properties.  A combination of calcium nitrate, black strap molasses, humid acid, fulvic acid, kelp extract, fish emulsion, worm tea, and turf pigment.  This will help our greens and tees break dormancy by heating up the surface and soil temperatures, stimulate the micro-organisms in the soil, and ultimately encourage some new growth to help prepare us for our upcoming aerification.

Ian Gant spraying #4 green on Monday
2 days after spray we are already seeing a significant green up

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Black Bear Fairway Aerification

We recently began fairway aerification at Black Bear in order to juggle our practices around the crazy springtime weather that we can encounter in Colorado.  Last year we had to modify our process due to the weather, which ultimately resulted in not being able to core aerify the fairways.  This wasn't detrimental to our turf conditions last year, however, if we were to go another season without accomplishing this process we would most definitely begin to see some negative impacts.  With this said, we started our process earlier than normal in order to complete both courses before the season really gets swinging!!  As always, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but assure you that it will only make our courses that much better going into the season!  Should you have any questions about our process and why it is necessary to perform these cultural practices please don't hesitate to contact one of our Turf Care Specialists.  Thanks again for your understanding.

Aerifying #18 fairway with our new windrow attachments
Processing the cores to provide a clean fairway once completed
In addition to our core fairway aerification we will be verticutting the fairways (pictures to come).

HOA meter replacement

Blackstone Country Club shares our water with the HPMD/HOA Blackstone community.  We recently had to replace a meter that measures the HOA water usage in order to adequately measure their consumption.  Both Blackstone and the HOA are strict stewards of our water given the High Desert environment that is the Front Range of Colorado.

4" Micrometer HOA meter repair

Irrigation Charge-Up

Over the last several weeks we have charged up the irrigation lines at both Blackstone and Black Bear.  This is a very slow process as we restrict our flow to 200 gpm in order to protect our expensive irrigation system and components.  As we are filling the lines with water, we are doing so in a very strategic method, working around the course filling from the lower elevations up the the higher elevations and purging pockets of air in order to fill the lines in a safe manner.  At both courses the process went extremely smooth and we are now able to begin watering the courses as needed to ensure the best possible spring conditions.

Winter Activities

Every winter brings different challenges, projects, and tasks that our winter staff focus their energy on.  This winter we were fortunate in that we didn't have to spend a great deal of our time winter watering, which allowed us to focus on refurbishing all of the on course amenities, preparing all of the equipment to get it ready for the 2014 season, and various other small projects.

We brought in all of the 150 posts, and cart signs in order to sand, stain, and repaint (we did choose a different color this year to make them more visible).

150 posts 
Cart signs 
Cart directional signs
Additionally, we decided to change our paint scheme with the Black Bear tee markers due to the fact that we occasionally heard complaints that the color was somewhat difficult to see from the cart path. You will see in the picture below showing the original white tee maker in the foreground that just has the logo painted white, to our new design back left showing the circle painted white allowing for a much more visible tee marker.  We hope that you like this new design, as it was a very tedious process.

Old white tee marker in the foreground/new white back left