Monday, September 28, 2020

Plans for the Fall, The Invitational 2020

 


Hundreds of courses in our business host a tour or major event each year but for thousands of others, there is a local event that is the major focus for its staff.

This past week, our club and staff were given the opportunity to host our major event at the club, The Invitational 2020. The work that was completed over the many months prior to the tournament plus the weather we were given over the last couple of weeks provided for great surfaces for our members and guests to play. Congratulation to Mr. Len Toenjes and his guest Mr. Russ Hanson who won the shootout and the overall title for the event. 

We still have some great golf weather ahead over the next month or more. Most of our efforts emphasize putting our turf to rest for winter in the best condition possible so it awakens ready to grow next spring. Below are some the areas of focus we will have over the next month or two. 

Raising Height of Cut 

As our zoysia begins to go dormant, we raise our height of cut slightly to assist with wear and tear and energy storage. We have reset our fairway unit and tee mower to 3/4" which is just .150" taller than their normal height. Once the growth slows over the next couple of weeks, we will stop mowing completely for the season to allow them to get a little fuzzy for winter. I anticipate our amount of play and cart traffic will be up so the turf will get beat down a little. Drier conditions, cooler and temperatures and less sunlight help in reducing overall growth so we should still have excellent playing conditions.

We have also applied Potassium to our zoysia surfaces over the last couple of weeks to improve its ability to survive the winter onslaught of cold and frozen precipitation.

Our green turf height usually gets raised slightly during the month of November and we usually quit mowing greens after Thanksgiving depending upon the temperatures and if there is a need to continue mowing.

Aeration, When Are You Going to Aerate Greens


We will be performing the same process we did in the spring with our greens, Verti-drain deep tine aeration. Since all of our Mondays are full through the month of October, we will begin our aeration after the tournament being held on October 26th. We will do some greens each day to get the process completed. I've always been of the opinion, to do our greens past closing day to give our membership and guests the best possible putting surfaces during the best time of the year to play in regards to ball roll out and turf health.

We also will be pulling cores on our rough the next couple of weeks and will also be involved in some seeding in weaker areas of the rough. We did some initial seeding and aerating in our green surround areas a couple of weeks before the Invitational.

We will also be fertilizing our cool season rough over the next couple  of weeks. We begin last week but had an equipment malfunction and are waiting on parts so if the rough smells a bit earthy, you will understand the reason. A part of our fertilizer in organic in its origin.

Drainage Project from # 6 through #8

We anticipate to begin the storm water drain project after the first week of November. The project will begin on hole 6 from the beginning of the drain along 6 property line to the first large surface drain in the left forward area of 6 approach. We expect the first section will take us about 7 working days or so. During the work on this section, the 6th hole will be closed to all play. 

We would like to get the section that crosses 8 fairway completed next depending upon weather. This is the longest section of the project. We have some soil/dirt work to that fairway to help move water to the surface drain we exposed in the left side of the fairway. Our hope is to have some dry weather so we can move soil and get the section compacted properly and sodded. 



Below are pictures of 2 trees that will be removed during October as we prepare the area for construction of the storm water drain replacement. The ash on the left is directly over the drain pipe and the Willow oak on the right is 2' off the center of the pipe. The trench at the top will be 12' or so wide. There is a 3rd tree that is the Ash to the left front of 6 green that will not be removed but it will be severely compromised by our trench. I expect this tree to not survive the construction due to the severe damage to its root system and surface construction traffic.

                                           


Leaves, Many Leaves

It's that time of year where first leaf drop is beginning with Cottonwoods, Ash, Walnuts and other trees which are under stress and or weakened. Our main leaf drop will occur sometime in November depending upon freezing temperatures. A great deal of backpacking, vacuuming, and large blowers plus grinding up leaves back into the soil with our mowers are all a part of the process.



Enjoy your fall on the course! 




Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Summer's Almost Over and Fall's Coming and A Major Project Change

 Well, we've survived the meteorological summer(June-August) with a little less than 3 weeks before fall. Overall had a pretty good summer. I would have liked the greens to be a bit firmer but humid(wet) and hot conditions do not make it easy to produce that type of playing surfaces. No doubt they will get firmer and roll out will be great here in September/October.

Weather highlights for July/August

4th wettest July on record 9.07"

22 Days over 90 in July, normal is 12.

16th wettest summer(June-August) of all-time 16.49"

26th warmest summer on record.

So what have we been doing on the course the last month or so.

  • Sliced, knife aerated the fairways

16 blades per hub. 12 hubs, 192 blades going about 2" deep and 3" long
12 hubs, 16 blades on each hub for a total of 192 blades. Aerator is 6' wide. Blades go in about 2" deep and leave a cut about 3" long in the fairway. Normally in previous years the slits would turn a little brown due to less rainfall/drying on the edges but with our fairways being fairly moist when we did this work, they stayed green. 


  • Deep solid tined the approaches and tees

There are 6 tine holders with 3, 1/2" tines and 2,  3/4" tines for a total of 30 holes every 3" as the aerator rolls along. We set the aerator to go about 4-5" in depth. This will assist in root growth and moisture penetration into the tees.

  • Sprayed 2 applications of fairway, intermediate and zoysia green surround bermuda eradication chemical products. Fairways are not crispy, just slightly off color from the spray. The club spent $ 250,000 to put the zoysia down in 1995. We are trying to keep the bermuda grass out of the fairways. 



Other work completed included but not limited to the areas below.
  • Needle tined greens at end of July
  • Trimming fence lines trees, vines etc.
  • Topdressing and brushing greens and tees with sand to improve ball roll out and smoothness
This was some of the major work accomplished over the last month or so. Of course there are many hours spent mowing, spraying and daily routine work that takes place as well.

The month of October we had scheduled a tee renovation project for #4/#12 tee complex. The Glen Echo Historical Foundation had raised money for this project through member donations and the Gala. 

There is a 3' drain pipe that takes the storm water from Glen Echo Park subdivision and sections of the course from #6 to the lake in front of 10 tee. One of our rough mowers ended up rest on top of one of the pipes near the edge of 8 fairway when a cave in occurred. The galvanized pipes running underground are completely compromised, rusted out in the bottom which is creating sink holes in various sections of the pipe. We have completed minor repairs over time but its finally time to repair this situation properly.

The project will be broken up into 4 sections. Three sections average about 100-130 feet and begin and end at large drain chambers where the pipes are encased in concrete. The longest run is from a drain we exposed in the left side of 8 fairway to the cart path in front of 7 tee. We intend to place some additional drainage in 8 fairway and to the right of 8 fairway which stays wet for a long period of time in the spring. We also intend to reshape the bottom of 8 to help direct water into the large basin. 

I'm evaluating a potential timeline and will discuss it in the future. We have not had a Green Committee meeting since this situation occurred so more details will be forthcoming. We intend to wait until at least mid November since we will have a great deal of work on the course to complete over the next couple of months and of course we want to give our members ample opportunity to play the course during the middle of fall.


Thursday, July 30, 2020

SiriusXM PGA Radio Tour Interview ‘On Tap’

Umm, yes excuse the umm hiccups during the interview with Brian and John. Yes, I know the Worlds Fair was scheduled for St Louis and not Chicago. But anyway, maybe mow your grass while listening to this interview. Thanks 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Radio interview, Venting Greens, and More

I am a proud member of the GCSAA Golf Course Superintendents's Association of America which is our national trade association. The association has a weekly segment on the PGA Network on Wednesdays at 5. With the Olympic Games originally scheduled for next week, I was asked to be on the program to speak about Glen Echo and our place in Olympic history. As we all know, Covid has since delayed the Olympics for a year but it was decided to go ahead with the interview.  Below is some information regarding the weekly broadcast and how it can be located on satellite radio.  There is also a podcast that is made available after the interview that I will put on the blog when it is ready for those of you without satellite radio.

Listen to GCSAA on PGA Tour Radio Network

“Katrek and Maginnes On Tap" Wednesdays on SiriusXM radio

GCSAA has joined forces with the PGA Tour Radio Network to feature superintendent and GCSAA-related topics weekly on SiriusXM radio. Every Wednesday at 6 p.m. (Eastern) on Sirius channel 208 and XM channel 92, the subject matter will be part of the popular show "Katrek and Maginnes On Tap.”
The program is hosted by Emmy-award winning broadcaster Brian Katrek and John Maginnes, a former PGA Tour player, who spent more than 15 years playing professional golf before starting a second career as a golf announcer in 2005. He won several times on the then Nationwide Tour and had a second-place finish on the PGA Tour at the 1996 B.C. Open, where he was paired with a young rookie, Tiger Woods. He got started on television for the USA Network and then the Golf Channel. He joined the PGA Tour Radio Network in 2005 and has been a fixture there ever since.

We have had a pretty warm July with over 20 days of 90 degrees or better. Our average for July is normally 14.  Timely rains have kept the course green from wall to wall so we have that going for us which is nice. Of course a little quote from 'Caddyshack' which had its 40th anniversary the other day!

Its that time of year for where we try to get a Needle-tine venting of our greens. This process is completed for the following benefits:
  • Exchange of gas.  Oxygen into the system and hopefully the removal of some harmful build up of carbon dioxide which can build up in the soil
  • Movement of moisture into and out of greens. Some sections of greens are dryer and or wetter based on their location, irrigation head set up and other factors. The drier sections of greens will accept water more readily with some holes in them and the wetter areas will dry quicker with more air entering through the holes.
  • Root growth is at a minimum but root life is essential. These small narrow channels provide optimum growth potential if the plants are able to respond.

Our process includes mowing the greens, doing a light topdressing since temperatures are to be in the 80's, needletine, than roll to smooth down the holes. We usually roll the next day to reduce the potential for scalping than start mowing again on the 3rd day. We were able to complete the PG, 1-9, 12 and 18. We will complete the remaining greens this morning.

We had hoped to get some bermuda sprayed on fairways but weather and timing did not allow us to do this work. We will begin spraying in the next week as weather and time allows. Hopefully will get a 2nd application completed to where the effects will not be seen for Member/Guest at the end of September.

We will also begin spraying collars to reduce bermuda competition. More blogging on this work as it begins over the next few weeks.

Hopefully we will see you on the course over the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Needle tine venting, Fairway Aeration, Bermuda Eradication, Green Surround Renovation, and Fathers



Happy Father's Day. My Dad has been gone for 28 years now. A great deal of life has occurred since he went to be with our Lord. Follow the best I can with the lessons he taught me daily on how to live a full life. Sharing your time and treasure to lift up people was one trait he shared regularly. The last day of his life he spent a day in a small town trying to build a new Kiwanis Club that would share in the giving he believed in so much. Its an honor to be your son!

A busy couple of months on the golf course as we barge head first into summer. Allow me a few moments to summarize our work.

Our new zoysia tee and surround areas are trying to establish themselves and mature. Some a little better than others but we moved into some warm weather conditions that will help push it along. Teeing ground turf will be a little slower to respond because of its concentrated wear from teeing it up but we will continue to encourage its maturity. Will begin some sand topdressing to help smooth out the surfaces and help them fill in.

We sprayed the weed contamination on the surround on 5 and 6 where the turf is established. We also sprayed some bermuda encroachment in these areas as well. Speaking of bermuda eradication, we will begin our fairway applications in the next few days as weather allows. Please see the video below for further explanation.



6 Green surround continues to improve. Weed control applied and we've opened the right side bunkers for play.
Fairways and tees were aerated last. We still have a few tees left including the ranges, the approaches and close green surround zoysia areas. We will do this work as weather and time allows over the next week or two.

We also Vented the greens using a very thin 5/16 needle tine. We also double topdressed the greens over a 5 day period last week.

Why vent the greens? You just aerated them at the end of March twice. Venting is a process that is used because it reduces surface disturbance but improves performance of our root growing area in the plants. 
  1. It improves gas exchange. Oxygen in and carbon dioxide out which can build up over time in the root zone.
  2. Allows water to penetrate in hard to wet areas and can dry wet areas more quickly with air entering the subsurface.
  3. The surface closes rather quickly but the small channels into the green surface going down 4-5" allow for roots to improve and thrive. Research has shown that these small pathways can be effective up to 3 weeks.
  4. The lack of basic infrastructure in our greens(no drainage systems) places puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing with adverse conditions including high heat and heavy moisture. This regular program allows our greens to combat some of the problems we face.
  5. As you will see in the video below, there are 48 venting tines on the machine. Our greens average about 5,000 sq ft. Thats about 145,000 vents into each green assisting approximately 142,000,000 million bent grass and poa plants to survive. Approximately 1,500 plants per sq foot.





We have not been walking mowing our greens but plan on getting that started this week. We have 3 new staff members for the summer who we will begin to train along with our experienced group to incorporate this into our program for the summer to improve green conditioning.

Thanks for your time and I will try to get back to posting some additional work on the blog in the upcoming weeks ahead.



  





Sunday, April 19, 2020

Extra Cart Traffic

With concern for our members and guests health during this difficult time, the use of single cart riders has been recommended for non-household related players. With an increase in total carts being used, additional wear and tear is occurring on various areas of the course.

There are a few tips I would like to remind those using carts which will assist in reducing wear and tear to our zoysia turf which is coming out of dormancy and is not actively growing. I made a video 6 years ago which will explain the pattern cart operators should use to protect our playing surfaces.

Also a reminder that there is a green post positioned 20-30 yards from the green which directs all carts to go back to the cart path. This improves turf quality on our approaches and reduces traffic away from our green surrounds.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D7xEFr4GGYU



Carts should enter the fairway perpendicular to the fairway. This not only
reduces wear and tear on our rough grass before the fairway but also reduces traffic
on our zoysia fairways. It also improves the aesthetics and overall look of the course.
This is a picture at the bottom of #3 but translates to all cart path to fairway access areas.


Friday, April 3, 2020

Oops I Did It Again



No, we aren't talking Britney Spears here ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about millions of holes in our golf greens at Glen Echo CC for a second time in 7 days!!




We completed our Dry-Ject contracted service on March 23rd and we spent parts of 4 days this week doing our Verti-drain Deep-tined Aeration. Our process includes the following:

  • Burying each green with about a ton of sand
  • Then using our Verti-drain deep-tined aerator with 1/2" tines going about 8" deep into our green profile
  • We then blow the sand into the holes
  • Brush the green with a drag brush behind a cart
  • And Roll the greens
This work assists our .125" tall bentgrass (30 pieces of copy paper tall) in a number of ways:
  1. Deep channels assists water to move through the green profile. 
  2. It creates channels for new roots to form and grow.
  3. Oxygen moves into the subsurface assisting root growth and soil microbiology
  4. Reduces excessive thatch which can make a green spongy and be susceptible to foot traffic during wet conditions
  5. The additional sand assists in protecting crowns which is the growth center of the plants where roots grow down and leaf shoots grow up. The sand also assists in filling blemishes, ball mark holes and improves ball roll out

                                      
                                                 Skip topdressing our greens with sand


Russ deep-tine aerating our greens



It didn't happen if you don't show it in SLOOOOWWWMOOOOOOOO


Tom blowing sand in holes. We also use backpack blowers in tight areas.

 Pretty much the finished product. We've brushed and rolled the greens a couple more times this week which assists in spreading the heavier pockets of sand around the green surface. We expect the greens to be completely healed over the next 10-14 days. Work took about 150 man hours to complete.

Tree Management Plan includes removing dead and or dying trees throughout the season. It also includes a few planted when needed. Staff installed 3 trees on the right side of #9 red tee toward the fence line on 9. These trees were grown in our nursery over the last few years and we then transplanted them. From left to right, Black Gum, European Hornbeam and Yellowwood to replace the Carrico tree which died over the winter.

Skip mowing fairways for the first time. Not a real tight mow and used an old set of reals since there is so much small debris on the fairways. We blew and hand picked up as much as we could. This got a little bit of the winter fluff off of them. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Sand, Holes, More Sand, More Holes and Project Updates

During this most difficult time, your grounds staff is preparing the course for what we hope will be some normalcy in the future. Our seasonal/summer staff will not be added until our club is back in full operation. We are lucky that our staff on hand including managers has over 175 years experience in working courses with a majority of that being at Glen Echo.

As weather improves, we will be finishing the project that was started last fall which includes zoysia around the back of 5 green and grassing the 6th green complex with zoysia. This funding is provided through the foundation and has already been allocated for this project from 2019. We hope to have the tee open sometime around May 1st if the weather cooperates. I would expect to have the sod completed around the greens by May as well.

We had initially planned to renovate the 4th and 12th tee complex but under the current situation it was determined to postpone this project. We have not determined a new date but it will be no earlier than October 1st since member guest is at the end of September. 

This past Monday, the staff was involved with our contracting company @DryjectofTennessee to aerate our greens. Our spring process involves the Dry-ject system which shoots a stream of water and sand at 3,000 psi into our greens staring from the surface and ending about 5" into the existing sand profile

Out staff’s involvement was to load 5 gallon buckets of dry sand into the aeration machine hopper. We used about 30 tons of sand. That is too many buckets of sand to count over the 10 hour period the operation took to complete. We also brushed the greens once they dried and they were rolled the next day since we ran out of time.

Hopper area where kiln dried sand is dumped. Sand is released through the holes and is then injected down into the green.

Chad Gamble, owner operator. Been a tough season for his business with cancellations beginning to fill his phone from our existing health crisis.

We hope to do a deep tine aeration of our greens early next week. This will consist of the green being covered in sand and then a half inch tine will push through the green surface to about 8” of depth.Our greens do not have modern drainage and must drain through our 4-6" sand profile and through the holes that are filled with sand. Deep tine aeration has been a life savor for our greens assisting in water removal from surfaces. Modern green architecture consists of an elaborate drainage system consisting of 10-12" of sand, gravel and drain tile. Our 9th green is the only one on property with this type of system.

The staff have been replacing damaged heads around our greens. The new system has been in the ground now for 13 seasons. Mowers and equipment going over top of them break the outer top casing which can effect the way the head operates. Our mower can also catch the corner of the head and damage it further.
You can see this head is missing almost 1/2 of the top part of the casing which rests on the soil/sod surface.







Russ working on a head at the corner of 4 green. Jason was involved in this production as well. Hopefully will be finished today.

























Thursday, February 6, 2020

Weather Stats for December/January

Temperatures were above normal for December and January. Day temperatures were way above in December
and night temperatures were way above for January. Below in rainfall and average in snowfall
for December with January having higher than normal rainfall and snowfall about normal.                                          

TEMPERATURE (F)
                                  Normal          Depart           Last 
            OBSERVED VALUE        Value            From            Year
                                                  Normal 
              DEC    JAN        DEC   JAN       DEC    JAN       DEC   JAN              
AVG. MAXIMUM 49.5    42.5      42.5   39.9      7.0    2.6      47.4  38.5
AVG. MINIMUM 30.0    28.8      26.9   23.7      3.1    5.1      30.5  22.9
MEAN         39.7    35.7      34.7   31.8      5.0    3.9      39.0  30.7

PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
             1.86    6.49      2.84  2.40      -0.98  4.09      3.98  2.93

SNOWFALL (INCHES)
TOTALS        5.1    4.9       4.4    5.6        0.0  -0.7       1.7   12.5
SINCE 7/1     6.6    11.5      5.1    10.7       1.5   0.8       6.9   19.4


...DECEMBER MONTHLY Records

TIED 10TH MOST OCCURRENCES WITH A HIGH TEMPERATURE GREATER THAN OR
EQUAL TO 60 DEGREES (7 DAYS).

...DAILY...

RECORD SNOWFALL OF 2.4 INCHES SET ON 12/16. PREVIOUS 1.8 SET IN 2000.



...JANUARY MONTHLY RECORDS...

6TH WETTEST JANUARY ON RECORD (6.49 INCHES).

TIED 2ND MOST OCCURRENCES WITH AT LEAST ONE HALF INCH OF PRECIPITATION
(5 DAYS).


...DAILY...

RECORD PRECIPITATION VALUE OF 2.16 INCHES SET ON 01/10. PREVIOUS 2.09 IN 1975.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Tree Management 2020


I put together some pictures of trees removed in the last couple of weeks. The pictures were from November 2018 that I prepared for the green committee. It helped them locate the trees I was identifying for removal.

Most of these trees were set back from fairways, greens and tees. They reached the end of their life and needed to be removed. There are some members who want trees to have no leaves on them before they are removed. There are groups of members that when they see a tree not looking good or weakened would like to see it removed. I try to fall somewhere in the middle, not completely dead so not to be dangerous for staff and members but delay the inevitable if there is still some decent life. Everyone has an opinion right. A large tree removal is at least a 2-3 day process. 


Tree on the left is a magnificent oak that we've watched drop its leaves early the last 3 seasons.
In 2019 it barely went to leaf. It was time for it to go. The tree on the right is just below the first tree on the left as you go down to 10 bridge. It should have been removed in winter of 2019 but was not. It was time for it to be removed. The loss of these 2 trees will allow us to place one new tree in an area between the trees in the future. If we are not able to get accomplished before spring it will happen next fall/winter.


The 3 large oaks on the right of #12 from 100 yards to the green are all under some significant stress. Probably all 3 planted around the same time. The top tree near 13 tee and 12 green has a tremendous amount of suckers growing on it and had severe leaf drop both this season and last. It was determined to remove this year and hope that the other delay their decline. There are two oaks that have been in the ground below and behind them that will grow to help fill in the void once the other two trees leave.



Picture of the oak next to the spillway on 13. It is before the start of the fairway on 13 and there are trees between it and 15 fairway to the left. Look at the reddish leaves from the oak behind help determine its health a year and two months ago. 



 This is an oak yet to be removed that will be removed this winter. It is in a clump of oaks behind 17 green and next to 16 fairway. We have another oak just like this one between 3 and 12 in the line of oaks at about 160 yards out on 12 in the same condition. Not much left, vulnerable to wind damage and or falling over at any time. Time to go sorry to say. Actually their loss will help other more crowded trees improve their spread.


A Siberian elm along the lake on 10 will be removed. We have 2 large sycamore that will be coming down as well. 1 along the main road near number 8. It is right on top of the road and has shown severe stress over the last couple of years as well as another sycamore next to 9 cart path in the club lawn will be dropped by the staff. We've watch trees for years go into decline, that is part of what I do. Most of our largest trees we contract out the topping of the tree and then drop the rest with our staff and clean up the larger limbs that cannot be chipped. 



This oak had the dead wood pruned back in the winter of 2019 after this picture. You can see its weakness versus the oak to its right of the same species. We do not have the resources to continuously prune back large sections of deadwood. Once a tree has gone so far, its put on our list for removal.



There are only a hand full of courses in town that have some of the same aged trees as Glen Echo. Sunset, Norwood and Algonquin but most of those facilities have been involved in some significant removals as have most of the newer built clubs in town. 

There is no doubt trees are beautiful when placed in the correct location, the proper species and the proper number. Trees like many of ours have a life span that is nearing their end. We continue to evaluate the need for trees but I am not in any hurry to over plant which is what has taken place in our past and we now must work around. A tremendous amount of resources are spent caring for trees and the effects they have on our turf grass that try to survive in their shadow. Fuel, water, fertilizer and many many man hours are spent tending to what trees do to our landscape. 


Friday, January 31, 2020

Winter Play, Trees. and Sap, lots of Sap

We have not had many desirable golf days over the last few weeks. Warmer weather is predicted this weekend but we will remain closed through Saturday due to our greens being in various stages of thawing. Our greens should be thawed at least 3-4" before we allow play.

A couple things can happen with partially frozen greens. As you step on the surface of the green where the freeze/thaw line is very shallow, the green surface can shift or move as you take steps and the roots can tear at the demarcation line between thawed and frozen. This then forces the plants to use significant energy to grow back their to their full length into the late spring and early summer not allowing it to store energy reserves for the dreaded heat of summer. Also, the freeze line being too high will not allow moisture to drain deeper into the sand profile. The water trapped near the surface will make the surface act like a wet sponge. Foot imprinting will increase and plant tissue can be damaged from the extra soft conditions.

We understand the desire of members wanting to play but allowing a few golfers out when they should not be out could contribute to the loss of turf during the main golf season. I made a video below explaining our current situation. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ63T6vpHDg


Also in the video, I discussed our tree management plan that is taking place this winter. In the fall of 2018, I made a power point for the green committee regarding our plan for the next year or two. I put together a 3-4 minute power point showing the trees I was recommending for removal. We removed a number of the trees on approval from the committee but were not able to complete all of the removals due to time. I also felt like a few of the trees could go another year before removal so we delayed their removal to this winter. Through an arrangement that has worked well for us, we were able to get 2 more days of tree removal this winter than planned. The trees that were left from the year before declined significantly over the past year and needed to be removed. Many of our trees were planted in the 50's and 60's and are beginning to show some serious decline. Changes in climate over the last 10-15 years have not helped and has led to decline as they have aged. Record temperatures and high rainfall record years are the types of swings that don't help an aged tree population Pest issues including insects and disease along with lightning strikes and wind damage have been contributing factors as well.

I have also requested a number of tree removals over the last 11 years to improve tee and green turf. Our greens and tees have no infrastructure to assist in combating serious environmental issues. We have 1 green with modern drainage, the others only have a layer of topdressing sand that has helped us but is not adequate during severe wet conditions and heat.

Also, during the next couple of weeks you will see a few orange buckets hanging from our maple trees. Yes, yes, its time to start collecting maple sap to make some homemade Glen Echo Maple Syrup. Not sure what type of year we will have but if today's run is any indication, it might be pretty good. This next couple of warm days might slow down the production but next week with 30's and 20's should help us with our run. We need overnight temperatures below freezing and daytime temperatures to be above freezing to help the tree flow its sap properly for our collection. 43 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL8jQBIKqrI

As your fairways, tees and zoysia green surround areas dry over the next week our two, we will begin spraying non-selective weed control and pre-emergent to our fairways. You will notice a little blue tint to the fairways which assists us in seeing the area we have sprayed to reduce over spray.  It will take the poa 2-4 weeks to begin to turn yellow, orange and then die. The pre-emergent will reduce the germination of crabgrass and goose grass in our zoysia surfaces.




Monday, January 27, 2020

Maintenance Storm Drain Repair

It’s been a couple weeks and a couple of days of a major storm water repair project for the grounds staff at Glen Echo. A 3’diameter galvanized pipe gathers water from about 30 acres above the grounds maintenance building and dumps it into the right side creek just past the red tee on #1. The pipe was 220 feet long and runs within about 5-10’ from our maintenance building, under our car parking area, driveway and greenhouse. It sits at a depth of 5 feet at the beginning to about 12’ as it dumps into the creek. We’ve evacuated well over 100 tons of soil, rock and asphalt as we prepared the new pipe channel.

We have the pipe installed and are 2/3 of the way in getting the pipe completely buried. We still have some large debris piles in our parking area that will be moved to the long driving range back lot area.
Over the month of February, we have to get the greenhouse vase pad made and build the greenhouse against the building as we prepare for the new growing season of landscape plants. They will arrive by the 1st of March.

Sinkhole in the greenhouse 
Bottom 1/3 of pipe was rotted out. Galvanized pipe is guaranteed to last 25 years according to manufacturer’s. This pipe was in the ground for over 50 years



Greenhouse being removed. Greenhouse was built against the building for sunlight maximization, utilization of existing heat source and electricity.



We actually used a walk behind asphalt cutter since we had to cut 440’ of asphalt.


Our initial dig hole to locate our problem. Pipe rotted out at bottom was the verdict.


Guys digging and chipping out old pipe from headwall and enlarging opening for new pipe.



Began project with our backhoe digging the more shallow end to save time when large unit arrived.


Big rig digging.


Rented trackhoe in action working on the large tree root wad.


Large tree root wad at end of pipe that had to be removed. Took Skip over 8 minutes to dig out the remaining stump with the very large trackhoe that was rented

Pipe remnants after being dug out.


We attempted to reduce the total width of the dig but many sections along the building collapsed during the  work on the project.





Soil remnants that will be stored for future use in the back of the range.

Gravel used to help backfill the pipe. Most of this material was used and  recycled from the MSD project that was done along the metro link tracks and 1 fwy in 2012


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Storm Drain Repair Maintenance Parking Lot

Video showing the work that is beginning near our maintenance building. Project should take us approximately 2 weeks more or less depending upon weather.  Sink holes are beginning to form in the greenhouse and parking area which has caused this repair. Galvanized pipe installed in the 50's has rotted completely out on the bottom side. Will be replacing with a synthetic pipe last will last by our grandchildren's lifetime.

https://youtu.be/5jF6ZIw9lK0