Sunday, February 4, 2024

#2 Fairway Exit.

We just completed improvement to an area on the second hole that has been historically challenged and long overdue for repair. This area is on the right-hand side of #2 about 135 yards out, adjacent to the cart-path, and an ideal drive-off area for cart traffic due to its proximity to the path. If you don't recognize the area from the prior description, you will recognize it from the pictures below and agree it was one of the worst turf areas on the course since practically day one. Turf in the area struggled from the same common decomposed granite & clay soils that we struggle with throughout the course as well as shade issues and compaction which is a bad combination. Below are pictures that tell the improvement story. 

Above depicts the before image of the aforementioned historically bad area on the right-hand side of #2 along the cart path. This area is a natural drive-off area for carts and has never been good. Its condition is particularly bad in the winter months as the sun hides behind the trees running up the right-hand side of the hole most of the day. Historically the area will get a little better in the spring when the turf fill's in as the days get longer and the sun is higher. But once we start to use the area to exit the hole with cart traffic it gets thin and bad rapidly and the cycle begins anew. 

Circled in red is the specific area addressed and is part of our Master Improvement Plan which now will earn a big red checkmark near this section as we have completed at least this part of the work on the right-hand side of this hole.

Step #1. We did some tree pruning and thinning. Allowing more sunlight into this area year-round will be an on-going need and critical to this areas or any turfgrass areas success.

Step #2. Remove the sod. Very little of this sod was salvageable. We sod cut the area and removed it with the excavator.

More of the crew removing the piled-up sod.

Step #3. Excavating 4" of native soil. Shade and soil were the main things we needed to mitigate if we are to have successful turf in the area.

The entire area scrapped clean after excavating 4" of native soil. 

Step #4. Installing drainage. Above depicts just part of the drainage pattern we installed in the area.

At the upper edge of the cavity, we installed drainage chambers which we hope will aid in removing sheeting water coming off of the fairway slope which tended to settle in the lower area along the cart path. 

To ensure a clear flow of drainage water from the areas new drainage system, we wanted to establish an independent drainage line which meant coming across the cart path providing us with a decisive way to monitor drainage flows. 

Step #5. Filling the drainage lines with gravel.

We estimate we removed over 100 tons of soil from the area and temporarily stockpiled it in the open area between #2 & #12. We have future plans for this soil.

Step #6. Filling the cavity with sand. This will be one of the keys to this area's success. We added 100 tons or 80 yards of tee sand to the area along with another 20 tons of gravel for the drainage ditches.

Step #7. Finish grade and compaction. The planning of this project has been ongoing for some time, but the execution happened rather rapidly between rainstorms. We stripped the sod and dug out 4" of soil on Monday 1/29 with no rain, dug and installed drainage on Tuesday 1/30 and moved 100 tons of washed tee sand into the area on Wednesday 1/31 just before 1.25" of rain that fell Wednesday afternoon into the evening and all-day Thursday 2/1. Friday 2/2, in between and during another .50" storm, we installed the sod.

Step #8. 6000 square feet of sod installed. We had a bit of time to do some fine grading before sod arrived on Friday AM. The sand base was very firm under foot and there was no standing water due to the new sand base and all of the preparation and drainage that was installed.

And here is the finished product. Despite the tree thinning we did in the area that will ultimately contribute to the area's success, there will still always be some shade issues to contend with. This led us to the choice of sodding with Tahoma 31 Hybrid Bermuda. "In up to 63% shade, Tahoma 31 Hybrid Bermuda is ranked #1 amongst other popular bermudas". We will soon be sodding around the tree on #10 which struggles with shade related issues with Tahoma 31 as well. It should blend very well with our Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda and hopefully show to be a great option and companion for some of our fairway edge areas near trees that struggle particularly in the winter months from shade issues.

In the upcoming weeks we plan to address the area on the other side of the cart path from the area we just addressed on #2. Although the area is somewhat out of play, it gets allot of activity by all skill levels and when we are done, you'll still have trees to navigate but an improved lie and better ability to locate your ball and punch out. More to come.

Thanks for your support!

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