Monday, June 13, 2011

Closed Day 1 - Only at Sawgrass

Today marked the first of twelve days that The PLAYERS Stadium course will be closed for the Agronomy Team to work. During the next twelve days the team will complete 5 major projects. Of these 5, 4 were started today; Course Aeration, Fairway Renovation, Greens Restoration and Spectator Mound Restoration.

Due to expert co-ordination by the management staff, the team and the sub-contractors had a hugely productive day dispite extreme heat and afternoon thunder storms. If we can carry the momentum of today forward maintaining the attention to detail this is sure to be an extremely succesful and beneficial time for the health of the course.


Today the main focus was on the greens, aiming to maximize the healing time before opening again. There were many steps that had to be followed today, and like clockwork our team produced excellent reasults at each step.

The first step of the process was to verti-cut the greens. At 1/8" below the surface our units went up and down their passes in 2 directions. uygj
The 2 directions removed massive amounts of material while standing up the plant. After the verti-cut the greens were circle cut to clear all plant material and cut the now standing plant to try and tame the grain.
Once the greens had been mowed and cleared a light topdressing was added prior to aeration.

With the newly aquirred aeration equipment we punched the greens.

To avoid any damage from during the engaging and disengaging of the machine we ran the equipment into the collars, which are to be aerated later this week.

After allowing the cores time to dry they were dragged in with a chain link mat.

All excess plant material was then blown off leaving just the added top dressing sand and the sand from the cores. This was then brushed in with a tow behind soft brissled broom and then rolled.

This is an aggresive program but here is a picture of one of the practice greens that was treated in the same way only 10 days ago. We are confident that the course greens will be at a higher standard when golfers are a back to playing them.

Fairway Renovation

Due to contamination and mutation in the Bermudagrass, some of the fairways are being stripped and re-sodded. This is a major undertaking, and the bulk of the work was contracted out to McCurrach Conmstruction Inc., who will take care of removing and relaying the sod, while the Agronomy team has to then keep it alive.

Nearly 3 acres of fairway will be renovated, a job of this size to be completed in the time allowed requires some big pieces of equipment.

The sod on the fairways was already killed with a herbicide spray. The dead turf was then removed.

The edges were cut in with smaller sod cutters then the bulk was cut with a larger cutter.

The larger cutter made easy work of the sod.

With expert skill the sod was then scraped and removed from the fairway, leaving just a thin layer of organic material.

Once all the sod was removed, the remaining organic layer was scraped off to preserve the intergrity of the sand based fairway.

Greens Grade Restoration

All of the bulk headed greens around the course are to undergo a grading alteration, over seen by master archetect Pete Dye. With the aim to maintain key pinable areas on the greens some slopes will be altered and the bulkheads repaired. A very delicate process that will require tremedous amounts of skill.

Endless hours of surveying has been conducted on the greens to ensure that the best results will be gained at the end of the project.

The flags on this green indicate the areas of concern and the areas that will recieve treatment.

Some greens have more then others but will all be given the same amount of care and attention to ensure that the transition is flawless. The original turf will be removed and replaced in the exact place to maximize the healing. The aeration of these greens was skipped for now to ensure that anyturf being taken up will be as healthy as possible.

Spectator Mound Restoration

After all the tents and stadiums have come down around the course large scars are left behind. In the past these scars have been left to grow back in, leading to a very lengthy recovery time. This year it was decided to contract the job out and have the damage turf removed and replaced. This will ensure that the unsightly damage will be gone quickly and the course aesthetics will drastically improve.

Some areas will just need small squares repaired.

Other areas are larger and will require more time.