Proverbs 12:14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
I got a call this morning from Kurt Boggs the Superintendent from Blackhawk and a photo of what appears to be an adult Tawney Mole Cricket. Not native to this region of the country. I have only seen these In the Carolinas Southward, laterally and South West part of the country mostly below the transition zone. If these critters are migrating North that will change the nature of the industry financially for the mid west! I think it is just a rare occurrence and may have even been translocated through a traveler or caught up in the jet stream out of the South West front that blew up a week or so ago out of the Houston area from the tropical weather pattern. The control for these is the same product used on Canine and Feline for the treatment of fleas and ticks called fipronil. It is highly expensive to treat preventatively on golf courses so let’s hope it is just another rare occasion and not a pattern of tolerance and migration Northward for this golfing market. We have enough issues up here with disease pressure on C3 grasses to equate the costs of cricket treatment in the South.
We have had another deluge of rain this evening and the leagues were postponed today, but we were able to get the leagues and outings off yesterday even with the rain from Sunday! We have not had as much rain at Foxfire as the course North of Columbus but still remain soggy and are keeping up with our regularly scheduled fungicide applications when the sprayers are functioning.
We will remain Cart Path Only on the Players Club today and try to open the grass cart paths on Foxfire but when we allow that the printing from the carts will appear. This is after Monday’s horseman outing on Foxfire. It is no great concern long term it just appears badly due to the clay being brought up from the cart tires on the lower areas. Most golfers seem to gravitate towards the wettest areas and then repeat each other. There are not enough signs nor rope to increase common sense in people! You can not learn it or buy it! You either have it or you do not. If you see previous tracks from other carts I would suggest you drive to the area where there Are no tracks and the elevation is 10-15 feet higher.
There is no real lasting damage agronomically. We pressured up the Foxfire irrigation system today primarily to evaluate the seven irrigation repairs and have access to more water volume for washing equipment and filling the spray tank.
Grass seed has been ordered to seed any areas that were repaired. Someday a sod cutter would be a valuable tool to have and these areas could be covered back up immediately after repairs were made. We have been continuously working on all the equipment we have and the next unit to go back out will be the 6700 D with modified freshly ground units so we can grind the 6700 Reels that go with that mower. We retro fitted some 5500 D cutting units so that we would have something operational to mow fairways with other than the triplexes. One of the triplex units had a cylinder leak last week on five Players fairway. It was not noticed by the operator until after several passes were made and it was under the unit. This is not detrimental either it is just a slight set back of discoloration to the turf in a few areas.
We were able to add an extra hand in the shop this afternoon to assist in transferring the 250 lb reels since we do not have a lift it takes more than one person to switch the reels over. The triplex that was leaking oil had the lift cylinder switched out today and is back In operation. We found an older model sitting in the barn next door that had a matching donor so we transplanted the cylinder to the unit.
The new pump on the greens sprayer blew the seals out and will be replaced today under warranty but we have not had a smooth run with the unit and look forward to having it operate properly next time it goes out to spray greens. We did spray the Players Club but the leak got much worse so we switched to spraying the tees on Foxfire to get the product out of the tank and ready for another repair.
Weap holes are doing their job by allowing the water to blow out since the seals are blown! This is a feature so the cast iron doesn’t crack and the pump does not need replaced. It just needs disassembled completely and have new seals replaced which is about a two hour project. But we have to have a greens sprayer. Everything else on it has been replaced but the tank, frame, and motor. Those could fail next at anytime given the age of the traction unit. Toro has quit making some parts for it due to its age. The great news is the staff has kept up with the bunkers after each rain daily and prepared the course for play to the best of or ability given the resources. Weed work continues daily in mulch beds and crab grass break through has been sprayed in fairways and bunker faces on both courses. #12 Foxfire fairway crabgrass dying.
I had to jump in on this one and help after they didn’t get the first coupling taught that’s why there are two couplings on the right side of the hole. Nothing major just an extra coupling and the area was back filled with clay and a support block behind the T. I’m glad I can still teach by showing.
Travis also cored and seeded the white tee box on 16 Players and began adding drainage at the end of 15 Players Fairway today with Joey. That area will be tilled and seeded as well.
My first shot with new clubs in to 15 green Fox last week with a 60 degree wedge from about 50 yards out! Excited to have new clubs. I hope I get to used them soon! Thanks Matt Auen and Brian Sikema for your assistance in obtaining these! I hope to see yall soon again someday!