Thursday, June 12, 2014

Winter Damage Recovery on Fairways

Here are some photos of results from our seeding efforts this spring out at Jester Park! These photos were taken approximately 2-2.5 weeks after initial seeding in these areas. These photos were taken of areas that were previously in very rough/bare conditions.  We were fortunate to have great temperatures and adequate moisture during seed germination/establishment. We are optimistic you will see these areas continue to progress in the coming weeks. 

Another part of our "recovery plan" this spring involved healthy applications of fertilizer. This fertility program, when combined with the great temperatures and moisture, allowed spectacular fill-in of surviving turf.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Dry spots?

While this is certainly the time of year for dry, brown areas to rear their ugly faces, there may be other things happening to cause these "dry" areas that don't actually involve lack of moisture. Here at Jester Park we have bluegrass tees, farways, rough, and aprons. As a result some of these brown areas you are seeing could potentially be caused by an insect called bluegrass billbug. They feed on the grass plant and effectively cut it off right around ground level. Other things like certain diseases, heavy traffic, other mechanical wear, and so on can all cause these types of areas. We appreciate you patience as we continue through this time of the season!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Unfortunately, the maintenance department has been observing several patches on greens similar to this in the past couple weeks. This type of damage is a direct result of a player swinging their club on the green. This type of conduct will not be tolerated at Jester Park as it interferes with other players enjoyment of the game. If you observe this type of damage occurring , or you believe it has recently occurred, please contact any staff member at the clubhouse or on the grounds department immediately. Thank you and we appreciate your patience!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Custom Roller Adapter for John Deere Triplexes.

This past winter, we decided to move out our older Jacobsen GKIV triplexes and replace them with newer John Deere machines.  The main problem with doing this was that we have several attachments for the Jacobsen units that we commonly use that wouldn't work on the new John Deere.  So we came up with a plan to make some custom adapters to make it work, saving us considerable money by not having to buy new attachments made for the Deere's.  These adapters were made in such a way as not to modify the machine or the attachments, meaning that everything was left completely stock giving us a great deal of versatility.

Here is a look at some of the modifications made:

This is a pic of the brush reels we had made.  We had to remove the cutting blades from the reel and leave nothing behind other than the center shaft.  Then we had brushed welded on in place.  We use these units after topdressing greens to help pick up large particles and heavy areas.  They work well because being in a reel housing, you are able to set a height of brush, and accurately only pick up and remove what you want.  These have been crucial to our practices and will continue to be a regularly used item.
This is some round DOM steel that was used to build some adapters for using the Jacobsen rollers and spiking units on the Deere traction unit.  I had made a jig for the drill press and then used a hole saw bit to cut a notch into the tubing so that I could weld them together into a "T" with a perfect fit.  I was pleased with the result.

Here is the finished welded adapter.  The portion that is upright and has the "U" shaped notch cut out is what slips over the Jacobsen roller, and the post coming out of the side that was welded on is what slides into the lift arm on the John Deere machine.  It is all held in place with two pins, and is designed to pivot in all directions.  They can also be removed and stock John Deere cutting  units can be installed just as they normally would.

An up-close shot of the Jacobsen roller mounted onto the Deere tractor.

Here is the finished product.  Brand X and brand Y all brought together by some tubing stock, a little time at the drill press, and some  quality welding.  If your an early morning player, you might see this unit out rolling the greens helping to get the playing surface fast and true.  We have lovingly named this unit "FrankenRoller", you get the idea!

Spring Aerification: Round Two

This is the process for aerification this spring on the regulation course.  We experimented with a new tine that is called a cross tine, rather than the traditional circle tine it is shaped like a "+".  Overall diameter of the tine is 1/2", however the the center of the hole is barely the size of a golf pencil, leaving hardly any surface disruption.   One problem we ran into was that these tines mounted on our  machines were not long enough to achieve the depth we wanted, so the mechanic made some new height adjusters since the stock ones were maxed out.  Once this was completed, the operation ran smoother and we saw great results thus exceeding our expectations.  After completing the process, the resulting playing surface was more than playable and healing times were very quick getting us back  to the quality everyone expects out at Jester Park.
This picture shows the stock height adjuster on the left, and the new custom made adjuster and height spacers on the right.  By making this, we are able to adjust more, and also return to stock at any given time.  

Here is a look at a cross tine, notice that the overall surface area will be equal to a 1/2" circle, however the surface disruption is much less.

We start the process by first applying a layer of top dressing sand, then the aerifiers poke the holes.  The vibration from the machine helps work the sand into the canopy, requiring less work by the drag brush.
After aerating the greens, a drag mat is used to further drag in the sand, following by a mower with brushes installed instead of blades to help pick up heavy areas and larger debris, and finally the greens are rolled (pictured here) to give a smooth surface for play at the end. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Spring Aerification

Currently at Jester Park the maintenance department has nearly reached the full swing of spring time activities. Weather has been slowly warming up and, in fact, at the time of this post we are receiving a nice May snow shower. :(

One activity we have started is our spring time greens aerification. Aerification is important because it keeps greens sustainably healthy. Aerification relieves compaction from heavy foot/equipment traffic, and promotes; water, nutrient, and air movement within the soil. Roots are then able to grow more aggressively and keep the green looking AND playing well through out the season.

This picture shows a tractor mounted aerification unit which is poking a hole about 7'' deep with half an inch diameter.