By Ole, after a visit to the Green Haven Golf Course Superintendents Equipment Shop mid-December 2018.
New Green Mower in 2019
Good news from the equipment shop! A second new generation electric green mower will be added to the fleet this year. Golfers will feel the full impact of the updated equipment in 2019, with the ability now to put the advanced cut on all greens. These new cutting machines will be used every day in 2019, except on top dressing days.
With the addition of the second advanced generation mower we can look for increased green speed consistency in 2019. For Men’s Club Championships, the Men’s Club Putting Championship and during Larry’s Pro Am event is when we can expect greens speeds to peak. It proves to be a challenge for Mike Brual, Certified Golf Course Superintendent and his team, balancing green speeds vs. desired pace of play. Despite, his 2019 Agronomic Plan is set for our key events and will be watched and adjusted as needed. Mike shares he uses “special stuff to get it to peak”. Green Haven green speeds run 8-9, and sometime may reach 10 on the stimpmeter, a device used to measure the speed of a green. Every digit speed increase over 8 can add 15 minutes to a golfer’s round.
Ball Washer Scrub
The on course deep green Deluxe Par Aide ball washers recently returned from a full restoration. Par Aide is located in Lino Lakes, Minnesota. The ball washers are sent out every two years for a complete restoration inside and out. Mike estimates the current ball washers are between 10-15 years old, but out of the box it looks new. Golfers will notice the stiffness of the new internal brushes and the green shine on the outside. Ball washers are located on the odd holes on the front nine, even holes on the back nine. Each golf cart is also equipped with a ball washer. The towel dip bucket is also a nice extra; it’s in its usual spot.
Cross Country Ski Trail
Trail grooming is almost underway. The crew grooms the Green Haven 5k cross country ski track and the ski track at the Anoka Nature Preserve. Grooming is performed after snow falls. A one foot base is required to get the track going; at writing Mike says there is currently little or no base to report. Mike’s team started grooming the trails in 2013. They use a special Arctic Cat snow machine with a “Grooming Special” set up. It is cooled differently and geared low for the drag and equipped with a shovel rack.
Irrigation Pump Performance Declining
The golf course irrigation well pump’s performance is declining. Watering occurs for the golf course overnights during the growing season. The watering window is fixed sun down to sun up, and the pump is not keeping up to the 1,000-1,100 gallons per minute required. The pump will be inspected and parts replaced as needed come spring. Once the process is completed the pump will be back to full service. We won’t see this and may just notice fewer sprinklers running during daytime hours. The irrigation pump is located behind a square fence near the path East of #16 tee.
Daily Movement on Course Adjacent Properties
Almost daily movement is being reported on properties surrounding the course for the large scale City of Anoka re-development plans that could ultimately benefit the golf course. Large single family homes along 16 and townhomes along 15 are expected. I asked Mike for the driving range in his mind’s eye granted anything was possible. The interesting style of target greens and the short game spaces he described are a thing of beauty. Golfers should start to see major changes to the areas adjacent holes #15 and #16 in terms of dirt work and construction in early 2020. Its hopeful resources from the project will flow to the golf course.
Hogan’s Last Lap
Hogan, the loyal pup commonly seen running along Mike’s work cart is in declining health and may not be seen come spring Mike reports. Named Ben Hogan’s Apex, Mike brought Hogan with him to Green Haven and proved to be a key asset in the battle of effective goose control. The Green Haven lab may have taken his last lap around the track and chased his last goose.
Word from the shop on the weather outlook is to look for a warmer than normal winter, with average to slightly below average precipitation. Let’s hope that nets us an early spring. Cheers!