Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Twitter Updates

Well I just added another tool to keep our members up to speed, Twitter. It is amazing how fast social media is growing. Some day letters in the mail will be a thing of history, not sure if that is a good or bad thing.
With this social media I will be able to give real time updates on course conditions, weather,  special projects.

Follow my Tweets on the right side of my blog or just follow my Tweets.
See ya on the course.

Pinery Twitter

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Blow out

So far this years blow out has gone smoothly. Today we see the finish line after two long days of running around and making sure all the water is out of the lines. This year we had Jim Vosepka  feild service manager 
of the Rocky Mountain region from Toro and Travis Abitz golf irrigation sales Rocky Mountain region for Toro. To assist us in our blow our procedures

The main reason  the representative from Toro are on property  are to  help with  our blow out and see why we are blowing are 780 series heads tops,  especially  during blow out and  spring charge up. When the representative arrived on Monday we walked them through our entire blow our procedure. Both reps were pleased with our plan and the way we execute it. On the end of the second day we were finished with the entire course and Jim and Travis were both impressed with how we handle blow out, we are  the poster child for golf course blow out. So we will see them in the spring for charge up and hopefully we can figure out the problem with the 780 heads.

Blowing out the lower end of the course 

Blowing out entire 27 hole system with 750 CFM compressor at 35-40 PSI

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Check out Pinery's Golf Course Maintenance YouTube channel on the right side of
this blog. We have had the channel for some time but  thought it would be nice to have them all
in one place. We will post more videos as they are taken. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Soak it down

Over the next few days the golf course will be a little wet!  With blow out of the irrigation system occurring on the 12th of November,  we will not have access to large amounts of water for the course until March 2013 so let it fly. We want to load up the soil profile and southern exposures as best as we can this week.  Only time will tell as the winter months set in if we will have to charge up our frost free system for  winter watering. Not many folks know that watering in winter is just as important as in the summer. Desiccation over the winter especially on southern exposures is extremely hard on turf. We have to do our best to hydrate the crown of the turf plant throughout the winter by irrigation water or snow.  Some of the driest places on earth are the north and south poles where they receive only a trace of precipitation a year!  Most the snow and ice is millions of years old and since it  is all frozen  its not available to plants or animals.

Look at all that water! 

If the polar caps were to melt, which hold over 70% of earths fresh water, 
our oceans would rise global  over 200 Feet!

Good thing we live in the Mile High city.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Home stretch

Only one week until irrigation blowout.  These last few watering's we do during the day because of the cold nights so we will take advantage and check the pumps and pressures at the station and in the field. We do these testings 2-3 times per year to make sure the entire irrigation system is performing the way it was designed. 

Here is a short video of the pump station in action.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Then and Now

We've come a long way baby!  This first picture was taken back in the early 90's and the second in early 2012. Can you even recognize the first picture?  This is the cart path for #4 green lake and #5 tee lake. These are definitely some scary images appropriated for Halloween.

"Keep moving  forward,  But remember where you've been"

 Now those are some bad cart paths!! 4x4 golf carts?? 
Notice the roof peek on the house for a point of reference.

Current picture spring of 2012 of the same area 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Tee aerification is finished! If you were wondering we punch the tees with a quad tine setup with a 1/2 inch core tine five inches long. With this tine we punch 70 holes per sq ft or just over 9.5 million holes on three acres of tees. Wow that's a lot of holes!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Why do we contour fairways in the late summer into fall?

The main reason is we are saving man hours! Typicality we mow our fairways 3-4 times a week in the peak summer months with a checker board pattern. This type of mowing is very aesthetically pleasing to the eye but it takes 45 to 60 man hours per week to mow this way. In the late summer and into fall we have less crew and contour mowing the fairways only takes 30-40 man hours per week. Since the weather in late summer and fall is cooling down this leaves time to do other maintenance/cultural practices and special  projects on the golf course. If you are wondering, this type of contour mowing does not change the play-ability of the courses  fairways it just have a little different look.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Out like a Lion

Well July came in like a lamb but left like a LION!  On the last day of July we received another monster rain/hail storm. This storm was on the heals of a heavy irrigation cycle on Sunday night then three tenths of rain Monday evening then 1.3 inches of rain Tuesday afternoon  plus pee to marble size hail for just under an hour. The say the least the course is extremely wet. We are not complaining we need the rain. Most of the bunkers washed out again and paths and path edges are a mess, so the cleanup begins.  The heat was also on this July officially from NOAA it was the hottest July on record for Denver since 1872 when records begin. We also had 17 days of 90 or above here at the Pinery.  This summer of 2012 will definitely go  down in the record books for extreme weather events. Below is a short video of the rain. I got caught in the storm on #6 lake bathroom, boy it was really coming down.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Round Two....

Well its round two in the severe rain department. Over the last month we have received over 5.5 inches of rain   unfortunately all this moisture fell in a 2-3 hour period. The first storm was back on June 6th where we received 4 inches of rain and the latest's was this last weekend where we received one inch of rain in less than one hour.  To say the least this storm was less severe but it still washed out most of our bunkers. This storm is also days from the start of our Men's member guest the most important tournament of the year.  Bunkers are a no brainier but getting greens quick again is a challenge. So today we are quadruple cutting the greens and double rolling them, weather depending because there is rain in the forecast again today. It just started to rain while I was posting this blog and we received an additional 1/2 inch. Is there more to come we will see. Welcome to monsoon season in Colorado.

Below is a video on rolling a green

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Heat Stress

This is a great educational video on some of the heat stress that we have been dealing with on the golf course for the last few weeks.  I hope this educates our members on the problems of  turf heat stress and the actions we have to take on a daily basis in the summer months.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How hot is it?

Its so hot our greens mowers are overheating at  8 am in the morning!  We actually had to pour cold water over the fuel pumps numerous times because the engine was not getting fuel because of vapor lock.  With this type of heat we try to do all our mowing and hard labor before 10am, after ten it is just to hot to operate equipment. This benefit is not only for the turf but the equipment and the operator.  When the weather gets this hot for consecutive days cool season turf types just shut down and go in to a dormant state, conserving water to the crown of the plant (survival mode). We are basically in the same survival mode just keep the turf alive until it cools down and we receive some rain.

This marks the 5th day in a row over 100 degrees in Denver and the 5th record breaking day of heat. Below are some stats on the recent weather. Thankfully we have not seen 105 degrees here at the Pinery but we have been pushing 100 + low humidity and windy since  Friday the 22nd and no rain since the 6th of June.

Denver's record breaking weather
June 22nd    102
June 23rd    104
June 24th     102
June 25th     105
June 26th     105

The 105 degrees is the all time high for Denver and it has only been reached four times since records were kept back in 1873.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Golden Egg?

Every year new  technology is developed for golf course turf but is there a Golden Egg?  Lots of folks thought that Xeonerate could  be that type of product, could it be that easy.  I don't think so.  Xonerate is one of  the newest chemicals on the market it is primarily used for Poa Annua control or elimination on Golf turf.  This chemical has had  success in turf trials in most of the country.  But of lately story's have arisen of  stress or death to the desired species of turf?  I am still very excited about this new product  for Poa control and I am still going to do my own test trials but I will  tread lightly.  If  there is ever a so called "Golden Egg" product developed for Golf Course Superintendents  what courses are going to be able to afford it?   And what then will set us apart making us individuals?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

50 Year Storm?

Well it has almost been two weeks since our historic storm here at the Pinery on June 6th 2012.
We received large amounts of rain and hail in the amounts of 3.25 inches up to 3.9 inches of rain in two hours,  and hail covering the entire course in some places up to four feet deep. The size of the hail ranged from pea size to quarter size. Luckily most of the damage was to bunkers and plant life. The greens and most turf made it out OK. The course is now back to normal thanks to our hard working crew. Thanks Guys!!

# 14 fairway bunker yes that is all hail no sand left at all.

Whats left of our annual flowers.

# 5 Green side Mountain course.

One of the large Hail stones.

Removing the hail off of #10 green 
So we can get to work mowing and rolling them

The new lake in front of the Driving range tee up to 5 feet deep 
We had three of these on the range landing area


Trying to find the clogged drain in front of the driving range tee

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New life

It's a little early for our Mountain bluebird chicks but life has no calendar. Almost all of our nest boxes have baby chicks in them this year. This is about 3 to 4 weeks earlier than normal.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


For the first time in years the native wildflower species are blooming. Some of the blooms are from our Pinery blend and others are native. I contribute this to some timely rains and snow this spring which we did not have last year. Lets hope the trend continues!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Punch Away

Today we started fairway aerification on the mountain course. The weather is fantastic and we are pulling a great plug. Five holes down and Just twenty more fairways to go.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tag Team

What a team effort! With six inches of snow piled on top of our plugs on tees and rough during the day Tuesday. We only had one day to finish cleaning up from aerification before a busy Easter weekend. Get er done! Job well done guys!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Showers Bring...

April Showers bring... wet heavy snow! Welcome to a Colorado spring. Sunday the golf course was busy, folks were out in short and T-Shirts, washing cars, working in the yard, barbecuing just enjoying the warm 80 degree temps on Sunday. This fabulous weather was closely followed the next day by highs in the upper 30's windy, damp and snow on the way. Well what a difference a day can make now we have 3 inches of snow on the ground and more expected throughout today. This moisture was much welcome since March went down in the record books as the driest in Denver history and the 2nd warmest. This was the first moisture we had on the course since February 23rd. Lets hope April continues to brings more beneficial moisture.

Check out our real time camera link on the right side of this blog and watch the snow blow.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

New Species?

Just recently we discovered of all things small snails growing in our irrigation main line pipes? We contacted the Colorado Department of Wildlife to see if they could ID the snail. On Wednesday afternoon they stopped by, both rangers said they have never seen this type of snail and will have some experts look at the small snail to see if it is a new species or is it an evasive species. Fortunately this creature was not the Zebra Mussel or Quagga Mussel both are very evasive an would devastate our irrigation system.

New Species of Snail?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fairway Expansion

This spring we started our fairway/IR expansion on select holes and landing areas. As of now we have selected around 12 fairways. This expansion should help speed of play and make the landing areas just a little bit more forgiving. You should be able to see the new mow outs when you are playing golf, they are marked with red turf paint. The pictures below are just a taste of what some of the new mow outs will look like.

#2 Mountain Before

#2 Mountain after
The Fairway moves to the right a little and the IR goes around the tree

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Irrigation or Irritation

Irrigation or Irritation that is the question. Over the last ten days we have begun the long process of charging the irrigation system. The frost free main line went great but the 2nd week of charging up summer laterals has been much different. So far we have had three lateral breaks. A two inch T, two inch slip fix and a two inch 90. Thankfully two of these breaks were in the native and one in a fairway. All of these breaks should be fixed by the weekend so we can get back to business as usual.

#11 Native right of green
A two inch 90 right off the mainline

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hanging On

With temps in the upper 60's all week we still have some snow hanging on. Number five fairway has had snow cover since December 4th. With a little help from us it should all be gone by next week.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lighting Protection

Just recently we added more lighting/surge protection to our irrigation pump station.
Last year we had over five thousand dollars in damage from four separate lighting strikes.
These lighting strikes occurred from May-July. As far as we can tell they were not direct hits but close enough to cause damage to the sensitive electronic equipment in the pump stations electrical panel. We were not alone in the summer of 2011 countless other golf courses were damaged from severe lighting strikes. We did have surge protection and proper grounding of the pump station but took extra precaution by adding a larger surge protector. Thanks to High Plains electric we got a great deal on this unit.

Lighting Facts:

- A typical lightning bolt contains 1 billion volts

- 10,000 to 200,000 amperes of current. One Amperes can kill a man.

- The average flash would light a 100 watt lightbulb for 3 months

- A leader of a bolt of lighting can travel at speeds of 60,000 m/s

- The US averages 20 million lighting strikes per year

- The Rocky Mountain Foothills are the Lighting capital of the US

Picture of the LEA International SP200
that was installed on the pump station

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hello Spring

The last few days have brought some incredible melting. On the 27th of February we had 10 inches of snow on most areas of the course. Over the last two days the sun and wind arrived with temperatures in the upper 60's and we had some significant melting. Yet we still have 12-15 inches of snow on our northern faced slopes. We have a plan in place to increase the melting of the snow in those areas.

These two pictures were taken eight days apart. Get ready for some golf once we dry out a bit.

Before and After

February 27th

March 7th

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Winter Micro Climates

Winter micro climates are very common in Colorado. A Typical winter micro climate on golf courses are Northern exposures these areas hold the snow most of the winter. And the complete opposite happens on the southern exposures which are dry and greening up. So we have some areas of the course that are greening up while others are still frozen and under snow.
These two micro climates usually are not to far apart most times on the same hole or just yards from each other.

#5 Mountain Fairway Northern Exposure
20 inches of snow

# 17 rough Southern Exposure
greening up and no snow cover

NOAA Weather Report

NOAA Weather Report for Colorado March-May

• La Niña continues to weaken in the Pacific Ocean. Surface and sub-surface water
temperature anomalies in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean have decreased and will
likely continue to do so in the coming months.

• The recent decline in La Niña may be linked to large scale oceanic and atmospheric
circulations and anomalous warming produced by a moderate to strong Madden-Julian
Oscillation (MJO) that propagated eastward across the tropical Pacific Ocean in late January
and early February.

• The movement of the MJO across the eastern Pacific Ocean may account for the relatively
sudden shift from unseasonably warm and dry conditions across Colorado and the western
U.S. in December and early January, to the unseasonably cool and moist (snowy) conditions
across the southwest and central Rocky Mountain regions of the U.S. from late January to
mid-February. Conditions normally attributed to La Niña were replaced with those commonly
associated with El Niño.

• With the MJO weakening as it moves east across northern Africa and over the Indian
Ocean, the jet stream and weather patterns across the western U.S. should return to
those commonly associated with a La Niña. However, as this La Niña weakens, so
will its influence on weather patterns affecting the U.S.

• The outlook for Colorado issued by the Climate Prediction Center for the March-May
climate season is calling for at least a one-in-three chance of above average temperatures
and below average precipitation across the entire state.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What's a Purr-wick Golf Green?

What actually is a Purr-wick golf green and how are they constructed?

The Purr-wick golf green design was first conceived in 1966 at Purdue University by Dr William H. Daniel. The design was attempting to create capillary action from coarse sand to fine sand. Basically a water pool/table on the bottom of the green created by a plastic barrier. This water will be absorbed by capillary action to the finer sand above. In theory you can change the level of the water in the green by adding or reducing risers that are located at the drainage exit. This water table is created by separate tiers on golf greens with contours. So a high area on a green is one tier and a low area is another. Most greens at the Pinery have 3-4 tiers as far as we can tell, since we have locate most of the outgoing drains. The ability to manage the water table on Purr-wick golf greens gives the design an advantage to manage water in extreme weather conditions.

The Purr-wick design was originally constructed for water conservation on sports turf and eventually found its way to the golf industry. There are still many examples of Purr-wick greens construction mostly in the mid west. As far as I know we have the largest examples of Purr-wick construction in the country with 27 golf greens.

#8 green lake course
Note the plastic liner and the separate tiers.
You can see the pipe on right of the green that exits to the right.

Profile View of Purr-wick golf green

Cross section drawing of drainage and riser system

Notice the water table and capillary action to the sand above

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Time Lapse

A short test video on time lapse snow removal off of #8 green mountain. This was filmed back in January and filmed with a GoPro Hero. A picture was taken every 5 seconds. It took us over an hour to remove most of the snow and ice off the green. But now we can watch it in just over 2 minutes.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Record Snow

The last week we saw record snow fall in Colorado. This major winter storm started on Groundhog Day February 2nd late in the afternoon and kept snowing through Saturday the 4th. There were snow totals in Pinecliffe Colorado located in the foothills around 51 inches and totals here at the Pinery of 24 inches. What a storm, some areas had snow rates over 2 inches per hour. As of now most of Colorado is covered in a white blanket of fresh snow.

No Golf Today

Friday, January 27, 2012

Audubon Certification

This Morning when I was checking my e-mail I noticed one from Audubon International. We received our Audubon Certification on January 27th 2012 after joining the organization in March of 2010. The last few years were filled with new challenges accompanied with educational opportunities and fun times. We all learned how to protect the environment just a little better and education others of the importance of environmental stewardship. It is a proud day at the Pinery since we are the 38th golf course in Colorado and the 957th in the world to be recognized as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. We are all deeply honored for this distinction.

Below is a press release

Pinery Country Club Recognized for Environmental Excellence

PARKER, CO – Pinery Country Club has achieved designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International program. Steve Whiting, Course Superintendent, has led the effort to obtain sanctuary status on this course and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International. Pinery Country Club is the 38thcourse in Colorado and the 957th in the world to receive the honor.

"Pinery Country Club has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property," said Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs.

"To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas," explained Sluiter. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, and protect natural resources. Golf courses from the Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, and Southeast Asia have also achieved certification in the program.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snow Removal

Here is a short video on snow removal from 18 green

Monday, January 23, 2012

Greens Snow Removal

Well we have had snow cover on the course since the first week of December. Northern exposures had up to 18 inches of snow and the southern exposures have had snow cover off and on over the last month. With six weeks of snow cover on the greens it was time to start to pull the snow and ice off. Typicality Poa can go 45 days with continuous ice cover and bent 90 days plus. Most of our greens are bent with 5 to 10 percent Poa so we decided to stick with the 45 days. We have monitored the greens all winter and we did not see ice until a warm up after Christmas. We went from a foot of snow on the ground one day and temps in the upper 60's the next. So far the removal went great and the greens have melted off with some help from black sand and Humates. We used what ever we could to remove the snow by hand, snow blowers, tractor, modified sand pro with plow and even our truck and plow.

Below are some pictures of our snow removal.

15 green after snow removal and application of black sand and humates. On the afternoon of the17th Jan. One to two inches of ice present. Removed 8-10 inches of snow.

15 green the next day Jan 18th late afternoon
Black sand is working great. Had some good sunshine and temps in the 50's

15 green on the 19th of Jan, around noon little or no ice left

Monday, January 16, 2012


The First few weeks of January brought some more cold and snow. So we took advantage and put a fresh coat of epoxy paint on the shop floor. The paint is a 2 part epoxy one part color and one part activator. We simply mix the two parts together and wait 1/2 hour for the paint to activate. Then start painting, you must have respirator on because of the fumes from the epoxy!! The paint holds up very well on our well traveled shop floor. This is about the 8th time the floor has received a coat of paint in the last 10 years. It really brightens up the shop.

Looking Sharp

Ready to get dirty