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What do those guys get up to over Winter?

Posted on 1st March, 2018 / Source: Sean Wallace, Olympic View

A question that we on grounds get asked at this time of year is "what do you do over Winter?".  Well, apart from long mornings sitting in our lunch room drinking hot coco and putting the world to rights we actually manage to keep ourselves quite busy.

We find ourselves at the mercy of the weather (as everyone does at this time of year) with constant switches between heavy rain and frozen conditions. We spend a lot of time with our eyes fixed on the forecast and guessing/hoping that our immediate plans won't be thwarted due to a sudden change in conditions. Although the needs of the course slow down, they never stop.

Apart from normal setup we use the "off season" to complete projects, plan for the forth coming season and catch up on house keeping items around the Ground Maintenance Department which often get over looked during the speed and high demand of the busy Spring/Summer months.

Some tasks we have had success in completing and some near future task include:

16 Bunker renovations - I wrote about this in more detail in a previous blog however to update you all, it went very well the Team completed it in 3 days, the drainage has been tested by mother nature and appears to work well. The next step will be to sand, I know a lot of you wondered why there is grass growing throughout the bunker. This is a tried and tested method of lining bunker bases that creates a natural Eco friendly barrier between the sand you play out of and the stones and undesirable materials beneath. Currently we are waiting until slightly warmer temperatures which will allow the sod to take root and knit together. At this point we will scalp the grass down to nothing and fill the bunker with sand.

Irrigation installs - We are in the process of moving some of our carry sprinkler heads to the cart path edges relocating them from the center of the carries. In doing this we hope to be able to provide better coverage to our carries utilizing all the water to the area in need rather than a turning head spending half of its time watering naturalized areas. This will provide for less misuse of water and a better standard of playing conditions in those areas moving forward.

Additionally we have been successful in installing perimeter irrigation around 10 greens walk on/off areas as well at extra irrigation at the walk on to 2 tee. All of these install areas will of course be seeded and grown in when the weather allows.

Tree work - During the last cold snap of 2017 we began removing some trees around the course, this was for two different reasons. Removal of hazardous dead/dying trees in several locations and increasing sunlight in areas that have over the years become increasingly shady and now only allow for poorer quality turf conditions. With our main focus this year being 15 greens we have also removed trees at 10 and 16. A lot of thought goes in to our tree removal process and only trees that have a direct impact on turf health or course infrastructure are ever removed while they are still healthy.

Lastly we have also spent some time building all new tee markers. They have a new uniform sleek look and they will be installed along with newly designed flags shorty after our aeration process in early April. We hope you like them.

Moving forward our next major project will be a renovation of the triangle flower bed directly outside of the pro-shop at the bottom of the hill. We shall be reducing the size and changing the shape slightly, along with installing new concrete curbing around the edge. After this Jesse our gifted Horticulturalist, the man who brought you the magnificent flower bed at the Upper putting green and Wedding site, will be planting a spectacular display of flora that will greet you as you walk to the first tee.

Other areas on the concrete curb list in the short term will be along the cart path at 16 and the tee edge of 17. We hope that the install of concrete curbing in specific locations around the course will allow us to remove the tired wooden landscape ties as well as protecting grass in these high traffic areas where carts are constantly parked creating a cleaner and more attractive look.

Finally, Glen Shilito along with help from grounds team members Jason and Conlan have began a two stage renovation of our on course washrooms. This renovation will be extensive and starting at the washrooms on 6. The plan will be to complete these and then in the Fall reno the washrooms on 13, however if the renovations on 6 are completed quicker than estimated we may endeavor to complete 13 also before Spring. The estimated completion time for each set will be 2-3 weeks. There will be a temporary porta-potty installed for your convenience at a slightly different location which will be near the cart path running behind the 6th tee.

As always we ask for your patience during any renovation or project work. Our end goal is to always improve Olympic View for your enjoyment and we always try to complete projects in a timely and professional manner to cause as little disturbance as possible to your experience. 

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