Saturday, February 18, 2017
To make the limbing up process easier we created a secure platform which we placed on the front end loader tractor which allowed us to reach farther up the tree to do a better job. Trying to hold up an extended pole saw will tire the operator out quickly so this technique makes it safer and more productive. With safety in mind the saw operator is secured to the tractor with a safety harness so he can not fall out. This process has really sped up the limbing project and we are through the front nine in only a couple of weeks.
WoodMaxx DC-1260 chipper. It will easily chip up a limb up to 4" and is very economically priced compared to some of the chippers we were looking at to rent. Now we have a chipper to help clean up the course when needed.
The wood chips through the native areas are a nice addition to our golf course and will help our walking guests have a better round. That being said these areas are for WALKERS ONLY. NO golf carts should ever be taken into native grass areas or driven down the wood chip walk paths. Please allow me to repeat this. THE WOOD CHIP PATHS ARE FOR WALKERS ONLY. GOLF CARTS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO USE THEM!!!! Please help the course by doing your part and obeying the cart rules that are in place at Harrison Bay or at your own course if you can't come join us.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Airstone from Lowes. The Airstone was a great product to use as it is lightweight, can easily be cut to fit with a hacksaw or a radial arm saw outfitted with a masonry blade, and is easily attached to the block wall with an exterior adhesive. The varying colors, textures, and thickness of the Airstone gave us the ability to contrast the stone work and give the columns some character and interest.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
A New Lady in HBEC . Lots of questions were in the air. Would Elliott take to the new female? Would they make a good pair or was there a new male waiting to take over as well? How would Eliza's parenting style differ from Eloise? Unfortunately we have not factual idea of what happened to Eloise and we continue to pray that she is okay and somewhere else raising a new family.
|Looks a little like HBSP Ranger Matt Vawter|
So Fix-It Felix!!! If it was that easy, we would, but we can't. The eagles have begun the nesting process and we cannot do anything that might disturb them based on the International Migratory Birds Treaty, and the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle Protection Act (Act 16 U.S.C. 668-668C). Even if the Protection Act was not in place we still would not take any actions that would disturb them. It's just not the right thing to do.
If you would like to help our project out and donate to the camera/tecnology replacement and upgrade campaign please visit the HBEC website www.harrisonbayeaglecam.org for different ways in which to donate. Our project is completely funded by donations from our fabulous viewers so every penny helps. All donations are tax deductible and we can provide you with any donation information you might need. Matt will be placing a Fund Raiser page on the website soon with more detailed information about the components, timing, and need.
Thanks for your support of the Harrison Bay Eagle Cam Project.
Monday, December 19, 2016
the renovation of #3 green and the extensive drainage project in the landing area of #10 fairway. We also worked on some bunker renovation, irrigation improvements, and improving drainage along cart paths. With all these improvements we felt pretty good about the upcoming season as dormancy broke and the growing season began.
|#2 Green on April 19 under attack from nematodes|
|Putting green Nov 2 recovered from nematode damage|
the TGA Match Play Championships at the end of July the agronomy staff jumped right back into improving the golf course. Our aerification of the golf course this August was the most extensive we have undertaken since we renovated the greens back in 2003. Removal of major amounts of thatch and organic matter from greens, tees, fairways, and the driving range made a tremendous improvement in the course.
All of the activities cataloged in posts about 2016 Greens Aerification and Showing the tees, fairways, and driving range some love.
The fall was a definite reminder that every year is different from the next. The hottest, driest summer that I can remember that gripped the southeast was unprecedented with Chattanooga breaking long standing records with a total of 108 days with temperatures over 90 degrees and over 7 months without receiving a total of 1" of rainfall in a single day. This was the first summer I can remember of having to place supplemental irrigation sprinklers around the course just to save wilting 419 bermudagrass.
welcomed the latest two eaglets HB9 and HB10 to the HBEC family and unfortunately said goodbye to Eloise as we got a new female eagle at our nest, which Hannah named Eliza. We are currently experiencing some technical issues with the main PTZ camera and sound resulting from the storms a couple of weeks ago but hope to have this resolved in time to watch the next brood of HBEC eaglets enter the world.
|Barry supervising Mitch's work in the mini-ex.|
The golf course lost two very good employees this year. Barry Webb passed away unexpectedly on May 29th. Barry was one of those guys who never complained, always showed up to work, and did his best for the course. RIP Barry.
We also said goodbye to my first assistant Mitch Sivley. After 17 years of dedicated service to the golf course he left to follow his dream of being a truck driver. Mitch was a cornerstone of our course and I relied on him greatly throughout the years. His skill on heavy equipment and with a chainsaw will be missed as will his dedication and passion for the golf course itself.
The agronomy staff deserves all the credit for the turn around in the conditioning of the golf course this year and I am grateful for their continued dedication to the course.
From frustration to elation, from failure to victory, from questioning my future in the industry to remembering why I really love my career.
Farewell 2016...You have been an interesting year and one we will not forget.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
So what does it cost to keep a golf course "clean"? One of my staff members ask me that question last week and it got me thinking, and the figures I came up with are striking. Just looking at the month of November alone, we used 350 man-hours blowing leaves with our turbine blowers and/or tractor mounted blowers and 100 man-hours blowing leaves with backpack blowers. If we average $8.00/hour for pay then we spent $3,600.00 on labor alone to blow leaves from the course.
Now I didn't bother to figure up costs for engine oil or batteries for the turbine remotes and I am extremely thankful that we have electric utility vehicles so we don't have the added fuel expense that they would use.
This also doesn't account for the cost of
equipment that is used to keep the course clean. Turbine blowers like we have can run between $8,000-$9,000 each and tractor mounted blowers can run several thousands of dollars. I consider myself lucky in that I have a forest surrounding my course and not homes because I always have somewhere to blow the leaves but some courses are not as fortunate and have to collect leaves and pile them in a selected location on the course. Sweepers and vacuums can run between $20,000.00 to $40,000.00 depending on how big and what features you want out of your vacuum/sweeper.
So as you can see golf courses with beautiful, tree lined fairways that separate one hole from the others and give each hole its own look and feel, invest a ton of money and resources in keeping the playing surfaces clear of debris and playable. We have, and will continue to, invest the time, manpower, and resources needed to keep the course clean and enjoyable for all.
What does a "Clean" course cost? A LOT!!!
Monday, November 21, 2016
We all hate to have our round delayed but we have worked too hard to get our golf course back in shape this year to allow anything to risk damaging it now. So please be patient as we allow the frost to burn off and realize that we are doing it for the betterment of the golf course, not to keep you from your round.
The Renovation of #3 Green and Installation of Drainage in #10 Fairway. We will be continuing to make improvement to the golf course however with smaller projects. Projects for this winter will include limbing up of trees to provide clearer shots for you the golfer and more sunlight for the turf. We will also be installing more cross tie curbing along the cart paths in needed areas and will be renovating the main sign at the front entrance. Lots of work but all intended to make your course better.
As you can tell from the tone of this post there is a different mindset at Harrison Bay going forward. We have recovered from a trying and hard summer and our course is in the best condition that it has been in many, many years. We will do what ever it takes to keep it that way and we hope you understand and agree with our decisions.