Friday, June 29, 2012

Bear Trace at Harrison Bay Honored with Governor's Environmental Pursuit of Excellence Award

We just received some great news that the golf course has been awarded the Pursuit of Excellence Award from the State of Tennessee Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards program.  This award is presented to previous winners of the GESA, which we were fortunate to receive in 2009, who have continued to implement programs and improve their environmental stewardship activities.

2012 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards Announced
Individuals, Organizations and Projects Honored for Achievements
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced the winners of the 2012 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards today. The 11 winners will be recognized for their achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources in an awards ceremony to be held in Nashville on August 24.
“From implementing innovative new technology to environmentally friendly building practices to community members simply supporting one another, the honorees announced today once again demonstrate that Tennessee businesses, local governments, schools and everyday citizens are committed to healthier and more sustainable communities,” Haslam said.

I am very proud of all my staff members who help are dedicated and involved in the environmental programs we are undertaking at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.  It has always been our goal with our Environmental Partnership Initiative to balance the needs of the golf course with the needs of the wildlife which call the property home in such a way that one can not tell the two apart.  With our turkey feeders, our blue bird trail, the naturalized areas around the course, and our good Bald Eagle friends, Elliott and Eloise, we feel we are accomplishing our goal everyday.

Friday, June 22, 2012

New Course Accessories

Not all of the improvements we make to the golf course involve the actual playing surfaces all the time.  To improve the experience for our guests we have replaced/upgraded many of the on course accessories around the golf course and have have many compliments on them already.

Old Tee Marker

New Tee Marker

Old Trash Can

New Trash Can
Old Water Cooler House

New Water Cooler House
Old Sand Bottle Holder
New Sand Bottle Holder

All of these course accessories are made using recycled plastics which will last for a very long time with little or no maintenance and are very environmentally friendly, which is always a big plus for us.  The purchase of these accessories will eliminate the cost and time spent a few times each year repairing and painting the items just to have them fade out and look bad within a few months of repair.

The tee markers and trash cans are from Prestwick Golf Group and the Water Cooler Houses and Sand Bottle Holders are from Standard Golf.  The color of the products are solid throughout so if they get cut or damaged it will not be as visible and will look good for many, many years to come.  We hope everyone enjoys the new amenities around the golf course.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Aerification time is upon us again

It is that time of year again for the dreaded aerification of the greens.  The golf course will be closed to play Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week to complete the process.  This year we will be aerifying our greens twice with small 1/4" tines only one time in June.  The holes should heal up rather quickly and allow us to get the greens back to standard in a timely manner.

Over the past week we have been working on getting the aerification of the green surrounds completed, or at least started.  Over the years of topdressing and fertilizing the greens, the surrounds have begun to grow a "hump" on the outside 2-3 feet of the collar.  This "hump" creates several problems with mowers and rollers, water being restricted from flowing off of the greens surface, and disruption of ball roll onto and around the green.

The process of removing this "hump" has been a work in progress but we seem to have a pretty good process down now and it is working quite well.  We are using 3/4" side eject tines on our John Deere aerifier to remove material from this area.  Removing the soil creates quite a mess but will allow for voids in the subsurface so the "hump" can be mashed down.

The material created from the aerification is picked up and any excess cores blown off of the area.

The aerified area was then heavily watered to soften up the subsurface for compacting.

We tried to roll down the area with our greens roller but quickly found that it was too light to get the job done to our satisfaction.  We loaded up our Dakota topdresser and used the weight of the sand plus the machine to flatten out the areas.  The process was a little messy in some areas but we were able to lower the "humps" around the greens by several inches in many areas.  We will continue the process throughout the summer on the worst areas to continue improving the golf course.

I have had several questions about the brown areas on some of the greens and collars, especially on #16 green.  First, let me say that the greens are NOT dying or in any threat of dying.  The brown areas were caused by a fertilizer "burn" which is being investigated by the fertilizer company.  I have used this particular brand of fertilizer on these greens for the past four years with absolutely zero issues so this is something that is puzzling to all of us.  I am thankful for all the concern and interest and we are working on it steadily.  I believe the upcoming aerification will help to relieve the issue and get our greens back were they are supposed to be.