Golf Course Management

SEP 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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gcm ex t ra group, working cohesively, to get the job done right for the right price. Fortunately, our working group embraced the challenge of enhancing the area on a small budget and with few resources. We solicited member feedback throughout the project. But equally important, we rolled up our sleeves to get the job done. With the help of a working group representing a wide range of golf handicaps, the green committee and our staff reached a consensus by incorporating maintenance input into the fnal design. Getting their hands dirty Once we locked in a design concept, a thorough proposal was created for the purpose of formalizing the discussion and itemizing all costs that would be as- V v v Leo Feser Award candidate This article is eligible for the 2014 Leo Feser Award, presented annually since 1977 to the author of the best superintendent-written article published in GCM during the previous year. Superintendents receive a $300 stipend for articles. Feser Award winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Golf Industry Show, where they are recognized. They also have their names engraved on a plaque permanently displayed at GCSAA headquarters. 66 GCM September 2013 Located between two nursery greens, the practice bunker was designed with ease of maintenance in mind. Wood planking and steps dividing the upper and lower levels helps prevent golfers from disturbing the sand. sociated with the project. One key element in our plan was to do the necessary work only when staff was available. We wanted to make this project a reality without having to sacrifce course conditions (or other maintenance needs) in any way. To that end, the work was completed during the crew's "down time." There was very little overtime or added labor expense involved. We also were able to rely on labor from two of our interns, Tim Crowley and Nick Dowe, who proved to be more than just a little resourceful. The raw materials utilized (sand, gravel, drainage pipes, planking and seed) totaled less than $7,000. At the end of the day, we were able to accomplish a fnished, grown-in practice area for under $10,000. With the bulk of the project's cost going to sand and gravel materials, we were under pressure to complete the project using only the resources we had on site, and Crowley and Dowe were front and center in those efforts. Instead of renting a trencher to install the drainage pipe, we used old-fashioned muscle. They were forced into a position where they had to create something out of nothing by reusing irrigation sprinklers, cutting drainage line lengths cautiously and relying only on the equipment and implements at hand. In a position where their intention was to create a grand practice area with limited resources, the experience of working under such circumstances proved to be invaluable. While the success of the practice area has been largely attributed to the blood, sweat and tears that Crowley, Dowe and our entire staff put into the project, it is important to address the efforts our entire green committee and one particularly energetic member of that committee, who was intimately involved from the get-go. He was the one who actually designed the layout of the practice area, conceived the idea of a two-level bunker, prodded us to install planking and even stepped up with shovel in hand to help shape the bunker itself. He spent untold hours with us tweaking details in the feld, and took considerable time away from his day job, not to mention his golf game, to focus on the project. All of these sacrifces were worth it for all concerned. Indeed, building a useful, creative practice facility at this cost, and knowing that it will last for a generation, is one of the greatest bargains in the long history of our club. GCM Zachary Ohsann is the golf course superintendent at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif., and a nineyear GCSAA member.

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