Golf Course Management

JUL 2017

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

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07.17 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 55 "Most of our membership have a rangefinder in their bag, but with nearby, easy-to- read yardages, the need to pull them out is minimized." — Tobin Sexton tled in a glacier-carved valley near the San Juan Mountains, about 20 miles north of Durango, Colo. The panoramic Mountain Course was designed by Todd Schoeder and three-time U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin. They looked to the land's dramatic topog - raphy, with peaks rising to 14,000 feet, and extraordinary rock formations to inspire the course's unique strategy and playability. The older Valley Course was designed by Arthur Hills in the 1970s and has been modernized with new bunkering, hazards and challeng - ing doglegs. The Glacier Club recently added a second nine holes to complete the 18-hole loop that is the Mountain Course. The new nine features Toro Infinity Series sprinkler heads with the company's Smart Access covers and was outfitted with approximately 250 engraved, color-filled yardage markers from Underhill. "Having at-a-glance yardages is a boon to any course, as it allows for a more rapid, accurate pace of play," says Tobin Sexton, the irrigation specialist at The Glacier Club. "Our course is not the most forgiving, and the elevation changes lead to some decep - tive shots, so having yardages readily avail- able makes the day easier and more enjoyable for players. Most of our membership have a rangefinder in their bag, but with nearby, easy-to-read yardages, the need to pull them out is minimized." For the fresh nine, Sexton decided on a modified "turnkey solution" from Under - hill, which provided laser measurements and marker installation. The company's complete turnkey package includes a site inspection/ analysis, updated irrigation diagram, laser measurements and installation. Because the Glacier Club expansion was new, the club already had up-to-date irrigation plans cre - ated by Sexton, which showed the location and model of all heads. Carson, who oversaw the installation, was then able to record the yardages directly onto the plans, saving time and cost. Site inspection and analysis Older courses tend to upgrade their sprinklers over time with a blend of brands, and often do not have up-to-date diagrams. When the time comes to update their yard - age markers, these facilities often require a site inspection and complete re-measure, be - cause heads may have been added or moved, and turf areas could have been changed (especially in the western United States). With a site inspection, each head is properly pinpointed on a new diagram or an as-built, showing fairways, bunkers, hazards, locations and yardages. Leaky or broken heads are also identified and called out for maintenance. "Once this survey is completed, the updated irrigation diagram becomes a valuable tool for the superintendent," says Carson. To determine yardage marker placement, Carson uses a TruPulse Laser Rangefinder with Bushnell optics. He measures from the sprinkler head (point A) to the center of the green (point B), which is marked by a 5-foot reflector. He verifies the center of the green by measuring the length of the green, then dividing by two. The fluorescent reflector is placed at the center point as a benchmark from which all laser measurements are made. Carson then walks the fairway to locate each head, and shoots the measurement from the head to the center point. Distances are calcu - lated by measuring the speed of light as it hits the reflector. A laser rangefinder determines the distance from a sprinkler head to the center of a green using a laser reflector situated in the center of the green.

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