A lot of our focus in the early winter months has been devoted to tree work. We have cleared and removed over a dozen dead or diseased trees that were unsafe to our members and guests. The debris pile from the previous two tornadoes and derecho of 2012 is finally being hauled away and turned into a wild flower orchard to promote pollinator and bird habitats. This is a big deal in Montgomery County with the current legislation to ban pesticide use. Showing supporters of the proposed law that we do care for wildlife and take steps to preserve nature can help debunk the myth that golf courses and landscapers are detrimental to the health of our environment.
Work has also been done to open up the canopy at #16 tee. If you have played at RedGate in the last decade, you know how huge this step is to maintaining turf on a tee box that has constantly been a struggle and eyesore. We have also been working with Crown Castle, the company that operates the cell tower, and The City of Rockville to make changes to the infrastructure from #15 tee to #16 tee. We're excited about the changes and improvements it will make to those holes.
There were some issues with the irrigation piping that was due to just age and general wear and tear. Phoenix Irrigation has come in and started to repair the system by removing the old pumps and piping and replaced them with more efficient ones. They are also doing some re-routing of the headers to make any future work on the system easier. This should help by improving our irrigation coverage without increasing our water usage. After they are installed, we will be doing some in house repairs to the building. The work will be complete before we start the system up in early March.
This is also the time of year when many local, regional, and national meetings take place for turf managers. Continuing education is vital to being the best Superintendent you could possibly be. The technological, mechanical, and chemical advances that take place in this industry are numerous and rapid. Toro, Jacobsen, Syngenta, BASF, etc., they all spend millions of dollars annually in research and development. At every Golf Industry Show, they have some new products for professionals to salivate over.
While a family commitment will not allow me to attend the GIS in San Antonio this year, I have attended some very beneficial seminars. The Eastern Shore Association of Golf Course Superintendents had their Fall Conference in early November. It was a 3-day event in Ocean City with golf and educational speakers. The Mid-Atlantic Association Annual Meeting at Argyle Country Club and the MAAGCS Educational Seminar at Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville were well attended and invaluable to me as a 1st year Superintendent. In addition to the knowledge gained, the networking that is accomplished will prove to be extremely beneficial in providing the best conditions possible at RedGate.
There is still plenty of work to be done. Aerification, fertilization, and seedhead control applications are right around the corner. As well as some bunker work we have planned, improvement to the irrigation at the driving range is in the works. Stay tuned for dates on greens aerification.