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Friday, November 29, 2013


We are entering the "Frost Delays" time of year.  With winter making a fast appearance around the great state of Alabama, keep in mind early tee times may be subject to frost delays.  Click on the "Frost Delay" tab for a more detailed explanation of what this means and how it affects the golf course playing surfaces.

Saturday, September 7, 2013



    In the annals of golf course history, summers like the this past summer, "The Summer of 2013", will be remembered long after it is gone.  The term "Legendary" comes to mind.  Here in the deep south, where summers are often oppressively hot and humid, with the ever present glaring sun baking everything into an unsightly haze, and the very limited "10%" chance of getting a cooling afternoon shower, maintaining a golf course can become quite a challenge.  Mother Nature threw us the proverbial bone this year.  One factor was the 24.58" of rain The Legacy Course captured from May through August (meteorological summer).  The other main factor was just the complete lack of crazy hot days!  Birmingham recorded its 4th coolest summer in 131 years according to Dr. John Christy, the Alabama State Climatologist, with an average high of 86.7, compared to the 131 year average high of 90.1.  These factors helped The Legacy Course to be in great shape all summer!  

     Also helping the golf course to look and play its best was our dedicated and hardworking summer crew!  This group did an awesome job battling the constant rain storms with the clean-up of the golf course and the tough task of repairing the bunkers after a deluge.  We couldn't do it without them!

  Rain and thunderstorms became a daily routine during the month of July when the rain gauge showed almost 11 inches by the time August rolled around.  Cloudy days were a nice change of pace but the lightning threat was always something to be cautious of.  Below are a couple of pics of the daily routine of rain and storms.

Large pine tree struck by lightning on #3.

The local wildlife was not sure what to make of all the water!
Despite the ever present storms we were able to perform some much needed tasks on the golf course such as aerifying the tees and fairways.

One last benefit of the weather...  Creating beautiful scenery for photographing around The Legacy Course.  Every chance I get, I'm taking pictures of the beauty that I have the opportunity to work with!  Below are some selected photos I snagged this summer.
Looking up to 18 from the chipping area.

#4 always provides a good panorama! 

The "Turtle Odyssey" was in full force this summer! 

A cloudy day on 18 green.

Taken from the driving range tee.

Early evening always provides ample photo opportunities! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Greens Update

The healing of the greens this spring has been much slower than normal due to the cooler than average spring temperatures.  We increased fertility rates to give them added encouragement, but it is a tall task to get them to grow without consistent, proper soil temperatures.  As you can see in the picture above, they are almost there, just not quite.  We have now gotten the height of cut worked back down to where it was before we aerified and they are at a point where it shouldn't take much more to get them completely filled in.

As in the past couple of years, we had a soil physical properties test performed on a couple of greens to evaluate the effectivenesss of our cultural practices on them.  We were pleased with the results.  The data collected from those two greens is more in line with 7-8 year old greens than the 14 year old greens that they are.  We saw improvements in infiltration, air porosity, organic content in the top 1" of the profile, and root depths, which was very encouraging.  Although improved, we remain in the upper target range of organic matter content in the top 1".  We must continue to control our fertility levels to limit the amount of organic matter that we are producing and  maintain our current aerification and topdressing programs to keep that number going down and the greens healthy.

Friday, March 22, 2013

While you were away...

There has been a lot going on in the last 18 days at the Legacy Course! 

We started off with greens aerification on March 4th (day 1).  The weather delayed our aerification process a little bit, but we were able to complete it all in 3 days.  The picture below was taken yesterday (March 21st).  As you can see, the greens have a long way to go to heal.  This March has been colder than normal and much colder than last March.  This has really slowed down the growth/healing of the greens.  They are about a week behind normal healing time right now and the forecast doesn't create a lot of optimism. 

Immediately after core aerification on March 7th and 8th, Specialty Turf Supply, Inc. from here in Birmingham, performed the dryject procedure on our greens.  With mininmal surface disruption, the dryject machine uses high pressure water to create channels up to 6" deep in the soil profile and simultaneously fills the channels with sand or amendments via it's vacuum technology.  The main benefit for us is that it creates additional channels (deeper than core aerification and completely sand-filled) for air, water, and gas exchange in the soil profile.

the dryject machine in operation

dryject before and after

surface and profile look of dryject results (green sand) seen during demo done last September

While aerification was going on, Heer's Stump Service constructed a burn pit at our dump (on the hill by the clubhouse) and started burning our trees debris, which we have been accumulating up there for several years.  We were able to burn for a couple of days and make some good progress before the wind increased and the humidity level dropped to a point that was unsafe to burn.

the early stages

fire in the hole

we were very pleased with the progress that we made in a couple of days

Once the weather became unsuitable for burning, Obye with Heer's Stump Service, immediately shifted his attention to the sinkhole at the chipping green complex.  The first goal there was to dig down to discover the extent of the damage to the 30" drainage pipe.  The news was not good, as we expected.  The pipe was much deeper than we anticipated, the dirt was poor, and the damage to the pipe was extensive.  Fortunately, the first 40' of the pipe, which extends out into the lake, was in good condition and we were able to tie in to it and not have to dig out into the lake.  That was about the extent of the good news.  To date, we have replaced 160' of the pipe and have another 20' to go to get back to good pipe.  The pipe for the last 80' has been much shallower, the dirt has been much better, and things have progressed much quicker.  It should only take another day or so to complete the run and get a rough cleanup done.  Following that the fun starts for our staff.  We will have to put back together all the irrigation and drainage lines that we had to cut in the trench line in order to lay the pipe and then will come the sod prep and laying of the sod, which is extensive. 

at times you couldn't even see the excavator in the trench it was so deep

a shot from the path

the tie-in to the existing pipe

the trench keeps going...

a pic from late yesterday, almost at the cart path and only 20' more of pipe to be replaced

We also aerified the greens collars during this time.  The goal of this was to help smooth out the transition between the greens perimeters and the collars, where the collars are a little higher than the edge of the green and there is a slight bumper effect.  We ran the aerifier across the collars 2 times and then followed up with a plate compactor.  We also used hand tamps on the severe areas.  We did not completely smooth out all the areas, but definitely made a noticeable difference.  We will try to do the process again at a later date to continue to improve the smoothness of the transition. 

plate compactor in the foreground and aerifier in the background

hand tamping of the more severe areas, most of which are bordered by a bunker

We spread fertilizer sparged with a pre-emergent herbicide to the course on March 15.  Harrell's Inc. blended the product for us and made the bulk application.  We used predominantly slow release fertilizer, which is designed to provide nutrients to the turf through the end of the summer.

spreader truck applying the product in the background

product applied as seen on cart path and being watered-in to establish weed barrier

We also rented a stump grinder for 2 weeks during the closed period and ground a lot of old stumps.  We will continue with this at a later date.

Tomas in action on 10

We renovated an area left of the fairway bunker on 10 as well.  The area was heavily shaded before and had encountered a lot of erosion.  We removed a couple of trees, did some pruning, ground some stumps and roots, then prepped the area for sod by tilling, amending, and leveling, and then finished it off with some new sod.  We will be doing this in a couple of other areas in the near future.

the hazard line had extended way up the hill to where the red stake is as a result of the deteriorated turf

sod prep work

sod being laid and stapled for stability

the finished project

Bunker maintenance was another project that we worked on during the 18 days.  We have added about 160 tons of sand and have about 95% of the bunkers completed.

As you can see, it has been a very busy couple of weeks at the Legacy!  We are glad that you are back!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Welcome to Spring!!!

It's amazing working outdoors everyday and being able to watch the season's change and how it impacts the golf course.  The winter of 2011/ 2012 was relatively mild and produced a much earlier spring than we are accustomed to here in Central Alabama.  This past winter, 2012/ 2013 was more of a "normal" winter and spring is ever so slowly starting to show up out here on The Legacy Course.  Take a look at the pictures above taken on the first day of spring in 2012 and 2013.  Notice the differences in the color of the grass and foliage on the trees.  What a difference a year can make!