Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter Maintenance

Inevitably I am asked every winter, “What is there to do at the golf course during the winter months?”  Simply put, a lot!


During the winter we bring all of our ball washers, benches, garbage receptacles, cups, flagsticks, and range tee dividers inside so they can painted.  All of the tee and green supplies get broken down, prepped, primed, painted and reassembled. Items like our range tee dividers get sanded, cleaned and receive several coats of stain/sealer. 
Equipment Repair and Maintenance

Ridgeway has close to a million dollars worth of equipment in the maintenance department and it is our job to preserve your investment.  One of the steps we take in preserving Ridgeway’s investment is preventative maintenance.  Throughout the offseason all of our preventative maintenance gets done on our equipment which includes:  oil changes, new filters, new bearings, hydraulic hoses, etc. are a few of the items that get replaced during the offseason.
A majority of our cutting units consist of reels and bedknives, both get taken apart and ground so that they are sharp once the season begins.  Each reel and bedknife is examined for age to see if any replacements are necessary.  Its takes months not days to look at every single piece of equipment and do the work necessary to have it working correctly when we need it perform at its best.  


We look into our central control computer which runs our irrigation to see if we can improve how our system runs. Every sprinkler can be tweaked to meet the demands of its particular environment. We can make adjustments if need be or reconfigure the system so we get the most out our watering.

House Cleaning
A majority of the work done this offseason is completed inside, because of that; we shuffle equipment around to make our work easier.  Once we get our painting and equipment maintenance done we clean/ organize our shop the way we would like it for the golf season.   

During this cleaning process we take inventory of irrigation parts, chemicals, fertilizer, tools, and supplies so that we know what we need once the hectic golf season starts. 
Tree Management

This season the greens and grounds committee has selected a few trees that had issues with the following:

1.       Dead or dying. A few of these trees on the property where completely dead.  Many of these where elms or ash which had succumb to disease.  The committee had concerns with safety because of falling limbs.

2.       Loss of form.  Many ash trees on the property where planted so closely together that they started to lose branches, or die off slowly.  Because these trees are weak, wind storms have made many of these trees hazards to the golfer and from an aesthetic point of view, ugly!

3.       Overcrowding. In few instances trees that are crowding other larger specimen trees were removed to allow for the longevity and vitality of our most prized trees.

This season’s tree removal is very small but a nice improvement.  It’s nice to see healthy trees that are allowed to now reach their full potential.
Along with a few tree removals we have also concentrated on removing overhanging limbs on the property. This will allow for greater playability and make mowing rough less dangerous for our employees. 

As you can see there is plenty of work that needs to be completed in the cold Wisconsin winters.  So much so that we have to make sure we stay on schedule so that it gets completed before our season begins.  So far we are ahead of schedule and we can’t wait for the 2014 golf season to begin!!