30 May 2019

Combat Nature’s Force with Planned Golf Course Renovations

Wildfires in the west, tornadoes across the central plains, and hurricanes on the east coast or along the Gulf of Mexico devastate golf courses every year. Beyond the spectacular natural disaster, golf courses are subject to multiple issues that lower playing value for customers and thus bring lower revenue as golfers seek other courses that have conquered those conditions that eventually plague every golf course. Sometime during the lifetime of a golf course, renovation becomes a necessity that cannot be avoided.

Combat Nature's Force with Planned Golf Course Renovations

Experienced golf course administrators understand that nature is a fluid challenge that must be met with planning and coordination to effectively maintain a challenging course that attracts golfers from surrounding communities and beyond. Nature is an unstoppable force. The quality of the golf experience declines as courses age. A mature golf course sees foreign grasses and weeds invade fairways, tees, and greens. Under normal circumstances, the removal and replacement of course grasses run along a 15-30-year cycle. In some instances, that cycle accelerates, creating the specter of a short-term golf business that declines and eventually fails.

Irrigation systems include both the delivery of water to thirsty courses and the capability to drain water away either through an effective underlying structure of sand and gravel or through the natural wicking of wind and sun. Both the introduction of water and the removal of excess hold paramount importance for the quality of a golf course. Older irrigations systems break down requiring removal and replacement of more than just the visible heads. Underground drainage systems eventually clog with fine material and must be replaced to reduce the damage caused by standing water.

The natural breakdown of soils brings small slides or soft spots that become unintentional hazards and eye soars that mar the charm of any golf course. Maintaining the integrity of hillsides, sand traps, and roughs are just as crucial to the quality golf experience as the maintenance of greens and tees.

At Fusion, we analyze the strengths and weaknesses of mature golf courses and recommend a gradual approach to improvements and renovations that keep the viability of the business intact. Our commitment is to the quality of the golf experience. Maintaining that experience for generations of golfers through the responsible renovation of mature golf courses is a central pillar of our business.

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08 Feb 2019

From Thought to Reality: Golf Course Shaping

The creation of a challenging golf course takes more than excavation and smoothing. Though these activities are important, they pale in comparison to the final shaping of the course. The shaping process takes into consideration the contour of the current land mass, the availability of necessary materials, and the vision of the architect.

From Thought to Reality: Golf Course Shaping

Such items as the architect’s intentions to create a hard, soft, or natural surface come into play at the inception of the creative shaping of the course. These considerations determine draining needs and contour embellishments. The designed elevation of tees and greens often determine the sequence of shaping as golf courses must be shaped from the bottom up. A green placed at a low point is shaped before a tee at a high position as a matter of production efficiency.

It is the shaping process that finalizes the vision of the architect. The depth of bunkers, the decision of whether bunker lips are squared, beveled, or overhanging, and the slope of the sand surface are an example of the shaping process that goes into the creation of the course. Greens with undulating surfaces or flat surfaces demand different drainage systems to keep water from collecting in some areas and yet allowing enough moisture to remain to provide a smooth surface.

The beauty of a golf course comes to life during its shaping phase with the sculpting of contours. A flat course without bunkers presents little challenge to a practiced golfer. However, a golf course with elegant contours, challenging bunkers, and murderous water hazards piques the interest of every golfer. To create such golf courses demands that the course shaper pay strict attention to detail.

At Fusion Golf, our reputation is on the line with every project we tackle. Our mission is to present the vision of the architect as a physical reality. We pay strict attention to every detail, plan out the particulars in advance, and assemble all necessary materials before starting. We live with the fact that the creation of a challenging golf course lies in the shaping process.

10 Jul 2018

How a Golf Course Shaping Can Make Renovation a Reality

Almost every golf course owner has that one area of their course, big or small, that they just don’t like. Maybe it is a little boring or doesn’t suit the course overall. However, renovation can be expensive and a major headache. You may hire architects to redesign it, but looking at the design on blueprint isn’t always as persuasive as it could be. It could leave you having a lot of second thoughts about your renovation, but there’s hope with golf course shaping.

How a Golf Course Shaping Can Make Renovation a Reality

If you have made the decision to renovate an area of your golf course or even the entire thing, a shaper’s job is to bring the architect’s blueprints to life with a bulldozer. Essentially they mold the earth like it is clay and bring the vision to life in front of your eyes. Often, golf course owners find that once they have seen a shaper’s work, they view the renovation much more positively because they can actually see the vision of the architect too.

While a shaper’s work seems very permanent, it isn’t quite so. In fact, if you see a shaper’s work following the blueprints and you don’t like it, it remains completely able to be changed. After all, it’s just dirt, you simply need to add more or reduce the amount to really change the shape. Once the landscapers have put sod down, it can be a little more difficult, but if you have issues during the shaping phase, your new course renovation is still very easy to change. It is a process very much like molding clay. It can take many shapes until hardened, or in this case, covered in grass.

If you want to learn more about the golf course renovation process, or want to take advantage of our shaping services to change a portion of your course, contact us today.

22 May 2018

The Process of Shaping a Green

Despite their beauty and intricacies, building a green can be done faster than you may think. Greens are an important part of any golf course, and can make or break some holes.

The Process of Shaping a Green

Preparing the Green for Shaping

After getting the drawing plan from the architect, the shaper first secures the perimeter. This is often done with stakes. Depending on the level of difficulty of the incoming green, stakes or other markers may be also placed on the interior to designate transitional areas.

Removal of the Old Green and Rough Shaping

The first part of what is called the rough shaping is to take out the old green. Or, if it is a new course, the old grass. This is done using a bulldozer. When the area is cleared, the land forming is continued using a tractor. A fresh, new, workable grade of soil will be installed. This rough shaping will establish the dimensions and the foundation for the upcoming refinement.

Fine Grading

During this phase, the topsoil, gravel, and sand will be applied, and the components will be graded to meet the specifications of the plan. The contours, slope, and fall line will be established, as well as the location of the hole.

The New Grass

The final part of the job is laying in the new grass. This can be done either by direct replacement with sod, or it can be grown from seeding. Sodding must be done carefully in order to ensure the green remains even and true to its intended form.

How Long Does it Take to Shape a Green?

In total, shaping a green may take approximately 5 days, assuming consistent, all-day work. It will take approximately 1.5 to 2 days to shape the area to specification with the bulldozer and tractor, and another approximately 1.5 to 2 more days to lay in the new soil and gravel. Then a day to apply the sand, and also lay down the new grass.

If your course is due for a new green, or you have any further questions regarding our shaping services, please do not hesitate to give us a call.