Friday, April 11, 2008

Master's Maintenance

I recently took you on a stroll through the world famous Augusta National Golf Course (or was it a garden?). While there, one cannot help but wonder how do they keep the grounds so beautiful for patrons to enjoy.

I was lucky enough to be able to see some of the groundskeepers on the job. As the Saint and I entered the course, we noticed these men walking around with long stick type things. They were making a sweeping motion from side to side while walking down one of the long fairway's.

Our curiosity got the best of us. As we crept closer to these men, we could see what they were doing. Can you guess?

They were sweeping the grass clipping from the freshly mowed grass. I have no idea what these tools are called but we found them to be very interesting.

We were impressed with how they did the job of spreading out the fresh clippings. Have any of you ever seen such gardening tools before? We could not decide if they were rubber, or wood but they did seem to be flexible.

We found a mowing posse as we approached Amen Corner! This was really impressive to the hoards of people like myself snapping pictures of them. I refer to them as a posse because they ran in a pack. They were moving so quickly that I could only get 4 mowers in this shot together. There were 10 mowers all together!

They mowed in a staggered sequence. The lead mower would set the stage for the other mowers to follow being a few feet to the left or right of the lead mower. It was really interesting to see how quickly and how clipping free this type mowing preformed.

The man on the gray mower was the lead mower. Notice the woman driving the red mower! That surprised us as this course is very traditional and seems to be mostly a "Mans World". We were happy to see that a woman can work right along side the men today on this traditional course.

We are not sure why the tennis balls are hanging down from the roof. Our guess is they represent the middle of the mower to the drivers.

These mowers were so impressive that the Augusta Chronicle published a picture in yesterdays paper of all 10 mowers in a row while mowing. I was not so lucky to catch such a shot so I am using the picture from the newspaper. The caption says the grass type is bentgrass which is a slicker surface then other varieties.

Back at Amen corner we found another strange contraption on the green. We are not sure if this was clipping the grass, raking the grass or what. The strange thing was, the machine was moving from side to side as the man operated it! I was thinking that motion might make me a bit dizzy! Have any of you ever seen such a contraption? The Saint and I both were mesmerised at this toy.

We spotted these copper colored things on a few pine trees in one area. You can see a second one on the tree in the background. Enlarge to see if you can get any clues as to why these were on the trees. We guessed that they are a band aide of sorts to freshly pruned branches. They had a bad storm last year that took a few trees down so this could be a "patch" to missing branches compliments of Mother Nature. What do you think?

Over all the place was immaculate to the eye.

The Saint and I were trying our best to find flaws. We found two flaws. One being shown to the right of the dead patch of grass. We saw a few spots such as this one.

The other thing we spotted was right in the middle of one of the fairways. It looked as those some weeds had started to sprout! Guess not even the Masters Golf Course can escape those pesky weeds!

You can see the off colored weeds in this shot. Notice how spectators are allowed to walk on the fairways. I was shocked at that as we expected to be forced to walk on walkways only. We were pleasantly surprised to be able to walk all over the course. The only thing off limits is the Tee-off Boxes, Greens and some fairways.

I would love to know how much it cost to maintain this beautiful place! I would also love to able to be part of the maintenance crew. They must take great pride in their work. What say you? Any of you like to work beside me on the course?

I wish I knew more about the maintenance but at least we were able to see a bit of it first hand...


  1. Good morning all! Very informational post and well laid out. I like it very much and I say to the one woman-Go lady!

    I attend school with a Nashville Golf course groundskeeper and he always tells us stories about it. His course is a city owned course so it does not have any ornamentals or anything. They use a bunch of chemicals but you are right, not even the masters is immune to weeds (shhhh nobody tell)!

    That tennis ball thing is cool. Wonder what it is for? Maybe to show the middle of it like you said? I think the copper band on the trees might be a bug shield? For prevention of pine bark beetles? Not sure.

    Cool you were able to walk on the grounds themselves. Was it soft and lush? I love grass. ttyl

  2. What a lot of work it must be to keep that course in such pristine condition. It's beautiful.

  3. Awesome pictures --you know I was impressed with all those ride-on mowers. Beautiful course --wish my yard to could look that good, lol. I said WISH --hahahaha. I can't even beging to imagine how many man/woman hours go into that --probably unreal. Must get the girl model off to school. Loved these pictures though ---wind blew over my tulips out back --kind of knocked them down --will they come back up? I hope so --I enjoy looking out at them each morning. Ciao!

  4. Tina, Walking on the grass was like walking on a really soft carpet! The fresh smell of it was a pleasant sniff to the nose. Do you like the smell of freshly cut grass? That is one of my top 10 favorite scents...

    Nancy, it does look like a lot of work but somehow they pull it off as it was magnificent.

    Anonymous, Dont we all wish our grass were that pretty! I think my yard looks good until I see something like that place then think, arg, I have a lot of work to do at home...LOL Happy schooling...

  5. Morning Skeeter and everyone else.

    I had hubby look at this post to see if he could give us all some answers as he worked in grounds at our golf course but he was not much help. He said the tennis ball is a guide due to the grass being so short it is hard to tell where you have mowed. He said he had no idea what the strange contraption was but wanted to know if it was on a green as they are done by hand for a while in the beginning of the season to have a better starting and then a special machine the rest of the season. I asked him how come he did'nt know since he did mowing on a golf course. He said well it had been 12 years and probably they have different machines now. OMG, MEN!!
    But I notice the tires are not touching the ground so wonder if it packs the ground down somehow. Anyway, were interesting.

  6. Hey guys hope you are all well today...that's a lot of green! Now I like some weeds in my grass and regularly plant clover, western daisy and native sedges. Imagine saying this to a grounds keeper..."Hey, where is the clover?"


  7. Anonymous, I think your lawn looks pretty good. Did you get all the "lawn" out of the driveway cracks?

    Skeeter, I love the smell of fresh cut grass, but there is a special variety that is especially sweet that I had in North Carolina. Can't tell you what it was, but I don't have it here. boo hoo. Fescue is ok smelling.

    Mom, You are funny. Did David enjoy the pics and hopefully it refreshed his memory. Geez, 12 years isn't that long. How time flies.

    Gail, The storm was not too loud, though the rain did a lot of damage. It was so forceful and so much. My gage showed 3 inches. That is alot. I saw some may apples this morning on a wildflower walk and I was so happy I knew all about them from your post and had already seen them on here! She had: shooting stars, wood anemones, celadine poppies, about 10 varieties of trillium, dogworts, lungwort, blue bells, three or four types of ginger, crested iris, azaleas, rhodies, indian pinks, fire pinks, bellwort, and like a dozen other types I can't remember. What a treat! So sharing. If you ever come up here they love visitors and she is a master gardener. Let me know as you would like the wildflowers since you have so many. Some are rare.

  8. I did email Lola to see if all is well. I haven't heard back yet. Hi Nina, I hope all is well with you and the rain didn't damage too much. It was bad for erosion.

    Mom, that was nice to check in on jillybean.

  9. Hi Guys,
    What lush grass! Makes me want to just lay down on it! Maybe the weird thing in a airator? (sp)
    Thank-you for the surprise in the mail Skeeter! My hubby was acting like it was christmas by feeling the mailer and guessing. We haven't looked at it yet but we will, he will enjoy seeing the golf course as much as I will seeing SPRING!
    Oops, report card, gotta go.

  10. Hey Dawn, After you commented I went and checked my mail and found a surprise too! Thanks Skeeter! You are too sweet. I am going to try to look at them this weekend. Should be fun. You are a an excellent picture taker!

    Dawn, Did the kids do well?

  11. Jackpot for the anonymous family:) Thank you Skeeter -I can't tell you who is more excited --me or hubby. He's a golf dreamer --hahahah he plays but not very well, lol. He won't know I said that --he used to take me along when we first got married. His idea of fun was hitting the ball and running from hole to hole --I wasn't so sure he was enjoying the game but he said it was fun to see how fast he could get over there, hahaha. Now these days he gets a cart to tote his stuff, rofl. Very, very windy but so warm --I need to take the kiddos back outside. Homework is done --yes they give homework on the weekends too:( Next week is testing week so we shouldn't have homework --just some studying/review sheets to look over. Kind of nervous today --someone saw two women attempting to look in?? my neighbors house while she was at work. So, now we all have to keep an eye out for a white car with two women. I am so thankful for our neighborhood, at least they keep watch for this stuff. One retired lady actually went out to approach them but they ran to their car and sped off --she couldn't see the license plate number. Yikes --so now my boys will be on the alert --they are gearing up for the mission. Too many army games for these guys, lol. Hi Tina --so glad you had fun in the garden today --you sure saw alot of varieties of flowers --and yeppers I got the lawn out of my driveway cracks:0) I notice it but no one else seemed too, hahaha. Thank you Skeeter --these really made our day:0) See you all when it is dark and we have to come back inside, lol.

  12. Hello Everyone, My computer has been down for a few days. I have had nothing but problems with it since I got it. It's not like there isn't two more in the house, but I am comfortable with mine. - it's an age thing!!! Hopefully hubby will have it all downloaded and ready by tomorrow.

    I also got a nice surprise in the mail today, thanks so much Skeeter, how sweet of you. I am anxious to view it. My sister was down from Crossville for a few days and I was telling her about your pics. I intended to show her the blog, but there just wasn't enough time. So now I can share the disc with she and her husband.
    Being from Tennessee I'm sure you know why they retired to Crossville!

    Have been doing some spring cleaning while it is too wet to be outside. Taking it slow so it may be fall before I get through!

    My Oldest daughter called this afternoon. They are motorcycling in the Smokies this weekend. She said it is absolutely beautiful there now.

    Tina, we didn't get much wind damage last evening, but it was a little rough for a short while. Again we are supposed to get our storm shelter installed tomorrow, they have put us off several times before. I dread the mess in the yard!

  13. Nikki was the only one with report card today and she always does well, she has to read it first if not aloud to us, she gets so excited about it. The elem. has trimesters (3 per year) and the middle, high school has the old quarter reports. Zack's should be in next week, I pretty much know his because they are on the computer. No surprise there.
    Moving the large entertainment stand tom. we left it in the mobile for the stero but the reciever went. Got another today. Dryer and freezer left for big stuff, than a bunch of throwing! Dropped a mess of clothes at goodwill today and more to go. Never ends.
    Where's Lola?

  14. Oh, btw, I've seen the metal banding around trees to keep beavers, woodpeckers and etc., away. Might be, I would. Too nice of trees.

  15. Hi All,
    Sorry, but have had family issues. We lost 2 members.
    Thank you so much, Skeeter. You are a very thoughtful, considerate sharing person. I will view it shortly.

  16. I post for Tina then disappear for the day. Sorry all.... Glad you are enjoying your little surprise. I guess I have kind of got caught up in the entire town’s excitement over the Masters this year. I never really understood what the big deal was until visiting the course. Now I know what the hoopla is all about! So I kind of wanted to share it with you all to get you excited about spring....

    Gail, I LOVE Clover! I like the little white flowers and the bumble bees on it and hunting for 4-leaf clovers! We don’t have any in our yard. We use to pluck the white flowers and make necklaces, bracelets and head bands with them as teenagers...

    Jean, I am not sure what that machine was and it was on the green. I am sure they update all equipment to the latest and greatest when available. Hey, I can see why hubby does not recall something from 12 years ago. I forget where I put my reading glasses! I found some at the Dollar Tree store (where everything is a dollar) and bought some for just about every room in the house! Now I know where they are....

    Tina, your day sounds like it was wonderful! I love looking at gardens of all types. When I first started my garden by the boat shed a few years ago, I had intended for it to be an area full of wild flowers. Then one thing led to another and before you know it, I have a semi formal looking patch...

    Wow you had a lot of rain. Calling for it tomorrow with high winds and that will make for some interesting golf playing. Hey, a rookie from TN was running in second place for most of the day today. Have not checked in since late afternoon so not sure how he faired....

    Anonymous, Homework does stink for the weekends. Most of my teachers, (yes I can recall a few), did not give us homework on Fridays. I really liked those teachers. But when we did get homework from the meanies, I was smart and did it as soon as I got home then had the rest of the weekend free to play.... The Saint and I tried golf about 15 years ago. I could not get the hang of it but I liked driving the golf car around while the Saint chased that little white ball.... LOL...

    Nina, The Smokies sounds like so much fun this time of year. My mom and dad are going there the end of the month. I am sure they will have a ball as always. They are swinging for the big time and getting a condo this time. We have not been in over a year now. It was fall and beautiful then also…

    Dawn, I dont think the tree patches are beaver proofing as they were too high up on the tree. I have seen the beaver proofing before. I was wondering if it had anything to do with pine beetles so maybe Tina is on the right track here....

    Saint came home early from work today, (Surprise!) so we ran an errand then back home and into the yard. We planted his 15 English Ivy vines in the ground. I was trying to take it easy but then got the idea to wash down the front porch. That is a major project which involves the pressure washer. Saint did that part and I did the drying and hand washing all the plant holders, rocking chairs, swing and porch decorations. Was a big job but now I can put the wicker tables out and start taking small plants out. I love my front porch as it is its own little garden! Okay, too long but had to answer all…. Tina have fun with hubby…

  17. Hey all, turning cold here. I am hoping very hard for no freeze, as is Frances, Dave and Gail. I hope it works for no damage!

    Lola, So sorry for your loss. Let us know if there is anything we can do.

  18. Whoa Skeeter --you did a ton of work today. Wish I could say the same but we played outside in the wind. It is fun letting the wind push you on a scooter -not me the kiddies, lol. It was very strong! And, I heard about that fella from TN last night on the news --I hope he continues to do well. It's nice when someone appears and does better than the pros we all know:) I guess I like the underdog.
    Hi Tina --have a great weekend --I noticed Sunday has projected snow showers turning to rain??? Just when I was getting used to this nice warm and windy weather.

    Hi Nina, I really should be doing some spring cleaning myself --I'll get there but it might be Christmas before I finish at the rate I am going. I think our houses won't mind:0) At least mine won't --

    Hi Dawn --too funny that your girl model loves to get her report card. My girl flashes that thing as soon as she gets off the bus. Wonder if she'll be that way when she gets to the high school? hehehe

    Hi Lola, I'm sorry to hear about the family. Hang in there and know we'll be thinking of you.

    Hi Jean --you'd be loving my kitchen today --I clipped a bunch of lilacs and it smells absolutely divine down there --
    I also asked my neighbor if I could come over and smell her lilacs --they were just as yummy and a dark purple mine are light purple. Oh, joy of joys these flowers are great!!!

    Hi Gail --I love to find a four leaf clover --we used to press them in waxed paper as kids and use them as bookmarks:)

    I need to get the kiddos to bed. Have a great night y'all!

  19. So sorry to hear about your loss Lola. My thoughts an prayers are with your family!!! Hang in there...

  20. Hey all,
    Nina, I hope you get your computer fixed. I know how it is being attached to one.

    I wanted to ask you why your sister moved to Crossville? I met a woman from Austin who was at the Garden Convention who also lived in Tennessee. I can't remember the name of her garden club but her name is Joanne and she was a nice lady. She said she moved there because of good soil and four mild seasons. Is that why your sister moved there? The Smokies should definitely be great.

    Dawn, Glad Nikki did well. I know the Jimsters too like you do Zack's.

    Skeeter, Never too long when you have something to say. Wanna come wash my porch????

    Gail, Sometimes clover is good in the lawn. My mother thinks so. I don't though but a few weeds are acceptable in the lawn. Are you busy weeding? I am.

    Anonymous, Keep an eye out. Be safe. I fear anyone who tries to mess with you guys (the hunters)! Girl model will still flash her report card I bet, and Nikki too.

    Mom, where are you? Outside gardening?

  21. Tina I am here, just been puttering
    around the house and playing spades and canasta online. It sounds like you had a good day. I
    will hope for warm weather for you guys down south. I will put myself to sleep tonight thinking no freeze, no freeze, no freeze.
    Boys oh boy, 3 inches of rain at one time is a lot! Every day I make the rounds of the, Dave, Gail, Frances and jillybean. I thought you knew that. I still go to Harvistry but only a couple of times a week as he did'nt post for a long time and then posted 2 times after his baby was born. I probably should just take him off my bookmarks and add another. Trouble is, Id have to check them all to see which one I like the best and would not be able to make a choice and would add them all and I just can't do them all. I also still go to Sarah's but she only posts every Wednesday. Yes I do love clover, always have and we do not have much of it. I think it is the only place in the state of Maine that does not have a lotta clover:(

    Anonymous I hope those nasty people do not come back. Stay on your toes and be careful. I always like the underdog also and always have. Glad you got some lilacs and I LOVE the dark purple ones. Mine are all the light purple and my french lilac are very light purple, but they were all free so I'll settle for them. LOL

    Nina, what is spring cleaning? If you could see my house you would really think I do not know what it is. I know what you mean about being comfortable with what you have but I don't know about it having anything to do with age as I have always hated change of any sorts. Now if I won the lottery I could deal with that change!

    Skeeter when I was still able to get by with just reading glasses I used to have them in every room also and I got mine in the one of the Dollar Stores. Trust me, it is much eaiser when you get to the point that you wear them all the time. I tried golf once when I was a teenager. They gave lessons to kids on Sat mornings and I went
    1 time. Too darn hot on the course for me to chase a little ball around when I could be chasing Smarties (the candy) under
    water in a nice bright blue lake.
    I was a security guard at a fuel depot for 10 years and we made rounds on a golf cart and I loved it. I have talked about it before and used to go in the woods with it. It was great. We had mopeds at first and we all dreaded the change to a golf cart but I loved it and that is not usually me to like change. The other guards did'nt like it as it was slower than the mopeds. Even with the golf cart we spent only a total of 1 hour out of an 8 hour shift making rounds so go figure. Some people are just so lazy. Before the fuel depot was built in the 50's there were a few houses on some of the land and there were still lilacs and honeysuckle still in the woods. I'd drive to them in the golf cart, dig up what I wanted and put them on my lawn. Also got lotsa pine needles and seaweed for the garden. Picked tons of raspberrys ad blackberries from the cart. We also had an ederly, billionaire couple that lived behind us (they are now both gone from this world) and they had a golf cart to just play around with and they had twin granddaughters, with one having the same name as one of Tina's twins so he would bring them up to vist us on his golf cart. They are great rigs!

    Oh dear Lola I am so sorry and you have my most heartfelt thoughts.

    I am sure a windy person tonight.
    Well folks ttttthats it! Now if I can do that darn word thing in less than 3 times I will go to bed a happy gal.

  22. Good Morning to All. Tina, Crossville in known for golf and the weather is mild.

    Jean, you betcha I could really make some changes if I won the lottery and probably wouldn't even think about it! Like hire a maid!!!

    Lola, I am so sorry for your loss,I'll keep you in my prayers.

    Have a great Weekend everyone!

  23. A lot of people use golf cars to ride to their mailboxes with long driveways. Also you see kids on them in neighborhoods with swimming pools. They drive them back and forth to the pools...

    Oh the things I would do if I hit the big one! Get "Cats R Us" in CLarksville a brand new building would be the first major purchase! Then hire a professional landscaper to give me a dream yard that I could maintain! Of course this would go with my new cabin style home on Kentucky Lake! Dream On...

  24. Thank you for visiting my blog and for the comment! I must say this is a fascinating post and a truly beautiful golf course. Amazing!