Managing cart traffic during wet weather is a year-round task but it becomes especially important this time of year. Lower evaporation rates and reduced usage by the dormant turf prolongs the time it takes for excess water leave the soil. This means that after a rain, the ground stays wet for much longer than expected. Last week we received almost 2 inches of rain on Tuesday. During the summer we would have likely been back off the paths the next day, however, last week, the grounds department made the decision to keep carts on paths through Thursday. We had several golfers take their carts off paths and the tracks they created are still visible. The picture on the right is front left of #11 green. There are places all over the golf course that look like this. We ask for your cooperation when we are supposed to be on paths so that mud tracks like these can be prevented. The grounds department assesses the course conditions
every day and will make changes to the cart policy as needed. Thank you.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Last week, the grounds staff began deep-tining greens. The front nine greens and the practice facility were completed last week, leaving the back nine greens to be completed this week. A solid, 1/2" by 10" tine is used for this process to create deep channels filled with sand to promote long, healthy roots going into late fall. This time of year, as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, the Bentgrass begins spending less of it's energy growing leaves and more of it's energy creating roots. We want to take advantage of this process by allowing clear pathways for those roots to grow. These holes, once created, are carefully filled with sand to ensure optimum water movement from the surface down to the drainage pipe underneath the root zone.
Monday, September 30, 2013
As summer fades away, and the sure signs of fall are all around us, now is the best time to be on the golf course. The weather lately has been absolutely perfect. This past weekend, the golf course finally received some much needed rainfall. A storm rolled in mid-day Saturday and dropped 2 inches of rain over 4 hours. That's 4.3 million gallons over the entire golf course. Plenty of water to replenish soil moisture and refill our ponds.
Assessing the course this morning, I feel like the course is positioned nicely for fall. Our Bentgrass greens are enjoying this weather and playing conditions very good right now. The quality of our tees, fairways and surrounds will improve as well due to increased soil moisture, warm afternoons, and plenty of sunshine. I like this time of year on our Bermuda playing surfaces because they healthy and green, but the growth is slowed down due to the cooler nights. These night time lows in the 50's acts like a natural growth regulator. We are currently mowing all Bermuda once per week, down from three times a week for tees, collars and surrounds. This frees up precious labor to tackle other details that had been postponed.
It's been two weeks since greens were aerated and I am pleased with the recovery so far. The holes have filled in and the surface is smooth. Now that the sand is completely worked into the canopy, the grounds staff has begun lowering the height of cut down from our summer height of .150" to .120". Currently we are .130". We lower the height .005" after every third mowing to ensure that the turf doesn't get scalped during this process. Greens will be verticut and dusted with topdressing sand, this week, to continue to smooth and firm the surface.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to contact me at 918-272-1175 or email me at email@example.com
Friday, September 20, 2013
This week, staff completed the fall core aeration on all putting greens. We originally planned to initiate this project the day after Labor Day, but the weather proved to be too hot, so it was postponed to September 9th & 10th. Summer was stubbornly hanging around and forced us to postpone aeration yet again to this past Monday. Despite a few showers, the front nine was completely finished by Monday evening. Tuesday was a different story. The staff was able to verticut, mow, aerate and clean up the cores, but due to steady rain, no sand was applied. Wednesday morning, after the storm passed, the crew went out and began topdressing and brushing the sand into the holes.
I've written extensively, in previous posts, about the benefits of core aeration, and the process we use, so I won't go into great detail here. For those of you who are interested, I've included a link to a previous post on core aeration here.
Although core aeration of putting greens in an inherently disruptive process, the grounds staff works very hard to ensure that putting conditions return to normal as quickly as possible. The weather has been favorable and it looks like we are on track to heal in from the process in another 3-4 days.
As always, if you have any questions about the process of aeration, or benefits from aerating, feel free to ask. Thank you for your patience during this time.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Those of you that have played recently may have noticed some construction work taking place behind the first tee box. This work is to renovate a small putting green. A few years ago, the sod was needed to make repairs to some areas on the golf course and was never repaired. During the demolition phase, I discovered that a 2-3 feet of the original green had been encroached by Bermuda so we took the opportunity to enlarge the green to its original dimensions. In the end, we added back approximately 400 square feet to the green. This will allow us more room for hole locations.
Over the past few weeks, staff removed the old greens mix and prepped the new mix for seeding. This morning the putting green was seeded with an improved Bentgrass variety called "Tyee." This newer variety is the same as the Chipping green as well as #'s 12-14. We like this new variety due to it's improved density, drought tolerance and disease resistance. Seeding the new green today should allow for some quick germination. By Monday, we should start to see some light green "peach fuzz" developing. Once we get all the seedlings up, we need to be very careful to keep it moist and apply timely fertilizer applications to allow the turf to fill in rapidly. We hope to have our first mowing in 2-3 weeks.
I will ask that as this green begins to fill in, golfers resist the temptation to putt on it so the turf has every chance to fill in by winter. We plan on officially opening this green sometime in the spring.
If you have any questions about the process just let me know. Thanks
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
|Greens roller improves playability while reducing turf stress|
No matter what part of the country you live in, summer brings many challenges when trying to maintain Bentgrass putting greens. Heat, drought, excess rainfall, disease, foot traffic, and insects all conspire against the turf and has it fighting for it's life. We, the agronomy department, must do our part and carefully help the plant by giving it just what it needs, at just the right times. Solid tine aeration, timely fertilizer and pesticide applications, hand watering, and routine light applications of topdressing all help keep the turf healthy and ready to deal with the stresses of summer. Some other practices we utilize during the intense summer heat include: raising the height of cut, using smooth rollers, instead of grooved, on the cutting units, rolling greens instead of mowing, and using greens fans to improve air flow.
|Light apps of sand dilute thatch, smooth and firm surface|
All of these practices are meant to lessen the amount of stress the plant is forced to endure. Once more seasonal weather sets in, the agronomy staff will make further adjustments and the practices employed will favor improving playability and not just survival.
|Greens fans improve air flow|
Friday, August 23, 2013
|Looking back toward #3 tee box|
|#12 fairway looking toward green|
|Pre-emergent going down on #1 fairway|
Once Labor Day weekend passes, the agronomy staff will begin Fall greens aeration. We always schedule this Fall aeration the Tuesday and Wednesday following Labor Day so that playing conditions are not affected during the busy holiday weekend. As that project gets started, I will be providing more information walking through each step and benefits we will see from the process. For those who are curious, I've covered greens aeration at great detail in an earlier post that I've linked here.
|Hand watering #18 green|
As always, if you have any questions, or comments, feel free to contact me. Hope to see you out there!
|Sunrise from #1 tee box|