Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Short Turf Pigment Application

Based on the positive feedback we've received about the pigment application to the driving range tee and target greens, this week, the grounds staff is applying a similar product to the tees, fairways, approaches, collars and surrounds.  This pigment will give the turf a natural, green look, to make it seem like it  is still actively growing.  As the rough continues to go dormant, the pigment will also provide a nice contrast to the tan Bermuda.

Since our goal is to achieve a natural, green appearance, it was determined early on that a second application would likely be needed.  We will plan on reapplying the pigment sometime in the next 3-4 weeks.  This final application will provide a deeper, richer green that should last for most of the winter.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Driving Range Pigment Application

Last week, a green pigment was applied to the driving range tee and target greens.   It was decided that having green turf on the targets would allow better depth perception of the targets while practicing, and overseeding these areas with Ryegrass would be cost prohibitive, so a green turf pigment was used to stain the semi-dormant turf green to make it look like seeded Ryegrass.  This kind of process is a first for us, and so far we are happy with the positive feedback we’ve received. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Clubhouse Patio Landscaping

Paint is used to mark the new bed shape,
and the grass is killed w/ herbicide
Although the grounds staff spends time each week, throughout the growing season, maintaining the lawns and landscape beds around the clubhouse, a few times a year extra attention is required to make necessary improvements.  This past spring, the bed on the north side of the food & beverage facility was redesigned and has turned out to be a big improvement.

As our mowing schedules and other tasks have begun to wind down, I felt a need to address another issue at the clubhouse while we still had our seasonal help.  The area directly north of the back patio has been an eye sore for quite some time.  This area is in continuous shade and the Bermuda cannot fully grow up to the edge of the patio.  This has created a muddy thin area that hasn't been much to look at.

A few weeks ago, the new landscape bed was outlined and herbicide was applied to kill the existing Bermudagrass.  Earlier this week, Joe, our irrigation technician, redesigned the irrigation in this area to ensure the proper spray distribution.  Yesterday, the staff installed new landscape edging, plants, rock paths, and mulch.  The plants chosen for this bed are all tolerant of full shade and should acclimate very well to their new home.  Each of them will also flower at various times to provide some seasonal interest throughout the year.  This new bed certainly improves the look in front of the back patio, but it also removes the gap that existed in the landscape design which creates some continuity around the back of the clubhouse.

Plants and paths being installed
All finished!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

#5 Greens Surround Drainage

First, the trench is dug out
This week, the grounds staff completed a small drainage project right of #5 green.  This area has been holding excessive amounts of water for most of the season and has become an issue.  The wet turf is very soft and prone to damage from mowers and foot traffic.  Joe, our irrigation technician, installed a small section of drainage pipe, and gravel, to give the excess water in the soil someplace to go.  Over the next few days, this area should start to dry up and should be much drier going forward.

Second, pipe is added 

Third, trench is backfilled with gravel

Lastly, sod is replaced and topdressed smooth

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall Transition

The signs of fall are everywhere!  The leaves are beginning to change color and some are even beginning to fall from the trees.  The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler.  These changes in the weather also usher in a change in the growth of the Bermuda grass in our tees, fairways, and rough.  We've noticed, over the past few weeks, a sharp decrease in the amount of grass we are cutting each time we mow.  This means that we are able to mow less often, which affords us more time to work on other tasks.  The staff has been able to catch up on all sorts of details, such as edging sprinkler heads and basins, topdressing divots, etc.  In another month or so, we'll likely have our first frost and the Bermuda will then go dormant until spring.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Fall Greens Aeration

This past week, the staff completed our fall greens aeration.  A project like this is always a lot of work and the staff did an amazing job completing the project and still preparing the golf course for a busy weekend.  Some rainy weather provided a few delays, but the staff was flexible, and we still accomplished our goals.  I've written about the many benefits of the aeration process in the past, that information can be found here.

Now that aeration is behind us, we can begin the heal-in process.  Over the next week, or so, the holes will gradually fill in, and the greens will get firm and smooth.  We realize that everyone is anxious to get the greens back to normal, but appreciate everyone's patience during the next two weeks.  Although aeration is seen as a huge inconvenience, the aeration process is critical to a sustainable, high quality surface year after year.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Course Update

#7 greens surround taken August 14th
#4 fairway taken August 30th
Over the past month or so, the golf course has seen a lot of seasonal changes.  During the last week of July, the typical hot, dry summer weather pattern started to settle in and the golf course began to dry out.  This dry pattern continued until rains came in mid-August.
Although our irrigation system is more efficient than I've ever seen it, it cannot give the grass all the water it needs to replace what is being evaporated in the absence of periodic rains.  As a result, the Bermuda on the course began to turn brown and semi-dormant in certain places.  Although this is normal for this time of year, I still had a lot golfers in disbelief that we could be so dry after having so much rain this spring.  The picture on the right was taken on August 14th and it's clear to see we missed some key rains in July.  I recently wrote in greater detail on the dry weather pattern and it can be found here.  Relief from the hot, dry weather came in the form of several big storms that, not only dumped almost 7 inches of rain, but dropped the temperatures down into the 80's.  As you can see from the picture on the right, the golf course greened back up quickly.

Removing thatch on #17
Aside from the weather, the staff has done a fantastic job of not only keeping up with our daily tasks, but completing timely improvement projects leading up to Labor day weekend.  Slicing of fairways and greens mid month alleviated compaction stress, and provided a much needed dose of oxygen into the rootzone during this most stressful time of year.  Our chemical applicator, Doug, applied fertilizer to the entire golf course a week before the rains started which allowed us to recover from the dry weather very quickly.  Last week, the staff performed a quick core aeration on collars.  Once this was drug in and watered, there was very little, if any, disruption to the surface.  This will heal before the holiday weekend and provide long lasting benefits well into fall.

Removed a lot of organic during this process
In the two weeks leading up to Labor Day weekend, the staff has verticut greens several times, to smooth and firm the surface.  All fine turf areas (tees, fairways, etc.) have been sprayed with fertilizer to improve color and density.  Bunkers have become a main focus.  The staff edged them last week and this week, a full depth audit will be performed, with fresh sand added where needed to improve consistency.

Applying nitrogen and growth regulator for color and density
Overall, I couldn't be more proud of the staff and the hard work they've put in over the past month to ensure the best possible conditions leading into this important holiday weekend.  I hope to see many of you out there enjoying the golf course!

A fresh edge always improves the look of the bunkers