This week, the grounds staff finished the fairway slicing project using our Aerway solid tine machine. This machine has blade shaped tines that fracture the soil as they enter and exit the ground. Sometimes referred as "shattertining", this process helps to reduce compaction, incorporate oxygen into the rootzone, and improve drainage. As you can see from the picture on the right, the slicing tines cause very little surface disruption. Once the fairway is sliced, the turf is then mowed and any remaining debris is blown off the fairway.
Saturday, June 25, 2016
May is the first good month for growing turf in Oklahoma. Air and soil temperatures rise and become favorable for steady growth. The temperatures and moisture are especially ideal for the Bentgrass on our putting greens. As the turf grows more aggressively, we begin to implement cultural practices such as: verticutting, topdressing and grooming. These practices remove troublesome thatch and improve putting quality. The warmer temperatures also mean that the Bermuda has fully woken up and needs it's first big meal of the season. The grounds staff went out in mid-May with a course wide granular fertilizer application. This fertilizer allowed the Bermuda to fully thicken up and quickly improved the overall quality of the playing surfaces. Each month, throughout the growing season, the Bermuda will be fed with various amounts of fertilizer to sustain quality turf.
|Close up of Vcut on greens|
The temperatures and consistent rainfall, during May, are ideal for the Tall Fescue, in our native areas, and this year was no exception. As you can see from the picture of #8 below, it has been a great year thus far for our native areas. These areas will be cut during June to discourage summer annual, and woody weeds, such as sumac, thistle, ragweed, and various trees.
The latter half of May was very wet. Multiple rainstorms kept the soil saturated and the grounds staff was unable to keep up with our mowing schedule. For almost two weeks, the fairways were unable to be cut. However, the staff stayed busy, during the stormy weather by repairing bunkers, edging sprinkler heads, edging drainage basins, and string trimming throughout the golf course. The last few days of May were dry and the staff, through their hard work and diligence, was able to catch up on mowing just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
|Heavy topdressing smooths and firms the surface|
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
This week, the staff is core aerating all tees and collars. This process is vital to the long-term success and sustainability of the turf. Aeration loosens the soil which encourages more vigorous rooting and a healthier plant. We do not close the course during this process, so inevitably there will be debris on some of the tees during your round. Rest assured that the staff is working hard to clean up the debris as quickly as possible. We plan on having the entire project finished by Tuesday afternoon. We appreciate your patience.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
On Tuesday May 10th, the grounds staff applied fertilizer to the entire property (except greens). The process took two full days and was a coordinated effort from our entire staff. Douglas Knapp, our chemical applicator, was on the tractor spreader, while someone else followed behind him placing wire flags along the edge of his pass. This technique assures that fertilizer skips and overlaps are eliminated. Another person followed Doug in a utility vehicle loaded with product so he could be reloaded quickly and downtime was minimized. A three person push spreading crew followed the tractor to tie in any small areas or places it couldn't get. These guys had the hardest job, pushing the spreader over hills, along street crossings, bunker noses, through swales and around greens. They also had to be sure that any fertilizer that bounced onto the greens was removed with a backpack blower so that the fertilizer wouldn't burn the Bentgrass underneath the granule.
The crew did an amazing job working together to be sure the entire property was treated as evenly as possible. Over the next few weeks, the color and density of the Bermuda will improve considerably. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend!
April is always a difficult month for me as I drive around and assess the turf on the golf course. I call it the ugly duckling phase for the Bermuda on the golf course. The Bermuda is green but hasn't completely filled in yet. The mid-season color and density is still a month or so away. This slow green up is frustrating because once we see green turf, I get excited to start mowing, fertilizing and grooming the surfaces for the season, but the soil temperatures are still not ready to promote steady growth. Pressure from weeds is typically high during this time while the Bermuda is still not growing and we had our hands full dealing with winter annuals in the rough. Doug Knapp, our chemical applicator, was very busy spraying selective herbicides throughout the golf course to clean up all remaining weeds.
|Was great to finally topdress the entire range tee. Much needed!|
|First edging of the season|
Besides mowing the tees, fairways, rough, collars and surrounds as necessary, the staff began some of the other regular maintenance tasks such as: edging bunkers, string trim mowing, topdressing divots on tees and mulching the clubhouse landscape beds. We had planned on using our Aerway slicer on tees and fairways in late April to alleviate compaction from winter cart traffic, but wet conditions kept us from getting that done. More information on the Aerway process can be found here.
|Spruced up clubhouse w/ help from Owasso Rams boys golf team|
|Bermuda was green but not growing much during April|
Friday, April 22, 2016
Now that the rainy season is upon us, and summer not far behind, it is the perfect time to perform some preventative maintenance on our greens drainage. As you can see from the picture above, Joe Miller, our irrigation/drainage technician, spent some time this week flushing clean water through the drainage pipe under the greens. Joe uses a special nozzle, pictured to the right, that does a great job clearing out any debris found in the pipe.
Over time, the drainage system will collect debris and may eventually become clogged. During frequent irrigation, or rainy weather, the soil inside the greens can fill up with water rather quickly. A clogged drain doesn't give the water anywhere to go, therefore the root zone will become saturated and stay that way. This causes the greens to become very soft, disease is more frequent, and the roots will die back up to the surface (making them very short). This compromised root zone does not allow the turf to handle all the typical stresses of summer, and often results in thin, or dead, turf.
Realizing how important the drainage system is to our success, flushing out the drainage has become a fixture on our annual preventative maintenance schedule. We feel that by keeping our drainage system working properly, as well as a comprehensive cultivation program, we have the best chance to maintain quality putting surfaces year to year despite whatever weather challenges we may face.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Aside from the weather, the staff was very busy,
not only finishing up our winter to-do list but, working on preparing the course for the season. Core aeration on greens, stump grinding, course wide pre-emergent application, topdressing divots on tees, and mowing all surfaces. March is also when our seasonal staff begins to return and so much of our time was spent training them on course setup and other tasks.
With March behind us, and much of the critical spring work is completed, we can begin to settle into our maintenance programs and groom the course as it continues to wake up from winter. Over the next 30 days, we will continue to acquire/train staff, increase mowing schedules, and ramp up our cultural programs (venting, spiking, verticutting, topdressing).