Tuesday, July 27, 2010
JonesPlan began shaping the new greenside bunkers this morning. This bulldozer is used for the rough shaping. The most used portions of the original bunker have been turned into two smaller bunkers. Each new bunker will have new drainage and sand. This is done to reduce the overall maintenance of the bunker complex while improving playability. The areas that will be converted into grass will have lots of slope and rolling hills to keep the area challenging.
Monday, July 26, 2010
To help improve the greens, a spiking program has been implemented that will allow the movement of oxygen into the soil. This process breaks up the surface and gives oxygen openings to move down into the soil. Roots need oxygen to remain healthy and strong. If the amount of oxygen in the soil is reduced, roots will begin to shrink and the grass is not able to cope with the intense heat and humidity of summer. Spiking greens, along with sound fertility and irrigation programs, will allow the turf to survive through the rest of the summer.
The most intense heat of the summer is upon us and some of the greens are struggling to stay healthy. From July 16th through the 19th, we endured some of the worst conditions for Bentgrass greens that we've seen in several years. That Friday we received 1.5 inches of rain followed by two straight days of triple digit temperatures and no wind. The intense heat coupled with the absence of wind pushed the soil temperatures way past the acceptable range for the rootzone. The extreme soil temperatures "boiled" the roots. The severe damage caused by the excessive heat in the soil has caused the turf to thin and become unable to fend for itself.
We have been lightly cooling them off with hoses frequently and using fans to increase air circulation. Both of these methods will bring the temperature in the soil down a few degrees and help keep the grass we have. Fertilizers and fungicides are being used to increase recovery and keep any disease from further damaging the turf. Spiking the greens and lightly adding sand to the surface will further incourage the turf to recover. New seed will be incorporated into the surface to grow in areas that have thinned past the point of recovery.
Rest assured that the course maintenance team is doing everything within its power to combat these tough summer conditions. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The heat is back and the maintenance staff is back on handwatering greens. It is called syringing and is done to keep the greens cool during the hottest part of the day. Each green may need to be handwatered several times a day depending on weather conditions such as wind, humidity and temperature. Syringing is a job that takes great skill and considerable training. Each person must be careful to only apply just enough water to survive until the irrigation can run that night. Overwatering can lead to excessively soft and slow playing conditions, disease, and scalping injury from the mowers.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The maintenance staff resumed work on the bunker on #9 fairway last Thursday. The bunker sand has been installed and all that remains is some sod work around the outside of the bunker. Once the sod is laid, the bunker will be opened for play. Remember that new bunker sand hasn't had time to pack down and will play much softer than expected.