It's that time of year again! Time to loosen up the soil and encourage new growth on our short turf. This week, the grounds staff is using our shatter tine machine on fairways. This machine does a great job improving drainage, oxygen content and loosening up the soil. The tines are solid and do not remove any soil, but are curved and so they "shatter" the soil as they go in and come back out. Once the fairway has been sliced, the fairway mower and tractor blower do a great job cleaning them up. Below is a video showing the debris that is removed from the process. After the process is done, the slit left behind is very minimal with almost no disruption to the surface. The soil should continue to warm up quickly due the the increase in warm air in the tine holes. This will encourage a quicker green up of the Bermuda. Next week, the grounds staff will repeat the process on the tee boxes.
Monday, March 30, 2015
After setting up the golf course for the first Owasso High School tournament this morning, the staff kept off the golf course and spent some much needed time working in the landscape beds at the clubhouse. The one bed that needed the most work was the landscape bed at the northeast corner of the building between the F&B area and the putting green. This bed has always been an issue due to it's Northeast exposure and poor drainage. Before the staff planted a whole bunch of new shrubs, we took the time to address some of these issues. First, a new drain pipe was installed to take the downspout water underground to the east and it exits near the cart path. This will reduce the amount of water in the bed and should allow us to maintain drier conditions. The northeast exposure means that there is very little direct sunlight on this bed and any moisture in the soil takes much longer to evaporate that other beds around the building. This slow dry time, coupled with the excess water coming off the roof effectively drowned the plants that were there. Now that the drainage issues have been resolved, new shade tolerant plants have been added. Slow release organic fertilizer and mulch were then added to finish the project. The staff did an amazing job getting this done in such a short amount of time. The beds on either side of the F&B entrance are next on the list. More soil needs to be added and the plants replaced. We should have all the landscaping done by the end of the week.
Friday, March 20, 2015
This past Thursday, the crew took the left over sand from greens aeration and filled the two greenside bunkers on #9. The sand depth in these two bunkers had become too shallow and the risk of contamination had become too great to ignore. Approximately 10 tons of sand was added to the two greenside bunkers. The fresh sand made an instant impact on the aesthetics and playability of these bunkers. The grounds staff did a great job getting this project done in such a short period of time.
|Depths are checked and sand is added to create consistent depth throughout the entire bunker|
|The weather and fertilizer perked the greens up quickly|
|Pulling a lot of thatch out of the putting surface!|
|Sand is heavily applied and left to dry before dragging into holes|
The greens are then left to rest for a few days so the grass can begin to fill into the holes we made and allow the sand at the surface to integrate into the canopy. Today, the staff spent some time rolling, dragging and mowing the greens to get them as good as possible for the weekend. Over the next week, the greens will seem less sandy and the turf growth integrates the sand into the canopy and normal putting conditions return. We appreciate everyone's patience during this time.
Monday, March 2, 2015
The weather started off mild and the grounds staff was in high gear working on our winter project list. We began spraying our course wide pre-emergent, continued sodding bare areas along cart paths, and topdressing divots on the driving range tee box. The staff was busy preparing our equipment to begin our annual tree maintenance work, when the course received over 4 inches of snow on Sunday the 15th.
During the last week of February, Michael, our assistant superintendent and I, went to the Golf Industry Show. This conference is hosted by our national golf course superintendent association. Each year superintendents and other golf industry professionals come together to network, attend educational seminars, and walk the trade show to mingle with colleagues and learn about the latest equipment and supplies we need to improve our golf maintenance operations. Each year, when I return from this trip, I am invigorated to start the golf season and give the members and guests of Bailey Ranch the best golf experience possible.
It seems the winter weather will stick around for another week or so, then we should start to experience some milder, spring-like, weather. Spring is just around the corner and the grounds staff will begin ramping up their agronomy programs once we warm up. Our spring greens aeration is scheduled for March 16th and 17th. Once we get that process done, we should be into warmer days and the beginning of the 2015 golf season!