Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Although summer hasn't officially begun yet, the hot weather pattern has already set in and in response, the Bermuda throughout the golf course has begun to grow aggressively. Once Bermuda begins to grow aggressively, it is time to begin cultural practices such as core aeration and slicing. These practices alleviate compaction from cart traffic and maintenance equipment, improve soil oxygen and allow for deeper rooting.
Last Tuesday the staff began both solid-tine slicing fairways and core aerating tees. As stated above, both of these practices will help alleviate compaction and help irrigation penetrate into the soil. However, solid-tining does not remove any excessive thatch that might have accumulated. We currently do not have the proper equipment to pull a core on fairways so this is the next best thing. Once the fairway is sliced, it is mowed and all debris is blown into the rough. The surface that remains is very playable. The brown turf immediately around each slice mark is temporary and the turf will recover in a week or so.
The staff was also busy pulling a core on tees. This process inherently creates more of a mess and requires more staff to clean up and get ready for play. As you can see from the picture on the right, quite a bit of soil and thatch is brought up to the surface. Once all the cores have been pulled, a drag mat is used to separate the soil from the thatch. The soil reincorporates into the turf while the thatch is easily blown off using backpack blowers. This process, although messy and inconvenient, is vital to the long term healthy of our Bermuda tees. Without this process, our tees would be thin, discolored and would not meet the expectations of our golfers.
It's been about four months since we started painting red cart traffic lines in front of greens complexes, and I am encouraged to see so many people helping us keep carts away from greens. To be honest, I wasn't sure how successful painting lines on the ground would be, but so far it seems to be a big help. Signs are easier to see while you are playing but they have some down side. They aren't cheap to purchase and they often get damaged and need replacing. They also need to be moved by the mowing crew. Painting the lines is convenient because it doesn't interfere with routine maintenance practices such as mowing.
Our intention for the lines is to keep compaction to a minimum and maintain the best turf quality in our greens complexes. The grounds staff appreciates your cooperation with this program and look forward to seeing you on the course!
Monday, June 12, 2017
This past Thursday, Robert Main with Turfgrass Solutions was on site to conduct another DryJect application to the greens. This is the second consecutive year that we've asked Robert to come out to complete the process on the greens. Last year, I wrote about how the machine works and the benefits that can be expected. For those interested, that information can be found here. One of the biggest benefits of the process is how playable the greens are immediately afterwards. Typically after a core aeration, the greens are not very playable for a week or so. The DryJect process actually makes the greens firmer, instead of softer, which gives the grounds department the ability to keep them faster and smoother than a traditional aeration. The dime-sized marks that are left behind will heal in within the next 7-10 days. As always, we appreciate your patience while we recover from the project. If you have any questions about this, or any other topic, feel free to contact me. Thank you.