Friday, August 11, 2017
Earlier this week the grounds staff completed a mini-tine aeration on the greens. I call the process mini because often when the superintendent says the "A" word, golfers get concerned, and I wanted to convey the minimal effect the process will have on the playability of the greens during the project. The small diameter of these tines allows for minimal disruption of the surface while still benefiting the turf. As you can see from the picture above, quite a bit of organic material was removed from the greens. Once the cores were pulled, they were blown off the putting surface and a heavy application of sand was added. Once the sand was brushed in and rolled, the surface is very playable. The finished product is shown in the picture below.
Each year, during the summer, the Bentgrass on our greens tends to accumulate excessive amounts of thatch. Excessive thatch leads to a softer, less true surface that is more prone to ball marks, imperfections and disease pressure. This shallow, mini-tine aeration has become another tool for our team to use to maintain firm conditions. The tines do a great job of physically removing some of the thatch, while brushing the topdressing sand into the holes further dilutes the thatch in the top inch of the soil. Reducing organic matter by replacing it with sand will allow us to maintain a consistently smoother, firmer surface.
For many years, the area along the cart path at #18 green has been an issue. Not only is it an eye sore, but years of shade and compaction from cart traffic have caused the Bermuda to thin. The exposed soil eroded away and exposed the sandstone rocks beneath, creating a rocky mess. As you can see from the picture on the right, this isn't a good last impression. The other issue we have is the staff at Bailey Ranch has difficulty getting through this area while people are parked at the green due to a combination of the creek on the left side and the rocky uneven edge along the path. The only option is to drive in the surround near the green which isn't ideal.
The plan to address this issue is to expand the current cart path from 6 feet to 12 feet and add curbing. Adding the extra width will give golfers a safe place to park while on the green and will allow staff members through more easily. As you finish your round, you'll notice the area along the cart path on #18 has been dug out in preparation for concrete. The next steps will be to add a 2" layer of rock as a base, install concrete forms, and then pour the concrete. Our friends in the Streets Division at the City of Owasso Public Works Department have graciously agreed to help us with this project as the scope of concrete work is beyond what us "grass growers" can handle. With this in mind, we are somewhat at the mercy of their schedule as to when they can come complete the work. The last time we spoke, they indicated they will try to pour the path some time in the next few weeks.
We ask for your patience and understanding while we work to make these improvements to the area.