Wednesday, December 28, 2011


This morning we realized that we had a little bit of damage caused by a vehicle spinning out on #6 black tee box.  The damage is minor but is another reminder that vandalism is a constant danger, especially with so many holes near neighborhood streets.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Electrical repair

Yesterday the crew installed a section of new irrigation power wire on #6.  This wire supplies power to the satellite box for #6 green.  You've probably noticed the holes we've been digging lately.  We found a short in the wire somewhere between the tee and the green  This about 1,500 feet, so the best way we've found to isolate the problem is to go to the middle, cut and test the wire to see which direction the problem is.  Then we will go to the middle of that section, cut and test again, and so on. Now that we have it narrowed down to about 100 feet, we cut a trench and installed a new piece of wire.  Now that the new wire is installed ,and all the areas we tested have been spliced back together, the area can be cleaned up and finished.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Misc. sod projects

Cart path by #10 green
cart path behind #18 green
Yesterday afternoon, the crew had some leftover sod and soil from the project on #12 green so we decided to address some low areas along cart paths.  The areas at #10 and #18 green have been on my mind for awhile so we took the opportunity to use the extra materials to fix these areas.  We will continue to address areas throughout the course similar to this as we go through the rest of the off season.

#12 Bunker renovation

#12 bunker before
Yesterday morning the agronomy staff went out to the bunker project on #12 and wrapped up any last minute details that needed to be addressed.  All the sod was rechecked and ground under repair markings have been placed around the work site.  Like similar projects in the past, this new bunker complex will remain closed until spring when the Bermuda greens up and begins to root into the ground.  Until then, please help keep the new bunker complex intact by keeping off unless absolutely necessary.  
#12 bunker after

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Foggy morning

#14 fairway with light fog
The storm that moved through yesterday ended up not dumping nearly as much rain as was expected.  The rain total for the last 24 hours is just under a quarter inch.  However, this rain was enough to force golf carts back onto cart paths today, due to the moisture that remained from the previous storm.

Monday, December 19, 2011

#12 bunker renovation

The crew is hustling today to get all the sand installed in the two new bunkers on #12 before the rain tonight.  Once all the sand is installed, sod will be placed around the edges and around the basin to protect them from contamination.  The remaining sod will be installed once the sod farm can resume cutting later this week.  This will complete this project.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#12 bunker renovation

The crew has begun installing the drainage in the upper bunker today.  This bunker will be ready for sand by the end of the day.  Tomorrow we will focus on digging out the new drainage trenches and installing pipe in the lower bunker.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Irrigation wire repair

This morning the crew is taking a small break from the work on #12 bunker to replace a section of power wire that feeds the irrigation system on the middle of the course.  This section of wire is damaged and needs to be replaced.  Once this wire is installed, we can restore power to the irrigation control boxes in this area. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#12 bunker renovation

Well after some rain delays and thanksgiving, the crew is back out working on #12 bunker.  Topsoil is being added and tamped to finish forming the back sides of each bunker.  In the photo you can see that we have begun cutting the new lip of the back bunker.  Once the bottom of the bunker is dried out, the inside of the bunker can be tamped so we can begin hand digging the new bunker drainage.

Monday, November 14, 2011

12 bunker

The next step in the renovation is the installation of the drainage.  The drainage that carries the water from the bunker drainage to the creek must be installed before the new drainage inside the bunker can be put in.  Once the pipe is laid, the trenches will be backfilled and the final shaping can be done.   

Thursday, November 10, 2011

#12 bunker renovation

Rough grading has officially begun on the renovation on #12 greenside bunker. The new bunker shape is beginning to emerge.  Similar to the renovation on #8, the square footage is being reduced while keeping the most used portions.  The remaining bunkers are being recontoured and new drainage will be installed.  The part that is being removed will be converted to a grass basin.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chipping green update

The over the last few weeks, the Chipping green has made a lot of progress.  Mild temperatures, heavy rains, and a steady diet of nutrients have really helped this green get back on track.  We will begin lowering the height and topdressing with sand while we are still under good growth conditions.

Carts on path reminder

This morning we received our first groups of play since the rain yesterday, and this is what I saw on #12. 

Please remember to follow all cart rules.  We have them to protect the course from this kind of avoidable damage.  Thank you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Aftermath of rain

Whenever it rains more than an inch, the staff must go out and check drain basins and fix bunkers.  Here is a picture of the guys in action repairing the bunkers on #5 green.  As you can see, the heavy rain eroded the sand exposing the soil underneath.  Silt will wash off this exposed soil and contaminate the bunker over time.

More rain

Well, we're at 3.5 inches and counting.  Looks like we are in for some more before it moves out of the area.  With this much rain, our creeks and tunnel are flooded and we will be closed until they are passable. Today we will be busy getting the course ready for  tomorrow's play.

Monday, November 7, 2011

#2 green update

The agronomy staff has spent the last few days laying sod into the damaged areas on #2.  Today they are down to the smallest areas and should wrap up by the end of the day.  Once our sand pile dries, a heavy application of topdressing will be applied to aid in the establishment smooth the new sod.

Signs of fall

The leaves are really changing and it's looking more and more like fall.  Hopefully winter isn't in a big hurry to get here!


We came this morning and saw that the system that moved through last night dumped an inch of rain.  We are cart path only today and possibly tomorrow since more rain is expected. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tree removal

View from behind #1 green facing west
This week the maintenance staff has been working on removing shade trees from around the greens.  This process has been ongoing since early summer.  As the angle of the sun changes with the seasons, different trees become a problem and must be removed.  Our goal is to have sunlight on the greens as soon as possible in the morning.  A green that has access to sunlight all day is going to be much healthier than one that is shaded until mid morning.  Turf must have sunlight to create energy, so shading a green until late morning is like skipping breakfast everyday.  Also, morning sunlight allows surface moisture to begin evaporating so the green is less susceptible to disease.  Removing these shade trees, coupled with the fans that were purchased, the agronomy staff will be able to replicate the ideal growing conditions that are found on many of the other greens on the course.  This will set us up for long-term success in the future.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Chipping green update

It has been almost a full month since seeding and the green is beginning to take shape.  We have been aggressively fertilizing and watering the green to get the seedlings up.  Now that walk mowing has started, we will continue to push the green with fertilizer and increase our mowing frequency.  This will force the plant to grow across the surface more and fill in.  It is going to get cold during the next few days but hopefully the weather remains mild and we can encourage as much growth as possible during the next 4-6 weeks.

Temporary green on #2

As of Monday, the agronomy staff has implemented a temporary green for #2.  The end of the fairway was cut lower and topdressed to give the temporary a smoother roll.  An eight inch cup has also been used to make it more fun to play.
This green experienced extremely high levels of a plant parasite called nematodes.  These nematodes are microscopic and survive in the soil during the growing season.  They extract nutrients from the roots of healthy plants thereby compromising the turfs ability to handle severe stresses such as the intense heat and drought experienced this summer.  We decided that in order to take advantage of the prime growing conditions right now, that we would restrict play on this hole to a temporary green, to give the green a break from all the foot traffic.  This will also allow the agronomy staff more access to the green for repairs.  We are planning on re-opening this green in a couple of weeks once the green fills in and is in acceptable condition.  We apologize for the inconvenience but look forward to the improved conditions on this green.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chipping green renovation update

Day 1

Day 7
It's been over a week since we seeded the chipping green and the young seedlings are coming up nicely.  We have been blessed with great weather so the establishment is right on schedule.  Mowing will begin within the next week or so.  Once we are able to mow the green a few times a week, we will begin lightly topdressing the green with sand to smooth out any imperfections that may develop during establishment.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chipping green renovation

Now that the fall season is upon us, the weather is perfect for establishing new greens from seed.  As most of you are aware, the chipping green west of the driving range was used last fall as a nursery so we could plug fresh turf onto the golf course.  We were unable to renovate last fall due to other priorities on the golf course.  Also, we decided earlier in the season to delay reseeding until fall when the seed would have a better chance of survival.
Removal of old green
Over the last few days, the agronomy team has been working to remove the top four inches of the original green.  We also are taking the opportunity to expand the edge of the green out into the Bermuda to its original dimensions.  Years of Bermuda slowly encroaching inwards has left the green much smaller than it used to be.  Once the top four inches is removed, new greens mix is added back in to the green.  This root zone mixture is specifically blended for golf course greens and is 90% sand and 10% peat moss.  The peat moss allows the sand to retain moisture and nutrients.  After the new mix has been added, a tiller is used to blend the new sand mix with the original mix underneath.  This creates a more uniform soil profile and will improve the grasses ability to create long, healthy roots.  Once the profile has been thoroughly blended, the sand is raked, hand watered, and plate tamped.  The finished product is a smooth, firm sand surface that we can walk on without creating footprints.
Plate tamping of new profile
The last steps in the process are to fertilize, seed, then press the seed into the surface.  Seed to soil contact is crucial to the success of any establishment project.  This is accomplished with the tires of our bunker rake.  The tire tread is ideal for this because as the machine rolls across the green, little square depressions are created.  These depressions will help keep the seed moist and protect it from mower injury once we begin walk mowing.
During the next week or so, the chipping green will have a special irrigation schedule.  It will be running every few hours or so to keep the seed moist.  Once the seed germinates, we will begin to reduce the frequency and increase the amount of irrigation to promote deep rooting.
Blending root mix

Finished product before seeding

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fall greens aeration

It's time for fall greens aeration and after the summer we've had it couldn't have come sooner! You may have noticed some hole closures this week as we work our way through the course. We appreciate everyone's patience during this process.  The first day went as planned and the second day was ahead of schedule until our greens aerator broke down. We fixed the machine today and are planning on finishing the last few holes first thing tomorrow morning without disrupting play. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rough/Native Conversion

It's been almost a week and the rough that was sprayed with herbicide is definitely starting to show signs of death.  There is great contrast right now between the areas to be converted and the remaining rough.  It isn't difficult to envision what the new native areas will look like now that the rough has turned brown.  We have one final herbicide application in these areas to ensure a thorough kill and then we will be seeding these areas in mid September.
Once we begin seeding these areas, it is crucial that golf carts stay out of these areas so that we can get the seed to come up properly.  We have created spaces within the new areas that will allow cart traffic from the cart path to the fairways without driving through the seeded areas.  The success of this project depends on your cooperation.  If you have any further questions don't hesitate to ask.  Thanks!

Drought recovery

#14 Aug. 10th  

What a difference two weeks and 5 inches of rain can make!  After suffering through one of the worst droughts in recent memory, we finally got some much needed rain a few weeks ago.  Since then the tees, fairways, surrounds and rough have all made a full recovery.  We fertilized the entire golf course yesterday to help continue the improved conditions.  The ability of the Bermuda to quickly recover from the drought has left the golf course is great condition for the upcoming fall tournament season.

#11 Aug. 23rd.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Website comments

I've been posting information on this website for over a year and still have very little envolvement from those that actively read the information that is posted.  I want everyone to know that I welcome any comments and encourage those with ideas for new topics to share them.  Thank you for your interest in Bailey Ranch Golf Club and hope to see you on the course!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rough/Native Conversion

Yesterday, we began the first phase of a plan to convert some key areas of maintained rough into native areas.  Two herbicide applications will be made this month to kill the existing rough, then we will slit-seed into these areas mid-September.
The three main goals for this plan are: to reduce operating expenses by removing 10-15 acres of maintained rough, to bring the course closer to the original design, to not increase difficulty or pace of play.    To determine which areas to reestablish, we are using aerial photos from before the course was opened.  These photos are helping us see the architects original design so we can bring back some of these native areas that have been lost over the years.  This year we focused on the front nine because this is where we have the greatest acreage to mow.
Although we are converting rough on most holes on the front nine, the biggest change will be on #8.  In the picture below, you can see that we are bringing the native, that is left of the tee, around the front all the way to the cart path.  The new native area will then taper up the right and left sides of the surround.  This will appear more difficult, but the golfer will only have about 30 yards to carry over the new native area.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Deep Tining Greens

The agronomy staff has been hard at work today deep-tining the greens.  This process uses long, thin tines that punch deeply into the rootzone.  This allows the roots easy acess to oxygen and also helps drain out any excess moisture from the soil.  Deep-tine applications are a perfect way to increase the health of the root zone without negatively impacting the putting surface with large holes.  Immediately following the deep-tine machine, our greens roller irons out any bumps and imperfections left behind to ensure smooth ball roll.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More Rain

We finally got the drought relief we have been waiting for.  The heavy rain over the last two days has brought our total to over 4 inches in the last 6 days.  All of our ponds are full again and the Bermuda is greening up quickly.  I plan on fertilizing tees, fairways, and rough next week to encourage more growth and improve conditions course wide.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


After weeks of searing heat and relentless drought, Mother Nature has finally given us some rain.  We got a half inch of rain over the weekend and then another quarter inch on Monday night.  It seems that the tees and fairways are already starting to respond to the moisture and are starting to come out of dormancy.  There are strong chances of storms this week so hopefully we will get some more rain to fill our ponds back up.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Greens fans

The agronomy team here at Bailey Ranch recently received some new 50" diameter greens fans.  Three fans were purchased for the 3 greens we typically have issues with during the summer.  #1, #12,  and #13 greens have air flow issues due to the amount of trees that surround these greens complexes.  We have aggressively removed a majority of these problem trees but many remain on homeowner property.
These fans will push a larger column of air much farther than the older fans, which will cool the greens surface temperatures more effectively.  This increase in air flow will not only reduce surface temperatures but it will also allow the greens to dry out more easily after a rain.  We have already seen an average surface temperature reduction of 4-6 degrees between 12 and 2pm.  This is typically when surface temperature are the hottest and this reduction keeps the growing conditions similar to the other greens on the golf course.

Drought Update

This relentless heat and drought have still not let up and now the Tulsa metro area is under what is called a D4 or exceptional drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.  D4 is the highest level on their scale of drought intensity.  Hopefully everyone realizes that it is basically impossible to keep the soil moist under these conditions and that even Bermuda cannot withstand this heat without proper moisture.  Up until recently, we have been doing our best to keep our irrigation system running as much as possible to maintain green healthy conditions,  but this persistent lack of rain has forced us to use almost all of our water reserves in the big lake down by #17 green.  We have started to ration what we have left to be sure that we can make it until fall with healthy greens.  With our ability to store rain water, I feel that once we get into the fall and get a few heavy rains, we will refill our ponds easily and our Bermuda tees and fairways will come back out of dormancy.  Once the Bermuda starts growing again, we will fertilize and encourage as much growth as possible before winter.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Irrigation leak on #17

Some of you might have seen the geyser on #17 yesterday afternoon.  One of the irrigation fittings, we connect our greens hoses into, broke yesterday afternoon forcing us to close down the system to the entire back nine.  Due to some quick thinking, and a lot of hard work, we resolved the issue with no negative effects to the other greens.  Seeing leaks like in this photo, you can appreciate the amount of pressure required to run a system of this size.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Effects of drought on golf course

Several people have asked me about why the tees, fairways and rough look brown right now.  The reason we have really green, healthy areas and brown areas has to do with several factors.  The main reason is that we are currently under a moderate drought and have just been through one of the hottest Junes on record.  Other factors have to do with the compaction in the soil, the terrain, and our irrigation coverage.  We do not have irrigation on all areas of the golf course.  There are certain areas that are in play that we cannot irrigate.  Some other areas have rocky soil or excessive compaction so water cannot get to the root of the plant.  This water sheds off of these dry areas and collects in low areas.  The areas immediately surrounding greens are more dry due the different water demands from the greens versus the Bermuda.  We are applying the vast majority of the water to the greens via hand watering so the surrounds are not getting sufficient moisture.   We have been hand watering these areas to keep them from getting too dry.
Although these brown, dry, areas appear dead, they are actually dormant.  When Bermuda cannot get the proper amount of water during the summer months, it can go into a dormancy similar to the winter months.  Once the plant has a sufficient amount of moisture it will "awaken" out of dormancy and green up again.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Syringing Greens

Well it feels like August already and the syringe team is out in full force.  Syringing is a term used to describe the application of water on Bentgrass greens during the hottest part of the day to reduce heat stress.  This watering is done very lightly and multiple times a day.  The agronomy staff has been trained to stay out of the way of golfers as much as possible, but there are times when we have no choice but to water in between groups. We ask that whenever you see someone watering a green in front of you, and they have pulled the flagstick, that you please give them a minute to finish before you hit your approach shot.  No one likes to get hit with a golf ball and we certainly do not enjoy holding up play.  We thank you for your patience and look forward to a great summer.

Monday, June 27, 2011

#1, #12, #13 Greens

I've been getting numerous questions regarding the appearance of #1, #12 and #13 greens.  We sent samples to a plant pathologist at Oklahoma State University and the samples came back positive for Pythium blight.  Pythium is a common disease found on stressed turf usually during intense heat and humidity.  These greens receive considerably less air movement and sunlight.  This means that these greens endure more intense heat, and humidity, and because of this, disease pressure is more severe on these three greens.
Once we confirmed the presence of the Pythium, the affected greens were treated with a fungicide specific to this disease and a light rate of fertilizer was applied to encourage recovery.  The agronomy team has been working very hard to improve the growth conditions over the last few weeks by removing shade trees, utilizing fans to circulate more air, closely monitoring soil moisture, leaf temperature and nutrient levels.  Progress may be slowed by the intense heat but we are already seeing some improvement.
If you have any further questions feel free to contact me.  Thanks

#2 Green

Several people have asked me about the spots on #2 green.  These spots are Annual Bluegrass under heat stress and is dying out.  Annual Bluegrass, or Poa, is a common weed in Bentgrass putting greens and has been slowly establishing itself for years.  Our new handwatering techniques and monitoring systems have allowed us to significantly reduce the amount of irrigation required to keep the Bentgrass healthy.  Besides improving the health of the Bentgrass, this reduction in water usage is also stressing out the Poa.  Poa needs more soil moisture than Bentgrass to survive the heat of the summer and since it isn't available, these plants are starting to die out.  Although #2 green looks funny now, in time the Bentgrass will fill in these spots and the amount of Poa will continue to decline.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tree removal

I spent the morning taking pictures and evaluating the amount of shade on some of our greens.  Sunlight is a critical component to the overall health of greens.  The turf must have a certain amount of sunlight each morning before the onset of stress.  I equate it to the these greens skipping breakfast each morning and then burning a lot of energy each afternoon trying to survive the heat.  They can make it through the day but it isn't a good long-term situation for healthy greens.
Now, I don't take removing trees lightly and only do so when necessary.  Trees that are too close to greens reduce needed air circulation and increase shade, both of which increase the humidity in the area around the green.  We feel that by removing a select few trees, we will be able to improve the growing environment for the few greens that struggle each year.  Crews are currently working around #1 green and once finished, will be moving to #12 green.

#1 green at 7AM

#1 at 9AM

#12 at 7AM

#12 at 9AM