Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fairway slicing

Over the past two days, the agronomy staff has been slicing fairways.  This process accomplishes several objectives: loosens the soil, allows for more oxygen into the root zone, and better water infiltration.  The machine we use for this process is called a shatter tine machine.  This machine has curved knives that go into the soil and pivots in the ground as they come back out.  This motion "shatters" the soil, which improves the soil structure and allows for better rooting.
Although the fairways will have little brown areas around each hole, this is temporary and within a few days, they will disappear.  The inch of rain we received last night will have a much better chance on penetrating into the hard, dry soil now that we have channels poked into the soil.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Poa suppression on greens

Poa suppressed by growth regulator
On your next visit to the course you may notice the funny colors on the greens, most obvious will be the putting green.  The putting green has a large amount of Poa annua, or Annual Bluegrass.  This Poa in being suppressed with a growth regulator that is causing the yellow, orange and red Poa is a native species and a desirable putting surface in many parts of the world.  However, for golf courses trying to grow Bentgrass greens, it is considered a weed.  Poa grows much faster than Bentgrass so ball roll is negatively affected if left unchecked.  The agronomy staff has a comprehensive program involving both chemical and cultural methods to suppress the Poa and encourage the Bentgrass.  One of the most effective ways to discourage the existing Poa is to use growth regulators.  This product is just starting to take effect and the symptoms are beginning to show.  Poa under the control of this product has a stunted, yellow-orangish appearance.  This will allow the unaffected Bentgrass time to creep into these spots of Poa and fill in.  The effects of this product will last for 4-6 weeks at which time the natural stresses of summer in Oklahoma will continue to stress out the Poa.  We will resume this program in the fall once temperatures begin to decrease.  As always if you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to ask.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Venting greens

#5 green
Today the agronomy staff completed the last spring aeration on greens.  I like to refer to this modified version of the aeration process as a venting.  We are still pulling a core, but the holes are very, very small and will have little to no impact on play.  This process allows for the roots to get much needed oxygen.
Normally we would pull a larger core and fill the holes with topdressing sand, but we felt that the abrasive nature of the brushing would be too much stress this close to summer.  By not brushing the sand into the holes, we are able to get the benefit of the aeration (better rooting), without much of the stress on the turf.  For those of you that have never seen the aeration process first hand, below is a video showing how we pull the cores out of the green.  If you would like to know more about the process or have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.

#3 finished

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bunker maintenance

After the edge is cut, the sand is pushed back into place.

This morning a group of the guys are tackling our weekly bunker edging.  We start this on Tuesdays so we can get a big push while the course is closed.  I anticipate finishing all bunkers by the end of the day.
The finished product.

Dusting greens

We are taking the opportunity this morning while we are closed to topdress greens.  I like to refer to this type of an application as a "dusting" because we are adding a very thin layer of sand that can be worked into the canopy with a few minutes of irrigation.  We do this weekly to ensure to accomplish several things: smoother, firmer greens and to dilute the organic matter that is in the root zone.  Frequent, light applications of sand, such as this, improves ball roll and overall firmness of the greens.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Twitter updates

I've decided to expand my social media prowess and include occasional updates via twitter.  There is a gadget on the right side of my blog page that will display these updates so you do not have to go to another page to view them.  If you are already using Twitter, click on the follow me link to get these updates straight to your phone.
These updates will be very short and up to the minute regarding course conditions, project updates and anything else I feel that I want to share about the course.  The blog will still be used for updates that may need further information or pictures to help explain what is going on.