Monday, April 9, 2018
Friday, February 16, 2018
Should We Do It?FEBRUARY 16, 2018By Elliott Dowling, agronomist, Northeast Region
Excitement for the upcoming golf season begins to build during late winter. While some golf facilities in the Northeast close for winter, others continue to allow play depending on the weather. When the weather is favorable, allowing play usually is a fairly simple decision. However, the decision becomes much more difficult when the weather fluctuates between extremes. Mild and sunny days in February and March might be enticing to golfers, but lasting turfgrass damage can result when winter play is allowed under the wrong conditions.
Playing golf during highly variable winter weather can result in turf damage. During late winter, cold snaps often follow periods of warm temperatures. Under these conditions, turf is extremely vulnerable to injury from traffic. Play during a sudden thaw can be especially damaging because the upper 1 or 2 inches of soil can defrost while the underlying soil remains frozen. Traffic under these conditions can shear turf roots at the interface between the thawed and frozen layers. Such shearing can compromise turf health come spring.
Frozen soils also cannot drain. When precipitation occurs, the surface of frozen soils will remain saturated and prone to injury. Soils also dry slowly during late winter due to short day length and cool temperatures, so even unfrozen soils will be slow to dry and firm up after precipitation. Soft surfaces are more vulnerable to damage from foot traffic, ball marks, rutting and compaction.
It is important to remember, no matter how thawed or frozen the soil is, turf is unlikely to be growing during winter. Grass that isn’t growing cannot recover from damage until spring. Therefore, turf damage that occurs during winter can have a cumulative effect that lasts until warm weather arrives and the grass is able to recover.
Before allowing winter play ask, what is the purpose of winter play? All golf facilities welcome additional rounds, but sometimes allowing play during winter presents more costs than benefits. Keep in mind that winter play under the wrong conditions may result in a net loss due to the expense of repairs or slow spring greenup.
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Other notable Projects:
- Golf Course wide tree pruning. This will increase sight lines, shade mitigation and improve air flow.
- Curbs have been installed on 3 green, 4 green 5 green, 18 green, 9 green, and 10 tee along the cart path edge. This will cut down on wear and the staff having to repair every year.
- Fairways have been verti-cut, aerified, and top dressed and currently we are finishing up the deep tine.
- Rough has been aerified
- The rough around #5 green has been replaced with new sod.
- Our new tee on #17 is coming along nicely and we hope to have this completed by March.
|The Graden Machine in Action|
|Pushing off left over debris|
|Deep tine machine going 12 inches deep|
|Sand ready to be pushed into the holes|
|#18 green side curb addition|
|#10 Tee curb addition|
Friday, October 27, 2017
Deep Root Zone Modification In Fall For Better Putting Greens In SummerOCTOBER 20, 2017By Paul Jacobs, agronomist, Northeast Region
Deep root zone modification of soil-based putting greens can provide significant, long-lasting benefits and mid to late fall can be a great time to do the work. Conventional core aeration practices typically affect the upper 3 to 4 inches of the root zone profile and may not fully address internal drainage issues. Over time, conventional core aeration performed at the same depth can also leave the underlying soil compacted. Implementing a program that targets deeper portions of the root zone profile can improve internal drainage, turf rooting and overall putting green performance. Putting greens with drainage systems tend to benefit the most from deep root zone modification.
Several options exist for deep root zone modification and each has its unique benefits. While one technique may be highly beneficial in one situation, it may not be the best choice for others. Consider the following options to supplement your conventional cultivation practices:
Drill and fill – This process drills holes up to 12 inches deep into a putting green on 6-inch centers, removing soil and backfilling each hole with sand to create deep sand columns in the root zone profile. The process can be labor intensive, but it infuses a significant amount of sand deep into the root zone profile that provides long-lasting benefits.
- Ideal applications – Putting greens with poor internal drainage – e.g., soil-based putting greens.
Deep-tine aeration – Most commonly this process is performed with solid tines that can penetrate up to 10 inches deep. Solid tines do not remove material but they fracture, loosen and alleviate compaction in subsoils that are not reached by conventional core aeration. Deep-tine aeration generally requires no cleanup and surface disruption is minimal.
- Ideal applications – Relieving compaction in all soil types. Perform deep-tine aeration during late fall to create open columns for drainage during freeze and thaw cycles.
Sand injection – Machines can use high-pressure water to inject sand into a putting green root zone profile. The sand channels created by this process often mimic the shape of a water droplet – i.e., narrow near the top and wider at the bottom. This method does not infuse sand as deeply as drill and fill, but it is faster and much less disruptive to the playing surface. Performing sand injection immediately after deep-tine aeration will help infuse sand deeper into the profile; however, no material is removed from the profile during sand injection.
- Ideal applications – Putting greens with excess organic matter in the upper 2-6 inches of the soil profile and soil-based putting greens with a shallow – i.e.,1- to 3-inch deep – modified root zone.
Each of these practices can improve putting green performance when used in the right situation, but they are not replacements for conventional core aeration. However, implementing one of the above practices can improve drainage and alleviate compaction deep within your putting greens. For more information about which option is best for your facility, contact your regional USGA agronomist.
Posted by Phil Desbrow at 2:56 PM