Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mysterious Blue Pipe

What is the mysterious blue pipe? The City of Rockville is installing a transfer water line that will be laid across the short game and cross over the drive way where it will be connected to the nearest fire hydrant.Once connected there it will tie into our vault giving us a water source.

What is the reason behind all of this?
               The City will be performing work on the main transmission line that runs through the club property.  With the recent events (breaks) concerning the water main across the city they need to inspect the overall integrity of the line. When they do this the water will be off leaving us with no water. This is the reason for the transfer line so that we will still be connected just at a different location. There is not a time line for how long it will be here but if everything goes well then just a few weeks. While the line is dry the club will also be able to perform some modifications to our incoming water line that ties into our vault behind the 18th green.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What are all the brown spots in the Rough and Intermediate?

This is a question that I know will get asked so I here I will explain. When the course was built there was some Bermuda that was either left, uncovered or carried in and they have really made themselves evident because of the extreme heat that they do so love. It is a very vigorous weed here and can balloon into a bigger spot before you can realize what happened. There is no chemical on the market that has a 100% control but there is a way to selectively keep it at bay and in the best cases actually decrease the size over time. I do not think we will ever completely get rid of this but with do diligence we should have less and less each year. Unfortunately this year the Bermuda has been winning in some areas. But we will not give up with out a fight. So we are spraying these areas that will turn the foliage brown and eventually wither away. This by no means will eradicate it but will weaken it going into winter which it has to fight to stay alive. So you will notice these area in the rough and intermediate for a while until we are ready to seed back into with the grasses that we prefer. As for the areas in the fairways we are going to round-up, as soon as we feel there is decent control we will replace with bent grass sod. Once again you will notice these areas in the fairways but we feel over time this will be our best option. If we choose to not do anything we could eventually end up with Bermuda fairways. These picture were taken in the rough and intermediate.

Golfer Etiquette

I am always on the hunt for helpful articles explaining how we can improve our day to day conditions. In this article there are tips on taking care of the course. The Do's and Dont's of raking bunkers, filling divots and fixing ball marks. Please see the link:An Appeal for the Return of Golf Course Etiquette by JAMES FRANCIS MOORE

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Greens Update

The greens are healing very nicely and when the weekend rolls around they should be getting close to fully recovering from the Aerification.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aerification Update:

Golf Course Update: August 18, 2010 9:30am

On Monday we successfully aerified all 21 greens and applied the required amendments. The rough and fairway aerification has also begun and is going according to plan. That afternoon we had an equipment failure on our deep tine machine for the fairways and will be waiting for the part to arrive. Till then that part of the program will be put on hold. Tuesday we started aerifing tees and ended for the day on number 11.  We are making good progress in the rough and have completed 1-7.  Because of the Extreme heat on Tuesday we were not able to top dress the greens as planned. By holding off we did not risk bruising the greens; this will be put on hold for Wednesday and also included finishing the tee aerification. The weather forecast for Wednesday was a 60% chance of rain and now has turned into 100% with an accumulation of 5.1 inches so far. Therefore I will not be able to accomplish our goals for the day. On Thursday there will be limitations on what I can accomplish, but the primary concern is draining and repairing bunkers. Hopefully by noon on Thursday we will be able to top dress greens, this will be determined on how well everything drains. Because of the ground being saturated we cannot pull a core and will have to wait on tees and continue when conditions improve. The golf course will still be open resuming regular hours on Thursday with a full cart path rule in effect. I would hope to have greens finished by Friday for the weekend and continue everything else on a trial run if the weather cooperates.

Thank you for your understanding as we are competing once again with Mother Nature.

Phil Desbrow, Golf Course Manager

Friday, August 13, 2010

Golf Course Update

The past few days we have experienced a tremendous amount of rain and winds gusting up to 60 mph. This time around we were very fortunate not to incur much damage to the golf course. There are some mulch beds washed out and a few limbs in the rough. The biggest problem we have is the severe damage the bunkers experienced. Bunkers are designed to drain well but when we receive almost 2 inches in one hour they just can not handle that amount of rain. So we have severe wash outs and sediment that collected at the bottoms. We are  working feverishly to repair them as soon as possible. So thank you for your patience. The total amount we have received in a 24 hour period is roughly 3 inches.

Aerification: A breath of fresh air

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cart and Foot Traffic

Also I have a very informative video on why the turf grass starts to decline in the extreme heat:
Please also see the link:Why does turf die in the summer?

And one last thing, this was published in the Wall Street Journal, explaining the extreme heat in the mid-atlantic area and across the nation.The Ugly Summer of 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Golf Course Course Update

First off I know that it has been a while since my last post but this summer has exhausted everyone on my staff when it comes to dealing with the weather. Wow, what a summer! We have been thrown every curve ball you can imagine and have for the most part dealt with each and every challenge head on. We have really discovered how bad the air flow is on a few greens and have been desperately trying to get air to these locations by either trimming trees or placing a blower on the green. It is all about water management in these locations and with the past thunderstorms we have not been able to dry the greens down as I would like them to be. Just a quick piece of information on why we keep them dry, when there is excessive moisture in the profile heat transfer is at a rapid pace which increases the soil temperature. I have gotten readings well in to the 90's and when that happens roots die back causing the plant to loose its over all health. There by leaving feeder roots at the surface where it can dry out quickly and the plant begins to wilt at a rapid pace. There fore we have been cooling off the greens on these hot days as well as treading lightly when it comes to mowing and rolling them. The more mechanical stress we put them under the faster they will decline. So speeds have been slower which  is a necessary thing we have to do.
 Here are a few pictures, note then one on the left, this is the same picture that is our website picture. The one on the left was taken today and the main picture above was taken in the spring.

This next week we will be embarking on our second aerification for the year. On August 16-18 the course will be closed. The Driving range will be closed on Monday August 16 and will re-open for normal operating hours on Tuesday August 17 at 1pm.

Also at this point in time we have been aggressively taking actions to control the Bermuda in the roughs and the intermediate. You will notice areas that will be slightly off color and thin. This is what we want so that we can seed into these areas. The Bermuda in the fairways will be sprayed with round-up and removed and be replaced with contaminate free bent grass. This process is by no means quick and there will be some unsightly areas but you may play these areas as ground under repair. Once we lay the sod they will be back to normal within a few weeks. As for the rough this will take even longer because of the amount of acres we are going to seed in to. We actually were able to take advantage of the heat allowing the poa to die. The object is to quickly get a stand of grass in these areas before the poa seed bank has a chance to germinate in the fall once the temperatures cool off. The intermediate around the fairways and greens has been lowered to help us in our transition from invasive grasses to the stand that we desire. This to will be seeded as well.

Please stay tuned for future plans in September. One of them will favor our women golfers!