Friday, July 29, 2011

"Bunker Bees"

From The USGA:
Cicada Killer
Here is what the USGA has seen that has prompted some discussion in our area:

Issue:  "Bees" infesting golf course bunkers and frightening golfers who are afraid they will be stung.

Educate golfers that the wasps that inhabit bunkers are actually Eastern Cicada Killer wasps.  Although their large size and swarming can be intimidating, they are non-aggressive.  Unless these insects are directly handled, they try to avoid contact and will not sting people.  Control of these wasps is very difficult and really unnecessary unless they are burrowing in areas such as putting greens or fairways where they can cause damage.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Notes from the USGA

What a difference a breeze makes
photo by Adam Moeller, USGA Green SectionThermometer

Check out the eight degree temperature difference in this image. The reading on the left was taken on a putting green that received very limited air movement across the surface as a result of surrounding trees. The reading on the right was taken on a green that received good airflow.  

In addition to the lower temperature, the green that receives plenty of air movement is far less prone to disease and other stresses.

If both greens are syringed, which one will benefit the most? As the wind moves across a green with good air movement the surface temperature will drop even further, much like the cooling effect that occurs when the wind blows across the sweat on your arms on a hot day. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot and Humid

With the on set of the extremely hot and humid temperatures there comes a time when you need to play a little defense. At this point in time we are experiencing our typical issues on the 8th green. This green has been a problem this past summer and continues to be a problem this year. This green is sloped from back right to front left. When we do get rain the water drains towards the front of the green causing the lower half to take a while to dry down and exit the drainage pipe. Couple that with no air circulation and shade by 4:00pm and you have a recipe for turf canopy decline. We can control the irrigation water that we apply but we cannot contend with mother nature and the surrounding hills to the left of the green, which is where the predominate winds hail from. So to help us aid in air flow we have set up a portable blower to help alleviate some of the stress the green is under in the bottom part of the green. Bentgrass performs very well when soil temperatures are in the 50 -65 degree range. When you get above 80 degrees (soil temps)  roots begin to start there declining process which occurs every year. This is why it is very important to have a good root system to help during the hotter part of the summer. As the soil temperatures rise to above 90 degrees and higher then you have root systems that just do not function at all and the grass dies. As you see the temperature taken on the 8th green. Not good. So a fan would greatly benefit this area of the course in the future to help promote drying and air flow and in turn reducing the soil temperatures to an acceptable level.

The other photo is the syringe process we use on all of the greens during this stressful time to help cool down the turf grass canopy and promote transpiration.

Monday, July 18, 2011

July Course Update

The month of June was not very kind to us as it pertains to rain but we were able to overcome that and eventually received rain in early July. The member guest, both ladies and mens went off without a hitch and we have climbed one hurdle and ready for the next one. For the next few weeks we are expecting hot and humid temperatures. But before you know it we will be aerifying again and just a sign to us that the summer is winding down. I want to share with you a few things that will be coming up and that have already taken place. First topic is we have already started to spray our areas in the rough and intermediate that contain Bermuda. As in the second photo you will notice the Bermuda turning brown. You will see this for a few weeks until we seed into it here in August. Second the fairways will be spot sprayed for Bermuda starting in early August. Because the Bermuda is actively growing this will be a good time to round up these areas and will proceed to lay sod once complete. If you can recall how #1 fairway looked last year from the roundup I am pleased to say that we have shrunk it down to just a few spots in the fairway. Requiring just a handful of spots to re-sod.  A list of fairways that at this time that will require major action is #3, #9, and #11. Of course we have a few spots here and there but it does not compare to what these three holes have. This is a necessary process to sustain a pure stand of bentgrass in the fairways and we thank you for your patience. Please stay tuned for photos on this process.
For this week we are applying our organic fertilizer to the rough and will be making our gypsum applications starting next Monday to the entire golf course. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What does bug spray do to turf grass?

Here is a good example of when you apply your bug spray on the turf grass, this is the damage that it can do. This spot will take a few weeks to grow back in, so please apply in your cart or on the path.