Monday, April 30, 2012

Greens Update

Greens are healing very nicely and we hope to have speeds near normal by the end of the week. Today we are accomplishing a lot, the greens are being groomed and top dressed, our fairway fertilizer is going out and we are half way through spraying the rough with a wetting agent. The wetting agent aids our irrigation system by essentially making water wetter. Usually during the summer clay soils get locked up from being dry and not allowing water to easily move down to the roots. What the wetting agent does is put a coating on the clay particles and allows the water to makes it way into the soil unimpeded without having to over irrigate. This process saves on water usage and minimizes the labor needed  to hand water the rough.

End result of grooming, just lightly cutting down into the turf canopy

Top Dressing the green

Fertilizer being applied to the fairways
14 days after we pulled cores on greens


Monday, April 23, 2012

Greens Update

The greens are progressing nicely just 7 days after we have pulled cores. We always get the questions and concerns on why do we pull cores and why does the holes size need to be what it is. Well there are a number of factors that go into determining this such as the spacing and hole size. Every year I take 3 samples on 3 different greens from a company called ISTRC, this stand for Sports Turf and Research Center. They take a 4 inch depth core back to there lab to analyze at 1 inch increments to see where we are in terms of organic matter percentages. By doing this they can determine the over all build up through out the year and how the green can be re mediated by pulling cores and what hole size to achieve our goals, which is to reduce the organic matter percentage to an acceptable level.

 Overall if the organic matter at the top of the sand profile surface gets to high you start to see the surface stay to wet and the green become to compacted to allow air and water to infiltrate to the roots efficiently. This can also lead to numerous disease problems as well as poor putting quality and soft greens.  Our overall goal for the year is to remove 20+ percent which happens to be right in line with what the USGA recommends. Every time we pull cores on the greens the weather patterns can be different and can really help the healing process or slow it down considerably, this mainly happens in the spring because of the chances we still have of frost. The pictures below are of the 18th green and you can see how well they are doing.
18th Green 1 Day after we pulled cores
18th Green 7 days after we pulled cores

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Greens Aeration

On Monday we completed our spring coring of the greens and it went really well, maybe the best we have ever done. It all starts out the week before where we go and sample areas of the greens to get a good baseline on how deep we need to go to remove the core as seen in the photo. We do this on all of the greens because each one may very. As 5am Monday morning rolls around we are out in the dark getting a head start with a light that we mounted to see the pass. Once the staff shows up we begin to remove the cores and blow the holes clean for the new sand to fall into. One thing that we did differently here was used a demo brush to help move the sand into the holes and clean the surface. I would say that I was very impressed of this piece of equipment not only did it work the sand evenly but it did the job of 7 people blowing the greens.  We still have a few more things to complete on them such as rolling them out, this will be started today and go into Wednesday, we have to do this when dry or there will be sand displaced all over the green. So bumpy for now but will improve in the days to follow. The Care of Trees was here also pruning the dead wood out of the significant trees on number 5 as well as installing lightning protection.
Depth Check
Removing the cores from the green

Here we are blowing the holes clean until acceptable
Adding sand to fill the holes
Demo turf brush to fill the holes

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Greens Grooming

Monday we went ahead and groomed the greens and applied a light amount of top dressing. What we want to accomplish with the grooming is to lightly cut into the turf canopy and by doing this it cuts the grass that tends to get laid over and not mowed by the greens mowers. The goal is to create a tighter playing surface and uniform ball roll. We have finally started the deep tine process in the fairways working 18 backwards, but wouldn't you know I broke a PTO Shaft. The repairs are in process and should be out later today. Mulch on the back is almost complete and will move all of our efforts in completing holes 2-9 here shortly. 

Notice the lines that the cutters leave, this is very hard to see.

Followed by light top dressing of the greens
Deep Tine in action
Deep Tine end  result going 6-8 inches deep

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Update

The weather has finally cooled down to our average temperatures and feels weird that we had a pretty good frost delay this morning. I am sure we might have a few more but remember this is normal this time of year. We have started our program of punching holes in the Tees and top dressing them today, we will try our best to work around play and should be close to being finished this afternoon. Our seasonal staff is back and we are in full swing of mulching the course and will proceed to get back into prepping the bunkers next week. Fairways were fertilized yesterday and will help with the bent grass to fill in from the winter top dressing. We have had some issues with our deep tine but expect to see that in the fairways in the weeks to come. Ball mark repair has been marginal but keep a look out as you play.  
Course starting to take shape.

Fairways being fertilized with recycled pasteurized chicken manure

Tee solid tine

Top Dressing Tees