Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Venting Greens

The golf course over the past four day weekend has done close to 800 rounds if you include Friday and has performed very well in relation to traffic areas. Greens were a consistent speed and the weather was a bit hot at times but manageable. This past week the golf course has been receiving a lot of rain lately and as I am typing this we just got another 3/4 of an inch. With that being said we vented the greens yesterday as well as lightly top dressed and rolled. Venting is my favorite word and for that matter every one's favorite word for it just sounds so nice to say. But what is venting? The most important thing that venting allows us to do in season is to break open the surface and allow air and gas exchange with compaction relief. Oxygen levels in the soil can be depleted very quickly when you have areas of high compaction from foot traffic, i.e. golf greens. The hole is very small in size(smaller than a pencil), goes to a depth of about 4 inches and just about disappears right after we roll it. If you poke around the surface of the green the hole is still there exchanging gas for oxygen for the next few weeks. This process is typically done every 3-4 weeks or on an as needed basis.

Green has been rolled

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Course Improvements

This weekend feels like that start of the summer with the temperatures up as well as the humidity. You will notice the fans running on #6 and #8, they are there simply to move air over the greens. These areas on the course tend to be very stagnant which can be detrimental to the turf grass causing the greens profile to heat up. The fans move the air which in turn causes the plant to transpire which then is able to cool it self down. With that being said please do not turn the fans off, just think on a hot day you can stand in front of it to cool your self off and this is the same concept on how the grass would cool it self off by way of the fan.

There have been a number of things going on between the rains that we have been receiving lately. All of our plants around the tee signs have been planted as well as the front entrance. Next week we are installing a new mulch bed with colorful plants for you to enjoy on #5 near the water cooler next week. There will be pictures to follow so stay tuned.

On #7 we have groomed the creek down a little so that you might have a chance of finding your ball and to also improve the look from the fairway. What a difference when you take a step back and see what it was like before. Other areas that are being cleaned up would be between #11 and #18. This area has been a concern for a while and there have been a number of invasive weeds that have called this area home. Currently we have removed all of this and in the process of  trimming some low hanging branches and will ultimately round this area up for a cleaner look. 



You can start to see the edge of the approach here.

18 Before

18 After

Friday, May 18, 2012

Great Weather this weekend

As of now we are looking to have some real great golfing weather with temperatures in the mid 70's for the next few days. Some topics that have come up recently is the speed of the greens not being consistent. So let me explain, Right after we had aerified the greens we inter-seeded some new varieties of bent grass that over time will become the dominate grass for our greens. These varieties are better performers such as with increased ball roll,  more disease tolerant and a list of other factors. The two weeks after we had to tread lightly so to speak so that we could have the maximum amount of germination on the greens. Ideally this would be better to close but doing it this way allows for the greens to still be open. With that said there was times of reduced mowing and rolling. Now that we are in a good state for the seedlings to take the abuse we are back on track to have the green speeds on a more consistent level ranging from a 10-11. There will be times because of weather (rain) that they may not be quick, at that point there is nothing that we can do to combat this.  But every effort will be made to keep them as consistent as possible.

There was an email blast that went out pertaining to improving our ball mark repair on the greens, raking bunkers properly and replacing or filling your fairways divots. I would say that we are improving but we are not quite there yet. The biggest issue that I see in the mornings is the ball marks on the greens. So please find one plus another and that will greatly improve this issue. Bunker rakes are periodically being upgraded to an improved handle and a larger rake head to speed up the raking process. The short game, #1 and #2 have been changed out. 

Old rake on the left with new on the right

Below you will find the proper way to fix a ball mark by the GCSAA.

Repairing ballmarks

Ball marks, the indentations caused when a ball lands sharply on a soft green, have been ruining good putts since the days of Old Tom Morris.
Unrepaired ball marks take two to three weeks to properly heal, leaving behind unsightly, uneven putting surfaces. On the other hand, a repaired ball mark only takes half that time to heal.
Beginner or pro, it is your responsibility as a golfer to fix your own marks. If you're truly a steward of the game, you'll fix any others you see while your partners are putting. There's really not much to it, but there are a few guidelines you should follow when making these repairs.

The right way to fix a ball mark

Ball mark: Step 1
Step 1:
Use a pronged ball mark
repair tool, knife,
key or tee.

Ball mark: Step 2
Step 2:
Insert the repair tool at the
edges of the mark; not the
middle of the depression.

Ball mark: Step 3
Step 3:
Bring the edges together
with a gentle twisting motion,
but don't lift the center. Try not to
tear the grass.

Ball mark: Step 4
Step 4:
Smooth the surface with
a club or your foot. Repeat
steps until the surface is one
you would want to putt over.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Brush is here!

A while ago I talked about the demo brush we used for filling in the holes after we had aerated. We took ownership yesterday and we put it to use right away. As I mentioned before this brush has many uses and the one that we used today was to stand up the grass and mow following to improve the greens putting quality. Over time grass can get laid over and actually not get cut by the mower. This slows done the ball roll and makes for an inconsistent cut. The plan is to do this process a few more times in the next few weeks before the heat arrives.
Bunker prep is in motion which includes reclaiming some lost edges and adding sand. Our mulch progress is coming to a close with just a few holes left. And you may have noticed some work being performed at the back of the range. Stay tuned for more information to follow on this.

Brushing to stand up the grass
Mowing after the brush

If you look closely you can see grass blades sticking up
much higher than normal. This is what the brush does for us.