Friday, September 27, 2013

Ball Mark Repair and Course Update

It is no surprise that we have an epidemic of ball marks not being repaired on our greens. There was a time last year when the membership as a whole was improving and we were heading in the right direction. But at this point is has gotten out of control and is causing poor putting surfaces. To the player that never remembers please take a moment to look for yours plus another. Now this is only half of the battle, to the player that fixes them but may not be up to speed on the proper way. We urge you to seek out a member of the pro shop staff or a manager of the golf course staff. We will gladly show you the proper way so that the mark will heal appropriately. 

There has been some concern that about how the greens look, speckled grass so to speak. What you are seeing is the results from the aerification that was completed and filled in. There are a number of reasons for this such as when we pull a core and reintroduce clean fresh sand this creates a healthy growing environment for the grass, with less compaction and more air and water exchange. 

There also has been some talk about how the course is not very green as compared to others in the area. Well we are green but maybe just not as green as you would prefer. A little back ground on why we should look the way we do. Our philosophy here on the Golf Course Management staff is to only apply fertilizers, chemicals and water on an as needed basis. What I mean by this is if a course is lush there is a pretty good chance that greens speeds are slow and  tees and fairways are thatchy. By keeping our inputs to a minimum or as the turf grass needs them we can balance ourselves with the environment and create firm and fast playing conditions. With our double row irrigation system the fairways require less water than the roughs do and we do not want to over water the fairways to make up for the lost coverage in the rough. This is a delicate balancing act which ultimately leaves the rough a little dryer than we would like. Of course when it does rain it is the best irrigation system for the golf course with full coverage. And with our on going bermuda control in the rough this does make for some areas to be thin and brown. As you are aware these areas are being treated with seed, compost and fertilizer for a speedy recovery.  Our current plan for next week is to prepare the 6th hole for intermediate sod and continue onto the back with seeding and sodding select areas. 

Now for the new program that the greens staff is implementing which is by no means an opportunity to not fix ball marks but a way to move along the healing process. We are using a tool that will specifically drop a specified amount of seed and sand mix on to the mark or into the hole. This will smooth out the surface and speed up the recover process. 

The mix. 

In the photo above, starting from the left we have sand that is dyed green, seed that is dyed red for visibility, the white material is a product that can retain moisture and nutrients and the darker material is a product that can reduce the water requirements by up to 50%. What is neat about this product is that it actually absorbs moisture from the air. The last pile is everything mixed together

The ball mark repair tool


Finished Product

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Course Update

We have made great progress on the rough with the seeding project. We will continue with seed but the majority of our spots will be sodded for faster recovery times. I have started to implement a top dressing program in the rough using compost. Our irrigation coverage is lacking and the areas we get hurt on are the areas that have improper irrigation. What the compost will do for us is provide a seed bed and over time we will start to hold a moisture reservoir so to speak. Of course the other benefit is amending our clay soils with a growing medium for proper growing conditions, something that our entire rough needs.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Golf Course Storm Update

Last evening we had a series of storms roll through that dumped close to 3 inches of rain on the golf course, washing out bunkers and mulch beds. If we can go back a little the last time we had rain was August 1st. The golf course was seeing a lot of damage from the dry conditions as well as the pond level steadily dropping. With help from mother nature, this couldn't have happened at a better time. Although we prefer slow rains that last all day, we can not be to picky at this point. Below are some pictures of the golf course from the storms and the bunker repair process.

Practice green 

Example of the bunker damage

Staff pumping water out

Scraping the silt out

Using our new bunker machine to push up the sand

Smoothing out the sand on the edges