Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Golf Course Update

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Golf Course Update

Dear Members:
It is hard to believe that the summer is almost over and we be aerifyng the golf course next week. For many on my staff it's a monumental moment when aerification arrives because it signals to us that the season is slowly winding down and cooler weather is on the way. Our goal for the greens aerification program in the early spring is to be aggressive removing the unwanted organic material.  The second greens aerification, scheduled for next week, is to heal up quickly and be less aggressive. By combining these two types of techniques, we can still attain our goals of removing more that 20 percent of the area for proper greens health. The tees, approaches and rough will also see cores removed and the fairways will have select areas aerified with a solid tine for minimal disruption. Over all, that is the program for this year, so we have a lot of work for us to accomplish next week.
We are also entering the part of the season where the Bermuda grass is thriving in places across the golf course. This weed is the most difficult to control and most golf courses in our area, and those nationwide that are NOT Bermuda, have the same problem. Some courses are aggressive in their approach, while others do what they can. We are actually going to do both. It's been a well-known fact that through the spring and summer, our rough is not always where we would like it to be. We want to avoid that by using a mix of techniques that could give us desirable results while minimizing the impact on member play.  Our plan is to take small areas that are generally in-play, apply Round-Up to those, and then sod them, as seen in the photo to the right. Other areas that are farther away from play areas will be seeded. We will try to seed fewer areas because of the amount of time it takes to produce results compared to sod.

Some holes are worse than others and if we chose to apply Round-Up to the Bermuda on holes 5, 8, and 18, there wouldn't be any rough left.  So on these holes we are going to spray a herbicide, similar to what we do in the fairways to minimize the contamination, and then seed those. My goal over time is to get small areas where we can apply Round-Up. Is all of this a sure fire way of dealing with this problem? Probably not, but it's the best thing available to us, since we know that if we do nothing it will only get worse. I'm pretty certain that two things will survive a nuclear attack, cockroaches and Bermuda grass! 
On August 17th, we will have a tree company on site to remove a large willow oak where the back half of the canopy has died. This was a beautiful tree at one point, and it is a shame we have to take it down, but it's just not safe because of the proximity to the clubhouse and walkway. We will evaluate the area for additional improvements with another tree and plant material.
We hope your summer has been great so far and we look forward to seeing you on the course.
Thank you,
Phil Desbrow
Golf Course Manager

Lakewood Country Club.     13901 Glen Mill Road.     Rockville, MD 20850      301.762.5430