Monday, July 21, 2014

Glowball 2014

Friday night was a very exciting night at the club, as we did our annual glowball tournament.  In the photo below you can see the flag lit up, the red glow stakes around the circumference of the green, and the cup is lighted with glow necklaces.

The course was predominately a par 3 yardage as the glow balls do not fly as far, with 1 hole set-up as a par 4.

Safety is always a big concern as you have carts driving the golf course in the dark, but we did not have any accidents and only a couple small spots of injured turf this year.  Everybody had a great time, there were actually 3 hole in ones, and it will be scheduled on the calendar again next year for anybody that was unable to participate this year.  In the photo below you see one glow necklace broke and spilled the material on a green leaving a couple spots of dead turf.
Dead turf from a broken glow stick

Venting Greens

This morning is one of our opportunities when the maintenance staff is punching the small holes in greens, "venting".

We try to do this 3 times throughout the hot summer and it allows for oxygen to get down into the profile to the roots, and water to infiltrate through the surface better.  After a mow and roll, the holes are still visible but they do not effect the ball roll at all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Mornings are always a great time of the day as we get to watch the sunrise onto the golf course, except when the sunrise sheds light on a scene like this as it did this morning.

Not sure why people have to go out and vandalize golf courses but it is common thing throughout the country.  Staff works hard to produce the best course possible, the club as a business is allowing staff to make a living for their families, and then people destroy the product which directly effects the business.

Staff was able to clean-up and repair the damage today and fortunately it was an isolated incidence to only the fairway on #5.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Warm temps = warm nights

With a forecast like we have for this week it makes are job extremely difficult.  This morning when we came into work at 5 AM it was 81 degrees.

Cool season turf does best when high temperatures are 55-88 degrees, when the temperature gets above 88 then cool season turf starts to shut down and go dormant, save its carbohydrates and go in a state of rest until the temperatures cool down.  That is why areas in the south have warm season turf, which prefer temperatures above 88.  Well in our climate, we are suitable for cool season turf 10 month out of the year, but for the two months of July and August we should truly grow warm season grasses.  That would not work for the other 10 months, so we are left with trying to babysit cool-season turf through the super hot days of July and August.

When we have high temperatures in the mid 90's but it still cools off at night to 65-70 then we can still maintain cool-season turf and the grass gets 5-7 hours of cool temps where it can rest from all the stress during the day.  When our temperatures reach highs like they have forecasted this week, then the night time lows stay around 75 - 83, and in that situation the heat is putting stress on the turf 24 hours a day and it never gets to take a break.

This week you will see staff out syringing turf all day long with hoses, just to give it a cool down from the hot surface temperature of the sun.

Friday, July 11, 2014

PNGA Amateur

This week has been extremely busy and exciting as we just wrapped up hosting the PNGA Ladies Amateur and Mid-Amateur.  The busy stretch started several weeks ago getting the course in the best tournament condition we could.  It started with planning fertilizer, irrigation, mowing schedules, and staffing demands.  Putting an emphasis on the exact same conditions for 5 days straight.  Then we set-up the course with the PNGA committee over the weekend, and our plan, course set-up, and playing conditions really turned out well.  Your staff really worked hard this week and you should be proud of them as everyday was pushing a 100 degrees.  There was a tremendous amount of comments about the course and specifically the putting surfaces, good job guys.  Here are a few shots of the tourney.

Flag display at the practice facility
Pin placement day 4 - probably not one to go for
Match play on the last day
It was amazing to watch the ladies play and truly watch them hit the ball.  Approach shots with irons, and chipping and putting was just spectacular.  Congratulations to Aaren Zigler for winning the Amateur division and Amanda Jacobs for winning the the Mid-Am division.

Amateur winner, Aaren Zigler, with the rules officials
After finishing these two weeks we will now move our focus back to member golf.  As you can tell by the forecast below, we will have our work cut out for us.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Red Thread Disease

Right now in the rough there are areas that have a tan look to them with a reddish tint on the leaf tissue. That is red thread disease, a disease that we have every year in June and appears more when we have wetness from rains.
Red Thread Disease

It really doesn't concern me to often because it does not injure or kill the plant.  It is just on the leaf tissue, makes it a little off color, and as soon as things warm up and dry out then it will disappear.  Different disease all have a different threshold level with me.  Ones on greens or low mowed areas that kill the plant have a very low threshold and I spray when we see them, ones like this and being the rough, it really needs to spread a lot before I go out and control it.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Weighing Clippings

One thing that we do here at LGCC that I feel is very unique, is the staff weighs there grass clippings after they are done mowing greens each morning.  Every morning when the greens are walk mowed they dump their buckets into the back of their cart, after mowing there designated greens they empty their clippings at our dump site.  A couple years ago, I had the idea that since the clippings are all right there in their cart, why don't I put a bucket and shovel with a scale at the dump site, they could weigh their clippings each morning before dumping and report back a weight for each designated greens mowing route.
Our clippings weigh station at the dump site
Clippings in the back of a cart from the mornings greens mowing route, being shoveled into a 5 gallon bucket
Clippings being weighed
This information has turned out to be another very valuable tool that we use in managing our putting surfaces.  Surprisingly, the amount of dew in the morning or sand from topdresing does not effect the wight that much, a little increase is seen but not a big spike that throws our data off.  This information is another tool that truly lets me know what is happening with the greens.  We use moisture meters for water availability, we use stimpmeters for speed, we use firmness tools to check how firm the green is, and we all look into buckets every morning to see how much the green is growing and how much grass they are cutting.  This technique puts a true quantified number on the greens growth for the day before.  That information goes into a spreadsheet, and it is interesting to see the increase in growth after fertilizer and then the decrease that occurs over the next 14 days.

We fertilize our greens by spraying them every 14 days with liquid products, I do tweak that amount of fertilizer each application depending on time of year, disease pressure, upcoming events, and desired green speeds.  The amount of clippings helps me quantify how much fertilizer the plant needs that week and how much growth we are currently receiving.   It helps us achieve that consistency that I am always taking about throughout the growing season.

If you want to be as innovative as that "On Course" Colorado guy or impress your members as much as that plaid sport coat wearing comedian, try the idea of starting to weigh your grass clippings, you will be amazed by what information you learn from that.  Sorry LGCC members, an inside joke for my fellow superintendent readers in the turf world..