Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Disease Pressure

Last week we received 0.7" of rain coupled with our typical summer heat of 94-100, is the perfect scenario for disease to pop up around the course.  We do spray the greens on a preventative basis and fortunately we just sprayed them with a fungicide the week before.  In the picture you can see why we spray preventatively for diseases throughout the summer.  As we spray the green we include the collar and turn the booms off at the edge.  Here you can see exactly where we shut off each boom and the yellow tan disease of dollar spot that popped up in the area that was not sprayed.

Something like this is actually good to see, because it tells us that we do need to keep with our fungicide applications, and the products that we are using are giving us very good control.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Collar/Apron Management

The collars around a green, or perimeters / aprons, are a very tough area to manage.  You have so much traffic on the immediate surrounding area of a green with the collar mower that mows the turf, the greens mower is turning in that area on every turn, rollers are unloaded and loaded and they may also roll a portion of the collar, the approach mower could be turning on the collar edge, and then the golfer traffic and push carts that target the green surround area.

Every pass a walking greens mower makes across the green includes a turn on the collar
Every superintendent has their own philosophy to manage this traffic and maintain the collar area from getting stressed and thin after a hot summer.  Some guys use sheets of plywood or lattice to turn on with their mowers, others try to keep as much traffic off the collar as possible and route push carts or golfers different directions, and you sometimes see that occasional rope line right on the edge of a green

Along with doing many of these techniques, one of my strategies is to fertilize that area extra and keep them healthier.  We use a drop spreader to fertilize only the collar 3 times a year during the growing season.  Since we have started this process, I have had no thin areas or weak areas on the collars.

Actively growing turf can recover from that extra traffic and stress a lot quicker, healthier turf will stand up to the extra traffic, and because of all the wear and tear we are not concerned with the organic matter buildup, or thatch, because that is taken acre of with the abuse they receive.  That is why you see that darker green ring around the putting surface, extra nutrition and growth to stand up to all the abuse.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bunker Rake Placement

Placement of bunker rakes is something that you hear discussed at different golf courses and where the course likes them to be located.  They can effect maintenance efficiency, playability of the course, and general aesthetics.  We ask that everybody places them inside the bunker along the edge with the handle facing back toward the tee.

The theory on that is they do no effect the maintenance staff when they are trying to mow around the bunker, they do not stop a ball from rolling in the hazard that would of otherwise done so, and being on the side has a less of a chance to effect the ball than being across the front of the bunker.  Also, proper placement after using the rake does really make the bunker look clean and neat.  Compared to these after pictures.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Photos of the month

I receive a lot of comments from people that follow the blog that are not members here, asking for more pictures of the course.  As you can tell, I do take a lot of pictures while I am on the course.  Here are a few recent ones I have taken.  Enjoy...

Waterfalls at #1 tee
#4 - par 3
#2 green
#5 fairway and #3 in the background

#3 fairway
#17 fairway
#18 fairway



And yes, we are open all year around

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Poa Annua - Summer time stress

With the temperatures ranging from 96-106 for the last 3 weeks, and the next 3 weeks forecasted to be the same, our Annual Bluegrass has been under a lot of stress.  Annual Bluegrass is a species that does not do well in extreme heat nor extreme cold and snow conditions.  Its growth cycle is also just what its name implies - an annual grass.  Meaning it grows for one season and dies off.  Now Poa is one of, if not the most, adaptable turf type there is and many perennial types of Poa have evolved over the years.  The perennial types still get very weak and take a lot of care during the extreme heat and extreme cold, but they do not die out like a true annual.  Fortunately most of our poa on the golf course is the perennial type.  In the photo below you see the Poa is a lime green, weaker, and typically in the late afternoons it shows stress.  The greener turf is kentucky bluegrass and shows no sign of stress.

Here in a fairway picture below, the poa looks weak, is thinning, and appears to be sunken, whereas the creeping bentgrass is strong, full, and appears healthy.

The poa requires a lot of babysitting in the summer and in the winter, but in the spring and fall when it is 65 degrees and it rains then poa loves life.  Thats why it germinates and strives in the spring here but then struggles throughout the summer, only to do it all over again next year.  Hence the reason why we manage for kentucky bluegrass in the roughs and creeping bentgrass in fairways and thus all the test plost that we try of various growth regulators, cultural practices, and irrigation water management to discourage poa growth.

Another location in the rough where the poa is struggling compared to surrounding desired turf


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Maintenance Mondays

We are very fortunate to have the course closed until 11 AM on Mondays so our agronomy team can do more in depth cultivation and spraying practices.  Yesterday was no different as we sprayed greens 2 different times, because there were a couple products that were not compatible with each other so I put them in different tank mixes.

We sprayed weeds in the native grass areas.

We topdressed approaches and brushed it in.  This topdressing of sand over the top of the native soil that we have done for a couple years now has really firmed up our approaches, made them ultra smooth, and has allowed us to really lower the height of cut, giving us the firm dense areas that we can now putt off of.
Topdressing approaches
Brushing in sand
Along with these practices, we did all of our regular mowing and maintenance because we were able to keep the course closed until 11.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Irrigation Controllers

Please be careful to not run into the irrigation satellites on the course with your carts. Especially the weeks it is over 100 degrees.  It takes a lot of time to re-build and re-program each of these, along with re-placement cost.
Golf cart meets irrigation satellite
Unfortunately the controller on #13 got ran over last week by a member playing golf and not focusing where he was driving.  Forcing staff to run heads manually and handwater for several days, while we re-built all the damaged components.  

Damaged controller coming out and new one going in