Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Day Another Break

The latest irrigation mainline repair is taking place in the middle of #16 fairway. Similar to mainline break two weeks ago on hole #13, the service tee that feeds a stop and waste valve has failed. These repairs are extremely disruptive to the golf course as well as a tremendous time burden on my staff. We are pulling staff off other jobs that would be more beneficial to the conditioning of the course to help strip sod and hand dig the repair areas. The only good news about this break is that the course is not stressed for water at this point, so we have time to repair it without unduly stressing out the golf course. This will not be the case in the middle of summer when these types of breaks occur.

The Backhoe in Action Again

Close up View of The Stop And Waste Valve

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cart Traffic Repair

Numerous areas on the golf course receive an overwhelmingly high amount of cart traffic due to limited exit and entry points. These areas are managed differently that the rest of the course to handle the abuse they take on a daily basis. Even with these efforts to manage these areas well still will end up re-sodding several of them each year.

Some of the additional maintenance practices that take place to these areas are higher fertility, additional aerification and daily cart traffic flow management.

A Newly Sodded Cart Path Exit Point

Many of the high flow traffic areas receive nearly twice the amount of fertilizer and aerification than the other rough areas on the golf course. The reason we do this is to give the grass an advantage in repairing itself by providing it additional food and relief from compaction caused by cart traffic. A large portion of our daily course setup is dedicated to managing cart flow with the use of ropes and directional signs. In the peak of summer when play is exceeding 200 rounds per day we move some of the ropes and signs twice in one day. Needles to say it is an uphill battle we are fighting, but I believe we are staying ahead of the curve.

Friday, March 28, 2008

On Site Water Treatment

The Country Club utilizes effluent water as its irrigation water source which is great from a water conservation stand point, but the quality of the water brings a unique set of management problems with it. The main concerns with effluent water are the increased levels of soluble salts, sodium, bicarbonates, and heavy metals that can have a negative impact on soil structure. Additionally some plant species such as Ponderosa Pines are particularly susceptible to these additional nutrient inputs.
These factors have forced us to seek additional treatment of the water to minimize the damage caused to the golf course by the water quality. For the last eight years we have been treating our water with Ozone to help offset the poor water quality. This year we have added Carbon Dioxide injection to our treatment process to address the high PH found in the irrigation water. The PH coming from the treatment plant ranges from 7.8 to 8.2 depending on the time of year the sampling is done. We will now be lowering the PH down to the 6.8 to 7.0 range which will have a very positive effect on all of the plant materials that the water is utilized on.

The Treatment Involves The Following Processes

The Oxygen Diffusion System is designed to increase dissolved oxygen above supersaturated levels. Highly dissolved oxygen in irrigation water can help alleviate turf grass stress by developing a stronger root system and reduce disease that promotes a healthier greener course. Increased dissolved oxygen creates an aerobic(1) environment that encourages a balanced condition throughout ponds and irrigation.

PH Control
The Carbon Dioxide Diffusion Systems is highly effective for dissolving CO2 into water, which lowers and maintains pH levels. Tests have proven that feeding turf grass with pH controlled water has a direct effect on lowering pH levels in soil and in turn has a positive effect on the root zones thereby reducing the amounts of fertilizer and nutrients required.

The Ozone Diffusion Systems are easy to use, and environmentally friendly. These powerful and effective systems are designed to oxidize and kill Bacteria, Algae and Fungi’s that produce unpleasant odors in ponds. The process involves intense Ozonation, and therefore, microorganisms cannot develop a resistance to this treatment, since they have been oxidized. This technology gives superintendents the ability to treat poor quality and effluent water without the use of harsh chemicals. The treated water can then be recycled into irrigation systems and ponds throughout the course.

The Seair Treatment System

Additional Benefits Associated With Ozone and Carbon Dioxide Injection

• Improves overall water quality without chemicals

• Diffuses high concentrations of O2, O3 and or CO2 into water

• Transforms anaerobic water into aerobic water

• Lowers pH levels in irrigation which lowers pH levels in soil

• Reduces the amount of costly Fertilizers, Fungicides and Pesticides required

• Promotes stronger and healthier root systems throughout course

• Runoff and effluent water can be effectively recycled to irrigation and ponds

• Eliminates odors from ponds

• Reduces surface tension of the water

• Makes Sodium and Chlorides more soluble in solution allowing better leaching

The Carbon Dioxide Storage Tank
Please visit Seair's webite for more information.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Superintendent Speak The Final Volume

This is the end of a three part series of the most commonly used turfgrass phrases or terminologies. I hope this helps you have a better understanding of the technical terms that I often use to describe things taking place on the golf course.


Native Grasses
Grasses that are indigenous or that occur naturally in a particular region.

A substance used to destroy nematodes.

Small, round worms, usually microscopic and colorless, that live free in moist soil, water or decaying or living organic matter. Parasitic forms puncture plant tissues and live by sucking the juice of the plant.

The joint of a grass stem from which leaves and buds arise.

Noxious Weeds
Weeds categorized by law as objectionable in a seed lot for commercial sale.

An area set aside for testing new turfgrass cultivars and chemicals and for growing replacement turf for the golf course.

Nutrients, Plant
The elements taken in by the plant, essential to its growth and used in elaboration of food and tissue.


Organic Fertilizer
Fertilizers that contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, as well as needed nutrients. Organic fertilizers can come from naturally occurring sources or be made synthetically.

Organic Matter
Decomposed material derived from plant or animal sources. An important component of topsoil often added to topdressing soil mixtures to give added water-holding capacity and exchange capacity to the soil.

To sow seed over an area that is sparsely covered or to plant cool-season grasses into dormant warm-season turfgrass swards for a temporary, green winter cover, to convert species.


An organism causing disease.

Unconsolidated soil material consisting largely of undecomposed or only slightly decomposed organic matter accumulated under conditions of excess moisture.

A measure of the ease with which air, roots and water penetrate the soil.

Perennial Grasses
Lasting or continuing from year to year in areas where adapted.

A substance used to destroy pests such as weeds, insects or diseases.

A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a material or solution. pH ranges from 0 to 14. Values below 7 are increasingly acid; above 7, increasingly alkaline.

Harmful to plants.

Stands for plant growth regulator. A chemical that can slow the growth of turfgrass.

The vegetative propagation of turfgrass by means of plugs or small sod pieces. A method of establishing vegetatively propagated turfgrasses, as well as repairing damaged areas.

Poa is the genus of all bluegrasses. Pratensis is the species name for Kentucky bluegrass. Poa annua is annual bluegrass. There's also Poa trivialis (rough bluegrass) and Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass).

Pore Space
That space between solid soil particles or aggregates that is normally filled with water, air or grass roots.

A term used in reference to herbicide treatment made after weed seedlings have emerged from the soil.

A term used in reference to treatments made before weed seedlings emerge from the soil.

Profile, Soil
A cross-section of soil that shows the layers or horizons lying above the unweathered parent material.

Pythium Blight
A highly destructive turfgrass disease that can totally destroy a turfgrass stand in less than 24 hours. Pythium blight most commonly occurs under conditions of high temperature and humidity.


A term that refers to practices involving complete changes in the total turf area, i.e., reconstruction of a green, tee, fairway, rough or any other area of the golf course.

Turf improvement involving replanting into existing live and/or dead vegetation.

The capability of the turf to spring back when balls, shoes or other objects strike the surface, thus providing a cushioning effect.

An underground, root-like stem; underground creeping stem.


Saline Soils
Soils in which there is a heavy accumulation of salts.

Turf damage occurring under conditions of excessive water, high temperatures and intense light.

Cutting into or below the crown of the grass plant while mowing. Continued scalping will weaken or kill the turf.

Seed Bed
An area of soil prepared for seeding.

A plant grown from seed; usually refers to a young plant.

Selective Herbicide
One that can be applied to a mixed stand of turfgrass and weeds that will selectively kill certain weeds without injuring the turfgrasses.

A form of cultivation involving a deep, vertical-cutting action that is used to open the soil as well as the turf.

Plugs, blocks, squares or strips of turfgrass with roots used for vegetative planting.

The installation of sod.

Soil Modification
Alteration of soil characteristics by adding soil amendments such as sand, peat, lime, etc.; commonly used to improve physical and chemical conditions.

Soil Probe
A tool used to remove a deep core from turf areas to examine root development, thatch depth, topsoil depth, soil arrangement and soil moisture.

Soil Sterilant
A chemical that renders soil free of living organisms.

Soil Testing
The analysis of soil samples for chemical and/or physical properties.

Soil Texture
The coarseness or fineness of the soil. Sand is coarse-textured; clay is fine-textured.

An established classification into which similar individuals in the plant or animal kingdom are placed. A species is described as a morphologically distinctive and genetically isolated natural population.

The act of perforating turf and soil crust by the use of solid tines, spikes or blades for the purpose of aerating the soil.

Spray Drift
The movement of small spray particles away from the target area.

To treat soil chemically or by heat to kill disease organisms, weed seeds and insects.

An implement used to measure the speed of putting greens.

Creeping stems or runners aboveground that may produce roots and new stems and become independent plants.

A pattern left on turfgrass - usually a fairway or a green - using lightweight mowing equipment. Its main purpose is a pleasing appearance. Patterns are the result of light reflected from blades of grass lying in different directions because they have been mowed in different directions.

That part of the soil profile below plow depth. Usually considered unsatisfactory for plant growth.

An agent that reduces surface tension of liquids on plant materials or in the soil. Wetting agents are common examples.

Lacking inherent ability to resist. Turf may be susceptible to diseases, insect damage or weed encroachment.

The action of one chemical upon another causing an accelerated action or a result that neither one alone could produce.

Light sprinkling of water on turf, usually done during the hot part of the day to prevent wilting. Only enough water is applied to wet the leaves, not the soil.


Teeing Ground
The starting place for the hole to be played. It is a rectangular area two club lengths in depth, the front and the sides of which are defined by the outside limits of two tee markers.

Texture, Grass
The width of individual leaves. A narrow-leaved grass like creeping bentgrass is considered fine-textured. A wide-leaved grass like some tall fescues is considered coarse-textured.

A tightly intermingled layer of dead and decaying roots, stolons, shoots and stems that develops between the green vegetation and soil surface.

The ability of a plant to withstand the effects of adverse conditions, chemicals or parasites.

A prepared mixture usually containing sand and organic matter used for leveling and smoothing the playing surface. It acts as an aid in controlling thatch and in maintaining biological balance. Topdressing is also used to cover stolons or sprigs in vegetative planting.

A general term applied to the top natural layer of soil.

Quality, state or degree of being toxic; poisonous.

Transition Zone
Commonly referred to as the geographical zone that is too far north to easily grow warm-season grasses and too far south to easily grow cool-season grasses.

The movement of water vapor out of a plant through leaf openings.

Triplex Mower
A machine for closely cutting greens involving a small power unit propelling three precision reel mowers, usually in front. Triplex mowers are also used widely on tees and fairways.


In classification, a subdivision of species. Differing from the remainder of the species in one or more recognizable and heritable characteristics.

Vegetative Propagation
Propagation by means of pieces of vegetation, i.e., sprigs or sod pieces.

The green, living plant material remaining after mowing.

Vertical Mowing (verticutting)
The thinning of turfgrasses by blades or wire tines that cut perpendicular to the soil surface. Specifically designed to remove mat, thatch and grain from greens and to thin dense turf.


Warm-Season Grasses
Among the best known are bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass, bahiagrass, carpetgrass and centipedegrass. Bermudagrass is the most popular for greens. Warm-season grasses grow at their optimal rate between 75 F and 95 F.

Plants out of place; undesirable or unwanted plants.

Wettable Powder
A dry powdered formulation of a pesticide that is applied as a suspension in water.

A loss of freshness and turgidity. Drooping of leaves due to inadequate water supply or excessive transpiration. Also a vascular disease that interferes with utilization of water by a plant.

Winterkill (injury)
The general term applied to injuries of turf from a variety of causes that occur during the winter and become evident in spring.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

#18 Green is Open

The green is now open after the renovation work that took place in the fall of last year. Both the bunker and newly sodded portions of the green are well enough established to handle daily play. One of the final steps that took place to the new sod was a final rolling to smooth out any imperfections and tie in perfectly with the existing green surface. The new sod will be mowed at a slightly higher height of cut than the rest of the green, and will be slowly lowered as the sod continues to mature.
Rolling of the Newly Laid Sod

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Discoloration on The Greens

The discolored spots you are seeing on #4,#10 and #12 greens are not winter kill, but rather chemical suppression of Poa Annua. Throughout the year we treat all of the playing surfaces for Poa Annua control. These applications come in two different forms the first is a pre-emergent application and the second is a post emergent.
The pre-emergent herbicides are applied to the greens each spring and fall just prior to aerification. This is done so that the voids that are created by the aerification holes do not germinate with Poa Annua.
The post emergent applications are made on a weekly basis to the greens and fairways, and the main objectives of these are to reduce the completive advantage of the Poa. When the Poa is in a weakened state the Bentgrass is better able out grow and out compete the Poa for the surface space.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pressuring up The Summer Irrigation Line

Today was the day that I dread each and every year, pressuring up the summer irrigation line. When we pressure up the season unofficially begins. As soon as the water is on we are now once again able to begin to apply soil amendments and fertilizers to the golf to prepare it for the coming season.

The problems continue with the irrigation system, today we had one failed transformer, one pipe break, replaced six broken sprinkler heads and lost central computer communication with half of the golf course. Other than that just a normal day in the office.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Original Construction Photos

Future Clubhouse Site

Looking Across Holes #8,#9,#10 and #18
#11 in The Foreground
#17 Green Shelled Out
Looking Across #10 and #9
Nice View of Several Holes
This winter while doing a little house keeping I stumbled upon a couple of boxes that contained numerous slides. Taking the time to hold each of the sides up to the light since we do not have a slide projector, I discovered some old construction photos of the golf course. These photos date back to 1985 and show the course from a helicopter during construction. It is amazing to look back on some of these and see how construction equipment traffic flows are still visible 23 years later. These areas are still to this day the most difficult to maintain do to the severe compaction that took place at the time of construction. What is also striking about the pictures is the lack of development in the village as well as the meadow off in the distance.

Looking to The West at Holes #1 and #2
Hole #3 (Notice Construction Traffic Patterns)
#5 Green Looking Back Towards Tees
Hole #6
#6 Green and #7 in The Distance

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mainline Relocation

Recently nearly 500 feet of 14” Ductile iron mainline was moved due to the pending construction of the Summit Club at the Eastern end of the driving range. The Summit Club will be Castle Pines Village final amenity to be constructed and will include a swimming pool and ball fields.

The mainline had to be relocated because its old location ran directly underneath where the new building will be constructed. The good news about relocating the pipe is that during the process the old Ductile line was inspected and appeared to be in good condition. This is extremely important because this portion of the current irrigation system will be the only thing reused in the design of the new system installation.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Frost Delays

How can a footprint be a killer?
It's hard to believe that simply walking, or driving a cart across the turf covered with frost can cause so much damage. The proof will be there in a few days as the turfgrass dies and leaves a trail of cart tracks or brown footprints. That's why most courses will delay starting times until the frost has melted. And it's also why golfers who appreciate a quality putting surface will be patient during frost delays.
Why does frost cause problems?
All of the turf on the course is fragile. The putting surface, or green, is an extremely fragile environment that must be managed carefully and professionally. Remember that every green is a collection of millions of individual grass plants, each of which is a delicate living thing. Obviously, Mother Nature never meant for these plants to be maintained at 5/32 of an inch for prolonged periods. This stress makes greens constantly vulnerable to attacks from insects, disease, heat, drought, cold -- and frost.
Frost is essentially frozen dew. It can form when the temperature (or wind chill) is near or below the freezing point. The ice crystals that form on the outside of the plant can also harden or even freeze the cell structure of the plant. When frosted, the normally resilient plant cells become brittle and are easily crushed. When the cell membranes are damaged, the plant loses its ability to function normally. It's not much different than cracking an egg. Once the shell is broken, you can't put it back together.

The proof is in the prints
Although you won't see any immediate damage if you walk on frosted turf, the proof will emerge within 48 to 72 hours as the leaves die and turn brown. And, since just one foursome can leave several hundred footprints on each green, the damage can be very extensive.
Its not just golfers who cause damage
If you are out early in the morning walking your dog or jogging when frost is present, the damage is still the same. So during these times please use the cart paths rather than going across the fairways and greens.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vole Damage

The longevity of a vole changes slightly from species to species but on the whole voles are one of the shortest lived of mammals. Voles seldom live beyond a year and most do not survive more than two months. To counter their short life span voles have a condensed life cycle and individuals are sexually mature just a month after they are born. Breeding takes place all year round and females will usually mate immediately after giving birth.

Voles can eat their weight daily, and do not hibernate, though they sometimes store food such as seeds and other plant matter in underground chambers, they eat constantly. Voles concentrate on green vegetation in the summer, and switch to mostly grains and seeds in fall. They also eat bark and roots of trees, usually in fall or winter and this damage of trees categorizes them as a pest.

The majority of voles live in grassy areas but they can be found in a variety of environments such as rocky mountainsides, marshes, tundra and even trees. Like many other rodents voles are great burrowers, they live in networks of above-ground "runways" in grassy areas, as well as underground burrows. During the winter these "runways" are constructed through the snow that covers the ground.

Most damage occurs in the winter when voles move through their grass runways under the protection of snow. The reason this generally occurs is that the voles are able to stay hidden undercover from their predators. The animals that generally feed on voles are, Foxes, Coyotes and birds of prey.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The First Irrigation Break of 2008

We lasted only two days after pressuring up the irrigation system before we had our first break of the year. The break occurred at #13 tees and it was located on the frost free mainline. The failure that occurred was on a 4” service tee that feeds a stop and waste quick coupler valve. The service tee itself is one of hundreds that are found throughout the golf course. This one in particular was a cement asbestos fitting that failed and was removed with great care during the process.
Mainline Break Requiring a Backhoe To Dig Up
Exposed Pipe With Water in The Hole
Backfilling Around Pipe (Note The Size of The Hole)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Snow Mold

As the snow is beginning to melt back from the northern exposure areas on the golf course some Snow Mold damage is become visible. Most of these areas have not seen the light of day since early December, which has created the ideal environment for snow mold development. The areas that are primarily infected are found in the rough only. It is not cost effective for us to preventively treat with fungicides the rough areas due to the number acres. The damage that is caused is mostly superficial and rarely kills the plant. The best way to offset the damage is to rake up the diseased areas so that air and sunlight can get in and dry it out. After that these areas will typically repair themselves in a matter of weeks once active turf growth begins.

Raking up the Turf

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Golf Course is Open Take II

After 12 days of melting from the latest snowfall the course is once again open for play. The supplies are being put back out on the course such as trash cans, ballwashers and tee markers. The GHIN system goes into effect on Friday so scores can now be posted therefore requiring a true golf course setup.

Fairways Being Blown Off

First Greens Mowing of 2008

Other preparations that have been made to the course are that greens, tees and fairways have been blown off removing the large quantities of Elk droppings that have accumulated over the winter. Additionally the greens have been mowed for the first time of the year. Even though we are not growing yet, mowing helps remove the desiccated portion of the grass blade and gives the plant a kick start towards promoting new growth.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hazzard Crossing on #11

One of the biggest challenges we face on a daily basis is the management of golf cart traffic. The main problem stems from the fact that the golf course was designed with limited exit and entry points coming of the fairways to the cart paths. These heavy concentrations of traffic cause excessive wear and tear to these areas. We try to offset the damage by daily roping and the use of directional signs to manage the flow of cart traffic. Additionally these areas receive extra aerification and fertilizer applications to help give it a change to out grow the damage caused by the golf carts.

The hazard crossing on hole #11 is an example of traffic that is funneled into a small area and the grass has no chance of survival. As a result of this we will now be limiting the use of carts through the hazard in a similar manor to what is done on hole #9. We will be setting up a rotation of traffic flow to be the mirror image of what is going on with #9, so that both areas are not closed on the same day. This was discussed at the Green Committee and was agreed upon to be a good short term solution to the traffic problem. Currently we are researching the possibility of a “signature bridge” being constructed as a potential long term solution.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Got Thatch?

Thatch is a tightly intermingled layer of living and dead stems and leaves which accumulates between the layer of actively-growing grass and the soil underneath. Thatch is a normal component of an actively growing turfgrass. As long as the thatch is not too thick, it can increase the resilience of the turf to heavy traffic. Thatch develops more readily on high-maintenance turfgrass than on low-maintenance turfgrass.

How does thatch affect turf quality?
An excessive thatch layer (more than 1 inch) can restrict the movement of air, water, fertilizer and other materials to the roots. This air- and water-impervious layer causes the grass to restrict rooting to the thatch layer which in turn reduces drought resistance in the turf. Additionally, if the thatch dries out, it becomes very difficult to re-wet with out the use of wetting agents or mechanical manipulation.

Thatch Management
The management of thatch production is done by closely monitoring inputs such as, water, fertilizer, topdressing and growth regulation applications. Ideally the timing of these inputs needs to match the production of thatch so that a homogenous blend of material is produced.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The State of the Irrigation System

The current irrigation system is over 23 year old at the present time and is rapidly deteriorating. We have been experiencing numerous significant failures for the last several years with each year being progressively worse than the prior. These failures have ranged from; loss of two way communication, electrical fires, valve failures and numerous pipe breakages. The irrigation materials that were installed 23 years ago were not of the highest quality and on a site such as ours that has over 600 feet of elevation change the normal expected life span has been dramatically reduced. Refer to the chart to track the number of failures we dealt with in 2007.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bunker Etiquette

Even though bunkers are technically hazards great care must be taken so that players immediately behind you are not unduly penalized by poor bunker etiquette. Below are several things you can do to help minimize the damage that occurs to the bunker itself.

1)Try to enter and exit the bunker from the point that's closest to your ball, but most level to the adjacent playing surface. Don't try to climb out by going up a steep bunker face (you can damage the lip of the bunker and displace too much sand).

2)Always rake the bunker immediately after your shot.

3)Be careful not to pull excess sand to (or over) the lip of the bunker. The best practice is to alternate between pulling sand toward you and pushing it back with the tines of the rake, thus making a relatively even surface without displacing too much sand.

4)According to the USGA, the guideline for placement of bunker rakes is "out and down." The rake should be placed outside the bunker, lying flat on the ground, and pointed in the direction of play (parallel to the likely flight of the ball).

Saturday, March 8, 2008

What is IPM?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

IPM is not a single pest control method but, rather, a series of pest management evaluations, decisions and controls. In practicing IPM, Golf Course Superintendents who are aware of the potential for pest infestation follow a four-tiered approach.

The 4 Steps to Successful IPM Programs:

1) Set Action Thresholds
Before taking any pest control action, IPM first sets an action threshold, a point at which pest populations or environmental conditions indicate that pest control action must be taken. Sighting a single pest does not always mean control is needed. The level at which pests will either become an economic threat is critical to guide future pest control decisions.
2) Monitor and Identify Pests
Not all insects, weeds, and other living organisms require control. Many organisms are innocuous, and some are even beneficial. IPM programs work to monitor for pests and identify them accurately, so that appropriate control decisions can be made in conjunction with action thresholds. This monitoring and identification removes the possibility that pesticides will be used when they are not really needed or that the wrong kind of pesticide will be used.
3) Prevention
As a first line of pest control, IPM programs work to manage the turfgrass to prevent pests from becoming a threat.
4) Control
Once monitoring, identification, and action thresholds indicate that pest control is required, and preventive methods are no longer effective or available, IPM programs then evaluate the proper control method both for effectiveness and risk. Effective, less risky pest controls are chosen first, including highly targeted chemicals, such as pheromones to disrupt pest mating, or mechanical control, such as trapping or weeding. If further monitoring, identifications and action thresholds indicate that less risky controls are not working, then additional pest control methods would be employed, such as targeted spraying of pesticides. Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides is a last resort.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Changing Hole Locations

Changing the hole location has one of the largest impacts on how the course plays each and every day. It can have a negative affect on pace of play if multiple holes locations are overly difficult or unfair. It is for that reason that we try to have our most knowledgeable staff members in charge of daily course setup. For tournament setup I will be the one to determine on the specific hole locations based on the event and Golf Shop input for specific needs. A good setup is one that mixes easy to hard hole locations throughout with a nice flow from one hole to the next. The animation below show the hole changing process.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Superintendent Speak Part II


Gang Mower
A machine for cutting turfgrass - usually fairways - in which a tractor propels a cluster of reel mowers usually in groups of three, five, seven or nine.

The beginning of growth in a seed, plant bud or joint.

As applied to putting greens, the tendency for grass leaves to lie down in one direction and interfere with the natural roll of the ball.

A form of cultivation using rotating knives that cut slits into the turf and soil.

Ground Covers
Plants used to provide a low-maintenance, vegetative cover that is not necessarily turf.


A swelling or rising of the surface caused by the freezing and thawing of soil.

Nonwoody plants.

A chemical used to kill weeds or herbaceous growth.

A dark, well-decomposed material formed from decayed vegetable or animal matter in the soil.

A technique for applying seed, mulch and fertilizer in a water slurry over a seedbed.


To become established in a parasitic relationship with a host plant.

To filter into; the penetration of water through soils.

Inorganic Fertilizer
Plant nutrients derived from mineral rather than organic sources.

A chemical used to destroy insects.

The portion of a stem between the nodes or joints.


The removal of materials from the soil through rainfall or the application of water.

An abutment of sod raised 3 to 4 inches above the sand level of a bunker. It faces the putting green and prevents a player from putting out.

Materials containing calcium and magnesium used to neutralize soil acidity and to supply calcium and magnesium as plant nutrients. Lime materials include limestone, shell, marl, slag and gypsum.

Liquid Fertilizer
Plant nutrients applied in solution.

Localized Dry Spot
A dry area of sod and soil that resists water as normally applied; caused by various factors such as heavy thatch, soil or fungal organisms.


In turf, an undecomposed mass of roots and stems hidden underneath green vegetation. Associated with sponginess or fluffiness in turf.

The process of working topdressing, fertilizers or other materials into a turfgrass area with drag mats.

The area in the immediate vicinity of the turfgrass plant from the surface to the depth of root penetration into the soil.

An element needed in small amounts for turfgrass growth.

Small organisms such as bacteria and other minute entities; usually invisible to the unaided eye.

A disease in which the causal fungus forms a coating over the surface of plant parts. The coating, which is a mycelial growth, is usually thin and whitish. There are two types of mildew: downy and powdery.

Mixture, Seed
A combination of seeds of two or more turfgrass species.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Building Tee Markers

The tee markers that you see on the golf course are hand crafted by the maintenance staff here at CCCP. Every winter the markers are prepared for the upcoming season of abuse from being exposed to daily irrigation and ultraviolet rays. The markers are completely stripped of varnish, sanded and the logos are re-burned. There are many times that new markers must be built and the pictures below will show the process.

The raw material is stockpiled

Tree limbs are cut to size

The broken tee collector is hollowed out

Holes are drilled for drainage

The logos are branded on

Varnish is applied in three coats

The finished product in use

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Environmental Benefits of Golf Courses

Well-managed golf courses provide substantial ecological and community benefits.

Golf courses are:

1) Community greenspaces that provide recreational opportunities and also offer and enhance wildlife habitats.
2) "Air conditioners" that produce vast amounts of oxygen while cleansing the air of pollution and cooling the atmosphere.
3) Water treatment systems: Healthy turfgrass is an excellent filter that traps and holds pollutants in place; courses actually serve as catch basins for residential and industrial runoff; many courses are effective disposal sites for effluent wastewater.
4) Among the best ways to reclaim and restore environmentally damaged sites, such as landfills.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cool and Warm Season Grasses

For the purposes of golf course management, the world can be divided into two climate areas when it comes to selecting turfgrasses most suited to sustainable management. These are:

- Cool

Cool season species are those best adapted to soil temperatures between 60 to 75 °F during the growing season. For these grasses, root and shoot growth is severely restricted at soil temperatures above 81 °F.
Warm season species are best adapted to soil temperatures of 81 to 95 °F. Dormancy sets in for these grasses when soil temperatures drop below 50 to 56 °F.
Plant breeding programs are trying to produce more heat-tolerant cool season grasses and warm season species which have delayed dormancy and retain color at cooler soil temperatures.
Cool and warm are very broad categories and individual species will be favored or damaged by the interaction of light, temperature, precipitation and wind at any particular site, which will be affected by altitude as well as latitude.
The main cool and warm season grasses found globally on regularly maintained areas of golf courses are:

Cool Season

- Creeping Bentgrass ( Agrostis stolonifera, A. palustris )
- Velvet Bentgrass ( Agrostis canina )
- Annual Bluegrass ( Poa annua )
- Kentucky Bluegrass ( Poa pratensis )
-Fescue ( Festuca ssp.)
-Perennial ryegrass ( Lolium perenne )

Warm Season

- Bermudagrass Hybrid ( Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis )
- Kikuyugrass ( Pennisetum clandestinum )
-Seashore Paspalum ( Paspalum vaginatum )
- Zoysiagrass ( Zoysia ssp. )

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Scrub Oak Thinning

Similar to the Ponderosa Pines the Scrub Oak has grown significantly over the 23 year period of time that the golf course was built. Many areas on the course have become overgrown and now have a negative affect on playability. One of the areas we have recently targeted is the hill leading up to #9 green. I have seen early pictures of how the hole looked back in 1985 and the Scrub Oak was non existent to the left of the rock outcropping. We have removed the Scrub Oak and reseeded the area with a true native grass that will allow for a more playable area on the hillside. The hole now more closely resembles and plays to the original design intent.

#9 Before

#9 1986 Opening Season

#9 After

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Golf Course is Open!

Today the golf course is once again open for play, which is the first day since December 5th 2007. This past week has brought us warm temperatures and high winds which have helped remove much of the snow from the golf course. There still remained several northern exposure areas that were deep in snow and some removal and or forced melting needed to take place. Certain areas we spread compost over the snow to heat the surface by attracting the sun to the dark color of the compost. Other areas we either shoveled or used large snow blowers to remove the snow. If the snow was not removed from these areas it would have persisted for several more weeks and therefore exposing us to increased disease pressures.

Snow Removal From #11 Fairway

Compost Applied to Snow