Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A good Two Weeks Behind

We are now in the third week of May and just now is the Scrub Oak pushing out leafs.  Typically by the middle of May the Oak is fully leafed out, but not this year.  This year spring does not seem to want to consistently stay and this has caused the delay in not only deciduous tree leaf production but has also significantly delayed germination of seed.

During aerification the fairways were overseeded with Bentgrass which has just sat without even thinking of germinating.  Finally 35 days later I am beginning to see germination in the fairways as well as on some of the greens that had additional seed applied to them. Typically Bentgrass will germinate after 14 days in the spring with normal weather conditions.

This spring has gotten off to a slow start which hasn't help the overall recovery from the late season winter damage. Let's hope we start consistently warming up and get things actively growing so the golf course can be once again at its best.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Meeting In The Middle

Part of the challenge in bringing newly installed sod down in height of cut to match other play areas is not doing it too quickly but doing smartly.  Often times when purchasing sod from an outside vender the sod comes in at a different height of cut for where it is being utilized on the course.

For Bentgrass sod  used on greens this is especially true when the sod farm maintains it at nearly 1/3 to double the normal height of cut that most guys maintain their greens at. The reduction in height can be still done smartly and quickly if you attack the height of cut difference from both sides.  By this I mean rather than only lowering the height of the mowers and focusing on the amount of green material coming off you need to be thinking about raising the turf canopy.

This  is accomplished with frequent heavy topdressing of the new sod to help fill in any imperfections and unevenness in the sod in addition to helping reduce scalping.  The applications of sand  are generally around 1/4" deep at a time so the material can be worked in without completely burring the green. The frequency of topdressing applied is based on the growth and recovery of the turf from the previous time material was applied.  These applications of sand essentially enable me to lower the height from two directions without stressing the plant too much.

Other cultural practices that help with the establishment of the new sod is weekly solid tine aerification of the new sod to help increase the rooting.  Fertility levels are increased and preventive fungicides are being applied to further help with the transition towards matching up with the rest of the greens on the golf course.

The Sand Applied To The Green

Solid Tine Aerification

The End Result 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ball Marks

It is the age old problem of unrepaired ball marks and what to do about. Recently at our last Green Committee Meeting we discussed  new ways to get people to fix their ball marks and I am convinced that nothing will help.

The only way the problem will get better is for people to take responsibility for themselves when they are playing.  Everyone  needs to understand that a tremendous amount of time and money is spent on maintaining the golf course for all the members to enjoy and show off to their guest.

The most frustrating thing for me to see is on our newly sodded greens how many ball marks go unrepaired.  We are starting off with a clean slate and to see the lack of  effort in caring for them is mind boggling. Perhaps the best way to think about it is, if your not going to fix it for yourself then do it for your fellow members.        

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Don't Be A Follower

As play increases on the golf course the negative effect of golf carts becomes readily visible. Due to the design and construction of the course we suffer from limited exit and entry points from the cart paths. Most of the obstacles come in the way of severely shaped landforms as well bunkers and native plant materials.

These areas are managed daily with the use of ropes and stakes. In efforts to minimize the use of the materials I encourage golfers as you are playing to to the path less driven. By this I mean don't follow the same tracks that were formed by the previous carts, go a different way. This should be done in a smart manor as to not endanger yourself or someone else by taking the cart in an areas it should not be. This would include areas such as; within 25 feet of greens or tees, native grasses and steep hillsides.

All other areas that are safe and not controlled with ropes are fair game and I would encourage you to take the path less traveled. By doing so will help spread out the wear and tear in our heaviest cart traffic areas.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Different Look

While playing golf this spring you may have noticed a different look to the mowing pattens on the fairways. We have been mowing in a light and dark pattern which is more commonly used on golf courses with classical architectural design.

The main reason we are mowing in this manor is due to a reduction in labor. We were asked to reduce expenses in the 2010 budget and the easiest way to do that is with labor. We will not be at full staff until June and until then we have to get by with a smaller than normal staff. This has forced us to change some of the ways and frequencies of how we maintain the golf course.

The quality of what we do is in no way being reduced but some of the aesthetics will not be as they are under normal staffing. The classical mowing patterns allow us to only use two operators to mow the fairways with larger equipment as compared to smaller lightweight mowing which requires seven people to do the same job. Once we reach full staff we will be converting back to the look that you all have become accustom to seeing.

Classical Mowing Patterns On Hole #8

Classical Mowing Patterns On Hole #9

Typical CCCP Mowing Patterns On Hole #18