Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jacked Up

Throughout the main play areas on the golf course (greens,tees and fairways) we use PGR's Extensively.  The main purpose of these Plant Growth Regulators are to control growth of the turfgrass.

The regulation of turf growth comes with several side benefits such; increased turf density, increased green speed, reduced mowing frequencies,pre stress conditioning and my favorite Poa Annua control.  Not all growth regulators hurt the Poa, some even help make it stronger which is great for some places but not here. I specifically choose the PGR's  that will hurt the Poa the Most.

This is most evident on the greens and collars right now. The Poa is discolored and sunken down in patches which will allow the Bentgrass to out compete it and over time encroach back into the space occupied by the Poa Annua.  This is a long term process that takes many years to  fully realize the success of the program.

The picture below shows and area on a collar where Poa Annua, Ryegrass and Bentgrass all reside.  The visual effect of chemical regulation on the different grass types shows itself very differently on each of the plant species.      

Monday, August 16, 2010

One Week

That is how much time it took to completely destroy a turf area.  This is the cart parking area at the ninth green and is a perfect example of how people park their carts with two wheels on the path and the other two on the grass. The was a result of us removing the green and white traffic stakes so they could be used to protect another area on the golf course.

This type of cart parking  serves no purpose other than to wear out the turf unnecessarily in the high traffic areas. I would strongly encourage all people that are driving carts to keep all four wheels on the path while parking at green and tee locations.  The golf course receives more than its share of wear and tear, so anything you can do to minimize unnecessary damage will go a long way to making the golf course a better place for all to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bunker Conditions

Over the last several weeks I have fielded several comments regarding the condition of the bunkers. The comments have ranged from "there is no sand in the bunkers" to "why is the sand so wet?"

The answer to the first question would be there is plenty of sand in the bunkers, it is just wet and plays like there is no sand in the bunker. If you look at the following picture it clearly shows how the bunker is staying wet in the lower portions of the bunker floor.

This next picture shows the depth of the sand in the bunker floor and you can see the sand is nearly four inches deep.  The problem is that the sand is wet and reacts with the club in a similar manor as a lack of sand.

The true cause of the bunker problems comes from the sand being contaminated repeatedly last summer from all of the rain storms that washed out the bunkers. The sand has been mixed with the native soils which are now clogging up the pore spaces in the sand and not allowing water to flow freely through it into the drain tile within the bunkers.

The ultimate solution is replacing the bunker sand and installing some sort of liner to reduce the possibility of future contamination.  We will be addressing the most problematic bunkers by removing portions of contaminated sand and fill it back with new sand that is the same as the original sand in the bunkers.

With all of this talk about improving the playability within the bunkers that is an oxymoron if I ever heard one.  Last time I checked bunkers were hazards aren't they?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Decluttering The Fairways

Over the years many different outside components have been added in the fairways such as valve boxes and yardage markers. The sheer quantity of these items has taken away from a neat clean appearance in the fairways.

Now we can finally getting rid of these unnecessary items due to them no longer being needed since the new irrigation system was installed. The need for stand alone yardage markers is not needed due to all of the sprinkler heads being marked from 300yds in. Old irrigation valve boxes that contain either electrical or frost free components are also being removed. The most important part of the removal process is cutting out the old galvanized pipe utilized for the old frost free couplers. These are being removed with a sawzall to a depth of one foot below the surface which is out of aerification range.

Old Valve Box

 Removal of Old Components
 New Sod Installed
 Green and White Stake
Once removal of the components has been completed the holes are carefully backfilled,compacted and new sod installed in the place of the old valve box lids that were visible on the surface.  Green and white stakes are being placed in the sodded area to help call attention to the new sod that was installed and keep carts from driving through it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Topdressing Approaches

We recently topdressed the approaches to help with the overall playability of the golf course. Nearly 25 tons of sand was applied to the approaches to help increase drainage and firmness.

The sand was applied evenly over the approach surfaces and then was aerified with solid times tines to minimize surface disruption. The sand was drug in and it naturally moved into the aerifier holes and other low pockets in the approaches. Over time as sand is repeatedly applied, a well draining firmer surface will be created therefore improving the overall playability of the approaches. 

Topdressing Applied

Solid Tine Aerified
The Final Product