Thursday, October 28, 2010


Over the last several days we have experienced extremely high winds that have created a mess on the course.  The Ponderosa Pines are shedding their needles right now and the winds have accelerated this process.

Although most conifer trees are considered to be "evergreen", their needles don't live forever. What makes them evergreen is that their leaves persist more than one year before falling. Since new needles are added every year, there is always an overlap between green needles and those that are due to drop in the fall.

Older needles on the inside of evergreen trees are shed each fall after they turn yellow, brown or reddish tan in color. Sometimes this natural process is very subtle and goes unnoticed because only the inner most needles area affected.

Needles In The Rough

#12 Green Buried In Needles

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The Elk and Deer have been at it again. With the recent rains we have finally received, the golf course has been a little on the soft side which is not a good combination for the heavy footed animals.

Damage To #7 Green

Damage To #7 Fairway

Over the last week in particular the damage has been getting worse, so we have started putting out lights on the more trafficked greens in hope of keeping the Elk off.  These light help, but ultimately the Elk and Deer will end up going wherever they want especially when they are on a full run.

Blinking Light In Action

With the cooler weather setting in the ground will begin to freeze which will be our best defense against the damage we are currently dealing with. After each damaging occurrence we will fix each area as best we can and hope that we can ride out the storm of damage.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It Doesn't Get Any Better

Here are a few pictures I had the pleasure of taking today while out on the golf course. Today was a spectacular day and these pictures do not do justice to a perfect fall day in Colorado.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How Does Turfgrass Prepare For Winter?

All plants develop a tolerance or hardiness to cold temperatures. That hardiness serves as a defense against freezing. Turf plants develop hardiness by storing carbohydrates in cells found in crown and root tissues. The higher concentrations of these materials act as antifreeze that prevents ice crystals from forming within the cells. Moisture content in the plant tissues also decreases during the hardening process, and cell walls and membranes undergo changes that improve their ability to tolerate ice crystals. The hardening process begins in late summer with the onset of cooler temperatures and shorter days and can continue through early winter. Maximum cold-temperature hardiness is obtained after the turf has been exposed to sub-freezing temperatures.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

At Last

Finally a month later than usual we had our first real killing frost. This morning the temperature bottomed out at a chilly 30 degrees. This will help slow down the growth currently still taking place throughout the golf course.

The timing is good from an agronomic stand point since we have essentially already recovered from aerification just one week ago.

Perhaps the most exciting part of my morning was watching the recently fried annual flowers come out of the ground. My staff started removing the flowers from the clubhouse parking lots and will over the next several mornings remove the remainder of the flowers from the golf course.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mowing Changes

As the weather begins to cool down we are now able to safely change some of our mowing patterns.  The areas which will be changed are some of the intermediate rough cuts.

Currently there are many areas on the course that is currently mowed as rough and is end  location of numerous golf balls.  These rough areas tend to be thick and slow down play because many players try and force shots they don't have. The end result is lost balls and time wasted looking for poorly though out shots.

These new mowing changes will help with pace of play and make a more playable golf course that creates many different shot options. Below is a picture of the fifteenth hole that has a large rough area between the fairways and green. This is a location that most poorly hit  shots end up and recovery from this area is difficult at best. This area is currently being converted into intermediate rough and we will evaluate the member feedback and look at other areas for expanded mowing changes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rough Aerification

After completing aerification of the main play areas over the last three days we have now moved into the mowed rough areas on the golf course.  The rough in particular is perhaps our weakest link on the course and will bennefit the most from the aerification process.

Over the last four years there has been a significant amount of construction traffic on the course which has severely compacted many of the rough areas.  Strangely enough I receive more complaints from aerifing the rough than I do for aerifing the greens, go figure?  One of the things we have begun to do to minimize the complaints about the left over cores in the rough is to use a smaller size aerification tine.

Traditionally we have used 3/4" tines in the rough while now we have switched to 1/4" tines which is the same size as what was used on the fairways.  The end result will be smaller cores left in the rough, which will not cause some of the problems we have experienced in the past with the larger cores being smashed into the turf by golf cart tires.

We have more than 65 acres of rough to aerify which will take more than a week to complete.  This process is also drawn out due to the fact of trying to do this through play.  Any help or courtesy on your part to minimize the operation will help with a more rapid completion of this task.  I am truly excited in seeing the rough aerified  in this new manor, the benefits will be reaped next season from this highly invasive process.

Aerifying The Rough

 Close Up Of The 1/4" Cores

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Final Push

Today is the final day of aerification and we are well on our way to the finish line.  Over the past two days we were able to complete the aerfication and topdressing of all  the greens and tees. The fairways will be completed today as far as aerification goes, but the slow process of sand topdressing them will take another two days to complete. Unfortunately the final fairways will be topdressed through play which will add to the time to complete the task. Your patience durring this process will be greatly appreciated. 

Once  we reopen for play tomorrow I think the members will be pleasantly surprised with how playable the golf course is.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Aerification Information

With aerification coming next week I found this great video that explains in detail the importance of aerification to golf course greens in particular.  This process holds true for all of the play surfaces, but is most critical for maintaining healthy greens. I hope you can take the time to watch the entire video.  

Friday, October 1, 2010

First Time For Everything

In the fifteen years that I have been at CCCP this would be the first time that we have not had frost in the month of September.  This months weather was strange in many ways, we had only .07" of rain the entire month when historically we receive over one inch of precipitation sometimes including snow.  We were also significantly warmer than normal with 2 days of temperatures in the 90's,13 days in the 80's, 14 days in the 70's and only 1 day in the 60's.

This weather has been a nice bonus for additional play durring the month of September of which we did more than 600 extra rounds for the month.  These extra rounds are also partially due to not aerifing right after Labor Day.

I am hoping the weather holds for a little longer, so that the golf course can recover from aerification which is set to begin next Monday.