Saturday, December 3, 2011

Winter Prep

Due to the freezing and thawing over the next several months there are certain preparations that we take.

-Since the ground will be frozen we cut 2-3 hole placements per green and rotate the pin positions. Otherwise we would not be able to get our cup cutter in the ground to change hole locations.

-Bunker rakes, water coolers, ball washers, etc are removed from the course to prevent water from freezing then thawing and cracking the plastic.

-The fairway turf is left a little long to protect the crown of the plant. The crown is the most important part of the plant and can be damaged from cart traffic, frost and play. Having a little extra leaf tissue to protect it will help it come out of dormancy in the Spring much better.

Picture of a turfgrass crown from

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekly Schedule

With Winter quickly coming upon us I will suspend the weekly updates. Instead I will focus on any projects that we will be working on. For now, our goal is to finish leaf removal from the course and get things ready for Friday's Black Friday Tournament.

Look forward to seeing everyone at Friday's tournament!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Here are Mario and Salvador getting ready to apply some compost to the left side rough on hole #18:

We are applying the compost to weak areas of the rough that need some extra help. In general slopes are tough to grow turfgrass on because they lack proper nutrient and water holding capacities. Our goal is to change the soil characteristics to improve these areas.

This will not occur overnight but will gradually help improve the roughs over time.

This is just one practice we are using amongst many to improve turfgrass health in the roughs and throughout the course.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekly Schedule for November 7-13, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

Our focus will be on leaf clean-up. Drainage work on #18 is complete.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

#18 Drainage

With the excessive amount of rain that we've had this Fall a couple of springs have shown up on the 18th hole. These springs travel upward toward the surface via hydraulics. In order to counteract the wetness this causes we are installing underground drainage to capture this water before it reaches the surfaces.

The first area was designed in a herringbone manner as an optimum way to remove the water before reaching the surface. Perforated pipe and pea gravel are installed into the trenches and then into a nearby drain inlet to remove the water.

The matting seen over the drain lines are to help the seed stay in place and germinate faster.

The other area that drainage is being installed is just above the first area. It's a rather small area (5 ft by 5 ft) that has a constant flow of water coming from it. We are digging this area to a depth of 3 ft and installing pea gravel up to 1 ft from the soil surface. Then a solid drain line to a nearby drain basin to remove the water.

In regards to the stacked sod wall bunker in the middle of #18 fairway, we are looking at several options to fix the sloughing of the bunker face that has occurred.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekly Schedule for October 31-November 6, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

Tee verticutting and possibly aerification. Leaf removal. Putting the finishing touches on #18 drainage.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weekly Schedule for Oct. 24-30, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

Our focus this week will be on adding drainage to #18 fairway and leaf clean-up.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 2 of Aerification-Oct. 18, 2011

We were able to stay ahead of schedule and finished all greens and fairway aerification on Tuesday. I'd like to go over the fairway aerification process.

The fairways are aerified using 3/4-inch hollow tines spaced on 4-inch centers. The machine is connected to a tractor and looks like this:

Afterwards the cores are dragged with using a metal mat:

In this picture you can see the difference in what a core looks like before dragging with the red arrow, then after dragging (blue arrow):

The remaining "tufts" are then picked up and dumped on the cart paths next to the fairways:

I'll do one more post this week on some other items regarding the aerification earlier this week.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 1 of Aerification-Oct. 17, 2011

As we finish up the first day of aerifcation we are right on schedule. Fairways are almost complete and greens are well on their way to being finished tomorrow. The weather has been great, sunny and dry makes things go easier to pick up the plugs.

When aerifying greens we use 1/2-inch hollow tines on 2-inch centers. That gives us 49 holes per one square foot.  Amazingly, this amounts to just under 5% of the surface being disrupted. That's it! It looks much worse then it actually is.

Here's Juan Nunez with the Toro ProCore 648 on #10 green:

A close up look of the cores:

Afterwards the plugs are moved to the side of the green where they can be picked up. We use snow shovels and a tool called a Level-Lawn to push the plugs to the sides:

Close up look of a Level-Lawn:

Once pushed to the sides of the greens they are picked-up:

Plan on checking out the blog tomorrow (Tuesday) with pictures of fairway aerification and an update on where we are at in the aerification process.

Weekly Schedule for Oct. 17-23, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

On Monday and Tuesday we are aerifying all greens and fairways. We will then begin aerifying tees on Wednesday. Please check in daily to see photos of the aerification process and for updates.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tee Verticutting and Par 3 Tees

We began verticutting tees on hole #17. It is a very slow process as we are getting a lot of material. Just take a look at these pictures.

The clippings in the baskets that Daniel is holding represent just one single pass across the tee!

We are doing this to help remove thatch (this is the dead and decaying plant material located just below the turf but above the soil) and help the plants stand up as opposed to laying down. This helps with lots of things like adding oxygen to the soil, water infiltration, nutrient uptake and overall plant health.

The left hand side of the photo above has been verticut while the right side has not.

I've been getting plenty of questions about using ryegrass on the par 3 tees. This is the same turf that we seeded the driving range tee to and has shown rapid germination and growth. The answer to this question is that we are looking at all options to improve our tee boxes. Some of the options are regrassing to another turf type and expanding the tees. However the single biggest issue we face is shade. All turf needs plenty of sun to grow and flourish.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekly Schedule for October 10-16, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

We will be verticutting tees this week. Hope to get 4-5 holes done per day. We will also continue seeding any weak areas in bunker faces and roughs.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Weekly Schedule for Oct. 3-9, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

Looking forward to finishing up seeding/aerifying green surrounds. We will then move on to fairway bunkers and roughs. Especially areas that have damage from the animals searching for the grubs.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekly Schedule for Sept 26-Oct 2, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

The far side of the driving range tee will be opened on Tuesday morning for use. We will continue aerifying and seeding green surrounds and bunker greens. Once completed we will move to rough and fairway bunker seeding.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Seeding Schedule

Our goal is to have the far side of the driving range tee open for play on Tuesday, September 27th. We will need to rope off an area for everyone to walk through to get to that side while keeping traffic off the recently seeded near side (closest to the 1st tee).

As you can see from these photos we are getting excellent germination in areas where the seedbed is prepped properly on hole #10:

While the prep time takes a bit longer it is obvious the germination is far superior in the properly prepped location compared to the surrounding areas:

Our seeding schedule is to do all green surrounds and green side bunker faces first. Then we will do fairway bunker faces and areas of the rough with grub damage. So far we are through hole #12 green surrounds.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekly Schedule for Sept. 19-25, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

On Monday we are lightly topdressing greens as well as backfilling around the lake overflow structure on hole #6.

Our seeding efforts will be focused on tees and bunker faces.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


This time of year is when grub damage is most evident on the golf course. Actually, it's not the root feeding insect that is doing the damage but animals such as skunks which are tearing up the turf looking for these tasty treats!

We did a preventive application on greens, tees and fairways this summer to control the insects. Therefore there is zero grub activity in these areas. Roughs do have areas where there is a strong grub presence.

Here's a couple of photos of the grub, we believe are actually masked chafer beetles, and the damage caused by animals looking for them:

These photos were taken on an area to the left of #9 fairway.

Currently we are applying a product for control then re-seeding. In order for this not to occur in the future we use our CourseVision maps to mark where we find the damage so we can make a preventative treatment next summer.

Areas with the red outline are examples of where we have found damage in the roughs in the past few weeks.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekly Schedule for September 12-18, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

One goal this week is to fix the erosion around the lake overflow structure on #6. We are waiting for it to dry out enough so we can pour concrete then backfill and compact. The rest of the driving range tee will be aerified and seeded on Monday. We will continue to seed any areas that need it throughout the course.

We will be applying a fungicide to fairways for control of Dollar Spot disease. If time is available a general clean-up of the stream area on #15 will be done.

There is excellent germination on collars, so please play any newly germinated areas as ground under repair.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weather and Driving Range Tee

Couple of interesting notes about the weather:

We received 15.8 inches of rain in August. The average for the month of August is...... 4.1 inches.

Through September 7 we have received 4.75 inches of rain.  The average for the entire month of September is.....4 inches.

I'm actually pretty sure we had more rain since at times it was raining so hard it was coming in sideways and not picked up by our rain gauge.

Couple of pictures from the driving range tee that was seeded Tuesday, August 23.

The first picture is from Monday, September 5:

Now here is one from today, Thursday, September 8:

Now that's some amazing growth!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekly Schedule for September 5-11, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

This week is all about seed, seed and more seed. We have gotten excellent germination on collars and the far half of the driving range tee. Now we are focusing on bunker surrounds, green surrounds and any areas on collars that need additional seeding.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Driving Range Tee Seeding

We were able to seed the far half of the driving range tee on Tuesday. So far the weather is looking very good for germination and growth. Hope to have some initial germination within a week.

Photos of golf course mechanic Greg Taylor doing the seeding:

Also, a photo of bentgrass seed germinating in the divots on #6 tee. This is a great sign that the weather is very conducive to new seedling growth!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weekly Schedule for August 29-September 4, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

We are seeding half the driving range tee today (Tuesday). Bunker washouts will continue to be repaired. Greenside bunkers are done and we hope to have the fairway bunkers done by Thursday.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene-The Day After

Besides bunker washouts and erosion behind the lake overflow structure on #6 pond we came out fairly well. The course received just over 6 inches of rain but is drying out nicely. I'd expect carts to be on fairways starting tomorrow (Tuesday).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene-10 am Update

At least 6 inches of rain so far here at the course. Our gauge only goes up to 6 inches!

As of now no large trees are down. However, it is quite gusty outside and the potential for trees and limbs to fall is still very high.

We had one clogged drain on the course, this was behind #8 green.

It's been cleared and is now a non-issue. Here is the view from the drain gate towards #8 green while the water is going into the grate after being unclogged:

Here's the view after it's been unclogged from the drain grate up the walk path towards #9 tee:

Bunker washouts will take us the better part of the week to clean-up:

Will have a complete report once the wind subsides later today or tomorrow. For now there is still high potential for downed trees and limbs on the course.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene Storm Prep

There are several things that we are doing to prepare for the upcoming storm.

All fuel tanks, equipment and portable storage containers are getting filled with fuel:

Anything on the course that may get blown or washed away from the rain is being taken and stored at our maintenance facility, such as the trash barrels:

Another thing being done is to ensure all drain grates are clear so water has free access to enter without getting clogged:

And anything else that might need some extra support is getting a helping hand:

We have a meteorological service that we work with as well to obtain site specific forecasts for Fieldstone.

Most people are asking about my dog Pinki. As you can see she is also hunkering down for this event:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Collar Seeding Pictures

A few pictures of the collar seeding process.

Here we are preparing the seedbed with a spiker to create holes for the seed to go into. This allows the seed to germinate and be protected until it can grow to the surface:

Here Assistant Superintendent Josh Jobson is putting down the Pennlinks II creeping bentgrass seed on hole #11:

Afterwards we roll to keep everything smooth and ensure good seed to soil contact. Longtime Fieldstone associate Juan Nunez on green #12:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Today we began seeding collars. We are approximately half way through the course. Tomorrow morning we will finish this up. Also, tomorrow we will shut down half the driving range tee for aggressive aerification and seeding.

No pictures today but will post some tomorrow of these processes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekly Schedule for August 22-28, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

This will be a very busy week for us so check in each day for lots of updates to the blog.

Today we are verticutting and topdressing greens. I've been putting on them afterwards and they are smooth and fast. There should be little to no remnants of any work done on the greens after mowing tomorrow (Tuesday).

We are also seeding collars and green surrounds this week. As we go through this process I'll be posting pictures and maybe a video or two!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Weekly Schedule for August 15-21, 2011

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

Hope to have any remaining tree work complete from last week's storm by Wednesday. There are several irrigation repairs that need to be done on #17 after lightening struck behind the green then into our irrigation piping.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Storm Clean Up-Aug. 11, 2011

Greens, tees and fairways are predominately clear of any debris. There are several trees, including the one on #7 that will need to be removed by a professional tree company. We are working on getting that done as soon as possible. Greenside bunkers have been repaired and we are working on getting all the bunkers repaired by the end of the day on Friday. Here are a few pictures from after the storm.

Hole #12

Hole #7

Hole #6

Hole #6

Green #5