Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WInter Snow Mold Application

Today we applied a preventative fungicide application for Snow Mold. This disease generally occurs when the turf is under prolonged periods of snow. Yesterday we mowed greens for the last time this year. Therefore the fungicide will stay in place on the plant without being mowed off. We are also replacing irrigation isolation valves on holes #2 and #15.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Winter Preparation

This week we will be combining tee markers on the tees, placing multiple pins in greens and removing trash cans from the course.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekly Schedule for November 12-18, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Grassing of areas on #1 fairway where rock was removed
-Final mowing of all areas on golf course for the year (greens will continue to be mowed on an as needed basis)
-Leaf clean-up

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Our nursery located to the left of fairway #1 has recently undergone some changes. At the suggestion of Assistant Superintendent Josh Jobson, we stripped the old turf and regraded the area for better drainage. Then during aerification we piled plugs from the aerification holes on the course at the nursery. Then we rolled, topdressed and watered. What this will give us is turf that is the same as what is on the course so when minor repairs have to be made the difference between the old and new areas will be minimized. 

Here are pictures of the process at the nursery:

This last picture shows how the plugs from the aerification in Mid-October re-grow in the nursery.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekly Schedule for November 5-11, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Mowing of Native areas
-Leaf clean-up
-Topdress greens on Monday
-Foliar fertilization of greens on Tuesday
-Granular fertilization of greens later in the week

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Update

We received just over 5 inches of rain from Hurricane Sandy. Overall we dodged major damage and actually came out better then the Tropical Storms of August 2011.

A large tree did fall on the back tee on #3 as can be seen in this photo:

A smaller tree is blocking the cart path to #4 tee:

Leaves and small branches are everywhere as this storm came at the height of leaf fall.  Our goal is to have the course cleaned enough by the end of today for play to resume tomorrow. Please continue to check the Fieldstone website for updates.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

#3 and #6 Collar Update

We were able to aerify the newly sodded collars on #3 and #6 this week. They have rooted very well! The traffic restrictions that were in place to prevent additional foot traffic in these areas have been lifted. Everyone's patience and help in getting these areas established is very much appreciated!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekly Schedule for October 22-29, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Sod areas in #2 fairway where bentgrass seed did not germinate due to washouts.
-Apply liquid fertilizer to greens to aid in aerification recovery.
-Leaf clean-up.
-Apply post-emergent herbicide for control of broadleaf weeds in native areas.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall 2012 Aerification Conclusion

-Aerification and clean-up has been completed on greens, tees and fairways
-We will be monitoring greens and adding sand to fill holes as needed
-Received 0.5 inches of rain Thursday night which has helped to work the sand, fertilizers and soil amendments into the rootzone

NOTE: Water cooler stand next to #16 tees has been removed for repairs.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall 2012 Day Two Aerification Update

-Fairway and tee aerification completed and cleaned
-Five greens left to topdress on the back 9 and will be completed Thursday
-Piles from plugs collected on fairways that are placed on cart paths have been picked up on holes #1-10
-Front 9 fairways and all approaches are being mowed Thursday
-Predicted rain Thursday night will help immensely to wash sand, fertilizer and soil amendments in

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall 2012 Day One Aerification Update

Our first day of aerification was rained out on Monday. However, we got a lot done on Tuesday and remain on schedule. As a reminder of the process we go through to aerify greens, tees and fairways here are links to previous blog posts detailing this.

On Tuesday we were able to aerify all greens with the exception of #8 and #17. Today we will be adding soil amendments, fertilizer and sand to fill the holes.

The only fairways not aerified and cleaned on Tuesday were #8, #9, #13, #16 and #18. Three of these fairways are small par 3's. Due to the dew in the morning cleaning up of the cores will not take place until late morning so they may dry.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weekly Schedule for October 15-21, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Aerification of greens, tees and fairways

Will do daily updates on aerification progress.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

News and Notes for October 11, 2012

-Aerification of greens, tees and fairways will occur Tuesday, October 16h and Wednesday October 17th. The rain date is Thursday, October 18th.
-The germination has been excellent in the areas that we have done the rough rejuvenation. Am excited to see how these areas will do next Summer.
-A question was recently asked as to why we seeded areas in the tees and fairways before aerification. The answer to this is that while aerification seems like it disrupts the entire playing surface, it actually only affects about 7 percent. Therefore the chances of us aerifying any new seedlings are actually very low.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekly Schedule for October 8-14, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Finish seeding tees
-Once tees are seeded our biggest priority will be leaf clean-up

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Weekly Schedule for October 1-7, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Continue seeding as much as possible. Tees are a priority along with the right side rough on hole #4.

Friday, September 28, 2012


There is a lot of seeding going on in the roughs and fairways now. The seed is now germinating and growing in. The first picture is of bentgrass from #4 fairway and the second is Turf Type Tall Fescue that was seeded in front of the maintenance facility.

While there is disruption now the payoff will come. Here's a picture of the left hand side fairway bunker from the summer of 2011.

After seeding with Turf Type Tall Fescue last fall this is how the bunker surrounds looked this summer.

Again, this is not a "miracle turf" by any means. But does require less water, pesticides and nutrients then what is currently out there. While the seeding takes time. The wait is worth it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekly Schedule for Sept. 24-30, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Get as much rough seeding done as possible

Friday, September 21, 2012

Rough Rejuvenation

Would like to explain the actual process we are doing to rejuvenate some areas in the roughs and the clubhouse lawns, front entrance plus the maintenance facility grounds. The process is as follows:

-A plant growth regulator is applied to the existing stand of turf. This greatly slows the growth rate of the plant.
-The existing turf is then scalped as low as possible.
-The areas are then aerified.
-Seed is worked into the soil.
-A light amount of compost is added.
-Water, water and more water
-Fertilizer is applied as germination occurs

A major improvement in this process is the actual seed we are using. It's a Turf Type Tall Fescue variety that we have chosen after extensive research. While it is certainly not a "miracle grass" there are benefits such as improved drought and disease tolerance. This means less water and pesticides are required to maintain the turf.

A good example of Turf Type Tall Fescue (not the particular variety we are using) is the surrounds on the back right bunker on #18 green. Specifically the area behind this bunker. The variety we are using has a finer leaf blade but the improved stand of turf is very noticeable compared to other areas.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Greens Verticutting

The verticutting on the greens went very well on Monday. You will notice some scalping that can be seen in these photos:

This occurs when the turf is growing in one direction and we verticut in the opposite direction it is growing. So this is actually good! Our goal is to have the turf stand straight up as much as possible as oppossed to growing in one direction. We have topdressed with sand which helps. The weather is predicted to be ideal bentgrass growing weather over the next few days so we are expecting a quick recovery.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekly Schedule for September 17-23, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Verticut and topdress greens on Monday
-Aerify collars on Monday
-Scalp, aerify and seed the following areas: putting green surrounds, #4 and #5 green surrounds, clubhouse lawn and front entrance

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tee #3 Drill and Fill

In order to improve the drainage on #3 tee we are introducing some faster draining sand into what is currently in place. To do this we go through a process called Drill and Fill. There are actually machines that do this work if you were to use it on several greens, but for just one tee we are doing it manually.

The process work like this. First a piece of plywood is made as a template with 3/4 inch wide holes spaced on 6 inch centers:

The plywood is placed on top of the tee and a drill that is 3/4 inch wide is used that goes into the rootzone approximately 8 inches deep and removes most of what is currently there:

Next, sand that drains quicker then what is in place is filled into the holes using a watering can:

This gives us channels for the water to drain while maintaining the existing rootzone which is rich in nutrients.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekly Schedule for September 10-16, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Renovation of certain rough areas on the golf course. Will follow-up with a specific post on this process. Areas to include the putting green surrounds, #4 green surrounds and #5 green surrounds.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Updates on Collar Work and #13 Slope

We were able to mow the newly sodded collars on #3 and #6 today. Would have liked to of mowed sooner but the rain kept them too wet and soft. As expected some minor scalping did occur. Overall the results are very good. With continued topdressing these high spots will work themselves out.

On #13 we removed some bermudagrass that had contaminated the slope in front of the fairway. The bermudagrass is shown here with the red arrows marking it's location.

We applied a herbicide before physically removing the bermudagrass then seeded with turf type tall fescue and used matting to hold the seed in place.

At this point our main priorities are keeping everything mowed and fixing the bunker washouts.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Weekly Schedule for September 3-9, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Our main priority is getting the bunkers in shape after receiving 4 inches of rain this past weekend. Most of which came in a downpour on Monday.

It will most likely take several days to repair the bunker washouts.

-Greens are being topdressed on Tuesday

Friday, August 31, 2012

#3 Collar-Part II

The first step is to remove the rootzone to about 4 inches below the surface using shovels and utility carts:

Then greens sand mixed with a soil amendment called Profile is added:

The sand is watered and compacted using a hand tamp just enough so settling will not occur:

The washed sod is then laid:

Pinki supervises the clean-up process:

We have purposely left the sod a bit low. It is much easier and better to topdress up then to have to remove material because it is too high.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#3 Collar- Part I

The collar and edges on #3 green have been a constant issue here at Fieldstone. Take a look at the thinning that occurs during mid-summer:

There are several reasons this occurs. They are shade, compaction from foot traffic, lack of air movement and a poor rootzone. These factors in combination are the cause of the problems. However, by alleviating any of these influences we can improve the turf health. By entering the green from the front we can improve compaction from foot traffic at the back of the green.

The next issue is the rootzone. Below is the same picture, the first without markups and the second with. The markups will be explained underneath the second picture.

The red arrows point to layering, most likely from previously sodding of these areas. The yellow rectangle highlights an area where algae is growing due to lack of oxygen. All of this makes for very poor conditions for root growth.

So, what are we going to do differently to improve this? First off we are using washed sod. This is basically soil less sod that does not create a layer when laid over the sand. To the left of the red line is this photo is the washed sod. The roots are clearly exposed from the washing process. The right side of the line is sod as it is normally cut with soil still on it.

In the next few days I will follow up with the actual process of changing the rootzone and laying the washed sod.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What Lies Beneath Part II

While regrassing the beginning of #18 fairway we ran into this boulder.

When mid-summer weather rolls in this rock heats up big time and scorches the turf around it. As these are encountered we chip away with picks and try to remove as much as possible and replace with soil.

Weekly Schedule for August 27-September 2, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Aerification of collars on Monday.
-Replacement of collar on #3. Will update with photos and descriptions in the next few days.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What Lies Beneath

While re-seeding some small areas in fairways where the turf is weak we often times (not always) encounter rock just below the surface. Here are pictures from the 1st fairway:

Our staff will take a pic and try and remove the top 3-4 inches of the rock and replace with soil. During drought and heat the rock heats up and the plants are unable to survive. By giving us a little bit more rootzone to work with we hope the turf will be more successful.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekly Schedule for August 20-26, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Continue sodding areas on #3 and #18 fairways
-Aerify and slit seed new tee on #3
-Slit seed the half of driving range tee closest to #1 tee
-Verticut/seed/topdress thin areas in fairways

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weekly Schedule for August 13-19, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Begin sodding/re-grassing areas on #3, #9 and #18 fairways
-Continue with post emergent application of herbicides on weeds

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Observations on a Sunday Morning

This morning I took some soil probes of areas on fairways where we are going to have to regrass certain sections. While not the case in every situation, a majority of the areas had something in common. That is a rock very close to the surface. In this picture the red arrow points to a soil core taken from an area that will need to be regrassed where there is only a small amount of soil before reaching rock. The green arrow points to an arrow just a short distance away where the soil profile is 3-4 times as deep and the turf is fine.

Another interesting observation from this morning has been the trees that are already losing their leaves. It would seem to me that the lack of moisture from not having snow cover this past winter and then getting much less then the average amount of rainfall has caused these trees to go dormant much earlier then usual. In speaking with some of our staff who have been here for quite some time they do not recall seeing this amount of leaves so early in the year. It will be interesting to see how this develops going into the Fall.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Weed Control on Tees

This week we spot sprayed a herbicide on the tees for control of crabgrass. Due to the early Spring that we had crabgrass has been a major problem. The bentgrass on the tees is a little bit more sensitive to the herbicide then the grasses we have in our roughs. So as you can tell from this picture there is some yellowing.

The herbicide has done a great job on the crabgrass! The yellowing of the bentgrass is only temporary.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekly Schedule for August 6-12, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

Received 0.7 inches of rain Sunday evening. Mostly as a hard downpour which is not all that helpful. But some is better then none! Hoping for cooler temperatures and night time lows in the 60's. Recovery is not noticeable overnight, but occurs gradually.

-Light dusting of greens topdressing on Monday
-Doing some clean-up from Sunday night's storm. Have several large branches down and lots of leaves and small limbs
-Doing a hard rake on the bottoms of bunkers to soften them up a bit

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dog Days of Summer.....

High humidity, temps around 90 degrees and night time temps in the mid 70's make this the dog days of summer. There is little we can do for turf growth at this point in time until we get highs back toward 80 degrees and lows in the 60's. For now a good defense is the best offense and we are doing all we can to survive.

January 1 through August 1 of 2012 was the driest 7 month period of the past 11 years. We are 8.55 inches below normal. The second driest January through August was in 2002 when it was 6.3 inches below normal. While we do need rain, thunderstorms during high humidity and high night time temps cause waterlogged soils that are prone to disease and lack oxygen in the rootzone for turf to survive. So while rain is needed, a little will do at this point, not a lot.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Driving Range Bermudagrass Photos

Took these photos today (Wednesday, August 1st) two weeks after divots were taken from the lower driving range tee. As you can see the two bermudagrasses are almost completely filled in while the bent/rye mix still has a ways to go.

Patriot Bermudagrass
Latitude Bermudagrass

Bent/Ryegrass mix

As a reminder, the bermudagrasses do great when the tempeature is hot and is in full sunlight.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekly Schedule for July 30-August 5, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Spot aerify and topdress stressed areas in fairways #2, #3 and #4. We still have not seen the rebound from the growth regulators as I discussed last week. In preparation we gave the tees and fairways an extra shot of Nitrogen fertilizer today so when the rebound occurs in the next week they will be ready. The growth is not noticed overnight, but we can tell by the amount of clippings we get when the tees and fairways are mowed. There will still be some areas that we will need to aggressively seed and/or sod. By the end of August we will know where those areas are.

-We are doing a lot of post-emergent herbicide applications to weeds in rough. Our pre-emergent was split into two applications. The second application occurred right at the beginning of our 30 plus days without rain in mid-June. The pre-emergent is activated by soil moisture. Although it was watered in via the irrigation system, there is nothing quite like natural rainfall. It's my belief the second application of the pre-emergent is not working as well due to the dry conditions. This has occurred at other courses in the area as well.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rain.....Now What?

Last night we received 0.8" of rain. It was much needed. We are still much below average but every little bit helps since natural rainfall is the best type of irrigation.

If the weather over the next few months remains near average I'd expect most of the areas in the fairways to recover within 4-6 weeks. Those areas that do not will be seeded and/or sodded.

We have been using plant growth regulators during the heat so the plants will focus their energy to the roots as opposed to new leaf growth. Even though the plants will turn brown during heat stress most are not actually dead, but dormant. The extra energy stored in the roots during this time helps them survive until a break in the weather occurs. The fairways will come out of regulation in the next 1-2 weeks and a surge in leaf growth will occur. This will aid in recovery as well.

Also, please follow our recommended guidelines for driving range use. The red arrow is pointing to what we DO NOT want to occur, which is a large area without turf. The green arrow points to the proper method with is to leave strips between long lines of divots for faster recovery. Thank you for your help with this.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekly Schedule for July 23-29, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Monday we will star tine then lightly dust sand on greens
-Aerification and topdressing of stressed areas in fairways

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekly Schedule for July 16-22, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Received 0.85" of rain over the weekend. Big help, but need much more.
-5th application of the AquaSphere balls from Bioverse to lakes. So far, so good. It's natural and slow but is certainly working.
-Prep and detail work for Invitational.
-Next Monday (23rd) we will spot aerify and seed stressed areas in fairways.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What is This?

I almost did not recognize what this was when it occurred Saturday morning:

It's rain! We received 0.25 inches. While not a lot, any little bit helps at this point.

I've compiled rainfall records from the past 11 years and found out that the first 6 months of 2012 have been the driest of all. Not only has it been the driest, it's TWICE as dry as the second driest January-June time period.

The course remains in good shape for what we have had to go through weather wise and remain confident most of the stressed areas will bounce back once the weather cooperates.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

News and Notes-July 11, 2012

-It has been 29 days since we have had measurable rainfall.

-Fairways and tees are recovering nicely. Turf Screen was applied Monday to tees and fairways. Yesterday and today a wetting agent was applied to tees and fairways. The Turf Screen acts as a sunscreen would but with turf, not allowing harmful light, called UVB radiation, to reach the plant but allowing beneficial light in for plant growth. Not a cure all, but it is helping. The wetting agent helps make our irrigation more efficient by spreading out the moisture through the soil on fairways and tees.

-Seen some cart damage on fairways #12 and #14 so we are cautiously and slowly allowing carts to return to the fairways depending on the weather.

-Please let me know your thoughts and comments on hitting off the bermudagrass located on the lower driving range tee.

-Greens are very healthy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Weekly Schedule for July 9-15, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Applying a product called Turf Screen to tees and fairways on Monday to aid in recovery of these areas.
-Apply wetting agents to tees and fairways on Tuesday/Wednesday to aid in recovery
-Use a hard rake in the bottom of the bunkers to soften them up a bit

Picture of the rootzone temperature from Saturday afternoon.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Layering is for Cakes

Our last measurable rainfall was on June 12th. Coupled with a lack of snow over the winter means the soil moisture levels are very low. If the weather forecasters are correct and we experience a cool down in temperatures starting Monday we will let carts on fairways starting Tuesday. Let's hope the weather forecasts are correct! Again, we are looking at several options so we can have carts on fairways as much as possible. Several of these look promising.

Overall collars are undoubtedly improved. The problem ones remain a problem but we know why they are a problem and are actively implementing the solutions. Here's a picture I posted last year of the soil profile of one of our bad collar areas that I zoomed in on:

The red arrow is pointing to a light brown clay layer that came in on the sod. The blue arrow points to a much darker layer where water has not penetrated through this clay layer and is forming an anaerobic (without oxygen) condition for the roots. This is repeated an inch below. The black arrow points to a DryJect hole backfilled with a material called Profile. Laboratory tests have shown no diseases present but an anaerobic condition where the plants are trying to grow causing a lack of adventitious roots and roots hairs. These are the types of roots that nutrients and water pass through into the plant.

Aggressive aerification is the answer! Removal of these layers is the key. Plus using boards to turn mowers on and other practices to reduce stress on the collars have and will improve these areas even more.

This week we sent another sample off to measures the physical characteristics of this area. Hopefully we can get a little bit clearer idea of how much aerification will be needed.

Some may be asking why we do not remove the rootzone to a depth below the layering and start anew. While an option, this will cause another set of problems, plus we do not want to sod which is the cause of the layering in the first place.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Stairs to #15 Tees

The stairs to #15 Blue and Black tee are now open! We will be moving the trash can, ball washer and spike cleaner to the area across from the stairs as time allows. Below are pictures of the construction process.