Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekly Schedule for April 30-May 6, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Sod around #18 fairway bunkers
-Sod bermudagrass plots on forward driving range tee
-Compact sand bunker slopes

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

When Brown is Good

Normally we like to keep the greens, fairways, tees and rough nice and green. However, when dealing with the weed poa annua brown is good! About a year ago I made a post regarding this particular plant:

We have gotten a little bit more aggressive this year in it's control and are starting to see some results. Especially on the putting green, #1 green and #3 green where it is most prevalent. Here is a photo of the poa annua browning out a bit just to the right of the golf ball on #1 green:

While there is no herbicide on the market for complete post-emergent control, our goal is that the growth regulator we are using will allow the desirable creeping bentgrass to overtake the stunted poa annua.

So if you see some brown, not to worry, it's good!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekly Schedule for April 23-29, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Aerification of collars on Monday
-Compacting of sand on bunker slopes
-Installation of drip irrigation on #18 fairway bunkers
-Removal of sod on forward tee of driving range for bermudagrass plots

Thursday, April 19, 2012

#18 Fairway Bunkers

You may have noticed that there are three bunkers on the left side of #18 fairway that have been stripped of all turf. We are doing this to install drip irrigation on these steep slopes. Overhead irrigation seems to run off these steep slopes and not soak into the soil so we are going to water from the underground using drip. Here are some pictures of the trenches being dug for the tubing:

Although I much prefer seeding to sodding, these slopes are just way too steep to seed. Therefore we will be sodding them. These WILL NOT be Fine Fescue which is found in the native roughs but a turf type that is maintained at primary rough height.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekly Schedule for April 16-22, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Continue with edging and sand distribution of bunkers on the back 9
-Installation of irrigation on #18 fairway bunker faces
-Second application of the AquaSpheres in ponds
-Slit seeding of thin areas on tees
-Collar aerification
-Pump installation at #8 pond

Friday, April 13, 2012

Stack Sod Bunker Face Maintenance

Our goal with the stacked sod bunker faces on holes #11 and #18 is for a shot to bounce off the faces towards the middle of the bunker. This way the balls will not rest against the walls (or in them) making for a much, much more difficult shot. In order to do this the turf on these faces need to be cut. Weedeating these almost vertical walls is an option, but does not look very good. So we decided to burn the turf with a propane torch then follow up with a plant growth regulator to slow any further growth.

Here is a photo of the torching process:

Afterwards the black ash is brushed off with a broom:

Even with the plant growth regulator this process will need to be repeated on a regular basis.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bunker Rejuvenation Part I

For those who are TV sitcom fans you may remember the show "Home Improvement" which aired in the 1990's. In that show the main character played by Tim Allen hosted a TV show called "Tool Time".  It seemed like each week they would feature something new on "Tool Time". For example, Car Week or Wood Week. This week (and probably next) the Fieldstone Agronomy Team is doing "Bunker Week". Last years member's survey clearly stated that bunkers were not up to standard. So we have a plan to bring the bunkers up to standard. In the next few blog posts I will go into detail as to what we are doing to improve the bunkers.

Edging and Sand Distribution

Our first step is to put a real good edge on the bunkers then distribute the sand evenly throughout the bunkers. The edging is done with a half moon like spade. Modeled here by longtime Fieldstone Agronomy Team Member Juan Nunez.

Here is how the edging is done with this tool:

Then the excess material is removed:

Next a separate crew arrives to determine the sand depth in each bunker. Our goal is to have 6 inches in the bottom and 4 inches on the slopes. A snow stake is used to check the depth with a piece of tape used to mark the depth:

The sand is moved around within the bunker to create these depths. Sometimes more sand is needed and is then brought in from our stockpile:

Here's what the final edge looks like:

It's nice clean and straight! In the next few days I will post pictures and describe how we are going to "set-up" the sand for better playability. Also, our method for maintaining the faces of the stacked sod bunkers will be described along with photos.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weekly Schedule for April 9-15, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

We will be edging bunkers and ensuring there is a consistent depth of sand in each bunker (6 inches in the bottoms and 4 inches on the slopes). Look for a more detailed blog post tomorrow (Tuesday) on this process.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's Beginning to Look Like A Golf Course

Here's a picture of Guillermo mowing the rough on hole #12:

It's the first mow of the season and really looks good!

Greens aerification went very smoothly on Monday. Now we are working to get the holes healed as soon as possible. This is the link from our Fall Aerification blog post describing the process:

We began tee aerification today and so far things are going well. Hope to have the tees completed this week. If not on Monday for sure. Then next week the plan is to edge all bunkers and check to make sure there is a uniform amount of sand in each bunker.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Weekly Schedule for April 2-8, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

Aerify green using 1/2" hollow tines. Aerify tees using 1/2" hollow tines. Rake all bunkers on the course. Place course accessories (ball washers, shoe cleaners, trash cans, etc) out on the course.