Friday, June 29, 2012

Questions and Answers

I thought that this would be a good opportunity to share my thinking on several subjects that have come up recently. Hopefully this will help everyone understand why we make the decisions we do regarding the golf course.

Cart Path Only Due to Excessive Heat

When the air temperature, dew point, humidity level and soil moisture levels are in the correct proportion wilting occurs on the fairways. The damage done by carts when driven through these areas is obvious and can be seen throughout the fairways. Through education, training and experience we can determine when the turf is wilting. While the turf may be ok in the morning, when the conditions are just right it happens quickly. Unfortunately we do not have a reliable way to determine exactly when this will occur. So while it may be ok to drive on the fairways in the morning, once wilting does occur, it takes a long time to inform everyone on the course that it is cart path only thus causing damage to the turf before communication can occur. Therefore we make the cart path only decision in the morning based on the information we have.

Long term we are looking at wetting agents (types and rates) and a turf type sunscreen to reduce wilting and get golfers on the fairways. While I do not believe we will a solution this weekend, it is something we are actively working on so carts can be on fairways as much as possible.


So far there is undoubtedly marked improvement in collar health since last year. Although July and August are still ahead of us! We've decided to take a proactive stance and are doing some cultural and fertility practices on areas that traditionally have thinned out in the past. Especially collars on holes #3, #6 and #8. There is no doubt we are moving in the right direction and am appreciative of everyone's patience and understanding.

Cart Path Only-Friday, June 29, 2012

This is a telling picture of what cart damage does to the turf on hot days.

It is evident that the straight lines seen here are from cart tires driving through stressed turf. Therefore, we will require that all golf carts stay on the paths until cooler temperatures come along.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How You Can Help

Two items of note that would be of great help in keeping the course conditions as pristine as possible.

The first one is in regards to how to practice on the driving range tee. For those of you who have not read the article in the earlier post about this please do so (Driving Range Divots).  Here's a picture taken this morning showing the preferred and unpreffered method of practicing on the driving range tee:

The right side of this picture shows the proper way to hit golf balls in long lines for faster turf recovery. The block of bare soil on the left will take much longer to heal.

The second item is on #3. The back part of that green does not get a lot of sunlight and is stressed from foot traffic. If everyone could park in front of the green and use the stairs to access the putting surface we should be able to help the back portion of the green recover.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekly Schedule for June 25-July 1, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Removal of dead tree behind #12 green on Monday
-Awaiting arrival of bricks to finish stairs at #15 tee

Saturday, June 23, 2012

First Summer Heat Wave of 2012

Wednesday through Friday of this past week proved to be a scorcher in terms of heat and humidity. Fortunately the turf health come out very well. Year to date we are 9 inches below where we were last year at this time in terms of rainfall (20 inches in 2011 to 11 inches in 2012). Our new wells are doing very well and there is plenty of water for irrigation. Of course there is no substitute for natural rainfall!

We are using Turf Type Tall Fescue on the two bunker surrounds on hole #5 that were recently regrassed. This is a very hardy turf compared to what has been previously used around the bunkers. In fact, the turf we got came from the same farm that had sent 15 plus acres of the same sod to Merion this Spring for their roughs in preparation for the 2013 US Open.

While I am not a fan of sodding, due to the steep slopes around the bunkers here at Fieldstone we have very little choice since seed will wash out readily. 

A good example of the benefits of the Turf Type Tall Fescue can be seen in this picture from the left hand side fairway bunkers that were recently sodded on #18. Some Bluegrass sod got mixed in with our order and pretty soon the difference in the two turf types became evident. Notice the yellowing of the sod piece above the red arrow which is Bluegrass compared to the healthy green color and vigorous growth habit of the Turf Type Tall Fescue that the blue arrow is pointing at.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Catch Up

With the high heat and humidity keeping me busy this week I was unable to send the blog posts I had hoped. My plan is to send them this weekend, albeit late. It's been a very, very busy few days for us but I truly believe the course has come out well from this heat wave.

In the meantime, here's a picture of Pinki finding a nice shady spot on the 8th green for everyone to enjoy until my next blog post.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekly Schedule for June 18-24, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Topdress bermudgrass plots in lower driving range tee. This makes them nice and level.
-Begin construction of stairs to #15 blue and black tees. Look for upcoming photos showing how this is being built. We are trying a different method then how the stairs on the course have been previously built to ensure they do not settle
-Prepare for upcoming heat wave Wednesday through Friday!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Driving Range Tee Divots

Please take a look at this article:

USGA Article

We would like to have everyone participate in this method of practicing on the driving range tee. If you have any questions regarding this please feel free to ask myself or one of the golf professionals.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekly Schedule for June 11-17, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-DryJect collars on Monday. Additional information can be found here: DryJect Collars
-Dusting of topdressing sand on greens this Monday

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weekly Schedule for June 4-10, 2012

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Brush greens on Tuesday
-Removal of large branch behind #12 green