Saturday, December 21, 2013

Snow Melt?

Here's a picture taken from behind #7 green just a few moments ago.

Another photo of what #2 green currently looks like:

Hoping for a big snow melt today. Please look for additional information from Jim Larkin and our golf shop staff regarding the possibility of play for tomorrow.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Crossing the Finish Line for Fall 2013

With a rainy Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday expected we are really doing our best to complete the mowing, clean-up and spraying of native areas by the morning. Starting next week through Mid-March there will be 4 of us working to remove leaves from the golf course and do the needed work over the Winter months. Irrigation system blow-out will take place Monday and Tuesday (December 2-3). This involves using an air compressor to move water out of all the pipes to prevent the freezing and cracking of these pipes. During January's shutdown, weather permitting, some minor cart path repairs will take place between #2 green and #3 tee (next to #11 tees), #8 and #18. Our main priority after leaf clean-up will be the improvement of growing conditions of greens and green surrounds.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Finish Line is in Sight

With our seasonal staff set to depart at the end of next week we are pushing hard to finish our #1 priority for the Fall. That is the mowing, clean-up and spraying of the native areas. We started the process on August 29th and have so far put in almost 900 man hours of work. My prediction is that close to 1,000 man hours will be needed. Spread out over a year this equates to one part time associate. However, in an ideal situation this work would be completed in a 2-3 week period in September. This is difficult to do while also having the staff to maintain the golf course during those 2-3 weeks.

Once natives are completed we will move on to leaf clean-up. There is still lots of work to do and hopefully the weather will cooperate to allow us to reach the finish line.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

End of Season Work

The last day for the majority of our seasonal staff was Friday, October 31st. We will have another 5 seasonal staff members stay with us through the end of November.

Our priority remains mowing and spraying native areas. Due to the difficult terrain much of this work needs to be done by hand and thus takes much longer then if we could use equipment on the steep slopes here at Fieldstone.

We are probably at the height of trees dropping their leaves right now and with the amount of trees here at Fieldstone it is difficult to keep up.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Benefits of Aerification

Here is a two minute video from the United States Golf Association explaining the benefits of aerification:

USGA-Benefits of Aerification

With colder then normal temperatures recovery from last week's aerification has been delayed. Am hoping for warm temperatures this week and some rain. We also plan on applying foliar fertilizer to the greens on Wednesday to help with the recovery process.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fall 2013 Aerification Recovery

With Fall aerification behind us we are now focused on recovery. You will notice that we are taking the piles of plugs from the fairways and using them to fill holes along cart paths and cart entrance/exit points. They will be seeded with the hope to have a nice stand of turf in the Spring.

There are 3 keys to recovery for the greens. They are:

1. Fertility
2. Filling all holes with sand
3. Weather

We are going back to any greens that do not have all holes filled and topdressing them by hand. Our fertility program is strong and therefore weather will be the main factor in getting a quick recovery. At this point warm weather is want we want. Also, a nice soaking rain to wash in all the topdressing sand would help as well.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Aerification Update #2

We had a very successful day yesterday in terms of getting a lot done. Here is what we accomplished.


All greens aerified and cleaned
#3-9, 11-18 and the putting green have been topdressed


#1-8 and #10-17 have been aerified and cleaned


#1-5, #10-12 and #17 have been aerified and cleaned

Today we will finish topdressing greens then add soil amendments. Our fairway contractor should be complete sometime this afternoon. Our goal is to have the tees completed and soil amendments applied by the end of the day.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Aerification October 21-22, 2013

So far so good as we are halfway through our first day of Fall aerification. During these two days we will aerify fairways, tees and greens. Am working on a new multi-media tool to bring everyone up close and personal with the process. This may take a few days to put together but will hopefully be worth it. In the meantime I will give another status update at the end of today.

Also, here are links to previous posts describing the process.

Aerification #1

Aerification #2

Friday, October 11, 2013

Rain, Rain, Rain

As of 8:00 am this morning we have received 3.4" of rain at the golf course since Wednesday evening. Currently the forecast is calling for additional precipitation through Saturday. Due to the amount of leaves that are falling from the trees this time of the year it is a constant battle to keep drains clear for the water to enter. Even with drains that are leaf free we do get some temporary flooding during heavy downpours as can be seen in this photo of #8 taken this morning.

Fortunately the water quickly recedes once the heavy downpour stops but we are constantly having to clean many drains throughout the golf course of leaves.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Leaves, Natives and Rain

As we approach Fall aerification in two weeks we are focused on leaf clean-up and mowing/spraying of native areas. Both of these tasks are labor intensive. We are also doing some leveling of irrigation heads around greens.

Yesterday we received 0.4" of rain. Not as much as we would of liked but helpful nonetheless.

Friday, September 27, 2013

#15 Green Surround

There is a lot of work going on to the front left of #15 green including the face of the front left bunker. Hopefully this picture can help explain.

Inside the red box is an area that is very wet. Therefore, Assistant Superintendent Carey Bailey (in green shirt) is leading a team to dig up and expose the greens irrigation loop, noted with blue arrow, to determine the source of the leak.

As of now the source has not been found, hopefully it will be discovered soon!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekly Schedule for September 23-29, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Topdress and fertilize greens on Monday
-Continue mowing native areas then removing debris
-There is a wiring issue with the sprinklers for #16 Red, Yellow and White tees. We are digging up where these wires are spliced next to #16 Blue/Black tee to determine the issue.
-The fill line for the stream that runs in front of #15 green is leaking. We are turning this line off until repairs can be made.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Native Plan

Here are the steps we are taking to rid the native areas of undesirable weeds and to promote the fine fescues that we want.

1. Mow to a height of 6 inches
2. Remove debris
3. Apply a mixture of 3 post emergent herbicides
4. One month after first application apply the 3 post emergent herbicides plus a pre-emergent herbicide
5. Next Spring we will repeat the process
6. In the Fall wherever there are bare areas we will seed

Currently we are mowing all areas that we may use a riding mower on. Afterwards we will come back and hand mow with weedeaters the areas we were unable to get.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spot Seeding Greens and Collars

Here's a close up picture of what it looks like after we spike, seed then topdress small areas on green edges and collars.

We will be doing a similar method on tees once we are done with greens.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekly Schedule for September 9-15, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Aggressive verticutting and seeding of #6, #13 and #16 Blue tees
-Seeding of green edges and collars
-Selected seeding of thin areas in tees
-Mowing then removal of debris in native areas

Monday, September 2, 2013

Weekly Schedule for September 2-8, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Verticut, topdress and apply granular fertilizer to greens and collars on Tuesday.
-Continue mowing native areas

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Native Mowing

We are beginning the process of mowing all of our native areas today. Depending on weather and schedule we hope to have it completed in two weeks. Cleaning up after mowing takes longer then the actual mowing. Therefore there may be some areas with debris while playing. Rest assured the clean-up crew will be there shortly to clean it up!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Verticutting, Seed Growth and Divot Mix

We are almost complete with aerifying and topdressing tees. Some of the tees will be topdressed with sand in the next day or so. Verticutting is an important practice but when not done on a regular basis can be pretty disruptive as this picture shows.

However a closer look shows a lot of green tissue which is still alive.

With some topdressing sand these areas will recover quickly and look better then before.

Am pleased with the seed germination we are seeing on all areas of the golf course.

Especially in the aerification holes where the seedlings have the best chance to be protected in the holes while emerging.

Finally, the weather has cooled enough that we are reintroducing seed into our divot mix. As can be seen in this photo bentgrass seed is very, very small and takes 2-3 weeks to germinate.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekly Schedule for August 26-September 1, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Aerify and verticut tees
-Aerify and seed areas throughout the course that are thin and need turf

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Root Pruning and Seed in Divot Mix

On Monday we were able to do some root pruning behind #11 and #17 greens. What we do is make a 4-6 inch wide trench about 10-12 inches deep below the drip line of the trees. This will cut the roots without affecting tree health but at the same time remove the competition with the turf for water and nutrients.

Here's a picture from behind #11 green.


Upon closer inspection you can see the amount of roots that were entering into the green itself.

Once the roots are removed the trench is backfilled and seeded.

Also, wanted to answer a question that I was recently asked about seed in the divot mix. We do add seed to the divot mix in the Spring and Fall. During the Summer we do not because it is too hot for the seed to properly germinate and grow. We do ask that divots are filled as the creeping bentgrass will move laterally to fill the divot itself. Albeit it slowly.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Weekly Schedule for August 19-25, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Aerify, seed and topdress collars and greens perimeters
-Aerify, seed and topdress select tees
-Rotary mow bunker surrounds and slopes
-Aerify and seed weak areas in roughs

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


We are getting some excellent seedling germination on #11 green where we aerified, seeded and topdressed.

Expect to see more seedlings emerge in fairways, tees and roughs as well in the next few weeks.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekly Schedule for August 12-18, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Topdress new sod with sand in fairways and tees
-Seed intermediate cut and roughs

Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekly Schedule for August 5-11, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Vent and lightly topdress greens on Monday
-Sod and/or drainage work on #4, #5, #7 and #8 tees
-Seed thin areas throughout the course
-Aerify new tees to continue to break up the sod layer
-Gradually increase green speeds throughout the week

Friday, August 2, 2013

Another 2 Inches of Rain

Yep, we received another 2 inches of rain yesterday. Can't believe we went from almost  zero rain to over 20 inches of rain in the same time period just a year apart.

Sodding and drainage installation is complete on #2 fairway along with some other areas throughout the course. We would really appreciate if everyone who plays would pay attention to the signs as to not cause damage to the newly grassed areas.

Just this little bit of help will make a huge difference!

On Monday we will be seeding any areas on tees, fairways, greens and roughs that are thin and need to fill in. We will also be doing our bi-weekly venting of greens to increase air exchange in the rootzone.

We are a touch behind on our mowing frequency due to the rain but hope to be caught up by the end of the day on Monday.

Finally, to aid in recovery we have raised the height of cut on all greens but even a tiny bit more on #3, #6, #7 and #11. Within the next 2 weeks I'd expect to begin lowering the height of cut on these greens first then all greens.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

#2 Fairway Progress

We have installed several drain lines in the fairway to help with the saturated conditions.

As usual here at Fieldstone we found plenty of "stones" while digging these trenches.

The open end of a drainage pipe in the approach on #2 was discovered. It was not connected to anything and was allowing water to flow onto the approach.

The pipe is now connected and will no longer be flowing onto the playing surface.

Sod has arrived and will update with pictures once it has been laid.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekly Schedule for July 29-August 4, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Install drainage and sod low areas on #2 fairway.
-Repair and sod entrance to #4 fairway
-Sod low areas on #12 and #14 fairways
-Seed weak areas in rough with Turf Type Tall Fescue

Sunday, July 28, 2013

News and Notes for Sunday, July 28, 2013

-The insects that are flying inside some of the bunkers are harmless. They are very difficult to control and will be gone shortly.

-Have received several storms today, as long as the weather stays cloudy and the temperatures cool I do not expect a breakout of scald, wet wilt and Pythium as we did the previous week.

-Almost all the brown areas seen throughout the course are not due to dryness. Rather a combination of wet wilt, scald, Pythium and even some Summer Patch disease affecting Kentucky Bluegrass around the bunker surrounds.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Plugging Away

Today's weather has started off fantastic with the first time temperatures below 70 degrees have been recorded in about 4 weeks! This is great news for turfgrass growth and recovery. In order to get some oxygen into the soil we've started spot aerifying weak areas in tees, fairways and roughs.

Depending on the particular area we will either seed, sod or allow the plants to regrow.

Also, would like to explain how some tee edges became damaged through scald.

The red arrow represents an area of slightly higher elevation and the blue arrow represents a lower area. The water runs to the lower area and cannot move off due to the higher rough grass that surrounds it. Therefore the water sits inside the area outlined in black. The sun comes out and literally bakes the turf.

There are several things we can do to resolve this issue. Allowing an outlet for the water to move and disperse in the rough is the quickest and most economical solution. Then we will either seed or sod depending on the extent of damage to the turf.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Last week proved to be a difficult one for golf courses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Excessive soil moisture along with blazing heat and high humidity made it a recipe for stressed turf. Unlike in previous years when there was a drought and we saw turfgrass health issues in high and dry areas, this time we saw turf decline in low wet areas. What a difference one year can make! Truly an amazing sight to see.

Why the turf decline? Take a look at this picture.

The canopy temperature of #2 green on Thursday, July 18th at 12:30 pm was 132 degrees!!!! Turf shuts down when temperatures reach about 105 degrees. South facing slopes especially take the brunt of this intense sun and heat. We try and "syringe" these areas by putting light amounts of water on them. This lowers the temperature slightly for a small amount of time. It is not a cure all as too much water will lead to the roots cooking in the soil.

When water sits in low areas in this heat it literally cooks the roots in the soil. On top of that a turf disease called Pythium sets in. While we do apply preventative fungicides for this disease these products cannot help when the disease pressure is much, much greater then normal.

With cooler temps and nighttime lows in the 60's we will see plants recover on their own. We will help speed this process up by applying small amount of fertilizer. Large amounts of fertilizer are not used since the plants do not have enough energy reserves to use the additional fertility.

We have already stripped the scalded low areas on fairway #2.

We will be adding drainage in these areas to prevent the water from ponding in the future. Rough and tees areas will be aerifed and seeded as well.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Weekly Schedule for July 22-28, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Cross tine greens on Monday
-Installation of drainage on #2 fairway
-Aerification of weak areas in roughs and tees

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#2 Fairway-No Carts

Due to cart damage on #2 fairway we are asking that everyone play this hole as cart path only.

The picture looks very much like wilting of the turf from drought stress. However the wilt is not being caused by drought but by too much water. What is happening is the roots cannot absorb water fast enough for the plant leaves causing an internal water deficit. As this occurs the leaves collapse under any type of mechanical stress such as cart traffic. In order to get water in the plant leaves we will need to bypass the root system. Therefore you may see some light amounts (1-3 minutes) of water being applied to these areas.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Playing Defense

From the beginning of June until now we have received almost 20 inches of rain. This is about 3 times more then what we normally receive. What a difference a year makes in weather extremes! Currently we are in the midst of 21 straight days of not seeing temperatures below 70 degrees. Add on top of that temperatures in the mid-90's and high humidity we have a perfect storm for turfgrass stress.

Below is a list of turfgrass stresses that are occurring and the defensive measures we are taking to cope with them.

Fungus loves warmth and moisture and we have plenty of it! Therefore we are increasing the frequency of our fungicide applications to all areas of the golf course.

Certain weeds such as the nutsedge pictured in this photo thrive in moist environments.

While we do have effective herbicides for these weeds there is a high risk of causing damage to the surrounding good turf when applying them in high temperatures. Therefore we will hold off on applying control products until next week when the highs will be in the low 80's. In the meantime we will take a weedeater to these areas so they are not so unsightly.

Restricted Airflow, Traffic and Shade
Areas such as #3 tee and green, #4 tees, #6 green, etc have restricted airflow and sunlight due to their location. In some of these locations we also have high foot traffic and shade which makes it challenging to grow turfgrass. To combat this we will be using ropes and signs to help scatter the traffic to other areas. There is not much we can do about shade. To improve air flow on #3 green we have set-up a blower behind the green that will be moved several times throughout the day.

According to this article: Shade and Restricted Airflow good air movement across a putting green "promotes the cooling effects of transpiration, reduces soil moisture and promotes carbon dioxide exchange".

Next time you are playing notice the fans on #8 green and how much better the overall turf health is on this green.

For additional details on preparations for this week's Men's Invitational please be sure to follow Jim Larkin's blog: Men's Invitational Blog

Monday, July 15, 2013

Weekly Schedule for July 15-21, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Apply plant protectant products to greens, tees and fairways
-With high heat and humidity this week we will be very conservative in what we do. Primarily focusing on grooming the course for this week's Men's Invitational

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Low Areas

With all the rain we have had in the past month some of the low areas, especially in fairway #2, are struggling.

As you can see from the picture of the moisture meter, the Volumetric Water Content (VWC) is 33% which means the water is not draining as it should.

What is happening is the water in the rootzone is cooking itself in the heat and humidity over this past weekend. Basically it becomes an oven and the roots are cooked. In order to prevent this in the future we will mark these areas on a map and add drainage as needed so the water does not stay in these low areas.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekly Schedule for July 8-14, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Star tine greens on Monday
-Repair of spring in #18 fairway
-Repair of green edges on #3 and #6
-Repair of walk on/walk off areas on #3/#6/#13 tees
-Mow bunker surrounds

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rain, Rain Go Away

We have received record breaking amounts of rain in June and as we begin July the rain continues. This is in direct contrast to the end of July and early August of 2012 when we had record long drought and heat. Each of these weather challenges affects the way we manage the golf course. Below is a list of items describing the effects the wet weather is having on the golf course.

-Disease pressure may be our greatest concern right now. Wet, humid and hot conditions are a breeding ground for the fungus that can attack turfgrass. What makes it even more of a challenge is that the fungicides needed to combat these diseases can not be sprayed in the rain or be watered in before they dry on the plants.

Here is a picture of Brown Patch on #12 fairway.

Greens are not as a concern since they receive our top priority when applying fungicides. However due to the amount of fairways and the length of time it takes to apply products to the fairways they do not receive the same level of protection as the greens.

Roughs are actually our area of greatest concern. Here is some Dollar Spot in the rough on #12.

Economically it is not always feasible to spray the rough with fungicides. Since they are behind greens, tees and fairways on the priority list of fungicide applications they often times receive the needed sprays last. The good news is that a natural selection process will occur over time and the more tolerant grass species will survive.

-Saturated soils are prone to traffic and wear issues.

-We cannot keep up with our desired frequency of mowing because we will cause damage to the turf with our equipment.

-Weeds such as sedges that thrive in moist conditions are more prevalent.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Weekly Schedule for July 1-7, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Light topdress of greens on Monday
-Bunker edging and sand depth checking
-Cart path edging

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wet Tees

Our centralized computer irrigation system had a minor glitch and the tees watered last night when they were not suppose to. Therefore the tees are wetter then normal this morning. We have full technical support from our irrigation supplier and should have the issue resolved later this morning.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stakes and Ropes on Holes #3 and #6

Due to some foot traffic wear on the edges of #3 and #6 greens we have placed stakes and rope on these holes to guide traffic onto the greens.

On hole #3 we ask that golfers walk through the path to the green. This pathway is noted by the red arrows.

With hole #6 we ask that once you walk up the stairs then follow the stakes and rope to the right.

The stakes and ropes will be moved often as to not wear out other areas. Our goal is to spread the foot traffic to help with recovery of the existing areas.

Weekly Schedule for June 24-30, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Star tine and light topdress of greens on Monday
-Mow bunker surrounds
-Continue edging bunkers and checking sand depth

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekly Schedule for June 17-23, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-DryJect collars and select tees on Monday
-Continue with edging and checking sand depth in bunkers on holes #1-14.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Weather and Course Condition Update for June 14, 2013

We experienced a severe thunderstorm yesterday (Thursday) morning that produced 1.1 inches of rain in a short period. Besides some branches and a few washed bunkers the course held up well.

Last night another 0.25 inches of rain was received with more showers this morning.

Fieldstone drains very well and is the reason we are able to have carts on fairways so soon after a rain. However, when additional rain comes on top of already saturated conditions this proves problematic. Fortunately our fairway mowers, in particular, have special tires that displace the pressure of these machines over a greater area thus causing less stress on the turf.

With a dry afternoon and some wind we hope to have carts back on fairways shortly.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Weekly Schedule for June 10-16, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Edge and check sand depth in bunkers. Our goal is 6" of sand in the bottom of all bunkers. This process will take approximately two weeks.
-Second application of pre-emergent herbicide to tees, fairways and roughs.

Note: Starting last Friday we have received 5.75" of rain.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea Update

Received 4.25 inches of rain. Course has held up well. We were able to mow greens and repair all greenside bunkers today. Tomorrow (Sunday) our goal is to have all the fairway bunkers repaired as well.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Moss on Greens Update

The picture on the left shows the moss before treatment. On the right is 6 days after treatment.

We will make a second full application 14 days after our first treatment. As can be seen on the picture on the right, the moss is turning white and drying out. If you look closely you will see the bentgrass coming through to take it's place.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Weekly Schedule for June 3-9, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Mow bunker surrounds
-Edge bunkers and check depth of sand in bunkers
-Sod irrigation lines on #7 tee surrounds and #17 rough

Friday, May 31, 2013

Rough Growth

With the rain on Tuesday then hot temperatures this week the rough has really taken off growth wise! Even with the plant growth regulator that was applied last week to the bunker surrounds these areas are particularly high. With extended heat the rough will eventually slow it's growth as we get into Summer. For now we are  doing the best we can to keep up with our mowing. Bunker surrounds are scheduled to be mowed again on Monday and another application of plant growth regulator made.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

#8 Pond and Moss on Greens

We have treated the Duckweed in #8 pond. The normally green weed will turn an orange like color then sink. This should occur over the next few days.

There are a few greens out on the course (mainly #1, #9, #10 and #12) with some areas of moss. We are treating this with a herbicide and you may have noticed the moss going from a green color to black as seen in this photo.

These areas should be completely gone shortly after the second application of the herbicide in two weeks time.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Additional Irrigation

We are adding an additional irrigation head to the area in front of #17 tees. It is going to be located before the rock wall that runs in front of #17 fairway. This area has not had irrigation previously.

The trees in the background of this picture are the ones located just to the left of #16 green.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Weekly Schedule for May 27-June 2, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Verticut and topdress greens on Tuesday
-Sod prep irrigation lines at #7 tees
-Aerify #3 Blue tee, #6/#13 Blue tees and #16 Black tee

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Weekly Schedule for May 20-26, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Finish mowing all bunker surrounds
-Apply a plant growth regulator to bunker surrounds after mowing to slow growth in these areas
-Sod #4 and #7 tee surrounds where irrigation was installed

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekly Schedule for May 13-19, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Verticut and topdress greens on Monday
-Sod installation on select fairway and rough areas
-Stack sod bunker repair
-Irrigation installation at #7 tees

Friday, May 10, 2013

Great Spring Weather for Poa

Have had several questions and comments about the amount of Poa annua (annual bluegrass) seen on the greens this Spring. The cool Spring that we are having has given the Poa ample time to seed thus making the plants much more noticable for a longer time period then normal. Also, the desirable turf species on our greens, creeping bentgrass, thrives under slightly higher temperatures then does the Poa. Therefore the plant growth regulator we use for Poa control is not quite as effective because it works by stunting the growth of the Poa so the bentgrass may outcompete it. With the bentgrass not growing as much the competition is not there.

There is some good news. We are one of about 200 golf courses throughout the United States (there are approximately 16,000 total golf courses in the United States)  testing a new product from Korea called PoaCure. We have two plots each measuring 1,000 sq. ft. One is located on the putting green and the other in #17 fairway.

There have been many products that claim to be the silver bullet for Poa annua eradication but each has it's pluses and minuses. So far, this particular product seems to come closest to being "the one" that will get rid of Poa. It works by slowly killing the Poa giving the bentgrass enough time to fill-in where the Poa plant was. This product is also very safe for the bentgrass.

This picture shows an untreated Poa plant.

This next photo shows a Pos plant treated with PoaCure and the bentgrass filling in to take it's place.

Of course in areas with too much Poa this is not an effective control because the bentgrass would be unable to fill-in fast enough leaving many bare areas.

More testing needs to be done before this product becomes registered for use in this country. But it has been on the market for several years in Korea with great success.

Fortunately, since we are a test site we will have full access to this product about 2 years before it reaches market.

Am looking forward to seeing how this product does over the Spring and Summer here at Fieldstone.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekly Schedule for May 6-12, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Install new irrigation at @7 tees
-Prep areas in fairways and rough for sod coming next Monday

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekly Schedule for April 29-May 5, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Granular fertilizer application to fairways on Monday

-Repair of top portion of stack sod bunkers on holes #11 and #18
-Aerification and topdressing of new tees on holes #3, #6, #13 and #16
-Complete irrigation installation at #4 tees

Friday, April 26, 2013

Tee Alignment and #4 Pro Tee

In our overall effort to improve tees this year we are using a simple but effective method to keep tee markers aligned properly. We've formed a T with 1 1/2" inch PVC pipe. The long end is pointed towards the middle of the fairway then the tee markers are aligned with the top portion of the tee. It looks like this.

This week we were able to install irrigation and new turf on #4 Pro tee.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekly Schedule for April 22-28, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Verticut and topdress greens on Monday. We have developed a system to minimize disruption to ball roll and for the greens to heal quicker.
-Sodding of select fairway and rough areas throughout the golf course.
-Sodding of #4 Pro tee.
-Pre and postemergent herbicide applications to bunker surrounds.
-Aerification of newly constructed tees.
-Installation of irrigation at #4 white and blue tees.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Spring Prep

Currently we are prepping some areas for a sod delivery on Monday. They include parts of #3 fairway.

Next to the right hand side fairway bunker on hole #11.

Plus other selected spots throughout the golf course.

Thanks to Assistant Superintendent Carey Bailey, our preemergent herbicide application is complete in the native areas.  He has also completed the first preemergent application to roughs and will do bunker faces on Monday. Next up for our preemergent schedule is fairways after the bunker faces have been completed.

Work on the new irrigation around #4 tees is progressing nicely. We have stripped and prepped the Black tee on top of the hill in preparation for sodding on Monday. Irrigation is also being added to that tee.

The carry from this tee is only about 190 yards to the rough just in front of the fairway. However the elevation is similar to the fairway elevation making this somewhat of an easier shot for some.

Several of the Skip Laurels next to #2 tee have been removed and will be replaced soon. They received severe winter damage from the winds. Next winter we will set-up temporary protection to prevent this from happening. Once the roots are strong enough in a few years the winter protection will not be needed.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekly Schedule for April 15-21, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Tee fertilization
-Irrigation installation at #4 tees
-Pre-emergent herbicide application to roughs and bunker surrounds
-Prep areas for sod

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tees and Some Other Notes

This year we are putting an emphasis on the turf coverage of tees. One important part of our program is tee set-up. We have divided each tee into one, two, three or four sections depending on the width of the tee. In order to spread wear out evenly throughout the tees our set-up staff will rotate the location of the tees amongst these sections.

In order to give the tees a head start coming out of Winter we applied compost. This material is dark and attracts heat. This helped warm the soil temps up on the tees making them greener then the rest of the course. In addition the nutrients in the compost kick started tee growth into high gear.

On #10 green we noticed that the irrigation heads off the front right portion of the green are fairly far away from the green.

We probed the soil around the green and discovered that the original rootzone used for the greens construction extends outward towards these irrigation heads. In order to recapture this lost portion of the green we will be slowly lowering the height of cut in this area.

In addition we will be topdressing more frequently to help smooth it out with the goal of having it puttable within about 8 weeks.

Finally, the warmth we experienced the past few days has given a few annual weeds the opportunity to spurt up in our roughs. These particular weeds due not do well when mowed and will quickly disappear once our rough mowing program begins.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekly Schedule for April 8-14, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-As turf growth increases we will continue to mow
-Topdress new tees on #6/#13/#16
-Leaf clean-up on right side of hole #1
-Soil amendment application to tees
-Fertilize bunker surrounds

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Weekly Schedule for April 1-7, 2013

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Aerification of tees
-Initial mowing of fairways, tees, collars and approaches
-Fertilization of green surrounds

Note: Soil temps remain in the 30's. Good turf growth occurs when soil temps are consistently in the 50's. The mowing we are doing this week is really to just "clean-up" the in-play areas since the turf is not actually growing.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring 2013 Aerification Update #3

There are two adjustments we are making to this Springs green's aerification to hopefully increase the speed of recovery. The two most important factors in recovery from hollow core aerification is the weather and the filling of the holes completely with sand. We can't control the weather, but we are trying to improve the filling of the holes made during aerification.

This photo was taken 2 years ago. Notice that there are approximately 5 holes that run from the bottom of the radio to the top of the antenna.

This photo was taken today. There are approximately 8 holes that run from the bottom of the radio to the top of antenna.

The difference is that the diameter of the holes in the photo taken today is smaller then two years ago. Thus less space is needed for the turf to fill in the holes. Yet, since there are more holes we are getting an equivalent effect of using the larger sized tines.

One other small adjustment we are making is to use a slightly finer sand. This sand is similar to our rootzone but should go into the holes easier since it is a smaller particle size.

With some good weather our goal is to have the greens filled in shortly!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring 2013 Aerification Update #2

Looks like we will be able to aerify greens Wednesday, March 27th. The course will be closed. Planned re-opening is Thursday, March 28th.

We are doing a few things differently to speed up recovery time. I will outline them in more detail in tomorrow's blog post along with an update on the aerification progress.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Aerification Update

Due to snow we have postponed the greens aerification until the next possible day we can get on the greens. Hopefully by Wednesday. Will update Tuesday on the blog.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

News and Notes 3.10.13

Hopefully most of you have had a chance to enjoy the early Spring weather and play this weekend. A few items of note:

-Flags around tees on hole #4, #7 and #11 are to mark the locations of new irrigation heads. Will do a more detail post in the next few weeks as we begin installation.

-Our seasonal staff begins Monday, March 18th and greens aerification is scheduled for Monday, March 25th.  Tees will also be aerified the week of the 25th.

-Greens mowing will commence shortly as the weather and turf growth allows.

-Weekly schedule updates on Mondays will begin on March 25th.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Par Three Tee Renovation and Expansion Update #7

The contractor, McDonald and Sons, has completed their portion of the work and demobilized Friday. All that is left to do is the stacked field stones in front of the retaining walls on #6 and #13 plus leveling of any irrigation valve covers. Our seasonal staff returns in the next few weeks and there are several very good stone masons amongst them who have been doing the stacked stone work here at Fieldstone for quite some time. Once complete the block retaining walls will not be seen.

Usable teeing space on #6 and #13 has been doubled.

We have gained 50% more tee space on #16, added some length and created an area where different angled shots need to be played into the green.