Friday, August 28, 2015

Collars and Greens Edges

Have gotten a few questions about the clean-up passes on our greens recently. To define a clean-up pass or green edge please see the photo below.

This clean-up pass is done around the greens and is where our walk greens mowers put down and pick up so as to not scalp the collar. Two passes are made on the outside edge of greens. These areas come under a lot of stress with the picking up and placing down of mowers. While not discussing it directly, this article from the USGA describes some of the challenges with this area along with collars.

USGA Collar Article

During the heat and humidity of summer we reduce the mowing frequency of the clean-up pass and raise the height 0.015" (15 thousands of an inch) above the greens height. This equates to 1/4th the thickness of a nickle. Not noticeable to the naked eye but does give the turf an advantage to the increased stress it receives.

The questions and comments arose about this edge when we lowered the frequency of cut  to one time per week. This was too infrequent and had a "hairy" look to it after a few days of not being mowed. We have now switched to twice a week and once we get through next week's heat wave will go to three times per week. By the middle or end of September. This clean-up pass will be mowed at the same height of cut as the green.

Please note that the "hairy" looking edges that were observed in recent weeks are not due to an increase in height of 15 thousands of an inch but the low frequency of cut per week which we have now increased.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Secondary Rough Seeding

We have begun seeding secondary rough with hard fescue. First area is #13 then to #14 tees.

While we did discuss hydroseeding, our decision was to start seeding earlier in the year (Late August versus late September last year) which would benefit germination more than the cost for hydroseeding. Also, we are only seeding approximately 5 acres this year versus 20 acres last year which will make it much easier to keep these areas moist.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekly Schedule for August 24-30, 2015

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Mow green and tee surrounds
-Prepare for seeding of Secondary Rough
-Fertilize green and bunker surrounds
-Weed control in primary and secondary roughs

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Chinch Bugs

One of the most often quoted lines from the movie Caddyshack:

"But I am studying this stuff so I know know, like...chinch bugs.  You know...manganese.  A lot of people don't even know what that is...nitrogen."

Well, Chinch bugs are actually a real thing and not just in the movies. It is fairly uncommon to see them on bentgrass but we have plenty of them throughout the course as evidenced by this picture of #8 white tee.

Our irrigation technician, Rogelio, was out adjusting irrigation heads on tees to make sure the proper archs are set. When he realized this area was not dry he notified assistant superintendents Carey Bailey and Matt Smith who investigated further using a salt flush to find this insect pest. An insect control product was applied the next day to tees and the results have excellent.

Next week we will be applying the same product to all fairways as a precautionary measure. It's a cheap application to make but is not something you want to make very often as the insects could develop resistance to the product if applied too often.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Weekly Schedule for August 10-16, 2015

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Seeding of thin areas in green edges
-Weed control in primary and secondary roughs

Thursday, August 6, 2015

News and Notes 8.6.15

We have recently gone through several weeks with little to no rain and temps in the 90's. The weather  is cooling down a bit and we are hopeful to get some much needed rain. During this stressful period we did have areas on green edges that thinned out. It is interesting to note that in our observations these areas all had poor growing conditions (traffic, sunlight and air movement) while greens without these issues (examples: #9. #10, #16 and #18) saw little to no damage.

Inside the black lines in the picture above shows a check plot from a mixture of products we have been applying to green edges and collars this year. This is evidence that part of the problem was this mix along with the poor growing conditions were all contributing factors. Again, no damage on green sites with plenty of sun, air movement and scattered wear patterns.

We will be seeding these thin areas on Monday. With temperatures in the low 80's and nighttime lows in the lower 60's I'd expect germination in 7-10 days. On some of these areas such as the back left of #6 green we would like to do a bit more digging around in September to determine if there are any drainage issues 12-18 inches below the surface. This is certainly a wear area from golfers entering and leaving the green but it may be helped if there is a drainage issue and we can fix it.

A product to control weeds was applied to the irrigation lake next to hole #2 last week.

Control was excellent as evidenced by the brown color of the weeds. Now it is just a matter of time before it decomposes and falls to the bottom of the pond.

Looking to hydroseed some of the steep slopes (ex: between #14 and #15, left of #18 fairway) with Fine Fescue August 31st. Will have more information on that shortly.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Weekly Schedule for August 3-9, 2015

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Wetting agent application to fairways and greens on Monday. Tees on Tuesday. This product will be watered in.
-Weed control products spot sprayed in roughs
-Needle tine greens on Monday
-Mow large weeds in secondary rough