Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekly Schedule for June 27-July 3, 2016

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Solid tine and add amendments to collars on Tuesday
-Spot spray broadleaf weeds in roughs
-Mow tee, green and bunker surrounds

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Divots-Part 2 Tees

In a blog post last week we discussed divots on fairways (Divots-Part 1 Fairways) and the growth characteristics of creeping bentgrass. This post will be about divots on tees.

To improve divot recovery on tees we have begun doing two things which we have not done in the past. The first is to add an extra amendment to the soil/sand mix used to fill divots to increase moisture and nutrient retention. The second is to have our staff fill divots on a daily basis with seed.

Because the seed needs moisture we are watering tees much more frequently. This may cause some wetter than normal conditions on the tees in the morning. We are monitoring disease activity as well to ensure the extra moisture does not cause an outbreak.

On several tees such as #3 and #4 sunlight is a challenge. There are certain turf species that are more shade tolerant than others that we will try on these areas. First we are going to be using these daily light meters to quantify how much sunlight is received at these tees compared to tee locations with plentiful sunlight.

With the success we've had using perennial ryegrass on our driving range tee we are often asked why we do not use this turf on our tees. Considering the quick germination characteristic of ryegrass it would make sense. However, ryegrass is prone to several diseases that can cause major damage in a short amount of time. These can be controlled with fungicides which we use on our driving range tee. The difference is it takes us 45 minutes to apply these materials to the driving range versus 16 man hours hours to our tees. When applying products to tees we use a spray hawk as opposed to riding the machine over them due to lack of space around the tees. Therefore the extra fungicide applications needed are very time consuming and the extra acreage of the tees compared to the driving range is cost prohibitive as well.

Besides the extra amendment added to the seed/soil mix along with daily seeding we will be trying to quantify exactly how much light is needed to grow good turf on tees. Will keep everyone updated on our efforts.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekly Schedule for June 20-26, 2016

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Aerify and apply soil amendments to the following areas:

#2 White, Yellow, Blue and Black tees
#3 approach
#6 green walk on/off
#11 green right side edge
#11 fairway just below right side bunker
#16 Blue/Black tee

-Continue mowing of secondary rough. Particular attention to high play areas such as between #3 and #11

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Divots-Part I Fairways

Would like to do two posts on divots. This post will focus on fairway divots followed by one on tee divots in the near future.

A little understanding of the turfgrass plant first may be helpful. The predominant turf species on our fairways is creeping bentgrass. It is called this because of it's stoloniferous growth habit. Basically it means this species of turf has stolons which are above ground stems that spread horizontally and root at nodes. While there is vertical growth of the plants, it has a more horizontal growth feature to it. Thus it's name creeping.

A great example of this can be seen from the below photos. The first is from an irrigation head on #14 fairway that can barely be seen.

This next photos shows what it looks like after trimming.

These pictures were taken just a few minutes apart so I am unsure why my camera has given the turf a different color to it. But the golf ball was not moved so the viewer can have a reference point.

This brings us to our preferred method of divot filling here at Fieldstone. Last week a video was sent out to members showing proper divot repair. It can be seen here: USGA Divot Repair

As mention in the video the favored method is to replace the divot if it is in good shape. If not, the sand and soil bottles provided in the carts and next to the halfway house should be used. It is very important the sand/soil is filled to the top of the divot and leveled. If not the mowers will be dulled when making a pass through the mixture.

We often get asked why there is no seed in the divot mix. This is a great question. Under the most ideal situation possible bentrgrass may germinate within 7 days. This does not necessarily mean you will see the turf but rather the seed coating is broken. Under late Spring and Summer conditions this timing could be pushed all the way to 21 days. During the Spring and Summer we make pre-emergent herbicide applications for grassy weeds such as crab and goose grass. This same pre-emergent also prevents the creeping bentgrass seed from germinating.

Another challenge we encounter is the accidental filling of divots in the rough with creeping bentgrass seed. Our preferred turf species in these areas is Turf Type Tall Fescue. Any bentgrass seed that germinates and grows in the rough makes for a very difficult surface to play out of.

During the growing season we apply a plant growth regulator on a bi-weekly basis which slows vertical growth and promotes lateral growth of the bentgrass. This actually helps the bentgrass to fill in divots. However, it also slows any new seedlings that may germinate.

A big thank you to everyone who properly replaces and/or fills in their divots and others. It makes a HUGE difference in the condition of the course.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Weekly Schedule for June 13-19, 2016

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Stick and branch clean-up
-Re-build of #8 tee water cooler
-Install liner at #5 pond outflow when it arrives

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Greens Verticutting

As we are verticutting greens today I'd like to share this short article from the USGA on the process:

Greens Verticutting

Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekly Schedule for June 6-12, 2016

Weather and unforeseen conditions can/will change the schedule.

-Verticut and topdress greens on Tuesday
-Grooming of fairways Monday/Tuesday
-Clean-up of branches on #6
-Replace water cooler stand at #8 tees
-Mowing of secondary rough

Friday, June 3, 2016

Storm Water Management Work

Yesterday (Thursday) we had McDonald and Sons Golf Course Builders come in to do some county mandated work at the storm water basin located in the driving range. Over the years sediment had built up and needed to be removed.

Before. Notice the island in the middle of sediment.

After. Sediment removed and area is level.
The removed sediment was buried right next to this area then covered with the soil that was dug out to make the pits.

Digging of pits to bury the sediment.

Digging of pits for sediment.

Sediment placed in the pits.

The soil that was dug for the pits is used to cover them and will be seeded.