#12 @ Wild Horse

#12 @ Wild Horse

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Bleach Blonde

We are still maintaining the course under normal conditions but starting soon we will be raising the height of cut on greens and minimizing mowing to let the grass get ready for winter.   Greens aeration awaits on October 15, but we will be using small solid tines so putting quality should be OK for the remainder of the month.

As you have seen if you have been out to Wild Horse lately we have been dyeing our hair (turf).  (Unfortunately I haven't taken a picture of it to show).  No it's not the peroxide used by you wanna be beach blondes.  It is a chemical called Tenacity that has turned 1, 6, 7, 12, and 14 fairways white.  This is an attempt to control Poa annua as we head into winter.  The bleaching is most pronounced on the ryegrass and the bluegrass is unaffected so it is quite interesting to see the different types of grasses exhibit their reaction to this chemical.  What looks mostly uniform under normal conditions is now a patchwork of green, yellow-white, to bleach white turf.  Again the bluegrass handles this chemical well, but the ryegrass can struggle with it especially in higher traffic areas like on 12 fairway.  Some ryegrass will be sacrificed and the remaining bluegrass will fill in.  I liken this process to cancer chemo or radiation where you go to the brink to kill the bad cells which can really make a person feel sick but the end result is the bad cells (Poa in this turf case) are killed off and the remaining good cells can thrive.

We have also done this application on greens surrounds but they do not show as much whitening because of a higher population of bluegrass, less cart traffic, and also less compaction.  Our goal is to clean these up so they look really good next spring minus the poa seedheads.

We have always focused our poa control program in the fall using Prograss, but we are mixing in more Tenacity this fall for a change in chemistry to fight resistance.  We will still be using Prograss in certain areas this fall and look forward to trying a new chemical next spring in our battle against Poa.  It takes diligence and persistence to try to keep fairways and greens as poa free as possible, but it is a long term program that can keep poa populations at a minimum.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Fall Aerification Schedule

I guess we are rounding the corner into fall.  School is starting next week and so too does our fall aerification (even though it is summer)!

The schedule and technique is similar to prior years, but we will be utilizing our new toy-a larger beast of an aerator.  It should be more reliable and productive minimizing the time it takes to get this critical process done.  Cleanup of plugs still requires dry weather to facilitate the breaking and blowing of cores, but we hope to be able to get out of your way as quickly as possible.

August 12-16  Fairways with our normal 5/8" coring tine.  We do 2-4 holes per day.

August 27-28  Greens surrounds with same 5/8" tine.  Front nine one day back the next.  If you play later in the day you can avoid most of this "mess".

August 6-7  Tees

October 15-16  Greens with solid mini-tine so not much disruption.

We try to do as little as possible to greens during prime golfing season thus our early and late greens aerification dates.  We hope we can continue that and still accomplish what we need for the turf  and still give good conditions during peak season.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Oh much too long

Nope not talking about the wooga (although it is) but about the time since last blog post.  I apologize for not being more diligent about getting a post written.

Thanks to those who have attended the course tours this year.   We keep hoping for more attendees but we are starting to gain a few more followers.  Attendees have responded favorably to these sessions so hopefully these tours are educating and informing.  Last month’s topic was greens management from A to Z.  We even divulged a couple of our top secret maintenance practices!  And broke out the stimpmeter for some fun.  Hopefully you can make it to our next tour sometime in August.

Some topics from previous tours included aerification techniques and their necessity, a look at some ice damage (seems like long ago), our greens construction here at Wild Horse, wooga management, irrigation and mowing schedules, and a look at some of our hole design intent.  So you can see we cover all kinds of topics in an hour.

One question we received was about our mowing heights on fairways.  We cut our fairways at 7/16"  just below 1/2" which is what I would consider a standard height of cut on fairways.  People often comment on the "tightness" of our fairways.  This is probably more a product of our management rather than height of cut.  Lean ferility, judicious irrigation (not overwatering), and a good quality of cut is what keeps our fairways tight.  For some people the small amount of grass under the ball is intimidating but in our opinion is the best way to manage a linksy, bouncy golf course.

The course is really looking good this late in summer. We had a stretch where we had several irrigation issues and the course got a little too dry.  Cart tracks and severe browning occurred on hills. We like to keep it dry but that stretch was too hot and too long between irrigation cycles. We got through it and the course revovered nicely with a welcome rain.

Hard to believe but aerification is just around the corner wih fairway aerification starting August 12. We will post the fentire  schedule in a future post so you can plan accordingly.   We will be using a new aerator this fall and are extremely excited to see its productivity in action.

 Appreciate all of you who have travelled to see WIld Horse this summer and if you haven’t made it we hope to see you soon.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Another IDP, more drainage, and wildlife

We were able to install another Irrigation Driven Sump Pump this week on #12 just in time for the 3 inches of rain we have received in the past 2 days.  You can read more about this system in this post.
It worked so well we decided to do another this year in this big basin in front of 12 green.  We have steadily worked to improve the drainage at Wild Horse and it was a great relief to not have to pump  water with transfer pumps after a hard 2 inch rain.  Here are a couple pictures of the install.  My crew of 2 for this project and I were whipped after this day!

Below is a good picture of the winterkill area in front of 7 green.  You can see exactly where the water (ice) stands and thus why it incurred damage this year.  This is the next drainage project that we need to tackle to move that water out of this small depression.

I love the wildlife that calls Wild Horse home.  It always makes my day to see turtles, bunnies, pheasants, indigo buntings, and the numerous other species that are around.  Below is a picture of a ornate box turtle that must have just crawled out of his hibernating lair-notice the dirt still visible on his shell.  He quickly found himself a snack-notice the worm in his mouth.

Unfortunately nature can be harsh-this picture shows the destroyed nest of our pet turkey down by the irrigation well.  She raised some poults last year down there, but won't be able to again this year.  Sure will miss seeing her down there.

Just a little bit of what went on this week at Wild Horse.  Course continues to improve and we look forward to making more progress this week just in time for a three day golfing weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May Update

A nice May shower going on now-hopefully bringing June flowers- A month behind the normal saying.  That pretty much explains the situation this spring.

We have heard some grumblings about the fairways and their conditions which was partially explained in these previous posts Ice Damage and Roundup Trials.  We are not as concerned as most are.  Sure we would like it to be perfect, but some of the small voids seen are dead annual bluegrass which is what we wanted to accomplish.  Give it a bit of time and they will be back to normal.   The past week's warmer temperatures have spurred some growth but we still remain  a good two weeks behind a normal schedule.

Greens have healed up nicely following aerification.  They still have some sand up in the verdure but once that works in we will be able to lower our height of cut which should help speed them up.

Looking forward to some nice spring golfing weather--hope you can get out to enjoy the course.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Course Tours

I have decided to do something new this year which is to give short course tours about once a month.  These will be about half hour in length and will include a short walking tour of a couple of holes.  It will be an informal discussion that will allow you to ask questions or point out some of our inefficiencies!  This will allow you the golfer to better understand what we are doing and hopefully better appreciate Wild Horse.  The topics will vary from month to month depending on the season so we will strive to make each session new and informative.  We will try to schedule these at various times and days so hopefully your schedule will allow you to attend one or all of these sessions.

The first of these tours will be April 30th at 4:00 PM which happens to be the start of greens aerification so some of the discussion will be about that necessary practice.  We will meet at the clubhouse and proceed from there.  Hope to see you there!

Burn and Snow

The burn went well last Tuesday.  We covered a lot of ground burning all of the interior rough.  Should make the rough more playable this year.

Luckily we didn't get the 6-10 inches of snow predicted because the 3 inches we did get piled up pretty high on the back of 12 green.  The black soot picked up by the winds can clearly be seen in these piles in the plum thickets.  Monday 16th will be no carts as we continue to clear cart paths.  Should be back to normal golf on Tuesday.