#12 @ Wild Horse

#12 @ Wild Horse

Friday, February 21, 2020

Opening Day

Opening day is still a few weeks away but its now within sight.  As stated in the last post we have moved the annual opening date from March 1 to March 15.  We did this because in most years the course really wasn't ready to open until later than March 1.  We will always be assessing the situation and will open earlier if conditions (both turf and weather) warrant.  As far as this year is concerned, it appears that the turf should be in relatively decent shape to handle some early traffic.  So weather in the next couple weeks will be the determining factor in when we open.   This is a way too early prediction but I would not be surprised to open on March 7, but stay tuned for the latest.

The past couple of years have really been great as far as turf conditions are concerned.  Good winters and timely rains have definitely helped us out.  Much of our routine will remain similar to years' prior, but a couple new tweaks will be tried to address some minor issues.  1)  Goosegrass has become more and more prevalent, probably due to extended warmer, wetter summers so we will utilize a different preemergent in some areas to address this increased weed pressure.  2)  Grub control has been a little sporadic the past couple years so we plan to use a different insecticide in some of the higher population areas.  3) We continue to expand the use of PGRs (plant growth regulators) both in areas covered and frequency of use.  When Wild Horse opened we would treat only greens, but we have over time developed programs for surrounds and fairways to take advantage of the decreased shoot growth, density, and disease suppression that PGRs offer.  All in all, turf under PGR is a better playing surface. 4)  Continued emphasis on maintaining the "wooga" in a playable but healthy and dynamic prairie sward through burning and different mowing regimes.  Look for weird mowing patterns or timing.  You will probably say why did they mow it that way?  but prairie management is at its best when it is random in intensity and timing.  5) We will be topdressing surrounds more regularly to create a surface more similar to the greens.  The turf conversion from bent to blue/ryegrass has improved the bounce and feel of the surrounds but we hope to make it even better with a more consistent topdressing program.  6)  Some treatments (last fall) to repel earthworms looked to be beneficial and we will continue to explore those this spring.

The spring aeration schedule is as follows:
Fairways-  April 6-17 (1-3 holes/day)
Surrounds- April 20-21
Greens-      April 27-28  (solid needle tines-same as last fall and last spring)
Tees-        May 11-12


Thursday, January 23, 2020

Winter update

It's been awhile since I have posted anything here partly because fall flew by and partly because I thought "who reads this s____ anyway?"  Apparently there are a couple others besides my mom so it is time to get back to keeping  you informed on the goings on here at Wild Horse maintenance.

October was very chilly and we even dropped below zero in October which really slammed the door on the season.  The turf browned off considerably and I thought uh-oh it could be one of those tough winters.   But December was relatively mild and the turf is looking pretty good at the halfway point of winter.  We have had some moisture through snow and rain which has been beneficial.  Below are the wind-whipped drifts left behind after the late December snowstorm.




Todd Bubak continues to prep our equipment for the summer season.  Each cutting unit is disassembled and checked for any repairs necessary.  Then they are ground (sharpened) and  reassembled.  This is a necessary task but it can be a bit tedious and time consuming considering we have 36 cutting units to service most years.  So if you ask what do we do during the winter?  Servicing equipment is our main task and while we don't have a large fleet it definitely keeps us busy.

Before we moved into the shop for the winter work, Todd was able to build a new cart path up to and around 5 green which will be put into play this spring.  This will eliminate the traffic in front of six tee making that a more safe situation.   Also the flow of carts should be better with less congestion near the bathrooms.  We are also in the process of adding gravel to paths to keep them in good condition.

Opening date this spring will be March 15 (not March 1).  We felt this was a better timetable to put traffic onto the course.  If conditions warrant we will allow play before that time.


August 15 Update


Maintenance Update August 15, 2019

Summer is starting to fade away which means aerification season is just ahead.  The schedule follows:

August 18-22 Fairways

August 26-27  Greens surrounds

September 4-5 Tees

October 14-15  Greens (same as we have been doing with small ¼” tines)

This schedule is pretty much the same as we have done previously so you can expect similar conditions as last year.

Everyone keeps telling me how easy it must be this summer with all the rain.  Well we haven’t ran much irrigation but that hasn’t decreased the workload any.  The heavy rains have kept us busy fixing cart paths and bunker washouts.  It may look like everything is fine once you arrive, but the crew has been busy putting the place back together.  The rain and continued wetness have also increased disease pressure but we are trying to weather that storm until better drier weather arrives.