#12 @ Wild Horse

#12 @ Wild Horse

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Course Update

Usually March is a hurry up and wait kind of a month for our maintenance practices.  You want to get going with mowing, fertilizing, aerification, and such but the turf really isn't ready for it due to the normal March schizophrenic weather.   This year has been a bit different though with several nice days to get some projects done.  As usual this time of year we have been doing some touchups on bunkers and cart paths, but we have also been able to get some minor sodwork done around the edges of some greens to replace some weak turf and eliminate some ridging along the green/collar interface.   Also we reshaped a couple of areas to eliminate runoff into bunkers most noticeably along the left edge of #1 green.   New tees on #15 and 17 have been shaped and await seed once the time arrives for that.  Yesterday we pulled off our prescribed burn and blackened a good majority of the course.  And we have even got a jumpstart on fairway aerification due to the early spring.   So I am quite pleased with all we have accomplished this month which usually isn't all that productive.

We have mowed greens three times now, but are still waiting to mow fairways and tees.   They tend to green up and then sit there and don't do much until soil temps climb into the 50s.  All is looking good and we should start mowing consistently in a couple of weeks.

Leopard Greens

There has been a couple questions asking about the yellow spots on the greens.  Those spots are poa annua that we dabbed Roundup on to get rid of.  Early in the season the poa gets a head start on the bentgrass making it easier to pick out the clusters of poa to target with nonselective herbicides.  We have worked hard to keep our greens relatively free of poa through our cultural practices and this is another way to keep poa populations to a minimum.   As you may have noticed some greens have more poa than others and there may seem like lots of spots because they are so noticeable, but the overall population of poa is under 1%.  As the course ages, poa will continue to invade but we will always be trying to keep it out to maintain high quality pure bentgrass greens.  These spots are much like ball marks and will fill in with bentgrass when the turf starts actively growing.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Green Greens Already!

Here's a picture of our first greensmowing of the year-- Looking pretty good.  This took place on March 3 easily the earliest we have ever mowed.  Most years our first mowing occurs around the 20-25th of March.  Last year with the severe winter and cold spring was the latest first mowing and that occurred on April 5.   Definitely ahead of schedule this year and turf looking good.

Below is a picture of a covered knob on #7 green.  It looks worse than the rest of the green which is not usually the case for covered turf but it can and has happened a couple of other years.   This is one reason we are not gung-ho on covering all our greens.  During warmer winters the turf can stay too active under the covers and continue to use soil moisture leading to dessication.  Or the still active turf can get hit by a cold snap that it hasn't prepared itself for.   So while covers are often beneficial  they do not guarantee turf survival in all winters.   The damage you see below is pretty superficial but recovery will take some time.   A couple more days under that cover without water though and that turf would have been toast.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Aerification Schedule

Wow, spring has sprung which means aerification is just around the corner.  Here are some dates we plan on poking holes to help you schedule your golfing days to avoid our "mess".

April 5-6 Greens surrounds (one nine per day)

April 7-15  Fairways (couple of holes per day)

May 2-3  Greens  (one nine per day/ other nine will be closed)  3/8" holes should be healed in about a week

We do our very best to get this done as quickly as possible and recover the turf so play disruption is minimal.  Aeration is the cornerstone to building a great turf so we appreciate your patience and understanding when we perform this necessary task.