#12 @ Wild Horse

#12 @ Wild Horse

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Ice damage

Just starting to green up and can begin to see some of the anticipated ice damage to ryegrass in our low areas on fairways.  Ryegrass is pretty susceptible to this kind of occurrence but we rarely have winters that contribute to it.  Last time we had much significant ice damage was probably 15 years ago.  Much of what we have this year is not very severe and may cause some thinning in most spots, but a couple hollows might get some seed to help recovery.
 Here is a large area on #17 that iced up as the snow was melting.  In the middle of this brown spot you can see the patches of green which is all bluegrass.  That occurred from the last icing event that killed the ryegrass in this area.  On our sandy soils the ryegrass actually thrives better in the lower hollows that hold more moisture, until we have ice and then it is vulnerable to winterkill.

Here is another example of a small depression that has had ice damage in previous years indicated by the predominance of bluegrass.  But you can see the patches of ryegrass that have started to regain a foothold here until this winter.  It's a bit early to tell if these patches will partly recover or not.  I am expecting that some plants will survive and the bluegrass will expand and many of these areas will be unnoticeable in a month.

It is interesting how each species finds its' sweet spot in the differing microenvironments.  On our exposed mounds bluegrass really dominates the sward as it can handle both the droughty soils and winter exposure better than ryegrass.  Cart path entries and exits are dominated by ryegrass that can withstand traffic better than the blue.  So there is a definite benefit to having a mix of species and varieties as each has its own strengths and weaknesses.  This is the time of year when you can see the varietal differences more so as they green up quicker or slower or growth habit is more easily detected.  Once they have greened up and begin growing the ryegrass and bluegrass are nearly indistinguishable resulting in a more uniform turf.

More on ice damage in this previous post:

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spring Schedule

Wild Horse opened on March 9- a beautiful day to get back out on the course.  Since then the weather has been the usual March up and down but we know to expect that from Nebraska springs.

The spring maintenance schedule is very similar to year's past.  Irrigation charge-up and audit will keep us busy the next week as we will inspect each and every head and valve on the course to make sure they are working properly.  If not, we make needed repairs and identify needed adjustments to arc rotation, spacing, etc. to tackle later in the year.  Also we note yardage markers that are absent.  We had been lax in doing this in the past couple years because we figured most everyone used rangefinders for yardage.  We have learned that there are still many people (like myself) that rely on sprinkler yardages so last year we made an emphasis on updating those and will continue to look for missing yardages during this spring's irrigation audit.

Aerification then will begin in earnest in April.  As we have mentioned before April is the prep month where many of our agronomic practices are done to set up the course to perform later in the year.  Below is the aerification schedule for this spring:

April 2-13  Fairways-we will do one or two holes per day weather permitting.

April 16-17  Greens surrounds-back nine one day front the next

April 30-May 1--Greens-3/8" solid tine so no cores pulled and relatively small holes
May 2- Topdressing greens to fill up aeration holes.
Depending on weather, we expect greens to be nearly fully healed by May 12 and back to "normal" by May 19.

May 7- Tees

We appreciate your patience during these processes and try to work quickly to get out of your way and get the course back to normal.

Still pretty brown out there right now but we can see some green shoots starting to come on in the past couple days-won't be long now.

Monday, March 5, 2018


It looks like we will be able to open the course Friday March 9.  Lots of snow melted this weekend and the frost started to come out of the ground allowing much of that snowmelt to finally soak in.  Perhaps you wondered why we weren't open this past weekend.  First we had cleared snow drifts from paths as best we could, but there still remained some ice and snowmelt that would have made some stretches of paths unpassable.  Most of that has now melted and paths are firming up.  Also the frost in the ground had held a lot of moisture on the top of the ground which would have easily been damaged by cart traffic.  Also cups could not have been cut and old cups still had ice and snow so no pins would have been set.  So despite the nice weather it wasn't feasible to open the course.  We appreciate your patience and look forward to opening this weekend.

The course is looking good and should green up quicker than other year's when moisture was limited in the winter.  We are looking forward to a great 2018.

On a sidenote I have been considering doing a short course tour perhaps monthly this summer to give me the opportunity to educate you about the course and what we are doing.  Also it would give you the opportunity to ask questions-just don't beat me up too badly!  I have not decided on day and time yet but was considering 4:30 on Monday or Thursdays just before league starts but let me know if another time might be more appropriate.  I hope to take a short walking tour of a couple of holes and point out interesting features that you may or may not have noticed during your round at Wild Horse.