Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Golf Course Opening

The golf course will open Friday, April 26th, at noon walking only.  Please watch for further updates on golf car availability. 

Overall considering the winter that we experienced the course faired very well.  Tees are in outstanding shape and fairways are very good with the exception of a few small low areas which already seem to be healing in.  Generally speaking, greens fared well with the exception of a few that have more Poa annua.  Poa is a very weak plant that weakens or dies in severe winters and summers.  #2 and #13 green have more poa than the other putting surfaces so for the time being we will be playing temporary greens on those two holes.  Keep in mind the amount of winter kill on these two greens is very minor compared with what we experienced in 2011.  In order to prepare those two surfaces for peak season it is in everybody’s best interest to play them as temporaries for the time being.  3 seasons ago our greens were predominately annual poa (80% +) and if that was still the case the amount of winterkill right now would be devastating.  Because we promote for bentgrass our injury to fine turf is much less than it could have been considering that Poa used to be the majority of our greens. We will continue to promote for bentgrass so that we can avoid situations of winterkill and summer stress in the future.  Remember temporary greens are just that, temporary. 
  On cooler days and nights we will keep #2 and #13 covered with tarps to incubate and keep them warm.  This will encourage growth and recovery by keeping the soil warm on cooler days.  Before we covered the greens we punched very shallow holes, overseeded with bentgrass and then lightly topdressed the surface.  We then drug the greens lightly and rolled them to get good seed to soil contact.  Soil temperatures will dictate how quickly these two greens recover.  Hopefully the weather warms up soon so these can greens can recover quickly. 
This link below written recently in the USGA regional updates section explains our process perfectly.

Below are two pictures from #2 green.  The left picture is an area of the green that is all bentgrass.  The right picture is an area that is a mixture of bentgrass and poa.  Notice how well the bentgrass looks compared with the poa.  Bentgrass is a much heartier and sustainable species which is why we manage to increase its populations here at Ridgeway Country Club.