Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May 1st Golf Course Update


The condition of the golf course continues to improve with warm temperatures and sunshine. This past weekend we saw some germination of seed on #2 and #13 green.  Last fall we slit seeded our putting surfaces 2 directions and that practice is paying off as seed is filling in dead areas of poa.  We will continue to add seed to thin areas of our putting surfaces to enhance recovery.
Soil temperatures are one of the most important factors in speeding up recovery.  Because of the late cold spring, soil temperatures remain cool.  To increase soil temperatures, we topdressed all of our greens with black sand to heat the surfaces to increase the likelihood of germination and during cooler periods we cover  the greens on #2 and #13 to use it as a blanket.  These tactics work at getting recovery to happen despite the cold spring we have been experiencing.

To increase density of our putting surfaces we have fertilized with ammonium sulfate which has a nice green color. I bring this up because many have asked why the putting surfaces are so green.

Storm Damage
As you are all aware 3 weeks ago an ice storm did a fair amount of damage to trees on the course. Monday we finally finished with clean-up of the downed branches.  Once the ground hardens up we will get a boom truck to cut and remove severely damaged branches that are too far up to cut from the ground. 

What’s Next
Right now our main focus shifts from storm cleanup to getting the putting surfaces up to peak season playability.  Along with that we are fixing and repairing low areas and depressions on the course.  Very shortly we will be charging up the irrigation system and fixing any immediate problems.  Also we will be going through each sprinkler head and make the proper adjustments.

Long-term our focus will be the drainage behind #13 green and fixing water seepage on #6 fairway.

Green Edge
In spring it can be difficult to tell the putting surface from the collar.  To alleviate this problem we have painted blue dots every 8 feet defining the green edge.  I hope this helps the golfer determine whether or not they are on the green.  It also helps our crew so they can get a crisp clean-up cut on our putting surfaces.

Sod Lines
Many have asked what the sod lines are on greens.  Some thought they might be newly added drain lines, they are not.  Last fall we cut out low areas of greens with a 2” sod cutter to improve water movement during the winter months.  Before we opened the course this spring we put the sod pieces back into place.  Just as in the XGD drainage project, these sod pieces will take a couple weeks to blend in and get an established root system.  We did not add any drainage to these putting surfaces; although they could all use some that is best left to the XGD professionals.

Please keep checking the blog for weekly updates.