Thursday, August 29, 2013

Course Update 08/29/13

The big story the last couple of weeks has been the heat and humidity.  Overall the golf course has handled the heat very well.  The greens and tees are in very good shape.  The fairways are a little stressed particularly on holes and in areas where large trees are depriving fairway turf of much needed water.  We have been watering a lot however, we have to be careful to avoid disease (which tends to thrive on leaf wetness) and soaking low areas that are not drying out in this humidity.  Once the heat subsides and humidity normalizes the fairways will look much better.

We have been working on some smaller projects and have a couple of updates:
Deep-Needle Tine Update

The greens have healed in nicely from the deep needle-tining that took place on Monday.  The greens are smooth and very few tine holes are visible.   I will update the blog showing the root development within these channels in the upcoming weeks.

 Core aeration of trenches
Tuesday morning we core aerated greens where trenches are located on #4, #9, #12, and #17.  We cored aerated these areas to help level and blend in the sod and plugs.  After we removed the cores we sand topdressed, brushed out the excess sand and over seeded.  These areas are small but we will try to keep the hole locations on these greens far enough away so that it has minimal impact on play.

A couple days after deep-tining and no holes!
Core aerated area on #9 green
Sod nursery
This week we have be working near the maintenance facility on the new sod nursery.  Last week the area was rough shaped and the past few days we have been diligently working on fine shaping the sub grade.   The important thing is to remove as many large rocks as possible and smooth out the surface.  To best achieve this we are using a Harley rake to perfect the sub grade.

Early next week we will be installing the irrigation for the nursery.  And next Thursday and Friday we will be adding 90% sand and 10% soil mix to the top 3” to achieve the same soil structure as what is currently on our putting surfaces.   Once the 90/10 mix is leveled  we will be ready for seeding and growing the nursery.

Chris leveling the nursery.

Cart Path Expansion
Last week we added some crushed asphalt to #5/13 tee area.  This area receives a lot of cart traffic and felt it was a good area to expand.   5/13 cart path and the newly added cart path on #13 green need to be leveled, tamped and then seal coated.  We had some issues with our vibratory tamper and are looking to correct 5/13 tee to make it as presentable as #13 green cart path.

Have a great holiday weekend!  

Monday, August 26, 2013

Deep needle-tine aeration

Today we will be deep needle-tining our putting surfaces.  This process is one that we do several times a season, the last of which was in mid-May. It uses long solid tines to poke small holes into the soil.  This process is not core aeration where lots of soil is removed and picked up.  Deep needle tine aeration is minimally invasive and has very little impact on play when compared with tradition core aeration or standard deep-tining.  Heal in time after core aeration and standard deep-tine aeration is anywhere from 10-14 days whereas deep needle-tining is healed within a couple days.  

As far as playability goes the greens will be a bit slower and may be a little bumpy early in the week.  As the week progresses, the bumpiness will subside although some small holes may still be visible.   

It is important to understand that there are many types of aeration and that all of them are critically important for having healthy turf on golf courses.   We utilize all types of aeration at Ridgeway but use deep needle-tining as our preferred method on greens.  The reason we chose this method more often than others is because we are able to do it 5-7 times a season without impacting the playability of our putting surfaces.  Since going to deep needle-tining we have seen our roots double in length and increase in mass.  This has translated in healthier more robust turf for the long term.

For an explanation of the different aeration methods here is an article that may help:

If you have any questions about aeration or any questions about the course in general feel free to email me anytime. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It’s been awhile!

My lack of posting the past few weeks is not for a lack of activity on the golf course, quite the opposite, as we have been very busy nickel and diming little projects on the course.  Here is an update on some of the items we have tackled in the past few weeks:
  • We added drainage to the wet area behind #13 green.  So far after a couple of storms the area drains perfectly.
  • Added cart park area near the new drainage on #13, enhancing the overall function and aesthetics of the cart path.
  • Added sod to numerous bare areas i.e. Area near #12 ladies tee.
  • Removed stone and under brush near the parking lot landscaping and added mulch.
  • Added copper sulfate and biological controls to lessen the amount of algae in the pond on #5.
  • Removed pesky weeds in #13 native area.
  • Removed suckers and low hanging branches on the course which includes the two large suckers near the pond on #13.
  • Aerated newly sodded areas and raised the height of cut.  We did not fill in the holes with sand to allow for less scalping in these areas.
In the upcoming weeks we will be busy with a number of other items:
  • Pruning dead and hanging wood from trees on the course. Also pruning overhanging branches on holes like #4, #11 and #18.
  • Fill in soil around the new septic mound and planting native grasses which will hide the electrical boxes and other components.
  • Fix a few of the faulty irrigation heads on the course.
  • Prune areas around cart paths i.e. #14 green to #15 tee box.
  • Core aerate, topdress and seed trench areas on August 26th. Because these areas are small they should have little effect on play.
  • Deep-needle tine and topdress all putting surfaces on August 26th.
  • Paint the trellis by the range tee.
  • Work on the new sod nursery by the maintenance facility.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Must see TV!

This short segment was aired on the golf channel last week.  It is a great piece about conservation by using less water and increasing the amount natural areas on golf courses.  In the 21st century, with an excess of golf courses and fewer golfers this proactive approach can have a great impact on golf course finances going forward.  The combination of environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility is something we can all get behind.