Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Course update

     It has been a while since my last post.  We have been very busy.  Leaf removal has taken up most of our time.  We can finally catch our breath.  We have blown, mulched, and blown some more over the past 6 weeks.  Seems like this tasks is starting later and going further in December each year.  I can remember years past we would be done with leaves by Thanksgiving.  My staff did an outstanding job.  At times it looked hopeless with the swirling winds.  We are looking at trying to get a vacuum to help with leaf removal next season.
     The weather has been unseasonably warm.  The golf course has been very busy.  We have been mowing our greens 2 to 3 times per week.  We have also topdressed our greens 4 times since we aerated in September.  Late season topdressing helps our greens get through  the winter.  It  protects the crown of the Bentgrass plant from the elements.
     Thanks to Boone Valley Golf Club we were able to edge all of our cart paths and flower beds.  They have an edger attachment that fits on our Ventrac.  They were kind enough to let us borrow it.  Cart paths have a clean cut edge know.

     Not sure if you know it but the Club is getting a recycle dumpster.  We will now recycle all of our cardboard, paper, plastic, aluminum and glass.  This will enable us to  have our trash hauled once a week during the golfing season instead of twice per week.  We are going to be getting recycle trash receptacles put on the golf course.  So get ready to recycle.  We had to cut a few trees and some underbrush so we could make a pad for the new dumpster here at the Maintenance Department. 
     We will be working on the last of the fallen trees from the storms in the spring.  The tree in the fence to the east of 10 green is cleaned up.  The tree behind 5 green will be worked on next.  Then we have a dead tree at the end of the driving range that has to be cut down and cleaned up.
     It has been a warm and dry fall.  We only received .5 inches of rain the entire month of November.  We winterized our Irrigation system on 11/28/17.  I have been watering our greens up until  we winterized.  Weather has turned cold finally.  We are closing the Halfway house today.  We will be installing a Port a potty near the Halfway house for anyone needing it.

Friday, November 17, 2017


     Recently I have seen more groups using too many carts.  We have twosome using 2 carts, threesome using 3 carts, foursome using 3 and 4 carts and yes fivesome using 5 carts.  When we play with more carts than is needed per group that is adding addition stress on the golf course.  The waste of gasoline and wear and tear on carts is another issue that can be discussed some other time. My biggest concern this time of year is turfgrass health.  Turfgrass wear and soil compaction are the 2 biggest issues we face with  cart use.
     Turfgrass wear by carts is influenced by speed of travel and the amount of stopping, starting, and turning.  Wear symptoms include leaf tissue matting and a subsequent exposure of underlying thatch.  With additional traffic leaf blades are bruised.  Ruptured cells eventually give turf a dark, water soaked appearance.  Wilt sets in as water is lost from the leaves causing death.
     Soil Compaction caused by carts reduces shoot growth and the recuperative potential of turfgrass.  Compaction reduces air and water porosity within the soil as well as water movement through the soil profile.  Soil compaction can impact turf growth for several weeks or months, resulting in total loss of turf cover and chronic problems with poor drainage and a invasion of weeds.
     The Maintenance staff aerates and over seeds every years to help reduce and eliminate wear and compaction.  We can't do this alone we need your help.  The membership can  help the golf course fight these problems by following the guidelines below to help reduce golf cart traffic on the golf course.  I am partial to item # 6 this is a big one and we can do better.
  1. Spread cart traffic over a wider area and avoid turning and driving over the same area.
  2. Vary the entrance and exit points to the fairways to spread wear out more evenly.
  3. All vehicles should be 30 feet from greens and tees to avoid damaging sensitive turf areas.
  4. Carts should never be taken across excessively wet areas.
  5. Carts are suspended or restricted during times of excessive wet conditions.
  6. Golfers should always share a cart.
  7. Restrict carts to paths on all Par 3's
  8. On holes where your ball lands close to the path do not exit the path. 
  9. If time is not a factor and you are physically able stay on the path and walk to your ball.
     Most damage caused by golf carts can be minimized when you use common sense and observe proper course etiquette. 

5 carts 5 golfers

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Fore The Golfer: Frost Delays and Turfgrass Health

    It is that time of year again we need to discuss frost delays.  When temperatures dip down  to freezing and below frost forms on the grass blades.  If you walk on the turf the frozen turf will break much like an ice cube.  This will cause damage to the turf.  Please wait until the Maintenance staff opens the course to play.  That includes the putting green.  I have had some people in the past think it was ok to practice putting when we have a frost delay.  Please go into the Clubhouse and have some coffee until the frost burns off.  The colder it is the longer it takes to burn frost off.  If we have cloudy skies it will delay the opening even longer.  Below is a video from the USGA on this topic. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Course update

     A lot has happened since my last post.  We are in full over seeding mode.  All green surrounds have been aerated and seeded.  We are working on the rest of the roughs.  Last week I had Crew's Service Company in to grind stumps.  25 stumps were taken out.  We have filled them back in and will over seed them. All of the now mow areas have been mowed down with our new Rough Cut deck we purchased for our Ventrac.   This attachment has already proven to be a valuable tool.  We have mowed areas we have never been able to do with a tractor and brush hog.  We finally have had two hard freezes.  Leaves are starting to fall.  We will spend the next couple of weeks blowing and mulching leaves. 

Demo seeder for our Ventrac.  We used this around all green surrounds


Over seeding 18 rough

Mowing no mow # 8

Grinding stump # 12

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Driving Range

     The grass tee at the driving range is now closed.  Please use the mat to practice.  We have tee's so you can use your driver on the mat.  Please do not step down on the grass to practice hitting your driver.  Doing this wears out the turf in front of the mat.  Our grass tee is about 1/3 the size it should be.  So it make it real difficult to give you quality turf to practice on during the golfing season.  Using the mat will only give you a better tee next spring.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Nematode and Greens update

      If you have played golf in the past 10 day you might have noticed some strange things going on with our greens.  We have multiple double lines across greens and some yellowing and brown areas.  It took us about a week to figure out what was going on.  Our greens have been burned by the nematicide Nimitz.  On 9/11/17 I applied the 3rd and last application of Nimitz to all greens.   We used this product two times before this and had no problems.  I used same rate, same spreader and the same person applying. When the damage started showing up I thought the lines were damage made by our Vibratory Roller.  Then we saw some browning occurring between the lines.  When this started to happen I realized we had turf that was burned.  I immediately thought it was the last Nimitz application the week before.  The lines we were seeing was the wheel tracks from the fertilizer spreader used to put the product down.  After I realized we had burn I sprayed our greens with foliar fertilizer to help them recover.  After 4 days I realized it was not better.  The salesman I purchased the product from came out and took a look at the greens.  He put me in contact with the Territory Manager of ADAMA Mike Daugherty. ADAMA is the company that distributes Nimitz.  After talking to him this was not the first he has heard or seen the product burn.  That did not make me feel any better.  My question was will my greens recover.  In all cases he said greens did recover.  He passed all information I gave him to Gary Custis.  Gary is the Technical Service Manager for ADAMA.  Gary came out Tuesday 9/26/17 and looked at the damage.  He said he did not think it was due to operator error.  I told him this was the 3rd time we used the product and had no problems before.  I also told him we had 10 pails of product.  6 pails had 1 batch # and those came from local Turf supplier.  The other 4 pails had a different batch # and they came directly from the factory.  The last 4 pails are the ones we used for the 3rd application.  I told him I thought something was wrong with the last 4 pails.  He did take a sample of product with him to have it checked.  He told me he thought the greens would recover.  I told him I was worried about 5 greens that were hurt the most.  Greens 3, 10, 11, 12 and 14 have more severe burning.  He still thought they would come back.  I’m not convinced yet they will come back completely.   He also offered to pay for any extra fertility product or trade for other chemicals. We will wait for him to check out if the sample has something wrong with it.  So until we get the greens healed up we are raising height of cut and going to push our greens with fertility to get them back.  Bad news is greens will be much slower than what they should be.  Once greens get back we will lower height and regulate them to keep them growing more evenly and slowly.  I will stay in contact with ADAMA hopefully we can find out what exactly happened here.  I believe something is wrong with the last 4 pails of product we got from the factory.  Too much active ingredient or the product is contaminated.  I am not convinced the product is working on the lance Nematodes in our greens.  Thankfully the weather has cooled back off and we are going to have some good bentgrass growing weather for the next 2 weeks. This has been a real blow to me and my staff.  The greens were in good shape except for the spots we had from nematode damage.  We will recover from this.  Hopefully in couple weeks it will be distant memory.

overlap burn
close up of burn
Tire marks

Monday, September 18, 2017

Driving Range

It is getting close to that time of year we need to be thinking about closing the grass tee and moving to our mat on the Driving Range.  Here is a great video from the USGA on this topic.  It also talks about the proper way to take divots from our practice tee.