Monday, September 17, 2018

Bermuda Eradication #5 Fairway

 Video from 5 fairway regarding our herbicide application on holes 4-5, 7-8, 10-13, 15, 17-18. Holes 1-3 were sprayed a few weeks ago at what amounted to a lower rate. Came back with an updated rate on the holes above which will show more damage to the bermuda.

2nd application went down the other day on our collars and we also hit some of the approaches missed by the first spray. Also did some backpacking where the zoysia came up next to the greens, mostly on approaches since the zoysia cannot handle the over spray of this material.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Spraying Collars with Bermuda Contamination As Well As Some Fairways

Last week, Tom sprayed the collars that had bermuda contamination in various stages. We still must backpack spray areas that have zoysia next to them because the chemical is harmful to zoysia so we will do it very carefully with our small sprayer where bermuda has contaminated the collars next to zoysia.

This week the bermuda has turned white if you have been out to the course the past few days. The chemical used (Pylex) disturbs the cartenoid biosynthesis. Carotenoids serve two key roles in plants. They absorb light energy for use in photosynthesis, and they protect chlorophyll from photo damage. By turning white, the chemical is disrupting chlorophyll production in the plant. We are applying this product at 1/2 ounce per acre because it is being applied over the top of bentgrass. It can damage the bent so we are going with lower rates to offset injury to the bent. Standard use rates on more tolerant species are only 1 to 1.5 ounces per acre so as you can see a highly effective product at low dose rates. We must do 3 consecutive applications over about 1 1/2 months to kill the bermuda. Of course, you must then go after the bermuda that is outside the collar so it is an on going process.

Collar on 10 turning colors from green to white. Part of the plant is still green. Successive sprays should for the most part kill it.

This is a section a few feet away in the approach that was not sprayed.
I also sprayed 3 fairways with our fairway eradication product last week. You are beginning to see some changes in fairways 1-3 and a little on 18. The bermuda in these areas will turn a little reddish as the chemical works its way into the plant. I'll have pictures of this over the next few days as the chemical begins to do some damage to the bermuda. I need to spray other fairways but rain and high heat have gotten in the way. I'll probably spray them right before Echofest so it does not disrupt the color until after the event is over. We also must get these sprays completed before the zoyia grass goes dormant which could effect its ability coming out of dormancy next spring.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

10 Very Full Years

Just completed my 10th full year at Glen Echo Saturday. My how time flies when you are having fun! The transition back to a full-time Superintendent role will be pretty simple except for the fact that I will be getting up a couple hours earlier. Of course over the last two years, my eyes have usually popped open at first light or the old wake up time but I've forced them back closed again and or turned my head away from the clock to try to go back to sleep.

Skip, Tom and the rest of the staff have had an excellent year on the course. We are already beginning to transition into preparations for next season. We are seeding some of the mowing equipment damage areas which we will continue to do through the next few weeks. We will be doing some quick slit seeding in areas around greens and high traffic areas. As you can see from the repairs around trees, seed is popping nicely right now with some timely rain and cooler temperatures. We will also be doing some additional slit seeding of fescue in the rough over the next month before the normal late summer early fall dry conditions set in. Of course this time of year is exciting for us because firm and quick ball roll out are the signatures to September/October at Glen Echo.

We will be spraying some bermuda grass on fairways and intermediate to get it going south before fall/winter sets in. In my travels around the course the last couple of weeks I'm beginning to see a little more bermuda coming back in the fairways so we want to keep it at bay and encourage the zoysia. We will be doing some slicing of our fairways and will be doing some solid tine work in some of our higher population fairy ring areas to improve water and air penetration. This effort will encourage some thatch reduction which is one cultural practice that could help is minimizing some of the damage from these rings.

We will also be going after some collar bermuda around the greens. We will chemical treat the  bermuda which will turn it white in color. It takes 2-3 applications every 3 weeks to get this stuff under control.(Of course I don't know if you truly ever get it under control) As we do this work, I will make some blog posts explaining what you are seeing as it is happening.

I appreciate what the membership has done for me and my family over the last 10 years. I look forward to assisting the operation anyway I can to provide a quality club experience to our members and guests. Will still see you in the clubhouse for a few more weeks but look forward to seeing you on the course in the future.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Difficult First Half of Summer

The weather has been difficult for players, staff and green surfaces here at Glen Echo due to 2 months of record high temperatures. We have for the most part escaped severe injury but have been scared up here and there. I still see some signs of potential issues but this cooler weather spell could be just what the Doctor ordered.

I received an email from Dr. Lee Miller University of Missouri Turf grass pathologist through our local superintendent association regarding the issues turf managers have been facing. It has some technical information in it but does explain the issues we are facing. If its hot for humans who have ways of protecting themselves like moving inside to air conditioning, imagine millions of grass plants who have nowhere to go and are cut at about 99.5% shorter than their natural growth habit. We mow bent Bent grass if you would like to know more about this interesting turf. grass at about .125". Average length of stems in nature are about 2'. Click on 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Venting Greens

The staff spent the last 2 days venting greens. This is a process where we open the greens surfaces with a tine 5/16” thick. We use our tractor powered Verti-drain machine to perform this operation. There are a number of benefits that are created by this process.
  • Open surface to encourage oxygen to enter root zone and built up carbon dioxide to escape
  • Allows water to penetrate green surface and excessive water to evacuate through evaporation
  • Even though the channels are narrow, roots can grow in the channel due to a positive growing environment
  • During cooler times, green profile opened up can warm and during hot weather it can assist in cooling by allowing trapped heat to escape
We usually do this procedure every 3-4 weeks during the late spring and summer, 3-5 times per season is the norm based on weather and turf conditions. The holes usually disappear on the surface in a couple of days and create very little disruption in ball roll out. The holes in the profile can last a couple of weeks or more, 

48 tines with spacing about 1” apart. Tines are about 7” long.

Sometimes called pencil tines The hole is about the size of a pencil. We roll the greens after the process to smooth out the hole. We will roll them the next day to reduce the chances of scalping and then mow the third day.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tee Renovation Completed and Other Course Work

The staff completed the tee renovation to #5 and #14. They were stripped, tilled, laser leveled, tops sodded with zoysia and perimeter with fescue. We converted one single tee pointing to 6 tee box to 2 tees pointing at the 5th green. This should assist our players with proper alignment as well as our staff when they set the markers.

We aligned 14 somewhat the best we could but we were able to increase the teeing surface across the tee. If you remember, the left side fell off somewhat and reduced the overall teeing ground. 

I would expect a month of growth before these tees could be ready for play. In the meantime please resist the urge to walk on the surfaces. Extra water will be applied to get them to root and grow.

We had some extra zoysia and the staff is busy fixing damage spots in fairways. A little bit of fescue is left and we will patch a couple of prominent rough spots near greens. They are also going to remove sod from back area on 9 red tee, fill with dirt and sod with zoysia. This will allow us a larger area for a drop area for players lieing 3 after hitting the water.

We had a contractor come out on Monday/Tuesday to remove the tops of 3 large trees that have been in the process of dying the last couple of years. # 4 Elm along Lucas & Hunt, red oak at #10 tee and a large Pin Oak on the right side of 15. Since it is spring, we intend to evaluate the effects of the tree on 10. Everyone’s assumption is it will make it easier. As you play this season, your inputs that you have noticed in your playing groups will be appreciated by the green committee to make the proper decision to plant a new tree or not. 

MSD contractor continues their work on #9. Glen Echo Park subdivision had combined storm water and sanitary sewers which flowed downstream and would flood areas of U-City. Their efforts are attempting to place storm water in drainage systems and sanitary where it belongs. The area to the right of the cart path will be sodded with fescue allowing it to be more natural looking and fit into our golf course. No gabian in this project. Hopefully it will be completed in the next couple of weeks giving it plenty of time to grow in for summer.

The last pic is our effort to reduce compaction on the right entrance to 10 fairway. We placed a  bench across the path to request golfers to use the left cart path to enter the fairway and proceed to their golf ball. This will reduce the impacts on dormant grass as it tries to break winter's hold. We understand if your ball has gone to the right or not crossed the lake but if all players have crossed safely, please use the left path.

5 Blue Tee
Front of 5 white tee

Left side look of 14 tee. Not quite down the left side but much better than it has been.

Right side. We were able to get the top right corner to align down the right side.

Drainage area on #9. 

This area will be sodded completely and will handle storm water as it comes into the golf course.

Arrow for 10 tee. Please go down the left cart path to enter fairway. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tee Update

Sod arrived this morning after this weekends rainfall. Should have both 5 tee and 14 completed by Wednesday. More to come tomorrow.