Friday, December 31, 2010


The course opened this morning after the overnight rain, windy and warm conditions.  The freeze layer moved down through the sand and is now deep enough to allow water to release through the profile and roots will not be sheared off near the surface.  Conditions are pretty sloppy but the opportunity to get out of the house on a warm day at the end of the year is great.

Enjoy your day and I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Current Course Conditions/Course Still Closed

The snow melted overnight but the course is still closed today 12-30.  The greens thawed on top but are frozen only about 1-2" below the surface.  The snow that has melted cannot move quickly through the soil/sand mix due to the frozen layer which makes the surface of greens act like a giant wet sponge.  This is also a perfect recipe for the roots of the greens to be sheared off just below the surface where the thawed and frozen layer meet if golfers were allowed out onto the greens. 

I will be in early in the morning on 12/31 to evaluate any potential changes in the conditions which could allow us to open the course with the prediction of 60+ degree temperatures.  There are thunderstorms in the forecast which could make all of this planning a mute point. 

The following is an excerpt from January 2010 USGA regional report.  Darin Bevard, Senior Agronomist from the USGA from the Mid-Atlantic region discusses freezing and thawing cycles in his part of the country which we are currently facing here in St. Louis.  The Mid-Atlantic region of the USGA covers the same turf growing zone as St. Louis(Transition Zone)so we have very similar temperature and growing conditions during the year.

Roots Are Not Elastic!By Darin S. Bevard, Senior Agronomist USGA

January 15, 2010

WOW! The mercury pushes above the freezing mark for a couple of days in much of the region, and the questions regarding winter play have come rushing into our offices. The negative impacts of winter play are hard to quantify, which is what makes the topic so controversial. However, it is generally accepted that golfer traffic on dormant, frozen greens can create problems, even if only early in the growing season.

A bigger concern is playing on greens during freeze/thaw cycles, which are the conditions that are occurring right now. In recent days, the surfaces of greens have thawed, but underlying soils are still frozen within one or two inches of the surface. Under these conditions, the potential for root shearing is greatest. How much this actually occurs in debatable, but it is best to err on the side of caution and keep greens closed until thawing occurs deeper in the profile. Remember, if the underlying soils are frozen, water infiltration will not occur, thus keeping the greens spongy and more prone to mechanical damage from foot traffic and ball marks. In some instances, the need for revenue may trump caution, but beware of potential problems of subjecting greens to winter play.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Equipment maintenance shop improvement

Former Superintendent Scott was instrumental in changing the overall appearance of the maintenance facility in 2006 with a general clean up of the complete facility.  The complete replacement of an aged fleet of
equipment and a general cleaning has provided us with a better looking and organized maintenance facility. 

After a few years of accumulating stuff(junk) in the main mechanical repair area plus a floor that is soiled with many years of grease and oil, its time for an overhaul in the most important area of our facility.  The repair and parts area is not large by facility standards, 22'x40'.  Our parts and supplies are stocked in a separate parts room but along the walls in wooden pigeon holed shelving.  This reduces the space in our maintenance area that is already limited and makes it difficult to determine the supplies that we have on hand.   

We plan to remove everything from the shop, all benches, desks and storage bins, clean and repaint the walls, acid wash the floor, patch the cracks and holes in the concrete and epoxy paint the floor a light gray which will sharpen and enhance this most important work area.  The epoxy paint will be light reflective and will be much easier to keep clean.  Shelving to hold parts and supplies will be streamlined and improved.  I will post additional pictures of the improvements as we move forward.

Benches have been removed out of the center background and right side where our parts storage shelf was located.
The equipment lift is the red unit with the cross bars in the middle.  It is permanently set in place.

This is the view from the other side looking toward the reel grinder in the back ground and to the right is the bedknife grinder.

Continued winter maintenance

Maintenance continues on some of the course equipment.  

Completed tee signs.

Repainted broken tee caddies

Tee benches being prepped for a new coat of fresh paint.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Indoor winter maintenance projects

The bitter temperatures of early week and the subsequent freezing rain later in the week pushed our staff into the maintenance facility this week.  We have some maintenance work that requires inside duty and this was the perfect time to get some of it completed.  Below are some pictures of our tees markers and tee signage that are being cleaned and spruced up for next season.

Tom is sanding the old stain off of the wooden tee markers.  We are preparing well over 125 with some being back ups for the season.
Assistant Mike is putting a stain on the freshly sanded markers.  The markers are then clear coated and the old electrical tape is removed which you can see is wrapped around each marker designating the appropriate teeing ground.  New tape is wrapped in place and the markers are ready for next season.   In the middle of the season, a touch up clearcoat is done to keep the markers looking nice for our members and guests through the rest of the year.

Every few years, the hole signs are removed and freshly painted.

Jason is using a grinding wheel to remove the paint from the raised letters exposing the hole number, name, teeing ground and its yardage. The staff then have to hand paint the circle which designates the three teeing grounds and their course rated yardage.     
The finished product after removing the paint from the letter.  We still have to paint the small circled area for the appropriate teeing ground.

Russ is pulling apart ball washers, cleaning and making sure the brushes are in good shape.  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

First Snow plowing of the season

It was my weekend so I got the first opportunity of the season to push some snow.  I always enjoy this job, boys and their tractors and  snow.  Good thing the tractor has a covered compartment because the wind was ferocious this morning.  Maybe a couple of inches but I bet their will be some nice drifts in places after the wind is finished blowing today.  A little chemical and salt on the lot and we are ready for anyone who wants to brave this weather today.  
The view from inside the cab

A little more clear hanging out the door. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Securing facility

Over the past few months, we have experienced a number of issues of vandalism at the facility involving carts being taken from the maintenance facility and used for joy riding and damaging some of our turf.  In the past month, the facility has been burglarized through shop windows which were broken allowing the individuals to climb into the facility and do their damage. 

The staff installed heavy gauged metal screens over the windows today to protect the windows from damage and eliminating this area of potential entrance into the facility.  We have taken other steps within the facility to prevent equipment from exiting the doors and will be adding some additional security measures over the next few days to help secure the facility in total.
Mechanic Harry welding the heavy duty screen to the window frame


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Irrigation System Blow out

We spent yesterday blowing out the irrigation system for the winter.  The timing is based on our potential water needs and the onset of winter.  We were at a substantial deficit until the 4" of rain came last week. 
We use a very large compressor that sends a column of air through the system while we operate our control boxes and turn on a few heads at a time until only air comes out of the head and we then move on to the next set of heads.  The rain in the middle of the afternoon made for a miserable last couple of hours of work but what else can you do during a rain storm but blow out irrigation.  Final steps in winterizing the system will be to break down the pump station.  We have heat for the pump house but this is a preventative measure in case the heat would go out for an extended period of time due to a power outage or heater failure.  By program alone, we ran about 3.2 million gallons of water from October 1st until shutdown which is a lot of water for this time of year.  Our water budget for November took a pretty good hit due to the extra water requirments.  We had a couple tons of seed in our rough we were trying to keep alive, trees were pulling any available moisture from our rough and we were keeping some moisture to the zoysia as it was going into dormancy. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Firewood For Sale

We are selling seasoned oak firewood to our membership for $ 50.00 per regular pick up truck load.(Pickup only at the maintenance department)  The wood is available Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. or on weekends by appointment only.  Small loads are also available at a reduced rate if you would like a small bundle or two or fill up the back of your SUV.  Please contact me either through email or cell phone for further information.  Your account will be billed in the usual manner.  

First snow of the season

The first snow of the year.  Around 1/2" of snow fell on Thanksgiving Day and combining the 19 degree low temperature had led to the cancellation of the Turkey Trot Tournament.

4.11" of rain over the last couple of days filled the lake and the bunkers.

We've had another break-in at the maintenance facility on Monday evening.  Damaged a number of carts, doors, and did some damage to the 3rd green.  The damage is not severe but removed some turf about 1" wide by about a 15' arc.  This area will be sanded and should heal over winter.  We are taking further steps to secure the facility and with some evidence we found after the crime and with the work of Normandy detectives, we hope to get a number of folks picked up over the next few days. 
Snow over the 10th fairway

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall Weather Stats/Drought conditions

Some fall weather statistics to ponder.

                                   Temps                             Rain
September                    71.3  49th warmest       3.73"  109th driest
October                         61.9  27th warmest       1.06"  24th driest
Nov                               52     Top 10 to date       .2"    Top 10 to date

The fall season(Sept/Oct/Nov) is trending to be ranked in the Top 20 warmest/driest periods on record.

I thought we might get a nice rain last night but only about .13" at our weather station.  The course is a little drier than we like to see going into winter.  Our lake level has been drawn down over the last couple of weeks due to the dry conditions.  Our lake needs to be refilled once the level of water draws down to the point just above the intake where the pump system will automatically shutoff.   Our lake is recharged with city water and or rainfall.  The draw down to our lake is limited due to the amount of total volume of water that our irrigation lake is capable of holding.  Future expansion and dredging of our irrigation lake is a part of our Master plan which would be very helpful to reduce the use of city water which we all know is expensive and is a resource that should be conserved.               

Below is a link to information from Texas A&M regarding damage that can be caused from drought conditions going into winter and cold weather/winter desiccation which can be enhanced due to dry conditions.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Anonymous Donor, rough aeration beginning

We have been in need of an aerator for our rough since I arrived in 2008.  I was able to locate a pull behind rough aerator in the last couple of months that was very reasonably priced and in great condition.  A very generous member heard of our need and purchased the aerator for us a couple of weeks ago.  Thanks to our anonymous donor for their generosity. 

The staff is beginning to pull cores in the rough this week. The soil is not overly moist so the plugs that are being pulled are not very large but they will still do some good for our rough turf.  We will be dragging the cores to try to break them as much as possible but I am sure there will be some remnants still left in the rough that will ultimately break down during rains we receive over the next few weeks.  

I am out of the office this week but will be getting some pictures posted in the next few days of the aerator and the work that is being accomplished.  We are going to try to make at least a couple passes through the rough before winter and at least one in early spring which should help our rough become less compacted and have the ability for water to penetrate the surface of the turf. 

We are also beginning our late fall application of fertilizer to our rough which will allow the turf to grow slightly and strengthen its roots before winter.  The slow release part of our fertilizer will be available next spring for our rough to fill in and grow into early summer.  The thicker the rough is in the spring, the better its ability to slow down the bermuda grass that is laying and waiting for warm weather to arrive.    

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Frost Season is upon us

Well, its getting that time of year where we need to have a discussion regarding frost, the delays that can be incurred and why we don't allow golf to be played on frosty turf surfaces.

The last thing we want to do is to delay your enjoyment on the golf course but sometimes mother nature requires us to be patient and wait a few minutes because of frost.  We have faced a few days of frost over the last several weeks but it has only been present on the rough grass and has melted away before any players were attempting to start their rounds.  Frost early in the season might only require a few minutes delay but as the temperatures become increasingly colder, the restrictions could last an hour or two.

Any delay will include the practice green as well so no practice putting until the restrictions have been lifted on the putting green.  There are occasions where #1 is still frost covered and the PG area has cleared off. 

The USGA has a great animated explanation of frost delays in the link below.

Winter weather predictions

Climate prediction models from the National Weather Service for the U.S.A. from Dec.-Feb are posted below.  These models are updated every 15 days which allow for greater confidence in the predictions as it gets closer to winter.

They are predicting a potentially warmer than normal and wetter than normal winter.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Damage to the 12th green

Last evening, multiple individuals broke a pane of glass out of one of our shop windows and took 3 carts out on property.  They stole my digital camera that I use for the blog but left everything else in place.  The 3 carts were found out on the course in the area of 3 and 4 where they have been entering the property.  They did some damage to our #12 green which you can see in the picture below.  The damage should be able to be repaired fairly quickly.  The green was aerated yesterday which probably helped to reduce some of the damage due to the heavy application of sand.  There were some turn marks on the 2nd and 15th greens but they did not break the turf's surface.  Hopefully, we can catch this group of vandals and get this damage stopped.

The left side middle of  #12 green

Monday, October 25, 2010

Greens aeration complete

The remaining 10 greens were aerated today.  The greens aerated last week were mowed as well this afternoon with the riding greens mower.  Rains expected over the next day or two will help the sand settle and will allow the turf to grow more than it has over the last couple of very dry weeks.  Mother nature's rainfall is much better for growing turf than our irrigation system.  I expect our ball roll to continue to improve throughout the week.  We should be able to mow first thing in the morning by early next week as the turf grows through the sand.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Congrats to staff member Jason Thomas and his wife Stephanie on the birth of their first child

Congratulations to staff member Jason Thomas and his wife Stephanie on the birth of their first child.  Camryn Gloria Thomas arrived Tuesday morning, 5 lb. 14 oz.  Everyone is doing fine and going home today.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Deep tined greens aeration continued

We have been able to complete 8 greens over the last couple of days with our fall deep tined aeration program after the outing on Tuesday and before regular play in the mornings.  Greens 1-4, 15-16, 18 and the PG have been completed.  17 green will be completed tomorrow morning.  We hope to complete the remaining 9 greens by Monday(we will work until dark) or Tuesday morning at the latest.  It is always our desire to complete our greens program within a couple of days so that recovery of all greens occurs at the same time but weather and business interests require us to adapt our strategy from time to time.  We still have some great growing weather over the next few weeks for our greens to recover but I did not want to delay our program for another week.  We've had exceptional conditions to complete the greens this week without interfering with any groups except for a couple of early morning single players.  Weather sites have been reporting over the last 7 days that a change in our dry pattern(rain) is going to take place over the weekend and possibly into next week so it was time to start.            

We began today to dry mow the greens that were aerated on Tuesday(1-4).  The greens had an additional dragging of the surface and the subsequent mowing of them looked great.  The process we utilize in completing our aeration is slow and takes at least two days and sometimes a part of a 3rd day to complete.
Our desire is to have equal or better ball roll within a few days of completing our work as what we had before the process started.  

We appreciate your consideration during this most important process.

Russ aerating 18 green with our 7316 Verti-drain.
Mechanic Harry did the honors on Tuesday.

The rear view of our process.  We placed the sand on the green first to reduce the potential tracking from our sand topdressor and utility vehicle.  Normally our sand applications are made with a spinning type broad casting mechanism but with a heavy band type application, we used our brush attachment which provided a 1/8' layer of sand on the green.  Most greens received about 2.5 tons of sand on average.

The spacing of the aeration holes in relation to my cell phone.  About 2.5" apart.

This is a view of Russ dragging today of one of our finished greens from Tuesday.  We normally used our drag brush directly after the aeration was complete and before the sand was blown in the holes.

Here Russ is using our leaf blower to blow sand across the green which helps to fill holes full of sand.

Tom is also helping to fill holes along the edge where excess sand can build up.

Assistant Mike is rolling the green to smooth the surface and place it back into play.  Normally, we will mow our greens at the end of the process but our turf is so tight at this time from recent grooming/verti-cutting that there is very little turf that needed to be cut.  We will brush the greens again on the second day after aeration and will then mow them as they begin to grow.

4 green today after being brushed and mowed.

The greens surface with holes filled with sand and the turf being stood up from the brushing activity and heavy sand topdressing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beginning of greens aeration

We were only able to get 4 greens aerated yesterday(Greens 1-4).  Overall, they turned out well.  We have a little extra sand on #4 that needs to be moved around but a majority of the holes were filled with sand.  We are planning to do the PG this morning to get it completed so it will be healed with the others.  #18 will be done as well since it is at the end of play and we will be able to get it completed before play makes its way around.  15 greens to complete next Monday are just too many in one day with the heavy application of sand and the amount of time it takes to work it into a green.  I will take some pictures of the operation this morning and post them in the next day or two.  Too busy yesterday to get proper pictures since I was doing the topdressing and helping to get the sand worked into the holes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ball roll of our greens/Fall Aeration

As the health of our greens continue to improve, so does the ball roll.  The blemishes from this summer have not completely healed but the ball roll is probably at its fastest of the season.  Our green program of topdressing, grooming/verticutting, dragging and mowing over the last few weeks have allowed our heights to come down and have improved considerably the ability of the ball to roll out to the hole since Labor Day. 

I was able to play during the Men's closing day on Saturday and we had great ball roll that day.  Our local superintendents association; Mississippi Valley Golf Course Superintendent's Association had its annual Research and Scholarship Fundraiser yesterday here at the club and the ball roll was faster yet with two more warm days and lower humidity than the weekend.  The wonders of dry, warm conditions and a couple of extra days of rolling.

I expect over the next week to continue with the same ball roll conditions unless we receive some rain that will cause some additional growth and will slow them down.  Come out to the club over the next few days and enjoy some of the fastest green conditions of the season.(I guess enjoy is a relative term based on our ability to putt the ball!)

Just a reminder that our fall deep tined aeration will begin next Tuesday after the collegiate event has made the turn on the front 9 and we are able to work without disturbing play.  We will aerate to a depth of 8-10" using a  1/2" solid tine.  We will use enough sand to fill the holes.  I would expect our greens to be back in good condition within 10 days.  During the recovery process,  mowing will not take place until the dew has left the green surface by around 10-11 a.m.  Mowing with moisture on the green surface could lead to a sandy mess on the green which would inhibit ball roll.  We will do everything we can each day to remove dew from greens which will allow greens to be more playable for our early players.

Nursery Green Seed Germination

The nursery green was seeded last week and has already germinated as of this morning.  The weather has been great for growing in turf as long as you have supplemental irrigation since it has been so dry.

I would expect more visible signs of life by this weekend.  We will continue to water on a regular basis with possibly more frequent cycles with less water to keep the seedlings from drying out.  Fertilization and fungicide applications will be made weekly to keep the growth moving and assist with any plant health issues.  Rolling and mowing will begin as soon as the turf has filled in enough to do so.  This can usually be done within the first couple of weeks of emergence.

Here are a couple pictures of the new seedling emerging.

Wide angled view of the new seedlings emerging on the nursery green.
A close up of the new seedlings.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

First Frost

The last couple of days we've experienced some light frost in the rough.  The frost was not heavy enough to cause a delay but is a gentle reminder that colder morning temperatures could begin to affect start times in the next few weeks for our early playing members.  The average frost date in our area usually occurs around October 7-10 so we are not too early with the first frost.  The first killing frost(when temperatures go below 32 degrees) for St. Louis is around November 1st.  The earliest killing frost on record was September 28, 1942 and the latest occurred last year on November 27th.  Since temperatures are going to moderate over the next 7-10 days, I will wait for a couple of weeks to discuss frost delays and why we have them. 

In the meantime, enjoy the great weather we are going to experience over the next few days.  Greens are fast and getting faster with our 3rd week of verticutting, sanding, brushing and mowing.  Additional growth regulators have been applied to reduce overall growth and to begin to slow poa annua.

Frost on the rough near the Sassafras tree and #2 tee on Monday

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Renovating the nursery green next to the 18th green

Over the next couple of days, we will be leveling the nursery green next to the 18th tee with sand and will be reseeding the green.  A majority of the turf was used to repair and or replace collar turf with some plugs being used to fill in greens as needed.  Assistant Mike and Arian moved a 20 ton load of sand onto the green on Friday.  More pictures to follow this week and we prepare the green for seeding.
Arian unloading a workman load of sand onto the nursery.

Some of Nature's Wonders at Glen Echo

As we speed through our daily work on the golf course or the rounds of golf that are played on a daily basis at our club, there are some interesting wonders of nature that we should take notice of as we make our way around the golf course.  There are a number of colonies of honey bees that inhabit our property.  Normally, we are not able to view their work because it usually occurs in a hollowed tree but a few weeks ago, a colony formed to the left back corner of #5 green and the blue tee on #6 out in the open on a lower limb of a pine tree.  Initially, I thought it was a hornet nest forming which we would spray and kill but once I examined the site more closely, it was honey bees.  Over a few weeks they worked very hard to supply food for the colony and protect their queen.  Last week, I noticed the colony was beginning to disband and were in a frenzy as they were preparing to leave this new site.  Bees were flying everywhere, especially in the Barton's yard as they were preparing to move on.  Once they finally left the area, I was able to get a couple shots of the honeycomb left behind. 

Also included in the pictures below are the work of a busy spider in the front lawn spinning a web between a flower bed and the dogwood tree which grows in the center of the bed.  I'm not overly thrilled with being too close to spider either but I am amazed at the work they can perform in a short period of time.

I've also included a picture of a bluebird resting on the tee sign of #14 tee.  You can see multiple families of bluebirds fluttering around between holes 3,12,13 and 14 tee as well as along the main road near the 10th tee.  They will be very active feeding over the next few weeks.

Honeycomb hanging from the lower left branch of the pine tree.

A close up view of the bee colonies work.

A spider's delicate work in the front lawn of the club.

A closeup view of the work.

A bluebird resting on the tee sign of hole #14.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Last mowing at normal fairway height of cut/Large patch on zoysia application

Monday was the last day we mowed fairways at the normal summer cutting height.  The growth has slowed with the shorter light period and cooler nights.  We raise the height to allow the turf to begin to store energy for winter and to help protect it from the cold temperatures we will experience.

We will probably mow the turf at the new height for a couple of more weeks and will then allow it to go into dormancy a little taller.  Best year for zoysia that I have seen in a long time.

Assistant Mike spent the first two days this week applying our Large Patch on Zoysia treatment.  This application is made to all tee, fairway, and green surround areas that contain zoysia to help reduce the negative of effects of this disease next spring which is the time of year that our zoysia is more susceptible to the disease.   If we waited to apply the material next spring at a curative rate, the disease would be much more difficult to control and the disease do more damage to our turf.  The fall preventative application does not  always prevent the disease from occurring but it does slow its overall affect.

Here is the link to last fall and spring postings regarding large patch if you are interested in further reading.
Its interesting in the activity of the disease from one year to the next.  Last year, we had activity as early as August 31st.  This season, I've seen just a couple of minor spots on September 25th.

You can see the spray tracks in the dew and the marker foam that is used to help the operator keep the spray in proper alignment.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Green and collar repairs

 The staff has been busy over the last couple of weeks making repairs to a few of our greens and collars.  The collars that have been sodded from our nursery green include the PG, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16 and 18.  We have additional repairs still to be completed on #14 and #15.  Our collars are contaminated with a large amount of poa annua which has a tough time surviving during normal summer heat.  We have been using the green height bentgrass nursery next to 18 tee to replace the collars and do some additional plugging
of some of our greens.  We intend to reseed the nursery green to Penn A-4 bentgrass once the turf has
been used so it will be ready to use next season as necessary.  Let's hope it is not used very frequently. 
A-4 is a variety of bentgrass that has shown great results so far on greens renovated in our area and across the country.  We will also be using sod next season from our collar nursery that is next to the 16th tee to replace some additional poa infested collars.  

We did a light verti-cutting today, topdressed, used our brush to help stand up the grass and mowed the greens.  We will be doing some additional hand topdressing  this week which will assist the weak areas to fill
in a heal.  The sand will help provide protection for the plants as they fill in place and will improve ball roll.  We continue to reduce our height weekly and have been dragging in our sand which stands up the turf.

Assistant Skip, Nick and Jason working on #9 collar last week.

Jason and Tom working on #6 green.

Jason and Tom finishing the last couple pieces of sod on #6 green.

A damaged spot on #9 green that has new bentgrass growing.

Here is a close up of the same spot.

Seeding of cool season tees

We have about 20k square feet of cool season tees on property with about 1/4 of the surfaces being bentgrass/poa and the other parts a mixture of poa/bluegrass/ryegrass.  Each fall, we slit seed some additional ryegrass into the areas of tees that have the second mixture of grasses.  The ryegrass is very wear tolerant and can fill in a worn or damaged tee very quickly.

We were fortunate to not lose very much tee surface this summer but still have some weak areas that needed to be seeded to help fill in for late fall and next season play.  We used our walk behind slit seeder to spot drill the areas that needed repair.  The areas were fertilized with a starter fertilizer to help the seed germinate and improve its root system as it begins to fill in the teeing ground area.

Russ used the drill seeder in the various spots that we a little thin.(Not pictured)

Assistant Mike brushing along the slits to place the seed in contact with the soil which will improve germination.

The slits in the tee surface where the seed will begin to germinate and fill in the worn areas of the tee.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Married Man

Congratulations to our mechanic Harry White and his new wife Tracey on their marriage in Las Vegas on August 21st.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bermuda encroachment in collars/approaches

This past summer has been the best for warm season turf that I have seen in a few years.  Both the zoysia and bermuda grass that we have are in great shape.  Bermuda grows much faster than zoysia and does create some difficulties when it sends out runners into collars and approaches.  We have normally treated the collars a few times by this time of year but we had not made any applications until yesterday.

The temptation for many is to pull the runner out of the green or collar which sometimes can be easy but  other times will create an unsightly mess and leave voids in the turf.   We will be making a couple of chemical treatments and will doing some verticutting with a seeder to regenerate new bentgrass into these areas and disrupt the growth of the bermuda.  You will notice the bermuda grass beginning to lay on the existing ground without being tacked down except where it originated out of the ground.  Be patient, and don't pull the runners.  The mowers will cut them off.

Below is a link to last years post which has more detail regarding this problem.

A collar on the practice green which has been over run with bermuda.  This should improve over the next month as the chemical does its work and we seed into the area with new bentgrass.

Bermuda runner I am holding with long white roots.  The chemical will reduce the roots which do not allow it to tack down to the surface.  Existing plant roots will be pruned away by the chemical leaving the plant vulnerable to moisture and nutrient deficiencies and winter kill.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Repair to rough/green surrounds

At the interface between the rough and zoysia intermediate at the beginning of our fairways, we have some thin and or bare areas that need attention.  Some of the thinning has occured from our bermuda eradication program and some of the loss of turf is from wear and tear.  We used our drill seeder over the past couple of days to get a head start on incorporating more turf type fescue into these areas.  Our cool season surrounds have also taken a hit from disease, water managment, and bermuda encroachment.  We also drilled some of these areas as well. 

We plan to do some Tupersan applications around the greens, collars and approach areas where the bermuda has moved back into these areas.  The Turpersan prunes the roots on the bermuda and does not allow it to tack down to the ground which is one of its key components for survival and spreading.  Bermuda that is unable to tack down is usually susceptible to winter kill.  We will also be doing some bermuda eradication spray on these areas in October after the fescue seed has been germinated and matured.  This will also set back the bermuda and allow the cool season grass to take over and thrive until next summer.  We will follow up with additional sprays in the spring to reduce the competiveness of the bermuda before the summer heat sets in. 

No action shots of the drill seeder but here it is in the shop.

The bottom of 13 rough/fairway.  Some of this area was damaged from standing water where the turf was litterally cooked after heavy rain left the turf in standing water. 

The slits from the seeder are still slighly visible after the area is dragged with a mat to give the seed good contact with the soil.

The area will be fertilized with a starter fertilizer to help the seed germinate and begin to grow.  Germinated plants should be coming up over the next couple of weeks.