Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to our Members and Guests who support our great club.  I hope you have a chance to share some time with family and friends over the holiday season.

Come out and see us Friday, Dec. 26th. Temperatures in the 50's!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Video by Philadelphia Golf Course Superintendent's Association

Some nice shots of Philadelphia area courses and a brief description of what we do.  Wow, its just the beginning of Winter but I'm ready for Spring after seeing this.  Enjoy.

Fall rough bermuda application

At the end of October, I made an application on 10 acres of rough with  high % of bermuda in it.  My plan was to hit it with a spray that would injure the bermuda going into winter and would delay its emergence next spring.  The rate was about 75% of recommended rate.  After a few weeks went by I noticed some discoloration in the rough which I expected.  Normally we would have growth until the end of November but the 14 degrees arrived and a week of cold shut down the turf.  In most cases, the cool season turf would have grown out of the injury.

With the injury still evident at the first week of December,  I contacted our Sygenta area rep who actually is based in Stl.  He came by and looked at the areas I sprayed. In most areas, he believes the turf will grow back.  There are some areas which look a little more affected. One of the things I found out was that there is a fescue variety that is used in our rough seed and sod we purchase that is not as tolerant to the herbicide I applied.

I believe also some poa, bluegrass and bentgrass in the rough were injured as well.  Holes 1-11 and a little on 12 were sprayed.  Some areas in shade were not sprayed because the Bermuda is not strong in the shaded locations.
This is a view looking toward 4. You can see the turf that was not effected in the middle between the 2 passes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Final call for firewood delivery this year




This is a final call for firewood deliveries this year.  I will have staff here through December 23rd(except 19th PM Maintenance staff Christmas Party) for any deliveries you might want to your house.  Self service pickup will be available throughout the holiday.  Please alert me through email or a phone call that you picked up a load so I can charge your account accordingly.

We will be back in the shop on January 5th and will continue to make deliveries or provide wood until it is gone.  Unless we have a big run over the next few weeks, we will probably have enough to complete the season.

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

St Vincent's Giving Tree deadline extended

Rob has extended the St. Vincent's Giving Tree Program deadline for a few more days.  Come by the member entrance a pick an ornament off the tree and bring back a wrapped gift for a child who needs some cheer this Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2014

St. Vincent Home Giving Tree coming to an end!

The St. Vincent's Home 'Christmas Giving Tree' is about to end. You have until Friday, December 12th to pick an ornament from the tree and bring back the gift wrapped and ready for a child who could use our support.  We still have a number of tags still left on the tree.  I had procrastinated in picking off my ornament but picked my gift ornament off of the tree today.  The tree is located in the member entrance foyer.

Come by in the next couple of days and help us clean this tree off!  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day

USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

73 years ago today, our nation was shocked into entering World War II from the attack on Pearl Harbor.  We should never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice that day and during the war. Many left as 17-18 year old boys and came home as changed men forever.  

Our country alone lost 413,000 soldiers and civilians.  The state of California has over 38 million people.  Total deaths throughout the world from the war estimated at almost double this number including soldiers and civilians. Wrapping my head around this type of death toll is impossible.  Take a moment today to reflect on those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to save our country and the world from tyranny!  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wood Delivery Schedule over the Holiday

Just a reminder that wood deliveries will not be available between 12/22-1/4.  A majority of the staff take vacation during the holiday period.  You can do self service pick up during this time without any issue.  Just a reminder to drop me either an email, text or call so I can charge your account.  We still do have a good supply of wood available.
If you intend to pickup wood using self-service, please take the wood that is neatly stacked against fence which is seasoned from last winter.  The wood to the right was just recently split and will be stacked for next season once the older wood has been used.

Weather Stats for November, Not Good!

The following are the weather statistics for November.  Not a good month for golf.

Record high of 72 on 11/30.
Record low of 14 on 11/18.
Record snowfall for the date on 11/15 0.7" and 11/16 of 1.7".

Temperature       
                       Observed Value    Normal Value   Depart from Normal    Last Year
High                         50.0                      55.5                        -5.5                         53.6
Low                          31.3                      38.1                        -6.8                         34.1
Avg                          40.7                      46.8                        -6.1                         43.8

Precipitation
                          2.46"                     3.91"                       -1.45"                       1.02"
Snowfall
                          3.8"                         .7"                           3.1"                        Trace   


Stats for the Summer Climatology Calendar

The summer calendar(June, July, Aug) averaged 78.3.  It was the 46th warmest on record.  It was warmer than the following years:  2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013.
There were 36 days over 90 this season.  Avg is 39.
June was 28th warmest month at 78.1
July was 128th warmest month at 76.4
August was the 23rd warmest month at 80.3
(Editors note, I will take those statistics every year if possible!)

Stats for Fall Climatology Calendar

Since 2000, only 2006 has been a cooler fall period(Sept, Oct, Nov).
The fall calendar averaged 56.7.  112th warmest and 33rd coolest on record.
September was 70th warmest month at 70.0
October was 56th warmest month at 59.5
November was 132nd warmest month at 40.7


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Course is open Saturday, November 29th

The sun is bright, snow has melted, temperatures will moderate nicely over the next couple of days.  Why not come out and see us.  We've had a pretty bad weather month for golf which means we've had less members and guests at the clubhouse.  This is a much livelier place when you are here with us! 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Update on conditions

Quick update on conditions. Clearing nicely but still some areas with issues but we look good for Saturday!

Course Closed Friday , Nov 28th

The course will be closed on Friday, November 28th, due to snow cover.The Turkey Day Scrambke had been cancelled. We hope to open on Saturday for regular play with a special guest rate.  Check with the pro shop for details.  Sorry for any inconvenience this may create.
Current views of the course as if 839 am.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Guess Sadness Is What I Feel Today

I guess sadness is what I feel today like everyone else watching the events over the last day.

I did want to mention first off that the facility is secure and experienced no issues.  The Normandy police department is in and out of the facility making sure everything stays that way for our staff, members and guests.

I drove through Ferguson on my way to work this morning.  One hundred yards to the south of the Ferguson police station, remnants of damage from last night's horrendous events were not visible at all.  I passed under I-70 and up the hill past UMSL, everything appears normal but we know deep down within the depths of our soul that something has changed.  Driving the streets of Normandy around our facility everything is okay as well.  The facility has not experienced any issues since the protests began in August.

I was encouraged when I drove back through Ferguson a couple hours later seeing people of all shapes and sizes and colors pitching in and trying to help businesses clean up along Florissant Road. Sweeping up glass, trash and remnants from last night's damage.  Companies and individuals are placing the all too familiar boards in place to try to protect the business from the weather and potential future intruders.

Let's hope that peace will set back into our community!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Geoff Shackelford on Morning Drive, USGA Green Speed Study

An interesting discussion on the Golf Channel regarding ball roll on greens and length of time to complete a round.  Plant health is known to decline as green speed gets to a certain level and higher for any given time, especially during the high heat of summer.  Ball roll can be increased drastically in the fall but this is normally associated with lower humidity and slowed growth of turf.  Also, turf disruption is usually kept to a minimum until aeration so a ball can turn into a rocket ship this time of year without creating plant health issues.

http://www.golfchannel.com/media/fast-greens-slow-play/

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weather Stats for October

Weather data for the month of October at Glen Echo CC  As you can see, temperatures were pretty normal.  October was 16th wettest October on record.

Temperature
                                   Observed Value   Normal Value  Depart from Norm   Last Year
Avg Maximum                    68.7                     68.5                      0.2                    69.3
Avg Minimum                     50.3                     49.0                      1.3                    49.0
Mean                                    59.5                     58.7                      0.8                    59.1

Precipitation                        5.08                     3.33                     1.75                  2.35



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day, A personal reflection

Over the years I've made a post regarding this day with a picture and a thank you to all of those who served.  I thought I would take a moment and relay something a little more personal

My late Grandfather Watis served during Wold War II but was lucky enough to not see direct combat but came home a changed man.

My wife Beth was born after the war but her father Max served in World War II.  He was in direct conflict as a tail gunner on a B24 based in Great Britain.  He missed one mission because of illness. His crew mates took off that day on that mission and never returned.  Their plane was shot down over Europe and all perished.  He was discharged from his service obligations sometime later, never to go on a flight again.  None of us can imagine the anguish he felt from this loss and the suffering he went through.  He was just one of many who left a piece of themselves when they returned from their duty for our country.

As you go through your day today, I'm sure most of you will take a moment to reflect upon the sacrifices made by many to provide us our way of life and the freedom that we have been given. Luckily, many who serve come back home to their families.  We thank you for your sacrifice and the sacrifice your families have made while you were gone!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Marine Corp

Happy Birthday to the Marine Corp
We honor our Members, family and friends who have served our nation so courageously!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Probable Frost Delays the next 3 days 10/31-11/2/Greens Aeration Update

As I mentioned in my post earlier in the week, I would expect frost delays the next 3 days which includes Fri-Sun.  We were delayed until 8:30 this morning.  I think you could expect Saturday's delay to be well past 9 a.m. with the late sunrise and with temperatures falling into the upper 20's.  I would check with the pro shop on an approximate start time.  They are predicting some wind overnight Friday but I don't think that will save us with the temperatures predicted to be well below 32.

We brushed the greens again to work the sand around a little bit more and rolled them.  The greens are a little less smooth but we went a couple inches deeper than I normally have been going to give us greater benefit in the long run.  Changing the depth every so often will prevent a compaction layer from forming from the aeration program.  I'm delaying mowing because we left a little more sand on the surface to protect the crowns of the plants  during recovery and help smooth them from play over the last few months.  I would expect that we will put a first mow on them after the weekend cold temperatures.

Next week appears to be in the 60's & 40's so I would expect the greens to improve considerably over the next 7-10 days and we should be back to regular mowing late next week.  As November days continue to pass, we will reduce our mowing schedule and alternate mowing and rolling to begin to allow the turf to slow its growth and harden off toward the end of the month.  An increase of height will also accompany this process to improve turf health going into winter.  I will apply one more growth regulator that is detrimental to the poa annua and will encourage the bent to grow into the more dominant poa annua areas of turf.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Frost and what it means to you and the maintenance operation

Frost is predicted for this weekend around St. Louis so allow me a moment to explain the frost delay policy for our club.  Frost is a nuisance this time of year.  The last thing we want to do is delay our work schedule so we can be here longer and make our members stand around the pro shop waiting to go out to enjoy their day.  The delay occurs because the millions of grass plants can be damaged if stepped or driven upon until the frost has melted.  The plants energy is then used to repair the plant instead of being used to strengthen it for winter and next spring.

Frost this time of year usually can delay play until 8:30-9 a.m.  This includes the practice green as well.  The frost this time of year usually only covers the outer leaf of the plant.  As temperatures fall well below freezing, plants can freeze completely.  Delays can be up to 10-11 a.m. in this case.  We open the course once the plant is pliable and cannot be damaged.  Not many members come out in the winter during cold days but some do make an attempt to beat the ball around.  On some of the colder days, the plants never thaw and the course is kept closed.

If you see that temperatures are predicted to be in the 30's in the morning, you can almost be assured there will be a delay unless we have wind or cloud cover which reduces the potential of frost.  We will try to give the pro shop an estimate on the delay so they can assist you in planning the start of your round. I will also post it on twitter.  If you don't follow me on twitter, you can check on the side of my blog for my twitter feed which will contact course opening announcements.

A great video below from the USGA regarding frost and golf.  I cannot say it any better!

Also, the link for those of you whose email does not show the embedded video.

http://youtu.be/zkoWWrHzuAg




Greens aeration completed


The staff worked about 90 labor hours aerating the greens.  Weused our Verti-drain deep-tined aerator with 1/2" solid tines going 9-10" deep with 5% kick.

We used about 30 tons of sand on the greens.

Our process included the following.

Sprayed greens over the last week with fertilizer, root stimulant and water penetrant product.  This will encourage healing and reduce dew on greens which dries greens quicker for after aeration mowing/rolling.

The greens were mowed and then a granular soil conditioning product was applied. 1000# of Renovate Plus.  Topdressing  sand was applied heavily to the green. This required almost 2 full loads per green depending upon the size.  Our light topdressing during the season usually requires one load of sand per 4-5 greens.  The sand layer helps to reduce tracking from the aerator.

Greens were then solid tine aerated.  The 5% kick occurs when each tine holder is at the bottom of its thrust into the green. This motion will fracture the soil layer that is 4-5" below the surface of the green which improves rooting, oxygen exchange and water penetration.  The soil layer is the original surface of the green when they were constructed many eons ago.

We then used blowers both backpack and our tow behind blower to help move the sand into the channels. Our brush drag was used as well and it also provided a final smoothed surface.

The greens were rolled and holes were changed.

To get the guys home last night, we stopped before finishing blowing in the sand on18. It will be completed this morning.

This process will enhance our greens in the following ways:

Improved root development going into winter and next spring.

Water penetration and evacuation.

Gas exchange both oxygen good and too much carbon dioxide(bad).

Stimulate plant growth/health.

We will do additional brushing later in week where sand is a little mire concentrated to improve ball roll and assist with our first mow.  Our first mow will be when it is dry later in week as turf begins to grow through sand.

#2 finished, a little sandy but holes filled.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

That time of year, Deep-tine aeration planned for this Monday, October 26th.

In an effort to not disrupt ball roll out in the late summer/early fall, I delay greens aeration until the end of October.  Well, that day has arrived.  We will begin our greens aeration late Sunday afternoon 5 p.m. and throughout the day on Monday.  This process will involve the use of a heavy topdressing of our greens with sand, our Verti-drain deep tine aerator will then poke 9" deep 1/2" holes in our greens, a green profile builder with micronutrient package will be applied, blowing and brushing the sand in the holes and a final roll.  We will probably delay mowing greens for a few days to allow the sand to settle and the greens to growth through the sand layer.  I would expect to begin dry mowing late next week.  Within 10-14 days with the good weather predicted they should be back to normal.
We usually are not able to complete all of the greens in one day but will make every effort to complete as many as possible.  If we receive rain on Tuesday, we will leave the remaining greens until it is dry enough to complete.  Hopefully, this would only be maybe 16-18.  I will keep you updated on the blog and twitter on our progress so check out the twitter feed on the side of the blog main page.

This will also be the last weekend for practice off of the zoysia short range tee.  The zoysia has quit growing and any damage/divots made now will not heal.  In an effort to protect it from winter injury and delayed green up next season, we will be placing all stands on the mats beginning next Tuesday.  Your cooperation in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

The staff have been busy with leaf clean up this week from our Ash, Maple, Cottonwood and other early leaf dropping trees.  Two blowers, two rough mowers, 3-4 backpacks have been out regularly cleaning up playing areas.  Some days by the end of the day it appears that we have not done anything but that is our life in dealing with excess trees.   The real work will begin in a couple weeks when the Oaks begin to drop.

This is the last week for two of our seasonal employees Deron and Sam who have done a great job their first year out on the course.  Randy will be here the first week of November and will be laid off for the season as well.  Nick and Becky will be leaving at the end of November.  Great work as well.

Becky is busy with installing new plants in our beds for next spring with Pansies, Tulips and installation of new material in the two beds off of the patio area of the clubhouse.

Cool season tees, 2,3,10,11,14 were solid tine aerated as were the collars and cool season approaches of our greens.  Holes provide new areas for root growth, oxygen exchanged and compaction relief. Also provides water to penetrate and water to evaporate as nececcary for that particular area.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Firewood for Sale

We have a nice stack of seasoned oak firewood that was split last winter and is available for sale.
$75.00 for a self-service pick up truckload for those of you so inclined.  If you have a smaller vehicle I will modify the price accordingly.  Home delivery and stacking is available if you prefer for an additional $ 25,00 for those of you who live inside the 270 beltway.   An additional $25.00 will be charged for delivery outside of that area and or to the South County.
Some deliveries and self-service pick up have already started.

We must keep deliveries Mon-Thurs between 9-2 until the end of November since we still have a great deal of course work to accomplish.  After Dec 1, we can deliver Mon-Fri between 8-3.  No delivery is available during the Christmas/New Year period since staff usually takes vacation during this time.

Please contact me either through email jwachter@gecc.org or my cell phone/text (314-575-7321) to set up delivery or to inform me of your self-service pick up.  We will bill your account in the usual manner.   

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rough renewal and fertilizer application

The staff have spent the last couple weeks using our slit seeder to drill fescue into the rough and cool season green surround areas.  Once the seeder went over the area, a metal mat was drug over the area to pull up the grass material that was cut and to place the seed in contact with the ground which improves germination.  We purchased 2 tons of seed which is not a great deal if you consider we have about 80 acres of rough but we only seed in close rough areas or worn play areas.

Fertilizer has been applied to close rough this week.  Some of the fertilizer will be utilized by the existing plants before they begin to shutdown in November.  The new seedlings will also use the fertilizer as well.  University research as well as our own actual experience has show greater benefit in applying fertilizer before the turf slows drastically.

Grass plants are like yours truly, when I eat normally, no extra brownies in the morning or over sized burgers at lunch, my bodies power plant is able to use the nutrition and does not store excess into fat. Plants are only capable of utilizing a certain amount of nutrition.  Once they have enough food, it is then turned into storage which is important for the plant strengthening going into winter and for growing out next spring.  Once the plant has stored all it can, excess fertilizer is not used and could go to waste  Too much fertilizer is a waste of resources and can also contribute to negative effects on the environment.  We are finding 30-40% reduction is fertilizer applications still gives us a healthy plant through next spring.  The stored energy gives us great green up in the spring and gives us a more steady growth cycle in the spring.  

The drag that was used to bring up thatch and leaf material that was brought up by the seeder.

The right bank behind #17 green with newly emerged seedlings.  You can see the lines or slits where the seed was drilled into the soil.  

Lucas & Hunt wall repair

The staff did a patch fill in on the Lucas & Hunt wall late last week.  Old wall that was run into many years ago by a car.  30 bags of concrete.





Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ornamental Planting expansion behind clubhouse

The rear of the clubhouse is always a focus for our wedding parties and group gatherings here at
Glen Echo.  We have a couple of nice ornamental beds that are away from the building but they are to small to have four seasons of interest.  We are in the process of expanding the beds over the next few weeks.

Becky will be designing it with plants that will flower during the three growing seasons and will also have some architectural interest during the winter.  Becky ripped out the existing plants yesterday and has formed a new border.  I sprayed with a backpack selective and non-selective weed killer to reduce the competition of the bermuda grass.  We will strip out this material next week and will add soil, compost, expand the irrigation and it plants will be installed.  She will be adding more plants next spring and of course will have some splash of annuals for color next summer as well.

Light not the greatest but bed looked really good this season.

Plants removed and new outline with spray marking the area.

Very nice planting next to scoreboard but a little small.  Expanded border will allow for some structure to be placed in it  for off season interest.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Update 2nd Fairway Bermuda Grass Eradication Spray

Update of what we are seeing with our fairway bermuda eradication spray.  Also included a link for those of you that get the email without the embeded video.  I have to remember the links from now.

15 fairway bermuda eradication video.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Update on 4 approach

The staff completed the replacement on 4 approach with zoysia today.  We did an additional three rows of zoysia on the front of 16 and will complete the remaining section tomorrow.  This will reduce our chemical applications by another 1000 square feet which  does not seem like a great deal but it is.  Asst Skip has informed me that a number of the false fronts have been reduced in size over the years since there initial installation in the 90's.  Since I have been here, we have eliminated them on 1,3,6, 1/2 11, 18 and 4/16 in the last few days.

Last weeks work with additional collar to be replaced to the right of the whit line in the middle.


The sod that was replaced today.  There is now a 24"  bentgrass collar in the front of the green.  The area will be a little shaggy until the warm weather arrives next spring.

We will be topdressing thw zoysiaj with sand in preparation for winter and to begin the smoothing process for next season.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Approach, Bent grass false front replacement

Over the last few years, we have been replacing the false front bent grass approaches with zoysia on a number of holes.  We had some sod left over from the range tee project and used it to replace the approach on #4 on Thursday.  Replacing these bent grass approaches will assist us in a number of ways.

Playability should improve. Bent surfaces are usually soft and reduces bounce and ball roll onto the green.

The bent approaches require the same chemical apps as the green increasing cost on the operation.

Require more water than green surfaces. In many cases, we must flood these areas with hand watering to keep them alive and stress free. Replacement will save labor and water expense as well.

Staff removing sod from 4 approach.
Cutting the sod in pieces.  Used some of this sod on a couple of weak and damaged collars. 6, 12, 18.
The finished product.  We will be bringing in another pallet of sod to reduce the remaining collar to 22" and we will be replacing #16 as well.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fairway Bermuda Eradication Spray

Prepared a video regarding our 2nd Fairway Bermuda eradication spray this season which was completed on Sunday. Check it out below.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

We Must Never Forget!

We have moved on but must never forget what was done to our country in 2001.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Men's Championship Day

Today is the conclusion of Glen Echo's Men's Match Play Championships. 10 individuals will be vying for 5 titles. Our overall Men's Championship will be between Nathan Calcari and Darren Stoffel.  They will be playing 36 holes starting at 7:30.  Come by and watch some of their final round.  Spectators are always welcome.  Good luck to all participants!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lady Open Golf Tourney This Sunday!

Have you signed up for the 2nd Annual Lady Golf Tournament this Sunday.  9 hole golf at 3:30 with a 4 person scramble with water and treats for the dogs on the course.  Dinner and swimming at the pool following the event.  If you don't play golf, join us at the pool for the after golf activities.  Don't think Lady will make the course but she will be at the party.  THE GIRL LOVES A PARTY!!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Long Range Tee Update/Course Etiquette

The long range tee was mowed for the first time today, 15 days since the sod was laid. We are using a walking mower and are mowing it at a height of .900" which is effective height of our riding tee mower of .750". To give you an idea of the height of cut, our tees are mowed at .500". We might drop it slightly over the next couple of mows but will keep it higher than normal  to insure good rooting going into winter. We have plenty of time next season to bring the height down to an effective practice height for you and our guests.
62 steps to walk mow the long range tee in one pass.  40 passes so far with about 25-30% left to mow.
Using our collar walking unit to cut the tee.  Trying to keep the riding equipment off of it as much as possible except the roller to help smooth the surface.
A disturbing view today was to see a divot out of the tee and a spot where someone set up out on the tee hitting drivers. Will one or two individuals hitting off the tee kill it, of course it won't but why not hundreds of people hitting off of it since one or two are going to do it. You know the answer if hundreds hit off of it, it will be destroyed before we get the opportunity to use it.  I do realize there are more than our members that use this facility who could be involved in this issue and the one below.

Also have seen two divots near holes over the last week. This type of damage is rarely seen at our club and now we have seen two of these in a weeks time.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fairway Bermuda Eradication Update(You can see it now)

Posted a video discussing the Fairway Bermuda Eradication program. Spray has taken effect and it does not take a trained eye to see that there is some things happening to the fairways in the areas that are sprayed. The zoysia is in good shape and the bermuda in the spots is struggling.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Long Range Tee Leveled and Sod laid this week

June 29th was the beginning of the herbicide application to the long range tee.  On Tuesday August 19th, the tee was tilled and laser leveled by Schaefer-Meyer from St. Charles.  The staff worked through a couple of hot days laying the sod.  The top of the tee was finished on Wednesday and part of the surround  fescue as well was laid. The remaining sod was completed on Thursday that we had on hand.  I decided to expand the cool season turf out toward the walk path removing some crabgrass infested turf.  We still have to complete some of this area and will need to sod on the metro link side of the bank as well.

During the grow in process, we will be keeping the tee very wet to reduce stress to the turf and to assist in rooting.  Once roots begin to form, we will reduce the amount of water but will still keep it fairly moist. Once it is firm enough to mow, we will do some mowing at a higher height than its normal playing height to keep the crown of the plant from raising to high.  We also want to keep it slightly higher than normal to assist in rooting and growing it in.  We will also be lightly sanding the tee to assist in smoothing the surface, placing some protection over the crowns and helping the seems close.  We are also evaluating barrier netting on both the metro link side and an area on the right to reduce balls from entering the the maintenance compound.

We ask that you please keep off the tee and discourage anyone from practicing from the tee until it has been opened for play next season.

We will attempt to open the tee in mid-spring if conditions allow.

We are very appreciative of our member donors who contributed to this project.


First delivery of sod arriving at Glen Echo from Heartland Turf Farms from Columbia, Ill.  They have a sandy soil based sod that will transition and grow in better with our sandy based tee.  We used  54 rolls of zoysia. 35 yards per roll and 10 rolls of Fescue sod.

Mike McNeil from Schaefer-Meyer laser leveling the tee.  On the right front corner of the tee is a laser level.  Mike inputs information into the computer on the level.  We set the tee at a 1% slope from the right front corner to the back corner where Mike is located.  1% slope over 100 feet is 1 foot so the tee falls approximately 1.2" every 10 feet

First roll of sod being laid.  Sod is 3.5 feet wide and about 90' long.  The tee is about 135 feet deep so about 1.5 rolls per line.  Looks simple and it is compared to slabs of sod but the sod does not necessarily get rolled side by side.  It must be pulled or pushed together to reduce gaps which can delay the seams healing.  A lot of up and down and crawling around on ones knees.

The guys are close to finishing the zoysia.  Look over to the right corner and you see 10 roles of fescue.  I burst their bubble when I told them we had to lay at least 6 of those before we left.

The fescue trim on the left.  You can also see in the background the area below the netting which still must be sodded.  We will finish this area once the heat wave stops in the next week or two.
The tennis court roller we used to help press the soil on the sod in better contact with the tee surface.

This is the metro link side that will be sodded as well.  We are not going way down the ditch but along the main soil area to reduce erosion.


Watering after the work on Wednesday.  We will also be hand watering as well to concentrate the water where needed.

The finished product.  Looks pretty sharp!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Normal Green Heights

This past weekend our walk mowers were placed back to their normal height.  Yes, its going to get pretty hot for the next 5-7 days but the overall health of the turf is excellent right now and it should be able to withstand the heat mother nature will be bringing to us.

Long range tee closed August 19-21 for renovation work

The long range tee will be closed from Tuesday August 19 thru Thursday August 21 for tilling, laser leveling and grassing.  It will be opened briefly for the Senior Amateur Qualifying Tournament which will be here on Thursday.  We appreciate your understanding during this process.  We will reopen the mats once the grass has been laid and watered in completely.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fairway bermuda eradication spray

Just sprayed about 10-11 acres of Bermuda eradication spray earlier in the week.  I sprayed 4 acres during the first few years, 8 last fall and have increased again this season.   The longer I delay the spray, the bigger foothold the Bermuda will have and the greater potential for winter kill we could face like this past spring.   I'm just seeing some of the patches begin to turn a little off color.  By middle of next week you should see most of the patches and full areas that I sprayed.  There are some areas that have less and other areas that have more Bermuda since last season.  We will sod a couple of pallets of sod where necessary and will allow the rest to come back in time for the Echofest the 2nd week of September.  I will then spray again to set more of the Bermuda back going into winter.  I sprayed a slightly lighter rate than in the past in an effort to reduce the negative effects on the zoysia since it is growing nicely right now.

The fairways that have been in the program the longest are 4,7,8, and 13.  They were sprayed in the fall of 2009 for the first time.  Four has some larger patches that are making a comeback and these could be prime candidates for sod work but overall, the amount of Bermuda in the fairways listed above is less than the others with the exception of 200 yards to the green on #7 which I only began to spray last season.

There are some low drainage areas and other spots which will probably never be sprayed because of zoysia's inability to grow in these areas.  David Stone, long time superintendent from the Honors Club in Tennessee told me a couple of times during our discussions about Bermuda removal that sometimes even though we might not like it, Bermuda is the best turf for that area or situation.

I did also spray a few tees that I thought would be less negatively effected.  I will give you a more detailed report next week when the areas become more visible.

Long Range Tee Update

I don't normally shut ranges down on weekends but my contractor who is going to till the range tee and laser leveling it is available tomorrow morning, Saturday August 16th to do the work.  We plan on closing the tee once he arrives at around 9:30-10 a.m.  If I delayed his work until Tuesday or Wednesday which we originally planned, we would not be able to sod until at least August 26th due to end of the week preparations and other scheduled outings.  This would reduce our prime growing time by 8-10 days.

If the weather holds off next week, we plan to lay sod on Tuesday and Wednesday which would then give us almost two months of growing before frost sets in and places the turf in dormancy.  The  short range tee will be available for warming up before your round once the tee is closed.  We appreciate your understanding during this process.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Weather stats for July

Weather stats for July are interesting.  Daytime temperature between 2013 and 2014 were only seperated by 2/10 of a degree at 86 degrees.  We were almost 3 degrees below normal for the daylight hours.  The big difference was the night temperatures which were almost 4.4 degrees below normal and nearly 3 degrees below last year. Cooler than normal night temperatures help our soil temperatures stay a little lower than normal which is a good thing for a sod farmer like me.  Root zones stay cooler which allows the plant to continue to grow.  Also, soil on the drier side is better than on the wetter side when it comes to soil temperature.  Water is a great conductor of heat so the more water the soil has, the more heat it may retain. Of course, that can go against us as well, the drier the soil the more we have to water which is a problem within itself.

TEMPERATURE

                 Observed Value     Normal Value  Depart from Normal  Last Yrs Value
Avg High          86.2                      89.1                    -2.9                             86.4
Avg Low           66.6                      71.0                    -4.4                             69.4
Mean                76.4                      80.0                    -3.6                             77.9

RAINFALL      1.59"                     4.11"                 -2.52"                           3.35"

Glen Echo's weather station has only reported 1.14" for the month of July.

9 Days over 90 during July.  Avg for July is 13.9

16th coolest July on record.  Tied with 1915, 1895.

Long Range Update

An update on the long range tee work.  While we had the trencher here, trenched a couple of additional areas that needed work.


We extended the drain line out of #1 bunker down to the fence line.  
We put a smiley face drain above the new asphalt on #4 to reduce the amount of moisture that builds up in that area during wet times of the year.  Should also keep the asphalt in better shape.  

The pop up drain along the start of 12 fairway was a continuous mess.
Underground you go and a larger surface drain basin to catch some runoff water.

Becky planted the  new ornamental screening bed next to 13 blue tee and will be mulching it today.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Video Course Update for the week of 7-28-14

A little video course update for your viewing pleasure this week.  Continue to check blog for regular updates as well as the twitter feed on the right hand side of the page.  Sometimes includes information that is not posted on the blog.

Hydrojecting Greens

E&E Enterprises was out this morning ahead of play hydrojecting our greens.  Check out the video below for a little demo.  Holes should heal in the next few days.  We will be rolling the rest of the week in preparation for the St. Louis Women's District Golf Association Invitational being contested at the club Monday-Friday of next week.  I was able to get a topdressing in at the end of the day just before dark which will improve ball roll as the sand settles down.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Open Play Day on Monday, July 28th

The course is open for play on Monday, July 28th with a special guest rate.  Weather is supposed to be outstanding.  Field Bar will be open as will the bar from 2-8 p.m.  Come out and see us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Green Changes in July



With the Invitational tucked away nicely in June, we have made changes to our greens practices for the month of July and into August which contribute to a much healthier plant and hopefully no turf loss during this very stressful period.  These changes are to protect our plants from potential devastating damage that could take the rest of the season to heal and greatly effect your experience at the club.  The lack of fans for air circulation throughout the course and no drainage in our greens creates issues during the heat of summer and I act accordingly to protect our most valuable resource.    

After the 4th of July weekend, we raised our mowing height .005 thousandths of an inch which is slightly taller than the thickness of a strand of hair which averages about .004 thousandths of an inch.  We have been given some great growing weather over the last few weeks but we are still on guard against the potential for damage.  Higher temperatures and saturated conditions are our biggest fear but the stress that being mowed, stepped on, sun baked, and every nasty disease known to turf is looking for its first opportunity to spring an invasion and spread its kind!  Besides the increase in height, below are a few other things we do to insure we get through the summer season without damage.

We have been able to top dress our greens a couple of times during this period but do use a little less sand. I resist the temptation to brush or groom the grass during higher temperatures.  Tearing and or scratching the leaf blades can lead to damage and the plant is forced into injury management which diverts needed resources away from breathing, perspiring and food production which are essential for a plant to live.

Our greens were opened up in late June in preparation for hot weather with a needle tine venting.  We plan to hydroject the greens on Monday which should open them up and allow for gas exchange and improve water penetration and evacuation if necessary.  Milder nights have allowed for our root systems to be in pretty good condition for this time of year which is a good thing for plant health.

If we get sustained days of heat such as 7-10 days in a row well over 90, we would change our mowing practices to every other day and roll on the other days which keeps the greens rolling consistently.  Cutting the plant is injurious and it reacts to heal itself just as if it were damaged.  Resources move from life supporting to damage control.

We also use Plant Growth Regulators(PGR) which slow the growth of the plant and will assist in ball roll and reduces the amount of energy required by the plant to survive.  Our goal is to not exhaust all the resources that the plant has stored in its cells before conditions change enough for it to provide energy to function. Exhaustion does not cause illness or disease but can open one's system up for attack.  Fungus and bacteria are laying in waiting to over run a turf plant's ability to resist invasion and also over run good organisms in the soil.  Can I here an amen from the Doctor's reading this blog!

Water resources are managed as closely as possible with hand watering being used to supplement the extra needs of the plant.  Excessive water applications overnight lead to soft conditions so we monitor our conditions regularly.  I utilize a moisture meter which has 3" probes and give us an average of soil moisture in the green.  Wet and soft conditions can increase the potential for mower damage, excessive wear, larger ball marks and outbreaks of disease.  It can also lead to turf that is more lush and susceptible to incidence of disease.

We also fertilize a little less and increase sea weed extracts and other elements to improve plant health.  Sea weed improves stress tolerance within the plant during heat stress events.  We also reduce our overall fertilizer applications because a majority of fertilizer is derived from salt.  Excessive salt within the plant attracts moisture making it not available for the plant to utilize.  The plant wilts and can die.  Also, excessive salt in the soil can clog or slow water from entering into a root.  Use of organic fertilizers due to their lower salt index is helpful during the summer stress season.

All season we manage mechanical damage by using solid rollers on our mowers instead of grooved rollers which can create wear damage on circling mowing(clean up cut).  The grooved rollers do give a tighter cut but the extra pressing does damage cells.

If the weather continues to stay mild, we will be able to change our cultural practices to a less protective manner and get a little more aggressive.  We can decrease our mowing height by that one hair width which will give you the greens in the late summer and fall that you have come to expect here at Glen Echo.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Long range tee closed Tuesday/Wednesday July 22-23

The long range tee will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday this week for construction.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may create.  Please use the short range for practicing.

Asphalt work completed

Fontana Paving was out yesterday to patch a couple of small areas on the course. Next to 3 green and at the bottom of 4 near the red tee.  106 feet of asphalt was pulled up, rock placed down and 3" of asphalt laid. We have these areas roped off for a couple of extra days.  The areas are roped off to keep cart and equipment traffic away from these spots.  Remaining funds from the bunker project paid for this work. The area on 3 was damaged during construction of the bunkers.  We still must do some dirt work and grade changes around these two areas.

Asphalt removed and rock being laid in place near 3 green.

Asphalt  being finished up before rolling.

Finished

#4 Finished