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.


                 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.