Saturday, October 27, 2018

Grass Range Tees Closing for the Season

With our warm season turf heading further into dormancy, it is that time of year to give our driving range tees the rest they have deserved from a full season of divots and traffic from both equipment and our feet. Dormancy does not allow the plants to recover and fill in for the next round of practice swings so we will be closing  the grass tee surface after Sunday, October 28th until next spring when the turf is again actively growing.

We understand your desire to hit off of the grass  but for the health of the turf we must stay on the mats during turf dormancy.. We appreciate your cooperation in refraining from using the grass tees.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Practice Green Walk-off Completed

Our staff finished the walk-off area to the practice green this morning during the frost delay. Irrigation was installed yesterday and it was sodded this morning. This area will be closed till next spring to foot traffic and equipment. Please do not cross the ropes. The area is totally saturated to allow the sod to heal in before winter.

Cutting cart path to run irrigation across to the walk-off area.

Laying sod along the path.

Additional sod laying.


Please don't walk on me. You could be up over your ankles in mud.  Thanks!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Frost, Turf Renovation and More

We experienced our first frost of the season today and it was heavy enough to create a slight delay. Be aware that this will occur more frequently as evening temperatures dip into the 30's and soil temperatures begin to cool. Excellent article on Frost Delays from the USGA and a video below. I'll give the Glen Echo Grounds Department's view on frost in the next week or two with another blog post.

Not good when your first hole is at a low point on the course
#10 as well

We have a number of turf renovations projects completed and taking place as I type these words. Over the years we have been replacing the false front approaches on the greens that are bent grass. We replaced #12 last week. It will sit dormant over the winter and will begin to grow in during spring. We intend to replace a number of other approaches next spring including 7, 10, 13 and 15. 
Guys finishing a corner of the intermediate near 12 green.

Single lap collar on #12. Saves club time in mowing, water since zoysia requires less water than bent grass and chemical applications.

Replacement of collar on practice green walk on.

Same area.

 As most of you have seen and can see from the pictures above, the practice green walk on area is not in great shape. We tore it out this morning and began the process of restoring this area.

  • First thing we did was strip the existing sod to Doctor Ott's clock.
  • Next we rented a large walk behind tiller and tilled the area as deep as it would go, 6-8 inches.
  • Bought 2 yards of compost and tilled it in. Also added some bagged compost that we had stored.
  • The next thing we will do over the next few days is to get some small irrigation heads installed that will only apply water to this area.
  • Once that is completed we will purchase some new fescue sod and let it rest over winter
  • We will install some human traffic control measures to spread the wear and tear. Provide proper cultural practices including multiple aeration over the season. Fertilizer and chemical controls will also be need to improve the overall health of this area as well.Pictures and video discussion of the work we are doing at this site.
    Working in the darkness of morning. Frost on the turf so we had this work to do.

    This is after sod was stripped. We do have mats for you to walk across the dirt area. After tilling below, the dirt is very soft and we don't want you tracking the dirt on your greens and into the pro shop.

    9 hp tiller I used to till up the pretty severely compacted soil and till in the compost.

    As you can see from the tracks, soft soil.             


Friday, October 5, 2018

Tree Removals

I wanted to inform you of a couple of tree removals which will be occurring in the next few days.
The green committee approved the removal of the red maple at the right front area of the 11th green.

Also, the dual sassafras between #1 green and #2 tee has become severely compromised. We will be removing the left tree as well in the next few days. We were going to prune off the dead wood but after looking at the tree closely, there is not much to salvage and the safety of our staff is of utmost importance when we look at partial or full removals.

There are a number of other tree removals that will be taking place over the next few months. There are some standing dead right now and others that are compromised and will need further evaluation. We intend to do this with the assistance of the green committee and an arborist to help us evaluate their health. As an organization, we do not have the resources to plan a major tree removal program but we do have an aged group of Pin Oaks that are being compromised from a number of different things. I've had discussions in the past with our arborist and I will invite him on site in the next couple of weeks to help us evaluate some potential remedies to slow this process down.

We also intend to move a tree from the nursery into the area on the left side of #1 where we have lost a couple of trees over the late summer.

A good Tree Management Plan includes planning/paying for ongoing maintenance of the existing trees, removal of the dead/damaged/out of place trees, and preparing for replacement trees.

Below is a link to an article which has some excellent information in it regarding a Tree Management Plan.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Collar Renovation

Over the last few weeks, the staff have been chemically treating our collars in an effort to weaken the bermuda grass that has invaded them. We've made 2 applications of a product called Pylex which is safe to use on collar height bermuda. Today, the guys are renovating the collars and planting some bent grass seed around each collar. The overall process will not be completed until next spring. It will take the bent grass plants time to mature and spread. We wll have to also continue our bermuda grass sprays next spring and will have to work our way off the greens to reduce the amount of competition that enters the collars in the future.

The process we used today is illustrated below and in video as well:

  • Used our Toro Walk behind aerator to place small and shallow holes one pass around each collar.
    10 small tines per holder. We are using 3 sets on our machine which is about the width of the collar.

    As you can see, my pinkie still dwarfs the tine. The tine goes into the surface no more than about 1/2" which provides enough room for the seed to drop in and be protected from a mower and adverse weather conditions such as high temperature.

    The remaining process will be illustrated in a couple videos below.
  • We then use our walk behind slit seeder to slice some lines into the collar creating a slight channel for the plants to germinate and mature.

  • We then take a drop spreader with some sand and bent grass seed and drop it onto the collar surface. This is to insure we get seeds into the open spaces and the job saver tine holes.

  • The collars are then hand brushed with a stiff broom and they are mowed without baskets to insure the bent grass remains on the green or collar edge.