Monday, October 21, 2019

Fall Greens Aeration

Today our staff started our fall greens aeration program completing the practice green, greens 1-9 and 11-13. We will complete 10, 14-18 over the next couple of days.

Our process included the following:

  • Mowed the Greens.
  • Covered the greens with sand.
  • Used our Verti-Drain Aerator with solid tines going about 8" deep.
  • Applied a soil amendment product to the greens.
  • Blew the sand into the holes using back pack blowers and our pull behind type blower.
  • Brushed the green and rolled with our rollers.
A number of benefits occur from this operation:
  • Heavy topdressing of sand smooths out the surfaces.
  • The filled sand channels provide a oxygen filled area for roots to grow.
  • The channels assist with wetting of drier areas and allow wet areas to dry out quicker.
  • As mentioned above oxygen enters the green subgrade and assists in removing built up carbon dioxide.
  • The sand also assists to dilute thatch which forms in the top 1" of the green.
Below is a bit more detail regarding the operation.

We mow the greens to remove growth.

The greens are covered in sand so we do not track across the aerated green with a heavy load of sand.

Aerator then starts its working placing solid tines into the green at a spacing of about 3" and to a depth of 8". Below is a video of this work.

We blow the sand into the holes to reduce tracking of our drag brush. We have a pretty simple drag which cannot move large amounts of sand into the holes.

Brushing greens after blowing in sand.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Glen Echo Foundation and Course Renovations

Thanks to all of you that have participated in Foundation activities or made donations over the last few months. Also thanks to the members who attended and donated funds and gifts to assist in raising money for our great club at the gala a week ago Saturday. The Foundation earmarked funding for a couple of course projects and we've hit the ground running today. We will be renovating the 6 tee complex, 5 green surround and 6 green complex over the next 7 months.

We will be working the next few weeks on the 6 tee complex and the left side of 5 green surround complex. We have a great deal of earth to move for 6 tee and felt it was best to complete this in the fall when we have drier conditions. With completing this project before winter sets in, we should be able to open the complex sooner than if we did the construction in the spring. We intend to sod the back of 5 surround and the complete complex of 6 green in the spring with zoysia. All we have to do is strip away the sod and lay new sod in its place so dry conditions for a long period of time is not required to complete the project.

Today, we stripped away the sod on 6 tee area and repaired about a 4,000 sq foot area of our zoysia nursery between 16 fairway and the lake on 10 with the sod we took off of 6 tee. We also connected the left and right side zoysia short cut area on 15 with a small 60" pass around the back of the green. We've had a difficult time growing cool season grass in this area and the stopping of the warm season grass really did not fit into the existing green complex. We also began to move some dirt on the 6 tee area.

This tee has been very problematic over the years. The current configuration of the tees does not prevent water from running across the tees from the surrounding area. It literally floods the tee making conditions very wet for mowing and makes for difficult playing conditions. Excessive moisture increases compaction and does not provide a healthy environment for healthy roots.
 I've attached a aerial view of how we intend to lay out the new tees.

The darker green designates existing turf and or improvements to existing zoysia turf. We also intend to place a swale/runoff area between 5 green and the new tee complex. Exact turfing  area will vary once we have the dirt surfaces in place and make final determination of  the sun and shade that we experience on this corner of the golf course.

We intend to put some depth into the blue tee and the red tee and reduce the total width of the tees to less than 1/2 their existing width. I would expect to have a depth of 10-12 yards for each of the two tees and approximately 15-18 yard depth for the white tee. We will move the tees over to the right which will move them away from the large Pin Oaks that are reaching across the cart path and reducing players ability to move the ball from left to right. This will also allow us to turn all the tees to line up properly toward the green surface. Currently they are pointed toward the out of bonds which is the fence line. This will not only help you line up your shot but will assist our staff in setting the tees to the proper positioning.

All of you received an email from Katie Dooley with our planned time schedule. We hope to have this project completed before the end of the month. We will provide and teeing ground to the right front of the red tee in the rough area and or will provide a artificial mat in the same area if you prefer hitting off of this type of surface.

We appreciate your understanding during this renovation process. I will make posts regularly so you can see what is taking place with the renovation.

Thanks for your support and come out and see us. Course is in excellent shape and greens are rolling out.

Yes it was dark this morning as we began cutting sod off of 6 tee area.

Decided to renovate our fairway nursery.Stripped off a large section of less than ideal sod, hauled it away, graded and brought in the sod from the tee surface from 6. Should save us about 1,500 in sod costs over the next couple of years as it grows in.

Cuting off the lumpy sod and pushing it in piles to load into our dump truck

Sod from the 6 tee complex being loaded up and hauled away

Small intermediate strip placed around the back of 15. Great look and turf improvement. We will dig up the sprinklers seen in the foreground, raise them and then put sod over the spots.

End of the day with sod removed and some soil moved around.

Winter 2020 Spring Course Preparations

Yes, the W word is coming soon as is next spring's golf season. The calendar continues to turn as are making our preparations for winter and next season.

We've been doing a number of things to prepare our warm season turf for winter dormancy.  We apply Sulfate of Potash to our tees and fairways(Zoysia Turf) to assist it with winter hardiness. We also begin raising our height of cut and reduce our mowing schedules to once a week. As the temperatures continue to cool over the next couple of weeks, will eliminate fairway mowing for the season.

Greens aeration is scheduled for October 21st unless we get rained out. Our rain date will then move to the 28th. This will be a solid deep tine aeration that we normally do every fall to a depth of about 8" or so and fill the holes with sand.

We will be spraying our close rough with a couple of light applications of Nitrogen to build up strength in our cool season rough before dormancy in late November/December to allow the plants to strengthen and come out healthy next spring.

Of course our leaf grinding and removal will be taking place over the next month to 6 weeks as necessary. We attempt to grind up as many leaves as possible back into our turf but once the supply exceeds our ability of the grass to handle an overload of leaves, we will vacuum/sweep 20 loads or more and haul them back into our dump area on the back of the range.

Its great weather over the next couple weeks as we continue to work on the course. Greens are rolling out well and course is in great shape. Come out and see us before winter catch up to us?