Friday, May 21, 2010

Aerification and Green Speed Alert.

Aerification went extremely well this spring. We started the process on Friday May 14th and completed Bull’s Eyes fairways on Tuesday May 18th. Three days to aerify and clean up 30 acres of fairway turf. We couldn’t have done it without the cooperation between us and Eric Jason and Pat Wollner Golf Course Superintendents of Lake Arrowhead Golf Course for loaning us their large fairway aerifier. Much appreciated as our fairway unit broke down with two fairways to go. The weather was perfect with sunny days and light winds made our clean up the best I can remember.

The greens were fertilized on the 12th of May. This boost in energy will cause a spike in growth over the short term. Anticipate slower putting green speeds until the surge in growth is past. Also, the annual bluegrass component of the putting surface is now in full flower. Not only is the heavy seeding unsightly, the plant will create a bumpier than normal putting surface that will reduce green our speeds further. My advice, use a heavier putter and gun it straight at the hole.

Good luck and enjoy the warm weekend temperatures.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

One Despicable Act/One Despicable Person!

I wanted to wait until now to tell a story of property vandalism that occurred on your golf course late last fall. It was the Thursday nearest Halloween when I was making my rounds blowing off green and tee sites when I noticed the white ring at the base of one of our most beautiful fall foliage trees. (See your clubs webpage for a look at the spectacular fall color of purple.)

For you see it was a cool damp grey day and whiteness of the scar was in great contrast to the day’s skies. I noticed it to because the previous day I set out cart restrictions and normally set an arrow at the base of the tree to make the arrow more "visible" and to protect the arrow from being driven over by the wonton cart operator that “just wants to show me” what he thinks of my decision to protect the non growing turf from “pre winter” damage and next seasons use.

At first I thought it was mechanical damage cause by one of our machines, blowers, sweepers, mulchers. Upon closer inspection you could see that wounding of the bark climbed up an over an older wound. A view from up close revealed that the wound was caused by a chopping motion, an attempt to girdle a tree.

This tree, a hybrid Autumn Purple White Ash was planted by me in 1987 in response to the Late Jim Dupree’s comments of having lost in a storm several of the tall white pines behind #11th green that guarded the dogleg on #13 a few years earlier. I can only speculate that the person responsible for this axing was doing so because they didn’t like the “double” jeopardy of being in a bunker hazard now staring at tree as they attempted to reach the green in two.

I requested a list of names of all peoples that played the course from the time of no damage to the time that the vandalism occurred. This list was easily provided to me by the golf shop as play was down due to the cold wet weather.

Now to that person I would say, would you pleases come to see me? I’ve two more trees that I would love for you to practice your art and science of killing. In fact I would happily start the chainsaw for you.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fairway Aerification Alert!

Fairway Aerification Notification:

The fairway aerifier is scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday May 12th. Delivery time and weather is uncertain as of today so I cannot predict when we’ll start the process. As this machine is not ours and is shared with other courses in Wisconsin and Illinois our time using it is very limited. The upside is we get to use on of the best aerifiers on the market. With that said the downside is we have to “use it” when it is here in our hands.

It typically takes about thirty six hours to complete both aerification and clean up. We will limit the amount of work completed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of that week, but anticipate a massive assault starting Monday May 17th. Aerification is highly weather dependant and will not be initiated if there is rain on the horizon. (Clean up turns the cores to mud.) I once had a member why we only aerify on “nice” days? Flabbergasted my only reply was a question, “would you paint a house in the rain?”

We’ll make it as quick and complete as possible weather permitting. Please plan your play accordingly and take advantage of reciprocal courses. Holes will be taken out of play where the aerification machines are working but I would ask that you keep power carts off aerification cores.

Why do we aerify? Primarily for two reasons both compaction relief and thatch removal. The list of primary benefits is well over a dozen long and much more technical in nature than what you care to read in this blog.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Maintenance Alerts for the week of May 3rd, 2010

The greens section will be adding sand to bunkers most in need. As you know, most bunkers on the course have been contaminated over time and require extensive renovation to return them to tournament standards. We are making every attempt with limited funds to bury as many of the ulcers with as much as 2” of new sand. Freshly placed sand will be soft resulting in “fried egg lies” until they mature by rains or irrigation watering cycles. Our work should be considered nothing more than a bandage but will buy some time until they can be rebuilt properly.

Second application of Chemicals to limit the appearance of the Poa seedhead on putting green surfaces will be made this week or early next plus a chemical application to limit the severity of Take all Patch and Anthracnose will be made. These are diseases that express symptoms in the summer months when the plants are under heat and moisture stress. The pathogen is actually active right now attacking plant roots setting the plant up to fall flat on its face the first time summer stress arrives. It is too late to treat in the summer months as the horse is already out of the barn. Herbicides inventories will be used up to combat weed encroachment on bunker faces.