Thursday, July 29, 2010

Glad You Asked That

From time to time I’m asked questions out on the course about what’s happening on the course.

For example, “How did you get the ‘Big Cups’ into the green?” We used a “Big” cup turf plugging tool like the one pictured below.

It took a lot of brute force and effort. My arms, shoulders were sore for a few days afterwards.  The real take home message I found was the exposure of the subsoil for several greens was just awful to put it politely.  (#14, 16 and 9.)  I'm amazed we're able to keep growing not to mention alive on those greens.  Talk about inconsistancies between putting surfaces.  Thank explains a lot.

Do we have to spray chemicals on the course? Here’s a picture of a test plot at the University of Wisconsin’s OJ Noer Turfgrass research Station on a section of a Poa/Bentgrass putting green surface when they decided to “Go Green” by eliminating chemical inputs. The picture was taken 07/29/10. We spray to keep the turf alive and this has been a terribly stressful one to date.

You think our greens are bumpy and slow when the Poa is seeding, they’re REALLY SLOW when the Poa is missing!  BTW, This is where your generous $5 contribution on your annual Bull's Eye membership dues statements goes.  As budgets have been slashed, the turfgrass research center, no different from other non profit organizations, has too seen a fall in donations.  If you like golf and the turf the game is played on, please consider making an annual contribution.  New restrictions and regulations enacted by our legislators will place an even greater burden on our ability to grow and maintain golf courses in the future.  Research conducted at the OJ Noer Center and others will help us along that way.

Speaking of rain, we’ve received 14.99 inches of rain since June 2nd with more rain predicted through the 31st of July. Carts>NOCARTS>Carts>NOCARTS. Sheesh!

And with the rain, humidity and heat I offer this photo.

It has been suggested that I cut roughs once per week at a lower height of cut.  With all the rain, heat and humidity we've seen this year, corn growing weather, the plant growth has been out of this world.  The photo above shows the clipping mess in an area that receives one mowing per week.  At a lower height of cut, we would be removing too much of the plant in one cutting injuring the plant.  We've stood by our two times per week schedule to mitigate having a wall to wall mess.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Respect for your Course.

Come on; show a little compassion for your course! This isn’t the US Open! Move the ball off the collar. I’ve got a divot from an errant shot on the putting surface on your seventh green that looks like this too. Please move your ball if you are NOT playing in a match or tournament. Thanks.

FYI: Most divots I’ve seen over the course of my career on putting green surfaces were scalps made in anger next to the cup after a player missed a putt. (The greens fault of course.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The US Open Browns

US Open Greens.....err Browns.

Blame it on the Poa. Yeah right. Conversations I had with members this past weekend regarding the appearance of the putting greens at Pebble Beach is the basis for this conversation. First and foremost, I hated it. It was difficult to turn on the my television and look at those surfaces.  The bleamishes, the spots of dead grass, it was nightmarish.  I didn’t like how the ball rolled across these areas and I swear they fell into a depression each time the ball stopped rolling. The talking heads or "on air talent" all blamed the Poa.  I blamed the severe moisture stress the greens were subjected to and the resulting hydrophobic soil conditions for the appearance of those putting greens surfaces. Those patches could have been very easily the only Bentgrass found on those greens!

I’ll post a couple of pictures taken today of hydrophobic soils on Bull’s Eye and these areas are now showing up after four weeks and nearly seven inches of rain for the month of June. Also I’ll paste a link to the USGA’s comments on the appearance of Pebble Beach when I track down the article for a scoop of the "official dirt" when the forum I read regularly is back online.

Can’t really say I would like to fork out $499 to play on putting greens that look like those did for the open. I do know they didn’t look like that during the 2000 US Open when I stood on the 4th green (or was it the 11th?) as a buddy of mine Dave Ward CGCS of Olympia Fields Golf Course preparing for the 2001 US Open took stimp meter readings all for the purpose of putting green consistency.

A Bouquet of Thanks!

I want to publicly thank some of our members for their generous gifts of flowers to enhance club.

Please thank Mr. and Mrs. Gerald and Julie Bach for taking the time to purchase and plant the flowers found down in the railroad tie flower bed and for the “Deer” netting to keep those hungry leaf eaters at bay.

Next I would like to thank the Ladies Sports Committee for funding the flower urns located at the clubs entrance. And I tip my brown thumb to Mrs. Sharon Roeder and Mrs. Jackie Miller for taking the time to plant them. They really give a vacant area a nice splash of greenery.

Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Bob Roeder for his time and donated plant materials to upgrade the former herb garden next to the footpath leading to the 19th hole. This area had become an eyesore as the mint (pepper?) dominated the site.

I thank you and my beleaguered budget thanks you too. Thanks a bunch.