Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Benefits of Turf

Please click on video link to view.  _Mk

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pulling out all the stops?

Besides tree removal, our very weak sixteenth green has been covered with a turf blanket for this winter.  It is hoped that is cover will keep the soil warmer longer extending the available time for root growth before winter shuts things down.

This wind ripped tattered old beast was purchased in 1988 to aid growing in the fifteenth green.  This type of cover allows moisture and oxygen exchange does nothing to prevent ice formation underneath, the principle culprit to this greens troubles this season. 

Green cover technology has changed much over the past twenty five years as more research into winter injury has been uncovered.  These blankets are not cheap, need to be installed before the soil freezes, have a short lifespan and summer storage can be an issue but are worth their weight in gold if they prevent winter kill. _Mk

Smilely Drains

In an effort to assist rapid evacuation of water off putting greens during snow melt, sections of sod was removed in drainage patterns on greens suseptable to winter injury caused by ice damage.

The removed sod was placed over the sand in bunkers for safe keeping.  (Having heard of the successful implimentation of this practice on other courses, I have no experience if this sod will survive winter due to the lack of moisture and desication.  I would rather have dead turf in bunkers vs. dead turf on greens all things considered.)
All our efforts didn't come without fail.  The turf is still very weak and the lack of rooting going into winter is alarming.  As seen in the photo below, the turf is not "knitted" together well enough preventing its removal on greens that really needed this treatment.
Editors Note:  Over time a lip of sand has built up in the collar to bluegrass interface.  This lip was formed by the heavy topdressing requirements needed to backfill aerification holes.  To fill aerification holes sand is moved by sweeping equipment to green centers then back off the green to disperse it.  Over many years of this practice a lip was gradually being formed.  This lip slows positive drainage and backs up water on the green creating additional stress to the turf being growing there. Unfortuneatly these areas are the same "walk on and walk off" areas that recieve the most foot traffic and has shown historically the most winter damage throughout the years.  Once the sod has regained strength, it will be removed and the subsurface soil removed to lower this area to regain positive drainage flows.  _Mk 

Oh how the mighty have fallen!

The closing of the golf course for the season has allowed the greens section staff to redirect its maintenance focus on your course.  Yes there is plenty of clean up in the aftermath of heavy snowfall of November 9th married with the late leaf fall of the Oaks and Silver Maples the course is an absolute mess.

Taking advantage of cool dry days we attacked some of the shade issues around several green sites the most noticeable being around our sixteenth green.  There we removed over 25 large long standing timbers of Pine and Oak that cast heavy shade on this green for over five decades.  Tree removal there will allow greater light penetration and improve air circulation.

Other green sites, the canopies was selectively thinned to remove trees that cast cold shadows over putting greens making for weak putting surfaces.  Zones of shade that typically could be blamed for ice damage to putting surfaces because the shade prevented uniform snow melt and drying of those areas. These areas will be further evaluated over time to see if additional thinning of the stand is needed.  As it was so aptly stated, "you can't put em back up once they're on the ground."
A second goal was to avoid changing the overall look and feel of the golf hole.  Here the heavy shadows cast by White Pines were removed leaving Red Pines behind to maintain appearances.

After a week of this, there are plenty of sore muscles and two broken chainsaws to show for our work.  _Mk

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Course Closed for the Season.

The Bull's Eye Country Club is closed for the season. 

Yesterday's 4.8" of snowfall did it.  Sure glad I got a lot of "traditional work" done before the snow fell in order to put your course to bed for the long winter ahead.  Still plan on adding "smiley drains to putting surfaces to see if we can improve putting green surface drainage at snow melt.

Please be safe and have a wonderful winter.  We hope to see everyone next year.  _Mk

Friday, November 4, 2011

Irrigation System Drying

First you need a big compressor.

Second you need good help to manually actuate the controllers.

Third you need good seasoned help to visually inspect the heads.

And you are looking for this.

Because you really want to avoid this. 

Happens every year even with pressure regulation devices in place.  _Mk

The White Flag lap.

Snow mold chemicals in place, check.  Felling trees and splitting firewood during frost delays, check.  Pond fountain pulled from pond, check.  Waiting for the Oak leaves to fall for that one last full course clean up, check. 

Irrigation system drying now done, check.  Poor mans deep tine aerification completed one week early due to poor weather, check.  Topdressing greens to protect the crowns from winters ills before the snow flies, check. 

My list is getting smaller and smaller and maybe I'll finally be able to reclaim some desktop space, check.  On the horizon is getting your equipment and cart fleets ready for next year, Check, Check, Check!  It can't be next year already? It'll be here before you know it, ready or not!  _Mk

Work and No Play makes for a very dull day!