Maintenance Blog

Maintenance Blog


Sep

7

Blog September 2106

September newsletter

Well finally in August, the course started to get some much needed rain, and it couldn't have come at a better time, because we were close to losing large sections of turf grass. In July, I had applied a large quantity of fertilizer to the fairways and roughs at just about the same time the drought began. Drought and nutrient release do not work well together, but when the rains finally came, the fertilizer released and the course greened up and thickened up fast.  I am really pleased with the progress on the new holes. Once we aerate those holes extensively at the end of the season, they should be filled in completely. I didn't think this would be possible for at least 2-3 years, so we are definitely ahead of schedule for this issue. At least now we know that these holes will no longer be the big ugly of the golf course, and will now be more of a feature of the course. As time progresses, they will become thicker and softer, and easier to play on. On these holes, the bunkers have to be edged heavily to more of an original shape. I'm not sure if this will be completed this fall, but I am trying to pull this off.

Things are going well with greens management, but there are still a lot of issues that have to be addressed in order to make the surfaces a higher quality. A lot of work will be done after the invitational to address water movement and retention in the soils, as well as thatch management, and upper surface modification with USGA pure sand. It’s an exciting time for this course, and I am happy to be part of it. I personally cannot wait to see the greens next spring and how they respond to my plans. Currently # 1 green is having a rough time with water movement, and it is becoming evident that the drains may have failed. It is my intention to put in two deep drains across the bottom of the green, and this should improve the situation. This will be done late this year or first of next season. I hope you are enjoying the greens this season, and for the month of September I will be increasing the level of maintenance on the greens to improve them further this season, and for our invitational. You may notice the greens having a slightly mint green color lately. This is due to the fact that I am experimenting with the quantity of fertilizer needed to maintain sustainable, and healthy surfaces. Basically I am trying to dial them in. They will be a lot greener soon!

There are a number of projects on the course that need to be completed, so we will be hitting the ground running soon. The bunkers on 17 are going to be started this week and will be done in two stages so that I will not be taken off of regular maintenance for long periods, because there are only 6 crew on the course right now, and I'm one of them. Basically bunker and base drain for stage 1, and later 2 trenches to tie in the base drains for completion. Thanks for your patience concerning this issue. Also, It was our intention to sod in front of 15 green, but it would be a giant waste of money because we are in the process of designing a new hole and green site for 15. This may take place late this year with completion next spring with sodding. Right now this hole adds nothing to the design of the course, and the green will always be a low level green that is prone to kill and weak surfaces.  Please let us know what you would like to see there!!! Instead of sodding, divot containers have been purchased for high traffic tee-offs. They will be put out soon. Please use them and help us out. If you fill divots every time you tee off, the tees will always have healthy grass on them.

I am also pleased to announce that we are an officially accredited IPM facility recognized by Plant Health Atlantic. This usually takes 3 years, and we pulled it off in 3 months. They were really impressed with the level of IPM we are operating on, and with future plans to improve plant health and reduce the usage of pesticides on the course.  I have an extensive plan of improvement for this course, and can't wait to do all of it!

So far I am happy with the progress of this facility, but there is still a long way to go. Please know that we will always be trying to improve this golf course, so you can enjoy it even more. I can't wait for cooler temperatures, and fall color. I have been told this is one of the most beautiful fall golf courses in the area, and I am looking forward to seeing it. Just not blowing the leaves off of it!!!!  Until next time.......