Maintenance Blog

Maintenance Blog



Mountain Woods Golf Club Maintenance Blog June 2016

June News from Dave Davey

Well It’s hard to believe that June is already here, and I wish the crew and I were further ahead with certain aspects of course maintenance, but things did not always line up the way they were needed.  I don't ever remember a Spring with so many back-orders, shipping delays, customs problems, etc, however all of our equipment has finally arrived which gives us the ability to start all of the improvements needed to make Mountain Woods a better golf course.

Well greens aeration was a bit of an eye opener. I intended to aerate the greens with smaller tines, but the aerator blew through the whole set in one and a half greens!!!! I had to switch to a more robust larger quad tine in order to finish the job. This is actually better for the greens anyway, but it takes a bit longer for the aeration holes to fill in. Right now as we speak, there is a thick and healthy root system developing in the aeration holes, and I will be further enhancing the root system with a product called crystal green.  A lot of other superintendents have tried the product and were amazed with the mass of root development. Further aeration will be done throughout the season with solid tines that slice into the green and pull out without leaving a hole. After rolling, you would barely know I had done the procedure. Yes we do have rollers and will be using them as a regular part of surface management.

Topdressing was a bit difficult with wet sand and wet green sites which led to some inconsistency in spreading, but that can be typical trying to figure out all of the quirks of new equipment and a new course for me. On some of the greens, there are rough spots of poa annua, and these will be hand dressed to smooth them out. Dead spots will be seeded and plugged.  I personally have not ever used this much topdress sand on a green and have it disappear. In fact I spread close to thirty tonnes and double dressed a number of greens. This is due mostly because of the thickness of the thatch, and the lack of topdressing over the years and especially at the end of the year when greens should literally be buried. So now throughout the year I will be topdressing lightly every two to three weeks to keep the surfaces smooth, and will be doing so in a way not to disrupt play if possible.  The greens were also vertical cut and a lot of pure thatchy material came out.  Thatch is the layer of old stem, leaf, and root tissue that accumulates each year just under the surface. It has to be removed by vertical cutting, topdressing, and aeration. I have always considered thatch to be the ruination of a golf green, because if it gets excessive, surfaces can stay wet, water will not infiltrate the surface, level of disease increases, surfaces can be rough, and root systems can diminish. I will be working hard to reduces and dilute the thatch in our green sites. The greens heights will be dropped down over the next week or so to help improve the putting surfaces. The final height is yet to be determined.

The tees are also going to be aerated, topdressed, and overseeded, and are on the schedule for this month. I have already done number 1 white just to test what’s below the surface. I may need a lot more tines!!!! One of the things that we will have to increase on the maintenance side is divot repair on the tee decks, and will be making changes for the month of June. On number 15 and number 2, there are divot repair containers. It took 6 weeks for the golfing public to empty them. Please help us out while golfing by using the containers to fill your divots and one other. We should have to fill those up every couple of days. It will only lead to a better tee decks if we work together. 

Because of delays in a much needed parts order, that was supposed to come in 4 weeks ago, fairways 1, 3, and 4 are going to be aerated shortly, but a poultry product will not be used until almost the end of the season. This is due to timing and upcoming events. I will be using a standard N-P-K turf fertilizer at high rates instead to reduce the impact to the playing public. In the Fall, the fairways will be aerated heavily, and the poultry product would be much more beneficial then. 

Special recognition goes out to our shop mechanic Terry Budd. Terry has been working hard keeping all of the equipment going, and staying late with me working on a critical main irrigation line break that let go a week ago. It was a huge job that took place over 3 evenings, but now is complete. You probably would never see Terry on the course because we keep him locked in the shop most days, so if you ever see him please say thanks for doing a great job.  Cindy from the kitchen staff has taken on the role of golf course gardener recently, and is doing a wonderful job. If you have any plants to donate just let her know, and we will see if they can be added to the landscape.

June is going to be an incredibly busy month for the crew, and we will be working hard to provide you with the best facility that we can. If any of you want to volunteer time on the course just let me know. We are considering doing an adopt a hole program so please let us know what you think. It has been a pleasure getting to know the Professional Shop staff over the past month. I am always letting Glen and Tony know what is going on with the golf course, so if you can't track me down, they will often know. Glen has a wealth of knowledge about golf and turf, and Tony is amazing at tractor burial.  Please ask him about this everyday!!!! Sorry Tony, but you were the first.. As a final note, please repair ball marks, replace divots, and rake bunkers.

Until next time...........


Don running the vertical cutter on the 9/18 green.



A lot of material coming out of the green.



Gordon blowing off the debris.



A lot of topdress sand prior to dragging into the profile.