Maintenance Blog

Maintenance Blog


Jul

17

Mountain Woods Maintenance Blog July 2018

News from Your Superintendent, Dave Davey!

 

July newsletter Mountainwoods Golf

Well the season is progressing along, and like all other things so far this year, I am a bit off schedule for this newsletter, so I think I will just simply do them mid-month for the rest of the season. This has been a challenging year for the turf department, but we are pushing through the severely hot weather, equipment breakdowns, and fatigue.  I think we all will agree that it has been too hot! I hope all of you have been enjoying the course so far, and it will only get better unless of course, we go into an intense drought!!
So far this year the course has shown the progression from the large amount of kill that winter left us, to where we are today, but there is still a lot of work to do.
Greens: So far, the greens have filled in quite well, but there are still some spots that soil crusting has occurred, and slowed fill-in, but these will get better as the season moves forward.  Greens #8 and #17 are finally completely open, not perfect, but not rolling too bad. We will be sanding these greens a little heavier each top-dress application so they will get better every time.  It actually took a lot longer than I had anticipated getting these spots open. Every time they were mowed, the roped areas would scalp and turn white, so a dry sand application was done to help both parts of green become one.  Green #15, which I quite simply refer to as the embarrassment of this golf course, and for me personally, since I have not had a green like this in mid-season in over 17 years. The last 2 seasons, the green came out of winter in decent condition, and quite truthfully came back on its own without little input, but I had complete control of moisture. The difference this year is that the green has actually been in decline once the over-seeding had germinated. Once the green got wet this year, it stayed wet in the humidity, the soil crusted, and all of the weakest areas failed once the green was in daily traffic. I have tried everything I know that is possible to keep it in play and growing, but this has proved to be ineffective. I am not the first Superintendent to have to face a situation like this, and I will not be the last! If I close the green at this point of the season to overseed it, it will still be a month before it would be filled in enough to reopen in better condition. Sodding, at this point of the season, would just be a huge waste of money. So, the green will remain open for the rest of the season, as is, but we will be doing several applications to it in order to get it filled in. There is a possibility that there will still be damaged areas until the end of the season. We will also be sanding and rolling it to try to keep it as a putting surface. Sorry folks, but I cannot candy coat the reality of the situation. For the future, it has been well known at this club, that # 15 green should be rebuilt, and needs to be rebuilt. It is the one hole on the course that when you get on the tee, there is a hmm moment. It's an ugly hole that simply takes away from the rest of the course. I am currently looking into some different cheaper options for a green here because the USGA method would cost close to $50000. I am going to be getting quotes on the overall cost to reconstruct the hole, and if everything goes well, you can kiss that miserable hole goodbye!!! My apologies to those that may actually like it!!! Also, before I leave the greens section, we are a bit behind on some applications, mainly because of heat, so our greens will be even better shortly… Thanks for your patience…
Tees:  So far, the tees have been better this year for growth, then any other year. The years of aeration we have been doing is working very well, and we have also used a wetting agent, which has really helped with water movement and retention. We will be aerating the tees this month with solid tines, and we will be doing our best to keep them growing in the heat. Thanks to all of you that have been helping us with divot filling. It makes a tremendous difference on the tee decks. Filling divots is like planting a garden; therapeutic don’t you think!!
Fairways: This year the fairways are filling in nicely, partly due to the fact that we had some rain this Spring, and the fact that they have been aerated this year, and the past 2 seasons, with a couple of different methods of aeration. Also, the club has invested a lot of money in fertilizer to try to grow in some of the past season's damage. This year we did our regular application, but also did a second application, in conjunction with the aerovator, which has proved to be an awesome grass growing combination for Mountain Woods. There are some weedy areas that popped up when it became hot, and we will be spraying these areas in a spot-spray method once the temperatures go below 26 degrees Celsius, later in the season. FYI, there are some rough areas and greens-surrounds areas that will have the same treatment. I can actually say I’m happy with the progression of these fairways, which is rare for me. This will be part of a program that we will be continuing for a number of years, to help improve the condition of the fairways.
Bunkers:  We have not yet started the bunker sand filling process, quite simply because we have been busy trying to keep everything mowed during a growth explosion. Also, we have been waiting for a new rake attachment before we add new sand, so there will be less contamination. I have the sand on order, and it looks like it is going to start to get quite dry in the next couple of weeks, which will give us the time to get the work done. Sorry for the delay, but this project will get done for sure.
Well folks, that’s all for now. I hope all of you have been having an amazing golf season, with more birdies than bogeys, and may your putts be true. I would like to thank all of you that have volunteered at the course this year, and I would like to personally thank Allan Doyle for organizing a group of volunteers recently that helped the maintenance department with some goose control measures. Not Goose eradication as some have thought. We are trying to control where Canada Geese congregate on the course, as opposed to letting them freely move about.  Many courses are doing the exact same thing to try to control what has become a pest to the golf industry unfortunately. We are trying to do everything possible to co-exist with nature, since we are an important part of urban green space. I personally do not hate Canada Geese, and I actually find them comical to watch, but I do hate the big Gander that nipped me in the arse recently, the other morning, when I was watering and not paying attention how close I was to his family!!! Till next time…
 
 

# 7 green this Spring….

 

# 15 green under water for about the 10th time this year. REBUILD!!!

 

 

Anthracnose disease on the back of #14 green. This disease also played a role in the kill on #15 green.

Thatch removal #4. The result of pushing the green hard to get it to fill in.

 

Vandalism on the 10thgreen. Anyone who plays with someone who does this please let us know. We have had a lot of this in the past few weeks.

It’s a good thing we provide rakes. If I did this when I was learning to play golf, my Father would give me a good kick in the backside. I don’t know what has happened to etiquette these days!