June Newsletter for Mountain Woods Golf
It’s hard to believe that it is already mid-June, but I guess time flies when you’re having fun!! I must say it has been a tough Spring dealing with the aftermath of an icy winter, but we are finally progressing and filling in with the warm and humid weather. All of the greens are finally open as of June 20th, but there is still some filling in and spot repair that will have to be done. It’s been an unfortunate Spring for many of the golf courses in our area, and I know for a fact there are a lot of stressed Superintendents out there, so please be patient. It is a difficult and expensive process to try to get a golf course back from winterkill, and the time to do it is limited.
Greens: All of our greens are open, but there is still a lot of work to do to get them where I want them. The major grow-in is completed, but there is a number of spots that will require hand work in order to get them to fill in. When you have severe ice damage, there is more than just grass that dies. Something changes in the soil that seems to not support life. It’s probably at the microscopic level, but it is a concept that is not completely understood just yet. A golf green is actually not just a playing surface, but it is really an ecosystem involving a symbiotic relationship between plants, microbes, and other vertebrates and invertebrates. We are actually going to be feeding microbes this year as part of our fertility program by using kelp, humic acid, fulvic acid, carbon, and sugars, etc. We are also going to be aerating a lot with deep micro tines in order to improve the gas exchange potential in the soil. We actually have done this once already, and there is little or no surface disruption. We are finally at the stage where we can start doing frequent light topdressings and the height of cut will be dropping over the next 7-14 days, so get ready for a little speed. Growth regulation will also start shortly, and this will improve the quality of cut and the consistency of speed. I would like to thank all of the members for your patience, and I look forward to producing excellent putting surfaces for you.
Tees: The tee areas are filling in nicely, but there will have to be some seeding done to help fill in some of them. We will be aerating the tees over the next couple of weeks and this will help improve them drastically. Also, there has been a lot of seed stalks that have popped up recently and will have to be hand removed. These can be problematic in wet springs and are a lot of work for a small crew to try and get rid of them all. The divot containers are out some please keep using them, and help us with the fill-in process.
Fairways: The fairways are filling in, but there is still a lot of bare patches from winter kill. These are likely to fill in with a few humid nights as the poa annua starts to kick in. We plan on running the aeravator over a few of them and seeding to help with the fill in. The fairways were also fertilized with a larger amount of product than normal to help fill in the weaker areas, but this does come with a price, so there will be a lot of rough areas that will not be fertilized this year. If you notice a dark green fairway with a slightly pale rough, then that is an area that didn’t receive fertilizer. We will be spraying for weeds over the next few weeks. Also, with the fairways this year, we have decided to keep the 90-degree rule in order to reduce the amount of traffic on the heavy clay soils to help with producing healthier turf, so please follow the 90-degree rule.
Bunkers: Over the past couple of weeks, we have had a tonne of seed from poa and knotweed germinate in our bunkers, so they are a bit on the messy side right now. This has to be removed by hand so please be patient with us. If you feel the need to help us out just start plucking!!!! The fairway bunker on 14 is going to be reshaped and sanded as soon as time permits, so consider it ground under repair in the meantime.
Cart Traffic: We have been noticing over the past few weeks, that many of you are not staying on the paths around greens and tees. When you are at a green area or tee area, the cart should be on the path, not half on or half off. There has been a lot of damage caused already, and we may have to start putting barriers up to stop this which will only create more work for the crew. Also, there are a number of bunker areas where carts have been taking short-cuts and are almost in the bunkers now. On the bell hole which is #7, the hill area and cart path is roped off for a reason, so please do not take the cart around the back of the green to go into the hill area. It is strictly cart path only on that part of the hole. Carts are a part of golf, but please use some common sense when you’re out there, and be conscious of the fact that you are actually causing some damage by not following basic cart rules.
It’s nice to see that things are starting to come together here at Mountain Woods and its looking to be great conditions for the rest of the season. I really have to give a shout out to the staff this year for working so hard and doing such great work. We have a well-oiled team here, and it is a pleasure working with them, and listening to their really bad jokes. If you have time, I encourage you to get to know them. Until next time!!! Here is a few pictures from this season.