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mountain woods golf club Grounds Maintenance Blog October/ November 2018

Grounds Maintenance Blog October/ November 2018

 

 

October/November Newsletter
 
                  We started off the month of October with a lot of optimism in our maintenance plans for the last two months of the season, but just after we core aerated the greens, and tees, everything weather-wise completely fell apart. There were a lot of projects that we had planned for drainage, bunker work, etc., however, around mid-October, the course was almost too wet too move, and we were hampered with large wind storms, that created a lot of unsafe conditions. In November, the rains and winds continued, followed by a really early freeze, that shut course maintenance down almost completely. As you all know, winter came really early, and is still with us.
                  Greens and Tees:                 All of the greens and tees were core aerated at least once, and then were aerated once again with a large solid tine that leaves open channels to allow water and air movement throughout the winter. The greens were top-dressed heavily with usga sand twice, in order to incorporate as much sand into the soil profile as possible. Only a hand full of tee decks were top-dressed, starting with the ones that had the most thatch in them. Topdressing tee decks is not really in our budget for the year, so if there is some sand left over, or slightly contaminated with larger particles of sand or soil, then it is applied to the tees that most need it.  To finish off the year, the greens had an application of surfactant, which is an experiment we are trying, to help with over-wintering. In theory, it should help the greens distribute water, and move it down off of the surface, where ice can occur.  This was followed with our final snow mold treatment. Unfortunately, with the ground freezing early and staying frozen, coupled with many consecutive days of high winds, covering was not done this year. There is a possibility that it could still thaw enough to allow us to get this done, but I think this is highly unlikely. Also, we had planned to dig some water movement channels, but the ground was frozen solid, and the sod cutter would not go through it. It was frozen solid enough to bend the blade of a spade, and the staples used to anchor turf covers would only bend, and not penetrate the ground!  There is still a lot of weather changes that might occur to make a better situation for the course, so we are watching things closely, so we can act quickly if needed.
                  Fairways and Rough:        This year, because of the messy weather we dealt with, we did not do any core aeration, but we did run the aerovator over just about every inch of the fairway and rough areas. This unit has done an exceptional job for us loosening the hard clay soil, and it turns out, that you can run it during really wet conditions. One of the only positives of the Fall season!!!
                  Crazy High Winds:              If it wasn’t raining, the winds were howling!!! In November, we had a huge windstorm that took down over 80 very large trees on the course, and left another 100 plus leaning. I’m hoping that most of those leaners have fallen with the last few mixed precipitation storms, because many of these were very dangerous. We pulled down what we could, but some of them were in areas just not safe enough to attempt a high- risk procedure, that mother nature will most likely finish off this winter.  Don had the chainsaws going on the most important down falls, but there will still be a month of work in the Spring. We even had a large tree fall on the 7th green. Just a lovely addition to an already miserable Fall!!! We repaired most of the impact, and will complete the fine work on the green in the Spring.
                  One project that did get completed, is a drain basin was installed where water had been collecting in front of the 9th green. This will also serve as a drain that will collect a lot of water that typically builds up and moves across the green, thus causing ice build up. This is one of the many, that will have to be installed on the course over the next few years.
                  In closing, I would like to thank you, the membership, for being such a great group of individuals, that have given the staff a lot of positive feedback. I would also like to thank the hard-working maintenance crew for all of their hard work trying to put together the best product that they can. It really was a pleasure working with all of you this year. Well folks, that’s it for me for this season, and I hope to see all of you in the Spring.
 

 
 

Large Aeration on 9/18 green. This was just after a heavy rain with a wetting agent on an area that usually holds a lot of water.
 

New basin and drainage going in at 9 green.

 

Don getting the hole ready for the new drain basin.
 

 

The aerovator hard at work loosening up the heavy clay soil on 1 fairway.