Recent News

Recent News

Jun

29

Mountain woods maintenance blog May 2018

Well, folks, the golf season for 2018 is about to start, and the crew and I have been working hard to try to get the course ready for you. It has not been an easy start this year due to wet weather and ice issues but we are doing the best we can. During the frost clear-out this Spring, the course received a lot of precipitation that caused many of our clay-based soils, which is just about all of the course, to become incredibly soft and over-saturated, which made it impossible to work key areas of the course. We were just able to start mowing the greens recently, and some of the greens have just been mowed this week and are incredibly soft and unplayable at this point. The weather forecast is looking good for drying the course out, so its time to wash those clubs!!!
Overall, the course wintered better than last year, but there is damage from the January flooding and ice formation. We do have one green that was badly damaged from ice, and a number of greens that went incredibly thin during the wet conditions, and the freezing and thawing that took place over the last month. We actually lost more turf in the last three weeks than we did from the ice cover. Some nights had 20-degree temperature swings during wet conditions, which led to turf loss anywhere water was sitting. The crew and I have been busy overseeding the damaged greens, and I have begun the process of pushing them with fertilizer and tarps. Some of the damaged areas will recover quickly, and I will open each damaged area as it heals. If we open the greens that are thin and wet, soil crusting will occur, and when the heat of summer hits, the turf will wilt and die. It is always best to wait until the turf surfaces are ready for traffic!!! Even though we have damage, there are many areas of the course that came out immaculate!
Over the past couple of years, I have been documenting just about every scenario that has occurred with turf damage. One thing that is clear, is that there are greens that have to be lifted and rebuilt. An entire greens overhaul can easily go to $50000 quite quickly, but I am looking into cheaper ways of doing this, and I will be presenting a plan to our
owner later in the season. We are always trying to improve the course and stay cost effective. Ultimately, it is my goal to always try to produce the best greens I can, and you folks deserve it!!!
We also have just received some new Toro gear, for the course. We now have the most state of the art greens mower, rough mower, and side-by-side. Over the past two years, our owner purchased close to $400,000 worth of turf equipment.
I have just recently met with an extension specialist by the name of Scott White from Syngenta, concerning our insect problem. I guess you can say we have a skunk, raven, crow, and raccoon problem that like to dig up the course, but it’s the presence of a large number of European Chafer grubs that they are after. We have a plan in place to reduce the insect populations, but it is incredibly expensive, which limits the number of turf areas we can actually treat. I will be targeting those most damaged areas in June, and I will be treating the greens before digging does occur. This will be a two-part process, and it must be timed exactly to be effective.
I have a lot of plans for Mountain Woods this year, but first the extensive process of growing back damaged turf has to take place. The money is in the greens, as they say!!
Please feel free to contact me anytime with your questions and/or concerns. I am from P.E.I., so the gift of gab is in my genes!!! Here are a few photos of the past few months, just so you know we don’t just hibernate!!!

 

Sun's Out, Guns Out!
Me hanging out at Disney Worlds Animal Kingdom. This is why I work so hard!

 
 

This is part of the damage that occurred during a major rainfall in January. The temperature went from 14 to -35 in 12 hours!! 

Doing my best to get all of the slush and water off of the greens. This was a photo taken in January and this flash froze quickly as I was pushing the water off.
 

Clearing snow off of the greens early this year after finding embedded ice. I made the decision to clear out the late snowfall to get things melting early.
 

 
 

Applying black sand on the 9/18 green to help melt ice quickly. This worked really well. Thank you Ryan Sherry of the Halifax seed company for the tip and for getting the product to us quickly!!
 

Early straw removal to get things going quickly!! Lots of nerves going on at this point!!

Don Brun pushing snow off of # 5… A lot of work, but I think this green would have been dead without our efforts…
 

These are some of the conditions that lead to some dead grass on the 17th. The water would sit, we would remove it, then it would come up out of the soil and freeze solid over night. This green needs a lift and tuck!! Definitely one slotted for renovation.
 

#3 green a few weeks ago!! I wish they were all like this!!
 

The over seeding process underway a week ago. Fingers are crossed and the plan is in place.
 

Root development on 9/18. This is the benefit of aeration after 2 years!!!
 

Our Master Technician Terry Budd hard at it again. I’m pretty sure he is thinking damn operators abuse!!
 

The new gear has arrived!!! Special thanks to our owner for this Christmas present.

Slightly used spin grinder from Cavendish golf course but a huge upgrade for Mountain woods.