Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Velocity & Expansions

Last week we made the first of five Velocity applications on our fairways and tees and we are now in the midst of the "yellow flash" portion of the application.  The picture above shows two small areas that didn't get treated and remain dark green, while the treated portions are yellowed out.  The "yellow flash" becomes less evident after repeated sprays and it purely cosmetic.  I expect the flash to last a few more days and then the bent grass will begin out-growing the Poa.  Our plan is to repeat this application every four weeks throughout the season and hope to see positive results next spring. 

Meanwhile, our green expansions are finally starting to really grow in!  The recent warm weather has kick started the bentgrass and we are seeing daily improvements in the turf.  We have heavy rolled the uneven new areas and will continue to aerify and roll throughout the season until the transition between old putting surface and new putting surface is seamless.  These expansions have added an estimated 15% to 20% to our putting surface and will give us countless more pin locations.  I will keep you posted with more pictures as we make further progress.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Trading in rough mowers for goats??

Over the past several days we have been deluged with rain.  The result has been an oversaturated golf course with overflowing ponds and standing water everywhere!  While we have been able to get out and mow greens, our larger equipment has not been on the course for several days, and from the looks of the radar it will be several more days before we can even attempt to mow.  Once we can start mowing it will take a couple days to get through the course and it will likely look similar to a hayfield right after harvest... frustrating for sure.  As soon as we can, we will be putting in long hours on mowers to get through everything as soon as we possibly can.  Please exercise patience as we work through a very wet golf course.  I've included some pictures of #13 and #14 for your "enjoyment".

C'mon sun and wind!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Satisfy Your Urge!

We've finally ditched the snow for the year and the frost has officially left the ground! Yesterday, we put the flagsticks back in the greens indicating that they are open for play.  Winter golf conditions should be expected, and no accessories are put out on the course yet.  Over the next couple of weeks (as weather dictates) we will be bringing out the benches, tee markers, ball washers, etc. until finally the course will set for the golfing season.  Also, because it is so early in the year, golf carts will not be available for some time yet.  Our ground conditions are still very wet and will take some time to dry out enough to support cart traffic.  Please be patient and enjoy a walk around the course!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

As expected...

With the recent warm up, I have finally gotten outside to get a look at some of our turf.  As expected, we have a decent crop of snow mold.  While historically we don't get enough prolonged snow cover to worry about snow mold on a large scale, the past two winters have caused some grief.  With today (February 17th) being the first real day of "open turf", we have to go back to early December to find the last day without substantial snow cover.  This is well beyond the 60 days of snow cover usually required to have snow mold issues.  Whether we have Gray Snow Mold or Pink Snow Mold is the question, but it is likely we have a little of both.  Also likely is that they are purely cosmetic and the fungus did not make it to the crown of the plant and cause a lethal infection.

So what now?  With the snow cover all but gone and freezing temperatures in the horizon, the fungus will stop actively growing until freezing temperatures subside.  When the ground conditions warrant, will be making an early fungicide application to take care of the snow mold and some other likely spring diseases.  Once the turf starts actively growing, it will simply grow through the cosmetic effects of the disease.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Firewood Available

We've been doing some tree work over the last two winters and have managed to accumulate a rather large amount of firewood.  All of the soft wood (pine, etc.) has been hauled off and only oak and other hardwood remains.  If you are local and would like some wood, just send me an email.  We're happy to help you load and have a splitter available during working hours. About half of the oak was cut last year so it should be pretty seasoned!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A long break...

I seem to make this promise once every year that I'll continue to post regularly on this blog, and every year I seem to fail.  Maybe 2011 will be better! 

A lot has happened in the nearly six months since my last post.  Today I intend on catching you up on some of the projects we have done since August.

1.  Strategic Improvement Plan:  For the past several years we have been working with Fine Golf Design, Inc. out of Allentown, Pennsylvania on a "master plan" of sorts to address some recurring issues with our golf course.  Mark Fine has collaborated with Scott Witter of Witter Design to come up with a plan to enhance our course in a way that will address some infastructure problems, and will also take our course back to a "classic design" as intended by our original architect, Tom Bendelow.  The Strategic Improvement Plan, as we are calling it, addresses three major areas: bunker design and placement, our tree population, and our drainage.  In addition to these three major items, it addresses some more subtle changes such as grassing lines, green shape, and tee orientation. 

2.  Green Expansions:  Due to the difficult growing conditions during the summer of 2010, some of the fringes of our greens (primarily Poa annua) succumbed to the heat and needed reseeding.  We decided to work with the Strategic Improvement Plan and expand the greens per Mark Fine's design as long as we needed to do some work anyways.  Going into the winter we had good germination of the new fringes.  As soon as spring "springs" we will get back on the fringes and begin the process of leveling them to the green surface.

3.  Winter Work:  We are well into the annual refinishing of all of our wooden golf course accessories.  With the ample snowfall we have had thus far this winter, we have been able to make good progress on the accessories.  Hopefully the winter will cooperate and let us get outside in the next month or so to get some much needed tree work accomplished.

As normally happens this time of year, our staff is getting antsy to get back outside.  As a breed, we like to breath fresh air and being cooped up in a shop starts to cause cabin fever.  I'll leave you with a shot of Lucy in her favorite spot... eyeing the squirrels.  It pretty much sums up how our staff feels also!