Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Change in Aerification Plans

April 28th and 29th were supposed to be the days we aerated and topdressed greens.  Unfortunately we were met with a morning full of rain and clouds that have lingered for several days.  As such, we have decided to cancel our spring aeration of our greens and will plan on being a bit more aggressive with them this fall once the project is underway.  With the cool weather this spring and the shortened season due to the project, delaying aeration even a week would risk not having full recovery by Memorial Day and thus causing "less than ideal" conditions into the season.  I'm sure none of you are disappointed with this decision!

We will however continue with tee, fairway, and approach aeration and will pull plugs on approaches and tees along with a topdressing as soon as the persistent wet weather ends.  Recovery should be swift in these areas and the topdressing sand should help to firm things up. 
Steve and Wayne aerate #17 fairway.  Solid tines mean no cleanup!

As spring continues to ease its way by, please remember to take care of the golf course when you play.  As a reminder, we encourage everyone to REPLACE their divots.  If your divot explodes simply leave it and our maintenance staff will fill the divot with our multi-part divot mix.  Also, please remember to repair pitch marks on greens and encourage your playing partners to repair theirs!

Finally, May 5th marks another milestone in our upcoming Golf Course Improvement Project.  Architects Mark Fine and Scott Witter will be on site to conduct a Pre-Bid Meeting with all contractors who will be bidding the project.  Once the meeting is complete, bids will be due May 16th with the contractor selection taking place soon afterwards.  After seven years of planning and discussion, I am excited to get things started!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Early Signs of Spring!

Seasonal employee Andrew McDonnell puts the first cut on #8 green. 

There were times this winter that I had a hard time believing the snow would ever melt, and questioned whether April would actually arrive, or if we had entered some sort of perpetual winter that brought snow every single Saturday.

April has indeed arrived, and with it has come the first signs of our golf course waking up for the spring.  Many of us superintendents have been waiting patiently (sort of patiently) for the snow to melt so that we could finally see our turf and begin assessing the damage that may have occurred over what has been one of the snowiest and coldest winters on record.  As I have worked my way around the golf course and inspected greens, tees, and fairways, I have been pleased at what I have found so far.  We have had minimal turf damage from the winter and what did occur was on Poa annua and mostly near edges of fairways where water tends to sit for longer periods of time.  I believe this damage is a result of crown hydration during the few warm spells and then freezing during the extremely cold spells that inevitably happened after the warm ups.  As I said our damage was minimal and many areas will recover on their own without and seeding.

Our seasonal staff has begun to slowly return to the club and have been busy cleaning up winter debris and we have even mowed greens.  In the next week, I expect cleanup to continue along with fairway and tee mowing and plan on starting to put out our course accessories. Before too long the course will look playable again!

I will continue to post updates to this blog as spring goes on, and will soon be posting updates on our golf course improvement project.  Exciting times are upon us in 2014!