Sorry for the long delay on a blog post my goal is to provide a least one post a month this year, and I’m cutting it close this month. We have had a very busy winter so far at Bluegrass, and still have plenty of work left in front of us.
Our tree program is about half way through, and if you have played golf recently you have probably noticed the GCM staff cutting, hauling, stump grinding and pruning about everyday the weather has allowed us. Thank you for your understanding, and working around us during this process. We have finished raising tree canopies and are a few days worth of clean up away from making it to the back 9.
Our irrigation materials have arrived and we are looking forward to beginning our irrigation renovation on Febuary 13th. This will be a huge addition for us, and will help us provide better quality turf in our rough areas.
One last note,
Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, Mitch Alexander will be leaving us at the end of February. Mitch has been a member of the Bluegrass staff for 5 years and has been a great asset to our team. Next time you see Mitch, please thank him for his hard work and dedication here at Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club.
I wanted to take the time to update you on a few upcoming projects as well as course conditions going into the winter.
You may have noticed orange ribbon around certain trees while playing the front 9 this past week. We have marked these trees for either removal, pruning, or relocation. If you refer to the picture above to #6 fairway you can see how shaded this fairway stays until midday. It is our goal to provide the best playing surface while also keeping the natural look and feel of Bluegrass. Removing these trees will help us grow healthier denser turf where we sometimes struggle due to shade and irrigation.
Lack of rain has been evident in our tree line fescue roughs, and also in certain Bermuda roughs the last couple of months. We are anticipating a winter 2017 irrigation project, installing and relocating of 200 heads to be able to irrigate every playable surface. This and in combination with tree work should help us provide great conditions year around going forward.
We have been working on bunkers the last week adding sand, plate tamping and changing up our raking method. “The Aussie method” is where you compact faces and use the back of the rake or a roller to smooth the faces around the perimeter of the bunker, while raking the bottom portion of the bunker. The Aussie method will keep faces firm and reduce fried egg lies as well as wash outs. Please do not exit out of the bunker through the faces. Proper etiquette for a golfer is to rake bottom of bunker like normal and when exiting, flip the bunker rake over to the back side of the rake and finish the perimeter raking with a smooth finish.
The bermuda driving range tee will be closing down going into winter. We have two overseed tees that we will be rotating through the winter months, these two overseeded tees will be irons only. There will be a designated spot for drivers, woods and long irons that will be clearly marked. Driving range schedule will be Tuesday- Thursday Mats only and Friday-Sunday overseeded tees.
Please remember to stay on the cart path around tees, and adhere to proper 90 degree rule going into winter. Dormant Bermuda is not actively growing in winter months therefore there is no recovery until spring green up.
Feel free to contact me about anything mentioned in this post or for general course questions.
Thanks & Happy Thanksgiving.
The cool weather is finally here, and we have been working on our cool season cultural practices. Greens aerification was completed at the beginning of September. We had a small issue on #2 and #3 greens when our aerifier tine protruded the tine guard and left bigger holes than intended. I had the question “why wouldn’t the operator stop” when you are removing plugs and they are laying on the surface after you have aerified, the larger holes were not noticeable. We have either plugged these areas out or seeded, and with great bentgrass weather upon us….finally…we shouldn’t notice these areas.
If you have played golf in the past week you may have seen a white tint in our fescue areas in our tree lines, this is from a herbicide called Pylex. Pylex removes warm season grasses as well as undesirable weeds, this in turn will help us get our fescue roughs back to a pure stand of fescue. The GCM staff has started aerifying these fescue roughs as well, and will be seeding these areas when we are finished.
Now that fall is here it is especially important that we get back in the habit of remaining on the cart path and following the 90 degree rule properly. This means carts remain on the cart path next to Tee boxes and use the cart path until you are even with your ball in the fairway. You then exit the cart path and drive straight to your ball, hit and drive back to the cart path. We have struggled in the past when breaking dormancy in heavy traffic areas being either so compacted or loss of leaf tissue that the Bermuda is beyond recovery. Bermuda is NOT actively growing in the winter, there is no recovery process during the winter months, so making sure your group is adhering to the cart path rules properly helps provide a better spring green up.
USGA defines venting as the practice of creating small, non-disruptive holes in a putting green for the purpose of improving gas exchange, increasing infiltration of water, and relieves compaction.
With the amount of rainfall we received in July and the normal summer temperatures, this practice is vital to keeping our greens healthy. You can see in the picture above, the right side has been vented and the left hasn’t. Typically we use a 1/4″ solid tine at a 5″ depth every 3 to 4 weeks. This type of Aerification is a lot less disruptive then spring and fall aerification and allows us to mow or roll right behind. Typically it takes 3 or 4 days for the tine holes to heal in.
It’s that time of the year to say goodbye to the rye. The temperatures have changed and are in favor of the Bermuda grass now. We will begin transitioning out the Ryegrass and begin encouraging the Bermuda fairways.
Ryegrass is a cool season grass, therefore will not survive our summer temperatures maintained at fairway height, and become more susceptible to disease when the plant is under stress during the summer months.
Bermudagrass and ryegrass are in competition for water, sunlight, and nutrients in early spring when the ryegrass is at its peak and the Bermuda is breaking dormancy. Bermuda grass recovery is significantly delayed by this and in turn leaves a thin Bermuda canopy during transition in heavy traffic or shaded area and sometimes leading to turf loss.
The GCM staff over the next couple of weeks will be out promoting Bermuda grass growth and recovery in fairways with cultural practices, so please be patient during this transition period.
If you have any questions regarding overseeding, fairways, or the golf course in general, feel free to stop me anytime .
A few quick updates on the golf course. Deep tine and core aerification have come and gone and we are healing in well.
One of the key functions of core aeration is the physical removal of organic matter and the replacement of this material with sand. For a complete discussion of the role of aeration and its importance as a cultural tool in a putting green management program, refer to the article, http://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/pdf/imported/030301.pdf
The GCM staff has been working on a few projects on the golf course as well as normal routine maintenance the past couple of weeks. Below is a list that is finished or in progress:
stump removal and back filling
25 tons of sand added to bunkers
sod work around #14 pond covering liner
sod work around heavy/traffic areas on golf course
#10 pond dredging.
2nd week of April: collar work
3rd week of April: fescue/419 sod work, wrapping up pond dredging
last week of April: Mulch & pinestraw continuing into first of May.
Next time you are in the proshop check out the new superintendent message on the counter. You can find that day’s pin location, cart rule, weather, daily projects, and what is being mowed out for the day.
If you have any questions regarding the golf course feel free to stop me anytime.
March is upon us and warmer weather is just around the corner. A friendly reminder to start off the golfing season: it is every golfers responsibility to fill your divots and repair your ball marks. This will be beneficial to the golfer behind you.
Also the GCM staff will be applying our preemergent application to the entire golf course tomorrow, so NO afternoon golf tomorrow. This will allow us to complete the entire course application, as well as reduce our chances of tracking herbicide to undesired areas.