The driving range tee will reopen as scheduled this Thursday morning. The tee schedule will remain the same as the past two years. Hitting off the grass will be permitted on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays. Monday thru Wednesday the tee will be closed and the mats will be utilized for practicing.
Recently I had a Certified Arborist come out to the club to shed some light and give some suggestions on a few trees that have been going down hill for the past two years. There were 4 trees particularly that we were looking at between #12 and #13 and observed several more around the course. The 4 trees on #12/13, 2 Sycamores, 1 Tulip Popluar, and 1 Pin Oak, have drastically declined this year . The Popular was struck by lighting last summer and the oak and sycamores have been declining for two years. After careful consideration, the trees were never going to survive through the winter. It was tough to see these trees go since they do impact play, but this fall we will be installing some new trees in these areas according to the Master Tree Plan developed last year. The Master Tree Plan was developed for this specific reason. As the age of our mature trees come to a close, a new generation of trees need to be in place to protect the characteristic Bluegrass Treelines. Many of the trees on the course are relatively the same age and masses could be wiped out all at once. This program will continue adding new generation trees (with better stress tolerates) to the property as we have done over the past 2 years to keep Bluegrass, Bluegrass.
Sycamore and Oak
Our current greens dragging brush has finally seen its last day, but with some creative brainstorming, I present our new greens brush.
Bottom of Greens Brush
With the use of an old wooden pallet and 6 shop brooms we were able develop a brush pattern based off the new technology brushes of today. This homemade recipe has worked with great success for less than $100 compared to the $2,000+ brushes of today.
Currently our staff is 75% completed with the full aerification process. We were able to get all the greens aerified and cleaned today. Tomorrow morning the final process will include finishing topdressing, brushing the sand, applying amendments, and a spray application.
Fun Facts From Aerification:
12.27 cubic feet of green remove per 1000 square feet
1104.3 cubic feet of green removed over all greens
9.82% of the putting surface affected
72 holes per square foot
6,480,000 holes over all greens
Many wonder why aerification is so important. Greens aerifications are a necessary practice to ensure the green’s health for the future. Normally aerification on bentgrass takes place when the plants are at their optimum time for growth and when golfers view the greens are at their best. Performing this cultural practice during this time will provide a speedy recovery and allow adequate amounts of oxygen and applied nutrients to the soil for healing and growth.
When selecting a tine size, tine spacing, and amount of organic matter to remove is a lot more than just a guess or how much you want to make the golfers mad. The USGA provides guidelines for the amount of organic matter removed from a green every year (15-20% OM/Year). These guidelines help to prolong the life of a green and ensure the root zone will stay functioning as it should. Typically 3-4 aerifications a year, similar to this fall aerification, will comply with the USGA guidelines. We plan our tine sizes and spacing to remove 3-8% organic matter per aerification for the year using different tine sizes for different periods of the season. Early Spring and summer aerifications use smaller tines on a closer tine spacing to achieve the correct OM% removed. A smaller tine in a closer pattern will be less disruptive to golfers than the larger tines in Summer and Fall.
We are approaching our seeding date for ryegrass on the driving range tee. Typically, around the last week of September to first week of October we look to overseed the driving range tee. This year we will overseed the range the week of September 21st. During that time hitting off the mats will be mandatory for about 2-3 weeks while the seed germinates and becomes ready to withstand play. After the tee is open for play we will allow hitting off the grass on a limited schedule similar to last year. We will post a schedule for hitting off the grass as we approach the seeding date.
The golf course will be closed Monday & Tuesday for our final aerification of the year. We will be using the same size aerification tines as we did from this past May. The expected recovery time (weather dependent) will be approximately 2-3 weeks for 100% recovery.
– Steffie Safrit
Every year we anticipate having a cold winter which could possibly devastate warm seasons grasses like bermuda grass. To protect our grasses, all bermuda grass height of cuts have been raised to allow more carbohydrates be stored for the winter. Our staff began the first cut of higher heights this week and look to continue at these heights until the beginning of 2014. This cultural practice we have used for the past several years with minimal winter injury from cold temperatures.
These efforts are also to increase the amount of leaf tissue to try to negate the effects of the Vamont Bermuda dropping its leaves late into the winter providing a less than desirable playing condition.