Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Greens Update

It has been awhile since I've had time to update the conditions of the 5 new greens. We have been actually treating the practice putting green like a new one since it has been in various states of rehabilitation over the last 3 years. I am pleased with some of the progress and have disappointments with others. First the good news. We were able to aerify those greens last week but not topdress. We will do so on Monday. Once the greens smooth out, our intention is to get green 15 and the practice green into the same mowing and maintenance schedule as the existing greens. Green 12 has mad a lot of progress recently and with any reasonably sound agronomic practices, that one should also be joining the ranks of the other greens. Now for the disappointments. Green 4 has shown signs of stress and weak growth. I plan to begin to reverse the grow in and actually raise the heighth of cut back up to an acceptable level for optimum growth. There will be additional sodding and plugging to once again get the turf to fill in and then start to condition the grass for lower mowing. As for green 7, overall appearance is good but still not healthy enough for lower mowing yet. It is also difficult to roll the green to smooth out the bumps because the root system is not strong enough to hold the turf in place while rolling. In the meantime, we will continue to seed and sod all areas until we run out of sod.

What this means to the golfer is that greens 12, 15, and practice will soon be similar to all the others, while greens 4 and 7 are going to take longer to get to the same place. A cool, dry summer would help considerably to meet these goals but any type of high temperatures and humidity will play a significant role in reducing the chances that all the greens will be the same sooner than later.

As you see, green 4 has some work to do. That picture was taken a month ago and not much improvement. But, I am always up for challenges and this is no excemption.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rain Again

The forecast seems to be a broken record. Rain is mentioned daily and the amount varies. A year ago after the spring rains stopped, it never rained again until late fall. The water supply(Big Butternut) was dramatically lower and turf conditions off irrigated areas were barren. Today, the mowers are running daily to keep up and the water supply is adequate for this season. The sun will return and the golf course will be ready for your enjoyment.

The new greens were actually set back by the extended wet weather but for the long run are benefiting greatly. With continued rain, the surface looks good but the nutrients that were applied have leached past the root zone and suddenly the color was off. Thinking it was mower or rolling damage, I quickly reduced those activities. After thinking about this, I soon realized that there was a great need to fertilize those greens again. After an ample helping this week, yesterday they looked great again. The real positive gains with the wet weather is that all the sodding and seeding on those greens helps in the establishment.

There are new seedling emerging from the aerifier holes and the bare areas. With constant watching and reseeding, all these areas should fill in. How soon? Not sure. It all depends upon weather, traffic, and various maintenance activities. Rest assured, the maintenance staff is doing everything it can to get these greens in the same conditions as the other existing ones.