Do you have a question or comment about the Golf Course?
Please email Golf Course Superintendent,
Chris Harriman, or call 410.489.9178.


 

Greens aeration complete

 Posted 8/27/2015
 


The weather cooled off a bit this week for greens aeration.  Just like the steam coming off the warm water, the warm soil temperatures were relieved as the aerators made their way across the surfaces.  Managing the organic matter and thatch in our greens will always be necessary and important.  The cores we pull out are blown off and hauled away, no tools actually touch the greens surface.  The greens are smoothed out with a roller and then topdressed with sand.


In the spring is when we really try to inject sand into the greens profiles.  In August our objective is to provide the greens some relief from the summer weather and to limit mechanic damage.  This week we used 25 tons of sand on the greens as opposed to over 75 tons in the spring.  A little over 75% of the holes are filled with sand and the greens continue growing and filling in.  After we topdress with sand, the greens are dragged and then blown off again to prep them for mowing.


We mow in the afternoons in order to get the best cut and not have to deal with wet sand sticking to the mower rollers.  The greens are looking great for only a few days after being covered in plugs.  We have switched back to grooved front rollers on the mowers to help improve the cut and the overall texture on the greens.  Moisture levels will be kept up through the weekend to encourage the holes to fill in and to prepare for a return of hot weather next week!


The fairways were also provided some relief this week with the aerator.  Solid tines were used to poke holes that will help with soil compaction, water infiltration and air movement through the profile.  We use this single machine to do all the fairways and it takes two sets of tines at about $400 per set.


 
While it was disappointing to be delayed a week with the practice green sodding, it allowed us to get the fairway groomer out this week.  This is a similar process that we do on the greens 10-15 times a year to reduce grain and directional textures in the bentgrass.  The higher mowing height on the fairways and the fact that we only mow them in two directions (as opposed to infinite directions on the greens) creates some serious grain over time.  The vertical mower cuts off the lateral growth and then a dry mow in the opposite direction cleans up any stragglers.  A tighter surface is the result and combined with the dry conditions out there, we are seeing some serious ball roll this week!

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Aeration starts with miserable weather

 Posted 8/20/2015
 


On Monday, in 95 degree heat and staggering humidity, we were able to aerate all the approaches on the Golf Course as well as the Short Game area fairway.  This is the first time we have punched the new fairway and it was great to get some topdressing sand on it.  The topdressing will help firm up the surface and help the divots fill in more quickly.


Even Mr. Colombo got in on the action on Monday and lent us a helping hand with aeration cleanup.


With the approaches aerated, on Tuesday it made way for us to strip out the ryegrass aprons.  These aprons were full of Poa annua, were very difficult to keep consistent and were just plain ugly.


New bentgrass sod was brought in on a refrigerated truck and was put into place carefully.  Our entire crew worked all day on Tuesday replacing these aprons and making sure they were level and perfect.


After just two days we are seeing root initiation and growth.  By this coming Monday, we will be rolling and mowing these approaches to get them ready for play.  For now with the ropes up, please walk around the new sod and let it grow in properly.  We hope to put them into play by the 31st.


With the approaches done we moved on to aerating tees on Wednesday.  Out of all of our playing surfaces, the tees have the most thatch and organic matter on them.  Over the years, these aerations have increased the quality and reduced our overall maintenance time greatly.


We use the core sweeper to clean up most of the plugs off the tees instead of simply shoveling them up.  This saves us a ton of time and lets us finish all the tees in just about 10 hours total.


The sweeper lifts all the way up to dump into the bed of another vehicle.  The specialization and versatility of our equipment is incredible.  You are looking at about $65,000 worth of equipment right here.  The cart that the plugs are being dumped in to is actually the vehicle that our 300 gallon spraying sits on.  We can switch between sprayer and dump bed as needed.


The tees and approaches were all topdressed heavily with mason sand.  The sand finds its way into the aeration holes after the brush and water helps it along.  The particle size of the sand along with the fact that it holds less water than soil or clay helps maximize the amount of air that is available to the plant.  The sand also helps fill up the upper thatch layer providing a firmer surface and one that can recover from divots faster.

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Decent temperatures but it is dry!

 Posted 8/13/2015
 


The temperatures have been relatively moderate this past week coupled with ridiculously low humidity for this time of year.  While this kind of weather provides a "beautiful" day for humans, it puts the grass under plenty of stress.  The low humidity really dries the turf out and the plant itself ends up using much more water.  We were to a point this week where we didn't even need the fans on since all they were doing was drier out the turf even more.  


We started the process of dropping some water out of the pond on #1 on Thursday.  The pond on #9 has about 2.5 million gallons of usable water left in it.  The transfer from the pond on 1 will give us another million gallons which will be more than enough to get us through the summer.  We know the next two weeks will be dry but we will be way overdue for some rain after that.


One positive change we made this year was to put a small amount of wetting agent in every pesticide application made on the greens, tees and fairways.  Instead of making monthly applications of wetting agent, we make them weekly or bi-weekly.  This has improved efficacy greatly and helped lower the amount of localized dry spots that occur.


On Monday we will aerate all the approaches with a 3/4" hollow tine.  This aeration will include the ryegrass aprons directly in front of the greens.  On Tuesday the aprons will be stripped and replaced with new bentgrass sod.  The holes from the aeration will be underneath the sod and help with rooting in.  The new bentgrass sod will match the surface of our fairways and greens, providing a consistent experience.  The current ryegrass aprons are very inconsistent from a playability and aesthetic standpoint.  They also house a large amount of Poa annua which is not a weed that we want close to the greens.  These areas will be roped off and played as GUR for about 2 weeks.

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3600 Cattail Creek Dr. Glenwood, MD 21738 Phone: 410.489.4653 Fax: 410.489.5228