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


 

Putting out resources to defend against Mother Nature

 Posted 4/29/2016
 


After tax day in April it gets busy with applications in the Mid-Atlantic.  Primarily, it is time to put our pre-emerge herbicide in the roughs.  Because of our tighter corridors and contours around the fairways, we use our sprayers to apply the pre-emerge.  13 300 gallon tanks are used to cover 60 acres.  In those 3,900 gallons, we only use 40 pounds of material to cover the entire 60 acres.  In addition to the pre-m, in the rough we also have been working on managing our annual bluegrass weevil population on the greens, tees and fairways as well as applying wetting agent to all surfaces to help with water infiltration.  These applications help set us up for a successful summer season and aid in keeping the turf as consistent and healthy as possible.


We also broke down and put a application of nitrogen and potassium on the greens as well as the fairways.  We have been trying to hold off and let Mother Nature kick start the growth of our bentgrass but it just has not happened.  Since applying the Nitrogen on the greens on Monday, the aeration holes have just about made their final strides to fill in.  The fairways will green up quickly next week and we will be in great shape from here on out.


A newer cultural practice for this year is mowing the native areas in the spring.  In prior years we were able to use a growth regulator that slowed the growth of these areas but that material is no longer available.  Our new flail mower makes pretty quick work of the natives and to quote our main turf consultant, "your best herbicide in the natives is periodic mowing".  After this mowing is complete, our plan is to let the native grass grow up and develop a seed head for an attractive appearance through the season.  The little blue stem grasses (like in between 1 and 9) will turn green and then back to brown again late in the summer.  The mowing will prevent the grasses from becoming too dense and lodging, or falling over late in the season.


Over the years the area between 1 and 9, while relatively attractive, had become inundated with weeds and the little bluestem has actually thinned out by over 50%.  By allowing the brown colored little bluestem to stay high, weed control was near impossible.  We have now cut the bluestem down and been able to even out the other grasses here.  We hope to be able to manage the weeds better this year and by summer time and then the fall, the bluestem will be back to looking normal.  In addition, this past winter we found a grower in North Carolina who is going to grow us about 3,000 little bluestem plugs that will be installed this fall.  Our goal is to create a more consistent look here on 1 and 9 as well as other places like behind 6 green.



This week we also found some time to use up some extra materials from our larger range net installation.  The net that used to be along the service road was replaced with the 20 foot tall net and is now being used at the back of the range.  The net that was here previously had taken a beating and since it was our first attempt at a net, really wasn't installed that well.  Now that we are professionals, this net is strung nicely and will further help keep our range ball inventory up, and costs down.  We have already seen a massive difference in keeping balls where they belong with the larger net along the left side.

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Where everyday is Earth Day

 Posted 4/22/2016
 


On Monday Greg Colombo, our Toro distributer, Lance Ernst and I all tried out the GolfBoard for 18 holes and it was a blast.  We finished in 3.5 hours without even trying to play fast and actually waiting a bit on our staff to complete some jobs.  The boards are stable and while it takes a little bit to get used to, they can maneuver everywhere through the Course very well.  The impact they have on the turf is minimal so we have no problem allowing them on 5 and 6 fairway as well as any flat area in the rough.  You at least have to try them once!


We had a number of things going on Monday and that included starting a big patio project at the pool.  This area at the pool was a bit of dead space and it remained wet from runoff from the pool kids.  Matt Harvey headed up the project and started digging out a cavity that would house a new patio.


The guys removed the soil to a 6 inch depth and made sure everything sloped gradually towards the drain.  Crush and run was laid down and then topped with concrete sand.  The stone and sand was tamped and leveled out to be ready for the pavers.


This has been a full week of work for 5-6 people on the 1600 square foot area.  All of the 6x9 pavers are in now and we will be cutting in a nice border today to finish things off.  The picnic tables will be moved over to this area so that it will open up the grass area closer to the baby pool.  We are glad to get this project out of the way since in the next week or two we will be starting work on a new patio in front the new halfway house behind the Learning Center.


Back on the Golf Course we continue to groom our new bentgrass approaches.  The new areas and also the all the greens and approaches were verticut and topdressed Monday.  The lighter more frequent topdressings will help finish filling in any seams and aeration holes as the grass really starts to grow.


A little extra sand was needed on the greens Monday to top off any small voids on the aeration holes.  The light application of sand was dragged in and has helped this week in smoothing out the greens.  You can still see some different colors in the greens.  This really tells us that the bentgrass has yet to really wake up.  Our soil temperatures have finally gotten above 60 during the day and it looks as if the night time temps are coming up as well.  We continue to take it easy on nitrogen because with one good rain and a few more sunny days, the bentgrass is really going to start moving and these aeration holes will be long forgotten.

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Spring is back

 Posted 4/15/2016
 


Our spring weather is back!  Although we have had some consistent frosts this week the sun has been shining and the bentgrass is starting to move again.  The dry weather and frost has actually helped slow the growth of the rough down a little bit so it will be playing nicely for the weekend.


Growth on the greens is about to blast off this weekend with the warm temperatures.  We have tried to be patient with the weather and held back any excessive nitrogen.  Soil temperatures have ranged in the low 50's all week but as they climb past 58 or so, the bent will finish closing the holes and we will be off and running with firm and healthy playing surfaces.


In the frosts we have been staying busy getting the grounds around the club ready for the year.  We spread close to 200 yards of mulch around all our different buildings.


We have a few beds that we use our own wood chips in order to reduce the costs of the purchased mulch.  Normally we rent a wood chipper for one week and chip all the branches from the year prior.  Those wood chips get turned every now and again and the result is a pretty nice looking "free" hardwood mulch.


Also in the frost this week we planted a variety of willow trees, birch trees and arborvitaes behind our shop.  Over the winter we lost some more pine trees that were acting as a screen for our facility.  These trees will grow quickly, not only creating a screen but they will also act as an additional filter for the water running off our wash pad and towards the pond on 1.


This morning we started work on the new Halfway House that will be built into the back of the Learning Center.  We pulled up the old pavers that were on top of the footer in order to prepare for framing on Monday.


The Halfway House will be on the left side on the new built in structure.  Service will be through the window under the existing roof on the left.  Normal turn items like sandwiches, hot dogs, snacks and drinks will be available here. Our staff will be working on a patio and sitting area as well as a new walk way and parking area.  For all parties involved, we felt that utilizing the back of the Learning Center as a Halfway House was a great way to make better use of this central location.  This facility will easily service the practice areas and allow the focus on the back patio to be on high quality lunch service.  The right side of the building will be used as another home base for the golf shop as well as some storage area.  We hope to have this new feature up and running in a few short weeks.

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