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


 

Cool nights are on the way

 Posted 9/23/2016
 


The cool nighttime temperatures are showing up about two weeks too late.  We made an attempt to push our disease coverage but we saw plenty of dollar spot and brown patch pop up over the past few days.  In the picture this is dollar spot on a fairway.  The disease forms on the turf and takes it out in a single night if not treated quickly with a curative fungicide.  We have talked about our worm compost trial and it has worked extremely well, essentially doubling the length of time our fungicides can control disease.  However, if we try to push for more than a month of coverage we see pretty quick breakdown and have to go out and treat again.


Insects around the Course have been wreaking havoc as well.  Our grub control has broken down in a number of spots and the annual bluegrass weevil population once again increased in population over the past month.  Treating these pests and repairing the areas of damage takes a good amount of time out of our regular program of grooming the Course. 


The green surround on 9 has been below par for the last month and had not showed enough signs of recovery where we were happy to let the ryegrass persist.  Gray leaf spot had taken a good hold on the rye and it had thinned out creating voids and on the drive in to the club it was just not a nice sight.  On Monday and Tuesday this week most of the surround was stripped up and hauled to the dump.


We took some time to get a few areas more level and then punched holes in the soil so that the new tall fescue sod can root in more effectively.


Two of our four existing surround irrigation heads were also moved to better positions.  The lighter color spot towards the top of the picture is where the head used to be.  Surround heads are part circle, they only shoot water out in one direction so that they do not water the green (we have greens heads for that).  By moving the surround heads back closer to the green, the radius is more effective and doesn't leave a dry area between the green and the head.


The bunkers were edged and the sand was pulled back so that we could roll the sand down over the edge.  This allows us to keep the new sod moist along the edges and turns out looking pretty sharp.


Laying down new sod, especially to a big area is one of the more fun tasks on the Golf Course.  Everyone is working together and we get to turn dirt into great looking turf very quickly.  This area on 9 took 18,500 square feet of tall fescue sod which is 37 pallets.  Our team had it all laid down by 10 am Thursday.  The new sod, along with a few other spots on 6 and 4 should be played as Ground Under Repair.  On 9, there are 3 white stakes around the green that indicate possible drop areas that can be used.  The sod should root in quickly and be in play by mid next week.  Again, the tall fescue is a great turf for our area that provides much better consistency and pest tolerance than our existing rye.  As fall rolls on we will have a few more sod projects that will help us improve the over all quality of the rough.

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Seriously summer, that is enough

 Posted 9/8/2016
 


This summer really has been brutal.  From an agronomic standpoint we always want things to be perfect but we also have to realize and prepare for golfers to "use" the Golf Course.  This traffic pattern on #2 from Monday really isn't too bad.  The scattering of traffic helps spread wear out and the turf can recover quickly.

 
On Tuesday we got the aerators started early (4:00 am) and our new led lights guided them along.  We had all 18 greens aerated by 9:15 am.


Quarter inch hollow tines were used to pull out small cores on a 2 inch spacing.  The purpose of this aeration at the end of summer is to just help exchange some air to the roots, start new root initiation for the fall and continue managing the thatch layer.  We are not overly concerned with sand incorporation as that is done in the spring with larger tines and the Dryject procedure.


Once the greens were blown off and rolled, they were fertilized with an organic nitrogen source as well as a ration of potassium, calcium and some micro-nutrients.  The thunderstorm on Wednesday night washed our amendments into the holes nicely and we were able to mow through the dew on Thursday morning.  


By Thursday the greens were looking good and enjoying their small breath of fresh air.  They will continue to heal and once the weather turns next week we will look to get back into our normal mowing and rolling schedule.


5 days after seeding the tall fescue seedlings are popping and starting to soak up the sun.  These areas in the one cuts will continue to fill in over the next few weeks.  


This summer we had two areas on 14 fairway and 7 fairways where the sprayer decided to cough out some material at the wrong rate.  We waited a few weeks to see if the turf could recover but this week we got tired of looking at the nasty turf.  This section, along with some areas on 7 fairway were re-sodded with new 007 bentgrass this week.  With some extra pieces we also replaced some bentgrass in low areas on 9, 10 and 18 fairways that had suffocated from the heat and moisture this summer.  This sod will root extremely quickly but please follow the signage and play any new sod as Ground Under Repair.


We also removed a lot of "dead" material up on the tennis courts this week.  The Tennis Classic takes place next week so we put a lot of time in trying to polish up the grounds and put the courts in their best possible condition for the event.





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Sayonara Summer

 Posted 9/1/2016
 


After another long stretch of 90 degree days and no rain in almost two weeks, it finally looks like the weather wants to turn a bit.  Our main goal this week was to get as much seed in the ground as possible.  We have tried to be patient with getting the seed out yet.  Running aerators and the slit seeder through the rough and 1 cuts in hot weather only sends them further into decline.  We are now trying to take advantage of the cool temps, as well as the potential cloudy, moist weekend to throw some seed in and get it to pop.  Turf type tall fescue is being used in the rough as well as in the first cuts here and should help things be a bit more consistent in future summers.


The rain Wednesday night came down hard and fast so we were forced into the bunkers for repair work Thursday morning.  Normally we have one person take all the bunkers each morning but with just an inch of rain we need 8 guys to get the sand put back in place before lunch time.  This slows all other progress on the Course down and forces us to work even harder to catch back up before the long weekend.


Walking through the Golf Course Thursday while it was soaked, it is easy to see why we have some thin areas in the fairways and 1 cuts.  For the most part our Course drains extremely well.  Since this summer was way above average, any low area that held just a bit too much water just got scorched in August.  After the 7 inches of rain fell July 31, things just started to bake and roots were sheared off.  The cool nights will help the plants recover and most of these areas will fill in or be seeded or sodded over the next few weeks.


In addition to all the things happening on the Golf Course we are also preparing for the Tennis Classic in two weeks.  A quick prune around the fitness center takes place this week along with trying to get the gravel walkway tightened up.  Next week we will be resurfacing all the tennis courts and doing some final cleanup.


We also installed some new pull up/fitness bars behind the pool this week.  Mr. Reid and Mr. Pond were first to try out their jazzercise routine on it and the bars seemed to hold up well!


As we have been communicating, all the greens on the Golf Course will be aerated on Tuesday the 6th.  Originally scheduled for the 15th, we pushed core aeration of greens back due to hot weather.  In the past two weeks the greens have perked up nicely and are much better suited for aeration.  On Thursday afternoon we got the practice greens out of the way since we will only have one day to knock out all 18 greens on Tuesday.


The small 1/4" cores are blown off the greens and then picked up off the 1 cuts.  We tried something new this year by topdressing lightly before the aerator went across.  When the plugs are blown off the sand is blown down into the holes which is what we want in order to preserve valuable pore space for root growth, water and air exchange.  Once the green is blown super clean, it is rolled and then amended.  We will be mowing the practice greens in the afternoons once or twice before we can mow in the morning as usual.  Pulling these small cores out at the end of summer will help the greens through a successful fall season.

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