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


Summer is here

 Posted 7/24/2015

From high to low humidity, to 58 degree nights and 95 degree days, our turf is enduring it all.  On Monday we ran out with the solid tines on the aerator and poked holes in the tees.  The holes allow air to reach the upper profile and most importantly allow water to pass through to get to the deepest roots.  Now that we are solely relying on irrigation water, we have to make sure the water is being used efficiently by the plant and these holes help it do that.

You may have seen some of these dead circles on a few tees on the front nine and here on 18 white.  With the wet spring, ants had been going crazy on these tees and building more and more ant hills.  The ant hills suffocate the turf underneath and also ding up the blades on our mowers.  Our normal procedure for getting rid of the ants with bait was not working this year so we tried a soak with a different insecticide.  The product worked on the ants but it also killed most of the turf it was applied on.  These areas are being plugged out and we should not have to worry about ants for a while.

A slightly different disaster story involves a company that was supposed to build us some nice metal racks for the SGA bag shags for the grand opening in May.  After being backed up with work we never got the racks and supposedly their warehouse burned down a few weeks ago!  So we resorted to making our own racks this week.  There are five racks scattered around the SGA for the bag shags.  This one pictured here serves an additional purpose as a divider from where shots should be taken.  Practice should take place only in between the rack and the respective practice green, with no shots traveling past the rack.  Again, the SGA is for practice from about 50 yards and in, anything longer can easily be exercised over on the range tee.

There are a number of rough areas that have been under stress from the heat over the past few weeks.  These areas are mostly composed of ryegrass.  You can see a stark difference here between essentially perfect turf type tall fescue sod and the ugly thinned ryegrass.  The rye has poor heat tolerance and disease resistance.  We do our best to keep it alive but Mother Nature is clearly telling us to continue on with our tall fescue seeding and sodding program this fall.  

The traction paint is down on the walk bridge for 11.  I have heard about this bridge reducing scores on this hole by as much as half a stroke already!

Enjoy the nice weather this weekend!

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Lots of different things happening

 Posted 7/17/2015

While most people are slowing down for the summer and going on vacation, we are entering our busiest and most important time of the year.  The rain has let up and we now have to manage wet and dry cycles.  This week we applied wetting agent to the greens, tees, fairways and much of the rough.  The wetting agent helps us get water into the soil where the plant can use it.  This helps us reduce the amount of water we use and also the time we take to put it out.

If you have been on any of the Short Game Area greens in the past two weeks, you have seen these yellow spots on the bentgrass.  It is certainly NOT Poa annua, it is actually a bacteria infection called........yellow spot.  This week we applied a contact fungicide that will help alleviate the spots.  The spots are simply superficial and don't cause much harm, they are just aesthetically ugly.

On Wednesday afternoon the management team traveled to the University of Maryland Turfgrass Research center for their biannual Field Day.  Here the researchers go over all of their studies from the past two years and we are able to gather info about what grass varieties and pesticides work the best and in what combination to use them.

This was also the week when the bridge on 11 was to be replaced.  We rented a mini excavator to pull the old bridge out but we also put it to work on 13 to pull some grass out of the stream in front of the green.  We know this stream needs a major overhaul but this was just a quick maintenance run this week.  Did you know that all the grass growing over the stream is bentgrass?  The same bent that is on our greens, tees and fairways.  We also cleared all the storm debris that was piled up under the bridge going from 12 tee to 12 fairway.

We found a little bit of extra time to install some pavers along the greenside edge of the cartpath that had been worn out over the past two years since we pulled the steel railing out.

Don't forget what this old bridge looked like on 11!

Old bridge is gone and work begins on the new one.  Mr. Doug Rowan was able to take three days off from his regular job as the Landscape Manager at TPC Potomac to facilitate our bridge construction.

Supports and framing done.  We wanted this bridge to be a single plane for ease of crossing.  We also wanted it high enough so that storm debris can pass through without pushing on or damaging the bridge.

Construction complete!  We will be working today to fill in and sod the entrance and exit but this is a great improvement.  We will be painting the walkway on the bridge as soon as the traction paint comes in which will most likely be Monday.  Enjoy the weekend!

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Entering summer defense mode

 Posted 7/10/2015

This past Monday we were able to get a variety of things accomplished including verticutting the approaches.  Just like on the greens, verticutting the bentgrass here helps stand the grass up which gives us a better playing surface.  It also allows more air to move around the crown of the plant which is very important for this time of year.

Following up our quick solid tine aeration of the tees last week, we went out with a light application of dry topdressing sand.  The sand helps firm the surface and when applied at the proper rate helps protect the crown of the plant from mechanical damage.  

The most susceptible grass to disease on our property is ryegrass.  Our intermediate cuts are ryegrass along with plenty of the rough.  To ensure the intermediate cuts stay as consistent as possible, we have to apply fungicides every 10 days during the summer.  A green pigment is also used to increase the turfs defenses from UV rays.  We are protecting the rye against brown patch, pythium, dollar spot and gray leaf spot, all of which can take the rye down to the ground over night.

The best part of the week was actually a trip with the management team up to Lancaster CC for the Women's US Open.  Lancaster is on a beautiful piece of property and the layout is classically impressive.  Their turf varieties mirror ours so it was great to see their management practices up close.  If you have the chance to travel an hour and a half north this weekend you will no doubt enjoy yourself!

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Summer is here
  Posted 7/24/2015
Entering summer defense mode
  Posted 7/10/2015
4th wettest June on record
  Posted 7/3/2015
Enough with the rain!
  Posted 6/25/2015
3600 Cattail Creek Dr. Glenwood, MD 21738 Phone: 410.489.4653 Fax: 410.489.5228