Thursday, November 4, 2021

Frost Delays

 This week we have already had a few lengthy delays due to frost. We do our best to try and forecast the delays the day before so that tee times can be adjusted accordingly so that our members do not have to sit and wait at the club. We get this right most of the time, but this is very dependent on how fast temperatures rise in the morning. The slower the rise in temperatures the longer it will take for the frost to burn off which not only delays tee times but also delays our ability to access the course to mow and blow leaves. Please take a moment and watch this video from the USGA on frost delays and the importance of not damaging the turf going into the winter when it can not recover on its own. 


USGA Frost Delay Video

Monday, September 27, 2021

Flooding 2021

 Due to the excessive amount of rain in our area on Wednesday and Thursday last week the course was closed due to the creek flooding. This is the highest that I have witnessed in my 7 years here and would imagine that it was worse than the stories I have heard from the 2006 Marathon tournament. 

Here are a few pics from around the course. Special thanks to our crew and the membership for their patience and care when we did open. Other than some debris you really cant tell that we were under water. We did lose the ballwasher from hole 12 so if anyone spots that in the next week or so, please let us know. 


2 fairway looking back at tee box.

11 tee looking at green. (12 tees completely under water)

7 green looking at 17 tee.


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Greens Aerification

 We will be aerating greens on October 18/19. The course will be closed both days as we complete the process. 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Grubs, Critters and Undesirable Turf

 Every fall some of our nocturnal friends on the course try to find grubs to feast upon. You will notice light damage where they dig test holes, and if they find enough to make a meal they really tear into the turf. Most of the time they are racoons, but this year we are fortunate enough to have a family of skunks out near 4 and 15. Between 4 and 15 tees they have hit pay dirt and have done some significant damage to the roughs, especially the bentgrass that has migrated to where bluegrass should be. 

With any goof turf management plan we have to look at all the reasons that the animals are there and decide if the damage is at a threshold that we should take action. Below are the reasons the damage is happening and also what our course of action will be to hopefully prevent damage going forward or at least minimize it for the future.

Problems:

1. Grubs: There are always grubs in the soil that feed on the turf roots. We treat for grubs in the spring on all our greens/tees/fairways. This keeps the threshold down and we typically do not see damage to the turf. 

2. Animals: Racoons and skunks love grubs, they are a great source of protein going into the winter. As part of their diet they search for grubs in areas that are brown and usually not irrigated. Most of the time the damage is minimal and does not require action on our part.

3:Bentgrass in roughs: Over the years bentgrass can migrate and fill in areas in the roughs. Its not a desirable turf to grow at 2 inches and vey fluffy and hard to hit out of.   


Solutions:

1. Grubs: Spray an insecticide to kill grubs and other organisms in the soil. This is only done if the threshold has reached a point where the grubs are actually causing the turf to die. Spot treating some of these areas would be a proper course of action. 

2. Animals: Trapping the animals and relocating them will be done by a professional service, especially skunks. You will start to see some live traps on the course and we have hired a company to come in the morning to relocate the animals. 

3. Bentgrass in roughs: We will start a test trial between 4 and 15 tees with a product that kills bentgrass and poa only. The product allows us to seed right away as it does not harm bluegrass or ryegrass. It is a very systemic product that kills the roots as well, but as the plant dies it turns white instead of brown. 


There is no magic pill to stop any of the three factors from happening on the course but hopefully we can minimize all three factors so that we minimize our reactions in the future. We have chose this area between 4 and 15 tees so that you can see the effects and the progress that we will make moving forward. The area is also not in play so it will not effect any members or guest experience on the course.



The light colored area between the tires is bentgrass.


Light colored grass is bent. Animals not digging up bluegrass.



Animals have found grubs in the bentgrass, but not the bluegrass.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Please Rake Your Bunkers

 When we were forced to remove the bunker rakes from the course last year our members did a great job of adapting to the changes. Now that we have placed the rakes back on the course we ask that you please return to raking bunkers after you have played your shot. 

With the new sand that we have added it is not necessary to use much force to smooth the sand out. In fact, the lighter you rake the smoother the sand will be. Please also remember to rake the area where you hit from but also every foot print that you make. We are into the heart of the season and this means Old Pal, and other matches are being played, which means the ball has to be played down. It is not fair to the members and guests behind you to not have the same conditions that you were able to enjoy. 

Below are two pictures from the same bunker on hole 13 today. The bunker was "kinda" raked by this golfer, but the golfer didn't take the time to finish raking. In the first picture is a ball in their footprint alongside a spot where they did a great job raking. The second picture is a ball that has rolled up to a pile that was left by this same golfer because they raked too hard. Which shot would you want to play in your match? (and no I don't know who did this)

Please note that we have requested the rakes be left OUTSIDE of the bunker, on the side furthest away from the green or fairway.

Again please take a little extra time so that the members and guest in the afternoon enjoy the same conditions that you enjoyed.





Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Greens Speed

With the ups and downs we have experienced this spring in regards to temperature and weather in general, greens have been running very fast. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your preferred greens speed, the greens will seem to be slowER over the next few weeks. With the latest extended warm up, soil temps have risen to a point where the bentgrass and poa are both greening up together and will start to grow more on a day to day basis. Our goal day to day is to have stimp reading of between 11-12. Last week with little growth we were at or approaching almost 13 on the stimpmeter. Again, conditions were optimal to achieve the speeds we were at. This is not very sustainable on a day to day basis, but can be achieved with extra mows and rolls for tournaments and other events. There are other cultural practices that we use such as topdressing, verticutting, height of cut and plant growth regulators that we use to try and provide the best greens that are true but also sustainable for the entire season. 



   

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Bunker Rake Placement Change

Photo courtesy of Tim Kirk.

The grounds committee has unanimously decided to make a change to the placement of bunker rakes around our bunkers. We ask that after you rake bunkers to place the rake back on the outside of the bunker.  The decision was made due to concerns of balls coming to rest against the rakes on the downslope of the grass, and in the bunker itself, not allowing the ball to roll to a spot that was playable. If you keep the rakes on the outside away from greens and fairways, it is less likely that the rakes will come into play.