Monday, May 27, 2013

The Sprigging Process

   The first set of sprigs for the tees and fairways arrived by refrigerated truck on Friday, May 24th and were planted on the tees and fairways on holes 1,7,9,10 and 18 as well as on #17 fairway.  

 Sprigs were dispersed by hand on tees...  

Cut in, and rolled...

And finally, watered

Sprigging fairways was done slightly different using a machine that cuts the sprigs into the soil as they are dispersed.

This process left tight rows of new plants

Now with 24 hour monitoring of irrigation cycles and moisture levels these plants will take root and quickly begin filling in the fairways and tees. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Work continues after the storm

 After nearly 3" of rain yesterday evening, the preparations continue.  Much of the dead grass we have been working to remove piled up near drains and collected in low areas.

 With a quick cleanup crew out in front of the machines, we went right back to preparing the fairways for sprigs.

#4 Green stripped

#5 Approach is ready to sprig

#9 Fairway is now prepared to be sprigged on Friday, May 24th.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fairway, Tee, and Approach No-till conversion

 Approaches and tees were scalped both BEFORE and AFTER the verti-cut process to remove as much material as possible.
 The vertical blades on this triplex cut and pull up any lateral stems on tees and approaches.  This process removes a large portion of the existing grass making room for the new sprigs.
 Scalping approaches behind the verti-cut to remove laterally growing stems.
 After the scalping process the approaches were aerified two times with 3/4" tines on 1.5" spacing.
 Scalping the fairways to remove as much unwanted plant material as possible. The first step in the fairway re-grassing process (after spraying).
 Blowing off the clippings after scalping down fairways.
 Aerifying fairways after the scalping.
 Dragging in soil from the fairway aerification
 Fairway Graden verti-cut unit.  The first of two directions.
Graden lines after one direction

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

#3 Rebuild

Day 1 of hole #3 renovation
View from behind #3 as they remove the original green

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


#18 Fairway following the first Roundup spray for the conversion

Monday, May 6, 2013

Fairway Conversion

  Anyone around the golf course this weekend likely noticed that the fairways and approaches have begun to turn yellow.  This discoloration is the effect of the herbicide used to kill the existing grass and begin the preparations for the re-grassing.  The process of preparing these large areas is very time consuming and it is important that we are able to start immediately upon closing.  Eliminating the existing grass is a crucial step in the process that will result in a more even, full stand of new grass.  We will be spraying these areas again this week to ensure complete eradication of the existing turf.  The rest of the process of re-grassing the fairways will commence immediately upon the closing of the golf course.  Starting Monday May 20th we will be scalping, aerifying, and using the Graden verti-cut unit on the fairways.  This process disrupts a large percentage of the soil in the top 6” and prepares the surface to be sprigged with the Celebration Bermudagrass   Once the sprigs have been planted in the fairways it is imperative that the surface remains moist while the grass develops roots therefor we will be running irrigation repeatedly and the surfaces of the golf course will be soft and wet.  During this time it is important that no one including employees drive or operate any equipment on these areas.  As the new grass fills in and becomes stronger the irrigation cycles will decrease and once the surface is full enough and firm enough mowing will resume.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Avila course improvements

Over the next few weeks, as the starting date for the golf course renovation approaches, you may notice the effects of some of the work the maintenance staff has already initiated in preparation for a busy summer.  This post will serve to explain some of the methods currently being employed on the golf course as well as the full scope of the project to come.  Throughout the renovation Superintendent Mike Slack and his assistants will be posting pictures and updates so the membership can stay informed and updated on the progress and processes involved in the renovation.   This blog is intended to be a source of information between the members here at Avila and the managers charged with maintaining the golf course both during and following the completion of the renovation.
  Aerification and root pruning are two of the ongoing processes that will continue throughout the summer to provide a more consistent stand of turf.  By severing any tree roots within the top twelve inches of soil the maintenance crew can reduce the amount of competition between the trees and the turf for nutrients and water.  When done in conjunction with crown thinning, and selective removals root pruning is another tool to aid in maintaining a quality golf course within the secluded, native Florida environment.  Following the root pruning with aerification of the thin/weak areas around trees will reduce compaction, increase water infiltration and encourage a full, consistent turf.
  In addition to changing the grass type on the greens, the fairways and perimeters will be re-grassed with “Celebration” Bermuda grass.  Celebration is a stronger cultivar with greater shade and drought tolerances that will provide a more consistent playing surface.  The process used to change grasses on the fairways is intensive and takes time, therefore preparations have already begun.  In order to create a viable growth medium for the Celebration sprigs and reduce competition for water and nutrients it is important to first kill off the existing grass, which maintenance is doing at this time.  The approaches and fairways have been sprayed once, and will begin turning brown over the next 1-2 weeks.  Once the existing turf is dead, the surface will be scalped with the mowers, and then aerified and verti-cut to remove much of the old grass and create a surface conducive to planting and growing in the improved grass.

Root pruning

This 12" diameter root between the tree and #8 green was too big for the root pruner and had to be exposed and removed with a chainsaw.

Root pruning #8

9" diameter Oak tree root 15 yards from #8 green removed after root pruning