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.