Friday, September 26, 2014

Divot Patterns

  As we enter the busy golf season, our practice facilities will see much more action than in the summer season. Since the turf is slower to recover in the colder months, it is important to understand which divot patterns will result in the quickest turf recovery. This will help insure that there is minimal time needed to re-grow these areas in-between range station rotations and will promote smoother and more consistent practice surfaces. Please take a few minutes to read this article from the USGA which explains this in more detail.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Summer Recap

 As the summer season begins to slow down, we have completed the majority of our summer cultivation work and are starting to focus on details. It is now time to prepare for the fall transition and insure that the course will sustain the winter months. All of our work over the summer is primarily geared toward helping us achieve this, and I would like to briefly recap what we have done during the growing season.

 We aerified three times this year and our greens are continuing to fill in nicely since the most recent aerification. Again, this process serves many vital purposes to the overall health of our greens. It helps to remove the excess thatch layer and build a stronger, deeper, and more dense root structure. Although we will not be doing any more heavy sand applications, we still need to continue to topdress the greens periodically. These applications will be very light and will not greatly affect play.

 In July we made a Curfew application to the greens, which is very beneficial in controlling our nematode population. Nematodes are microscopic root feeders and can be very difficult to control. This application was made to all of our greens and to the most problematic areas on tees and fairways. The product is applied as a liquid that is injected several inches into the soil profile. As it makes contact with moisture, it volatilizes into a gas, escaping to the surface and killing nematodes on contact.
This is the tractor unit used to apply the Curfew to the greens.

A look at the discs that cut the slits for the product injection.
 DryJect is a process that provides many of the same benefits of core aerification without the need to remove material from the greens profile. The DryJect machines used high pressure to inject large amounts of sand into the greens to help amend the soil and improve water movement and root density.
The end result is a large amount of sand in the profile without removing any material.

Our crew worked with the machine operators to fill them with sand as they went.

As we move forward, we will focus on detail work and preparing to transition. Now that the aggressive cultivation work is done, we can begin to dial in our mowing heights around the course and work to maintain smooth and consistent playing surfaces. As always, we will continue monitoring for weeds and insects and will treat the course accordingly. Our fertilizer and pesticide applications will also be adjusted to compensate for the changing seasons. As I said, all of our efforts throughout the summer months have been geared toward sustaining the upcoming months. It has been a very productive summer and we are looking forward to the busy golfing season!