Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Course Conditions

Sunrise on 5 fairway

The special thing about June is that it has the longest days of the year. The sun rises just before 6:00 AM and sets at 9:15 PM on its longest day. This is great for many golfers, as the early birds enjoy nice warm sunny mornings but just as important the afternoon golfer has the ability to play a full 18 before the sun disappears for the next day. The golf course though experiences some challenges during these prolonged days of sunlight. Water expectations of the turf become critical for most of the day as the sun is at its peak for many hours. This June we have received very little rainfall and the days have been consistently hot, sunny, and breezy. All of these elements can cause stress to the grass and it will start to burn out. We could use a good thunderstorm or two.

Areas on the golf course that are non-irrigated have really started showing tan in color. Most of our irrigated areas on the golf course are holding well, with isolated dry spots scattered through the course. The greens and surrounds irrigation has been a significant improvement. Our greens have been playing fairly quick and roll smooth, while we have seen a substantial improvement in the health and thickness of the greens surrounds.

Syringe cycle on #5 fairway

As mentioned earlier the water requirements of grass are critical during these long hot days. Our irrigation system waters through the night but from noon into the early afternoon grass needs a little water to cool it off. You will see the maintenance staff out hand watering greens and dry spots around the golf course. Also in the early afternoon we will run syringe cycles on fairways to cool them down. It is important for players to know that these cycles move from the green towards the tee and are approximately 5 minute intervals. Although it could be perceived as a minor inconvenience to players the benefits of keeping the turf healthy is the major benefit. The greens staff thanks you for the support.

Worn turf on the edge of #6 cart path
Cart etiquette is important to understand, and as well the relationship on how it affects the golf course. Players are urged to use the cart paths when possible, especially the entrances to greens and tee complex’s, and Par 3 holes. Crossing posts have been set up between 20-50 yards out from the green on Par 4's and 5's to divert cart traffic over to these path areas. Roping, curbing, and signage are also methods used to try to disperse cart traffic from wear areas. One of the biggest challenges we face is keeping all 4 tires on cart paths. Some of the most diligent members of course care, struggle with this task. Grass on the corners and turns of paths have worn down from multiple carts compacting these areas. Please do your best in Caring for Your Course.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Golfer Reminder

We have now put our in-season flag poles on the golf course.  There has been a noticeable trend of marks and scraps on the poles already.  These marks are caused by players using their putters and wedges to pick the flag pole off the ground. 

You can help by handling the pin with hands only!

Tree Damage

Photo from #13 Ladies Tee
The high winds on Saturday and and through the night left us many smaller sticks and debris to clean up on Sunday morning.  We did lose 1 tree over night.  A Silver Maple between holes 12 and 13.  From the pictures you can notice that the health of this tree has been comprised from decay and insects through the center of the trunk.  There are several trees at Forest Lake, and we plan to review the complete forest over the next few years.  Trees with structural problems will be addressed during this process.

Decay through trunk of tree
Clean up Time!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Course Update

Hole #12 Friday Morning
Needle Tine aeration #13 Green
      Finally some rain and cooler temperatures to provide a little relief from the hot month of May we experienced.  Most of  May's temperatures stayed in the mid 70's with some days venturing into the high 80's and low 90's.  Rainfall was at a minimum and we were solely relying on our irrigation system to provide water.   There are some non irrigated areas in roughs that are starting to show the doughty conditions.  Also we have some isolated dry areas on our shorter mowed surfaces.  These areas are showing stress from being intensely managed to provide the best daily playing conditions.

We needle tined and top dressed the greens on Tuesday.   Mowing and rolling the greens daily, and foot traffic from players compacts the greens.  Compaction leads to poor water, air and nutrient movement in the soil and can compromise the quality of grass.  The Aeration process helps water to penetrate and move through the greens surface by creating pore space in the soil.  The benefits from aeration, allows us to manage the greens aggressively to provide best playing conditions, and healthy turf.  Playability is not compromised through this form of aeration because the holes are small (1/4 inch) and no core is removed.