Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Golf Course Update

A tremendous amount of things are happening all at once on the golf course. Soil temperatures have started to warm up and have caused grass to start growing rapidly.  While trying to keep up on mowing roughs and other areas, our main focus is still on greens recovery.  It is very tough sometimes to judge progression when you are looking at the same green everyday trying to pick out the positive advancements.  We have been taking periodic pictures of the greens better monitor this.  Shown below are pictures of #2 and #13 greens, with the first photos from April 7th, and last on May 23rd.  Our recovery is very much related to the damage that a particular green has received. There are additional factors such as moisture management, percent of seed germination, algae and fertility that also playing  a role in recovery. We are addressing these hurdles as we run into them.  The greens are moving along, but are not perfect, that will come in time.  We are looking at introducing some greens in play at the start of June and progressively be playing others as the turf canopy becomes dense enough to support daily play.  Although these putting surfaces will be played, expect to have slower greens speeds, and some bumpy ball rolls at first.  As the surface matures and we are able to put into effect more maintenance stresses the greens will consistently  improve.

2 Green April 7, 2014
2 Green April 31,2014
2 Green May 12,2014
2 Green May 23,2014
13 Green April 7,2014
13 Green April 31,2014
13 Green May 12,2014
13 Green May 23,2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Golf Course Update

We are going to hit 30 days after seeding our greens this coming weekend (May 16,17 and 18th to be factual).  Even though we have encountered some frustrating cool weather, we have been able to make some significant progress especially from the warm rains over the past 7 days.  All of the greens are showing significant recovery but will remain out of play at the moment.  At this point we have a very mixed bag of greens in our recovery process, which range from looking very fairly close to being put back in play to a handful of greens that it is too early to make that determination.  This is too be expected, where in general, the greens that are closer to play had less winter damage and grass that survived, where the greens with excess of 80% winter kill will be recovering from almost all seed.

Pictures of a couple examples from both ends of the spectrum.

#9 Green - Approximately 1/3 of this green appeared alive in mid April.  Also there were signs of other grass in a dormant state making a recovery.

9 Green Mid April
9 Green Mid May

#18 Green - 90% of this green suffered winter kill.  There has been a small portion of this green that was dormant and trying to rebound, but a large part of this greens recovery is relying on new seedlings.
18 Green Mid April
18 Green Mid May
As the pictures show, 9 green will be ready for play earlier then 18 green.  Not to be discouraged.  As we have started to mow all of the greens, we continue to see positive improvements, where the seedlings are becoming dense and starting to fill in the voids between them.  

As we look at these pictures of the greens on weekly and monthly comparisons we notice very positive results. We will continue to show progress pictures of the greens weekly.  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Greens Update

It has been 3 weeks since we have seeded the greens to aid in recovery of our playing surfaces.   We have definitely seen some significant advancements in the greens despite having cooler temperatures for the first 14 days after seeding.  By covering the greens with tarps we were able to slightly increase the the temperatures, and were effective in keeping the seed bed moist.  We have achieved germination in most of  the greens by doing this. Along side existing turf that survived the winter we have quite a bit of grass to work with.

This past week we warmer spring temperatures arrived!  We have removed all of the covers until the next cool days, to allow the seedlings to have 100% sunlight.  This also gave us the ability to put our first mow on all of the greens that have germinated.  Some of the greens that are further along in recovery were mowed multiple times.  The covers will be moved on and off the greens as needed during the recovery process, as we move through the variable weather cycles of spring. 

#4 Green April 30th

#4 Green May 9th

#4 Green from 150 yards May 9th
The visible differences are very positive and encouraging as in the above pictures of #4 Green.  Our greens that have incurred more damage are slightly behind in growth.  From afar our greens appear restored as new seedlings and existing turf give off a green hue.  We have a lot of work ahead of us still, as we wait for the new seedlings to mature and start spreading laterally.  Mowing, watering and fertilizer applications will be done frequently over the next weeks to encourage a denser surface.

New Bent grass seedlings on #7 greens

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Greens Update

Despite temperatures sitting in the mid 50s for most of the last 2 weeks since we seeded our greens, we are starting to see some results.  With the last couple days of increased temperatures we have been very satisfied to see growth throughout most of our greens canopies

As we move through the next few weeks I will be providing before and after pictures to show progression.  Some progression is noticeable from a far but a lot of our progression becomes visual as you are closer to the greens surface.

First example is #9 Green.  We expected to see some recovery from existing turf that was weakened by the winter, but looked like it may have chance of survival.  One of the success's we have had in this situation is there was more surviving grass then expected, and that grass has grown vigorously and laterally to start filling voids in the greens canopy.

#9 Green April 7th
#9 Green April 30th
Second Example is #2 Green.  This is a green where we new we had an uphill battle where the green appeared 90-100% dead.  We were very surprised to see many positives on April 30th.  The first being existing turf rebounding in some areas, but more significantly was the new POA and bent grass plants starting to emerge.  The picture from afar encapsulating the whole green does not do justice.  But if you lay down beside the green you really can see progression.  Although we are a long way from playing on the surfaces, getting seed to germinate was a critical part of the process

#2 Green April 7th
#2 Green April 30th
#2 Green (Picture taken from the superintendent "Push Up " position)
A couple of pictures that are definitely interesting to show seed bed preparation and achieving results.

Deep Verti-cutting  April 16th

Slices in turf canopy
Germination of Bent grass and some POA in the slices April 30th