Friday, April 24, 2015

Golf course update

April is always a challenge on the golf course.  As quick as warm weather moves in for a few days, right behind it is a series of frost mornings or even what we witnessed this week. SNOW!  The golf course is still in a process of waking up from the long cold winter, and for the most part we are in very good shape.  The greens survived the winter with minimal snow injury, and are in very playable condition.  Some of our challenges happen during freeze/thaw events through the winter where low lying areas hold melt water, which then turns into ice.  The end result is thin or dead pockets of turf where these events occurred.  As the grass wakes up from dormancy these areas become more apparent.  This year we have a few areas on  the golf course in fairways and roughs with some damage, most noticeable #16 fairway.  These areas will be addressed over the course of the next few weeks when the temperatures become more favorable for promoting new seedlings to grow.

Also I would like to address the fluctuations in greens color over the past week.  This is a result of a chemical application to prevent POA seed heads from developing.  The greens surface has a non uniform yellow tinge, as certain varieties of POA are effected a little differently, and as well the bent grass plants still hanging onto a green color.  Seed heads will develop in May, and can create an undesirable bumpy greens surface.  Although our applications will not eliminate 100% of the seed from emerging we have had very good success in minimizing their impact on greens.

12 Green showing regulation
POA seed head uncontrolled

 The main challenge to start of the 2015 season has been turning on the irrigation system.  Miles of piping and irrigation heads are subject to shifting and heaving due to the frost layer moving deep into the soil.  This year we have had numerous breaks that we have been working through to ensure our system is reliable. The night time temperatures still dipping under 32F also posses a unique problem for us, as hydraulic controls freeze leading to additional complications.  As most players seldom see some of the challenges we have with irrigation, I have included a few pictures form this spring.

Filling Hydraulic satellite boxes with straw to prevent night time freezing

Irrigation break on #4 fairway
This is the culprit of the above break a shattered 1.5" rotary sprinkler
Not a new water feature, but instead a broken impact sprinkler