Saturday, August 2, 2014

Course Improvements--Recent and Future

As always the golf course maintenance staff at Harrison Bay has been hard at work over the past few weeks.  The renovations to the golf course have made it all the better and with our second greens aerification of the year coming up next week there will be even more improvements made to the course.

 The chipping/nursery green is coming along on schedule. We have had some set backs due to the cloudy weather and the fact that the green is very lacking in organic matter in the soil which means it does not hold water or nutrients readily but we have been "babying" it and are stating to get well defined roots and the grass is beginning to spread quickly.  If we get the good weather they are forecasting over the next few weeks I feel confident that we will be ready to open the area for practice by the end of the month.

Willie is mowing the new zoysia tee on #9 at 12:45 PM
Notice the amount of shade still on the tee.
The white tee on #9 that was resodded a couple of weeks ago has rooted down and has been opened for play.  This tee was built several years ago, moving the original tee from an area closer to the cart path to its current location due to the heavy shade created by the trees near the tee box.  Moving the tee did not help the poor turf conditions caused by the small area, the excessive use, and the inability of the 419 bermudagrass to deal with the amount of shade.  This time when we regrassed the tee we chose to use zoysia grass which is more tolerant to the shade.  It does not have the recuperative ability that 419 does but hopefully will be able to survive in the shade better.  It will require more care and we may occasionally have to move the white tees back up to the forward tee if the traffic becomes too heavy.

For several years I have been wanting to start a vertical mowing program for the tees, approaches, and fairways and this week we began by doing the tee boxes.  This process removes unwanted growth and thatch by slicing into the turfgrass surface and cutting the plant vertically.  Following this process we came back with a regular cut with our tee mowers and then blew off all the chaff.  This practice will make the tees firmer and healthier and will allow for easier incorporation of topdressing sand which will happen over the next week.

As I said earlier we will be conducing our second aerification of the year this upcoming week so the course will be closed on Monday and Tuesday. We have heard many compliments on the greens lately which is nice to hear but we have also heard the question of "Why do you have to tear them up when they are so good?"  That is a fair question.  If we want to continue to have good greens then we have to do the maintenance on them to keep them that way.  Aerification is a vital process to the health and survival of our greens.  It removes old, dying plant material, increases the exchange of gases from the soil and the atmosphere, increases the infiltration rate of surface water, and relieves compaction caused by golfer and maintenance traffic.  It will be a temporary set back and with the greens being as healthy as they are now I expect a quick recovery.

Bill Greene preparing for fairway verticutting
While we are closed we will also be attending to the verticutting practice on the fairways and approaches.  We will be applying topdressing to the tees and approaches and will be aerifying the sod that was laid in the fairways back in June to help with drainage, rooting, and to help level/smooth these areas out.  We will also be adding sand to many of the green side bunkers and preparing them for play.

Your golf course maintenance staff is always busy, working hard and trying to improve your golf course.  I consider myself very fortunate to have a staff as committed and dedicated to the course as I do, so if you see them on the course, say "Thanks" and let them know you appreciate all they do for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment