Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Rebirth of #3 Green

For several year now we have been dealing with the poor performance of #3 green.  We have tried many different practices and processes to try and revive this green but with no success.  So this winter we took on a renovation of this green in order to continue to work to provide the best possible playing conditions and experience we can.  Details of the project and why we chose to make this drastic step can be viewed on a previous blog post, Renovation of #3 Green.

We began the project in November by removing the top 5 inches of the contaminated greens mix. The excess organic matter in the greens surface made it virtually impossible for the green to perform properly.  It was surprising how fresh the greens mix below this level was.  Like it had just been installed a few days ago.  This difference in the two layers validates the need, and our request, for deeper aerification of the greens surfaces to eliminate this hard pan layer and allow for roots, water, and air to penetrate deeper into the greens profile.

The next step was to bring in new greens mix which was spread and contoured to a new greens shape.  The new greens mix and the old greens mix was lightly blended together to insure we did not have a barrier between the two soils.  The green was then graded and packed which gave it a similar but new look to the surface and now provides us with about twice the legal pinning areas as before.

Once the green was packed and contoured we installed new Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass sod to the surface.  Now sodding an ultradwarf green in the middle of winter in Tennessee is not the ideal way of doing things I will agree but it was the only time we could do this project and affect the smallest amount of play.  We were extremely lucky during the time of the sodding as we had unusually warm weather through the end of December which allowed us to roll and top dress the green several times and helped in its transplanting.

On February 27th we decided to officially open #3 green for play.  Although there are still a few seams that you can see and it is not as smooth or fast as the other greens on the course, playing on the greens surface is better than playing on the temporary green out in the fairway.  We will continue to roll and top dress the green over the remainder of the month and believe by the end of March the green will be as good as the rest of them, maybe even better.

We are very pleased with the results of this project and very encouraged by the growth we are seeing from the green given how early it is in the season and the weather we have had so far.  This is a picture of a plug taken from #3 green and as you can see the roots are starting to grow and establish into the greens mix.  This is a very encouraging sign and one we are very happy to see.

I would like to thank our Agronomy Staff for all their hard work on this project.  We took on a challenge that many people said we were crazy to attempt and through hard work and determination have succeeded in reviving our worst green to one we can now be very proud of.  I would also like to thank everyone, from the proshop to the golfers, for their patience and understanding as we carried out this process.  I know it was not ideal to have to play to a temporary green for three months but I believe you will agree with me that the pain was worth the gain.

As always we will continue to strive everyday to make The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay the best that we possibly can and we thank you for your patronage and your support.  If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to contact me with them.

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