Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Year End Projects

As the season came to a close, the agronomy team was able to make one last push to finish a few projects on the course. The first project on the list was to rebuild the left green side bunker on #12. Over the past few years, excess sand had accumulated on the face along with a high volume of traffic. The picture below illustrates the project.

The sand on the faces is pulled down to the middle to prevent dirt from contaminating the existing sand. Once the sand is removed, a sod cutter removed the grass along the edge of the bunker. Dirt was then brought in to replace the sand removed from the face. We then expanded the tongue of the bunker to allow an easier entry/exit point of the bunker. The bunker was then sodded and will be ready for play in the spring.

                                                                       Finished product

The next project involved renovating the entry way to the clubhouse. The first step involved removal of the existing turf. The area around the entry way struggled to grow due to the high periods of shade. Upon removal of the grass, fresh top soil was added before the new sod was installed. The pictures below illustrate the process.

The next project involved the waste bunkers on #15. The bunkers on #15 have been an eyesore to the agronomy team throughout the years. The bunkers receive very little to no play throughout the season. When we receive high amounts of rainfall, they fall at the bottom of the restoration list. When they were constructed, they were built without liners, which in turn, allows weeds and grasses to thrive in the sand without having a barrier between the sand and dirt. Long story short, we came to the conclusion that we would best served to turn these bunkers into native fescue. The process began with the removal of sand in the bunkers. The sand was then used on the waste bunkers on 14 that were in need of sand.
Upon removal of the sand, the faces were the collapsed, along with the islands. The softening of the edges was done to ensure we will be able to mow these areas with the surrounding fescue. A tiller was then used to put a final grade on the bunker. Followed with seed, straw, and erosion on fabric on the slopes around the perimeter. The "dormant seed" should begin germination in the spring as soil temps rise followed with multiple fertilizer applications. Full establishment should commence by the end of 2015.

 Thanks for reading. Have a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and we will see you in 2015.

Best Regards,

Dan Grogan
Golf Course Superintendent

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

# 1 Tee Renovation

A question that has been asked many times over the course of the past few weeks has been "What happened to #1 Tee?". The answer is simple, we came to the conclusion that it was time to renovate the first tee. It has been an eye sore for the past few years so we decided it was time to "blow it up" and start a new. The main issue with the tee was its poor drainage and portions of the tee had settled out since its original construction. Our original plan was to remove the existing portion of the tee as well as expand it, thus hoping to complete the project in a short week. Once the grass was removed we then realized the issue with the tee was the underlying subgrade below the sand. The dirt was very poor and needed to be excavated out and fresh top soil was added to avoid having the same issues years down the road that we had before.

Removal of existing tee

                       The picture above illustrates how far the middle of the tee had settled

 Aerifying the tee to remove as much organic matter as possible before new sand was added.

Excavating subgrade

After the fresh top soil was installed, we compacted the dirt and then installed drainage to ensure the tee would drain properly.

Upon completion of the drainage, the next step involved was expanding the tee. We ended up adding  another 500 square feet to the tee. This expansion will allow my staff the flexibility to separate the member and championship tees on a daily basis.

After the removal of the existing rough, we then added some top soil to level out the subgrade and added 6" of 80/20 rootzone mix. 

One of the last steps was to have the tee laser graded. The tee was then fertilized with multiple pre-plant fertilizers and then seeded in 2 directions.

We anticipate having having the tee open by Mid-Summer of 2015. 

Best Regards,

Dan Grogan
Golf Course Superintendent

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mid Season Update

It's hard to imagine we are just a few days away from August 1st. Mother nature has taken us on a roller coaster ride throughout the past few months. The weather has been very conducive for the golf course. From tee to green, plant health is at an all time high. The past few months have almost and I repeat almost allowed us to forget about the brutal winter that we all suffered through, including the golf course.I'd like to touch bases on a few things that have been our primary focus throughout the past few months.

One of our biggest focal points leading into the season was eradicating the moss populations in the greens. The process is not an over night sensation. It's going to take a couple of growing seasons to completely eradicate the moss but I feel that we have made some incredible strides moving forward. There are 3 main focal points when attempting to kill the moss. The first is a bi-weekly chemical application that selectively weakens the moss populations. The next step is to verticutt the areas to thin the moss out, followed by multiple topdressing applications (sand). The last step involves keeping a balanced fertility program on the greens followed with a slightly higher height of cut. A healthier bentgrass green allows it to out compete the moss and slowly but surely begins to grow into these weakened areas of moss. The picture below illustrates this process.

The top left picture shows the moss after a verticutt. Top right, shows the moss after a heavy topdress application. The bottom two pictures show the green after the sand has been worked into the canopy. Green speeds will slow for a few days after this process but by the weekend the speeds should increase be back to normal.

The next project involved the re-establishment of our Bermuda practice tee. The harsh winter took its toll on the tee. The tee experienced "Winter Kill" to the extreme. In order to re-establish the tee we had to start over. The process began with a .50" solid tine aerification followed with a heavy topdress. The next step involved drop seeding bermudagrass in 2 directions followed by placing growing covers on the tee, as the picture below illustrates.

Fast forward 4 weeks and we pulled the covers off of the tee, followed by multiple fertilizer and topdress applications.
The top left image shows the juvenile bermudagrass seedlings. Bottom right picture shows the establishment and the picture to the right was the first mow on the tee. Fast forward another 4 weeks and we will be opening the tee tomorrow. Moving forward, we now know that we need to allow the bermudagrass plant ample time to recover before winter arrives in order to ensure the plant has enough nutrients in reserve to break dormancy in the spring. The picture below shows the finished product.

The last focal point for the agronomy team this year was bunker maintenance. As most of you have probably noticed this year, we have implemented a different raking technique this year. There were 3 main areas of focus throughout this process. The number one priority was to do our best to eliminate golf balls from plugging into the faces. The best way to achieve this was to minimize the amount of sand placed on the steep faces to allow the ball to bounce off of these slopes and roll down to the bottom of the bunkers. We have kept a maximum of 2 inches of sand on the faces and in turn have taken a lot of the excess sand from the faces and displaced the sand to the bottoms of the bunkers. The only raking that takes place on the faces is smoothing out the faces where sand has been displaced by using the back side of the rake. With eliminating raking the faces on a daily basis, the crew has been able to check sand depths more consistently along with pulling grasses and weeds in the bunkers on a daily basis. Here are a few images of the finished product.

In closing, I'd like to thank my entire staff for a successful Member Guest. We had absolutely perfect weather for the entire week. In turn, this allowed the course to play the way it was made to be played, fast and firm. The crew put in a lot of hours to ensure the course was "dialed in". Thanks again.

Best Regards,
Dan Grogan
Golf Course Superintendent


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