Friday, April 30, 2010

Another not-so-kind weekend forecast

The forecast is not a real pretty one for saturday.  Hopefully though, sunday is better and we can get the Singleton memorial in.  We have had a tremendous April, and look forward to the best spring in five or more years.  Please remember to fix your ball marks, we are noticing more than normal damage.  I would also like to remind everyone of our standing cart policy of keeping carts on the path around all greens and tees, your fellow members will thank you when there is still some turf on the in August.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The crazy keeps on coming

As if the weather was not enough to keep us jumping, we thought we would put a hole in this four inch natural gas line.  The nice gentleman from NIPSCO came out to give us a hand.  Flaming holes are not considered hazards by the USGA, so we decided to stick to our bunker renovation project.  We are happy with the progress of the bunkers, even though the weather is producing more growth on the turf than we would like.  Sunday is the opening scramble and the weather should be clearing by then.  
The green expansions are coming along, we hope to have them topdressed and smoothed out by the end of next week.  There is not a lack of work in our department right now, we continue to prioritize and try not to panic too much.  We have some exciting things to share, and I hope to update everyone soon from the comforts of my desk, instead of this inch and a half keyboard.  Keep it in the fairway
- Turf

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A visual clue to unseasonably warm temperatures

You don’t have to look very far to hear about how above normal we are concerning temperatures. Last year, we were experiencing wet conditions and temperatures in the forties. This means, on average, that our maintenance schedule this time of year is composed of course cleanup (branches and perennials), preparation (fertilizing and seeding), and other maintenance (irrigation system and bathrooms). We are not typically mowing too much grass because the temperatures are relatively not conducive to productive tissue growth. What does this mean? Everything was thrown at us quickly this year. Bathrooms will be up and running today, the code is 5929. The white nine will be opening for afternoon play today; we will be keeping it closed most of the morning on the weekdays so that we can finish bunker work uninterrupted. We have been getting many complaints about ball marks, please be considerate to your fellow members and repair your ball marks. Remember that just because your ball is not in birdie range, doesn’t mean that a ball mark was not made. Come on out and enjoy the weather, as it looks like the weekend will be a return to normal temperatures.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I know the grass is getting long, but.....

I can stack three golf balls!!  We left the path today as the course was drying out.  The grass is growing very fast and looks like our staff will be playing some catch up this week. 
If you missed the expo, we had a great turnout.  Thursday night is the debut of mens league, see you then.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Friday, April 9, 2010

Who Dat??

Rain fell here at Briar for the last few days leaving 1.75" and we are soft. Carts are on the path currently as we hope for some wind to dry and firm things up. The white course will remain closed through the weekend. The Masters is being televised at the club, the expo is tonight, and the owl on the left is on one red (two babies have been observed in the nest).
Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why are the Greens so......................

slow? You may have noticed that the greens are not quite into the condition of midsummer right now. You would be right. Several factors come into play regarding green speed. Golf Course Superintendents who host tournaments during mild weather months are fortunate that they can mow at lower than normal heights, keep the surfaces drier than usual, and roll as much as they would like. Spring and Fall tournaments are "dreamy" in the sense that greens can be "pushed" without the typical fear of wilt or even death mid-season.

"If it is so easy to have quick greens spring and fall, why don't we have them?" This seems like a logical question, and I like to give a simple analogy. Let's say you were going to be stranded on a desert island for six weeks and you have very limited amounts of food and water you could take with you. How would you prepare? Most people would probably eat lots of carbohydrates, knowing that their bodies could store the excess energy. This would help them live off the minimal amounts of food and water they had available. Well, the same goes for turfgrass plants. Right now the plants are growing roots and storing carbohydrates (photosynthesis) to prepare for the summer. Our cool-season turfgrass plants eventually shut down in the summer heat and begin to respire more than they perform photosynthesis; this is essentially a race to the finish, where you hope you have more energy reserved, than the environment demands for survival. The greens are carefully managed to ensure that we have quality putting surfaces in August, months before the extremes of summer arrive.
The link below will take you to furthur reading at the USGA's site
"Research shows that even small increases in mowing height, i.e. mowing at 1 / 8 to 5 / 32 of an inch, can vastly improve turf quality through a 25% increase in photosynthetic potential and increased root mass. Furthermore, root mortality and summer bentgrass decline are mitigated by minimizing the duration in which plant respiration exceeds photosynthesis in mid-summer."
We continue to focus on the quality of our surfaces here at Briar Ridge, and strive to preserve a smooth and true putting green that allows the ball to be holed from a skillfully stroked shot.  Green speeds will come naturally as we progress from spring to summer, much like the years past, then, eventually, the first hard frost will happen in the fall, and the greens will continue to quicken.  But we don't want that to come too fast, do we?