Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Puffy fairway

If you need a name for your band, come see me, it seems I can always find some good ones on the golf course. Ladies and gentleman.....puffy fairway! (cheers and screams)
So, here is the deal, heavy clay soils on 19 fairways, they never seem wet enough for cart paths only, because the thatch absorbs the water like a sponge. The clay beneath, when wet is extremely susceptible to compaction when wet. The more compaction, the less air space and the less roots will go into the soil. The less the roots go into the soil, the more they grow in the thatch. You can see from the photo, the thatch in the fairways. Thatch is very good at absorbing energy from the ball. You will see us beginning our fairway topdressing practice again in the coming weeks as we battle this evil monster!
In extreme weather, thatch that dries, dies.
Oh my,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Golf weather

The forecast is awesome!
Time to grab the sticks and play for seven straight days.
The course received a good soaking yesterday. We would like to see the tops of the greens dry down, and they should the next few days. Some of the puffy turf in the fairways is starting to behave better. They respond to humidity much like my hair! So, now that the humidity has dropped, we are having good fairway days! We will be aerifying soon, so get out and enjoy! Some areas are continuing to thin, as they have run out of reserves from a tough summer. We are seeding areas in the rough that died from pythium.
We see a light,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Briar ridge men's club championship, take 2!

Let's try this again,
Overnight rains made some things soft, brought down a willow tree, and made bunkers icky. The rain was not enough to put us on the path though. We will get the tournament resumed ASAP on the white this am. We do not see much in the way of markers out here, so, hopefully most groups are between holes.
We have lost most of our summer help to school.
Animals are starting to dig were they think they can find grubs.
Is it September yet?

Friday, August 19, 2011

To fill or not to fill......

That is the question. The classic question whether to fill or replace is demonstrated in this photo. It is my opinion, that the lie off the divot is much better. With weather conditions turning more mild, grass from divots has a pretty good chance of survival. You can see there is some turf growing on the divot, even though it dried up the day it was taken. The photo doesn't show up as well, but the ball in the divot is a good quarter to half inch lower. I will post a side photo on the Facebook page.
Step it down really well,

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Post-Monday update

What a great day! We topdressed all 27 greens, and a few more. We applied two fertilizer products to greens, and watered it in. We even spiked a few of our problem greens, like one red, which I don't like, and it doesn't like me. Don't ask, it's a long story, just know that if given the ok, one red would be one sorry puppy.
We are riding greens today, will roll them tomorrow and probably won't have the walkers back on them until Thursday or Friday, depending on the weather. The topdressing was slightly heavier than our normal in-season light rate. We went a little heavier since the weather has prevented us from our regular schedule. The fertilizer should help us grow out of it soon. I will post a photo of greens after their mowing today on our Facebook site.
Oh yeah, and we fixed a big leak,

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Everyone is a little cranky.....

even Barney, who was seen attacking sprinklers!
We call it August syndrome, which is different from Augusta syndrome, although equally maddening and frustrating.
August syndrome typically can be observed in mid August in most golf industry professionals, and is the result of mental and physical fatigue. It can be caused by attempting to cram a whole years worth of recreation for members and guests into a 12 week period. It cumulates with the frantic drive, every day, to your worst green to see how much has died overnight. I am getting better though, not once this year did I sleep in my office to make sure the irrigation system ran, or simply to be here in case number one red needed me in the middle of the night. I get a little better each year.
This is definitely no time to turn you back, much of the turf has depleted all of it's carbohydrate reserves. All of it's energy is gone. We witness plants that appear to have adequate soil moisture wilting because of dysfunctional roots (and I thought I was the only one, sorry mom ( she reads this once in a while)).
Yea, the roots have simply quit working, so the plant must create new fragile roots at the surface, and now watering regimes must be changed to accommodate this. We get used to watering deep and looking at healthy grass and then it all goes bye bye. This is the cycle we manage, and we hope the heat and summer doesn't outlast our plants and reserves. Makes me wonder why I do it year after year.
A sucker for punishment,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Roll, roll, roll

Conditions are firming up, we can resume normal conditioning. We are rolling today and hope that the ball roll on greens is more normal. This has been one of the toughest years for golf course conditioning in several decades. Some turf is recovering, while some is still struggling to recuperate. Yellowing, thinning turf is still being observed and we still can't turn our backs just yet. We have begun to seed some areas in the rough where bentgrass has died, which isn't a bad thing, we would rather have bluegrass there.
Hanging in there,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A cool night and a little bit o' rain...

Makes a huge difference. The greens appear to be much happier with the current weather pattern.
We received over an inch of rain last night, and we are soaked. We will be on the cart paths today, and we are waiting for water to infiltrate before mowing greens. We don't anticipate a delay, and if there is, it is only a short one.
If you happen to be from CBS, and reading this, the PGA Tour has more players and talent than just Tiger. Feel free to televise some exciting aspects of the great game, and keep the soap opera antics to weekday TV.
Just saying,

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mystery spots

In addition to heat, humidity, fungus, crabgrass, wet wilt, and general turf distress, we have been watching the appearance of several mystery spots. Most of these spots occur in fairways and they appear to be some sort of chemical injury. The spots do not have a smell of oil or gas, and do not follow our mowing patterns. The spots do not leave a trail typical of a leak. We are beginning to suspect a possible battery leak or loose cap on the top of batteries. If you own a private cart, please check your batteries and caps.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The power slide.....

Is one of my favorites. A well timed turn of the wheel and a quick application of the brakes, and man......what a rush!
The tiny bit of rain is almost gone, we are still struggling through! We have begun to seed some of the areas in the rough that died in the heat. We are also seeding areas in fairways that are adjacent to trees and paths. Crabgrass has had a field day in areas that are able to heat up excessively, bunker edges, paths, bare areas on the range. These areas have been treated.
The damage in the photo is from last night, if you own a private cart and someone was out fishing, well......you may want to go get some more Coors light before the weekend, I think your supply may have been diminished.
Just a hunch,

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

53 flags

Well, the idea was to flag any un-repaired and/or improperly fixed ball mark to demonstrate how many we are encountering. Two things; red doesn't show up as well as I hoped, and I clearly do not have enough flags. This one didn't work out like I had it drawn up on the board. Do over!
Cooler temps are here, time to tee it up!!! With Fall around the corner, we have to take advantage of this weather.
We received a measly .3" rain overnight, we could have used an inch. I will take it though,