Thursday, April 28, 2011

Glowing objects in the sky

The rain has paused for the moment. Unfortunately, not only is this supposed to be temporary, the course is very wet, soggy, mushy, and the like. We are cart path only, and any additional rain, like the thirty percent chance at two o clock this afternoon, will close the course. In my best guess, it looks like it will be a CPW ( cart path weekend ). I can't get over how pretty the sun and moon are this morning. I just hope to see them in the sky again tomorrow.
Enough with the rain and clouds,

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday?

One Red Tee, standing water             

Certainly not weather-wise.  Rain continues to plague the region.  Everyone I talk to has a comment about our weather pattern, you cant go get a cup of coffee without the conversation quickly turning to the weather. 

We did get a brief, but lovely look at the sun yesterday.  I must admit, I never understood peoples fascination with sunshine, but this stretch has made me long for the day when I can look up, close my eyes, and feel the warmth of the sun on my face.  The rain and cold has kept most of the turf from growing too much, everything is slow right now, we have accomplished some work because of the weather. 

We have taken out many small trees that have grown in our natural areas and around ponds.  We received a new machine last year which will allow us to cut these areas in the fall which should control future woody growth, and we are excited. 
Ralph, enjoying the sunshine, after chasing geese.
Speaking of natural areas, we will be doing some more experimental plots this year and we would like some help in evaluating these and other areas.  If you are interested in joining the Briar Ridge Environmental Program Committee, please contact me. 

I hope, and I hope you have hope,


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring showers

Well, I don't know what to say. You have to look hard to find some beauty in the landscape, but in can be done. I found this bunch of daffodils in front of the clubhouse. The forecast is not improving, but we are hopeful, and fear that we will go right into the fire of summer.
Have a great weekend and enjoy your family.

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's irritation time

Yep, it's that time of year.  Time for standing water on dry days.  Why?  Irrigation.  If you notice soft and wet soil, please let the proshop know.  We have started the irrigation system and they may be leaks.  Forecast for the weekend......die hard golfers only, see you next week,

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Is it ok to hit driver from in front of the mat?

The wear from standing and hitting alone is enough to cause bare turf when the growth is slow in the spring and fall.  This photo demonstrates that the theory that a player will only hit drivers is false.  We are trying to provide a quality facility that members are proud to show guests, please respect the "mat only" restriction on the range.  

Once temperatures reach what is needed for bentgrass germination, there will be a recuperative potential for the range turf.  At that point, we will open the range on the grass.

There is a small trick to getting a tee into the mat, but once mastered, the rewards are great.
Line of thunderstorms coming, we opened all three nines for the weekend.  Carts are paths only, we are still pretty wet.
I'm out of the masters pool, might as well go fishing.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Friday, April 8, 2011

First April rain = first standing water = cart paths only.

Hopefully the soil will take this water quickly.  We were pretty dry coming into this event.  Really need hunter mahan and anthony kim to decide they would like to play saturday morning.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Masters Weekend

How fitting that I should receive a letter about sustainable golf on a Thursday before The Masters.  In addition, the day before, I received a letter concerning the fate of a popular fungicide that has recently undergone some scrutiny from the EPA.  It seems several companies want me to contact the legislature in defense of their product.  They seem to think that my abilities to grow quality turf begin and end with their products.  So much for the cream always rising to the top.  I will not digress into my philosophies about such things, but I find it highly ironic that one day I am being asked to voice my concern about the fate of a fungicide, and the next I receive a letter that talks about firm and fast conditions, brown turf, and sustainability.
Sustainability has been quite a stir in golf circles and we are still struggling with the concept.  Bottom line with golf and sustainability, we need enough golfers to pay an amount above what it costs to produce a playing field.  Obviously, I oversimplify, but you get my point.  Bob Randquist, president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, when discussing how the golfer would have to adjust (sorry, modify) their expectations, was quoted "That does not mean lowering expectations but adjusting their concept of what constitutes good playing conditions."  I guess "lowering" would depend on your perspective.  You can read the article in its entirety here, sustainable golf practices "Glitz isn't good for anyone's game."
What is really awesome is the timing, the eve of the Masters.  If there is one example of man's domination over a parcel of land, Augusta National is it.  Don't get me wrong, I would love to go one day, and I think I would be amazed, and quite jealous.  But to deliver an article on sustainable golf while our world's best golfers compete on golf's version of Disney World seems odd.  Augusta National's perfection borders on artificial, and given the resources that it takes to do what they do, well, in reality, it is.
In our golf committee meeting last night, I brought up this exact concept.  The future of golf, expectations, and sustainable golf.  I think I freaked a few people out.

Well, I better get going.  The reality is, that for this year at least, we will continue to look to Augusta National as our standard.  Boy, do I have a lot of work to do!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the Blue Course is open.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Opening The Blue Nine

The course is slowly turning green.  After a looooooong winter, which seemed like an eternity, spring may finally be here.  Warm evening temperatures mean that the turf will begin to grow, and recuperate from damage.  Cart traffic, ball marks, winter injury, divots, and the like can all begin to heal.  We can do some damage out there and not worry that we will see the effects for several weeks.  We have a first cut on everything except rough. Our first bunker work will begin Thursday, and rakes will be out and in place.  Please make sure your seed and sand containers are filled, some of the sand from last year has blown out of the old divots, so please fill your divot and one other.  If you happen to take a large section of turf, feel free to replace the divot.  In the spring, the turf will root and heal, and we would rather see divots replaced than sand poured into the void.
We aerified all the greens over the last two days, and they received some turf nutrition.  I would love to share my recipe, but it is a guarded secret (not really).  We put down a balanced N and K fertilizer application and some calcium silicate, there........just enough information to make me seem semi-intelligent.  We are slowly ramping up to "fully opened" status.  There is a ton of work to do.  Branch cleanup, root pruning cleanup, stump grinding, irrigation system start-up, fertilization, weed control, flower bed preparation, bunker work, ditch work, tee signs, garbage cans, ball washers, pre-emergent herbicide applications, natural area and pond buffer work, trimming, and something else that I forgot.  OK, that is enough from me, more later........I am off to figure out how to make small writing is too boring!

Be good, or the Easter Bunny wont visit,