Friday, December 28, 2012

December 28, 2012

Good or bad....?

I am asked “Is the snow good or bad”....well, it depends!

Snow cover actually protects the turf, much like an insulating blanket, from the winds and bitter cold. Turf that has been under snow tends to be healthier in the spring than turf exposed to drying winds and wind chill temperatures. Snow also helps curtail wear and tear, as not a lot of golf is played when snow is on the ground.

But then, if the snow should turn to ice, the turf can suffocate after a few weeks. Also, as snow and ice melt, the abundant moisture coupled with above freezing temperatures is perfect for diseases such as yellow patch, grey snow mold, red thread, and pink snow mold. And the melt also means greater traffic damage due to soft soils. If the soil is thawed on top, but is frozen underneath, then the water cannot drain and makes things even worse. Roots drown, or get sheared from traffic, and in most cases the soil structure gets ruined. All of these scenarios have long term consequences.None of them are good.

And if there is no snow cover at all like last year, desiccation and wear and tear can really set the turf back.

I wish there were easy answers, but there are not. It all just depends.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19, 2012

People have been asking me what the goats are up to these days and how are they doing....

They are doing just fine! They are at my farm living the “life of Reilly”, or in other words, being spoiled.

They are on a healthy diet of quality hay, molasses coated grain, and sunflower seeds  which provides them with extra fiber and protein, and natural oils for their coats. They also have free choice minerals. In their fenced in area, they have planks and cinder blocks to climb on, and a goat chalet to nap in and keep them out of bad weather. And they also have their animal friends – chickens, ducks, a cat and the horses to baaaaa at and discuss barnyard politics. Then they get a lot of human visitors – someone always shows up to see and pet the goats! They have it pretty good and easy these days! There most likely will be a little culture shock next spring when they come back to work here, but I think they are looking forward to some delicious poison ivy!

Mary, Francis, and Irene told me to pass on to you their wishes for every one to enjoy a happy holiday season and that they are looking forward to seeing everyone again soon!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012

Friday night we had two and one half inches of rain and originally I intended to make the course “walking only” on Saturday because it was so wet. But being a Saturday, Mark and I talked it over and decided to go “cart paths only” and we opened up to carts at 10:00am.

Well, that didn’t last very long....

I am sure the person driving the cart had no intentions of causing damage, but none the less, he went off the the cart path and did. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. It happens routinely. Even on days when carts are allowed off the paths, sensitive areas that are roped and/ or signed off are driven on with abandon by some. The ropes are simply knocked down and the signs ignored.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to go about with disregard. And it certainly is not fair to those who follow the guidelines, and who have to deal the bad lies left behind by others.

Friday, November 23, 2012

November 23, 2012

Last week I traveled to State College, PA and attended the Penn State Golf Turf Conference. This is annual three day event in which professors and researchers from Penn State and other leading research universities present the latest research on fine turf used for golf courses. Presentations are also given by the mid-Atlantic and northeast regional agronomists from the USGA. The conference is primarily attended by golf course superintendents and turfgrass students from throughout the United States and other countries. 

This year the presentations focused on summer weed control, biostimulants and hormone therapy, financing equipment, water quality programs, social media, disease management and suppression strategies, managing shade, research focusing on poa annua, fescue varieties, and bentgrass, and the USGA’s “Year –in - Review” which recapped the challenges that  courses endured through the year.

Another valuable part of the conference was simply talking with other superintendents, sharing experience and ideas.

Next month the New Jersey Turfgrass Association is sponsoring their annual Turfgrass Expo, which I also hope to attend. Attending these types of seminars and conferences helps me to keep up to date on whats going on in the golf industry, which helps me do my job better, and in turn, makes the golf course better and more fun for you.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012

Is anyone else tired of this weather? The year started out with a non winter, followed by record high spring temperatures, the “Direcho” storm at the end of June, record high temperatures again but with no rain, then a week of rain in September from the remnants of Hurricane Issac, then came Hurricane Sandy, and now this “snoweaster”... I wish that whoever is making the Gods angry would cut it out already!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6, 2012

Today lime was applied to the fairways. Soil tests taken late summer revealed that the pH had dropped over the past few years and a correction was needed. The availability of certain nutrients to a plant is directly dependent upon pH. Acid soils tie up some nutrients while basic soils tie up others. Plants thrive with and/or without certain nutrients which is why the soil pH is very important to what particular plant is being grown. Turf – most turf – grows best at a pH of 6.5.

That seems simple enough, but an ideal pH is not always ideal. For example, some diseases, summer patch in particular, are more prevalent and destructive at a pH of 6.5 than a lower, or more acid pH. So we have to thread the needle very carefully to balance pH to get the best environment for the turf and the worst for the fungi. For our plants and disease history, a pH of 5.7 to 6.0 has continually given us the best growth and least disease pressure. This best case pH may be different for another course.

Not all lime is the same. There are two common types - high calcium lime, and high mag lime, which contains a high percentage of magnesium. The level of these nutrients found in the soil test will determine which type should be used. Sometimes the soil needs one or the other, or like in our case, we need to use both. To that end, today we are spreading high cal lime as half our lime requirement, and early next spring we will spread an equal amount of high mag lime.

What causes our soils to need liming every so often? Why does pH drop? Certain fertilizers and nutrients cause acidity, as well as irrigation water (yes, we keep an eye on that too!), rain, types of organic matter (like the mulched tree leaves), topdressing materials, etc. Soils are ever evolving, which is why it is so important to monitor them and make nutrient and pH corrections very regularly.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1, 2012

6:30 am Nov 1

I want to throw out a quick post to update you before the staff heads back out onto the course to continue the storm cleanup.

Overall we were very lucky with no major damages.  The entire course is littered with leaves and branches which are taking a great effort to clean up. Three trees came down – one each on 12 and 13 tees, and another on the 7th forward tee. The 3 to 4 tunnel had about three feet of water in it that needed pumped out.

The 9th green and surrounding area was flooded by the wetlands behind it. The 12th tee area and the beginning of the 12th fairway flooded from the adjacent wetlands that run beside it. The wedding garden and the lower practice putting green were also flooded with salt water. We will be treating theses areas with gypsum to help leach the salts from the soils, but will need irrigation to flush it out, and for the time being, the electric at the pumphouse is “out”. As soon as we get the pumps up and running we will be able to address the salt issue.

Our staff is being supplemented and aided by staff from the bagdrop/ proshop and clubhouse.

The 8th fairway... all the fairways were covered with leaves and debris.

9th green showing debris line  from flooding.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October 12, 2012

I am often asked what I think the coming winter will be like, and to be honest, I really don’t know. That at least leaves me on par with the local tv weather guys and gals. Difference is I just admit I don’t know.

Believe it or not, I once was a geeky meteorology major at Penn State, if only for a few semesters. I found though, that I enjoyed looking down a lot better than looking up, and that atmospheric physics and algorithms just weren’t my thing.  So came turf school....

If I were forced to guess what this winter will be like, I would have to say that I think it will be a bit more “wintry” than what we are used to. I say this because the leaves are falling a lot earlier this year. The signs of turf shutting down are also earlier this year than in past years. The woolly caterpillar has a longer red middle than its combined black sections. And the goats have winter coats already.  Tomorrow we might have frost....

But honestly, I really don’t know right now. I do know that if you ask me next March I will have a better answer. Just like Al.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2, 2012

A few updates:

Silvio Villalba has been accepted to the Rutgers Professional Turf Management Program beginning  January  2013. Rutgers is the same school that our assistant, Rick Shetler graduated from. Silvio has been working here at Greate Bay for seven years now doing every type of job there is on a golf course. I hope that you will join me in wishing him the best of luck!

For the remainder of the season, we have moved to mats only on the driving range tee. Being a warm season grass, the bermuda grass is going dormant with the cooler temperatures and shortened fall days. It has stopped growth and no longer has the ability to heal. Any divots now will not heal until late next spring – with the amount of use it could receive between now and late spring, there probably would be little grass left, providing a huge opportunity for weeds to reestablish and the quality of the hitting surface compromised well into summer

We overseeded the bermuda with ryegrass (GLS resistant ryegrass) this week to help protect it and to provide colour through the winter months. We also applied a fungicide to protect the roots, which if infected, cause the bermuda grass to die off in patches during the winter. This phenomenon is referred to as Spring Dead Spot.

Plenty of bentgrass seedlings are pushing up where we have overseeded the fairways. Thanks to everyone for avoiding these areas with cart traffic. It is really paying off. The more bent we establish in the fairways the better they will be. Also, bluegrass seedlings are just coming up in the rough. 

We have finished aerating and deep verticutting tees. We also overseeded them with bentgrass. Through the next week or so we will be taking the gradens to the approaches to reduce the thatch that has developed in these areas. I hope to post pictures of the operation in the very near future.

I am always asked about the goats and if they are “union”, since I give them a few days off each week... Its hard to eat poison ivy every day so I give ‘em a break and put them on hay to change up and balance their diet. This keeps them from getting bored, fat, and/or under nourished. Also, back at the farm, I observe them for health reasons and we trim their hooves and do a bit of training so that they are easier to manage. While they are back at the farm, we take the opportunity to move their pen to a different area on the course. So it’s not like they are lazy, sleeping, or having a beer while watching Jerry Springer go at it with Dr. Phil, although I have to readily admit that they are a bit more spoiled than most other goats.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 22, 2012

Area thinned by Grey Leaf Spot

These past few weeks we have been challenged in some fairway areas and rough with a turf disease known as grey leaf spot. Grey leaf spot, or gls, primarily attacks perennial ryegrasses and tall fescue. It’s a fast acting disease, spreads easily, and can blight large areas of turf in a matter of a day or two from the time of the first infection. It is a hard disease to detect, and is usually only recognized after the damage is done. The telltale sign that it is or was gls are dead rye grass leaves twisted up like a corkscrew.

During the three days that we aerated the fairways the weather was wet with rains and showers from the remnants of hurricane Issac. The turf never got too many chances to dry out, and I believe that was when we were initially affected. I think that the drag matts and blowers helped spread the disease. Underneath the plugs and debris on the fairways, and with all the activity of the staff running in all directions focusing not on just the fairway aeration, but also on the greens aeration, we never saw it. Only when we got the fairways cleaned up, we were able to see areas that had collapsed.

As soon as we realized that the damage was from gls, we applied a fungicide to stop it from spreading any further, and began overseeding damaged areas. Our primary overseeding of the fairway areas was with bentgrass and the roughs with a low cut bluegrass. For the most part, we are finishing this up, but I am sure that there will be areas that don’t fully take and will need to be seeded again – nothing is perfect which is why God gave us patience.

Not that I am whining, but it is very challenging to seed and germinate grass seed in the best of conditions, but under the heavy cart traffic, which is the norm here, it will be an even harder thing to do. Spouts just dont take traffic!

So I am asking that everyone as much as possible avoid driving in any areas that look thin, and don’t knock down the ropes where we have put them up to protect some of the sensitive areas. Please drive carefully and don’t “nascar” the cart or go doing doughnuts or sharp turning when looking for your ball. Those tires are a gun to the head of sprouts and young plants. The other option, which I am ready to take if I don’t see cooperation, is to close off areas and entire holes to carts, making it cartpath only. I can put the seed in the ground, but after that, its up to all of us to get a good stand of turf.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012

After aeration, many members have told me that I must be happy that things are slowing down and that I can rest...

I wish!

Things never slow down! Although we were able to finish the green and fairway aeration last week, we still have a lot to do! Our season and work is far from over!

This week we began tee aeration, which we do “in play”, by doing just a few tee boxes at a time on each hole, shifting the tee markers back and forth to the ones we are not working on. This method is time and labor consuming, and will take us a few weeks to finish.

Meanwhile, we are re-seeding the rough areas that thinned over the summer, and overseeding the fairways with bentgrass. This too, is a slow, but methodical process. When we finish these we will overseed the tees with bentgrass.

We are beginning “spring” weed control! Most weeds are best controlled in the fall so that they won’t become a problem the next coming spring. We have started to spray out broadleaf weeds such as clover, plantains, dandelion, etc. We have to coordinate these sprays with seeding because the herbicide will also kill any new seedlings that we have seeded, so there is a lot of planning and timing involved.

When these are finished it will be time to aerate the rough – a job that takes 3-4 weeks.

We also plan to lime the fairways to bring our calcuim levels up.  This will be a huge job – spreading about 3 tons lime per acre!

Slow down? Rest? We probably won’t until there is six inches of snow on the ground!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 1, 2012

It’s that time of the year again! Over the next few weeks, we will begin performing our necessary cultural practices to help maintain healthy turf. We started this week by verti-cutting the new Bermuda grass tees on #7, and the driving range tee.

Adan operating the Graden
Cleaning up the clippings
Justin breaking up the clippings
Max mowing the tee

Isidro topdressing the tee

Justin dragging in the sand
Ryan applying fertilizer
Watering in the sand and fertilizer

Next week, on September 4th and 5th, we will aerate the greens and fairways.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012

Now you see it.... you don't!

Its amazing what three little goats can do in a few days!

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012

In this weeks paper the weather made the front page – 2012 is so far the warmest/ hottest year on record. I don’t know if the weather service reports humidity records, but if I had my guess, it also has to be the most humid. At least it seems that way.

We made the 2012 Best of the Press – GOLD for the BEST golf course! This is the third year in a row that we have been given the BEST golf course award!

Soon we will be installing laser reflectors on the top of the pins. These will work with any laser rangefinder. If you are not currently using a rangefinder, Mark Parson can help find the right one for you!

The goats are doing what we thought they would do – eating up the lower brush and the poison ivy on the left wood side of the 7th hole. They made the news in Philadelphia this week – WIP94 sports radio personalities Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti talked about our goats on Wednesday morning and then again, with Steve Coates, on the  Friday morning show.

Maybe next year we will use chickens for insect control !!!!! Just kidding.....

Ryan, our intern, has been bringing in his dog, Claude, for goose control. Claude has chased away the flock that hung out in and around the pond on 18, and is keeping tabs on the rest of the course for any “newbies” that might land.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 19, 2012

Today I took my camera to do a diary of what was going on all at one morning moment - all pics were taken between 6:30 and 7:30 am - as fast as I could get around! There is always a lot going on at once!
topdressing the greens
spraying a wetting agent, fertilizer, and fungicides for soil pathogens
watering in the topdressing and spray
mowing the driving range tee
stringing the weed eater
trimming the driving range walk
setting up the course
watering some of the few thousand new shrubs
still cleaning up from the storm
"dabbing" weeds
venting the greens
mowing tees
the tree service removing hangers left from the storm
Francis contemplating her next weed to eat

That's a glimpse of one hour! and to be honest, I didn't get pics of mowing the fairways, the mechanic repairing a mower, or of the person mowing rough...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

July 7, 2012

Last Saturday morning, June 30, I learned what a “Derecho” is. I had never heard of it before, but now I will never forget what it is and what it can do.

Downed tees, snapped limbs, etc – the tree damage was just as bad and in some ways worse than what we suffered with Hurricane Irene. It will take weeks to clean up whats on the ground, and months to clear hangers and twisted limbs high up in the trees. We will also need to remove some of the damaged trees as there is nothing much left of them worth saving.

We were without power to the shop and clubhouse Friday night through Saturday – for the shop it meant we couldn’t charge out work carts, had to siphon fuel for the equipment, made equipment repairs by flashlight, and were unable to charge our phones for communication, and so on. It made things hard, but not impossible – we began the clean up and have kept going ever since.

Worse was the loss of power to the pump house. For three days – Saturday (91 degrees f), Sunday ( 98 degrees f), and Monday (90 degrees f) we were without water for the turf.  We attached city water to the irrigation system with garden hoses which gave us enough water to lightly hit hot spots on the greens, but nothing else. We were able to procure a generator that would have given us power to at least one of our three pumps, but as the electricians were hooking it up, Atlantic Electric asked us to stop so that they could get the line repaired. At 4pm Monday power was re-established to the pump house and we immediately began irrigation cycles.

We brought in extra help for the cleanup, bought another chainsaw– and haven't stopped

And as you know, weather wise its been a tough week, with temperatures in the mid to high 90's– This is today’s headline from

Torrid Heat: 4000 Record Highs and Counting

Records will continue to be smashed in the Midwest and East as triple-digit heat continues.

Todays forecast is for 101 degrees f  with a very real possibility of severe storms tonight.



Friday, June 22, 2012

Within the next two weeks, we will enlarge our staff with four..........


Last spring (2011) I suggested using goats to manage poison ivy and brush in the wooded and natural areas throughout the course. I thought that goats would be a better alternative than drenching these areas with herbicides that in turn could hurt the trees and other desirable plants, and maybe the birds and other wildlife that have come to live in these areas. At first the suggestion was taken lightly by the club, but in time, it began to make sense, and late last fall I was given the ok to give it a try!

Goats are not new to me. I have a small “farm”, and years ago I adopted a dwarf Nubian goat. One goat doesn’t make a herd, nor does it make me an expert, but from “Snoops” I learned a lot about goats – their personalities, management, diet, uses, etc. Over the years, goats have become one of my favorite animals, even surpassing dogs.  Fact is, some goats are smarter than dogs, and at some things, are more useful. Goats don’t chase geese so much, but they have other positives, such as the ability to browse, and an independent attitude. They are also affectionate and form very tight and life lasting bonds with people and other animals such as horses.

The term “got your goat!” comes from the race track. Years ago, a goat would be stalled with a nervous race horse as a companion to keep it calm and to give it a bit of playful company and in time the bond between the horse and goat would become very strong. Sometimes a competing horse owner would have the goat stolen right before race day, upsetting the horse enough so that it wouldn’t race well....hence, “got your goat!”

There are many types and breeds of goats for all kinds of uses. There are breeds for milking, showing, hair (for “wool”), meat, cart pulling, and security! Some goats are used as pack animals since they are sturdy and sure footed.

I chose to use Boer goats for this project – Boers are a meat goat breed that originated in South Africa, and the breed is known to be very hardy in all types of climates and environments. Last fall I put a reserve on three kid does (female babies) from “Just Kiddin Around” farm, located near Allentown PA. Kidding season was late this spring, and I wasn’t able to pick up the goats till the first week of June. Although I had reserved three, I ended up taking four, all 3 months old. That’s four lucky little goats – Irene, Francis, Mary, and Lucy - that otherwise would have been fattened up shipped off to be  dinner.

Since they have been on my farm, I have spent time getting them used to people and to being handled. I have also been slowly taking them off grain and onto hay and browse. At the farm they are fed sugary grain to fatten them up and to get them to market quicker - so in a funny twist, they needed to be introduced to their natural diets.

Hard for some to believe, but goats don’t eat everything.... Goats don’t eat tin cans or tires or cars. They are not the best grass eaters either, but prefer to browse on leaves of most deciduous plants. This includes brush, ivy, and trees. Many plants though, such as yews, laurel, and azaleas are poisonous to goats. Goats are not indestructible as some people might think. Still, their ability to consume poison ivy, wild rose, green briar, etc makes them seem so.

My plan is to put the goats in the naturalized area between holes 8-9-10 and let them get used to things around here. I will start with two, then in a week or so, bring in all four. We will eventually move them to the wooded and overgrown brush areas along holes 7 and 8. We will use temporary, moveable fencing to keep them in the area we want cleared. They won’t be staying overnight – too many problems with pranks and predators could occur - I will be taking them back and forth each day.

The best thing to do with the goats is to just watch them, enjoy them, and let them be – please do not feed them any treats. If your ball lands in their fenced in area, please take a drop. Please do not go into the fenced area. Although the goats won’t harm you, its best not to pester them.

I am really excited about doing this! Goats are a great alternative to herbicides, fit nicely with our Audubon program, and will be a lot of fun while we reclaim areas of the course!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 5, 2012

Probably the hardest decision I make is after a rain storm, and whether or not to make playing the course “cart paths only”. I know that it slows play. I know too that it hurts revenue and increases the cost of course set up and labor since rangers need to come in, ropes moved, and signs put out. I know all too well that some members are unable to play when they can’t take their carts onto the fairways or through the rough. All carts are capable of causing damage, so those persons with physical disabilities must stay on cart paths too.

Yet, I also know the damages – both short and long term – which traffic can cause on wet soils. Without getting boringly technical, a saturated soil can be compacted without very much pressure, and when this happens, drainage, root space, air space, etc are reduced or lost. The turf grows weak, and weak turf is prone to moisture stress and disease. The risk of future turf loss is substantially increased. The problem is that loss of turf shows up later, which may be days, weeks, or months away from the initial event. By then, everyone has long forgotten the rainy day I let carts out.

Another damage is disease. Fungi flourish in wet environments, and can be “tracked” or carried down a fairway or through the rough on tires (our equipment as well as carts)! One infection, uncontained, can be spread. Some diseases, such as pythium, can kill turf within minutes of infection, and then spread by water and traffic, can easily become uncontrollable and devastate the course.

When I make the cart path decision, I try to balance the short and long term effects on both the membership and the course, and I always do my best to look after both. It’s not easy, and though some members will always disagree, I am always trying to do the right thing.

There is no reason to take it out on me, as some do.

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 25, 2012

Years ago I was superintendent at Stone Harbor. There, during my first year, a skinny older man with a filter-less Chesterfield cigarette hanging from his lips introduced himself  to me as Chet, explaining that he was there to help out however he could as he had done there each of the past few summers. So I gave him the bunker crew to supervise...

And soon one of the guys on the bunker crew came into my office to complain in a way I still have not forgotten... “My mamma don’t even treat me like that!” Turns out Chet was a task master. His way or do it again. And again, and again, until it was right. I realized that I didn’t have to worry about bunkers getting done  when Chet was around!

As Chet got older – into his 80’s – he lost a little stamina but still came in every summer day, whether he was scheduled or not. The last few years I was there, he became my tee divot guy. Although I had to worry about bunkers again, I now never had to worry about tee divots.

I spent a lot of time with Chet, or maybe it was he who spent a lot of time with me. At work and not at work. He’d come over to my home and play with my kids. I’d go over to his trailer and check on him, as he lived alone. We became friends.

Many times I would just listen to Chet – he grew up in the depression, his father was an orphan, his mom sold pies to the neighbors, his son was a NASA engineer, his daughter a teacher, he worked as a printer all his life, his wife died of cancer, and he served on the airplane carrier the “Franklin”, or Big Ben, during WW2.

He had enlisted in the Navy and chance put him in the hold of the fateful ship. When the two Japanese planes came out of the sky dropping bombs, hitting the ship directly in the elevator shaft, the ship became an inferno with fuel igniting and bombs exploding. 724 were killed and 265 were wounded. Chet survived and helped with the fires and later to get the listing ship back to Pearl Harbor. Not one to stand out in a crowd, but to be humble, Chet was overlooked when the ribbons were passed out.

I didn’t know anything about the Franklin until I met Chet. Fact is, he didn’t really bring it up until the last few years that I knew him. He told me the story, and gave me books that were written about the ship and the people on it. This was a watermark in his life that he needed to share. I listened. Chet said it became important to him to talk because he didn't want people to forget. He said he didn’t have many years left in him, and he feared that when he was gone, no one would be left to remember...that bothered him.

A year before Chet passed away he was finally recognized with a medal for his help during the attack and the trip back to Pearl Harbor. 

And he died with my promise that I would not forget. I haven't.

Friday, May 18, 2012

May 18, 2012

So much going on! These past weeks have been very busy for our department.

Chris Lare, the Assistant Superintendent since 2004, left to pursue a career in teaching. He is now going to college full time and hopes to be in the classroom in a few short years. We all wish him the best, and he surely will be missed.

Rick Shetler is our new Assistant Superintendent. Rick is originally from Dennisville, and graduated from the Rutgers Turfgrass  Management program. He interned at Galloway National, and then worked at courses in Hawaii and Florida. He brings to us a solid back ground working at high end courses and managing both warm and cool season grasses. Rick will be a tremendous asset and he already has made many positive impacts.

We have planted 2000 California Privets (over a linear mile) along the perimeter of the golf course to give it privacy from the bordering roads and streets. We also supervised the planting of many trees and ornamentals throughout the course.

We aerated and topdressed the new driving range tee this week. It will be ready to open May 26! We are also making more improvements to the entire driving range and practice area. I think that it will all add to your enjoyment.

We re sanded the greens to help even out the surface after the aeration/ drill and fill and soon  we will be taking the greens height down a notch and getting them into championship shape..

In the background we have been applying turf protectents to suppress the annual bluegrass weevil, fertilizing the tees, doing irrigation repair, training staff, etc.

There hasn’t been an empty moment for a long while!!!!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4, 2012

We finished up the drill and fill and aeration this week. The drill and fill – drills that bore 12” down into the soil, and filling the bore holes with sand – improves drainage. The aeration takes care of compaction and thatch.  Both help us to amend the soil profiles. We did it together so that the greens would not be disrupted two separate times, and we waited until late spring to do the processes so that with warmer temperatures, the healing will be faster!

The 12" drills

Buckets of sand are poured into the top of the drill and fill machine
The bucketing operation

Following the drill and fill, Isabella aerates the green

Clara matting in the sand after the drill and fill/ aeration and topdressing.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21, 2012

We finished up the driving range tee this week! We still need to sod the perimeters and fine tune a few things here and there, but the Bermuda grass is down and ready to root and grow. The Bermuda is till a little bit dormant underneath the overseeded ryegrass. It will root (roots never go dormant!) and then as the temperatures warm, the Bermuda will take over!

Irrigation installed and working!

Before sodding the tee is fertilized.

Sod has arrived!

The staff rolling out the sod.


The next question is " When can we begin hitting off the new grass?".
I am hoping that it will be rooted and ready in four weeks, depending upon the weather. The warmer the weather, the sooner we can hit from it!