Course Update for July 8, 2016

By | Bentgrass, Drought, Irrigation, Poa

As I sit here writing the course update this morning, I’m watching a sprinkle of rain come down. I was hoping for something more like a downpour but, unfortunately, it didn’t come. Yesterday the rain hit north of us and this morning it is hitting west and south of the club. One of these days we will get a nice all-day rain and everything will come alive.

Managing the turf through these dry spells takes numerous staff on hand-hoses watering localized dry spots. By applying the water with a hose you get direct penetration to the area, helping the turf recover. Please be aware of the staff as most of these areas are in play. When it comes to watering greens, you will notice a morning hand watering followed by a late afternoon touch up on wilting areas throughout the greens. Most of the greens watering during the heat stress are done with a hose. We only turn the sprinklers on once every 5-6 days, to do what is called a flush. This is when we irrigate to perch the water table, which causes it to break tension and flush, drawing in oxygen to the rootzone. Deep and infrequent is how bentgrass likes to be watered, compared to light and frequent with poa.

Heading into July you will notice a couple of landscape areas not yet completed. The new designs with perennials and ornamental grasses around the bag drop and clubhouse are completed for the season. Even without a drought the new perennials will take 2-3 years to fully develop into a wave of colour, so some time and patience is needed before the new plant material grows. As we do every year, we will assess all the new plantings and add new varieties and colour to areas that require additional plant material to make the beds flourish. Beds like the ones around #18 tee and #18 green by the new fence are an ongoing process of adding and splitting material from other areas of the property. In regards to the hill going from #11 green to #12 tee, as we mentioned in the spring, this will take time. Originally we said it will be planted by the end of June to the beginning of July, but because of the drought it has been put on hold. The bank is south facing, receives lots of sun, and the area is just too dry to plant. All the plant material has been ordered, and once we receive significant rain to add moisture to the hill, we will then plant.

Have a great weekend!

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for June 24, 2016

By | Drought, Dryject, Heat

It has been a long few weeks for the turf department as we try to manage our way through what I classify as a drought. The course has received 17mm of rain since May 15. Our last significant rain event was June 5 when we received 12mm. Even with an excellent irrigation system, nothing beats a steady rainfall. The team has been out daily hand watering roughs, tees, and greens. Overall, the course is playing great with a little extra ball roll on certain areas throughout the property.

The one thing the drought has done is slowed the healing process from the dryjecting. I am hoping 95% of the holes will be filled in by the middle of next week. Even though some holes are visible, the greens are putting very smooth. I will apply another light sand topdressing next week to aid in recovery. Overall, the greens are setting up nicely to withstand the play and the July heat.

The rest of the course is coming along nicely. The team has been working hard on opening up sight lines for a better view of the hole off the tee and at creek crossings. Overgrown shrubs along cart paths have been pruned back for safety and all the stumps have been seeded. A couple of areas still need to be sodded, but with the drought and heat, I have been pushing this back until the rain is back in the forecast. The wear areas by #9 tee and green, along with the cart exit to #18, will be sodded in the next couple of weeks. The crew has been out adding sand to bunkers, followed by plate tamping them to keep the bunkers consistent and firm.

In all, the entire course is looking and playing great. Enjoy the nice weekend ahead!

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for May 27, 2016

By | Bentgrass, Drought, Poa

It didn’t take long to go from winter dormancy to summer dormancy—only a week. The hot weather has come and certain areas of the golf course, particularly the roughs, have been slow to fill in. But with the humidity and frequent rain showers, the roughs will become thick and lush over the next couple of weeks. Other signs of drought have been visible on a few tee decks. Areas like #4 tee where 1 of the 3 sprinklers that irrigate that tee had a burnt solenoid and wouldn’t turn on. When the weather is cool it isn’t a problem, but when the weather turns hot irrigation issues become visible. We have now fixed most of these minor issues and everything seems to be working great.

Over the last week I have heard a lot of comments about why the greens have a browny/green colour to them. People are concerned and don’t like the look. What we all need to realize is if you want great bentgrasss greens you need to grow bentgrass, not poa. You need to be dry, lean and occasionally a little off colour. If you want to revert back to the way the old greens were keep them lush, green and wet. Bentgrass is like a poverty grass and poa is the complete opposite and loves the wet higher nitrogen conditions. I choose bentgrass, moisture levels will be low between 5-10% water content as compared to the old greens 25-30%. Nitrogen levels will be around 1-2% compared to 5-6%. As you can see, by keeping them firm and dry, ballmarks are becoming nonexistent. Using cultural practices like this will provide superior putting surfaces now and in the future. We can’t always associate green as being better.

Have a great weekend!

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for July 17, 2012

By | Drought

It is safe to say we are experiencing significant heat and drought stress across the northeast. Over the next few weeks please remember when driving a cart try to avoid dry spots throughout the golf course. This will help in the turf recovering when the temperatures decline and several rains occur.

I have included a link for your reading pleasure from the USGA Northeast Regional Green Section communicating different items Superintendents need to monitor through the summer months. Click here.

Have fun out there, but remember, drink lots of water and keep cool!

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent