Course Update for June 5, 2015

By | Aerification, Fairways, Greens, Topdressing

The weather this past week was excellent for our annual spring aerification. With the course closed Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday the turf team was able to complete numerous cultural practices to improve health and playability of the turf. Without the course being closed we would not be able to accomplish half of what we did.

The crew aerified greens with a needle tyne “venting” that allows for oxygen exchange promoting rooting and the release of nutrients for growth. This form of aerification is non intrusive, and after rolling a couple times you wouldn’t notice that this was completed. We then solid tyned all the tees and approaches to help reduce compaction and thatch, providing a firmer playing surface. After the aerification was complete, we slit seeded bentgrass in the low areas on fairways to help minimize winter injury from ice. When the aerification was completed we sand topdressed all the greens, tees and fairways. Topdressing greens (photo: below left) will promote a firmer surface to help reduce ballmarks and provide a smoother surface for a truer ball roll. Topdressing fairways (photo: below right) and approaches will provide firmer playing conditions and help minimize worm castings. Light and frequent topdressing will continue throughout the season to enhance the conditions of the greens, tees and fairways.

Topdressing Fairways at Islington Golf Club Topdressing Greens at Islington Golf Club
In all, I couldn’t have asked for better weather conditions to achieve these cultural practices. These management practices will provide short- and long-term benefits, improving the overall condition of the course.

Have a great weekend,

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for June 8, 2012

By | Fairways, Verti-Cutting

On Monday, June 4 and Tuesday, June 5 the turf team completed numerous cultural practices throughout the golf course. The weather was in our favour — cloudy and cool! During these two long days the team put a great effort in and accomplished more then was planned.

On greens we double verti-cut (see photo 1). This practice removes excess thatch and elongated grass blades to allow for a truer putting surface. After this was completed we aerated the greens with a needle tyne to relive some compaction and promote air movement, hoping to increase root density which will help with the heat stress of the summer months. Then the team topdressed and rolled the greens, finishing off the aerification process. These cultural practices took two days to complete from start to finish.

While staff was working on the greens, others were aerifying tees and approaches. On these areas I removed a core (see photo 2) to remove excess thatch that has built up over time. The excess thatch inhibits water infiltration, keeping the surface wetter, giving the turf a spongy/soft feeling underneath your feet. After the team shoveled up the cores, we put down heavy sand topdressing to help with water infiltration and thatch management. One of the goals for the turf staff over the next couple of years is to promote a denser stand of turf on the tees and to firm up both tees and approaches for better playability.

On the fairways I was a little more aggressive, I double verti-cut then aerated (see photo 3). I had noticed over the first couple of months the turf was laying over and was not being mowed at the desired height. As you can see from the attached picture, the amount of excess material lying on top after verti-cutting was performed. We then blew this material off and mowed the fairway. In the next picture look at the difference in the heights of grass from the verti-cutter and after it was mowed. The next step was to aerify the fairways. We completed nine fairways with solid tynes and pulled a core on two others. Over the next couple of weeks we will try to finish the rest with solid tynes.

Some of the items that will be tackled in the near future:
• Sod areas on #14 green, #11 cart path, #15 green and #17 fairway
• New drain on left side of #11 fairway
• Seeding bare areas in the rough
• Cleaning up wood chips around base of trees
• Ongoing bunker maintenance

In summary, it was a great two days for completing needed cultural practices. I know they can be invasive, but, remember, these necessary evils are a must to promote healthy tees, fairways and greens.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent