Course Update for November 10, 2017

By | Fall, Winter

The golf course will be closed effective November 13.

Due to the SIGNIFICANT DROP IN TEMPERATURES ON THURSDAY, the water fountains were removed from the golf course for the season.

The washrooms on the back nine are closed until temperatures get above freezing. The washrooms on the front nine and the halfway house remain open.

Please call the Golf Shop before arriving at the club for updates. The final day to golf this season is Sunday, November 12.

Andre Aymar, Golf Course Superintendent

Course Update for October 20, 2017

By | Bentgrass, Fall, Frost, Worm Castings

To ensure our bentgrass greens are properly prepared for the winter, the golf course will close in mid November. An exact date will be determined within the next couple of weeks.

With the temperatures falling, leaf colours changing, and the days getting much shorter, it finally feels like fall. This time of year has its unique set of challenges:

Grasses are physiologically slowing down significantly and not growing as much. There is also less daylight, and some areas can stay in the shade for a good portion of the day (see photo below). Together, these two factors create a surface that is moist and lacking in structure. Damage with equipment and carts can happen easily and quickly. Therefore, in addition to our normal traffic posts, we will also be using stakes and ropes in some weak areas. Please avoid driving through staked areas.

The worms have come out with a vengeance. Usually hot temperatures in the summer help control worm populations. Without those temperatures this summer, there seems to be an abundance of worms, and the mess they are leaving behind is considerable. We are trying a few different techniques to clean the castings, but they are very challenging. Here is a picture of a fairway mower completely clogged up with the mud from the worm castings after traveling only a short distance along a fairway. (see photo below)

Expect frost mornings periodically throughout the balance of the season (see photo below). Frost usually occurs when temperatures drop anywhere below 5ºC and overnight skies are clear. Leaf blades in grasses are composed of 80% water. When temperatures are low enough the water inside the leaf blades and the moisture on the outside of the leaf blades will freeze. If you walk on frost it can rupture the frozen cells and kill the grass. Therefore, it is very important to stay off the golf course when there is frost. In some cases, frost will lift relatively quickly and in other cases it can stick around for hours. It mostly depends on sun exposure and temperature. Please call the Golf Shop on frost mornings for updates.

Have a great weekend.

Andre Aymar, Golf Course Superintendent

Course Update for October 21, 2016

By | Fall, Irrigation, Leaves

As we move into the middle of October the weather seems to be changing quickly. The course has received a significant amount of rain over the last week causing very wet conditions.  The greens have the potential to be soft throughout the fall so remember to repair your ball marks and replace your divots as damage to the course now will be visible in the spring.

Leaf maintenance will be difficult over the next few days because the wet turf. The staff is hard at work blowing leaves daily but some areas are just too wet to maintain without causing turf damage.

The fairway realignment on #9 started today with the perimeter rough irrigation being relocated. There are 5 sprinkler heads that had to be relocated to the new fairway edge on both sides of the hole. Once the irrigation is completed the area will be prepped for sod. If the weather permits the new fairway will be sodded next week along with the approaches on #2, 4, and 9. Hopefully, we have some nice weather over the next couple weeks to allow for all the sod to root allowing us to open these areas for play in early spring. The sodding will take approximately a day to install hopefully with minimal disruption to play.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the pin locations for the Pumpkin Scramble!

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for October 7, 2016

By | Fall, Irrigation, Poa

Fall has arrived and that means leaves, leaves and more leaves. Over the next few weeks we will work hard on keeping the playing surfaces clear of leaves. The process will be to blow leaves into wind rows along the tree lines and mulch as many leaves as we can with the rough mowers. During the next few weeks I ask for your patience as the blowers will be running throughout the day. This can be a messy time of year for the turf as we try to mulch leaves and mow the turf during constant wet conditions. To minimize the mess we will reduce the mowing under trees and out of play areas to once a week to help with the wear caused by the mowers. This will mean some longer rough in certain areas for the next few weeks.

As we move into the middle of October we will begin two fall projects. The first project will be a long range program to help minimize poa encroachment in the greens. A significant amount of poa encroaches from the edges of the green and the approach in front. We plan on starting a program where we install new sod in front of a few greens each year where the poa in the approach is beginning to be apparent. This year we will re-sod the approach on #2, 4 and 9. By doing this and adding new bentgrass sod we minimize the tracking of poa on to the greens. Secondly, we will be tackling the realignment of #9 fairway. The fairway has always been lined up with the old tee by #8 green. The plan is to change the angle of the fairway towards the current tees. We will begin with moving the irrigation heads on the right side of the hole. Then we will strip the grass on both sides of the hole and lay sod creating a new fairway lining up with the tee. This will create a better visual of the hole and provide a better angle for balls to land in the fairway instead of the rough like it is now. The plan is to have all the sod work completed by the end of October to give it time to root and be ready for play in early spring. Disruption to play should be minimal.

Have a great weekend!

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for September 27, 2016

By | Ballmarks, Fall

Fall is in the air! As we move into the middle of September the temperatures have begun to level out. The night time temperatures are getting cooler and the daytime highs are in the low 20s, exactly what the turf likes. The further we get into September daylight becomes an issue. It is now dark until 6:45 a.m. and is only going to get later, so the weekend tee times will change. On the weekend of September 24, tee times will start at 7:15 a.m. and, as usual, on October 1 they will go to 8:00 a.m. every day.

Over the next couple of weeks we will begin sodding the wear areas in the rough. For the third time this season we will complete the area around the cart path leading up from #18 green. This is a very high traffic area and re-sodding it throughout the season is the only solution. We will also repair the wear area by #9 tee and another area by #12 green. In addition to sodding we will soil and seed some smaller bare areas like the right of #5 fairway, the rough at the back of #6 green and numerous areas around the course. By getting sod and seed down this fall we give the areas time to mature and be ready for play next season.

With the cooler temperatures we will continue with our cultural practices that were delayed because of the hot and dry temperatures. The remaining fairways will be aerated with solid tynes and topdressed before the end of the season. This cultural practice will allow for firmer and denser fairways, minimize worm castings and will reduce thatch to better utilize water and nutrients. In conjunction with these cultural practices, we will begin to raise mowing heights on all greens, tees, and fairways. This will help the turf with recovery and prepare it for the winter months.

One last reminder: As we move into the fall, the greens will be softer due to the heavier dews and more frequent rain events. With that in mind, please remember to repair your ballmarks and one more to keep the greens as healthy as possible going into the winter. The fewer voids the turf canopy has, the less area for poa to encroach!

Have a great weekend!

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for November 1, 2013

By | Aerification, Fall | No Comments

November has arrived and the leaves have been falling with the 50km/hr winds over the last couple of days. The ground is wet and does not have the chance to dry with the constant cloud cover, short daylight hours, and cold temperatures making it difficult to keep the course clean of leaf debris without causing significant turf damage. At this time of year turf damage is easily brought on by cart traffic. I tell my team daily to keep to the high ground when driving around the golf course and walk that extra little bit to minimize damage. So if we all remember this, we will minimize the turf loss.

This week we finished our final greens aerification of the season. It took three days to complete, and I want to thank everyone for their patience during this important process which tends to take longer at this time of the year. The team had a great few days: we core aerated and applied heavy sand topdressing to promote a smoother surface, oxygen exchange, and root development going into the winter months. The results of the greens aerification program this season have been excellent as we work towards our goal of consistent, smooth, and healthy putting surfaces.

Over the next couple of weeks the team will begin the winter preparation of the golf course. The irrigation system will be drained and the lines will be blown out starting November 11. At this time the fountains and remote bathrooms will close for the season. The dormant fertilizer will be applied on fairways and tees followed by our snow mold application the week of the 11th. In between all of these agronomic practices we will continue our final leaf and course cleanup.

Have a great weekend!

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for November 13, 2012

By | Aerification, Fall

This past week the turf team has been hard at work aerifying and topdressing greens. Aerifying at this time of the year is a slow process due to the frost not allowing us to start until late morning, and the cloudy days not allowing the sand to dry for matting. It’s taking all week to complete, but by the end of the day Friday, all the greens will have been aerified with a ½” coring tyne and top dressed. There are several benefits with this cultural practice: improved air movement, thatch removal, incorporation of sand into the soil profile, improves drainage and compaction, and promotes a smoother putting surface in the spring. This necessary evil can be invasive but is a must to promote healthy turf!

Next week the turf team will start the usual fall tasks in preparation for the upcoming winter. On Monday we will start to drain and blow out the irrigation system. This procedure can be loud and will take until Wednesday to complete. Once the irrigation blowout is finished we will begin our fall fungicide program on fairways and tees to prevent snow mold from developing through the winter months. Greens will then be sprayed the following week. After these fungicide applications are completed we will begin our week-long process of dormant fertilizing, starting with the fairways and roughs and finishing with the greens and tees. This agronomic practice allows for a quicker green-up of the turf in the spring and gives us the opportunity to put some added minor nutrients on the greens to help with the buildup of sodium in the soil. As you can see the fall agronomic program takes approximately two weeks to complete with good weather; by starting next week we hope to be finished by December 1.

Course Closing
I hope everyone has had a long and enjoyable golf season; spring came fast, allowing the course to open April 5, well ahead of normal. It is November 9 and the time of year when the course must close for the season. Growth of the turf has slowed, which means any damage on the turf now will not heal until the spring. The closing date for this season is scheduled for Sunday, November 18. This will give the turf department time to complete the final chemical and fertilizer applications and monitor the ground temperatures to put the greens covers down. If the weather changes drastically for the better, I will re-evaluate this date at that time.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for September 28, 2012

By | Aerification, Fall, Tyne

Fall is upon us and it is the time of year when we begin to aerify the course. It was a hot, humid and dry summer, causing significant stress on the turf. Tees and fairways have done well, but some greens show signs of turf decline.

Over the next month we will aerify and topdress tees. The new tees have excessive thatch from the original sod, keeping them soft and wet. With an aggressive aerification program over the next year we will eliminate this thatch and produce a firmer, far superior teeing surface. Some fairways will receive solid tyne aerification to relieve compaction, and a few fairways will receive core aerification to relieve compaction and remove thatch.

Our scheduled greens aerification is on October 29, when we will aerate the greens with a larger 1/2” tyne to remove thatch and add sand to the profile. During the hot dry summer some greens showed more signs of stress then others, i.e., #3, 6, 8, 11, and 15. To help with turf recovery and overall health on those selected greens an extra aerification with a small tyne will be completed on October 9. This necessary cultural practice will be completed with minimal disruption to play.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent