Course Update for January 15, 2018

By | Bentgrass, Islington Golf Club, Poa, Pruning, Snow, Winter

Happy New Year!

Hopefully everyone had a cheerful and safe holiday.The first few weeks of winter have brought us some interesting weather with significant snow cover and very frigid temperatures, and the latter part of last week delivered record-breaking spring-like temperatures and rain to melt the snow.

Some of you may wonder how all this impacts the golf course.

Fortunately, our new Bentgrass greens are very well equipped to withstand the challenges of this weather. Bentgrass is much more tolerant than poa. It can handle both direct cold temperatures and ice cover. The blanket of snow we’ve had on the ground has also been beneficial by creating a nice buffer of insulation for the turf.

We started some tree pruning as part of our annual tree maintenance program. This year we are trying a slightly new technique: instead of transporting all the tree materials to designated staging locations before they are processed, we will be chipping the tree materials where they have been cut. We will do this by chipping them directly into a trailer and then hauling the woodchips away. Our goal is to make the process more efficient. Our team is rigging up the trailer for the woodchips. (see photos below)

Our team has also been busy in the shop, taking advantage of the really cold weather to work inside to get most of our course furniture painted and ready for the spring. (see photo below)

Have a great week.

Andre Aymar, Course Superintendent

Course Update for February 24, 2017

By | Bentgrass, Poa, Pruning, Winter

First, and foremost, I would like to extend a great deal of gratitude to all of Islington Golf Club’s members and the entire staff and management team. I’ve had remarkable support as I take on my new role as Superintendent. Over the past five years, I have worked tirelessly to provide a superior product that we can all be proud of. I am extremely excited to carry on with the goal of making Islington Golf Club one of the best-conditioned golf courses in Canada.

One of my main objectives is to continue to provide timely communications to our membership, informing them about our operation and any projects that are underway. I am always very happy and willing to take the time to help answer any questions you may have.

This winter has been fairly kind to us so far. Temperatures have been milder, and we haven’t had any constant snow cover. Some may have heard that this is bad for turf, but unless we would go an entire winter without any snow cover at all, it really poses no significant threats for the golf course. We did get ice formation on some fairway spots in early January after some rain, which is always a concern for winterkill on the poa. Poa does co-exist on many of our fairways, especially in high traffic locations and low-lying areas that can stay wet. (photo: below)

However, all of these spots have since thawed out and, at this point, it looks like the entire property will come out of the winter in very good condition. Especially our bentgrass greens, which look great (photo: below).

The milder conditions have also brought some challenges. It has made it quite difficult to do any work on the golf course because of the wet conditions. We have been working on a new restroom and shelter facility between #16 green and #17 tee, which is moving along nicely, but the muddy conditions around the area make it tricky (photo: below).

We have also been working on some tree pruning and removal. (photo: below) Tree pruning is really important as we can address many hazards caused by unhealthy trees, (silver maples especially), shade issues for turf, and overall health of our tree canopy and encourage the growth of all our newly planted trees. The wet conditions have also made this quite challenging. It is much more difficult to access some areas on the course for cutting, pruning and clean up without the risk of causing any turf damage. Therefore, we are being extremely selective on the days we go out there, and we may not get quite as much done as we had anticipated.

I hope that everyone has had a great winter so far, and spring is just around the corner.

Andre Aymar, Gold Course Superintendent