Course Update for June 23, 2017

By | Divots, Rain, Sandtraps

The golf course received a lot of rain throughout Thursday night and again this morning. There are several fairway spots and many bunkers that are still underwater. The roughs are completely saturated. Due to these conditions there will be no carts for today. (see photo below)

If you intend to use a cart on the weekend, please check with the Golf Shop first to verify their availability.

Although our team tried to prep the course this morning, there was little we could do. The course will be wet and messy for the duration of the day. We will be working hard to have everything back in order tomorrow morning. (see photo below)

With the golf course being wet, I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone how important it is to regularly practice good golf etiquette. By taking the time to do the little things, such as fixing your ball marks, filling your divots, and raking the sandtraps, you can make a big difference in the overall presentation of the course and its playability.

It is important for the cart users to use the appropriate area to exit the fairway. The designated areas are marked with the small black posts. (see photo below) We are able to move these post as needed to scatter the wear and this helps us maintain better conditions in the high traffic areas. We also recommend that cart users drive in the fairways (instead of the roughs) as much as possible.

We also use small posts on some of the high traffic areas on fairways. They are used to guide traffic away from these wear areas. (see photo below)

Have a great weekend.

Andre Aymar
Golf Course Superintendent

Course Update for May 5, 2017

By | Rain, Weather

It has no doubt been a wet spring so far. We have seen significant rainfall over the last week or so, and it looks like it is going to continue for at least another day. On average, in Toronto, we receive 63 mL of rain in April. This year we got 121 mL. In May, we typically receive about 73 ml of rain and in the first 5 days of the month we have already had 45 mL. The golf course has now become unplayable as the entire property is completely saturated and there is standing water everywhere.

Islington Golf Club Rain on Greens

Therefore, I have recommended that it is in the best interest of the club to close the course until further notice. If you are planning to come out to the course this weekend, please contact the Golf Shop first to ensure the course is open for play.

The new greens drain extremely well. Therefore, when the rain stops and enough time is allowed for the standing water on the rest of the course to go down, we will reopen the course for walking. It is unlikely that carts will be able to go out right away. Carts can do damage that may take up to several days to recover from. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Filling your divots on the golf course with the divot mix provided in the bottles is common golf etiquette. Not only does it preserve the playability of the golf course for anybody playing behind you, but it also helps the recovery time for the divot to heal and fill in. It is, however, very important to use the divot mix in the right locations. The divot mix provided in the bottles is ONLY for use on fairways and tees. Tee divots are in a more concentrated area, and it is much easier for our team to fill these divots every day. On the other hand, fairway divots are much more scattered, and that’s why we recommend that you save the divot mix for use on fairways. You will have less of a chance of running out of mix and more fairway divots will get filled.

Wishing everyone a great weekend,

Andre Aymar, Golf Course Superintendent

Course Update for August 19, 2016

By | Aerification, Rain, Trees

The rain dances have finally paid off. It was a long time coming, but we received approximately two inches of rain over the weekend and start of the week. The rain has done wonders for the property. It’s what we call a reset button. The sodium build up in the greens from lack of rain has pushed through the green cavity and the turf has a vibrant green colour to them. The heat spots throughout the fairways and roughs have begun to recover, and it looks like we were able to minimize the damage with the constant use of hand watering over the last few weeks. It was a long stretch of heat and drought, but the course survived nicely.

Over the next couple of weeks we will switch our focus to cultural practices that benefit the turf and provide better playing conditions in the future. On August 29 we will begin our second aerification of the greens. This time we will use a solid tyne for most of the green and a small coring tyne in the low areas where water drains off the green. We will then apply heavy sand topdressing to fill the holes, promoting a firmer surface and truer ball roll. During the rest of the week, and moving into September we will be coring tees and completing a solid tyne on fairways followed by sand topdressing everywhere. And, like last year, we will verti-cut a couple of fairways that have a little more thatch to help with water penetration and firmer conditions. All these cultural practices will be a long term benefit to the playing conditions and management of the turf.

In the next two weeks we will be removing two large dead silver maples at the back of the 15th tee (see photo). The City of Toronto investigated these trees and deemed them a potential danger to cars driving along Kipling Ave. and pedestrians walking or waiting for the bus. We have until September 9 to remove the hazard. These are two very large trees and will take some time to remove as the branches are near power wires. After the trees are removed we will grind the two stumps later this fall and plant a new tree to fill in the void.

Enjoy the weekend!

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for June 26, 2015

By | Divots, Rain

June is coming to an end and the course has been very busy. For the most part everything is holding up to the wear. But with 6” of rain so far this month the greens are playing a little soft. Even on sand base greens that amount of rain doesn’t allow the top to dry down quick enough. On the young greens with little structure or no thatch, rain is making them quite susceptible to ball marking. So the only way to help alleviate the scaring and keep the greens healthy is to fix your ball marks. With the amount of play recently I have noticed lots of ball marks not being repaired, and it is unfortunate that it isn’t the #1 thought after you walk on to the green. Every unrepaired ball mark leaves a void allowing poa to germinate. I am doing my best to keep the greens as firm as I can but with the rain we need to work together to keep the greens free of poa. With another 2” of rain in the forecast for this upcoming weekend, let’s take the time to recognize how fragile the new greens are and do our best to repair our ball marks.

Need a quick review: IGC Ball Mark Repair Video  USGA Ball Mark Repair Video

Have a great weekend,

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent

Course Update for June 19, 2015

By | Ballmarks, Divots, Rain

13 Hole Looking Good
It has been a wet start to June. In the last three weeks the course received over 125mm of rain. This amount of rain helps in a few ways: seed establishment in damaged areas, consistent stand of rough, and a full irrigation reservoir. But along with those benefits from rain, there are also the difficult areas with too much rain, ballmarks, and divots. The new greens are still young, with no significant thatch layer to help with ballmarks. Even though the greens are sand based, significant rainfalls over extended periods of time do not allow surfaces to dry down, resulting in ball marks, so please take the time to repair your ball marks. The same is true with divots, the fairways have been very wet of late with larger than normal divots being taken. So please replace the divot if it is still intact or seed if need be.

In all, I feel the course is setting up for a great summer of golf. Tees, fairways, and roughs have recovered very well from the winter. The new greens are maturing nicely and are consistent and putting true. With a little drier weather the greens will become firmer and the number of ball marks will be reduced.

Over the next couple of weeks we will concentrate on a few minor drainage issues to fix clogged drain pipes. This will help with standing water in areas throughout the course.

Have a great weekend.

Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent