It is been a rainy and cold week, but that didn’t stop the turf team from getting out and cleaning up stumps and branches throughout the course. We are in the final stages of finishing the winter tree work as we begin to soil and seed the stump areas. The cool weather has slowed the growth of the grass, but the rains have definitely started to green up the property. I have started to fertilize the bluegrass around bunkers and green surrounds to help push some new growth below the winter desiccated brown bunker faces. With some warmer weather forecasted over the next couple of weeks, we will finally see the turf begin to thicken and fill in all the thin areas. It seems the warm March brought an early start to dandelion season, so we have been out spot spraying throughout the property. Over the next couple of weeks we will complete all the necessary sodding and drainage work and focus on cultural practices that promote healthy turf.
I have been asked numerous times today what the tire marks on each green are. This spring I have had a tough time driving on the greens with the topdresser and sprayer without leaving tire ruts throughout the surface. This is caused by the frost and the amount of growth we had last fall. For the next couple of weeks, while the greens firm up, I will hand spray them. Yesterday I applied iron fertilizer which greens the turf. To do this with a walk sprayer you have to walk on top of the product sprayed and what happens is the tires press the product onto the leaf, which in return turns the tips black. This will mow off in the next few days as the plant begins to grow. When you drive spray, the product is behind the unit so you don’t drive on the product. There is nothing to be concerned about; it is a result of the way we have to spray.
On an exciting note, I would like to welcome Brad Phillips to the turf team. Brad brings some excellent experience from working at Devil’s Paintbrush and Glencarin Golf Club. He graduated from University of Guelph in the Turf management program this April and has joined us on a full time basis. Brad is excited to be here and looks forward to learning some new and exciting things here at Islington.
Have a great opening weekend!
Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent