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