Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Win A Free Shirt!

The contest is still going on. We have had two guesses so far. They were both incorrect although one of the guesses is on the right track. The other guess thinks we live in the Artic and we need to make snow shelters. We do get cold and have our fair amount of snow but not that much. Keep guessing and someone is bound to get the correct answer. Good Luck!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Win A Free Shirt!

Before my blogging begins, I would like to give a free shirt away to the person that can tell me what this tool has been used for at Tetherow. Just think about what we have done in the past and what you have read in the past and you should be able to figure it out. The first person to leave the correct answer in the comment section will win a free shirt. Good Luck!

It is almost May and during the last week of April, the golf course is getting a little bit better but we are hoping for a good weather week. These past few weeks have been very frustrating mainly due to the weather. It has not been very good to us. We have not received the needed weather to coincide with the golfing rounds we were expecting and the golf course quality. It actually looks like it is fall again.

This past week, we put out a wall to wall application of fertilizer to our greens, tees, fairways and roughs. We used a new product on our fairways and roughs this year. A Lebanon product with an analysis of 20-0-10 with 60% methylene urea was applied at a rate of 1/2 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet and it was honestly a very good product to distribute. We will see how it actually reacts in a few weeks. The greens and tees received the same organic product that we have used since day one. Gro-Power 10-0-10 was applied at a rate of 1/2 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. This week we are planning on spraying our greens and fairways with a micro nutrient package to help green the turfgrass up in preparation for the Tetherow 4 Ball.

#9 Renovation

#9 Renovation is finally completed. We actually completed the sod work last week and I am very happy to have this project finished. It actually took longer than I expected mainly due to the weather and that we were opening the golf course at the same time. We have received a lot of good comments about our work and many of the members are happy to see that additional green space has been added to make the hole a bit easier. Like our other projects, we will have the new green and bunker ready for play two weeks prior to the Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur Championships in July.

I am really looking forward to opening the section of green that we added mainly because it will take a lot of pressure off of the other parts of the green. We saw a dramatic improvement on #3 green when the new section of green was opened. The previous areas for pin locations were severely battered and thinning due to the excessive traffic. We have seen the same wear patterns on #9 so the additional green surface will be a huge benefit. You can see in the picture that the new green side bunker was sodded. We grassed all of the original bunkers during construction to minimize contamination. Once the green is ready to open, we will spray the sand line and install the bunker sand. I truly believe that this process is an effective way to "line" a bunker and we will probably do this in the future to all of the bunkers a few at a time.

#7 Renovation

In addition to #9, we have started the construction of a new tee box for #7. The "Tan" tee box is a very popular set of tees and we have two tee boxes on #7 that we utilize for the "Tan" tee but the space is not large enough to handle the traffic. So we are adding approximately 1500 square feet of new tee space so that we can provide better conditioned turf when the "Tan" tee placement is used. Once the subsurface is finished and a 6 inch sand cap is placed we will utilize the sod from a nursery green to sod the final product. This will allow us to have a quicker grow-in period especially since the "Tan" tee placement is so popular.

#2 Renovation

After the completion of #9, we began putting the final touches on the renovation project on #2. The renovation of #2 was mostly completed last fall and the sod that was laid down survived very well over the winter. Now we are just completing the fine grading around the future green making sure that the tie-ins are good and the surrounds are rock picked before we start the seeding process. Next week is the Tetherow 4 Ball and once that is completed we will start the seeding process. I am scheduling a seeding date of May 6th which is the day after the completion of the tournament and maybe the weather will have improved by that time. We have such a short growing window that if the weather is not optimal then the germination process goes very slow. We will put down a preplant fertilizer prior to seeding which will comprise of a slow release 16-16-16 product at a rate of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet along with a 10-0-10 organic based fertilizer at a rate of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. This combination worked very well during the initial grow-in of Tetherow. Along with the preplant, a 10 pound per 1000 square feet rate of our fine fescue blend and a 0.65 pounds per 1000 square feet of colonial bentgrass will be hydromulched using a rate of hydromulch of 4 bales of hydromulch per 1/4 acre. We only have two months for grow-in for both the seeded and sodded areas. The renovation of #2 needs to be in play two weeks prior to the Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur Championships that we are hosting in July.

I am hoping for better weather this week and next because we have the Tetherow 4 Ball next week. I would really like to showcase the golf course but without warm weather most of our efforts of fertilizing, topdressing and our maintenance practices go unseen. For those who read other golf course superintendents blogs, one theme is always talked about, WEATHER. It truly plays a huge role in our efforts to provide a quality golfing experience.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Opening Day April 1st, 2011

April 1st, 2011 was our Opening Day of the 2011 golf season. The weather was the best day we have had all spring. The temperature was nearly 70 degrees with clear blue sky. It was a very good day to show off the golf course to everyone. The prior day we had a member preview during which nearly 25 members enjoyed the golf course prior to opening to everyone. The members could look at the renovation work that we have been working on, on holes #2, #7, #9 and #11. The comments were very favorable to the slight changes that we have been making. To reassure everyone, David McLay Kidd has been involved in every change from start to finish. We appreciate having David so available to Tetherow in order to continue improving the golf course. Even though we have experienced some of the worst weather this winter and early spring that I can remember the first days of golf were the best. All it takes is a little bit of sunshine and warmer days to get the golf course looking pretty good. I can finally see the turfgrass starting to wake up from the long winter and beginning to look like Tetherow once again.

Course Conditions

The golf course is actually in great shape despite the brutal wet weather. The putting surfaces are very close to conditions like we experience during the peak of the season. They are getting greener and growing day by day. The tees and fairways are also beginning to awaken. Like I have explained in the past, the heavy topdressing during the winter provides the elements for an early green up of the golf course. There are some pictures later in this post concerning the topdressing. We are actually not to far off from peak season conditions. We have the month of April to get course conditions to a premium. The first week of May is the Tetherow 4-Ball where many of the best golf professionals in the Northwest arrive at Tetherow for three days of match play. The Tetherow 4-Ball was a great success last year and I presume that this year will not be any different. As we continue to work on golf course conditions, we still have a few unfinished projects to complete this month.


We have continued our composting efforts this year. The purchase of a chipper/shredder will help our efforts to produce the essential elements for compost. Compost is generally a mixture of "green" and "brown" waste. The "green" is our grass clippings and other similar bi-products and the "brown" is the bi-product of chipping woody materials. Show above is a pile of tree limbs that have been chipped directly into our composting pile ready for a thorough mixing. I have to thank Scott Moffenbeier from Broken Top Club for the tree limbs. Since we do not have many trees at Tetherow, I asked if Scott wanted to bring his limbs over for our composting. He does not have to pay for removal of the limbs and we get our "brown" waste. A win win for the both of us.

#9 Renovation

The #9 green renovation is coming along nicely. This past week we completed the profile and David McLay Kidd came and approved our work. Now we can start sodding. The pictures can tell the rest of the story.

Chris van der Velde and others looking over our work

Spreading out the sand layer
Installing the sand layer

Topdressing and Spring Green Up

#9 Look how green the turfgrass is due to the sand topdressing generating heat. We have only fertilized the greens to date. This greening is what I like to call "artificial heating".

#4 For comparison, the fairway has not been topdressed yet. We have had to postpone any topdressing efforts due to the amount of rain and snow that we have received. With all the moisture, the fairways are very soft and we needed to postpone the topdressing to prevent creating ruts in the fairways. Not very green when compared to #9.

#15 The tees were topdressed and the fairway was not. You get the picture.

So now that the golf course is open and members and guests are enjoying the course, we need to switch our efforts from construction back to maintenance. We still have a few construction projects to finish but with the added staff we will be able to do both construction and maintenance. We look forward to the golfing season and hope to see you out on the golf course.