Monday, May 23, 2011

Course Conditions

The golf course is playing very well these days. We have been getting a few warm days along with some cool rainy days. Actually a good combination of weather for the fescue and the playing conditions. When the days are warm, you can see or sense that the fescue is starting to grow consistently which is good to see this time of the year. With the occasional rain storm, we have not needed to water very much so the golf course is playing firm and fast. The forecast is more of the same, nice days and possible rainy days.

Two weeks ago we applied our first application of carfentrazone-ethyl for moss control. I noticed a slight discoloration of the moss and no effect to the fescue. Our second application is scheduled for this week. We should see a noticeable discoloration of the moss after a few days of the second application. Along with this weeks carfentrazone-ethyl application, our trials for the optimal iron rates for our greens will start. I will make sure to take pictures. This should be very interesting to see what our "near death" rate of iron is on our fescue.

Below are a few pictures of our seeding progress of the renovations that we did this winter/spring. Hole #11 is scheduled to be seeded this week and when that is done, we are finished with our construction projects and now we switch to the grow-in phase of the projects.

New tee on #7. The light colored area is the new tee a week after seeding

The back of #2 green a week after seeding

Seeding the back of #2

Seeding #2

So now that we are almost completed with our renovations we will turn our attention to a few other projects. Since this July we are hosting the Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur Championships, we are going to really pay close attention to the playability of the golf course. Our biggest concerns are the green speeds, the firmness of the approaches and the bunkers. Currently, the green speeds are very good and should have not much work to do on the greens. As for the approaches and bunkers, they are very close. We will topdress the approaches and pay close attention to the water regime they receive in order to maintain a firm playing surface. The bunkers do not have much work to do, but we will need to maintain a nice and clean bunker edges along with maintaining appropriate sand depths. Not that big of a deal for us but just want to keep a close eye so that we do not have a lot of work preparing for the tournament.

On a personal note, last week I played in the Washington Open with my owner Chris van der Velde and as a team we finished in a tie for third place. Not to shabby for the both of us. Chris had a total knee replacement last fall and this was his first stroke play tournament since the procedure. As for me, I have played a total of six rounds since last October which three of those rounds were during the tournament. I really enjoyed playing and thanks to Chris for inviting me.

Monday, May 9, 2011

This past week, we hosted the Tetherow 4-Ball which was a huge success. The golf course was is very good condition despite the weather the week prior. It actually snowed on Thursday the 28th of April and we had cold temperatures that weekend. The weather for the 4-Ball was great, warm and sunny.

Course conditions are coming right along. We have seen a very good response to our fertilization we did a few weeks back. The staff has been busy since the tournament getting all of the golf course details accomplished. Our details are all the areas that are done using weedeaters, edgers, rotary mowers, etc. all of our hand work. When the details are done, the golf course looks very sharp and tidy.

This week we will finish the irrigation installation and hydromulch the renovations on #2, #7 and #11. Since it is May we can start the seeding process. Actually, I am not sure it is May because today we woke up to snow again. In any case, we are moving forward with our seeding and just push those areas pretty hard so they are in play sooner than later.

We have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time but it should be no problem. We are just starting our growing season so our efforts will pay off very soon and quickly. There are a few issues that we need to address this month. For example, we have an increasing population of moss on our greens which we will be addressing using iron applications and carfentrazone-ethyl as well as improving the thinning areas on some of our undulations. Coulee Prince, our assistant superintendent came up with a watering idea for our large humps and bumps which we are considering on trying. I will keep you updated on that in the future. Since we have much to do in this month below is a schedule for the month of May.

May 2011

May 9th - 12th - Finish renovation projects
May 10th - Spray greens with foliar fertilizer using Floratine products
May 11th - Spray greens with carfentrazone-ethyl
May 13th - Hydromulching on #2, #7 and #11

May 16th - 22nd - Normal maintenance practices and experimenting with iron rates for greens
May 17th - Spray greens with foliar fertilizer using Floratine products

May 23rd - Fertilize Tees with GroPower 10-0-10
May 25th - Spray greens with carfentrazone-ethyl
May 26th - 30th - Normal maintenance practices

May 31st - Knife tine and topdress greens
June 1st - Knife tine and topdress greens

Thursday, May 5, 2011

We have a Winner!

Congratulations to David Phipps for correctly answering the question. Yes indeed, the tool or "sod spatula" was used to keep the delicate pieces of fescue sod together while doing the renovation work on #9. The idea came to me before we started sodding #9 remembering back to our other sod jobs on greens and how the end result was not as smooth as I would have liked. The reasoning behind the sod spatula is that the edges tend to fall apart while handling the sod and that the fine fescue does not knit together as well as other turfgrasses. I wanted to imitate the large wooden spatulas that the pizza joints use. It really worked. Thanks to Marty our Equipment Technician for building the sod spatula.