Friday, October 30, 2009

Warm-Season Grass Eradication

Considering the recent rainfall, one would expect all areas of the golf course to be brilliantly green. While that notion holds true throughout the majority of playable areas of the golf course, there are several areas that have remained brown and barren. And these areas will remain brown in the coming weeks even if there is rain. This is part of a strategic plan, since the grasses that germinate following rain storms are the varieties that we are trying to eliminate prior to seeding them with our specific native grass blend. Once an area is considered “clean” (i.e., following a rain event, nothing germinates) then the area is ready to be seeded with the native grass mix. The grasses that will be planted in these areas will be a bunch-type or clump-style grass, which means they grow as individual plants and are not sod-forming like the rest of the grass throughout the course. From a distance these areas will eventually look full and resemble a native meadow appearance. Up close, there will be bare areas between the clump grasses where players should be able to locate their golf balls. Currently, there are a few areas throughout the golf course where the native grasses are ready to be seeded. Once all the materials are obtained, we will do this with a hydro-seeding unit. This machine mixes seed, mulch, fertilizer, and water and then is sprayed out as a liquid material. The newly seeded areas will be very distinct as they are a bright sea-green color. This seed/mulch material helps to germinate the grasses quicker and “seals off” the surface to resist weeds and other grasses from growing.

Additionally, there are a few areas throughout the golf course where unwanted grasses are growing in the fairways and rough. These grasses have been sprayed out and are now very visible against the green turf. This are not gas/oil spills, nor is it an infectious disease, rather we are eliminating the undesirable Kikuyugrass and Bermudagrass species from the golf course to improve conditioning and consistency. These grasses naturally turn brown during the winter months as they go into dormancy when exposed to cooler temperatures. Spraying these grasses out now greatly reduces their chance of coming back next spring and it allows the maintenance crew to overseed the areas with the appropriate grass type. While these areas are brown for now, once the seeds germinate, they will eventually convert back to playable green grass.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Golf Cart Etiquette

With last week’s rain and the ensuing cleanup behind us, the golf course conditions have improved considerably from the drier summer conditions. All areas of the golf course benefited from the impressive rainfall last week and the maintenance crew has been busy trying to stay on top of the fast growing grass. You will probably notice a lot more grass clippings out there than usual and this is a good sign that the golf course will be healthy heading into the winter months with a dense stand of grass.

There has been plenty of play throughout the golf course over the past week or two and it looks to be busy heading into the first part of November. With the increase in play, it will be imperative that golfers properly take care of the golf course. The fairways and rough areas benefitted tremendously following aeration when carts were restricted to the paths. While we realize it is aggravating to stay on the path at all times, there are simple guidelines to follow to help keep the golf course in optimal condition. Many people think that small golf cart tires cannot cause too much damage and turf stress. However, golf carts induce a great deal of compacted pressure and are extremely stressful to turf. Please click on the link below to see the impacts of golf carts on the fairways. As we head into a more consistent rain pattern, there will be days where carts are on the path only. We make these decisions to help preserve and protect golf course conditioning. You will notice new signage just off the fairway to instruct carts where to travel. These signs will rotate periodically to spread out wear and compaction, but will always be kept a considerable distance away from green complexes. The approach areas of the golf course should be treated as a green surface as they are a prime area for shot-making. This rule applies for pull carts as well. Under no circumstances should carts ever come anywhere near a green surface.
Click on Link to Learn More About Golf Cart Ettiquette

Friday, October 2, 2009

Importance of Course Ettiquette

The greens, tees, fairways, and approaches responded very well to the recent aerification and optimal weather conditions over the past few weeks. Most areas of the greens have completely healed and the quick recovery was evidence that these “finicky” greens were in need of the beneficial aeration process. Over the next few weeks the greens will continue to be sand topdressed with a non-invasive type of sand. This sand absorbs into the surfaces much better than previously used sand types and will benefit the greens by smoothing out the imperfections. The cooler weather at night should help to firm up the green surfaces and the optimal health conditions should allow the green speeds and playability to be favorable for all groups.

As the fall season typically brings us the best weather of the season, there will be plenty of play throughout the golf course in the coming weeks. With the increase in play, it will be imperative that golfers properly take care of the golf course. Most members can attest that although being cart-path only for the past 17-days was a nuisance, the fairways and rough have benefitted tremendously. It may seem that those small golf cart tires cannot cause too much damage and turf stress. However, keep in mind that golf carts create a lot of compacted pressure and are extremely stressful. Respect the 90o Rule for driving onto the fairways as this will be vital for keeping playing conditions at their finest. Avoid driving back and forth over an area to look for balls and never drive straight down the middle of a fairway. These simple steps will help protect optimal playing conditions for everyone. Likewise, on the green surfaces there has been a decrease in golfer participation in fixing ball marks. This is the number one rule for golf course etiquette and if a ball mark is not properly fixed within impacting a green, it may not heal for two to three weeks. Fix your ball mark and while waiting for all players to reach the putting surface, find another ball mark to fix. Take pride in golf course etiquette and it will make a noticeable difference in the playability and presentation of the golf course.

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