Fall seems to be moving very quickly. Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving is next week. The course has been aerated and many projects and end of season practices are underway.
Please be advised that we will be winterizing the irrigation system all week. We will do this through play while doing our best to limit disturbance to golfers. This process is timely and can be noisy but is pertinent to one of the properties most expensive and vital assets. Please see the pro shop counter for more information.
Also, frost delays are upon us. Please note that maintenance work cannot begin until the frost melts off. After the team has a head start on daily practices, play can begin. you do not need frost on the outside of the plant to do damage, frozen leaf tissue ruptures when trafficked. An e-mail has been sent further explained frost delay science and procedures.
Happy Thanksgiving to all,
As promised, fairway aeration has begun. It is going slower than planned due to very wet soils from Friday’s and Saturday’s rain. It also appears that frost delays will begin to plague us the next couple of mornings. The process will take some time so please remember to be courteous to the workers. The equipment is large, loud and hard to maneuver. Be sure each employee sees you and waves you up before hitting. Due to the amount of time it takes to complete this task the larger equipment will work through play without moving off the fairway while you hit. This is the best way to get fairway aeration completed in a timely manner. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.
Golf Course Superintendent,
Here is an update on the course aerification process; tees have been aerified, cleaned, top-dressed and fertilized. Greens have been aerified, cleaned, top-dressed, fertilized and Dry-Jected. Both the tees and the greens processes went very smoothly and we are having great weather for turf growth right now. This is a welcomed change from the difficult and unpredictable spring and summer of 2016. With only two weeks healing time since greens aeration and one week since the greens Dry-Ject we see almost no residual scarring from the work done. The greens are now ready for some growth regulators which will slow elongation helping the plant to grow laterally creating a smoother, tighter and faster putting surface. The tees have already received growth regulator which will help complete their recovery process.
Fairway aeration will begin on October 24th and should complete on October 28th weather permitting. This work will be done on a few holes per day and will intermittently interfere with golf. Please be courteous to the workers during this process. Currently the fall weather is great for golfing but seems to be cooling rather quickly so get out there and get some rounds in before winter is upon us.
See you on the Links,
Aerating season is upon us. Last weeks rain threw the Tee schedule off a little but we did get it done. Today we aerated the greens with large diameter tines which I like to use these in the fall to create nice large channels for air and water exchange. The Turf also has better ability to recover quicker in the fall. The process went fairly smoothly and is nearly complete. We have some touch-up top-dressing to do and we need to put down fertilizers and soil amendments. We usually expect about a two week recovery time but that may vary due to next week's Dry-Ject. Normally we perform Dry-Ject in June but weather and other factors forced us to push it off. Doing it now, in conjunction with the large aeration tines will be just as beneficial as doing it in the summer. Remember, despite the inconvenience in poor putting surfaces these cultivation practices are extremely important to turf health and good playing surfaces.
Looks like a decent amount of rain is coming this week, it should wash the top-dressing in nicely despite making poor playing conditions. Hopefully the sun will return next week when the putting surfaces start to improve.
Thank you for your patience,
I would like to inform all residents and golfers alike that we have aerated, verti-cut, slice-seeded and top-dressed the range tee and targets. Remember that the turf on these areas is a hybrid Bermudagrass. It performs very well in the warmer months and it's aggressive growth is what allows us to utilize the grass tee so much for such a small area. However we have seen that its cold tolerance forces us to shut the grass tee down early and not allow opening until nearly June. Late last fall, I over-seeded with Ryegrass much like they do on golf courses in southern states. This allowed the range to open as early as April 1st this season. Due to the success in the spring I have performed the over-seeding process in order to extend range use later into the fall. I will need to keep the grass tee closed for close to 2 weeks while we wait for germination of the Ryegrass. Also, please take note of the following aeration dates; Greens-Monday 9/26, Greens Dry-ject-Monday 10/3, Tees-10/20-22 (6 holes per day) and Fairways 10/17-21. Thank you for your patience regarding fall aeration practices.
Happy Fall Golfing,
It is evident that this storm will hit us but the severity and impact is still unknown. Some of the preparations I will be taking are as follows; I will be shutting down all power to the irrigation system including shutting down the main breaker at the pumphouse and, the line conditioner breakers. I will also disconnect all lines from the central control in the maintenance building to the field to preserve the computer. I have kept the irrigation pond at a lower level (well pumps are off) for greater drainage capacity. I will keep all pond transfer valves shut. If needed I will open them towards the end or after the storm has passed. If the storm hits at raised severity and the course is closed, I will pass through each day to assess damage and needed recovery actions. Please remember that a golf course is one of the worst places to be during a storm. Trees and branches that can injure or kill are succeptable to falling in high winds. Also, you are an easy target for lightning (which kills). Finally, golf course surface drainage can often flow fast enough to move or paralyze golf carts and can cause severe washouts in the landscape. If conditions are bad please do not try to navigate the course in any way, we will do our best to return the course to use in a timely manner. Hopefully Hermine is all tuckered out by the time it reaches New Jersey but if not we will be prepared. Be safe and stay dry.
Golf Course Superintendent,
Labor Day is just one week away and with it comes the promise of shorter and cooler days. This summer sure has given us some extreme weather. It started warm and dry, then became hot and humid with no rain, followed by hot, humid and lots of rain. Now it seems temps are rising again and I cannot recall the last time we had precipitation. However cooler nights and shorter days will help us to recover from the long hot summer and to begin our necessary maintenance practices for repair and continued health of the turf. We have begun spraying for the grassy weed breakthrough as mentioned in earlier posts. Please take note that we will be seeing yellowing and browning of these weeds in the fairways tees and roughs. Desirable turf is not dying, just the unwanted weedy grasses and their seeds. As these chemical treatments do there job and the alloted time passes we will begin overseeding these areas as necessary. Also, please note that we will be aerating greens on September 26th and Dry-Jecting them one week later on October the 3rd.
I want to point out that it is extremely dry out there and irrigation coverage in the rough is limited. Please be sure to enter each hole at the green and white post only, proceeding directly to the fairway and driving the straightest line possible to your ball. Then continue on the fairway in a straight line to the return to path signs and take the shortest route to the path from the fairway. Not driving in the roughs will help to preserve it for play.
Now is the best time of year to play golf so get out there and enjoy yourself.
See you on the links,
The start of the Fed Ex cup is just around the corner and with it comes some much needed cooler and shorter days. All things considered the course has held up very well. We have tried some different herbicides on the fairways for control of the Kyllinga. There has been some positive notes (the fairways have never been greener and healthier) and some negative notes (some break through of grassy weeds). As the cooler weather approaches we will be treating these areas and overseeding them.
Also, we took a lot of rain in the last week of July and not a whole lot of change in temperature. This caused some anaerobic conditions and stressed turf. The soaked soils and stressed turf caused some delays in mowing and the much needed rain caused some excessive growth in both the rough and fairways. We have been playing catch up with the mowing practices ever since it dried out. It has taken multiple cuttings and a lot of blowing off and cleaning up clippings to get a good, clean cut on the turf. We should have it all caught up by the end of this week.
See you on the Links,
Happy Fourth of July to all! The weather has been great for golf and good for growing grass. Not the best grass growing weather but far from the worst that I have seen in my time at Oceanaire. Really, the biggest problem has been the lack of rain and it is always better to be dry than wet because we can always irrigate.
A question that we have been hearing a lot lately is; "why do we close the range two days a week for maintenance and not do it all on Mondays while closed?" The fact of the matter is we do maintenance on Mondays as well as Wednesday and Friday. On Mondays we do full maintenance including cutting all grass types (tee, targets and rough), filling and smoothing divots, topdressing, fertilizer/fungicide applications, irrigation repairs/adjustments and anything else that needs to be done. On Wednesdays and Fridays we cut the short grass (tee and targets), fill divots, clean and straighten everything. This is the minimum amount of work that has to be done on a regular basis allowing for the shortest delay of use possible during the week. In order to have grass teeing area and targets we must cut on a regular basis (no less than three times a week to keep the grass healthy and at the desired height of cut. It is important that we do not remove more than 20% of the leaf tissue in any one mowing; doing so can severely damage the plant.
Good luck to all in today's Firecracker Tournament,
A quick update on the irrigation system projects so far. In April we discovered excessive vibrations in the pump motors at the pump house. In May the motors were removed and sent out for inspection and repair before catastrophic failure. Two of the motors were able to be rebuilt while one would not perform within the required tolerances if rebuilt so it was replaced. The pumps themselves and the shafts that drive them were preserved. The pump station has been fully operational since completion in mid-May.
At that time, in conjunction with Turf Equipment Company, we rewired the satellite boxes that control the operation of the sprinklers in the field. The purpose of the rewiring was to create a more seamless flow in the computer system and to be able to better identify different zones and the sprinklers within them. This part of the project is mostly complete as we will continue to evaluate and investigate to see if all stations (sprinkler wires) were moved correctly. It is also part of a reprogramming project, in conjunction with Hydro Designs that will also continue to change throughout the next month or so as we evaluate how the new programming is functioning.
These projects have not affected turf health. We continue on the path that we started over 5 years ago. We keep water and fertilizer inputs at no more than they need to be while aggressively cultivating (dethatching) whenever we can. The turf has come a long way here at Oceanaire and we will continue to make it better day after day.
Golf Course Superintendent ,