Greenbriar Oceanaire Community Association
January 17, 2013
Message from the Golf Superintendent.
Residents of Greenbriar Oceanaire,
As of today January 15, 2013 Billy Casper Golf Maintenance team is currently utilizing our golf dog Brewer (the white terrier mix) to help control the geese populations. He was new to the process last year and has learned his job well. We run him on the course one to two times daily Monday through Friday. He has been doing a great job and population counts are even lower than this time last year. Please keep in mind that we are not killing or eradicating the geese, therefore there will always be a certain number of geese present. Our goal is to control the populations and make the geese uneasy in order to easily scare them and prevent mating on the property. From time to time we may also utilize noise makers in the afternoons to also keep the geese on the run. Do not be alarmed by the noise.
Feel free to say hello to Brewer if he passes you but remember he is a working dog so allow him space to do his job. If you are not a dog person you can just ignore him and he will ignore you. Dog walkers do not need to be alarmed, Brewer is dog friendly but it is advised to keep your dog on a leash at all times and leave the goose chasing to Brewer.
Just a friendly reminder while the course is closed, residents are permitted to use only the path for walking (please keep off all grass areas). Dog walking is not permitted on the golf course at any time as per the rules and regulations of your community.
Golf Course Superintendent
On Monday, October 29th we will be performing the following cultivation practices on the greens; Graden one direction at 1 inch depth, aerify one direction on 1 inch spacing with ¼ inch tines, aerify one direction 2 inch spacing with ¾ inch tines. This will be the most physical cultivation that these greens have ever received at any one time. Because of this, they will receive heavy sand topdressing and organic fertilizer/ soil amendments.
This will make for undesirable putting conditions over the following 10-14 days. Healing will be slow this time of year (weather depending), however this will be a leap in creating greater playability and turf health. Note: GHIN handicap scoring ends on October 31st (close of the official season)
In addition, seeding of areas in the rough is underway and will continue through October. In order to have optimal seed soil contact these areas will be slice seeded very deeply in multiple directions potentially creating unsightly areas. This is intended and the look will go away as the turf plants mature next spring.
We continue to thank you for your patience and understanding while restoring Greenbriar Oceanaire’s golf course.
Golf Superintendent Update Sept. 2012
September 12, 2012
To the Golfing Community,
The summer heat is behind us and with it comes the best golf weather of the season. With that being said, this is a good time to review how the turf is progressing and provide the fall cultivation schedule.
Greenbriar Oceanaire has come a long way since my start 20 months ago. I am pleased to say I feel we are ahead of schedule restoring the turf to its former glory. Our efforts on the greens and tees have paid off wonderfully. All 18 greens have survived the summer for the first time in a few seasons. We have removed a lot of thatch and provided a great deal of sand into the turf canopy. This has provided the greens with the ability to exchange gas and water in the soil profile preserving playable conditions. For these reasons, we will push fall aeration until the first of November, providing optimal putting surfaces for the remainder of the playing season.
Tees also are in very good condition, despite a few particular troublesome areas. The tees have already been aerated and top-dressed heavily with sand. The few problem tees have been aerated twice and over seeded. The underlying factors of trees and misdirected irrigation will be remedied this fall providing better turf cover for next season. These tees are 1 green, 2 green and 2 white. Look to see changes with these tees in the coming weeks.
Fairways continue to provide some trouble due to the thatch layer, heavy traffic, irrigation issues from lightning strikes and abnormal humidity and rainfall in August. Despite fairways 5, 6, and 1, overall fairways are improving and headed in the right direction. 1 and 6 experienced water logged thatch layers that did not allow gas and water exchange through the soil profile creating toxic gas levels that killed off turf. While we recognize the loss of turf may seem substantial, it is a 90% reduction over last season. Progress is being made. These areas have been heavily aerated, seeded and top-dressed. The road to recovery for them begins now. Expect to see germination and seedlings over the next few weeks and full recovery by late spring of 2013. During the aeration, vertical mowing and cleaning process some turf was damaged. This was due to heavy rains we experienced prior to and during the early days of the process soaking the thatch layer. These areas will be filled with divot mix and seed as they were last year and will return healthier and stronger than before. Any area will feel is too large of a damaged area will be sodded in the near future. Again this is a minuscule amount of turf loss compared to the past and it will be less each year as renovations continue. Expect to have full cart access to the fairways minus these areas throughout the fall except for heavy rain days.
Now is also the time to chemically attack the weeds we have experienced in the rough as a result of past turf loss. This too has already begun and will affect weed infestations for next year. There will be some sod projects going on this fall and next spring as well as we did last fall and spring. Things are progressing nicely and I feel the worst is behind us here at Greenbriar Oceanaire.
I have been receiving some questions on what to do with divots in the fairway. Every Superintendent will have a different request for golfers on different properties. For now, with consideration to our thatch issue; do not replace your divot, fill the divot with the sand mix provided and toss the clump of turf to the side. Enjoy the rest of your season and I hope to see you out there on the course.
This is a Publication of Greenbriar Oceanaire Community Association
To Our Golfing Members,
Please be advised, we are now well into the dog days of summer. The high humidity, high temperature days are among us and rain fall amounts are always most uncertain this time of year. With this in mind there are a few things I would like to remind everyone to provide the best care for your facility.
First and foremost, while the course may be starting to look healthier it is still not in top condition. We must treat it like a patient in rehabilitation, the worst (surgery) is over but there is a long road ahead to 100% recovery. This is the crucial time where we do not want to strain or reinjure the good that has been done. What this means is that the turf is still more vulnerable to injury than courses that do not have thatch issues. Due to this fact we will have to take some extra precautionary measures. We will provide the maximum and best fertilizers and fungicides that we can, as well as mow only in times of lower heat and humidity. We will try to knock down dew cover to reduce disease pressure and we will run the fans around the clock during times of high night time heat and humidity. Your part is to bear with us and provide understanding when we go to path only to protect the fairways from tracking. Also, please do your best to continue to be aware of stressed, brown turf and the unmowed fescue areas. It is of the utmost importance that these areas are not driven on. Pay attention to maintenance workers hand watering on fairways, greens and tees. Give these gentlemen your respect and patience and wait for them to move out of the way or wave you up. Finally, there may be some days that we make the decision to close the course due to extreme temperatures, think of these days as rain days, they are few and in the best interest of turf health and your health alike. As time passes and health of the turf returns, these extreme measures will become a thing of the past.
I would like to point out some of the browning in some of our fairways; this should not be cause for alarm. Most of it is due to heat and drought stress from loss of our irrigation system during the extreme thunder storms we had in late June and early July. Some of this turf will recover now, some when temperatures begin to cool down and the rest in the fall. I have sent some plant samples to Rutgers and all came back as negative for plant pathogens (fungi). Overall plant health and response is good despite our thatch issue.
I would like to thank all in your support and understanding as we restore Greenbriar Oceanaire to its original beauty and health.
Golf Course Superintendent
In an effort to keep our Community updated to all of the ongoing changes that you may have noticed on and around our Golf Course the Greens Committee submit the following for your review.
This letter is to inform you that we will be attempting to restore the intended look of this golf course by allowing much of the fine fescue rough areas to grow to their natural height. 'The idea for this is based on the turf grass species selected and the design habits of the golf course architect, Arthur Hills.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that there are thousands of grass species, such as Fescue (Festuca), Bentgrass (Agrostis), Ryegrass (Lolium) and Bluegrass (Poa). Each species has many different varieties all with different growth habits. Examples of this would be Poa annua (Annual bluegrass commonly found on old golf course putting greens), Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass commonly found on residential lawns and Poa trivialis (Rough stalk bluegrass considered to be a weed). On this property, primarily in common grounds and rough areas on the course the species that I see in widespread use is Fine fescue. This is not to be confused with Tall fescue or Turf type Tall fescue.
The purpose of using Fine fescues is that they are considered a low maintenance grass meaning they do not require high inputs of water, fertility or pesticides. This is only possible when they are maintained according to their natural growth habit. Fine fescue is a cool season, bunch type grass that will have natural defenses against disease and drought stress when not mowed. Being a cool season grass it will have its greatest shoot growth in the spring and if not mowed will put its energy into pushing a seed head. Once the warm weather arrives, the plant will go dormant. If mowed it tends to damage or kill the plant unless heavily watered and fertilized. However this will cause the plant to become lush and thatchy, making it susceptible to disease, insects and drought stress. It will also be very clumpy leaving bare soil throughout the turf canopy. This makes for the inconsistent less desirable look we have come to know in the hills of this golf course.
Arthur Hills, the designer of this course, is considered an environmentalist in the industry for choosing these grasses on his courses. This makes his courses need fewer resources and have less impact on the environment due to reduced fertility and pesticides. He also uses these grasses as the natural defense of the course. Every course has natural defenses, whether it is large bodies of water, large waste bunkers, tighter narrower fairways or a wood line closer to the fairway, every course has something to force the golfer into decisions and more accurate shots. Our course has wide fairways met by Fine fescues.
What does this mean as a golfer? What will happen to round times, will there be more insects, what will it do for the look? These have all been valid questions that I have heard. We will continue to monitor play times and the playability of the fescues. If we find an area to be too difficult we will look into making possible adjustments or addressing heavy weed populations. There will be no more chance of ticks in these areas than there was before due to the fact that most of these areas are full sunshine and Fine fescues have a thin ground cover. It is the wood lines, underbrush and pond banks that I would caution golfers against entering. Mosquito populations could be reduced due to the ability to keep these areas drier once the grasses are dormant. We have made an insect pre-emergence spray in many of these areas to reduce any existing grub, tick or mosquito populations and we will continue this each year. As for the look, expect greater turf cover, no more exposed soil as the fescue begins to reseed itself and become healthier year after year. It will provide character and definition to the course better outlining landing areas. Also, take notice of the golden color and whispy characteristics of the plant and how it blows in the wind. This will help to make Greenbriar Oceanaire a premier facility with the look and beauty originally intended.
What does this mean for home owners? It means you too will have greater beauty to observe from your homes. The fescues are already at their maximum height and will not get any taller. These grasses do not have the ability to grow more than 18 inches in height and will not disturb views; it will enhance them with greater turf cover and different colors. Some of these fescues will go to brown, tan, red and even purple. If the area behind your house becomes or is weed covered let us know, it may need to be cleaned up. The proper growth of this grass will begin to suppress the weeds as it becomes healthier. Most importantly, these grasses will provide a barrier between you and the golfers. Golfers are less likely to cross these areas in search of an errant shot or any other reason. This definition and boundary should also provide better visual aiming and reduce shots landing in your yard.
Overall, this process of restoring the roughs to the original vision is good for everyone. They will still be maintained, just done so in a different manner. All of these areas will be mowed in the fall with the pond and basin clean-up mowing of the fall. I hope you all enjoy the new look of your course.
Golf Course Superintendent
Over the last couple of months the maintenance team has been hard at work, mostly removing thatch. The team has been working diligently on training new team members, spring clean-up and early season aerification. Spring clean-up has gone well and is very near completion. It included edging/reshaping of bunkers, clearing of dead tree material from the ground (pine cones, needles, branches), edging/mulching of plant beds and clearing of winter debris from basins and drainage areas. We have also continued the fight against thatch! So far this year, the newly acquired Gradens have been out twice on greens, once on tees and once on the approaches and bailouts. They will be used one more time on the greens in conjunction with the last core aerification this spring, scheduled for May 29th. The greens have been aerated once so far with 5/8 inch holes on 1.5 inch spacing. This removed quite a lot of material and provided large channels of sand for water and gas exchange to the root zone as well as root growth. The next aerification on the greens will be May 29th with a 1/4 inch hole. This win provide less disruption to play and quicker healing while still providing adequate water and gas exchange to the root zone. The tees have also been aerated this spring, with a 3/4 in hole. They will not be aerated again until fall, but they will receive one more verti-cutting with the Gradens. We are currently aerating and verti-cutting the fairways and this process will be completed by the end of this week.
All areas have been adequately fertilized with the proper nutrients so far this year. We have also made multiple applications of wetting agents and growth regulators to the greens, tees and fairways.
We have also borrowed a piece of equipment called a hydro-seeder from another golf course this spring. This machine mixes seed, fertilizer and mulch (for holding the seed down) and allows us to apply it to areas in need by spraying it out of a hose. This is very useful and effective. So watch your step in those areas that are blue/green in color, seedlings are growing and will be maturing through the end of this month.
There are also some areas that were in need of a quicker change and you will notice that we applied sod to these areas. This sod has already taken root so feel free to walk on or play from them .
As the spring cultural practices come to an end and turf continues to become healthier, we will be polishing and increasing the frequencies of our mowing routines. You will start to see the crew on the course more during play as the temperatures rise and hand watering practices begin. Remember don't be alarmed and give them a moment to finish up, they will be on their way shortly.
Around the third or fourth week of June we will once again Dry-Ject the greens. This provided excellent sand infiltration into the thatch layer and a great path for roots to follow. It should be an excellent tool in -fighting the stress of summer heat.
We will also be taking care of some of the more pressing safety issues that have been addressed by your Greens Committee over the last several months. I am pleased to say that Lennar will be supplying the materials for these fixes and we will be performing the repairs. These projects will include the erosion at the bridge ends, the sinkholes on 13/15 and the drainage erosion in the basins. The work will be taking place over the next few weeks with completion before Memorial Day Weekend.
I hope that those of you who have already started playing are noticing and enjoying the changes you are seeing. For those of you just starting your season welcome back! I look forward to a successful and enjoyable golfing season with all of you!
Golf Course Superintendent
This winter provided the team at Greenbriar an opportunity to prepare for the coming 2012 season. Included in the regular schedule was patrolling the course for geese (we have decreased the population dramatically from past years), preparation of the equipment fleet, and dialing in our plan for the course and common area maintenance. Special projects have included fabrication of trailer units for the greens fans, restoring the benches and course amenities, and hardwire communication for the irrigation system.
The course will undergo a "soft opening" on March 13th, with the back nine open for unrestricted play. 14 green has recovered nicely under the cover and is prepared for play. The front nine will be opened on April 3rd• This staggered opening was recommended due to the greens on holes one and nine. As you know, these greens, along with 3, 4, and 14 were covered and removed from play last November. The covers which were in place over the winter provided an insulating barrier for the recovering turf below. These covers trap sunlight and increase the temperature below by 10-15 degrees. When ambient air temperatures break the 60 degree mark, this allows the plant to respond as it would in late spring/early summer.
What can be seen as a result is a marked improvement over what was evident last fall. Due to the reduced sunlight environments of greens one and nine, the efficacy has just begun to take hold over the past two weeks. Our goal is to present a course that is consistent and healthy on April 3rd. The coming weeks will allow these greens a chance to catch up.
Preparations have been made for the opening of the back nine. All surfaces have been mown with the exception of the rough, as the entire course is slowly coming out of dormancy. Bunkers have been edged and cleaned up for greater aesthetic appeal and playability. Greens have been groomed, topdressed, and are being rolled regularly to maintain a smooth roll for spring play.
Dethatching measures will be taken when we are certain that the plant is actively growing to ensure the fastest recovery. This will include core aerification, deep vertical mowing with BCG's newly acquired Graden units, and a sand injection process called DryJect. Please consult the golf shop for the schedule of cultivation practices.
Playing conditions on all surfaces will continue to progress through the coming months. Greens will become more consistent throughout the spring. Early on, the greens which were under cover for the winter may be slightly slower than those that were not. This is attributable to the active growth experienced on these surfaces. In essence, the greens which were covered received an early awakening.
Turf doesn't begin to actively grow until the soil temperatures increase by another 15 degrees. Good daytime temperatures will help this curve, but warmer nighttime temperatures are equally as critical to allow the plant to come out of dormancy.
Everything which was endured last year, along with all of the preparation over the past 5 months has put the course in better position to withstand what Mother Nature has to offer in 2012. We are confident that you will enjoy your spring golf at Greenbriar, and love it for the remainder of the year. Fans for greens one and nine are prepared and ready for the days when we are looking to cool surface temperatures ... summer will be here before we know it.