Saturday, July 26, 2014

Late July Course Update

Staff hard at work prepping for Day 3

Another Walter O. Wells Invitational is in the books, and on behalf of the entire Grounds staff, congratulations to all the flight winners.  We hope that everyone had another memorable experience this past week. 

New path and landscape bed along 9 tee
One of the neat projects that the staff completed this month was reshaping and edging the landscape bed along 9 tee.  With the resurfacing of the cart path, it was necessary to remove the old timbers that lined the path.  In lieu of new timbers, we decided to line the edge with fieldstone.  Many of you asked where we got the stone, and how much we spent on it.  That is the great part about this project.  Over the years, these stones have come from adjacent fields from Elcona's property that the farmers have piled up and given to us.  Other stones have been found on property from doing various renovation projects.  Many thanks to Greg Stump, Elcona's horticulturalist, for his efforts planning and executing this great improvement to the golf course. 

Normal and over-regulated bluegrass, 5 green
Finally, many of you have asked me about the rough directly next to the collar around greens.  This Kentucky Bluegrass rough has the playability similar to Bermudagrass and is quite stemmy, as the picture on the right shows, which can result in balls sinking down and creating quite the tough pitch shot.  This is a result of over-regulation of the plant.  Growth regulator is applied to the greens on a weekly basis to help produce the playing conditions that are expected.  In late Spring, additional growth regulator was applied to keep the rough in check and help us keep up with mowing.  As a result, these regulators limit leaf growth and promote root/stem growth.  What has resulted this year is something that I have not seen in my career. 
In the short term, we have applied a slow-release fertilizer to promote new leaf tissue growth and help keep balls from sinking down into the canopy.  When fall weather hits, we will be aggressively verticutting around the greens to remove plant material and promote further new growth that will not have this growth habit.  Finally, green surrounds will be aerified to increase air flow to the rootzone and reduce the compaction from foot and machinery traffic.  All of these cultural practices will help alleviate our current situation and improve playability around greens. 

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