Getting into the Summer Swing

The summer is in full swing now and we are getting ready for the hot weather forcasted this weekend.  We are also prepping for the Member/Member tournament coming up this weekend as well.

To prepare for the tournament this weekend we have scheduled in a few days of walk mowing. This will help get the greens tournament ready. We are also spending a lot of time hand watering the greens and getting them ready for the extreme temperatures this weekend.
We sprayed the greens this week with some fertilizer and other chemistry to help with the high sun exposure and to avoid any high temperature diseases that are also prevalent during the hotter overnight temperatures.

Other projects that we have come up during this warm weather was an electrical problem on the 9th approach.  The sprinkler head was inoperable from a bad wire splice.  Using the wire finder and a ground fault locator Christian and I were able to find the issue and fix the problem.  The approach should be looking better soon now that the water will run at night.

Another issue we found on the course was a large paper wasp nest on #17.  It was about eye level in a tree bordering the course.  We were able to get some insect spray on the hive and take care of the issue.  We continue to monitor the area as the bees move out and we can remove the nest.

Aerification Spring 2015

Spring is the time for us as Turfgrass Managers, to start thinking of the new season that will be upon us in just a few short months. It is an important time to prepare the turf for the stresses of the summer heat, and relentless pest pressure. To prepare the turf, we use a combination of cultural practices including the most important one, aerification.
The turf grows in a unique environment, getting nutrients and life support from the soil. An ideal soil system is 50% insoluble material, while the other 50% is made up of 25% water, and 25% oxygen. If you noticed, I mentioned “ideal.” Over the winter months the soil has become saturated with water, and since the insoluble material cannot be displaced, oxygen is pushed from the soil system as well as the plant respiration which adds carbon dioxide to the profile. This leaves the turf in a less than desirable situation.

With that being said, as turf managers, we make the decision to core aerify the turf. The goal is to balance the soil’s three part system, while also removing unwanted thatch created by the natural attrition of the shoots, roots, and stems. The process also enhances nutrient uptake while the plant begins the root driving process. We remove about 10% of the turf’s surface. To offset thatch buildup, removal of 20% of the surface per year is recommended by the USGA. That gives us the reasoning behind the need of twice per year. Click here for the recommendations of the USGA.

Aerification is a disruptive process. Playing conditions will be affected for up to four weeks, depending upon weather. An application of fertilizer, one week before aerification day, will get the plant growing rapidly. Expect reduced green speeds coming into aerification. The day of aerification, after we have filled the holes completely with sand, we will apply another application of fertilizer. The purpose of increased fertility during this process is to speed up the healing process and give the plant the nutrition it needs to grow roots.

Later this month and in April, we will finish the teeing areas and aerify nine holes of fairways. We have had bad luck with the weather which has slowed our process, but we are still moving along fairly well considering the hangups.  We will be applying fertilizer to the fairways and begin our summer fertility program as the weather continues to improve.  I look forward to this coming season.  It will be a great year to get out there and play some golf.

Justin C. Ruiz, CGCS, MG

2015 United States Open

Happy New Year!

Now that it is 2015, and I am sure you haven't forgotten that the US Open is coming to our neighborhood.  Chambers Bay.

Here is a recent article that was published in Sports Illustrated.

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