Friday, April 29, 2011

Course Update 4/29

We completed our first aeration on the South greens on Wednesday evening. The process went very smooth and the maintenance staff did a great job getting it all done in one afternoon. If you have not putted on the greens since mid-week then I encourage you to try them out this weekend. I think you will be surprised with the quality of putting so soon after aeration. We pulled small cores on a very tight spacing. This process allows us to remove quite a bit of organic matter without major disruptions in putting quality. The holes are still visible, but do not have a big impact on ball roll. Unfortunately, we cannot use this process every time. There will be aerations later in the year that result in larger holes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Course Update 4/27

I apologize for the lapse in updates. My work computer recently died. Our IT department is working hard to save as many files as possible, but it doesn't look good at this point.

We are still under Stage 1 Drought Restrictions, and expected to enter Stage 2 in the next week or two. We are working hard to keep both courses alive and well during this dry stretch through careful irrigation practices. In addition, we are working to get more of our wells operational.

North Greens: Overall the greens on the North are doing very well. The overseed is still hanging on and a lot of Champion can be seen coming through. Greens speeds have improved over the last couple of weeks. We are still trying to keep them healthy so that we can survive until the project starts on June 13. Tomorrow will mark the third consecutive week of Primo applications. Primo is a growth regulator that is helping to keep green speeds consistent without causing additional stress.

South Greens: The greens on the South have really started to actively grow in the last couple of weeks. Currently they are thick and healthy - which results in slower putting speeds. This has been our goal since early spring. We must first get the greens strong before we can begin to push our more aggressive summer maintenance practices. The South will be closed after 12:00 today so that we can lightly aerate the greens. These small holes will open the surface and provide a variety of benefits. These include: more oxygen for the roots, better water infiltration, reduced thatch, reduced compaction, and softer more receptive greens. In addition, we will roll the greens immediately after - this will help smooth out some of the rough areas from last years sod. These holes will be visible for the next 7 to 10 days, however we expect putting quality to return to normal in no time. Once this aeration is complete, we will quickly move into more aggressive maintenance practices which will improve overall putting quality while maintaining plant health.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Course Update 4/18

Monday begins another busy week at Sonterra. Both courses have double shotgun tournaments at 8am and 1pm.

North Course - Greens double cut, collars and approaches mowed, all other normal practices.
South Course - Greens single cut, collars and approaches mowed, all other normal practices

We are still without any rain, and both courses are showing signs of drought stress. The waterfalls will remain off for at least the next 30 days. Stage 1 drought restrictions are not lifted until the aquifer remains over 660 for that 30 days or more. With no rain in the forecast it appears that the restrictions are here to stay for quite some time. Please use extra care with golf carts. We still several groups with as many carts as players. Please be flexible and ride with someone in your group.

Other News

We plan to spray greens on both courses this week. Tuesday - South, and Thursday - North. We will also fertilie on Tuesday - North and Thurdsay - South.

Vandals returned to the South Course on Friday night. The broke a sprinkler head, did donuts on 14 G, and broke a flagstick from #4 green. The damage on 14G is moderate and will be evident for a least a few weeks. If you have any information on who might have done this please let us know - as this has been a reoccuring problem on both courses.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Course Update 4/16

North: Greens single cut and rolled, all other normal practices.

South: Greens single cut and rolled, all other normal practices.

A nice cool morning to start the day. Currently it is 54 and it looks like a great day for golf with the winds being quite a bit calmer yesterday.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Waterfalls on the North

Stage One drought restrictions prevent us from running any water feature that does not use "re-use water". "Re-Use" is also known as "Grey Water" or "Effluent". All of our water comes from wells in the Edwards and Trinity Glen Rose aquifers, therefore we must abide by these restrictions. We are currently in contact with SAWS to determine if there is any way to obtain a variance that will allow us to run the waterfalls on 6 and 17. However, until a determination is made - we must abide by the rules. Thank you for your patience with this matter.

Course Update 4/15

North: Greens single mowed and rolled. Tees Collars and Approaches mowed. Bunkers checked. All other normal practices

South: Greens single mowed and rolled. Fairways mowed. All other normal practices.

Course Update 4/14

Taste of Northside returned to Sonterra last night for the third year in a row. The event was definitely a success. We had a large golf tournament on the North followed by about 7000 guests for the official event. Great job to everyone associated with running the event.

North Course: Greens single mowed, fairways mowed, rough mowed, all other normal practices. Greens sprayed with fertilizer, wetting agent, fungicide, and Primo. Primo is a growth regulator that should help improve putting speeds over the next couple of weeks.

South Course: Greens single mowed, tees collars and approaches mowed, rough mowed, all other normal practices. Work continues on all of the mulched beds on the course.

We have been working all day on each course to maintain adequate moisture on tees, fairways, and greens. This includes checking sprinkers, spot watering, and a high emphasis placed on hand watering.

A quick four picture summary showing the croud at Taste of the Northside on the driving range tee:
4:45 PM
6:45 PM
7:45 PM
9:30 PM

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Course Update 4/12

North Course - Tees, Collars, Apps, Rough mowed. Greens single mowed. Bunkers checked. All other normal practices. We had three major leaks on the course last night. Thank you to all of you who called in the leaks. As a result we are very busy this morning trying to get everything put back together. In addition, because of the leaks and lack of rainfall our irrigation lake (#9 and #10) is very low. We will be forced to leave the water feature on 6 off today while we re-fill our irrigation lake.

South Course - Greens single mowed. Rough mowed. All other normal practices. Greens will be sprayed this morning with a combination of wetting agent (helps water move downward through the profile) and fertilizer.

Thank you and have a great day. We look forward to a great event on Wednesday with Taste of the Northside returning to Sonterra for the third year in a row.

Egyptian Geese on #7 Fairway

Monday, April 11, 2011


Thank you to everyone that played in the MGA event this weekend. I hope that everyone had a great time and that you guests enjoyed the facilities. We have a very busy week ahead. Here is a quick overview. 
Mon - Tournaments on North and South,
Tues - Preparation for Taste of Northside - possible spray greens (depending on wind)
Weds- Taste of Northside, Taste of Northside Tournament (North), Ladies (South)
Thursday - Spray or Topdress greens
Friday - Get ready for the weekend.

The DROUGHT continues. We are relying on our irrigation systems to keep everything alive. Please help us by avoiding driving in weak or thin areas. I will post more on this later.  Thank you

Yesterdays Couse Update:
North Course - double cut and roll, all other normal practices. MGA tournament at 8:00 am.
South Course - single cut and all other normal practices.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Course Update 4/9

Good Luck to everyone playing in the tournament today. We would like to extend a special welcome to all of our guest playing the club today. I hope you all enjoy the courses as much as we do. We are excited to have everyone out. It should be a great day.

North Course: Greens double cut. All other normal practices.

South Course: Greens single cut and rolled. Collars and approaches mowed. All other normal practices.

We experienced electrical problems during the night causing our pump station and wells to fail on the South Course. We are working to get the situation under control. This will most likely result in us having to hand water greens during the event today. We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank You

Friday, April 8, 2011

Course Update 4/8

A Busy Weekend at Sonterra

Good luck to all the ladies playing the North today. It should be a great day for golf. We are also excited to have a full field for the MGA Member/Guest (MG Squared) event this weekend. Both courses should be playing well and we hope that you and your guests play well and enjoy the courses.

North Course: Greens single cut and rolled. Tees, Collars, and Approaches mowed. All other normal practices. We are still working on the water feature problems on 6. We think that we will be able to run both waterfalls today and throughout the weekend.

South Course: Greens single cut and rolled. Fairways mowed. All other normal practices.

Both courses are showing definate signs of drought stress. We are working hard to keep everything alive and green but we definately need some rain.

Thank you for being a member and have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Course Update 4/7

North Course - Greens single cut with walkers, fairways and roughs mowed, all other normal practices. The waterfall on 6 will remain off today. We are trying to make sure that everything will be good to go for the weekend.

South Course - Greens single cut with walkers, tees, collars, approaches, mowed, all other normal practices.

We will lightly topdressing both courses today. The South greens will get it this morning, with the North being topdressed after lunch.

South #4 4/6/11

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Course Update 4/6

North Course: Greens single mowed and rolled. All other normal practices. All of the tees, fairways, and roughs recieved the spring fertility/pre-emerge application yesterday afternoon. Thank you all for allowing us to close the course for maintnenance. The application was a success and everything has been watered in. We will not be able to mow fairways or tees until later in the week. This ensures that the chemicals will be as effective as possible. The water features on #6 will both be turned off today, as we are still diagnosing problems.

South Course: Greens single mowed with walkers. Fairways and roughs mowed. All other normal practices. We plan to lightly topdress both courses tommorrow. This will help the greens putt smooth for this weekend's tournament. Alterman Company returns today to conduct a thermal imaging scan of our power supply for the South Course wells. Hopefully, this will help identify any electrical problems that may be causing pump failures.

A sample thermal scan:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

#6 Waterfall

The waterfall on number 6 will be turned off periodically over the next two or three days. We are trying to diagnose some problems with this water feature. Today the upper waterfall (the one coming off the tee box) will turned off. Thank you for your patience with this matter.

Course Update - 4/5/11

We will be applying fertilizer and herbicide to the North Course tees, fairways, and roughs today begining at 12:00. This is a very important application as it helps the bermuda grass start growing while preventing many summer annual weeds. The strong winds forced us to re-schedule to today. We will irrigate immediately after applying this product. It is a possibility that we will have to be cart path only for Wednesday morning in order to prevent burn from carts on the fairways. Thank you for patience

We were able to aerate several greens yesterday. The following greens have now been aerated - 1,2,3,7,9,11,12,13, 15, 18. These are small holes that will definately help the greens be a success this summer. Most of the greens were only partially aerated - just the bad areas or areas that had been sodded in the past. All of 7,9, 13 were punched. These greens should recover very quickly.

North Course - Greens single cut and rolled. All other normal maintenance
South Course - Greens single cut with walk mowers. Probably will roll later in the day. All other normal maintnance

Monday, April 4, 2011

***North Course Fert/Pre-Emerge Update***

High winds today will most likely prevent us from making any applications this afternoon. Currently we are re-scheduling for tomarrow afternoon. This will likely result in the North Course being closed in the afternoon on Tuesday and cart path only for Wednesday morning. We have approximately 6.5 Tons for fertilizer/herbicide to apply and the only way to get it out is when the course is closed. We will be working with the proshop and watching the weather throughout the day. Please check back for more information. Thank you for your patience with this important matter.

Course Update 4/4/11

North: Greens Double Cut, Tees-Collars-Approaches Mowed, all other normal practices.

South: Greens Single Cut, Fairways Mowed, Bunkers checked only, all other normal practices

An early start for maintenance today. With the shotgun tournaments on both courses we rolled out of the shop at 5:00 am. I will post more later regarding our fertilizer application and aeration on the South.

Monday tournaments make working on the course difficult, but that doesn't mean that there is isn't plenty to do. For example, it is a great time to give all the equipment a thorough cleaning and inventory dry chemicals and other materials.

Lupe Gonzales uses a pressure washer to one of our fairway units
Assitant Superintendents Mike Mccarty and Isidro Moreno inventory and organize fertilizer

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Course Update 4/3

North Course - Greens will be double cut this morning. We will mow fairways and all normal practices.
South Course - Greens will be single cut and rolled. All other normal practices will take place.

We have two morning tournaments on Monday. Afterwards we plan to fertilize the North Course. We will be using 14-0-14 with 1% Ronstar.  This will give us a nice fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicide aplication. In order to prevent burn from this application WE WILL LIKELY BE CART PATH ONLY UNTIL 12:00 on TUESDAY - 4/5. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. The South Course will be off cart paths. On the South, we plan to lightly aerate several greens. Greens 6,7,9, 13 are first on the list. This is a very light aeration and will be done the same way that we did 1,2,3,15 a little over a week ago.

Have a great day and we look forward to a busy week.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Course Update 4/2/11

North Course: Today's course setup will consist of single mowing the greens (walk mow) and rolling. All other normal practices will take place. We refer to these practices by the following names:"Course Setup", "Bunkers", "Cups", "Check Greens", "Ice and Water". All of these practices contain a certain job list. For example, "Course Setup" refers to the following:  moving all tee markers, emptying trash recepticles, blowing debris from cart paths, blowing debris from tees, fairways, and greens, fixing ropes and other traffic control. All of our daily jobs are delegated during a short morning meeting and displayed for all to see using a large dry erase board.

South Course: Today's course setup will consist of single mowing the greens (walk mow) and rolling. All other normal practices will take place.

Drought Conditions and Cart Traffic: It is exceptionally dry in San Antonio right now. We are monitoring our water usage very closely as we anticipate watering restrictions very soon. Obeying the cart traffic control signs is always important, but particulary during drought conditions. Please take extra caution with golf carts. Avoid driving in worn areas, following the same path, and attempt to stay on the cart path as much as possible - particulary around the tees and greens. Also please try and ride together. There is no need for a foursome to have four carts in the group. If everyone works together we can make a big difference in course conditions. I will post more on cart control this week.

Below is a picture of our daily assignment board. We start every morning with a quick 10 to 15 min meeting and use this board to assign jobs throughout the day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Course Update

North Course: We are double cutting the greens this morning using the grooved rollers. This will be the second day with the new rollers and I expect more improvement. The greens are putting much better than they were early in the week, so if you have the chance come out and play this weekend. In addition- tees, collars, and approaches will be mowed this morning. High temperatures are expected to be above 90 today. As the temperatures increase it is going to get tougher to hold on to our overseed on the greens. While putting speed is important, overall plant health is the main goal. Lower mowing hieghts, frequent rolling, double cutting, water management, and low fertility all increase greens SPEED and STRESS. We are working hard to provide a happy medium - greens that are fun to play and still healthy enough to have a chance at surving until Mid-June. We appreciate your patience.

South Course: We are single cutting the greens and rolling this morning. The South greens are really starting to come out. Emerald Dwarf provides a great putting surface and we look forward to a busy summer on the South. One of the drawbacks to Emerald is that is slow to come out of dormancy (the winter). This means that warm temperatures and with several agronomic practices are necessary to get this grass really growing in the spring. In addition to mowing and rolling greens, we are mowing fairways on the South this morning.

Thanks and I look forward to seeing you all on the course.