Friday, September 30, 2011

Course Update 9/30

Good luck to everyone playing in the El Duko Invitational! We look forward to a couple of great days of golf. The greens on both courses are doing great and should be putting nice this weekend. As we start October please keep in mind a couple of things regarding the greens. October is the time of year that we prepare the greens for Winter. The goal is to get the greens as healthy as possible in order make it through the winter ok. One way that we do this is to steadily raise the height of cut. This will result in slower putting speeds. However, it is absolutely necessary in order to protect the greens while they are dormant - thus helping us have a better spring. Once we have our first couple of freezes green speeds will increase substantially.
North Course: We will be removing the Cart Path Only restriction today. We will be going FAIRWAY ONLY. There will be clear entry and exit points marked on all fairways using ropes and green/white stakes. Once you enter the fairway please stay in the fairway until you see the exit point. After exiting we will be cart path only for the remainder of the hole. Our goal is to minimize the damage to the roughs. With the recent rain we were able to make significant progress in the fairways and feel that they are healthy enough to take cart traffic. The roughs however, are still very weak. As always please follow all signs and avoid driving in weak or thin areas.

South Course: The South will remain 90 degrees this weekend with the exception of a few holes. Please follow all signs and avoid driving in weak or thin areas. Unfortunately we lost a large Live Oak earlier this week just to the left of 9 Green. The entire tree simply fell over. The crew did a great job removing it, and you will certainly have more room if you miss the green left. Unfortunately, I think we will continue to lose trees on both courses. The drought has been very hard on trees and we will see the effects for the next few years. We had two wells go down last week. The #6 well in the Edwards Aquifer and our #8 well in the Trinity both will need to pulled and repaired as soon as possible. We are working diligently with Peerless Equipment to get the wells fixed. Last week they pulled the number 6 well and next week work will begin on the #8 well.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Drought Update - 9/25

Drought Information - Check out the links below!

What a difference a little rain makes! Both courses greened up a lot from last weekend's precipitation. How much did the rain really help? Please check out the links below. The first is a short video from discussing last weekend's rain and its overall effect on the drought. The second video is a 10 to 15 min webcast from the USGA discussing the impact of the drought on golf and the importance of the next 4 to 8 weeks.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Course Update 9/20/11

RAIN!!!!! We received almost 3.5" from Friday to Sunday. This is by far the most rain we have had all year. The tees, fairways, and greens on both courses have already started to green up. The roughs and other areas that are severely stressed will definitely benefit from the rain but will need time and more rain to show substantial recovery. This rain is by no means a "drought buster", but it will certainly delay Stage 3 restrictions for quite some time. The next 4 to 6 weeks are absolutely crucial for both courses. This time frame provides us with our last chance to increase turf health and density before entering the winter. We will need more rain, good growing conditions, and help with cart control during this time. As a result, we will remain Cart Path Only on the North and 90 degrees on South for the time being.

The rain did add a lot of water to the lakes. The lakes on 6 and 7 are almost full. The lake on 3 has some water in it again. The lakes on 17 and 18 made excellent progress as well. Most importantly our irrigation lakes have more water in them now than they have all summer. This will allow us to irrigate more often over the next two to three weeks and hopefully extend the soil moisture for some time.

North Course: The greens are slowly but surely improving everyday. We are still aggressively rolling, mowing, topdressing, vertical mowing, and lightly aerating. All of these practices will help the greens putt smoother and faster. Yesterday we mowed, double verticut, and sprayed the greens. This week will be patching some of the weak areas with sod from our Nursery. We will be working on #3 green today. In addition, we will be lightly aerating and rolling the greens on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

South Course: We completed our final core aeration of the year on Monday of last week. The greens have completely healed and should be putting great for this weekend's club championship. Many of you may have noticed the damage on #1 Green. This was done in the early morning hours of Monday the 12th by a small car or SUV. We filed a police report and were able to get some video evidence from one the nearby restaurants. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will be able to catch these vandals this time. The bulk of the damage has been repaired. . It is likely that we will see the tracks from the car for quite some time however, we will continue to hand topdress these areas to minimize the effect on ball roll. We have plans to lightly topdress the South greens this week. The below pictures show the damage on #1 and a shot of our aeration and vertical mowing practices.

Damage to #1 on 9/12

Damage to #1 on 9/12

Damage to #1 on 9/12

Mike McCarty instucts Israel Garcia on how to use the aerifier.

Hipolito Gonzalez verticuts #6 Green North

Friday, September 9, 2011

Course Update 9/9/11

North Course: Welcome Back! Last weekend went well with full tee sheets until 12:00pm on both days. The greens are better than last week so if you aren't playing in The Brute - come out to the North and check out the new greens. Earlier this week we aerated the greens in an effort to help smooth the surface and prepare the greens for their first winter. The aeration combined with light vertical mowing, fertilizer and chemical applications, and aggressive rolling made a big difference. The greens will continue to make significant progress throughout September and October. The course will be a combination of cart path only and 90 degrees this weekend. All par 3s, #1, #5, #7, #13, #18 will all be cart path only this weekend. Please avoid driving in turf that looks to be stressed. We will return to cart path only on all holes following this weekend's play.

Here is the schedule from here on out for opening the North:

Saturday the 10th - Open
Sunday the 11th - Open
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Closed (pending South Course aeration completion)
Weds the 14th - Open for Ladies Day
Thurs the 15th - Open with limited tee times
Friday the 16th - Open full time

Thank you for your patience and please understand that we may have to close on certain days to perform necessary maintenance.

Isidro Moreno, Juan Castillo, Anthony Moreno, and Ramiro Valenciano take a break from work on opening day for a quick picture on 14 Green

South Course: Good Luck to everyone playing in The Brute this weekend. We look forward to a great tournament. The greens were intentionally slowed down this week in order to recover from last weekend's heat and wind. However, the should be back to normal and putting well for the tournament. Our last aeration is planned for Monday afternoon following the tournament. This will be the last aeration of the year and is absolutely necessary in order to help the greens have a good fall and spring.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Course Update 9/2

North Course: We are finally here! The North Course will officially re-open tomorrow morning. We are excited to have golfers back on the course and we hope that you enjoy the new greens. The course will be open the 3rd, 4th, and 5th and be closed until the following weekend.

A glimpse of our daily board showing the countdown to re-opening

#6 Green on 9/2

I have been asked by several members if the greens are healthy enough to support play. We feel the greens are 100% healthy enough to play on. I decided to share with you an email from USGA Green Section Agronomist Bud White. Bud, Stan Wreyford (Head Agronomist for Century Golf), Michael Finke (Regional VP of Agronomy for Century Golf/GCS at Sweetwater CC), Sergio, Jeff, and myself toured both courses yesterday. Bud sent me this email following the vist:


I enjoyed my tour of the courses today and the new Mini Verde greens have grown in very nicely.   I understand there are some members that are concerned if the greens are ready to have play on them.  I assure you that the putting surfaces on the North course will do quite well with handling play and will only continue to improve for the balance of summer/fall.

Thanks and best of luck with opening weekend,

Bud White, Mid-Continent Director
USGA Green Section

The pictures below show a couple of other improvement projects that we have been working on:

Horticulturalists Gary Tupa, Robert Benevides, and Candalario "Benny" Gonzalez stand next to the re-designed landscaping around #1 Tee. They did an excellent job revitalizing this entire area.

Mike Lang and Asst. Supt. Mike McCarty fit the guard rails to the redesigned steps on #4.
South Course: The South Course is still hanging on despite the drought. Hopefully, the re-opening of the North will alleviate some of the traffic.We will be requiring carts to remain on paths on selected holes beginning immediately. Please follow all cart signs as we are doing everything possible to avoid being cart path only on the entire course. The vertical mowing on the greens on Monday was successful and should keep the greens putting well.  We have one more aeration tentatively scheduled for September the 13.

New flags, cups, and flagsticks were put into play this morning. The flagsticks have the Laser Link prism which will make them much easier to be sighted with your range finder.

Rogelio Gonzalez installs the new flags and flagsticks on #12.