Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Course Update 4/17/12

Good Afternoon,

This year I am serving on the 2012 Government Relations Committee for our professional organization – Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America (GCSAA). Specifically this committee is charged with providing strategic input and guidance on public policy issues in the areas of advocacy and compliance on topics including, but not limited to: the environment, workplace safety, labor and immigration, the Americans with Disabilities Act, water, and pesticide laws and regulations. One way that we go about this is by attending National Golf Day in Washington, DC. I will be in Washington from the 16th through the 18th. As a committee member I will get the opportunity to discuss several key issues not only with fellow superintendents, but with different legislators including: Rep. Sam Graves, House Small Business Committee Chair, and staff from the offices of Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Cornyn, and Francisco Canseco. Thank you for allowing me to take part in this committee.

In order to provide a thourough update on course conditions I have decided to share my notes for this evening's board meeting the blog:

Notes for Board Meeting 4/17/12
  • Back in Stage 1
  • Greens improving on both courses
  • Tees struggling on the South
  • Other Issues
  • No waterfalls
  • Reductions in our annual allotment (10% per each day in Stage 1)
  • No watering during day
  • Please remind everyone to pair up and follow cart signs
  • Greens improving due to:
    • Warmer temperatures
    • Frequent topdressing
    • Steadily lowering mowing heights
    • Frequent light aeration, spiking, and hand topdressing
    • Dedicated spray program - including growth regulator (Primo)
  • Both North and South are ready to begin vertical mowing
    • Grain removal
    • Thatch removal
    • Encourages new growth
  • Possible light core aeration at the end of this month (same process as used on South last year)
  • Most likely going to sod small portions of 6 S, 7 S, and possible S Putting Green
  • Why do the South tees look so bad?
    • They are simply worn out – several of the tees are too small
    • Severely contaminated
      • Originally planted to Emerald, the same grass that is on the greens, which is very slow to recover from damage, and to begin growing in the Spring
      • Common bermuda and TifSport bermuda have taken advantage of the slow growing nature of Emerald, and green up much faster in the spring
      • Basically many of the tees are composed of two to three different grasses – all with different growth habits. These growth habits are more obvious in the spring and fall.
    • What are we going to do about it?
      • Provide adequate growing conditions for all of the grasses – fertilize, aerate, vertical mow, etc. All of these practices combined with warmer temperatures will help the tees recover and disguise much of the contamination
      • Sod a few tee boxes every year– Re-sodding the tees is the only way to remove the contamination. Currently we have plans to re-sod several of the South tees, beginning with 9 and 15. We would also like to get 2,3 and/or 18 and 12 done if possible this year.
      • With warmer, longer days and proper cultural practices we will see dramatic improvements on the tees in the next month or so.
  • Complaints about North greenside bunkers
    • Lots of fried egg lies
    • Too soft
    • Why are they like this?
      • Several of the bunkers still need to settle from liner removal
      • We must keep some sand on the bunker faces to help eliminate contamination, and to protect the bunkers
      • Less use of overhead sprinklers for watering greens
        • The greenside bunkers only receive irrigation when we water the greens
        • In an effort to eliminate wet spots around the greens we have significantly reduced our usage of the overhead sprinklers – through hand watering greens
        • This has resulted in drier bunkers and softer sand
    • What are we doing about it?
      • Changing our methods for raking bunkers (the faces are raked less often)
      • Pushing sand down off of the faces
      • Watering with the overhead sprinklers at different intervals
  • Project on 13T and 4T
    • Should begin this week
    • We were able to get permission to keep the Mountain Laurel left of the path
    • We will be re-routing carts on 13 to allow for room for construction
    • A large retaining wall we will built using rocks from on property
  • Driving Range Tee
    • We currently have plans to establish a small practice hitting area at the back of the range
    • This area could be used for junior clinics, lessons, etc.

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