It has been nice to see many members using the new short game green to work on their game. Over the last week or two, there has been an abundance of ballmarks showing up on the green. Most of these ballmarks are coming from shots taken from the practice tee itself. We want to remind you that the green is NOT designed to receive shots from the practice tee. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, every shot that hits the green leaves a ballmark that will not be repaired. The frequency in which balls can hit the green from the practice tee is excessive and the damage has become apparent. Additionally, for safety reasons, we ask you to not hit shots in that direction even if no other people are on the range. There are residents that live directly behind that area.
Please help us protect our newest asset. The green will be much healthier and more enjoyable if we all abide by these suggestions. I have had several members comment to me regarding this. I am not certain that this will be read by everyone that uses the range. If you see someone doing this, please help us in reminding/educating these individuals. Your help is appreciated.
Monday, August 8, 2016
We have had a beautiful stretch of weather since getting an abundance (4") of rain last weekend. The sun has been shining and we have had low dew points resulting in drier air. These conditions feel great to us but at the same time pull moisture from the turf very quickly, As a result, there are many areas beginning to wilt.
To make the conditions more challenging, we lost our primary pump on Saturday night. The motor seized and is no longer functional. We still have our secondary pump that is capable of roughly half of the capacity of the primary. Pump failures seem to always happen during the hottest, driest times. The good news is that a new motor has been purchased and should be installed some time on Thursday.
What can you do to help the course? First, we ask you to be patient as irrigation may be running during play due to the fact that we aren't able to get it all done at night due to the limited capacity of the secondary pump. Next, if you see areas that are shiny, blue, or yellow, please avoid traffic in these areas. Lastly, as always, please limit cart traffic to cart paths where available. Cart traffic can be the most harmful thing for wilting turf.
Thanks for your patience. Let's hope for a speedy delivery.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
We are aware of the bee "issue" in the bunker on #7 fairway. The intimidating site of a swarm of bees is not a great invitation to an already unfortunate break. We have investigated the area and have not found any nesting spots. In addition, we have tried to treat the area but the activity and area is too large to make an impact. After watching the bees for a while, it is apparent that they have no interest in humans. I believe they are solitary ground bees that have independent nests for multiple females. What you see in the "swarm" is all the males looking for the females to emerge so that they can mate. The males of this variety don't have a stinger of any sort. The females do but it is used to insert the eggs into a pollen source. They rarely will use their stinger to defend themselves. The activity will continue for 2-4 weeks and then the area will clear. The solutions aren't ideal for the design of the golf course. Placing mulch or sod over the area will deter this species as it likes bare ground such as a bunker. Although many of us would like to see that grassed over, that isn't a reasonable solution. We believe that the area is safe as we continue to rake the bunker with a machine that stirs the sand aggressively and we haven't had any reports of bee stings. By all means, if you don't feel safe in the bunker, please proceed to play from outside of the bunker. However, if playing in competition, there are stroke ramifications for removing it from this hazard. Thanks for your patience.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
This past Monday we had the opportunity to verticut and topdress the greens. I have had several people ask me what the reasoning is for the lines cut into the greens. The primary reason is to "thin out" the canopy of the turf. As the season progresses, the soil temperatures warm up and the bentgrass begins to grow aggressively. Our bentgrass, Penncross, has a tendency to grow horizontally which makes it so the mower blades are unable to cut it. The result is a very dense leaf that can begin to affect green speed. The verticutting splits these runners giving us a cleaner cut for a period following the process. In addition to the verticutting, we apply a heavy coat of sand (topdressing) and then drag the sand into the green surface and the grooves left behind by the verticutting. This provides a smooth, true putting surface. We try to perform this complete process several times throughout the season, however, outside stress factors into the decision. Verticutting should only be performed if you are confident of the turf's health. Above is a picture following the verticutting and topdressing. We had just started brushing as this picture was taken.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Last week, in conjunction with The Lakes Association, we hired a company to come perform the annual Goose Round Up. This process gives great clarity into a "wild goose chase" as the employees try to corral the geese. This year, they were able to capture 26 geese. This in conjunction with the 21 eggs that were destroyed earlier in the season will lighten the population for the summer. Many of the geese will return to the property in the fall. There are a few birds that escaped the process and remain on the property. We continued to make strides toward a goose free golf course.
Friday, May 27, 2016
The long awaited opening of the new Short Game Area will be Tuesday, May 31st. Thank you for being patient while the turf became established. As the area is new to all of us, I want to take the time to point out a few points of etiquette.
1. Please only hit shots to the green from the designated Short Game Area. This will ensure safety to others and surrounding buildings. In addition, the green will stay in much better shape by not receiving longer shots from the practice tee.
2. Be conscious of others using the area. The area is designed for multiple users at the same time. This is only possible if everyone respects what the others are working on. Limit longer chip shots to slower times.
3. The approach areas are immature. Divots will come out of these areas very easily. Follow the same divot pattern guidelines as you would on the practice tee. Place your ball at the end of the last divot you took. We will be filling divots frequently on the area so there will not be a bucket of mix available.
4. Please repair any ball marks that you may make.
5. Please rake the bunker after you have used it.
Monday, May 23, 2016
Summer temperatures may finally be here. April and the beginning of May provided a few nice days but for the most part we were dodging rain drops and even some snow flakes. The turf was undecided on whether to begin growing or not. However, after several sunny days in a row, we are right where we need to be at the end of May. The Poa Annua seeding is at the end of it's cycle, The dandelions have flowered and are now in their seeding stage. We are fully staffed allowing us to perform more routine maintenance. We have even run the irrigation a couple of times. Spring is always an adventure. 2016 was no exception. We are looking forward to the next several months. Enjoy the warmer temps!