Friday, September 10, 2010

Fall Aerification and Some Projects

From the Golf Course
We now have completed the North Golf Course aerification. Aeration is an extremely important maintenance practice. Although it results in a temporary disruption of the green, tee or fairway, aeration improves water penetration into the soil, reduces soil compaction, stimulates turfgrass root growth for a healthier plant, helps control thatch build-up, and improves overall growing conditions. Aeration generally is done once or twice per year, and sometimes more often if certain problems exist. At this time we also add soil amendments and fertilizers to turf because it is an excellent time to try and incorporate these products into the soil. If you play the North Course you will see a white dust all over the fairways, this is granular gypsum that is used to help counteract the affects of a high saline water. We will start the South course aeration on September 20th.
This year we also experienced some thinning out of the turf on #18 North, #4 and #5 South greens. These greens are native soil greens that still have a tremendous amount of clay in the soil and are very tight. Over the years these greens have been topdressed and aerified. those processes have helped to improve surface drainage. However this year with all of the heavy rain these 3 greens did not improve and have continued to be a struggle to maintain. Per a recommendation from our USGA Agronomist on September 23rd we will do an additional aeration to these 3 greens called a Drill and Fill process. It involves a special machine that drills out a 1” hole, 8” deep and then fills the hole with a dry sand. While this is very disruptive when you do it, we should see improvement on these putting greens by providing additional internal drainage. It will take much longer for the holes to heal over, however we will be incorporating seed into these holes to aid in the healing process and adding additional greens fertility.
As Mark Salem noted in his monthly Chronicle article we will be doing some construction on the North course this fall. We will moving all of the tees on #9 North to better align these tees with the golf hole. Starting today we will be moving some Kentucky Bluegrass Sod from the construction area. The next 2 weeks we will be trying to remove all of it from the construction area. The first week of October we will close down these tees and start the major dirt work. We will be playing this hole as a Par 4, teeing off from the fairway area the rest of this year. The bentgrass sod from these tees will be saved and laid back down after the new tees have been built. We should be able to open these tees back up in the spring of 2011.
Also in October we will be working on #16 north bunker. We will be removing the sand from the bunker, adding additional drain tile and then repair the sides of this bunker because they are falling in and are in need of repair.
Thank you,

Rick Tegtmeier