Thursday, May 20, 2021

May 18,2021

We have been tracking the clipping yield when we mow greens each day. On the North Course, Nate has been tracking it for all the greens that they mow. We have taken that average data for all 18 greens and broken it down into sand-based greens versus soil-based greens. On the chart below you can see 2 vertical lines. These vertical lines represent rain events. Turf typically responds to rain about 2 days after a rain event. You can see that very well on these graphs. If you are wondering why the discrepancy in the soil versus sand greens? It is strictly soil temperature driven. Sand based greens are much colder than soil based, and you get higher growth rates from the soil-based greens because they hold in the heat. We are anxious to see what happens over the next couple of weeks as the sand-based greens warm up and the temperatures warm up. Hopefully, the lines come closer together.


This is all new data for us, and we are just getting started with it. Our goal would be to get the greens to all have the same growth rates. They do mirror each other but the sand greens do not produce the same clipping yield. By doing this we will be able to see how our inputs effect growth rates and how our plant growth regulators effect growth. More to come as we try to dial this in.




Wednesday, May 12, 2021

My apologies for not keeping up with the blog page updates. Our maintenance staff is 14 people short of being full, this has kept us very busy trying to keep up with all maintenance and projects.I am happy that we will be bringing on some high school and college age people to help us get through the summer. We are still short staffed and will be heavily short staff once fall comes when these people go back to school. We will make the best of it and will continue to provide you with a great conditioned golf course.

Tulip flowers have been up and are now gone. We have dead-headed them all. We are letting the green leaves of the tulip plants produce chlorophyll and store this energy in the bulbs of the plant. Once the leaves start to die back, we will dig the plants up, storing the bulbs all summer and then re-plant them in the fall. Annual flowers are set to arrive the end of May.


The project at the end of the cart boulevard has created quite a bit of questions. Matt Ruehling has ordered a 16’ high, 4 faced clocks to be installed in the middle of the island. Nate Tegtmeier suggested that we really dress this area up and make the area around the clock into a bentgrass putting green area. While we do foresee not many people putting on it, it should become a very nice formal area to look at from the new sports bar. Clock is set to arrive in June.This is an example of what has been ordered. 

Back in late November of last year we solid tine aerified our putting greens very deep with 11” tines. We were trying to break up a layer of hard pan and to create channels for roots to go deeper and give us areas for us to leech salts from our profile. I am very happy to say that it is working, we are growing some nice roots down these channels. Our hope is to provide a healthier turf plant that will sustain longer periods of dry conditions, drawing from a deeper root system. This is an ongoing project for several years and not a one and done. We have not had root depths like these for several years and are very pleased with the results.


I happy to say that the project on the north side of the clubhouse is complete. Clubhouse staff will finish the preparations for “Aces” food truck, and it will be great to see it in action at its new location. I have had a sample of the food that they can provide, and it was very good.


We have heard many comments about the condition of the golf course. Golfers are enjoying the firmer conditions. We are aware of these conditions and much of the faster turf is the fact that it has been a cold spring with very little growth from the turfgrass plants. We are also not watering very much because of the weather, there is no need. We will do our best to continue these conditions. At some point, the weather is going to get warmer, and it will rain, softening the conditions. Also the bentgrass will start to grow and speeds might slow down a touch. We have moisture meters to monitor the soil moisture content and we try very hard to keep the greens and fairways dry, just above wilting point. Because of the very high salts and bicarbonates in our water, our turf does dehydrate much quicker, causing us to water more than we would like to keep it alive. Hopefully, some of the things that we have done and will continue to do will help mediate these salts. 

I read an interesting statement in a turfgrass text book " The salinity level of soil is an important component of irrigation and nutrient management. High  salt concentrations  in the soil has a negative effect as plant roots cannot bring in sufficient soil moisture to stay alive."

This is exactly what we battle when we try to dry down the turf, we get excessive wilt because the roots cannot bring water in to stay alive. You have to apply more to get any water into the plant. We are doing measures to mitigate this. We will let you know how they are working. 

We hope to see all of you out on the golf courses this spring and we hope you enjoy the changes taking place. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

 If you have been by the club the last couple of days you may have seen the heavy equipment on #12 North. As I previously discussed we are draining the pond and trying to clean around the intake for the pump station. The photo below shows the intake (marked by red arrow) this was taken in 2013 and you can see the silt that had accumulated in the pond at that time. Fast forward to 8 years later and a lot of construction to the west of us that drains through our property and you can imagine the silt that has accumulated around the intake now. 

We are using a 6" pump to draw down the water level so we can work. Here is a couple of photos of the pump and discharge. It takes a big pump to do the work quickly. We have drained the ponds upstream from us and now they are closed off and accumulating water. Our time is very limited to get the work done before we get more water. 


Once it is drawn down we use the long reach hoe to pull the debris out of the pond. We will load it onto this muck truck and dump it into a hole that we had dug yesterday. Once we are done we will cover up the silt and re-sod the hole and the damage from hauling the silt. Hopefully all goes well today.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

 Ian Poulter did not make the cut at the Players last week. He went back to his home course at Lake Nona and played. He did a little video about all of the ball marks on the greens. The PGA Tour Player calls them pitch marks which is the same thing. I am not a fan on how he repaired them by lifting up in the center of the ball mark but at least he was repairing them. I think he hit the nail on the head with his video. Please read the article and watch his video.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Over the next 2 weeks when you come out to the club you will see that the ponds on the north course look like they have been drained down. This spring we must do some pond dredging around the irrigation pipe inlet. Over the years we have had silt and organic matter collect around our intake. It is a very fine material and it only takes a matter of a week or two to plug up our irrigation suction screen and render it useless.

We have sluice gates in the overflow structures on #10 North pond and on #11 North pond. Today we opened those sluice gates and are draining these 2 ponds.

There is a constant current of water coming down the creek and we need to hold back that water while we do the work on #12 North pond. The ponds will be drained down and then we will close the sluice gates. This will then give us an opportunity to pump out #12 and do our work..

Our plan is to dig a hole in the rough on the right side on #13 in the no mow area. We will then truck the organic, silty material over to this hole. We will then push the good dirt over the top of it. The water will naturally drain out and we will be left with a mound of soil that we will seed or sod.

 We will be draining ponds down this week. We hope to move some equipment in later this week and dig our muck hole. Next week we will pump down #12 and do the excavation work. We will then fill the ponds back up.