Monday, October 12th, 2009

Course Conditions
The course is about as dry as I have seen it in October. Given the weather forecast that will not last for long. The temps have been on the cool side over the last week which has slowed the grass down quite a bit. Our average minimum temp has been 40 degrees and the average high has been 60 degrees. I was banking on some higher temps to help the greens recover a little quicker.
We cannot always predict what the weather is going to do but it is a good lesson on the risks of aerifying late in September. Ideally we should aerify in early September to guarantee some warmer temps to give the greens time to heal. I know we have to weigh the benefits of waiting for a few tournaments and allowing them to play on good greens but we have to be aware of the risks. For next year I would like to make our aerification dates a decision that we do together as a team so we all can all be aware of the pros and cons of each situation. Again, it all depends on the weather and we could easily have a warm October and all will be good.

As I stated above, the greens are a little slow coming out of aerification. They have everything they need to grow except warm weather conditions. The temps are going to warm a little but there will also be plenty of moisture to go along with it.

For the most part the tees are looking alright. Some are on the dry side but that will be all good starting this evening around 11:30. According to the weather forecast we should be getting over 3" of rain this week starting tonight.
The driving range tee is in pretty good shape. We should have been watering it more often for this morning things were a little on the dry side. Sig and I noted a few sand piles that apparently the evening crew is not leveling the sand out after the dump the buckets. I am confident the Sig will handle that one and it shouldn't be a problem.

We have begun topdressing and so far we have 12, 13, and 15 completed. Our priority was to get the tricky ones out of the way to avoid accidents sliding on the slopes. We will continue to plug along as weather permits. Rain will not hold us up as long as it is not to heavy.

The rough is dry like everything else. If we had a slice seeder this would be the time to start seeding the thin areas. We are seeing quite a few wear areas that we will need to start roping off as people are entering the fairways from the path. With the rain we will need to start being a little less lenient on allowing carts out on wet days. We will not have the weather to help the grass recover.

I picked up some bales of barley straw last week that we are going to wrap up in chicken wire and place them in the lakes. Research has shown that bales of barley straw placed in ponds reduces the algae bloom in the following year. What do we have to loose, it's worth a try. So if you happen to seen some bales floating around you will now know what we are up to.

NTA Recap
Overall the NTA was a good event even though we had 6" of snow on the ground. It melted away quickly and I was at least able to get out for a 5 mile run.
The first day was focused on water use. Dr. Brian Horgan discussed new technologies that can save water when implemented. Mainly moisture sensors and moisture meters. I can see a use for a portable moisture meter to monitor the moisture level on the greens on a regular basis to maintain consistency.
Mark Esoda, CGCS from Atlanta Country Club discussed how their golf association worked through the drought in the south politically. Through their efforts of education and outreach the superintendents in Georgia are now the go-to guys when the state is looking for information regarding water conservation. Initially golf courses were looked upon as huge water users but as the state became aware of their water conservation practices and the fact the golf courses only use 1/2 of 1% of water used in the nation they were able to avoid strict regulation and were able to maintain their turf in an acceptable manor.
Rob Golembieski from OSU spoke on growth regulators and green speeds. The common belief is that Primo will increase your green speed but that is not what his trials were showing. The role of Primo is mainly turf density and growth reduction. To get the most speed out of the green regular rolling showed to be the best tool.
We had a couple other talks form WSU on organic fertilizer and the City of Spokane study on the use of effluent water.

The Golf Channel event at Mirimichi Golf Club was a great experience. It wasn't easy speaking to a camera and a teleprompter. The number of takes I had to do is testimony to that. I have a lot of respect for those who do this for a living. Although, I am glad I did it, it gave me a great sense of accomplishment. The vignettes should start airing late this fall and through next year during PGA Tour broadcasts. Thanks for allowing me the time to go.

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