People have been telling me that the course is in as best shape as they have ever seen it. I must agree, it has been a banner year for green conditions and overall playability. Unfortunately all is going to change as we begin our fall aerification today. Yet only a temporary set back, I expect them to heal nicely.
The weather looks like it is going to hold out for the day but will turn for the worst later this evening. (Good timing!) It looks like we will be out of the 80's for some time, perhaps a good nine months.
As we punch today we are following up with a Nature Safe fertilizer application as well as a lime application. It will be good to get both products down near the roots where it can have a good effect.
It has been over four weeks since we have applied nitrogen which is a testament to the fertilizer program that we are on. The greens are starting to wane a little but that is what we expected to see. It was good to see where they were in terms of nutrition. The Nature Safe should add a nice slow release component to complement what we are already doing.
The tees continue to heal from the aerification. We overseeded them and are continuing to fill the divots with sand and seed. We have seen some bad areas which look like anthracnose. It makes sense now that they are mostly Poa.They are still looking pretty good. We plugged and seeded the lower driving range tee last week and the teeing area is back on top. This week we will be mowing the tee box on Tuesday and Friday due to our busy day today.
Staab sprayed Primo last week which has saved us in terms of fairway quality already. With the recent fertilizer application and the cooler nights the grass was beginning to jump out of the ground. This Primo application is the last of the season and should hold back the excessive growth until our first frost which will pretty much signal the grass to slow down naturally. We have been trying to spend as much time as possible filling divots in the landing areas which seems to be helping. If the PA's have time that could be a good job for them as well.
In terms of fertility we are going to hold off fertilizing until we see where the rough actually needs it most. If we do fertilize, it will be a spot application to save money.
We are spraying weeds today in the tall grass areas during aerification. I really don't like to make blanket spray application during play so we felt this was a good time to do it without disturbing the golfers.
The new greens mowers are working great and Steve is especially liking them because we can use the old ones for munching the sand after we aerate and not have to worry about grinding them right away. We are planning on switching the old greens tractors for the tees because the steering is much easier on them and then we will use the old tee tractors to run the sand reels and the verticutters. The trailer was not finished like I had hoped but am confident it will be completed this week.
My Up Coming Schedule
I will be attending the Annual Northwest Turfgrass Conference next week in Central Oregon. October 5th and 6th. The following are the speakers this year:
Dr. Brian Horgan
University of Minnesota
Water Conservation: Technologies That Can Save You Money
Mark Esoda, CGCS
Atlanta Country Club
What if They Turn the Water Off?
Tod Blankenship, CGCS
Oregon State University
How Thirsty Is Your Turf?
Dr. Bill Johnston
Washington State University—Pullman
City of Spokane Golf Course Water Reuse Pilot Study
Dr. Brian Horgan
University of Minnesota
Soil Testing to Predict Available N
Dr. Eric Miltner
Washington State University—Puyallup
Organic Fertilizer Effects on Turfgrass and Soil Systems
Dr. Robert Golembiewski
Oregon State University
Mowing, Rolling, Primo and Green Speeds
2009 in the Rearview Mirror
I will return home on the 6th and then I will be taking the rest of the week off to go to Memphis on to shoot some environmental vignettes for the Golf Channel at Justin Timberlake's Miramichi Golf Course. I will be back at the golf course on Saturday.
I may not have time or the means to do my weekly report but I will resume on the 12th.
Today is the first day of fall and it still feels like summer. Lets hope this weather continues for at least another two months.
The greens are still strong. It is ashamed we have to put holes in them but as you know it is the unnecessary evil every year. With out aerification we would seal up the greens and the root zone would not develop and we would eventually end up loosing turf. Given the conditions of the greens today, the healing process should be a snap.
Last week we chose to hold off on the Endorse/Daconil fungicide application until this week so we will be able to reap the protection throughout the aerification process next week. The Signature/Daconil application seemed to hold off further development of the anthracnose anyway.
We have finished aerifying and today Pearce will be fertilizing the tee boxes.
Staab will be spraying the Primo this morning which will ensure growth control for the next 8 weeks which should carry us into the late fall.
We are going to try to spray for broad leaf weeds on the day we aerify the greens since the course will be closed until noon. A lot will depend on the man power needed for the day. I have spoken to Mike Foley and he has agreed to help us out once more. If there are any other PA's that would like to help out just have them contact me.
The new greens mowers are in along with the core harvester and attachment kit. Now our next goal is to get organized so we can get everything inside the barn.
The new trailer should be completed this week. With the new brakes on the trailer they will have to install a brake system on the vehicles that are going to tow it. We may want to have George install a system on his vehicle as well.
When the trailer is ready the first line of order will be to trade out the trim mower and get George is regular one back.
We now have a small laptop to keep the payroll but now we need to have a separate chip put in the time clock to enable us to poll it directly. It is a good thing the company is located here in Beaverton, it makes it easy. Some times I think it would be easier to just pay for the phone line.
We had a great week of weather to put the course in shape topped by a great weekend. The greens are good, the fairways are still firm but with more grass and the ponds look low but clear.
Check out the photo above. This plug is off 14B. I have never seen roots like that on this green. I found this on Saturday while changing the cups!
We fertilized this week and actually left out the nitrogen on purpose. We have been seeing a trend of longer residual growth and now dips in color so we decided that the greens were doing fine on their own. We also sprayed Daconil and Signature this week which should slow the anthacnose a little on the Poa but we will spray again on Wednesday with something a little stronger. A couple greens are getting hit hard but the bent is filling in right in its place.
Today would have been a verticut plus topdress day but due to the tournament schedule we will have to postpone it. We will try to get one more in before we aerate.
We are going to aerify this Wednesday and get as many done as possible. What we don't finish we will pick up on the following Wednesday. We are working around the tournament schedule.
We were also able to get the fertilizer down on Wednesday and we have started seeing a response by Friday. It was 12 weeks since our last application and probably could have gone longer but we needed to get it down before all of our other fall projects come due. We cut out a fertilizer application this year which is great. I will plan on the same scenario next year.
I had Staab skip the Primo application in August but am going to having him spray now that the fairways are growing again. I was mowing 17 and 18 this morning and was "bailing hay". The Primo will leave the fairways much cleaner after mowing.
We will start topdressing as soon as the greens and tees are done. I expect the majority of it to be completed in October.
We are continuing to irrigate that rough and the range in spite of nights that we have turned everything else off. It is great to see the grass come back to color again. If we do fertilized this fall it will be on a case by case basis.
One of the things we have been wanting to do was control the broad leaf weeds in the tall rough. now that it is all mowed down it is a great time to spray it. This year we saw way to many weeds which only blow off into the rough and the fairways. It is time to control. It will cost around $90 per acre to do. By only hitting the worst areas we should be spraying around 10 to 15 acres. I have budgeted for up to 22 acres in September.
The new greens mowers will be delivered on Wednesday. We needed to make a fairly sizable order with Les Schwab this month. Many of our tires are beyond safe operation and now that the wet season in imminent we felt it was time to start changing them out. We budgeted $3500 in July which should more than cover it.
The phone line is now disconnected so I went ahead and purchased a small laptop for $330. I will load the software and will use it to download the payroll information on Wednesday.
Course conditions continue to improve. The rain certainly helps the rough come back and has helped clear the ponds up. The weekend was a little stormy which created a lot of blowing this morning. It shouldn't take long to clean everything up. The weather promises to be nice the rest of the week. I hope we can make up for some lost revenue due to the weather.
The greens are due for fertilizer and fungicide. Another strong testament to the greens fertilization program in that the color and growth has not dipped significantly, even after 15 days. We are due for our scheduled Signature/Daconil application which should happen later this week.
The black portion of the 15th tee box has not really recovered from being scorched. We may have to aggressively aerate it and re seed it to bring it back. I know Zef has been working on it but I thing it simply got to hot for to long. Over all the rest of the tees look great. We are going to start punching as soon as we can work it into the schedule. We will let you know which days we will need to reverse the nines.
I have noticed a few thin areas where annual bluegrass got scorched. We are thinking about spot aerating those areas and inter-seeding them to help them recover. I have been real pleased with the overall appearance of the fairways. We have only fertilized them once this year and the color and growth has maintained very well. The next batch of fertilizer has arrived and we will be getting it out this week. I canceled the Primo application a few weeks ago but am thinking it might be good to spray them once more after the fertilizer is applied. With the extra moisture this fall and the cooler temps we are sure to see a lot of growth.
We ran the irrigation on the range and rough all weekend to get as much water on it as possible. Keep an eye on it and watch how fast it will recover. With fall so close we really don't need to watch the pond levels and will be putting more water on the range and in the rough than usual.
Tall grass mowing is pretty much all done aside from a few small places around the 14th tee box. Right now our focus will be on aerfying the tees, fertilizing the fairways, topdressing the fairways and finally aerating the greens. Once we finish with our fall cultural projects we will probably get back on the bunkers. We will need to drain and continue to push the sand back up the faces.
Steve continues to do a fantastic job keeping the equipment in order. He is assembling the core harvester today and gave the beverage carts a tune-up this morning. We should be seeing the new greens mowers this week some time.
Speaking of the beverage carts...Maggie called me this weekend to let me know that there was a problem with the carts. That is about all she knew. I had Steve check them out this morning and each had a note on it..."BROKEN! HAVE MAINTENANCE CHECK ME! and ALMOST BROKE! HAVE MAINTENANCE CHECK ME! It would be helpful if they could use phrases such as runs rough, sputters, or blows smoke. That way Steve will have an idea where he needs to start looking. Steve mentioned that one cart seems to get used more than the other. It is best if they can even out the hours of operation on the carts so one isn't used all of the time. I hope we can replace these carts with the new cart lease next year, both are burning a tremendous amount of oil and need to be checked regularly. Please mention to the girls to have them swing by the shop at least a couple times a week to have Steve take a look at them so he can monitor the oil use.
Not to much to report on other than the dust control seemed to help us out this summer around the shop. Other than dealing with rocks being flung into the reels and the strange odor I may budget for it next year until we can find a way to pave the yard.
Leaves are going to begin to fall and we will need to be mindful of slip hazards in the parking lot. Also, the back gutter on the cart barn is growing small trees and should probably be cleaned out before the fall rains arrive.
Matt Coombs will finish his summer job this week. It has been great having him on the staff this summer. I hope to land more summer interns in the future from OSU.