Monday, September 20th, 2010

Course Conditions
Nothing beats a little shower to soak the course down after a long dry spell. Saturday night was one of those events. Last week we had almost 2 inches of rainfall and half of it came on that night. Sunday morning revealed the effect with almost every bunker washed out. This should keep the crew busy most of the morning today.

From the look of all the latest blog posts I have read, this is certainly a busy time of year for golf course maintenance staff's across the country. Aerification seems to be the hot topic as well as renovations. We don't seem to be immune from it either. Although we have finished the greens and they are completely healed we still have a long ways to go before we can relax. The fairways still need to be topdressed and the tees will need to be aerified as well as the entire course will need to be fertilized. Those are just the major events to take place but leaf season is just around the corner and we will be busy keeping the course clean simultaneously.

The driving range tee seems to be having trouble draining lately. The back of the lower tee box especially. I am going to have Pacific Sports Turf come out and use their deep tine soil reliever and aerate the entire surface to about 12 inches deep. We did this one year on our greens which helped tremendously. I have been keeping a close eye on the sixteenth green lately. It seems to want to be an anthracnose poster child. This green has a higher than normal concentration of annual bluegrass which is very susceptible to this disease. We will need to start making specialized fungicide applications to get it under control. Currently it has exceeded our threshold limit and will need to be treated this week.

I almost forgot to mention that Williams Gas Pipeline will be replacing a 45 foot section of 24 inch gas pipe right in the landing zone on the fourth fairway. The first time they called me and informed me of a job like this it was a little hard to swallow. Now that this is the fourth dig we pretty much know what to expect. The excavation will begin on Tuesday September 28th and they will be working into the night to have as little impact on play as possible. They should be done in three days. We will strip the fairway prior to the excavation and utilize as much of the sod in the repair as possible. During the day we will move the tees ahead of the excavation and and will have to play the hole as a short par 4.

Last week was certainly one of the busiest weeks we have seen all season. I was very impressed how the entire staff down at the clubhouse and the deli pitched in to help one and other with all the set up and take down for the various events that took place. Maggie has put in more hours than I can imagine. I would personally like to thank her, her staff, as well as Meghan, Jason and Doug for all their work in making Jason's celebration service so nice. That meant a tremendous amount to his family which made me very proud of everyone and what we were able to do for them. Thank you.

As many of you know Bob Barron from my staff is undergoing prostrate surgery this morning. Please keep him in your thoughts. I will be at the hospital and will be able to update everyone later in the day. Bob is a trooper and I have no doubt that he will pull through and will be back in business in no time at all.

OSU Friends of Turf Field Day
Friday, Mike and I traveled to Oregon State for the OSU Friends of Turf Field Day. The day started out at the turf farm bright and early where we were presented with their research. When we arrived they gave us a 31 page handout that showed all of their current research plots. I have not recalled ever seeing so much going on at one time at OSU. We had lunch at Trysting Tree Golf Course followed by a fun round of golf. The day concluded back at the farm with some great food and drink. Mike and I stayed at my sister's in Philomath and then got up in the morning and went to the Beaver game. One of the highlights of the trip was being able to spend time with Mike away from the course and just enjoy some good time together.
GO BEAVS! Oregon State 35 Louisville 28

Here Dr. Rob Golembiewski is explaining their green speed trials on annual bluegrass putting surfaces. This was a tedious trial in that it involved multiple stimp readings every day throughout the season which mean that the undergrads got lots of good experience measuring green speed with a stimp meter. I'm sure that will come in handy some day.

Brian McDonald is the research assistant and is going over the anthracnose trials. He us using different combinations of fungicides as well as wetting agents to gauge the level of control. From the looks of his plots it looks like they are all working great. I think I need to tell him about our sixteenth green if he is looking for a good place to control anthracnose.

Tod Blankenship, CGCS is Rob's research graduate assistant and has been implementing all kinds of great research including a turfgrass water use trial where he is measuring the effect of cutting height and water amounts on different types of turfgrass. Here he is showing us the new creeping ryegrass trials that will get underway next year.

As an alumni of Oregon State I am very proud and excited over the direction of the program. When Tom Cook announced his retirement The Oregon Golf Course Superintendents Association became very instrumental in bringing the new professor to Oregon State and continuing the program. The association started the OGCSA Foundation with the intent on raising funds to help land the "big fish". We wanted to first provide $50,000 to help "fast track" the position and avoid a gap in the program. That is exactly what we did and were able to have Rob in Corvallis before Tom was officially done. Tom continues to live in Corvallis and is still a supporter of the program, as a matter of fact Tom was at the field day and the golf tournament. The Foundation continues to raise funds for the program by hosting a benefit tournament every year. This year we will be having the tournament at Pronghorn which should be a great event. The Stone Creek Men's Club is even bringing two teams to the tournament. The Men's club has always supported our program and this continues to show that they understand the benefit of research at our university.

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