Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I was in Central Oregon yesterday and was unable to get my Monday report done. More about my trip later but as I came to work this morning there was a notable amount of humidity in the air. Currently as I write this it is 5:45am and it is 63.6 degrees outside with 93% humidity. The dew point is 61.7 degrees! It will be in the 80's today but will actually feel much warmer. It feels like a trip I took to Alabama a few years ago to Farm Links in the middle of August.

Last year a few golf courses had  problems with pythium on their greens which set them up for a very difficult winter as as well. The conditions we are experiencing today are very similar to that of last year and we will need to be on guard for similar symptoms on our greens. It will usually start with a wilty appearance, making you believe that the turf is dry and needs water, but once you water it spreads like wildfire. Last week we made an application of Signature and Daconil which should offer us a fair amount of protection. It is good that we have finished our aerification and the greens are healed in. Often, additional nitrogen and water is used to help greens fill in quickly and then when combined with conditions such as this, a pythium outbreak can result.
Last week we noticed a few of the greens were still a little bumpy so today we are verticutting and following with a light topdress.

Last we accomplished quite a bit considering Bob was in the hospital, Carl was on jury duty and Brian was helping his father harvest pears in Hood River. Laird was good enough to come in for the mornings and help us through the morning tasks. Jim is doing a great job filling in for Bob while he is recovering from surgery. I had Pacific Sports Turf come out and deep tine the driving range tee box. The machine they used is called a Soil Reliever which penetrates the ground deeply and loosens the soil beneath the surface to help increase root aeration and drainage. This should really make a big difference on the lower tee box especially since it had been holding much water.
We also finished the tall grass mowing last week and with that done we will prepare for the next task of fertilizing the fairways. We are planning on getting that done this Thursday. Once that is done we will commence with topdressing the fairways. Lets just hope this weather holds out a bit longer.

Gas Pipeline Project
This morning the pipeline crew began to move in to start repairing the gas line. If they spot they need to repair is in the right spot they may only have to dig up 15 feet or so but if not they will have to repair a whole section of pipe. Pat's crew is taking extreme care not to damage the course in any way. Here they are tracking plywood across the 8th fairway as they make their way to the job site. They should have it dug today and will be able to project the scope of the repair.

Central Oregon

As I mentioned earlier, I was in Central Oregon this weekend. Mike and I went over Sunday to play in the  OGCSA Foundation Tournament which was held at the Nicholas Course at Pronghorn Golf Club on Monday. We played Juniper Golf Club Sunday and had a great time. I have never played Juniper and it was a real pleasure. Pat Reilly, the superintendent  has done a magnificent job at that course and I would like to thank him for setting us up for the round. Everything about it was just right. It reminded me of Stone Creek in many ways. I especially liked the tee monuments by Stone Creations and the way they tied in the native vegetation and used old juniper for the benches. Fine fescues were used extensively and looked great. I look forward to getting back there to play again soon!

Pronghorn Golf Club was a real treat. I have been there once before in March but have never played. In many ways it reminded me of Gray Hawk in Arizona but with bentgrass fairways and tees. David Freitag is the Director of Agronomy there and has been there since the beginning.  He took over the director position after John Anderson left and has done an incredible job.
Mike and I had the pleasure of playing with Jim Schindler from the Men's Club. We really enjoyed his company along with Steve, our last minute addition to our team. I really appreciate Jim's willingness to support our tournament. Perhaps next year we could field a few teams from Stone Creek! We played pretty well but left a few out there we wished we could have taken back. The tournament was a success raising over $20,000 for the Foundation. The proceeds from the Foundation will go to support research and scholarship at Oregon State University. Here are some photos of the course, I hope you enjoy!

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