October 11th, 2010

Course Conditions
"It's ridiculous how good of shape this course is in." Said Steve Dodds of the Men's Club Saturday morning. I must agree with his assessment, This place has really taken shape. I owe it all to my staff who treats this place as if it is their own backyard.
We had another great week. The weather has really cooperated this fall. We just hope that it can hold on a couple more weeks as we finish up a few more projects. Last week we were successful in completing the fairway topdressing and this week we will be aerating the tee boxes Tuesday and Wednesday. We will probably be reversing the 9's on Wednesday.

The greens are going to get a bite to eat on Monday and we are finally going to fertilize the fairways on Thursday. We are not sure how much nitrogen we are going to give the greens yet but as of today they have not received any in 34 days. That is pretty good given that they normally get a tenth of a pound every two weeks. I attribute this to our greens fertility program which is from Redox. This program focuses on building the soil so that it can function on its own with fewer inputs. It promotes microbial growth which will in turn start manufacturing it's own nitrogen.  Once the microbial action slows down with the cooler temperatures we will then reintroduce nitrogen to promote growth once again. This is our second year on the program and this is the same situation we were in last year. If we were to feed them any nitrogen then we would be over feeding them. The best part of this program is that it fits nicely within our philosophy of reduced inputs. We not only reduce our nitrogen and phosphorus inputs but we have saved half the cost of one of the more popular greens fertility programs out there.
This year we sprayed the Redox product called H-85 on our fairways in combination with our Primo application. H-85 is a chelating and complexing material for fertilizer which is made from 85% organic acids. Our first fertilizer application of the season was in June in which we applied a pound of nitrogen with methylene urea and this product was to prolong the nitrogen release. We never saw an instant green up but what we did see was a steady release of nitrogen through out the season to the point where we still don't think we need to use very much going into this fall. We are in a learning curve situation at this point but eventually I would like to only have to apply fertilizer on the fairways only once a year instead of twice. I really think we may soon be able to do that as we work out the timing.

Our next big project will be the cart path relocation on the fifteenth tee. Since we have had a rash of unexplained cart accidents where customers have driven off the path and into a deep hole, we have decided to abandon the sharp turn in the path and construct a bridge which will cut the corner. Specialized Construction will once again be assisting us on this project. Construction will begin this Tuesday and we should be close to completion by the end of the week. I have contacted Portland Road and they will be able to tie the asphalt in without a problem. The only glitch is we will need to order a larger amount so the load will retain heat. So with the extra we figure we will pave the cross over between the paths on 11 and 3.

I purchased a new rake the other day and put it in the small bunker next to the 18th green. I would like everyone to take it for a spin and let me know what you think. It is a 24" rake head and really does a nice job. I think it would be a nice addition to the course. Perhaps we could get more players to rake their tracks! Then again....

One of the best jobs on the course which I am sure many of my peers would agree is walk mowing greens in the morning. Last week I happened to have my camera with me and saw this shot. I absolutely love mowing when it's dark and a good dew is on the grass. This shot pretty much just sums it up.

Gordon Update
Gordy played well at the Senior PGA National Championship but unfortunately he missed the cut on Friday by just a few strokes. I have a funny feeling that he is going to be back again next year. Good job Gordy! BTW Happy Birthday today!

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