Thursday, February 19, 2015

GIS 2015 - Where Big Things Happen

It's that time of year again, when Golf Course Superintendents from all over the world come together to learn, network, and take a short break from the daily routines. The Golf Industry Show is next week in San Antonio, TX and as usual promises to enrich attendees with new ideas, new ways of doing old things, and making new friends/contacts. And I can say the show never disappoints.

There are full-day/half-day/2 or 6 hour educational seminars throughout the week, but I would say the trade show floor is as educational an experience if not more. New Products are being showcased for the upcoming season, and Superintendents can get hands on with them as well as talk about them with manufacturers and salesmen. Each day there are numerous educational sessions scattered around the trade show which are free to sit in on. Many sessions are given by leading academics and peers in the industry and topics range from golf course architecture to plant health dynamics. There is definitely an abundance of knowledge being handed out and networking taking place.

All in all it is a great time, and a bonus that it is usually much warmer weather then home for those of us in the northern parts.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Back On Track For 2015

Bad, bad me. The IVGC maintenance blog was non-existent in 2014, well it is time to rectify that for 2015. Here is where you will find updates, photos, and general musings regarding the golf course, staff, and whatever else makes it to the page. My goal is to have regular (weekly perhaps) updates and summaries of what is happening on the grounds at Island View Golf Club.

For those that would like more constant info, you should follow me on Twitter where I will be tweeting about conditions and tidbits we find interesting throughout the day. While mostly work related, I do mention personal stuff from time to time. @golfsoup is my twitter handle. Click on the link above, sign-up if not registered, and follow along as we maintain the golf course property throughout the season and off-season.

Most of the course is covered with snow at the moment, though the warm temps have definitely melted a lot of it off. The fine turf areas are covered for the most part, which is good insulation as we go through this latest cold snap. Exposed turf at this point can be prone to desiccation, it is common for the tops of the mounds to go through this and then take a bit longer then typical to recover in the spring.The snow melt and subsequent refreeze could also cause problems for the turf, mainly the annual bluegrass on the course. All in all though, the mild winter we are having has been a nice change from the past few we have experienced...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Range Tee Divots the RIGHT Way.

At Island View GC we have a great all grass, no mats, driving range tee which we use from start to close of the golf season. Though it is a large area of teeing surface, we are challenged with conditioning due to the heavy use it receives. Proper divot patterning during practice would greatly benefit the experience of the range users and the ability of the maintenance staff to fill and recover divoted areas. The following pictures represent the wrong, kinda wrong, and correct method to utilize the practice tee...

The scatter method uses a lot of surface area, making the entire area 
practically unusable for the next person.

This sort of grouping uses less tee surface which is good, but the center
 areas of damage rely solely on seed to recover which can greatly delay re-use.

The line method is the proper and BEST method for taking practice tee divots.
 It allows for vegetative growth from both sides, and uses the least amount of tee surface.

Here is a short video of Joel Kachmarek from Tacoma Country and Golf Club demonstrating the proper method of taking practice divots on the range, thanks to him for the previous pictures also...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Are We Behind? Compared To Years Past, Yes.

I've mentioned growing degree days once before for timing certain chemical applications. I thought I would revisit this quickly because I have been asked a lot lately about generally how far behind we are on growing, summer conditions, etc... The answer depends on what you are comparing things to I suppose. Usually, for good or bad, we compare things to the previous year or prior few years. So I updated the GDD chart to include the last 5 years plus 2013 to give you an idea of how many growing degree units we have accumulated thus far in relation to the past five years.
A quick note on how we calculate growing degree days: GDD are calculated by taking the average of the daily maximum and minimum temperatures compared to a base temperature, Tbase, (I use 32° F). 

GDD = \frac{T_\mathrm{max}+T_\mathrm{min}}{2}-T_\mathrm{base}.

From the chart it is pretty obvious we are behind the last 5 years, and when looked at the atypical weather of 2012 we are behind about 1,000 GDD. I think you have to go back to 1975 to find a colder month of April then what we just had. In the end it's hard to put a definitive answer on the 'behind' question, but there is no question that everything is happening later in the year so far in 2013 than what we are accustomed to.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Putting Green Seeded & Regrassing Continues

Work continues all over the golf course. We seeded the new putting green today so come on weather and cooperate! Planting beds around the clubhouse have been planted and mulched for the most part. We still have a couple beds to plant in the front entry, and we also need to make a new one on the north side of the entry drive. The new retaining walls and planting beds when you exit the clubhouse at the 1st tee also need to be completed. With those projects and a few more details to tidy up, the front entry project will be wrapping up soon. The bids for chipsealing and road repair are coming in so that work will be completed soon also.

The crew continues to patch poor turf areas through the green complexes. Collar regrassing has been going smooth and most of the dead spots have been removed. Green patching continues, and will continue until we are satisfied with the conditions. The coin size spots that litter the playing surfaces are starting to fill in and grow over. Continued TLC with topdressing, verticutting, and some extra fertilizer will allow them to keep progressing along on their way to recovery. The two greens out of play will hopefully be ready for golfers in the week or so. They will still have thin spots I'm sure but should be playable. Early next week we will evaluate some of the larger areas we are trying to get back from seed and make a determination if sodding should be done to hasten recovery.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Little Wet but Work Continues

The new tee boxes on hole 1 are now open for play. One of the things with bluegrass sod when used for tees, the thatch layer is pretty thick and until we get a good amount of sand topdressing worked in they tend to be a bit spongy.

The rains came at a great time, all the fairway slit seeding was accomplished last week and collars were aerified and seeded also. All playing areas including rough we're fertilized and watered in prior to the rains, it was pretty obvious today that it is working due to the excessive growth in our fairways and rough. Unfortunately the amount of rain has not been ideal, we have received around 4" since Friday and there is a pretty good chance there is more coming in the next couple days. Mowing schedules and routine work will all be handled as best we can over the next couple days due to the saturation. 

We continue to patch/re-grass poor areas on collars and greens. I expect this will continue for the next couple weeks as we work are way around the course. We will be utilizing small plugs, hex plugs, narrow sod strips, and typical sod cutter work to fix these issues. Whichever method best removes the damage and allows us to provide turf consistency will be implemented. It won't be uncommon to see greens with plugs and sod strips as we move forward with the repair. Regular sand topdressing should help with smoothness and seams created from the repair work. 

The front entry work continues also. Many of the perennials have been planted, with only a few more beds to be worked over and finished. We have to wait until this rainy stretch passes before we can mulch the beds, the dye gets washed off the mulch if it does not have a good chance to dry. Our first delivery is scheduled for the end of the week so hopefully all beds are mulched by this coming holiday weekend.