Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Few Nice Days, But More Snow?

This Great Egret is one of a few that has been wandering around #6 pond in the morning. We also have a Great Blue Heron looking for food on occasion though I have not been able to get a picture of it yet. They don't tend to sit still when you come tooling along on your golf cart. You will also notice in the picture the normal level of the pond, the top of the grayish rock. Once the work is complete on the green complex we will be bringing it back up to normal level. Because of the low water we can not put the fountain/aerator back in until it is brought up. The water is less then 3 feet deep where we put the fountain and it needs at least 4 or 5 to operate. Let's hope the next few days are the last stretch of rain(snow?) for a while so we can finish up the dirt work quickly and really get some good turf growth in the weak areas.

We are taking advantage of the decent days and getting the course cleaned up and mowing everything to an even height. The areas that suffered over the winter are the only few spots that have yet to green up and get growing. Most of them have some new tissue under all the bleached/dead turf but the weather has not allowed them to really get going yet. Next Monday we will be aerifying greens with a low impact "knife" tine like we have done the past couple of years and the following week we will be aerifying the tees & collars a little more aggressively. We have not normally done a spring aerifying on tee surfaces but with the poor condition of some of them coming out of winter we have decided to be aggressive with some cultural practices to give them a good kick-start to recovery.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Snow Mold

In late fall we cover the fine turf areas (tees, greens, & fairways) with chemicals to protect them from snow mold (Pink and Gray). This past winter was a great year for snow mold, I am sure many of you have seen signs of it in your yards at home; Areas that appear a little grayish in color and are all matted down with a wet appearance, or pink in color and probably dead. If it is active you can see signs of a cottony material called mycelium, for Gray snow mold it is gray and Pink it is pinkish. Gray snow mold rarely does enough damage to cause the death of the turf plants, however those spots will take longer to recover during spring. The best thing to do is get a rake and give those spots a good workout, busting up the matted turf and getting the dessicated plant material out of there. Pink snow mold is a disease that often kills the plant and results in areas that need to be cleaned up and seeded, it is more common to closely mowed turf areas such as tees, greens, and fairways.
When out playing you will notice the results of not protecting our fine turf on #16. I used the approach/fairway as a check plot and did not cover it last fall with any fungicide. What you see are the results of Gray and some Pink snow mold infestations. We use check plots on the course to make sure our chemical applications are sound. And while #16 approach will take a little extra TLC this spring to get it back quickly, it has showed us that spending the money on fall turf protection is money well spent. It would be pretty ugly if we had conditions like that all over the course come opener...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This would be a pretty good synopsis of what the course looks like right now, and yes it is open for the season...

Overall the turf looks great and things came through the winter very good. We do have some minor snow mold damage in rough areas that do not get protected in the fall before the winter. We also have a handful of areas that the voles were active in over the winter. They chew on the grass plants at ground level and leave the blades behind. So when a rake gets pulled over it to clean it up you end with dirt. It will take a little time but the areas will fill back in and be fine.