Thursday, June 25, 2009


From a distance our fairways are looking green and lush, but once you start walking them you realize we have quite a bit of clover out there. Specifically we have White Clover (Trifolium repens L.), often associated with low fertility and moisture. I can tell you it is not from lack of fertility in our fairways, but I know some of our rough areas do not see as much food as they probably need. Last year, with fertilizer prices going through the roof, we did not fertilize a lot of the rough areas and concentrated on just the main playing turf (tees, greens, & fairways). This year we have switched that tactic a little and our now using some of the least expensive fertilizer to at least give our rough areas a little nitrogen and potassium. We have not changed much of anything in our other fertilizer programs, except for fairways where we are trying a different poly-coated fertilizer we have used on a limited basis in the past.

Clover is pretty easy to whack down, a little 2,4-D, dicamba, triclopyr, MCPP, & MCPA are just a few of the chemicals one can use to kill the little beast. In the rough areas we have been spraying most of the areas we can get to. In the fairways I tried a little different tactic and spot sprayed the first couple hundred yards of #10 and a little bit on #11. I'm glad I did not go all out yet because of what I am seeing on #10. Sure enough the clover is checking out but unfortunately where it is a thick patch there is nothing underneath it to take over. And the heat of the summer is not exactly the best time to be seed/soiling large patches in the fairways. So we will knock down the smaller/thinner patches with spot spraying and leave the rest for this fall when we can get out and treat all the fairways and take advantage of the right time of year for seeding.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Beaches Are Open

The bunker renovations on #12 and #13 are now open for play.
You have been warned.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Testing New Chemy

So last week I sprayed fairways with the usual plant protectants. One of the chemicals has a side effect of deterring worms, so hopefully we will see a decrease in their activity especially since all the rain we have had recently. The rest of the mix had growth regulators, fertilizer, and another fungicide. It normally takes 8 full tanks to spray all 24 acres of fairways, so I typically spray them all over two days. This year I am trying a brand new chemical on a limited basis. All of number one fairway and half of number two fairway have this new chemical in the mix. The rest of the fairways and the other half of number 2 do not. I will be evaluating performance over the summer and see how it may differ from our normal chemical program.

So why mention all this? One of the effects of this new chemical should be a better looking turf overall, and so far you can see the difference in the two halves of number 2. So if you notice that half of two is a bit greener and darker in appearance, that is the reason. We will be continuing this test through our next fairway application in about 3 weeks, so it is possible it may become a very stark difference in shades.

Just an FYI.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Image is from Google Earth...

Well the bunker work is done and all the loose ends resulting from it are completed also. Now we can get back to addressing the collars, approaches, and tees where the turf is a little lacking. The rain was a huge help and now it looks like warm weather is very near. A couple of eighty degree days and things will explode... Most of the landscaping around #16 tee is in, there is still a little more to do, and it looks great.

FYI on the imminent coming of the Emerald Ash Borer... We are starting our tree inventory, 4 of 18 holes are complete. To give you all an idea of how many ash trees we have, there were a total of 262 trees counted and just over 47% of those trees are ash. I would guess the rest of the course is going to follow suite and we are going to find out about 50% of all the trees on the golf course are ash trees. There is a new chemical option for tree injection that is giving 2-3 years of control for EAB, so there is a option for the ones we do not want to lose. At $30+ per tree to treat we would be looking at over $3,700 for just the ones we have counted so far ($1850/year). Some very rough numbers on the idea of treating - 18 holes ~ 1300 trees ~ 750 ash trees ~ $22,500 treatment every 2 years ~ $11,250/year. It is safe to assume we are not going to be able to treat every tree on the golf course. But it is reasonable to choose a fair amount to treat, since we have so many ash trees there are a lot that come into play and perhaps we do not want to lose them.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bunker Work Continues

The finishing touches are being put on #12 today and they have started renovating the greenside bunkers on #13. By shifting the front bunker to the left a little, it allows the right side bunker to be brought around the front right corner and a little closer to the green. Whenever you start digging around on a golf course you never know what kind of surprises might pop up. Thankfully, as of yet, there have been no unexpected's to speak of. We hope to have everything, #12 & #13, sodded by the end of the day Thursday. Everything should be back in play in a few weeks.