Tuesday, August 31, 2010

After The Championship

( 2010_08_29 - Looking back on hole 5 )

Congratulations to all the winners this past weekend, we had a great turn out for the entire 2010 Club Championship. Last I heard there were around 195 total players from Wednesday through Sunday, pretty cool if you ask me. I want to thank my staff for a super job getting the course prepped for our biggest event of the year. We had great weather to get the place a little firm and keep the speed up. A lot of people asked me how fast the greens were, we stimped them both days around 6:30am and were able to keep them right around 11. To put that in perspective, we have been able to hold around a 10 most of the summer and rarely fell below the 9.5 mark. USGA Stimpmeter Information for those unfamiliar with what the numbers mean and how it is measured. The other thing we were able to do thanks to my staff was mow all the fine turf areas every morning from Wednesday through Sunday, this kept the golf course in top shape throughout the entire event. I really hope everyone enjoyed a great tournament...

So now that the tourney is over we will start some of the normal end-of-summer practices. Fairways and tees will be aerified soon, and this year we will just be aerifying collars around the greens because of the MGA Tournament being held at IVGC on September 27 & 28. This will most likely push us to do our normal core aerification on greens next spring and then I am considering a deep tine aerification in the fall. As usual though, we will do everything we can to keep the disruption to play at an absolute minimum. 

Also this fall, early October, Hartman Companies will be out renovating the bunkers and approach on hole #7, the tee on #8, and the tee on #4. This plan is to tier the tee box on #8 so there are two distinct teeing surfaces, and make the tee on #4 much larger while re-aligning it with the hole. The space between the two holes will be decreased to about half the size and planted with perennial grasses as a buffer between. The left fairway bunker on 7 will be renovated in its current location while the right fairway bunkers will be filled in and a new bunker will be placed near the 100 yard stake. The green side bunker on 7 will be brought around the front corner a little and built up in the back for better visibility. There is a chance that 18 fairway bunker will also be renovated at that time, but that project is currently on a wait-and-see.

I know things start to slow down around the course once school starts, but I hope everyone can keep on coming out. There is a lot of great golf weather ahead of us.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Casual Water

Here are some snapshots from the golf course this morning. Needless to say, 3.25" of rain is going to take a little while to drain. Adding the 2" from Tuesday it brings us up to a nice 5.25" in 3 days, not bad...
2010_08_11 - Flooding on #6

2010_08_13 - Flooding on #10

2010_08_13 - Flooding on #14

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Little Damage, A Little Disease

( 2010_07_29 - #17 Green Showing Damage/Disease )

The heat and humidity have began to take its toll in a few places. Our main issues have been with the fairways, though they have been minor and have even started to show signs of healing. Our teeing surfaces are not so much disease ridden as they are divot ridden. We struggle with some of them because of the size, that being too small for many of them, the par 3 tees on #4 and #16 being the worst. We do topdress and seed throughout the season to try and keep as much turf on them as we can, and not just by filling divots but using the topdresser and broadcasting seed. For the most part the other tees are in good shape and are not much of a issue.

The greens on the course have been in super shape for most of the season. Until recently we have had little to no issues with the turf, and that includes the notorious spots on #8 and #16. But a couple weeks ago we started to see some disease pop up on a few of them. Anthracnose being the main problem, and this is nothing new since it has occurred almost every year that I have been at IVGC. We are on a preventative chemical program for our greens, which means we are spraying fungicides on about a 14 day interval for most of the summer. Even with that schedule we can still get disease, it just shows you how tenacious some of the turf pathogens can be. There are also other factors that make the turf more susceptible, other then temps and humidity: low mowing, lean fertilizer program, and irrigation/drainage problems are a few. And on top of the disease issues we also had some mechanical damage caused by our riding greens mower and turf groomers. The height of cut was too low for the tri-plex to provide a good quality cut and the turf groomers were down, this tufted up some of the softer/spongy areas on our greens and scalped them out a little.

So what are we doing about it? We continue to stay on a regular topdressing program, a light layer of sand every 14 days on our greens. I have bumped up the fertilizer rate a small amount to give the turf a little extra growing power. We have raised the height of cut back to our normal 0.125" and added a extra rolling or two during the week. And we are looking into a verticutting program along with the topdressings which should aid in firming up those softer spots more so then just the topdressing.