Friday, October 18, 2013

Proper Practice Tee Divot Pattern

 I am frequently asked what would make the Practice Tee at HFCC better?  The first and most obvious answer is to make it larger.  While we do have plans to make it somewhat larger in the future, the reality is there is just not enough room to make it as big as we would like.  However, there is something that everyone can do to make it as good as it can be.  Use a linear pattern when making divots and limit the number of shots you make each time your at the practice tee.  The following pictures are courtesy of the USGA and show the correct method for making divots at the practice tee and the incorrect ways.
(Left) Concentrating divots in one area is arguably the worst practice method because it creates large voids requiring the most time for turf recovery. (Right) Scattering divots is a popular practice habit that is frequently taught because it does not create large voids in the turf that are slow to recover, but it removes the most turf in total because a full divot is taken with every shot.

STEP 1 (left) – Practice in a linear pattern by placing each new shot directly behind the previous divot. STEP 2 (right) — Leave a strip of live turf at least 4 inches wide between each line of divots. This keeps divots narrow so that lateral growth of turfgrass from both sides of the divot will lead to rapid recovery, and it also protects seedlings from desiccation and mower injury.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Greens Aerification - October 28th

We will begin aerifying greens on October 28th.  Depending on the weather, this process will take between 2 and 3 days to complete.  This is one of the most important practices we do to provide for the health of the greens.  We purposely wait until after the Club closes to aerify because we understand that the Fall is the best time to play golf in the mountains.  After we finish the aerification process, please be aware that with the Club officially closed for the season, we will no longer prepare the course for regular play as we will be changing our focus to winter projects and agronomic practices.
Core aerifying a green
Close-up of core aerification
Core removal with a core harvester
Aerification is one of the most important agronomic practices for the maintenance and health of the greens.  For the greens at HFCC, the normal aerification requirement is twice in the Spring and once in the Fall with hollow tines that pull a plug.  After removing the plugs, a heavy topdressing of sand is applied on top of the greens along with several soil amendments and fertilizer. The heavy sand topdressing does several things; fills in the voids from the plugs, reduces organic matter, keeps the surface firm, and protects the turf from desiccation during the winter. 

Benefits of aerification

There are several reasons why it is important to aerify greens on a regular basis.  First and foremost is that it alleviates compaction and loosens the soil for better water infiltration and air exchange.  Secondly it helps the soil to "breath" allowing it to expel harmful gases caused by decomposition.  Additionally, aerification removes dead plant and excessive organic matter otherwise known as thatch.  Thatch can greatly reduce water infiltration and gas exchange while also providing a breeding ground for disease pathogens.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Greens & Grounds Open House

I would like to personally thank everyone who attended the very successful Greens & Grounds Open House yesterday afternoon. We had over 70 people in attendance and I thoroughly enjoyed discussing the operation with so many of you. I hope it left you with a better of understanding of what it takes to manage the Club's largest asset and the confidence that we manage it properly.

Additionally, I want to thank the members of the Greens and Grounds Committee who helped serve the food and beverages. Extra thanks go to Bob Trevathan and Teri Dolci for their tireless efforts throughout the entire event.

If for some reason you wanted to see something that you didn't or you still have some questions about our operations, please feel free to stop by anytime or you can call me at 526-9417 or email me directly through this link  Thank you for your continued support and we'll see you on the course!