Monday, October 26, 2015

"Tough Times" - Aerating Greens

Despite rainy weather, we have begun the process of aerifying  the greens and croquet courts.  While the weather is not ideal, waiting for the best conditions could be timely matter. Sometimes you just have to take what Mother Nature gives you and move on.  Kudos to our staff as they have maintained a positive attitude while working in the rain.
Aerating #2 green.
Cleaning plugs on #6 green.
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.

Scooping up plugs with the core harvester.
Aerifying 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.
Benefits of aerification

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Winter Projects

  Its hard to believe that another season is nearly over and with that, we will begin a number of projects and agronomic practices throughout the course that we are not able to do during the season.  Please make a note that we will be aerifying greens starting on Monday October 26th.  This will take a couple of days so long as we have good weather.  If we have inclement weather during this time, we will start aerifying on the first available day that the weather is conducive for this process.
Greens aerification

Cleaning up aerification cores.
  Starting in November, we will begin a major drainage project on the 12th fairway.  Two large corrugated steel drainage culverts that cross the fairway that will be replaced with plastic ones.  The new culverts are designed to last over 100 years.  In addition to replacing these drainage pipes, we will be stripping the turf off the entire fairway so that we can install “Turfdrain” and also level the fairway.  The work we do will solve most of the drainage problems on this hole, but there is the possibility that not all areas will be able to be drained thoroughly.  This is a very hard hole to drain as there is not enough topsoil in some areas and we need at least 1 foot to install effective drainage.  Even with the difficulty of this project, I am confident that the fairway on #12 will be many times better than it is now. 
Turfdrain needs to be 4 feet deep to be most effective.

Our large trencher has no problem digging 4 feet in dirt, but rock is a problem.
   Another major undertaking this winter will be the installation of new sprinkler heads around all the greens.  The sprinkler heads around the greens are over 15 years old and their efficiency has declined significantly through the years.   Additionally, parts for the old heads are no longer made so the decision to replace them was an easy one.  Our staff will be replacing approximately 170 sprinkler heads around the greens starting in November.  The new heads are far more efficient than the older ones and are more robust in their build quality.
The new irrigation heads for around our greens is the Hunter 885.
  Replacing the crossties and installing rock walls around the swim and tennis facility is another project that will be done this winter.  While this project is going on, we will be installing irrigation around the facility in addition to improving the landscaping.
  In addition to the aforementioned projects, there are many other small projects that will be done this winter that include tree trimming and under-brushing, cart path repair, erosion control and repair, supplemental irrigation installation, equipment renovation and maintenance, along with numerous agronomic practices.
Aerification of fairways will take place during the off-season.

Aerification plugs.

Verticutting of fairways will also take place in the off-season.
  With the season quickly coming to an end I hope that everyone has enjoyed the course.  Overall, this year has been a great year for golf.  As always, thank you for your continued support.