Sunday, April 4, 2010

Winter Damage Repair Report

Thanks to the wonderful weather, the golf course maintenance staff has had a very productive week. In addition to typical spring maintenance associated with preparing the course for opening, such as debris clean-up, bunker repair and raking, and stationing golf course furnishings, the maintenance team was able to complete a number of essential projects which will help to foster turf recovery from the winter damage the course received.

  • Greens: While the putting greens survived the winter conditions relatively well, work continued in earnest to prepare the greens for play. The putting greens have been agressively vericut in multiple directions. This vertical mowing will help to initiate new growth which will serve to both aid in recovery from the modest amount of winter damage they received, as well as to increase the rate in which last fall's aerification holes will fill in. Additionally, the greens were treated with a foliar fertilizer application and wetting agent. the combination of these products will assist the greens in retaining moisture and stimulate additional growth helping to foster an evironment conducive for recovery. Two greens , 2W and 9W, received additional work. Portions of both greens exhibited very little ability to recover without seeding. The weak portions of both these greens were seeded, sand topdressed, fertilized and covered. Once the seed germinates and the turf has adequately established to sustain the cold night temperatures, the covers will be removed.

  • Fairways: As mentioned in a previous blog entry and evident to anyone who was able to play the golf course over the last week, NSCC's fairways suffered extensive winter damage. The damage in fairways is the worst that I have seen in my tenure at NSSCC. The favorable weather of last week has allowed the NSCC maintenance staff to make great strides toward repairing the damage. On Monday, all fairways were fertilized in order to stimulate new growth. All damaged areas on the Red and White Nines have been agressively verticut with a tractor-mounted machince. The benefits of this practice are twofold. By creating slits in the soil, the allows for adequate seed/soil contact which is essential for establishment. Secondly the organic matter which cast to the surface aids in maintaining adequate soil moisture and warmth. While temporarily disruptive to play, this perceived mess will aid in turfgrass recovery. Following the vertical mowing, all damaged areas have been seeded by hand. Once seeded, the areas have been lightly topdressed with a custom sand/soil mix and treated with an additional starter fertlizer. Lastly, the most severely damaged areas, as well as the areas located in landing areas and around greens have been covered. Last week's wonderful weather has helped us in two ways. First, the warm and dry conditions have allowed the golf course staff to venture on the course with heavy equipment in order to complete the work. Secondly, the warm, sunny days have warmed the soil enough that we may see some seed germination soon. The quicker the seed germinates, the quicker the turf will establish, which will allow us to remove the covers and return the affected areas to play.

  • AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT FAIRWAY FIRMNESS Since we are in the process of establishing turfgrass throughout the golf course, we will be required to water more frequently than normal in Spring. Without adequate moisture, we will be unable to successfully establish the turf. Also, once the seed germinates, the juvenile plants will require adequate moisture in order to mature. Due to the turfgrass establishment process, expect the fairways to play softer than normal. Thank you for your patience in this matter.

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