Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Improving Turf Conditions and Playability On 9 White Green

Ice Damage Due to Shade Problems 9 White Green

The rear of 9 White green has historically been a difficult area to manage turf. The overabundance of Spruce trees in close proximity to the green not only inhibits morning sunlight, but also provides golfers with the potential for an unplayable lie for many balls that come to rest through the green. As many golfers are playing longer irons or even fairway woods on the this long, uphill par 4, many balls do not come to rest on the putting surface and instead find their way beneath the spruce trees which are only four yards from the back of the green.

Rear of 9 White Following Removal

The problems associated with the shade of these trees are two fold. First, the trees inhibit morning sunlight which is essential for healthy turf development. Secondly, the shade created by the trees promotes an environment which is conducive for annual bluegrass growth (Poa annua) rather than creeping bentgrass. Poa annua is a weaker grass which is more susceptible to both winter damage and summer stress. Historically, in years when ice coverage is prevalent, 9 White has suffered significant turf loss.
Five large spruce trees have been removed from the rear of 9 White green. All five trees were located to the north of the cart path. The area containing multiple spruce trees to the south of the path remain, as they have little impact on the shade problems associated with the green. All of the trees removed were approved in the Forse Master Plan. When playing the hole from the fairway, the remaining trees will continue to provide a back drop for the hole while still deterring errant shots from the first hole on the Blue Nine.

9 White Before Removal

9 White Following Removal

Friday, November 12, 2010

Taking Advantage Of The Warm and Dry Weather

This week's beautiful weather afforded the golf course maintenance staff the opportunity to complete some very important fall projects on schedule. Warmer than normal day temperatures coupled with low winds provided us with perfect conditions to make our preventative snow mold fungicide applications. This application is essential in northern climates which see periods of prolonged snow cover. Multiple products are applied in order to protect the turf from two main pathogens. Each product yields its own mode of action to afford the plant the maximum amount of protection. Since the plants are still actively growing due to the warm weather, the turf is easily able to take in the material and translocate the products throughout the plant. All greens, tees, and fairways are now equipped to defend themselves from winter disease.

The warm weather has also provided the golf course maintenance staff to complete one final drainage project. One of the wettest areas on the golf course is the landing area on 7 White fairway. Topographically this is a difficult area to drain since the the fairway actually sits below the irrigation pond's level. There is also very little elevation change to the east of the fairway. Extensive drainage was added to this area in order to move water off of the fairway and into the native area to the west of the hole. This will both improve turf quality in this area, as well as playability.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

4 Blue Fairway Drainage Improvements

As the golf course maintenance staff tends to the tasks associated with preparing the course for winter, our attention once again focuses on improving drainage on the golf course. This year, we will install new drainage on the the 4th fairway of the Blue Nine. The existing drainage in this area no longer functioned properly. Tree roots and other debris had rendered the existing drain line useless. The golf course staff will add drainage through the low point of the fairway near the first fairway bunker and down the left side of the fairway. The water will exist the course to the tree line on the east side of the property. In addition to improving turf quality and playability, the fairway will be passable much more quickly following heavy rain events. The project will be completed by the weekend.