Aerification week

We survived another one. I truly was dumbfounded by some of the questions/comments surrounding this process. "Doing them early this year?!" Uh no I have aerified greens the day after Labor Day since 1996. "You do them more than once?" Yes we traditionally do a full blown aerification and topdressing three times per season. Once in the Spring and twice in the Fall. The deep tine one that is contracted out (because we do not have that equipment) has moved all over from Spring and late Fall to this date. These comments/questions were not from new people mind you but ones that have been here since before the 90's. This year was actually special because it was such a cold miserable Winter last year that the early November aerification holes did not heal until April or May. It seemed silly to poke holes in them again right after they healed. Luckily for me the weather was mild this Summer so the decision to skip the Spring aerification did not come back to bite me. The timing of aerification is best if done while the plant is actively growing. This will give you the best and fastest healing and return to normalcy. This latest process is proof positive. The weather was crazy hot.The demands to get the job done in one day were extreme, but the staff stepped up and persevered and the results are that the holes are almost completely gone in three days. I mowed them for the first time today and they look great and are playing well. I will start to back off the water and let them firm up a bit but would love it if everyone would fix ball marks while they are still soft from this process.
Nursery was actually done twice. Cores pulled and then solid deep tined

aerified Tuesday and looked like this on Friday
I was looking over and updating some of the weather data that I keep. It is no surprise that we are behind in rainfall. The course shows that we need rain really bad, but you might be curious to see how the numbers show the story. The image below is a capture of a portion of a spreadsheet which is my own personal rain data so not to be confused with the accuracy of a government station. The biggest detail as I see it is the bottom numbers where it shows April thru September. We are low this year in April, May, June and August compared to the averages for those months. You could pick the lowest total from this sheet in the Ap-Sept row and it would show we are down at least 4 inches. So what does that mean? If you believe that nature tends to average things out my guess would be we are in for a wet September. Maybe we will get it all in one or two storms but my guess is that the monthly total will be in the 3-5" range. You heard it here first.


numbers don't lie

Irrigation blowout 4/5 rough

low flying Coast Guard plane searching 

4 and 20 blackbirds

one of those weeks A Presidential Snub?

Have you ever just had "one of those weeks"? The erratic workings of the irrigation computer system reached an all time high this week. I have been battling skipped cycles and partial cycles since the middle of July. I had to sleep with a hand held radio in my apartment listening for radio tones which signal that the system is working. I would get up in the middle of the night and walk to my office and literally beat the base station into re-setting and getting some more water out. It was becoming so frequent it was almost a normal schedule. But this week it peaked and turned into daily rides around the course in the middle of the night with enough time to get home for a shower and breakfast before heading into work for 5:15. I'll save the story of how many mistakes could happen on the delivery of one part but suffice to say it was easily half a dozen. They were so repetitive all I could do was laugh. In the end the vendor stepped up and drove from RI to CT to pick up the part and deliver it to a fast ferry to get it here. Took some reprogramming and three more phone calls to get it to work but we are on our way to being back in business. At least tonight the irrigation should run without supervision.
native areas being mowed early this year to save $ in the fall

red tailed hawk was busy cleaning out the vermin

white tail deer came to shop for a visit
This would be the first time President Obama came to the island and played golf and did not play here. Seeing as how we are having a great season, despite the extreme dry weather, so I cannot imagine that is the reason he did not play. My mother thinks it is because last year I tweeted pictures of the Secret Service and this year posted a picture here of the White House staff, but since no one from the SS has ever visited me and given me the rubber hose treatment that cannot be it. So what else could it be than a straight up snub? I told all the members that asked me at the closing luncheon that you just cannot predict what a lame duck President will do. I for one will not jump on the President bashing band wagon and certainly not for playing golf. The last thing this industry needs is anyone saying someone should play less.

Don't forget it is aerifying season so be sure to check in with the pro-shop for details. Greens are closed this Tuesday 9/2 as we attempt greens/collar and approaches. We may start tees next week also if we survive greens and the irrigation system lets me sleep at night.

Rebound effect and aerifying

As we close out the summer and approach aerifying season we will once again try to time our growth regulation to create a flush of growth. You start the season suppressing seedheads for a smoother putting surface. This transitions into regular applications of a chemical class we refer to as growth regulators. These chemicals work to inhibit growth or to force the plant to grow thicker instead of taller. They reduce clipping yield which gives a more consistent ball roll for the entire day. If you are trying to give bentgrass an advantage over Poa Annua these also help by slowing down the Poa while the bentgrass creeps right over it. When you stop using the chemical you will usually get a big surge in growth referred to as the rebound effect. All the stored energy the plant has built up is released and this translates to a lot of leaf tissue. Not a good idea if green speed is an issue but if trying to recover from aerifying quickly it can help tremendously. So hopefully the timing is perfect for our Tuesday September 2nd Greens Aerifying. If early the greens will get a bit poky and you will be tempted to use hybrids to putt but that is the cost of tinkering with the natural processes of things.
Turf Maint. staff party before all the kids left

Murph testing the screen he built 

Art the welder adding new sign brackets to beach gates
received lots of attention when posted on Twitter. Fog rolling in on sunrise
You may remember me getting a visit last year from one of the TurfNet guys Jon Kiger. He spent a day shooting some tips and tricks videos as well as a vacation spoof for Randy Wilson that he turned into another Rock Bottum GC classic. Well they launched another of the tips videos today and my friends are giving me a hard time as usual. Of course everyone is loving Bert's antics as he goofs around in the background essentially photo bombing the entire video. See it here:    Bert video bomb