End of August update - reminder Greens Aerifying 9/8

It was wonderful to have the humidity break finally. Seemed like a month rather than a week or so of hot sticky weather. The forecast is for a couple more days then the humidity returns and I am hearing September will be warmer than normal. Should make for some great golfing. The course has held up OK this season. We have a few lumps to repair and a bit of dry weather stress that needs more rain to recover but all in all it is still playing very nicely. I will apply a gypsum application to help flush the salinity build up from the summer's irrigating. This will help firm up the surface and help us drain a little better. When the salt builds up at the surface it really messes with the physical properties of the soil. Think of your salt shaker in summer time where the grains are all stuck together and will not flow out through the little holes in the top. Soil particles do the same thing and the surface gets squishy and soft. This will hamper water flow and seal off the surface. With the intrusion into our well it is a constant issue we have to deal with much like sugar levels as a diabetic. And sometimes we simply have to apply gypsum as a corrective measure. We finally get a few rain events and they turn the place into quicksand. It makes the divots and ball marks worse and easier for carts and mowers to do damage while driving around. Of course you can still always replace your divot and repair your ball mark unlike the pictures below:


Crazy amount of abuse going on lately. Big divots and none being replaced. We do not have the time to follow every golfer and clean up after them.



With the recent rains the greens are soft and the number of ball marks increase. Sadly they also do not seem to be getting repaired either. Remember the proper way is to pull the good grass into the middle. Do NOT pry up from the bottom as you see most PGA tour pros do. What the heck do they know about turf maintenance anyway?
water just sitting on the surface 1 fwy
Bert is enjoying the poor drainage at least





















We have been seeing a lot of deer on the property lately. It has become a daily occurrence and not just the same group either. Not sure what that means but if the Farmer's Almanac prediction of a "snowy and bitter cold" winter is to be believed maybe they are fattening up in preparation?


Mother and daughter on 1 fwy Cousin on 3 fwy below on the same morning

She was here early when we hosed the dew and stayed for at least an hour munching

We are just a little over a week away from our greens aerifying on Tuesday September 8th. Greens will be closed all day for this procedure. Thank-you for your patience while we perform this necessary task.

Ramblings of the week & 25 days until greens aerifying on 9/8

We finally received some rain. Murph and I continue to argue about amounts. He lives a couple of miles away and always has more in his gauge. We received 1.61" here while Murph had 3". This could happen as there are micro-climates and rain cells that differ sometimes yards apart. Either way it was a welcomed change to the dry pattern we have had. Looking through my phone pictures to gain inspiration for this post I was struck by a few of the images. One shows damage from both drive cart and walking cart on the right side of one green. You don't often see proof of walking cart damage but it is out there. The efforts to keep greens dry has been great for them but a bit tough on the surrounds especially where we do not have rough only sprinklers. The picture of the POA on the right side of three green clearly shows how it is the weaker plant as it is the only one wilting. Another picture has John and Colette Vargas on the original 4th green. Not the one we replaced 20 years ago which was basically in the same spot as the current one. I am talking about the 1936 location. The dry conditions highlighted the perimeter very well. I doctored the picture to help also. The next time you play walk over there and you can see the elevation changes and get a feel for where the green was. My guess is that it was too close to 5 so they moved it. As I have stated before the greens have a red clay in them which is the only place I have seen this on the property except the clubhouse lawn where I suspect they stockpiled it. This was done to aid in water retention which explains why the area stays green while everything around it is browning out.
Very dry. Traffic too close to green

Dry Poa. everything else looks great
 
Original 4th green
This morning while raking bunkers I ran into a root. Not uncommon for us since we have so many large trees right on top of our greens and bunkers. These can be dangerous to golfers since you are not expecting to hit anything but sand while playing out of a bunker. We monitor for these but do not have x-ray vision so please be careful when playing out of bunkers near trees. The solution is simple but controversial and just one more reason we need to remove the emotion when it comes to tree management on a golf course.
broken wrist waiting to happen
The final set of pictures and video will be of the course itself. Some of the perks of getting up early are catching some amazing sunrises and seeing the course in differing light. Sometimes I capture them and sometimes I cannot do the original viewing justice.

Vanishing cart

4th hole
resembles a water color with this lighting. 3 green
video

Not all brown is the same

Many of you may be wondering what the heck happened to the golf course? I have used the line 10 days ago we were perfect. A golfer came up to me yesterday and said I have been away for 10 days what happened? The easy answer is Summer. It stopped raining and became really hot. Monday 7/20 it was 90 degrees and humid as heck with not a breadth of air. We took a few lumps on fairways. They are maintained with very little inputs and we can only counter all the stress they are under. We have insects out there chewing away at the roots, fungal pathogens wreaking havoc, heat stress, drought stress, traffic stress. When the level reaches it's peak some grass chooses to go dormant or check out. I have explained how cooling the grass off in the afternoons adds to our salinity problem and is not all that effective where the coverage is bad. We have had good luck by reducing this practice. We needed more than luck on Monday. Since that day we have been very dry and this is starting to show itself all over. We have also had an outbreak of a fungus called dollar spot named for the silver dollar sized spots it leaves behind. A few spots are no big deal but when they coalesce and are right next to each other it can be devastating. The old bunkers on #3 have reappeared and the bug spray areas are increasing every day as well. So as the title says not all brown grass is created equal. The following pictures might tell the story better:

dollar spot

dollar spot

fairy ring fungus

bug spray damage

old bunkers #3 fwy
To add insult to injury we had a hydraulic leak on the greens roller this week also. The damage was really not that bad considering and it was only a few greens. In a previous post I said it was a mistake to say how great the course was in this forum and just like that the shoe dropped. We will continue as always to fight the battles and the good news is that the course is still playing really well albeit that it is visually very different. Not to worry it will rain eventually and it will also cool down. When those two things happen we will bounce right back and be where we were before.

hydraulic leak