Thursday, April 5, 2018

2018 ???

April Snow showers, you always here well we live in Wisconsin but it has been a long time that we have had a spring start like this year.  I started our irrigation system,  mowed just about everything by April 5 last year.  The season will start soon enough we all know better days are ahead.  On the postive note our greens staff has done a lot of behind the scenes detail work over the last 2 weeks.  The course is in pretty good shape right now we just need some warm weather.

The lack of snow cover this winter has really browned out the turf.  There has been some growth recently but the wild temperature swings have not been very helpful for spring start up.  I have yet to mow any turf on the course with the exception of fescue. I have most of our staff in place with 1 full time seasonal and 1 part time positions to fill.  This  year has been a challenge to find anyone willing to work this year.  I have had at least 10 no shows for interviews.  We have just enough to get by right now, the search will continue to fill the remaining spots.  It is hard to believe that not 1 high school student at any of the local schools has responded to our flyer we have posted on the job boards at the schools.

We have been able to work on our bunkers this spring .  There was very little washouts and no standing water.  We packed the sand on the faces and made sure we had 4 inches of sand in the Better Billy Bunkers around the greens.  We will continue to prepare the bunker with smooth faces, the sand will continue to pack over time.  Please when raking the bunker only use the back of the rake to smooth out footprints and do not exit the steep faces this will help keep the faces undisturbed and smooth.

We have made very good progress with mowing down the fescue this spring, in a lot of areas this is the 2nd mowing.  Next week, we will be treated bunker banks and fescue with a pre-emergent herbicide for annual weeds.  Once we have growth to approx 4 inches we will treat with a broadleaf herbicide as well as a grassy weed product.

Last week, we solid tined all the greens using a small tine and rolled all the greens.  The plan was to core the greens Monday but that is not going to happen due to the weather.  We made progress on the firmness and water holding last season,  We need to continue to move forward this season creating vertical sand filled channels to allow for good air movement and improvements in soil water holding.  As you can see in the photo the channels are filled with clean sand packed in tightly using blowers.  It is obvious that this channel is drier than the rest of the profile.  The more clean vertical channels the quicker the surface will dry down with less moisture in the top few inches.  The plan this April would be to solid tine the greens at the end of the month  filling this channel with new sand.  We will then core aerify all the greens in early September.  Our goal is to continue to reduce organic matter in the top 3 inches, use small solid tine aeration on a monthly basis throughout the season to keep proper air exchange.  I understand aerification is a sore spot, this is a commitment to the health and playability of our putting surfaces and can not be overlook. It takes of a lot of time and manpower to complete this process. We are committed to providing you with firm, smooth and fast putting surfaces we can not do this without sound management practices.

I look forward to seeing everyone very soon on the course


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