Monday, June 13, 2016

Cultural Greens Maintenance...

With the cooler temperatures this week, we will be performing some all important greens maintenance procedures. Monday evening (after the outside event) we will be doing a light grooming on both our greens and collars. This task will help to reduce the amount of lateral growth, therefore standing up the plants (for a better cut) and smoothing out the surfaces. Following the grooming we will be dry mowing all areas tonight to help clean up the debris. Tuesday morning we will be applying our biweekly light topdressing prior to play. Once the sand has dried, we will use our cocoa matt to drag the sand into both the canopy and the shallow grooming channels created by tonight's procedure. These practices in conjunction help to create a smooth, firm and healthy surface to putt on.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Greens Aeration begins this Sunday, May 8th

Our spring aeration of greens is just around the corner. We begin this Sunday evening at 4pm. We will work through the golf course in order, while utilizing temporary greens during the process. The process will continue on Monday. Our goal is to complete the full core aeration, core removal, rolling, over seeding, topdressing and brushing in of the sand before Monday night. Once the greens are finished we will be reopening them accordingly...
Check out this short video produced by the USGA on the effect of aeration of putting surface quality.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Golf Course Update

Spring is here!! We opened the golf course just over a week ago and things are starting to shape up. We were fortunate to come out of the winter without damage to any of the surfaces on the property. This has allowed us to work away at typical spring tasks, as opposed to the last two seasons where we were pouring our time and labour into repairs, etc. Our staff have cleaned up the stump remains from our fall 2015 tree work and we are now in the process of sod prepping the areas. Our replacement trees will be delivered the week of April 25th, to be planted shortly thereafter.
As we move forward our focus will move to our bunkers. Sand will be added and shifted where necessary. Other items on the list of "to do's" is to add irrigation to a few gardens, implementing regular mowing and cultural practices.
 For the first week of opening we limited practicing to our range mats as the turf on the tee would not recover quickly enough. As of Monday, April 25th we are now onto the grass tee! So please come out and enjoy your practice facility. To reduce wear and tear on the tee, our staff will continue to rotate the use of the mats one day a week throughout the golf season.
Please follow along with the blog for regular updates on all turf related events. Here's to a busy and productive spring!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Golf Course Update

Spring has arrived and our greens covers have been removed. We are very happy to report that our greens (and the golf course in general) have come out of the winter in great shape! Shortly after Easter weekend our team will begin to clean up debris from all areas of play. Once the entire golf course is cleaned, mowing practices will begin. The first mowing of the season cleans a lot of the discoloured, desiccated leaf tissue off of the turf. This initial mowing increases the aesthetic appeal of the golf course greatly. Following mowing, we will begin to prepare our bunkers for play.
 At this point we are not able to predict an opening date for the golf course. The forecast is integral to our pre-opening process. Rain, cold temperatures and frost can hamper progress when performing these all important tasks. Here is to a warm and dry spring!!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Spring Warm up...

The week ahead is looking like a nice warm up for HCC. There is a potential of us removing our greens covers in the near future. Our typical criteria for removal is a consistent forecast of above 5-6 C as a high and above 0C as a low. "Consistent" is the focus here, the current forecast follows this criteria to say the least. One of the major reasons for us removing covers this spring is plant protection from fungus. Every fall prior to covering and snow cover we apply a very high quality winter fungicide with the anticipation that it will last 4 months. This has always worked very well for us, in a cold, snow covered winter. Last fall we experienced a warm, snow free 6-8 weeks after our covers were installed. Couple those conditions with the very unseasonal warm thaws that we had this winter, the degradation of our fungicide is heightened. The longevity of the product is compromised under such conditions. Once we remove the covers, we will allow the greens to dry out and firm up (with a roll) to the point that they can take an application with our sprayer. Due to the weight of the sprayer filled with water and product, we will apply the product in a number of smaller, lighter tanks. This will ensure a disease free turf stand, ready for the season. We will be leaving the covers out on the golf course in close proximity to the greens in case the temperatures begin to drop dramatically, therefore requiring re covering.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Golf Course & Grounds Department Update

During the winter months our department keeps busy with a number of tasks required to help ensure the upcoming golf season goes smoothly. Through the course of the winter myself, our Assistant Superintendent (Paul) and our Equipment Manager (Alan) attend a number of professional development opportunities to further our knowledge, techniques and practices. We are also required to submit all of our Chemical application and Fertility data to the Ministry of the Environment to conform to the Integrated Pest Management Council. Another substantial task is the complete refurbishment of our course accessories, benches and equipment. All of our course accessories are painted, cleaned or replaced to ensure a functional and aesthetically pleasing setting is presented for our membership. Every single piece of equipment is serviced, sharpened and gone over with a fine tooth comb for safety defects, etc.

This winter has been far different than the previous two that we experienced. Fortunately we have had a number of melting events to help reduce any ice cover on our greens. We have had to push some small amounts of ice and snow off of our greens a couple of times to help reduce ice formation. At this point in the season we do not have the same concerns of past seasons due to heavy ice cover and potential damage. However, we are not completely out of the woods yet. The month of March can bring some tricky weather as well. Thawing snow or rain with potential refreezing can be detrimental to conditions. We have been touring the golf course to monitor for these situations, this will continue until the covers are off and the spring weather is here. The 2016 golf season is around the corner, let hope the weather cooperates!!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Winter is here...

Happy New Year! The winter weather has certainly arrived with sub zero temperatures and snowfall  accumulating...We were very fortunate this fall with a balmy forecast, work continued right up to the Christmas break is steady fashion.
Our most recent phase of drainage work was completed in due time. Dry and warm conditions made for clean and quick work. Areas of focus this fall were the rough, fairway and green on the 14th, some smaller rough areas on 11, 17 and the upper landing area of the 3rd fairway. Our tree management plan is in full swing with the removals of some dead Ash trees. An important part of our tree plan is to re-plant a more desirable species in these key areas. The trees have been tagged for delivery as soon as possible in the spring.
Our winter greens preparation plan was completed in due time as well. We have performed all of our fall cultural practices and winter prep tasks to give our greens the optimal chance of winter survival. In addition to our annual practices we lowered an number of collars and removed sod strips to allow water runoff in the event of a thaw and refreeze event. Each year we address as many issues as possible, but in the end Mother Nature decides how we will come through in the end!
Inside work has also commenced with IPM submissions, course accessory refurbishment and shop maintenance (painting, cleaning) and of course our ever important equipment service. Here's to a great winter....