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Finally, it looks like winter...

For the first time this season, we awoke to a light snow cover on the golf course. It is finally starting to look seasonal for December 1st. We welcome the cold temperatures. Ideally we would prefer a number of days in the negative temps, followed by snow cover. If this were to happen the golf course would benefit. A nice deep freeze is helpful in controlling insects that "hibernate" deep in the soil. This would reduce insect pressure next season. Therefore, reducing the need for insecticide application. We do not apply insecticides on a preventative basis. Integrated Pest Management strategies are used to detect and monitor and insect activity on the golf course. Our department has established thresh holds for areas of priority (greens, fairways, tees) on the golf course. We also gauge damage on a number of other factors including population, type of insect, time of year and the long term effect of damage. Anytime damage or insect activity is detected we monitor and evaluate if an application is warranted.


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Opening the Golf Course...

At this time of year the question always arises “When are we going to open the golf course?” Each and every year the opening date is based upon a number of factors.
Moisture: We at HCC immediately think of moisture. Being a heavy clay based property, we tend to hold onto the moisture from the winter snow, rains etc. The club has invested a large amount of capital funding into a drainage project that has mitigated a lot of previously experienced issues, but there is still a lot of property not completely drained. In the spring there is a large amount of water at or just below the surface of the turf due to the fact that it hasn’t dried out in over 6 months. Traffic on this turf can result in heavy, more permanent damage like root shear and rutting. To open the golf course we feel that waiting for at least one drying event prior to opening protects us from this type of damage.
Growth and recovery: In the early spring the soil temperatures are obviously very low. Turf growth does not begin…


Heading into our 2018 golf season the HCC Grounds Department will be utilizing our blog again to increase our communication efforts with our membership. As time went on we found that a lot of our posts were repetitive and redundant. Now that we have had a hiatus, we will be posting updates and notices via this blog as well as on Twitter and our communication board at the pro shop/1st Tee. The majority of the posts on this blog will be detailed plans of cultural practices and efforts. We will provide information on when, why and how we perform these all important tasks throughout the golf season. The communication board will be utilized for day to day information pertaining to play. We hope that you bookmark this page and visit regularly. For up to date short postings about the golf course and our department follow us on Twitter at @HCCGrounds. Let’s hope this snow melts and we can get those covers off soon!

Spring Greens Aeration...a week later!

A week has passed since our annual spring greens aeration. We have had a mixed bag of weather, hot, dry, cold, wet and even frost!
These conditions make it challenging to aid in healing, but with the more recent consistent warm temperatures we are seeing solid recovery. We were fortunate to have decent weather to complete the process on time, allowing us to fill all the holes created by the 1/2” hollow tines. As there are some minor depressions within some of the holes we will be beginning our bi-weekly topdressing program early next week. Our team is mowing and rolling our greens daily, while slowly lowering our height of cut to our summer norm. We all know that spring cultural practices are not popular among golfers, but these all important tasks are the building blocks for high performance greens conditions throughout the heart of the golf season.
Check out this video produced by the USGA on Aerations effect on putting...