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Showing posts from May, 2010

The week ahead...

It looks like the heat is going to break for us this week (after today). Last week was a challenge trying to get regular May tasks done with the pressure of 35 degree days upon us. The Grounds Dept. spent a great deal of time watering sod that we installed the previous week and also adding sand to our green side bunkers. This week we are going to get back to some cultural practices. We will be topdressing greens on Tuesday and following up with a brush and some light water. We will also be putting the finishing touches on the green side bunkers. The rough has been a popular (or unpopular) topic lately....it is growing very quickly and the seed heads have been very persistent. This is a deadly combination when trying to manage up to 50 acres of rough. We have been mowing and adjusting mowers regularly, it is definitely a challenge to keep up to though. We will be continuing some seeding and sodding in some areas of the rough this week. If the forecast hold true, we will see some season…

An update on greens...

Since my last post we have performed some grooming of sorts to combat the seeding Poa on our greens. With this nice warm weather the greens are firming up nicely, so that adds to the bounce and roll that we expect from them. We have been verticutting, double cutting and rolling for the past three days to help knock down the seed heads and smooth out the surface. We were also able to put out our growth regulator to slow down growth throughout the day. We anticipate that you will find a much better roll and more consistency throughout the golf course.

Why are our greens so slow???

This is a common question these days here at HCC. Every spring our Poa greens go to seed (notice the yellowish grass in the picture). This is a natural part of Poa's life cycle. If you play late in the day, it will be worse, much worse. The plants go to flower with the sunshine and become big and bushy. This creates a very slow and rather bunpy putting surface. We apply a growth regulator to help regulate the growth throughout the day. Currently (today) we are near the tail end of the last application. We were scheduled to apply this morning, but rain and very windy conditions prevented us from doing so. We will attempt to go with the sprayer on Wednesday morning. You will notice some of the Grounds Dept. staff out on the greens performing a number of practices to combat the seed head production (verticutting, brushing, double cutting and possibly afternoon mowing).

Bunker Work

The Grounds Dept. staff has begun working on shaping up our bunkers. Most members have noticed that the bunker boards have been removed from the bunkers on #17. We decided to try a different technique of edging on these bunkers. We have "bull nosed" the edges and removed the soil lip that exists on our other bunkers (this creates a grass or "living" edge). There have been a number of "comments" about the height and severity of some of the bunker lips/edges. These have been produced by a combination of inverted edging and the use of bunker boards during construction. This is a very labour intensive task, but I believe this will reduce both contamination and some playability and maintenance issues that we experience.
The process is as follows, we first pull back the sand that is at or near the edge, we then insert a spade horizontally into the lip and pull out a "chunk" of soil. Once the "chunk" is removed, we then tamp down the sod and …

Superjecting the Fairways

On Monday we will be starting the process of Superjecting our fairways. This is a very non-disruptive process that will take just a few days to complete. We planned on verticutting our fairways this week, but have postponed it due to the extensive bunker work (labour) that is required as a result of last week's storms. The Superject relieves compaction and allows some air movement down to the root zone.

Weather Station

This past week we installed a weather station on our property here at HCC. This tool will provide us with up to date weather information for our golf course. The weather station has a number of sensors and meters within it. We can now monitor and record data on wind speed and direction, humidity levels, UV levels, temperature, evapotranspiration and rain amounts. The ability to have these accurate records is essential in pursuit of our Integrated Pest Management Certification. Having an accurate rain gauge on the property is very important, as the closest monitored weather station is located at London Airport. The variance in location is now completely out of the equation.
The evapotranspiration (ET) data is the amount of water removed from the soil profile from natural elements like temperature, wind speed and humidity. We use this data in conjunction with our irrigation control system to match the amount of water lost with amount that we apply through our irrigation system. We have …

Cultural Practices are abundant at HCC

Our greens aeration was completed on Monday. By starting the process on Sunday evening, we were able to complete this cultural practice in a timely manner. On the greens we heavily topdressed, solid tine aerified, brushed in the sand, verticut, rolled, fertilized and watered. I am happy to say that all of the greens were in play by the time the first group played through on Monday. This was a great feat considering that we were delayed by 2.5 hours with a frost on Monday morning. Our grounds staff worked very hard to get this process completed in a timely manner to reduce the disruption to play.
Today we will be solid tine aerifying the tees. We would rather core the tees, but with alot of rain in the forecast, it would be too messy. We will topdress following the aerifying (not before...too wet) and then we will move on to topdressing the approaches later in the week.
Next week we will be verticutting our fairways with our new Siisis Veemo Verticutting unit. Some members noticed that w…

Storm Damage

With the high winds on Saturday we expected alot of damage and debris. There was only casualty, this ash that was on the right side of #5 fairway. As you can see from the pictures, it had a weak crotch and was beginning to rot at the base of the double stemmed section. This was not a specimen tree by any means. The small, double stemmed trees are very vulnerable to these types of storms. We have been systematically removing them, but still have a few left.

Tonight's the night....

Today at 4 pm we will start topdressing our greens in preparation to solid tine aerify. The forecast is for colder than normal temperatures, but as long as we stay dry for a couple of days we should be fine. We will be doing as much as possible tonight, as it looks like a good chance of frost for Monday morning.

Just a reminder...

This Sunday at 4pm we will begin our heavy topdressing and solid tine aerification on greens (no cores). We are going to start on the 1st and work our way through to the 18th. In the past two years we were able to get the front 9 finished on the Sunday evening shift. The remaining holes will be done on Monday. With good weather and cooperative equipment we should be able to complete the same amount of acreage this year. During this process the pins will be placed in the approaches, again until the green is completed. We are scheduled to aerify tees on Tuesday, the tees will be core aerified, matted, blown and cleaned up in 1 day. We will then follow up on Wednesday with a heavy topdressing on tees. As always these tasks are weather dependent/permitting.

Taking advantage of a bad break...

This is the bunker covered in mud and clay, early Sunday morning.
A few hours later, our staff had collected all of the sand off of the bunker slopes and floor ready to be hauled away.


Those of you that played in the Men's Opening day on Saturday would are already be aware of the irrigation leak that washed out the greenside bunker on #15. Luckily (for me) I was not off the property at the time that a member noticed the break, I was able to isolate the green and stop the damage before it got out of hand. Unfortunately the broken pipe was directly on the top of the bunker bank on #15. The bunker was completely contaminated and washed right down to the clay base. The drainage was also contaminated with mud and clay. It is no secret that most of our members are not satisfied with our bunkers here at HCC. The Green Committee is looking at some current methods of renovation to solve the issues with drainage and the high lips that our bunkers currently have. We are going to take advanta…