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Showing posts from October, 2014

Course bathrooms closing for the season...

As of Thursday, October 30th all of the bathrooms on the golf course will be closed for the season. Winterization of the irrigation system is scheduled for Monday, November 3rd and Tuesday, November 4th.  Prior to the actual "blow out" of the system and bathrooms, we manually drain all lines to the best of our ability.

Fairway Thatch Management

The shoulder seasons (Spring and Fall) are a great time for our department to work away at the many cultural practices that help our turfgrass survive the rigours of summer. With greens aeration behind us, we will be moving onto our fairways. Beginning on Monday, October 27th we will be using our Sissis verticutting unit on our fairways. This is a rather messy process as we remove a tremendous amount of organic matter/thatch at one time.

The process:
1. Deep verticut of the fairway.
2. Blow the debris to the centre of the fairway using multiple blowers.
3. Collect the debris with our turf sweeper.
4. Re-blow the fairway as a final cleaning.

We anticipate that we will complete all of the fairways/approaches within the week. Of course, weather permitting! As always our memberships patience and understanding is greatly appreciated during these integral cultural practices.

Fall Aeration...

Fortunately the weather held up for us on Monday! We were able to core all of our greens, remove the cores, topdress and Greensweep! Today is another story! Deep Verticutting is almost done and cleaned. But that will end our work on greens for today. Typically we apply a second topdressing and spend numerous man hours working the sand into the holes...but damp and wet conditions have hampered progress. Therefore we will be applying a topdressing of sand on Wednesday morning to be followed by a brushing. With a dry forecast ahead, this should finish off the holes and verticut lines in our greens. The next step will be to roll the greens to help smooth them out from all of the abuse. We will then apply an application of soluble fertilizer to aid in recovery.

Bunker management going forward...

As with many golf courses our most inconsistent playable area of the property is our bunkers. In an effort to provide more consistency to our bunkers we have developed a new strategy for bunker maintenance here at HCC.
Most often a member will have issues with inconsistent sand depth. Common practice for our department is to periodically go through the bunkers and measure depth of sand, followed by shifting and or adding sand to areas in need. Where this becomes a challenge to maintain is during season like we have just experienced...wet...washout wet! During the season of 2014 we have had more wash out rains than ever in my tenure at HCC. Our staff has shovelled out contaminated sand at an alarming rate, dare I say that we have removed almost as much as we added in the spring. Going forward we have committed more resources to bunker maintenance in regards to depth control and consistency.
The second largest issue that members have with our bunkers (particularly the green sides) is c…

Greens Aeration Rescheduling...

Due to the rainy forecast for the rest of the week, we have rescheduled the course closure for Greens Aeration to Monday, Oct. 20th and Tuesday Oct. 21st.
Therefore the golf course will be open for play on Tuesday, Oct. 14th and Wednesday, Oct. 15th.

Preparing for Winter

The golf season is slowly winding down, but we are ramping up preparations for a long, cold and harsh winter...at least for the turf on our golf course. To succeed you need a plan, we have always felt that our winter preparation plan is very solid, but with a winter like 2014, we have found some room for improvement. Creating and maintaining a healthy plant going into the winter is our best chance at success and survival. Therefore all of the points of our plan are in someway related to ensuring and hardened, strong and resilient turf stand on our greens.

The Plan:
1. Increase in height of cut: Following Labour Day weekend we slowly raised the height of cut on our greens. During the summer months we mow at .100", we initially went up to .120" and have now gone to .140". Green speed has been maintained with rolling very successfully. After our next aeration event we will raise the height to .160". More leaf tissue allows the plant to absorb more sunlight as well as …