Agronomy Weekly (May 17th)

Welcome to another edition of Agronomy Weekly! In here, I will give the latest updates on all aspects of the course. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at stephenc@springcreekranch.org or stop me on the golf course.

Greens

The greens are continuing to fill in with the warmer temperatures and lower cloud cover. Height of cut will remain at 0.115" until we see a slightly denser canopy in the turf.

A light weekly fertility combined with sand topdressing will continue to help us maintain desired green speeds and smoothness.

A wetting agent was applied on May 16th, which will help water penetrate through the top layer of soil and into the root zone. They work very similar to a hand soap, breaking the surface tension of water, and allowing it to drain more freely and disperse throughout the soil. This combined with "venting" the greens on a routine basis allows the turf to better handle daily mowing, rolling and heavy foot traffic.

Venting of the greens consists of punching very small holes with solid metal tines to help reduce compaction and enhance air and water circulation. This practice followed by our roller is not noticeable and will not have an effect on play.

Tees & Fairways

With improved weather for the growth of grass, we are beginning to see some recovery on our Par 3 and range tees. We should see continued improvement on the health and recovery of these areas throughout the rest of the year.

The patch diseases we see throughout the course should begin to recover and be less noticeable with these drier and warmer conditions.

Rough

The rough is beginning to see more growth and recovery with the improved conditions. Our annual application of controlled release fertilizer has been applied to the 90 acres of palisades rough, and we should start seeing significant improvement over the next few weeks.

Slightly drier conditions are also very beneficial to the health of our grass. Long periods of excessive rain can be as detrimental to the health of the turf as drought periods.

Trees

Limbs are being removed around No. 6 green and the left side of No. 7. We will continue this throughout the year to allow for more sunlight in these shaded areas. In most cases, we are able to save trees by removing only the problematic limbs to increase sunlight.

Creeks

Replacement parts for the creeks on No. 2 and No. 13 should be arriving soon and will be installed in the next week or two.

Agronomy Weekly (May 10th)

Good afternoon!

Welcome to another edition of Agronomy Weekly, where I'll provide the latest updates from the golf course.

Greens

The sunshine and warmer temperatures over the past few days is helping our grass grow and dry out the course. We are running light irrigation cycles on the greens at night as needed, combined with hand watering dry spots. Our USGA spec-root zones drain extremely well and combined with heavy winds dry out quickly compared to tees, fairways and rough.

Height of cut will remain at 0.115" until we see warmer nighttime temperatures and a denser turf canopy on the greens. Weekly fertility combined with a low rate of growth regulator will help create that dense and uniform surface we are looking to achieve. Height of cut will be lowered in increments of 0.005" to 0.010" over the next few weeks depending on weather and the health of the grass.

Our medium-to-heavy weekly sand topdressing will continue to help with ball speed/roll throughout this time of the year.

Tees & Fairways

Tees are being sprayed with a liquid fertilizer combined with a product to reduce the amount of disease pressure (commonly known as zoysia patch) and promote recovery on worn areas.

Par 3 tees will be treated individually to promote maximum growth until we see full recovery. Over the next few weeks, we will shut down certain teeing grounds to allow for quicker recovery. Later in the year, we plan to expand these areas to allow for more tee rotation and will be converting to a more aggressive variety of bermuda where needed.

Fairway fertility combined with growth regulator and wetting agents will be applied in the next week, weather permitting. The fertilizer will assist in plant health/growth, while the growth regulator assists in a denser turf and less clippings. The wetting agents help disperse water throughout the soil and down to the root system, creating a drier surface and a healthier plant.

Rough

Rough is beginning to fill in and will continue to be mowed weekly throughout the season. A granular time-released fertilizer was applied May 9th-10th and will supply needed nutrients throughout the rest of the growing season.

Bunkers

Bunker slopes will be mowed weekly or bi-weekly throughout the season as needed. Weather permitting, we schedule these mowing Monday through Wednesday and have a clean-up crew following the mowers to blow debris and rake the bunkers. This process typically takes a seven or eight-man crew between 18 to 20 hours to complete all bunkers, lake banks and creeds where our riding mowers cannot access. Bunkers will continue to be assessed and repaired as needed.

Collars & Green Surroundings

Collar heights have been lowered to 0.300" and will be mowed three to four times throughout the week. A spinning brush at a height of 0.200" is set in front of the mower to stand the grass upright, creating a more uniform surface. This combined with other practices should enhance our collars throughout the growing season.

Thank you again for reading! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to stop me around the golf course or email me at stephenc@springcreekranch.org.

Agronomy Weekly (May 3rd)

Good afternoon,

Welcome to another edition of Agronomy Weekly, where I'll provide the latest updates from the golf course.

Greens

The greens are beginning to fill in after multiple weeks of light fertility and warmer temperatures. Heights will remain at 0.115 inches until we see an increase in daytime and nighttime temperatures. With highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s over the next few days, we do not anticipate much growth.

Tees & Fairways

We are still waiting for the cool and wet weather to pass in order to make our first fertility application. The tees on all Par 3s have been fertilized and will be monitored for excessive disease.

Rough

We are currently aerating the rough to help with air exchange and the growth process. This also allows for better drainage and rooting. Higher temperatures combined with fertility will help the brown patches you might have noticed grow in for the season.

Bunkers

The bunker on Hole No. 8 will be completed by the end of the week. Other bunkers on the course will be monitored and repaired as needed.

Course Wetness

With green grass and warmer days, we are seeing the course drying out quicker after rains. This is great for allowing carts off the paths and also allows us more time and access to the course for necessary maintenance.

We will be testing several products this year that may help the excessive moisture move into the sand cap, drying the course out quicker. Certain areas may require sub-surface drainage and tree removal/limb pruning.

Creeks

The replacement parts for the creeks on No. 2 and No. 13 should arrive in the next week and installed shortly after. These should allow the creeks to run properly and re-prime the water lines when we see a power outage.

Tree Work

Our trees have seen much growth over the past few years. We will continue with pruning as needed. Specific areas include the left fairway of No. 3, around No. 4 green, left of the tee markers on No. 7, No. 12 and No. 15, and the practice area cart path along with No. 1 tee. We also plan to continue removing limbs on No. 2 as needed.

 Range Tees

Ranges tees are seeing slow recovery with the cooler temperatures, and we will continue to manage them based on weather. Organic fertilizers were applied in late-February to help the grass break dormancy and also assist in replacing organic matter lost from divots. Continuous filling of the divots and topdressing would leave the tee with a straight sand root zone, so the organics also help with nutrient and water retention. Throughout the summer, we follow the USGA fertility recommendations for management of a range tee promoting optimal growth.

Please feel free to reach out to me at stephenc@springcreekranch.org if you have any questions.

 

Agronomy Weekly (April 26th)

Good afternoon,

Welcome to Agronomy Weekly, where superintendent Stephen Cox provides the latest updates on course conditions and other happenings at SCR.

Greens

Greens are beginning to fill in with the sunny days and warmer temperatures. With the forecast predicting temperatures in the low 50s over the next few weeks, we plan to keep our height of cut at 0.115 inches. Once nighttime temperatures increase, we will begin vertical mowing to help manage thatch and reduce grain.

We will continue to combine mowing, rolling and sand topdressing to help maintain speeds. Light fertility along with growth regulators are applied weekly to promote a more uniform and dense turf canopy.

Tees, Fairways & Rough

We will begin to apply fertility to these areas in the next few weeks once the nighttime temperatures have increased. Light rates of nitrogen will help with growth and turf density while weak/bare areas will be spot fertilized at higher rates to promote maximum growth.

Creeks on No. 2 & No. 13

Parts are on order to repair issues with the pumps and plumbing. Once parts are installed, we will assess any other issues we see within the systems.

Irrigation

Tuesday, April 2th, was our first overnight test cycle on our greens. Everything went well, and we will continue with improvements and repairs to provide adequate soil moisture throughout the summer droughts.

Drop Zone on No. 17

A new drop zone is being placed lake side between the Georgie Boy tees and the green.

As always, feel free to reach out to me at stephenc@springcreekranch.org if you have any questions. Have a great week!

Agronomy Weekly

Good morning!

Range Tees

The South End range tees will be off the mats Tuesday through Sunday starting April 18th. We will begin with routine aerification and fertility practices to help speed recovery throughout the season.

Greens

With the warmer nighttime temperatures, we have been able to drop greens heights from 0.165’’ down to 0.115’’ over the past few weeks. The first sand top-dressing application was made a few days before Masters weekend to help maintain speeds. Top-dressing will be a weekly practice weather-permitting.

In order to maintain firmness and reduce ball marks, we will continue to use very light irrigation combined with hand-watering dry spots as needed. While you may notice slight discoloration on occasion, this is the best practice for managing moisture in our sand-based root zones.

Tees & Fairways

With plenty of rain and warmer temperatures, our zoysia grass is filling in nicely. The circular orange patches you may notice are a disease that thrives in these cooler wet conditions. While we follow practices to help reduce outbreaks, complete control is nearly impossible for our 130 acres of zoysia turf. Warmer temperatures and dry weather will begin to hide the symptoms over the next few weeks, and the areas affected should see a quick recovery.

Rough

Weather-permitting, we will begin aerating our rough to assist with spring growth. This will promote better air exchange within the soil and also assist with drainage into our sand root zones.

Irrigation & Creeks

We have a crane scheduled to pull our three 75-horsepower pumps the 18th, 19th, and 20th of this month. The replacement of these pumps, shafts, etc. will allow us to irrigate the course as needed throughout the summer. Nighttime irrigation cycles typically begin late May but will strictly depend on weather and conditions.

Thank you for the welcoming response. As always, feel free to contact me at stephenc@springcreekranch.org.

Agronomy Weekly

Good afternoon,

My name is Stephen Cox, and I am glad to be your new Golf Course Superintendent! I would like to thank everyone for welcoming me back to SCR, and I look forward to the year ahead of us.

The agronomy team's main goal is to provide the best putting surfaces, playability and experience around. I will update the latest happenings on the course weekly. Communication is key, so please feel free to reach out to me with any questions at stephenc@springcreekranch.org.

This Weekend

To tag along with the Masters this weekend, we will move to 7:30 AM tee times on Saturdays and Sundays. We also will move off the mats to the grass beginning Friday. Please be aware that we will monitor the growth of the grass on the South End tees. If growth is slower than anticipated, we will move to the mats during the week to conserve grass.

Greens

With warmer nighttime temperatures in the forecast, we have begun lowering our height of cut on the greens. While it is important to raise heights to prevent winter injury, it is also important that we lower heights incrementally to cause less stress on our greens.

Over the next few weeks, heights will be lowered from 0.165" to around 0.100" or less depending on the weather. More aggressive maintenance practices will begin once nighttime temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees.

We will also utilize a light weekly sand topdressing along with mowing & rolling daily to help maintain speeds and smoothness.

Tees & Fairways

The warm temperatures and heavy rainfall have resulted in a quick green-up for our zoysia tees and fairways. The purple/black appearance you may be noticing is the zoysia producing seed heads, which will go away after temperatures increase and the first fertility application is made.

Rough

The palisades zoysia rough is seeing a delayed green-up compared to our greens, tees and fairways.  This is simply because of the mowing height and should reach full green-up in the next 2-3 weeks.

Bunkers

The small bunker left of No. 8 green is currently being renovated.  Our next step is to add gravel, have a polymer sprayed to hold the gravel together while still providing drainage, then add sand to proper depths. Other bunkers throughout the course will be assessed and repaired when possible.

Hole No. 2 Fairway Project

The landing zone of No. 2 fairway has been stripped of sod.  Drainage has been installed, and sod should be delivered April 6th and installed by the end of the day on the 7th.  We were able to purchase meyer zoysia sod from Winstead TurfFarms in Arlington, which is already mowed at fairway height.  This will reduce the transition time and have the landing zone playable within the next few weeks.

Pump Station Repairs

Spring Creek Ranch has 130+ acres of maintained and irrigated turf grass.  Water is supplied by three 75-horsepower pumps located to the left of No. 6 green.  Later this month, we plan to replace all three pumps, shafts, housing and valves.  This will put our water flow rates back at maximum capacity, allowing us to irrigate through the summer droughts.  The project is scheduled to take three full days and will not interrupt play.  These repairs are different than the well pump that was installed last season.

Wednesday, 02-08-2017 Daily Conditions

Good morning, 

 

Today, the Agronomy team will be mowing greens, refreshing coolers, hand raking bunkers, as well as blowing debris from the course. Carts should remain on the path this morning as we are still wet from the past two days rainfall. 

Saturday, 02-04-2017 Daily Conditions

Good morning, 

 

Chilly out this morning but will warm up to low 50's today. Partly cloudy skies allowing us to be off the paths today. We will remain on WHL #5, be rolling greens, refreshing coolers as well as blowing debris from the course. 

Friday, 02-03-2017 Daily Conditions

Good morning, 

 

With a chilly start today we are under a frost delay at this time. Once we are able to prep the course we will be rolling greens, remaining on WHL #5, blowing tees and fairways as well. Carts are allowed off the paths today. 

Wednesday, 02-01-2017 Daily Conditions

Good morning, 

 

Looks to be another great day for golf ! With temperature expected to be mid 60's and showers holding off till later this even we hope to see many of you out playing. 

 

Agronomy will be moving pins to WHL #4, mowing greens with our triplex mower as well as hand raking bunkers. Coolers will be refreshed and debris removed from playing surfaces. Carts are allowed off the paths today as well. 

Tuesday, 01-31-2017 Daily Conditions

Good morning, 

 

Today the Agronomy team will be rolling greens, refreshing coolers, blowing debris from the course as well as moving to WHL #6. Carts will be allowed off the paths as we expect a great day for golf ! 

 

Hope to see you out today for a round !

Friday, 01-27-2017 Daily Conditions

Good morning, 

 

Little chilly out this morning, we are currently under a light frost delay. Once able to prep the course we will be remaining on WHL #5, agronomy team will be rolling greens, refreshing coolers, blowing debris from the turf as well. 

Carts are allowed off the paths today. 

 

Have a great day. 

Thursday, 01-26-2017 Daily Conditions

Good morning, 

 

Today the agronomy team will be mowing greens with our walking greens mowers, moving pins to WHL #5, refreshing coolers, clearing debris from areas of play. With sunny skies in the forecast, carts will be allowed to exit the path as normal. 

 

Have a great day. 

Wednesday, 01-25-2017 Daily Conditions

Good morning, 

 

Today the Agronomy team will be rolling greens, refreshing coolers, spinning bunkers using our mechanical bunker rake as well as clearing debris from the course. With showers expected throughout the morning, we are restricting carts to the path only. 

 

Have a great day.