Here is an overlook of the golf course this week:
We were able to needle tine greens on Monday. This allows the greens to breath as oxygen enters the root system. The greens were also top-dressed and rolled to help smooth them back out. A fertility application was done to provide some growth to the canopy. Many of the greens are thin and were in need of some growth. As our stimp readings showed, the growth directly effected the green speeds.
A growth regulator was applied on Tuesday to inhibit vertical growth. This may sound counterproductive to the fertilizer application; however, it will allow the Champion to spread laterally.
This week, our speeds have gradually climbed back up as the Primo has begun to work. We also were able to apply a wetting agent on Thursday. This product allows water to penetrate the grass canopy and spread consistently throughout the soil profile. As a result of this product needing to be watered in, some may have encountered wetter, softer greens on Thursday.
We have continued to double cut or mow and roll the greens each day and will be lowering greens mower heights next week to .090 of an inch. In doing so, we are unable to mow the clean up passes (3 feet inside the greens) to be mowed with the same mower. Because of the mowers need to turn it will create scalping on the edges. A separate mower is used every other day to mow these areas.
The fairways are starting to firm up, mostly because of the lack of rainfall over the past 23 days. Our last substantial rainfall event was on June 3rd.
As many have noticed, the fairways will start to brown out. This is intentional as we like them to play firmer rather than soft and lush green. We applied a similar wetting agent to the fairways this week that allows the hydrophobic canopy to be penetrated by our irrigation cycles. We will continue to monitor the fairways and apply water when needed.
The tees are actively growing as we pushed them hard after dormancy break. With weather conditions ideal for warm season grass, we are seeing the results of these fertility applications.
We have also added some sod to several tees that were weaker than others like on No. 8 Bravo and Black Duke as well at Georgie Boy on No. 9. The tees that were sodded several weeks ago on No. 5 will be back into play next week. We have been able to work the height down that all the other tees are mowed at. We appreciate your patience as these tees have grown in.
As expected the Palisades rough has exploded. We knew once the conditions were favorable for growth to occur that we would see some rapid improvement to many areas on the course. Several areas that we deemed in need of repair, we decided to sod in efforts to have them back in play soon. All these areas are deemed ground under repair for now.
As of now, we are mowing the 90 acre rough once a week at 2.5 inches. If we see the rough growing too rapidly, we will incorporate a second mowing of an intermediate rough.
We have began using a mechanical rake once a week in the bunkers to loosen the sand on the bottoms of the bunkers. During the summer when we need to irrigate more frequently we see the bottoms begin to play firmer due to the water. This mechanical rake aids by scarifying the bottoms with a metal drag. We will follow the next day with our routine hand raking of the bunkers.
Scott J. Newman
Golf Course Superintendent