Agronomy Weekly

Quick information you'll learn in this week's edition of Agronomy Weekly:

  • We dryjected the greens on Monday
  • Green heights will be lowered over the next two weeks
  • Greens and tees will be topdressed to level these surfaces
  • Rough areas are being mowed and blown twice a week

July has almost come to an end.  Our team has been able to make great strides this month from course improvements to the completion of numerous cultural practices.  Over the past few weeks, we have received some quality rain showers without disrupting much of our planned procedures.  Outlined below is some things our agronomy staff was able to accomplish this week.

Greens:

We contracted Tennessee Dryject this week to come in and dryject all 3.2 acres of greens.  This process is much like an aerification; however, it is much less invasive to the greens.  The process uses water to inject dry sand into the profile, further diluting the thatch layer that will in time firm up the greens.

A sand/profile (ceramic) blend was used.  The product profile is used to hold adequate moisture and nutrients in the soil profile, which makes it more available to the plants root system.  The picture below shows each step of the process.  The bottom left is what the green looks like immediately after the product has been injected.  The bottom right is a picture of the greens after they have been mowed and rolled the following day.

The greens are being mowed at a height of .130 today.  We continue to double cut and roll to provide the best conditions possible at this HOC.  We plan to continue to lower the heights over the next two weeks to return to our desirable green speeds.  This process cannot be done quickly without causing damage to the greens. This also provides the canopy adequate time to recover from dryjecting.  You will also see our staff frequently topdressing the canopy to provide a smoother ball roll.  The sand will fill any voids in the putting surface.  We certainly understand the look of sand on the greens is undesirable; however, it is a necessary evil in the betterment of the putting surfaces.

We are expecting several rain showers over the next few days.  These weather events will aid in the greens recovery by reacting with the granular fertility used during aerification.  Although this is very beneficial to the overall recovery of the greens, it will affect the speeds of the greens.  As the plant grows, the speed reduces.

Again, we are double cutting and rolling each day to provide the best conditions possible during this time.  We have also began spraying Primo Maxx (growth regulator) to help slow down the topical growth.  We expect the speeds to get much better in the next several weeks.  We certainly appreciate your patience and understanding of the very necessary agronomic practice.

Meyer Zoysia Teeing Grounds:

All the tees have recovered from the aerification.  We plan to continue to topdress them over the next few weeks to aid in leveling as well as thatch dilution.  The tees are being mowed three times weekly at a HOC of .450 inches.  They were also sprayed this week with Primo Maxx to slow the growth.  

We have continued to see results in using our own turf on several of the struggling tees.  This week we re-opened the Carson tee on No. 1.  We were also able to re-grass the Bravo tees on No. 2 and No. 7 last week and plan to re-open them soon.

Meyer Zoysia Fairways:

The fairways are being mowed three times weekly at the HOC .450 inches.  This is the height we were using prior to aerification.  All 42 acres of fairways were vertical mowed as well.  This removes some of the thatchy material in the canopy that contributes to the spongy effect on the fairways.  All of this material was blown off into the rough and will be mowed with our rough units.  The fairways will show signs of the vertical mowing over the next few weeks, but it will not affect the playing conditions.

We were also able to completely finish spraying Primo Maxx on the fairways as well.  This will help tighten up the fairways and keep them from growing excessively in between each mowing.

Although many of the fairways are growing rapidly, we continue to push some of the weaker areas throughout the course.  We continue to apply a granular fertilizer that will help the canopy to fill in faster and become more dense.  After using much of the front of No. 3 fairway for re-sodding purposes, we will receive 6,000 Sq. Ft. of Meyer sod on Monday.  This sod will be laid on No. 3 to fill in the voids from our usage.  

Palisades Zoysia Rough:

The rough is being mowed at a HOC of 2.25 inches twice a week.  We incorporated a second mowing to the rough to try and minimize its rapid growth.  After a slow start to this spring, we were in need of some aggressive fertilization to promote as much growth as possible.  We definitely achieved our goal, and now the rough is booming.

Many of you may have noticed the clumps of grass in the rough over the past few weeks or some debris left on the cart paths.  This is a result of how much grass we are mowing each time we cut the rough.  Our staff is following closely with blowers; however, this process is slow when the clippings are damp.

We continue to utilize these blowers each day to clean up the debris and provide a clean golf course.  When palisades becomes thick and lush each summer, it can be very abrasive to the mowing equipment.  We are unable to mow the rough lower due to the amount of grass that would be removed.

If mowed lower, the turf will scalp and massive piles of grass be left behind and become unplayable.  We understand that it is growing rapidly and can become difficult to play from in some areas.  We are committed to keeping it mowed as much as we can each week to provide you with desirable playing conditions.

I certainly look forward to the next few weeks as the course matures and returns to normal playing conditions.  I appreciate your understanding during the month of July and embracing our cultural regime we implement each year.  If you should have any questions, I encourage you to contact me at scottn@springcreekranch.org or my cell phone at (901) 201-0320.

Best wishes,

Scott J. Newman

Golf Course Superintendent