Agronomy Weekly (4-27)

Good afternoon, and welcome to another Agronomy Weekly.  We've got a good weekend forecast that should spread into next week after nearly 3 inches of rain on Thursday.

Project Update - #8 Bunker: 

The large bunker right of the green has been under restoration over the past few months.  This project included removal of all sand/gravel, shaping of the faces, addition of sod, replacement of drain lines, a new gravel layer coated in the “Better Billy Bunker” polymer, and a specialty bunker sand called “Premiere Play” from Arkansas. 

Based on the current forecast, the polymer will be applied to the gravel Tuesday, May 1st, and sand added Thursday, May 3rd until complete.

Project Update - Drain & Drain Pipe Repair: 

Multiple drains and drain lines throughout the course are being repaired.  The consistent and heavy rainfall throughout the spring has helped to show any deterioration/imperfections in our drainage systems.  

With each heavy rainfall, the pipes and drains will reach max capacity, meaning water is entering pipes faster than it can exit.  At this max capacity, any voids, cracks or bad seals in the system will let water move through.  As water levels recede, this water is pulled back into the pipe along with soil creating small sink holes above the pipe.  Some pipes require replacement while others can be patched/re-sealed.   

Greens: 

With the warmer nighttime temperatures and no frost in the forecast, we will begin lowering greens height of cut in increments of 0.010’’.  Mowing/rolling will continue daily as weather permits to provide consistency and smoothness.  Sand topdressing will begin once the course dries enough to handle the weight of the equipment. 

A few of the greens that are showing winter injury continue to improve with the warmer nighttime temperatures.  Along with these warmer temperatures, we will begin applying extra fertility on a weekly basis to any areas that appear thin.   

Tees & Fairways: 

Tees and fairways are currently being cut 1-2x weekly as weather permits.  While we saw a quick “green-up” this year, recent low temperatures and lack of sunlight have provided little growth. 

Throughout the upcoming weeks, we will begin a spot aerification program to improve drainage/improve air circulation in the wet areas.  Solid tines will be used to punch holes through the organic matter and into our layer of river sand.  Certain landing zones and problem areas will be heavily topdressed with sand to provide a firmer surface along with improved drainage.   

Rough: 

Rough is continuing to break dormancy and will be cut on an as-needed basis.  The orange circular patterns throughout the rough are a disease known as Rhizoctonia Solani or “Zoysia Patch.”  This disease thrives on the cool and wet conditions we have experienced over the past few weeks.  Treatments will be made as needed and warmer conditions will allow for recovery. 

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns at stephenc@springcreekranch.org.