Agronomy Weekly (8/23)

Good afternoon, and welcome to another Agronomy Weekly.

Greens

Cores were removed from greens on July 9th & 10th, followed by Dryject on July 16th & 17th.  Quick release fertilizers were applied to promote a quick recovery and be utilized by the plant prior to the TGA State Amateur.  This becomes a very precise process in order to recover from aerification while still managing excessive growth less than four weeks later.

The cooler temperatures and cloudy days throughout late July and early August increased our estimated recovery time, reducing our standard maintenance practices: heavy vertical mowing, topdressing, and growth regulator applications. 

Once we felt greens had reached full recovery from the coring process, we resumed our standard growth regulator applications on Friday August 3rd, followed by another application Monday, August 6th, and bi-weekly moving forward. Another heavy sand topdressing has been applied this morning, August 23rd, to promote smoothness, dilute the thatch layer, and increase ball roll. 

Tees & Fairways

These areas benefited greatly from the aerification process and saw a quick recovery.  The bench setting height of cut is currently 0.425’’ for tees, and 0.475’’ for fairways.  Bi-monthly applications of growth regulator, iron, nutrients, and organic products ensure a healthy and dense playing surface. 

Rough

For the TGA State Amateur, the “Membership Cut” was utilized on Monday, and all other rough was left uncut for the week.  Our “Membership Cut” refers to mowing only the immediate rough around fairways, and the outer perimeter at an increased height.  Mower height of cut is currently at 2.25’’.  

Bunkers

Over the last six weeks, our Agronomy staff has been hard at work to repair exposed liners, re-distribute sand, and add sand where needed.  Over 250 tons, or 500,000 pounds of sand has been added to the bunkers to ensure proper depth and playability.  Bunker maintenance and improvements will remain a daily task throughout the year.   

#4 Green

Cores were removed from the left and backside of #4 green on Monday August 20th.  These holes were then back-filled with a bagged ceramic product called Profile.  Profile is similar in material to a ceramic flower pot but crushed into sand size particles for easy distribution.  It will not degrade and provides the root zone with increased oxygen, water flow, and nutrient holding abilities.   

Range Tees

Part of our new equipment package includes a large Fraize mowing unit.  This new piece of equipment connects to our 75-horsepower tractor and removes surface material while also collecting the debris. 

The idea behind this practice is to remove the accumulated thatch layer of the Bermuda grass.  Once completed, the Bermuda will regenerate from its root system similar to how divots recover.  Using this practice throughout the growing season provides a firmer, tighter, and much more level teeing ground.  The top picture below was taken Monday, August 13th, and the bottom picture seven days later.   

Range Tees.jpeg

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