Hello Deep Springs!
Hope you enjoyed your Friday the 13th and hopefully it was spent in the sun on the golf course. A quick glance at the forecast for the weekend shows a nice repeat on Saturday and then a possible washout on Sunday. Looking ahead to the next week we seem to stay fairly warm during the day and the overnight lows will begin to warm up except for Tuesday with a low expected to be in the 30’s. At any rate, I believe we can officially say that spring is here.
As I alluded to last week with the turf starting to wake up it has certainly stayed on course and we’re seeing areas green up a lot more than some of the really wet areas that we had this winter. Again, we just have to be patient and let Mother Nature help us out with the transition and we will do our part to assist. One thing we did do this week was widen #14 fairway 10 yards to the left. So, for those of you who play past the fairway bunker will notice more roll out areas for your ball instead of hitting into rough. We may extend it even more, but we will stick with what we’ve got this year and then make a decision on whether to extend it some more next Spring. There were other areas that I was looking to extend, but after further review some of the areas may serve better as rough than as fairways especially if it tends to stay wet longer. Let me know what you think of #14 fairway!
The biggest box that we checked off this week was needle tining our greens. We did the front 9 on Tuesday and the back 9 on Wednesday. Overall, I think it went fairly well with the exception of a few areas. The putting green and a couple greens on the front 9 had some old plugs that were pulled up with the machine. Also, a couple spots pulled due to mechanical error on the putting green. Those issues were addressed and the remaining greens did exactly what I expected. The greens are certainly softer now and the areas that did pull will heal in no time. Looking more into the benefits of this practice, I’ve outlined a list below to explain in further detail of this process:
- COMPACTION: Physically loosens up the soil which will help when water/rain, fertilizer, and other products are applied to the greens. The soil is impermeable when it is compacted and so breaking this up will allow for things to move through it. The biggest reason for compaction is obviously traffic from golfers and equipment.
- AIR: This is very important for root growth and also the health of the soil. Having the oxygen available is beneficial when it comes to absorbing the moisture and nutrients that is applied.
- GAS EXCHANGE: Another big key is releasing the toxic gasses in the soil. A buildup of gas in the soil is bad for roots to grow in. So, those gasses are immediately released when we “vent” the greens.
This process is usually hardly even noticeable and for the most part that was the case on our greens. I plan to do this again in another month or once the greens kind of tell me when a good time would be. This is an important step in waking the greens so to speak from an aggressive winter that we just experienced. After a few days of some warmer days and nights that don’t get below 40, we will fertilize them to aid in the transition. Right now, we are keeping them rolled and mowed and giving them just the amount of water they need to chug along. I’ve told many of you it is hard to be patient right now, but that is the most important thing that we can do right now. I want them looking like Augusta as much as you do.
Another sign of the spring season was the collection of our greens covers. We spent a few days putting straps on the covers and bringing them to our shop. Once at the shop we cleared out one of our lofts and stored the covers in order. So, just a quick recap, we covered greens officially for 38 days from November 10th until March15th. The longest stretch was for 10 days and that was around the 1st of the year. Hopefully 2019 will be better.
One thing I did want to touch on again is cart traffic. I have seen several areas throughout the golf course that are worn out from traffic. The worst area, in my opinion, is #11 tee box. I’ve roped this area off and hopefully this will help the worn out area out. I particularly don’t like to have a golf course full of rope and stakes and like to see it in it’s natural setting. However, if turf is suffering because of cart traffic then rope and stakes is essential. Like I mentioned last week, if we have to implement “resting days” for some holes then that will be heavily considered during the stressful months. The other thing is if ‘Cart Path Only’ is in affect then please adhere to the cart path only notice. I have seen a few times where carts have disregarded the rule and fortunately those carts did not cause any damage to the turf, but this time of year is an extremely vulnerable time to be a bermuda grass plant with the transition occurring. All of these rules are to ensure that we have nice, healthy turf. My goal is to have a consistent golf course and with your help in keeping carts away from greens and tees and obeying cart rules then you will help us obtaining that goal for the future. So, please, if you see someone not following the rules then please kindly “educate” them on the rules.
As I’ve ended most of posts the last few weeks, I’d like to remind you to visit http://www.rounds4research from April 30th-May 6th. This fundraiser is an innovative program geared at generating resources to fund research and help ensure golf’s future. So, if you are a golfer looking for an opportunity to support research for a sport you love this provides a way for everyone to come together and ensure its future. Please click the image below to access Rounds4Research:
As always, we appreciate you fixing ball marks, replacing divots, and raking those bunkers. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org