Friday, September 12, 2014

Dry Areas at Legacy Hills

Last week we discovered a leak behind the #8 green at Legacy Hills, which happens to run under Del Webb Blvd. The line that runs underneath the road is part of our main-line irrigation loop and, by shutting it down, we lose the ability to water at maximum pressure. We had Dig Test come out and identify all of the utilities that we will have to work around, and we have begun digging to try and locate the source of the leak.

Normally any irrigation that runs beneath a road is put in a sleeve in case something like this happens. If this is the case, the repair should go relatively smoothly (famous last words). So in the meantime everything being watered at Legacy Hills right now has to be done manually from the control boxes and in smaller sections rather than a larger “blanket” watering that we get when we run the irrigation cycles from the system at night. This will result in some drier areas on the course until the leak is repaired. We look to have it repaired within the week and it will not interfere with any of our golf events on the schedule.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August Director of Golf Course Maintenance Report




Gary Wilson, Director of Golf Course Maintenance
 

Core aerifications

The last of the core aerifications have been completed and we will be healed up, smooth and rolling well for the upcoming Member-Member and Club Championship Events.

All three courses were deep tine aerified with a 5/8” solid tine at a depth of 7” and then core aerified with a 5/8” tine at a depth of 4”. Once the aerification was complete we used a 1 ½ ton roller to smooth the greens back out. Once aerification and rolling was complete we verti-cut and top-dressed the greens. During this process we also aerified the collars and flushed the greens using gypsum to flush the salts through the green profile.

We have all three courses using liquid fertigation for the fairways, roughs and tees at this time, this allows us to fertilize as we irrigate the golf courses. The current product that we are using is a slow release nitrogen source that also contains an acid product which helps us fight the salt levels in our water and soils.

We continue to fertilize greens at all three courses with liquid fertilizers weekly and a granular slow release on a monthly basis.

We are looking forward to great course conditions and hosting all of the upcoming events.

 

Playability Sub-Committee

All three courses have been reviewed by myself, the sub-committee, the head golf professional and the course Superintendent. We have been through the reports and approved the proposed maintenance items to be added to our projects list. (See Reports below)

 

Collar Aerification for “Sand Dams” 

This month we were able to aerify and roll out the collars twice at each course. It is very apparent that the collars are starting to match up more evenly and we will be making this a regular part of maintenance practices moving forward. Our goal will be a minimum of six times per growing season with additional collar aerification as the physical characteristics of the collars dictate.

 

Audubon Certification

Currently working with Golf Maps Irrigation Design Company on our site maps for the courses.

 

GCSAA Certification

I am still working on case studies, these studies include work place scenarios and require us to draw up Action Plans and Justifications for each. This month I completed two webinars for Continuing Education Units, “My Best Features are Bunkers” and “My Best Features are Fairways”. I will be taking six to nine more webinars a month through February of 2015 in hopes to expedite the Certification process. 
 

Playability Reports

 

WHITE WING

 

  • GENERAL PLAYABILITY/SAFETY SUGGESTIONS 

  • Monitor and control the depth of sand in all bunkers. 
  • Crape Myrtles: many appear to be in very poor condition; recommend topping in the fall/winter to determine how many recover as healthy trees.  The poor specimens should be removed. 
  • Safety issue:  To improve curb safety, recommend the use of river rock rather than DG. 

  • Tree trimming:  The entire course should have a major tree trimming by a qualified tree trimming company.  Many trees need to be trimmed, laced, and have the canopy raised.  Recommend we find a way to put this project into the 2015 operating budget. 

  •  SPECIFIC PLAYABILITY/SAFETY ISSUES FOR EACH HOLE: 

  • HOLE #2

  • Remove and replace DG at the blue tee area.
  • Trim bushes on the left side of the cart path near tee areas.
  • Place river rocks at the curb between the blue and green tee. 

  • HOLE #3

  • Expand green tee box and move to the left about 10-12 feet.
  • Install more sod between first fairway bunker and cart path. 

  • HOLE #5

  • GREEN TEE:  Remove and replace the damaged steps; rework entire tee box and re sod with Zoysia turf. 

  • HOLE #6

  • Replace damaged tee monument.
  • Remove dead tree and remove willows on the right side of the cart path.
  • Remove rock walkway and replace with mulch with a rock border. 

  • HOLE #7

  • Place river rocks along the cart path between #7 green and #8 tee box. 

  • HOLE #8

  • Major tree trimming needed from the tee area to the green. 

  • HOLE #9

  • Remove dead tree on the right side of the fairway.
  • Trim willows along the left ditch.
  • Pull the shrubs out on the left side. 

  • HOLE #11

  • Remove the Vitex tree at the turnaround.
  • Rope off the entire turnaround to protect the fairway.
  • Trim the low branches near the right fairway bunkers. 

  • HOLE #13

  • Seed areas under the trees on the left side with Fescue. 

  • HOLE #14

  • Major tree trimming on the right side from tee to green. 

  • HOLE #15

  • Rope left fairway bunker off, on both ends, to prevent cart traffic.
  • Shave berm down on the cart path as it crosses the fairway and re-sod. 

  • HOLE #17

  • Flower bed left of green and behind the sales center, must be reworked. 

  • HOLE #18

  • Clear all trees and brush in Berry Creek for left fairway crossing; height of trees and brush is an issue. 

  • HOLES #1, #4, #10, #12 & #16

  • No specific issues.
     
    COWAN CREEK
     

  • GENERAL PLAYABILITY/SAFETY SUGGESTIONS: 

  • Mow/clear the wild growth in front of tees # 1, 3, 6, 12 & 17 monthly. 
  • Purchase and place 3 new large sand boxes on holes # 8, 13 & 17.  
  • Monitor and control the depth of sand in all bunkers. 

  • SPECIFIC PLAYABILITY/SAFETY ISSUES FOR EACH HOLE: 

  • HOLE #1

  • Remove dead tree adjacent to black tee box.
  • After level 3 mowing, adopt-a-hole group will clean and remove numerous rocks from right side of cart path.
  • Suggest possible DG area under the group of trees on the right side of the fairway. 

  • HOLE #2

  • Repair broken drain pipe on the left side of green near the pond. 

  • HOLE #3

  • Address overused areas on the blue tee box.
  • Recommend installing more French drains on the left side of the fairway. 

  • HOLE #4

  • Recommend a “no medical flag” designation like #8 at WW.
  • Adopt-a-hole to remove numerous rocks on right side of cart path.  

  • HOLE #5

  • Continue to improve the drainage issue near blue tee area to prevent DG from washing away with each rain. 

  • HOLE #6

  • Trim the trees on the right side of fairway to raise the canopy.
  • Improve the drainage on the left side of the fairway. 

  • HOLE #7

  • After level 3 mowing, remove rocks on the right side of the fairway.
  • Create a buffer zone of grass around the bunker.
  • Re sod the bare area in front of the bunker.

  • HOLE #8

  • Trim all trees on the left side of the fairway in order to raise the canopy.

  • HOLE #9

  • Rope off the entire half of the fairway up to the 200 yard marker until the fairway has healed. 

  • HOLE #10

  • Remove 2 dead trees on the left side of the cart path. 

  • HOLE #15

  • Trim the tree on the right side of the fairway to raise the canopy.

  • HOLE #16

  • Expand the DG area at the blue tee box. 

  • HOLE #18

  • (Safety issue) Place more large rocks adjacent to the cart path in the creek area to minimize the severe drop off. 

  • HOLE #11, 12, 13, 14 & 17

  • No specific issues 
    LEGACY HILLS
      

  • GENERAL PLAYABILITY/SAFETY SUGGESTIONS 

  • Tree trimming: The entire course should have a major tree trimming by a qualified tree trimming company.  Many trees need to be trimmed, laced, and have the canopy raised.  Recommend we find a way to put this project into the 2015 operating budget. 
  • Bunkers:  In 2013, the Golf Committee and staff agreed to change the sand in the bunkers at WW.  That same sand is in the bunkers at Legacy Hills.  This committee feels the current sand at LH needs to be removed and replaced with sand that is similar to the kind used at WW. 
  • Safety issue:  To improve curb safety, we recommend the use of river rock rather than DG at drop-off areas around cart path. 
  • Recommend level 3 mowing adjacent to the golf course receive a priority status in the future mowing schedules to improve pace of play. 

  • SPECIFIC PLAYABILITY/SAFETY ISSUES FOR EACH HOLE 

  • HOLE #1

  • Recommend this hole become a "cart path only" hole full-time.
  • Place river rocks along cart path near green area. 

  • HOLE #2

  • Green tee:  repair the approach to the tee area and trim all the overhanging tree limbs so that the sun can filter through to the grass.
  • Trim the long grass under the trees between the two fairways.
  • Repair the sprinkler leak left of the fairway bunker. 

  • HOLE #3

  • Create a DG area under the trees on the right side of the fairway, between the bunkers and the cart path.
  • Create a DG area under the trees at the right front of the green. 

  • HOLE #5

  • Seed with Fescue and cover with soil, under the trees at cart path curve.
  • In 2012, the five fairway bunkers were reworked and black liners were installed that have failed completely. These ripped and degraded liners must be removed as soon as possible. This is both a playability and serious safety issue.
  • Repair the drain pipe issue along the cart path. 

  • HOLE #6

  • Mow grass under large tree on the left side of the fairway. 

  • HOLE #8

  • Large tree on the left side needs trimmed to remove fairway overhang. 

  • HOLE #9

  • Trim bushes at tee box approach and after leaving the green area where shrubs overhang cart path.
  • Eliminate two of the 4 exits and repair the remaining 2; make hole "cart path only" until the repair is healed. 

  • HOLE #12

  • Trim the trees on the right side of the left blue tee box.
  • Install a DG approach to the green tee box. 

  • HOLE #14

  • Trim the trees on the left side of all tee boxes in Berry Creek. 

  • HOLES 4, 7,10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18

  • No specific issues.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Post aerification at Legacy Hills

The Legacy Hills post aerification clean up didn't go as well as it normally does this time around. We had mechanical problems with equipment and we were forced to stretch the process out an extra day. 
 The roller that we rented to smooth the greens out post aerification broke down on us and we could not get another one until Tuesday, this put everything out of order on the process and in turn made everything go less than perfect to say the least. We apologize for not posting this to the Blog sooner. 
After walking the greens earlier today I can safely say they are healing up nicely and will be in excellent shape in just a few more days.  
 Another topic that was recently asked about was in regards to a set of the blue tees on #12, we sprayed a selective herbicide to eradicate the goose grass on that tee, we do not spray Round Up on Bermuda grass due to the fact that it is a non-selective herbicide and it would kill everything. So all the yellowing turf you see are the results of us trying to get rid of the goose grass. That tee is receiving extra attention and will be back in use shortly. 
Cowan Creek will be aerified on Monday and we anticipate a much smoother clean up and recovery process. 
All of the greens at each course will be in great shape for the upcoming events of the fall season. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Greens Aerification

Greens Aerification

Aerification

It’s that time of the year once again, we get out those dreaded machines that “mess up the greens” and start our aerification practices. Please realize that aerification is for the long term health of the turf and will ultimately promote a healthier green.  

“Aerification (also known as aeration) achieves three important objectives. It relieves soil compaction, it provides a method to improve the soil mixture around the highest part of a green’s roots and it reduces or prevents the accumulation of excess thatch.

Like so many things, the quality of a good putting green is more than skin deep. In fact, the condition of a green has a lot to do with what goes on below the surface. In order for grass to grow at 1/8-inch, it must have deep, healthy roots. Good roots demand oxygen. In good soil, they get the oxygen from tiny pockets of air trapped between soil and sand particles.

Over time, the traffic from golfer’s feet (as well as mowing equipment) tends to compact the soil under the putting green – particularly when the soil contains a lot of clay. When soil becomes compacted, the air pockets on which the roots depend are crushed, and the roots are essentially left gasping for air. Without oxygen, the grass plants become weaker and will eventually wither and die.

Aerification is a mechanical process that creates more air space in the soil and promotes deeper rooting, thus helping the grass plants stay healthy. In most cases, it’s done by removing half-inch cores (those plugs you sometimes see near a green or in fairways) from the compacted soil, allowing for an infusion of air and water that brings a resurgence of growth. The spaces are then filled with sand “topdressing” that helps the soil retain air space and makes it easier for roots to grow downward.

Older greens often are constructed of soils with significant amounts of silt, clay and fine organic particles that are prone to compaction. Filling aerification holes with sand improves drainage and resists compaction. The periodic introduction of sand to a green’s top layer can, over time, avoid or postpone expensive rebuilding or renovation of greens.

Finally, growing of turf adds to a layer of organic matter on the surface. This layer, called thatch, is an accumulation of dead stems, leaves and roots. A little organic matter makes for a resilient green, but too much invites diseases and insects. Topdressing with sand can prevent thatch buildup, and aerification is one of the best ways to reduce an existing layer and prevent an excess of thatch from becoming established.”

For several days after the aerification, the greens will not be as smooth as desired and the patience of all golfers will be tried to a certain extent. But rest assured, the greens will quickly return to a normal, smooth putting surface and will be all the healthier for the effort.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 2014 Course Conditions



Cowan Creek

Cowan Creek continues to do well and the recent aerifications have been very beneficial in helping us relieve compaction and assist with flushing. The fairways are still compacted in areas and we will continue to aerify them through the growing season. We will aerify the fairways with the solid tine aerway which slices to a depth of 7” and is roughly one inch in width. This will take place before 8/18/14. Greens aerification is scheduled for 8/18/14 and we will use a 5/8” tine and pull cores at a depth of 4”.  In conjunction with this we will also be deep tining the greens at a depth of 7” with a half inch diameter solid tine. We continue to fertilize greens at Cowan with liquid fertilizers on a weekly basis and flush them with granular gypsum once a month.
White Wing  

The White Wing’s greens have come back in nicely and are doing very well right now. We continue to plug any of the small blemishes around the edges so that we can be back to 100% turf coverage. The green speed has been a little slower, averaging a 9 on the stemp meter but this will pick up as the greens become tighter with cultural practices. The fairways and roughs are doing great right now and the timely rains have really helped out. Greens aerification is scheduled for 8/11/14 and we will use a 5/8” tine and pull cores at a depth of 4”.  In conjunction with this we will also be deep tining the greens at a depth of 7” with a half inch diameter solid tine. We continue to fertilize greens at White Wing with liquid fertilizers on a weekly basis. This year we have started to flush them with granular gypsum once a month just as we do Cowan Creek. Fairway aerification will be done in August using the same machine and settings that Cowan Creek uses.

The short game greens are now back to chipping and bunker practice only and we have reopened the large putting green as of 7/28/14.
Legacy Hills

The greens at Legacy Hills have been doing much better and we continue to plug any weak areas on them daily. The main ones being #1, 3, 5 and 13. Once those four greens are back to 100% coverage we will be in great shape there. Greens aerification is scheduled for 7/28/14 and we will use a 5/8” tine and pull cores at a depth of 4”.  In conjunction with this we will also be deep tining the greens at a depth of 7” with a half inch diameter solid tine. We continue to fertilize greens at Legacy Hills with liquid fertilizers on a weekly basis. Once a month we flush the greens with gypsum. Fairway aerification will be done in August using the same machine and settings that Cowan Creek and White Wing will use.
Combined Course Information

We have all three courses using liquid fertigation for the fairways, roughs and tees at this time, this allows us to fertilize as we irrigate the golf courses. The current product that we are using is a slow release nitrogen source that also contains an acid product which helps us fight the salt levels in our water and soils.
Collar Aerification for “Sand Dams” 

During our visit from the USGA in May we discussed the detrimental effects of “sand dams” around the greens. These damns are caused by years of topdressing which eventually build up at the transition between green surface and collars. The result is a raised area surrounding the green which prevents any surface drainage from getting off of the green. That can cause anaerobic conditions which result in weak turf and eventually turf loss. To remedy this we are aerifying the collars, watering them with a hose and then flattening them out with a heavy roller. This process will have to be done multiple times to physically alter the collar. We will be doing this during the growing season and it has little impact on interfering with play. The end result will be better surface drainage off of the greens and overall a better transition from collar to green.   
Audubon Certification

Fertilizer usage forms are 90% complete and we have started working on our site maps for the courses. We will more than likely reach out to the Wildlife Committee and various clubs to help us document the wildlife that we have on our courses.
GCSAA Certification

Jonathan and I are currently working on case studies, these studies include work place scenarios and require us to draw up Action Plans and Justifications for each. This along with the Skill Statement and Work Sample portion of our portfolio takes six months to a year to complete.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

White Wing Update and Collar Aerifications


White Wing  

White Wing has been back open for a week now and everyone who has had a chance to play it have been very complementary on the overall conditions of the golf course. The greatest amount of comments have overwhelmingly been about how nice the fairways are right now. Unfortunately this was largely due to the fact that when we went to temporary greens the play at White Wing was reduced by half. Not the tradeoff we wanted for nice fairways but it does magnify the fact that heavy cart traffic plays a big role in the health and playability of the fairways and rough. Observing the 90 Degree rule will help in our efforts to keep the fairways as healthy as possible.

Collar Aerification
Over the next couple of months you will notice open aerification holes in the collars surrounding the greens. We are doing this to get rid of “sand dams” that have built up over the years and prevent surface drainage from draining off of the greens. We leave the holes open and water the collars after aerification, once they have been watered heavily with a hose we run the heavy tournament roller over the aerified collars so that it flattens the collars out. This will also allow for a smoother transition from collar to green which will allow for some shots to be easily putted from just off the green if the player so chooses. This item was discussed during the USGA’s site visit earlier during the year and we are following their recommendations on addressing the “sand dams”. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 2014 Course Conditions

White Wing Short Game Greens

The White Wing Short Game Chipping Greens WILL BE OPEN starting July 7th, 2014.

White Wing Greens

We have been on temporary greens now for seven weeks, with only five of those weeks having the optimal temperatures for the greens to grow aggressively. They have improved greatly over this short amount of time and are very close to being ready to play again. The sod eventually arrived last Monday June 16th after being delayed two weeks due to rain at the sod farm. Of the 153,000 square feet of greens at White Wing we had to replace 5,175 square feet of sod with 675 square foot coming off of our own nursery green at White Wing. Now a week into the sod being down we will aerify, water and roll it so that it will match up perfectly with the existing greens surface. 

White Wing Re-opening of Original Greens  

We are planning to close White Wing completely starting July 7th – July 13th and re-open the course and original greens on July 14th, 2014. Between now and then is the time that we need to get the greens back down to height and rolling smooth again. This is something that has to be done incrementally or scalping could occur. We are currently mowing the greens at .200 for grow in purposes and look to have them cut at .120 by the time we open the greens back up. To be at a true .120 the greens need to be cut at this height for at least a week in conjunction with rolling, verti-cutting and light topdressing. Our overall goal once we open will be smooth and healthy with green speed coming in third. That being said, we will still be shooting for a 9 to 9 1/2 on the Stemp Meter but not at the expense of turf health. 

On a side note:

I hope that everyone can take the time to observe the conditions around the greens at White Wing and notice what a difference there is when the traffic has been alleviated from the approaches and walk up areas near the green. There are those who don’t believe traffic has anything to do with playability or conditions, well the green surrounds at White Wing say different.

We greatly appreciate the Golf Committee’s support over these past couple of months and will be glad to be past this. Again, thank you very much!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Please do not hit off the regular greens at White Wing

Unfortunately when we came in today we found that someone had taken a full wedge shot off of the green on #7 at White Wing. Please play the regular greens as Ground Under Repair. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Course Update and Monday Closures


White Wing Greens Update

Sod preparation has begun and without any further delays from Mother Nature we should receive the TifEagle sod this week. Once the sod is installed we will wait for it to tack down roots and then aerify and roll it out for optimum smootness. This should have the sod tied in and level within a couple of weeks. We continue to aerify, topdress and verticut weekly to help promote growth. We sent in disease samples last week as a precaution and the results came back showing no signs of disease in the greens at this time.

Legacy Hills Greens

The greens that needed sod at Legacy Hills were sodded last week and have already begun to tack down. We will areify the sodded areas and the weaker greens next week to help any of the thin areas heal up and to help smooth out the sod seams. Overall Legacy has really made a drastic improvement over the past two weeks.

Cowan Creek

This past Monday was Cowan Creek’s closed day for golf course maintenance. I thought this would be a good time to give you a snap shot of what goes on during a typical closed day and also how Mother Nature tends to intervene when we are trying to get our work done. Below is a list of cultural practices that we intended to complete on Monday and the adjustments that were made to get as much of it completed as possible.

6/9/14 Cowan Creek Closed Day Plans

Greens:

1.            Verticut greens 1/8”

2.            Deep tine:  solid tine (3/8”-1/2”) 7” depth

3.            Aerify greens 3/8” hollow tine, 2.0” centers, depth H

4.            Buffalo blow plugs into rough

5.            Topdress greens:  osburn topdressing sand, gate 6, 1st gear, 100/100

6.            Double verticut greens 1/8”

7.            Coco mat drag greens

8.            Fertilize greens with pHusion gypsum:  setting Q – 6.67#/1000 sq ft

9.            Flush greens 90 min water

10.          Salsco Roll greens

 

Driving Range:

1.            Edge heads on tee and landing area

2.            Mow DR tee (fwy mower), weeds and high grass in landing area (rough mower)

3.            Double aerify DR tee with Aerway (hollow tines)

4.            Aerify landing area with Aerway (hollow tines)

5.            buffalo blow DR tee, water 30 minutes

6.            drum roll DR tee

7.            topdress using WW bunker sand

8.            drag brush DR tee

9.            chop up plugs on landing area using rough mower

 

Bulk App (21-0-0):  #1-9 Fairways, Rough, Green Surrounds

             B2 gear, setting 7

             Water in 15 minutes

 

Tees:

1.            Aerify red, green, blue tees – 3/8” hollow, 2.0” spacing, depth H

2.            Blow plugs off

3.            Topdress with WW bunker sand

4.            Drag sand in

We received over ½” of rainfall from 9:30-11:00 this morning in the midst of our greens aerification.  This, along with a few mechanical problems set us behind schedule and caused us to change our plans.  The rainfall made our plug cleanup messy and time-consuming, so we ultimately only had enough time to complete the PG and holes #1-9 today.  We plan on trying to finish the greens aerification process throughout the week, and we will have to fit our tee and driving range aerification in front of and around play in the coming weeks.

Just a reminder that the Putting Green and Short Game greens at White Wing are closed until further notice.