Friday, October 31, 2014

October 2014 Course Conditions

Course Conditions

Current conditions are good on all three courses.

Playability Items for 2014/2015

One of the biggest items identified in the playability reports this year was the need for tree trimming to be caught up. We will start to address this in the fall and winter. The “in house” trees will be done by staff and the larger trees will be contracted out. The 2015 budget includes $30,000 for tree trimming that will be shared by White Wing and Legacy Hills. The largest of these areas being #8 and #14 at White Wing and #8 and #14 at Legacy Hills.

The Non-Capitalized Improvements line item includes $55,000 for course improvements in 2015.  We have put in preliminary numbers for each item on the playability report and will complete most of this work in the first quarter.

Legacy Hills

  • HOLE #1

  • Recommend this hole become a "cart path only" hole full-time.
  • Place native rocks along cart path near green area. Will get rock from native

  • HOLE #3

  • Create a DG area under the trees on the right side of the fairway, between the bunkers and the cart path. $1300
  • Create a DG area under the trees at the right front of the green. $300

  • HOLE #8

  • Large tree on the left side needs trimmed to remove fairway overhang. $1400

  • HOLE #9

  • Eliminate two of the 4 exits and repair the remaining 2; make hole "cart path only" until the repair is healed. $1600

  • HOLE #12

  • Trim the trees on the right side of the left blue tee box. $1000
  • Install a DG approach to the green tee box. $300

  • HOLE #14

  • Trim the trees on the left side of all tee boxes in Berry Creek. $5,000
    White Wing

  • HOLE #2
  • Remove and replace DG at the blue tee area. Add DG $800
  • Place river rocks at the curb between the blue and green tee. Use Rock from #6

  • HOLE #5

  • GREEN TEE:  Remove and replace the damaged steps; rework entire tee box and re sod with Zoysia turf. $13,000  

  • HOLE #6

  • Replace damaged tee monument. $800
  • Remove rock walkway and replace with mulch with a rock border. To be used on #2

  • 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. $10,000

  • HOLE #14

  • Major tree trimming on the right side from tee to green. $5000

  • HOLE #17

  • Flower bed left of green and behind the sales center, must be reworked. $400
    We estimate another $10,000 in approach drainage work can be done on holes #14, #15 and #16.
    Cowan Creek

  • HOLE #1

  • Suggest possible DG area under the group of trees on the right side of the fairway. $800

  • HOLE #3
    Recommend installing more French drains on the left side of the fairway. $1000
  • HOLE #5

  • Continue to improve the drainage issue near blue tee area to prevent DG from washing away with each rain. $500

  • HOLE #6

  • Improve the drainage on the left side of the fairway. $1000

  • HOLE #16

  • Expand the DG area at the blue tee box. $600

  • HOLE #18

  • (Safety issue) Place more large rocks adjacent to the cart path in the creek area to minimize the severe drop off. $800
    This totals $33,200 in project work and $22,400 in tree trimming. That leaves us with additional $7,600 in tree trimming and an additional $21,800 in course improvements to be identified and addressed in the second quarter.
    Legacy Hills Greenside Bunkers
    The greenside bunkers will start to be shelled out at the end of November and we will play them as ground under repair as we did at White Wing last year. We will start putting the new sand in place in January and will have the Legacy Hills greenside bunkers complete before March of 2015 if not sooner.
    Legacy Hills Mainline Leak
    The leak under Del Webb has been repaired.
    Pre-Emerge
    Pre-emerge has been applied wall-to-wall on all three courses.
    Overseed
    Overseed has been put out on the Par 3 tees, Driving Range Tees and the tees with highest amount of winter traffic.
    Fertility
    We have all three courses continuing to use liquid fertigation for the fairways, roughs and tees. This allows us to fertilize as we irrigate the golf courses.
    We continue to fertilize greens at all three courses with liquid fertilizers.
    Audubon Certification
    All three courses are still working on their site maps.
    GCSAA Certification
    This month I completed two webinars for Continuing Education Units, “You do what with your stimpmeter?” and “Planning for Replacement- How long does this stuff last?”   

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tee Marker Location


This week we have started putting down our overseed for the winter months. We are overseeding all of the Par 3’s, the driving range tee and also the tees that get the most amount of play in the winter. The seed normally takes 7-14 days to germinate and then another week before we start regular mowing. While waiting for the seed to germinate we have moved various tee markers to different tee boxes that you may not be used to seeing them at. This is to allow us time to establish the new seed on the intended tee boxes and once that is done we will be moving them back to a more familiar location. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Clearing of #18 Creek at WW

Special Thanks goes out to Charles Moore and his crew from the Sun City CA water and fire wise clearing crew. They really did a great job clearing this out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

USGA Site Vist Report Sept. 2014

Sun City Georgetown Community Association

Georgetown, Texas

Visit Date: September 16, 2014 Second Half of Full Day Split Visit

Present: Mr. Gary Wilson, Director of Maintenance

Mr. Jonathan Ayers, GCS, White Wing Golf Course

Mr. Todd Lowe, USGA Senior Agronomist

United States Golf Association

Todd Lowe, Senior Agronomist | Green Section | Florida Region

127 Naomi Place | Rotonda West, Florida, 33947 | (941) 828-2625 | Fax (941) 828-2629 | tlowe@usga.org

 

USGA Green Section Mission: The USGA Green Section are leaders in developing and disseminating agronomically, environmentally, and economically sustainable management practices. We help golf facilities maintain better playing conditions for better golf through science-based and practical solutions.

The purpose of the USGA Green Section is to assist subscribing golf courses in matters of agronomic management. All recommendations are offered free of bias, since the USGA has no connections or obligations to any manufacturer, supplier or contractor. Additionally, since quick fixes seldom result in permanent improvement, some of the recommendations in this report may not be easy to implement and could take more than a single season to produce the desired results.

It was a pleasure visiting the White Wing Golf Course, once again, on behalf of the USGA Green Section. The putting greens have made a dramatic turnaround since my previous visit in May, and I was quite pleased with the overall health and quality of the greens at the time of my visit. I was also pleased to learn that aggressive cultivation was initiated on the putting green collars this past summer, and I recommend continuing this program moving forward, to reduce surface elevation over time. Several topics were discussed during the visit and the most important of these included:

Putting green recovery from winter damage and techniques to reduce the likelihood of future problems

Teeing ground leveling and enlargement on holes #5 and #7

Root pruning problematic trees on a regular basis

This report is a summary of the observations and recommendations that were made during the visit. Links to helpful reprints are also included in this report to provide additional resources concerning the topics that were discussed. 

PUTTING GREENS

The putting greens on the White Wing Golf Course experienced considerable stress this past spring, and several areas became quite thin. Shortly after my previous visit in May, the decision was made to utilize temporary greens to reduce wear stress and improve recovery. Most of the greens fully recovered on their own within six to eight weeks, but 10 pallets of commercial sod and a portion of the nursery green was used to repair the especially weak areas. I am quite pleased with the recovery that has taken place on the White Wing putting greens and feel that very good playing conditions are being provided at this time. Overall, the putting greens were exhibiting a very healthy root system, and dense turf with good color.

Anytime that a major stress occurs to the putting greens, it is important to take stock of the situation to reduce the likelihood of turf loss from occurring in the future. When discussing this issue with Mr. Wilson and Mr. Ayers, two important factors were brought up, including covering putting greens more proactively, but also maintaining appropriate soil moisture. I visited several golf courses in the Mid-Continent Region over the past few months, and some bermudagrass putting greens experienced damage, while others did not. Some facilities covered putting greens, and those that were covered certainly fared better than those that did not, but I visited many uncovered greens that did not lose any turf. Maintaining adequate soil moisture is perhaps just as important, if not more so as covering putting greens for reducing the likelihood of turf loss. Too little water can cause winter desiccation, while excessive water can cause soil saturation and suffocate bermudagrass roots as well. The moisture probe is a valuable tool to utilize on a regular basis during the winter months.

Mowing height: The putting greens are currently mowed at 0.13-inch and it was mentioned that mowing heights will soon be increased to 0.15-inch, as the turf is prepared for the winter months. Increasing mowing height can cause a slight reduction in putting speed, as the turf is still actively growing at this time. When turf growth eventually ceases, the putting speed will increase significantly and having additional leaf tissue will be a nice benefit. Until that time, practices like supplemental rolling and/or double mowing can be incorporated to improve putting speed and smoothness.

Collars: The problems associated with raised putting green collars were discussed on our previous visit, and I was pleased to learn that several additional aerations were performed on the collars this past summer. It was apparent that the aerations decreased collar elevation and I recommend continuing these practices each summer, until good surface flow occurs from the putting greens into the surrounding roughs.

TEES, FAIRWAYS AND ROUGHS

Core aeration practices were taking place on the fairways at the time of my visit. Cultivation practices like aeration are implemented during the summer months to maintain good surface consistency and to reduce soil compaction. Core aeration also helps maintain an appropriate thatch layer and keeps thatch from becoming excessive.

Tee leveling/enlargement: The teeing grounds on the right side of #5 exist under adjacent trees and experience a significant amount of shade stress throughout the year. The tees will soon be overseeded for the winter months, but long range plans include combining the two tees into one larger tee, reducing the elevation of the tees and regrassing them with shade-tolerant zoysiagrass. I feel this is an excellent plan and recommend an additional practice of root pruning the adjacent tees. The blue tee on #7 has become quite mounded and uneven from years of divot removal and subsequent sand topdressing. Long range improvement plans include leveling this tee as well and it was questioned during the visit whether simply core aerating the middle of the tee would reduce surface elevation and provide a more level playing characteristic. I have seen this practice implemented at other golf courses with some success and recommend implementing it on this tee, since it is a low-cost practice. I am uncertain how much of an impact it will have on tee quality, but feel it is an excellent practice to perform, for the cost, and to renovate it later, if needed.

Root pruning: While trees are an important feature on golf courses, they can also provide a considerable amount of stress to the surrounding turf, as they complete with bermudagrass for sunlight, water and nutrients. Tree limb pruning increases sunlight penetration to the base bermudagrass and improves air circulation. It is a practice many golf courses implement on a regular basis. Root pruning is generally an undervalued practice that many golf course managers do not consider as high in importance to maintaining quality turf. I would argue that root pruning is just as important, if not more important, than limb pruning. The heavy soils that exist throughout much of this region makes root pruning even more important, as the soil becomes more easily compacted from traffic. Areas that receive root competition and cart traffic become especially thin and reducing turf stress through tree root pruning is recommended to maintain improved turf quality throughout the year.

OTHER COMMENTS

Sun Seeker App: The Sun Seeker app for iPhones or iPads was discussed during the visit, and it is a tool I use on a regular basis. It is particularly helpful when dealing with sensitive subjects like tree removal. Quite often, tree removal is an unfavorable topic of discussion with golfers and software apps like Sun Seeker take emotions out of the equation and show exactly which trees compete with turf and how many hours of sunlight they remove throughout the year.

CLOSING STATEMENTS

Thank you for the opportunity to visit and discuss your golf course maintenance operation as part of the USGA Green Section’s Course Consulting Service. In addition to this visit and report, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time during the year with further questions to take full advantage of our service.

Sincerely,

Todd Lowe

USGA Senior Agronomist

September 2014 Course Conditions


Course Conditions

Current conditions are good on all three courses. The major tournaments this month went well and the greens are looking and performing great. Finally received two inches of rain last week, which is always welcomed.

USGA Site Visit

On Sept. 16th we had the second part of our full day visit by the USGA. Todd Lowe was on property and was pleased to see the great improvement on the greens at White Wing. His report will be posted on the Blog and I have attached it to this report as well.

This is from the golf communicator two weeks ago

“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 ran beneath a road is put in a sleeve in case something like this happens, if this is the case the repair should go relatively smooth (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.”

Update on the communicator above

As stated above “famous last words” we could not locate a sleeve and have reached the limits of our scope of work. We are now working with an outside contractor to complete the repairs to this line. We will be using the existing 10” line as a sleeve for a new 8” line to run under the road. We have worked with the irrigation designer that designed the systems for all three courses at Sun City and he is comfortable that the amount of pressure loss will be minimal.

Pre-Emerge

This month and the beginning of October we will be applying our “wall to wall” pre-emerge herbicide on all three courses. This is done to prevent the germination of winter weeds, especially poa annua. The greens will be pre-emerged this year with a product that will help control the poa annua problem that experienced on the greens at White Wing last winter.

Mowing Height

With the winter months moving closer it’s time for us to start moving the mowing heights up on the greens. This helps the turf by providing more leaf tissue, which in turn also promotes a healthier root system, and relieves stress on the plant from the lower cutting heights. By raising the cutting heights the greens will not roll as quickly as they would during peak times but with continued rolling and topdressing they will remain smooth and roll true. As we move further into winter green speeds will increase due to the lack of growth.

White Wing Fairway aerification

The aerfication of the fairways at White Wing has been completed on the front nine and we continue to work on completing the back nine. The method used to clean up the aerification plugs knocked the fairways a little off color but they are already starting to green back up, especially after the rain. The fairway aerifications for this season will be complete once White Wing is finished.

Fertility

We have all three courses continuing to use liquid fertigation for the fairways, roughs and tees. This allows us to fertilize as we irrigate the golf courses.

We continue to fertilize greens at all three courses with liquid fertilizers.

Audubon Certification

All three courses are now working on their site maps. We are also identifying areas on the courses for the installation of bird houses.  

GCSAA Certification

This month I completed a webinar for Continuing Education Units, “Today’s Turf Is- UltraDwarf Bermuda Grass”  

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.