Fall Aeration Schedule

 

Our greens have not been core aerified since November 2011. It is crucial that the weather will cooperate to allow this much needed cultivation practice.

 

Date

Projected Schedule

Monday Nov-12 COURSE CLOSED

Core Aerify Greens 1 through 18 along with Putting and Chipping Greens

Aerify Fairways #1…#9…#10

 

Tuesday Nov-13 COURSE CLOSED

Aerify Greens that are left if not finished on the first day

Aerify Tees and Aprons

Aerify Fairways #2…#3…#4…#5…#6…#7…#8…#17

 

Wednesday Nov-14 COURSE CLOSED

Solid Tine Aerify Greens 1 through 18 along with Putting and Chipping Greens

Aerify Tees and Aprons

Aerify Fairways #11…#12…#13…#14…#16

 

Thursday Nov-15 COURSE CLOSED

Aerify Fairways that are leftover if not finished

Finish aerifying Approaches if not finished

SAND TOPDRESS – All Fairways beginning at 9am

 

Friday   Nov-18 COURSE OPEN 7:00am

Cleanup and Touchup … Fix any damaged areas

 

 

Aerating in November

This schedule is completely dependent on weather.  Because this process will be done so late in the season, there are no make-up dates scheduled.  If it is too wet, we will not do any of the scheduled activities.  We will monitor greens throughout the winter and punch small holes as needed if nothing is completed in November.  The next scheduled aeration will then occur during the week of March 11, 2013.  Additionally, tree work will occur throughout the golf course with the emphasis of pruning many of our prominent oak trees.  Two trees will be cut and removed.  One monterey pine in the 17th rough and one cypress nearest the 6th green.

 

What Lies Beneath

This week, an irrigation team from Toro will be scanning our fairways with a specialized machine. This unit will drive up and down each fairway and collect a wealth of data indicating what lies beneath the turfgrass you see at the surface. The PrecisionSense machine will greater identify how every sprinkler in the fairways is performing, tests for soil salinity, identifies heavily compacted areas, and raises awareness about impending turf stress. Yes, we are in our third year of using a new irrigation system and the system itself is running well.  However, we did not change the soil, the topography, or the grass types on the golf course and this new technology is part of the irrigation package we installed several years ago and will allow us to optimize the efficiency of our irrigation system.  Furthermore, PrecisionScan will help to maximize conditioning through our foliar fertility program. All the data will be compiled and transferred into Google Earth images and we will soon be able to make necssary changes to the irrigation system along with performing cultural practices to help improve upon conditioning throughout the entire golf course.

Some of the benefits include:

•Inefficiency of the irrigation system by showing moisture content in the soil
•Salinity levels and impending drought stress related to excessive salt in the soil
•Wasted water due to runoff and water/nutrient absorption deficiencies due to compacted soils
•Dry and wet areas related to topography
•Turf stress based on any and all of the above

Instant Gratification

View from the 9th tee following removal of three large cypress trees

 

Oak tree in its new location helping to frame the teeing area

 

While the golf course was closed during the afternoon of April 17th due to topdressing, another special project took place.  A large coastal live oak tree that was growing adjacent to the 4th cartpath was transplanted between the 9th tee and 1st green.  Last month, we removed three large cypress trees to increase the amount of sunlight reaching the 1st green.  While the green now has optimal sun and air movement, this created a large gap and the view was dominated by the cartpath.  There was a beautiful oak tree growing on the 4th hole between a group of redwood trees and a massive cypress tree.  This oak would never have the chance to thrive in that area due to the more dominant trees.  Moving the oak to the 9th tee provides the tree will all-day sunlight, helps frame the teeing area, and forces the golfer eye to focus on the fairway ahead.  It was a six-hour project that created a scene of on-lookers and many photographs being taken.  The end result creates an instant impact and the initial indication is that the tree will survive this process and thrive in its new home.

The oak tree in its previous location adjacent to the 4th cartpath

 

Oak tree being carefully transferred across the 2nd fairway

Fairway Topdressing

Although considered a nuisance by some, the light application of sand on the fairways is extremely beneficial.  Last week we received nearly 7-inches of rainfall, yet the fairways did not play or feel as if that much rain fell.  Part of the reason is the consistent application of sand to the fairways.  Our strategy is to apply 8-tons of sand per acre, four times per year.  Annually, this equates to just over 30-tons of sand per acre on the fairways.  This helps to minimize thatch buildup from an agronomic standpoint, but more importantly it creates a firmer playing surface and better ball roll on the fairways.  Along with better surface drainage, the end result is optimal playing conditions during the rainy season.  This sand is being applied on Friday afternoon and with this weekend’s rain, the sand will be pushed down and very little indication of this process will be noticeable by early next week.

Light layer of sand being applied to fairways

Warm-Season Grass Eradication

Considering the recent rainfall, one would expect all areas of the golf course to be brilliantly green. While that notion holds true throughout the majority of playable areas of the golf course, there are several areas that have remained brown and barren. And these areas will remain brown in the coming weeks even if there is rain. This is part of a strategic plan, since the grasses that germinate following rain storms are the varieties that we are trying to eliminate prior to seeding them with our specific native grass blend. Once an area is considered “clean” (i.e., following a rain event, nothing germinates) then the area is ready to be seeded with the native grass mix. The grasses that will be planted in these areas will be a bunch-type or clump-style grass, which means they grow as individual plants and are not sod-forming like the rest of the grass throughout the course. From a distance these areas will eventually look full and resemble a native meadow appearance. Up close, there will be bare areas between the clump grasses where players should be able to locate their golf balls. Currently, there are a few areas throughout the golf course where the native grasses are ready to be seeded. Once all the materials are obtained, we will do this with a hydro-seeding unit. This machine mixes seed, mulch, fertilizer, and water and then is sprayed out as a liquid material. The newly seeded areas will be very distinct as they are a bright sea-green color. This seed/mulch material helps to germinate the grasses quicker and “seals off” the surface to resist weeds and other grasses from growing.

Additionally, there are a few areas throughout the golf course where unwanted grasses are growing in the fairways and rough. These grasses have been sprayed out and are now very visible against the green turf. This are not gas/oil spills, nor is it an infectious disease, rather we are eliminating the undesirable Kikuyugrass and Bermudagrass species from the golf course to improve conditioning and consistency. These grasses naturally turn brown during the winter months as they go into dormancy when exposed to cooler temperatures. Spraying these grasses out now greatly reduces their chance of coming back next spring and it allows the maintenance crew to overseed the areas with the appropriate grass type. While these areas are brown for now, once the seeds germinate, they will eventually convert back to playable green grass.