Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Slow But Steady Progress

  • Lots of progress has been made in recovering from a tough summer (the toughest in my 16 years here).  We started our efforts on and around the tee boxes in late September. The results are very positive and we continue to nurse these areas with a little extra water and fertilizer.  Some tee markers are still placed on spare tee boxes or paired with other sets to allow for full recovery.  The most extreme effort put forth on tees was to the front two tee boxes on hole 13.  We killed off everything on and immediately around these tees and re-seeded with 007 creeping bentgrass and turf type tall fescue.  Hopefully the bull paspalum, a weed we've battled unsuccessfully for years, will be a thing of the past.  
Here is a picture 10 days after seeding....

  • Once we wrapped up all our efforts around the tees we turned our focus to aerating greens.  This process went very smoothly and we are fully healed at this point.  It should be noted that we have now gone two full seasons with solid tines for aeration.  In other words we've not pulled cores as was the norm for the previous 15 years.  The jury is still out on whether or not we can continue this method, but it sure makes the task much easier and speeds up the recovery process.  Physical properties of the soil are examined annually through lab testing so that we can make the most informed decision possible.  We'll keep a close watch on things and make changes to our strategy if/when its needed.
  • The final big step in recovery is overseeding the roughs.  We began this process in early September with applications of herbicide to suppress/eliminate unwanted bermudagrass, bentgrass, and other weeds from what is supposed to be the tall fescue rough.  This "chemotherapy" requires three applications three weeks apart before seed can be applied.  Unfortunately we suffered a setback in late September with a solid week of rain.  Once dried up enough to complete the chemical applications Hurricane Matthew showed up.  Finally as of late last week, all the seed is down and we've just wrapped up the process of incorporating it into the soil with our Aeravator (seeding/aerating tool).  It's now time to start the process of watering the seed which will likely make some holes "Cart Path Only".  We will be watering lightly but frequently to keep the surface moist in order to get seed to germinate.  Once we see the seed begin to germinate it will be important that carts stay on the path.  We invested a great deal of your money into the seed and labor to repair the course from a tough summer.  Your help in following the cart traffic rules will be the critical final step in a full recovery.  With continued good weather you will soon see a big improvement.  

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