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Monday, July 6, 2015

Greywalls Tee aerification

 Even above average amounts of rain and cooler temps this season can't eliminate LDS (localized dry spot) on the Greywalls tees.  A combination of pure sand tee construction and a very aggressive variety of bentgrass (southshore) causes these Dry areas.  
The grass is so aggressive it actually seals the surface eliminating potential water penetration through the thatch layer.  Combine that with sand soils and you have a recipe for LDS.  Internal soil fungal growth coats the sand with a hydrophobic layer further reducing its water holding ability.  

Here is a picture of LDS on the Tees
Core aerification is step one in the process of eliminating this issue.  

Most cores came up bone dry.  You can see the darker cores in the top of this picture (moist) and the light cores on the bottom (LDS area)

Thatch layer that eliminates water penetration 
Excessive thatch layer
Good rooting but we need to increase surface organic matter management.  

Even five days after coring the tees we are still having trouble getting water to penetrate and hold on these areas.  The Core above from my soil probe shows dust dry sand below the moist thatch layer.  
Our next step involves a wetting agent application and more core aerification with larger diameter tines.  
Years of increased management will have to take place on the Greywalls tees to get this problem under control.  Our current single aerification and three vertical mowings annually is not enough cultural management for this turfgrass.... We will increase our aerification in the upcoming years.  
I must also note that this LDS issue on the tees is only cosmetic, it in no way effects the game of golf.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Wisconsin Snowmold trial results

We once again hosted a University of Wisconsin winter Snowmold fungicide trial and the results of that research can be seen at the following link.....

Valuable information is gathered during these studies and we feel honored to help out.  

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Limited water use

To date we have still not run a full irrigation cycle on either course.  We have only watered hot spots and select surfaces after lime/fertilizer/wetting agent applications. 
This is an amazing accomplishment.  
Cooler weather, timely rain and proper management of the playing surfaces has allowed us to drastically reduce our water consumption this season.  

Birds eye view

The AT&T cell tower maintenance workers sent us a few pictures from the top of the Big Christmas Tree tower.  I love how this picture tells a story.....a story about how busy we are and how many people enjoy our property.  Limited parking but no worries we have plenty of room on the edges in the native.  It is a good problem to have ��.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Spring Irrigation start up

Spring is always an interesting time on a Northern golf course; a solid month of proper winterization the previous fall must now be reversed to get up and running for the current season.  Everything that you worked so hard for the previous fall shows its benefits now and with a little help from Mother Nature this time can be very rewarding.  
One thing is for sure; there is never a dull moment when waking up a golf course and all of its so many moving parts.  Emerging turf conditions, equipment start up (and failures), employee hiring and training, irrigation pressurization and audits and repairs, cultural controls to the turf, staff meetings, product deliveries and applications, etc. this list could go on and on.  
Our largest piece of equipment is our irrigation system.  Proper winterization in the fall is absolutely critical.  If this process is not done right it will cost thousands of dollars to repair and take countless hours to fix; those valuable hours should be dedicated to other spring tasks.  
This past winter was very kind to us.  The early snow insulated the ground eliminating frost problems.  The soil was warmer in the spring and there were no distributive frost heaves to break irrigation pipes or heads.  

We pressurized the Greywalls irrigation system in only 6 hours.  The only problem we ran into was a mouse nest on our VFD which over heated the unit.  After a few hours of cleanup the problem was solved.  
Mouse nest in the electrical control panel 

Conduit used by the mice to travel from the electrical control panel to the sealed VFD cabinet.  

Mouse nest on the VFD causing it to overheat.  It did not smell good but an hour later the problem was solved.  I will be aggressively managing the winter mouse population in the pump house next winter.  

Quick couplers are used to bleed off air when pressurizing an irrigation system properly on the spring. 

A transducer malfunction delayed us a day in the start up of the Heritage irrigation system.  A phone conversation with a pump house repair technician gave me the answer.  I was able to re-wire and bypass the wet well level transducer and get the controls working again.  

Dry spring conditions put a hurt on the poa annua but had no effect on the deeper rooted Bentgrass growing on the Heritage putting surfaces.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

100% open

Greywalls Opened up on Sunday May 3rd making MGC 100% operational; which is two weeks earlier than the last two years.  Both golf courses are in the best condition they have ever been during early May.  The Crew is very excited to have such fine turf to work on this early in the season.  

Opening Day Turf on Greywalls
A dry Spring provided a great surface for opening day.  

Soil temperature change in four days on number 8 Fairway Greywalls.  The environmental conditions are right for active turf growth on our fescue/KBG fairways.