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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fall course update

Fall is in the air and many might think things are slowing down in the shop at Northern golf courses; the opposite is actually happening.
Now is when we prepare the golf courses for a successful 2017 season.  What we do now makes or breaks next golf season in our tundra climate.  When the snow flies we don't get a second chance.  
Seasonal staff is gone and back to school so many tasks are left to myself and the limited numbers of employees we still have.  
We must continue to mow the turf in addition to finding time to complete these extra tasks.
-Aerification grns/tees/fwys/Approaches and wear areas
-Vertical mowing/thatch reduction 
-Fall fertilization of turf
-Mowing down all native/natural areas with rotary mowers and weedeater/brushmowers 
-Leaf blowing and clean-up (daily)
-Weed control
-Irrigation system Winterization 
-Equipment detail cleaning and Winterization plus organize equipment for winter repair work and reel grinding
-Haul all course supplies off the course and store/organize for winter revitalization
-Preventative Snowmold fungicide applications to all Grns/tees/fairway/Approaches  
-Heavy sand topdressing greens/tees/Approaches
-Stakes/rope off greens 
-End of season projects.... Everything we can squeeze in before the snow flies
On agenda this year is the front 9 bathroom on Greywalls, a new red tee on 11 Greywalls, pumphouse roof repair, well house interior repair, 1/2-way shack renovation to replace floor and reorganize.  
-On top of field work the 2017 Budget needs to be completed and products needed for next season must be organized to take advantage of early order discounts.  

Winterizing a golf course properly is no easy task.


                14 Green Heritage
I have received many question about the aerification of 14 green on the Heritage course.  We have been using small diameter tines early season and/or solid tining greens after we close so the membership has forgotten what a typical greens aerification process involves.  
It comes as no surprise that 14 green Heritage is the wettest green on both courses.  Its location is low and it holds water.  We installed an approach drain system several years ago and that has worked wonderfully; our sand topdressing program has also had very positive results.  The excessive rains the last two consecutive falls has me reaching for more solutions on this water soaked location.  
What we did on 14 green was solid tine the surface to a 4" depth using 3/4" tines, we then buried the green in sand.  After the sand had time to dry we worked it around the with our Groom-it drag brush followed by a turbine blower.  Our goal was to create 3/4" columns of sand to help get water off the surface quicker.  

3/4" solid tine holes and one layer of sand

Sand layer number 2

Final sand layer before working it into the holes

Post drag/blow- holes all filled with sand
We will attempt to complete this process on 14 green every fall.  

A lot of fall aerification on two golf courses for one machine.  The Procore has been working overtime.  

Excessive rains again this fall has made less than ideal playing conditions.  The courses are indeed green but the ball roll has not been what we strive for.  


Mother Nature has been pruning on her own this fall.  Several high wind days had us cleaning up the mess.  

Pink Snow mold has already started to appear.  Pre-Snowmold applications are made to the greens to keep them free and clear before the final spray.
A patch of Poa annua on the greens getting attacked by pink Snowmold while the Bentgrass is healthy

Proof in the picture
Our growth regulating Paclobutrazol applications still hard at work on our Greywalls fairways.  Poa on the edge of a 4 fairway in the rough (in an over spray area) totally suppressed while the KBG and fescue around it is allowed to grow.  

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