Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A message from the R&A website

I just came across this on the R&A website and I think it is fantastic. It is all about playability of a playing surface for a game.

Playing Performance
"A high-level of playing performance offers challenge and enjoyment through natural variability of weather and season." - R&A Director of Golf Course Management, Steve Isaac.
Firm, dry and healthy surfaces produce the most consistent playing conditions for a fair and desirable, yet challenging, test of golf on greens and fairways, regardless of the visual appearance of the turf. Smoothness and trueness are key qualities of consistent and reliable putting surfaces.
Excessive expenditure on irrigation and fertilisers will produce soft, wet and unhealthy turf, which is prone to climatic stress and susceptible to attack by diseases and pests. This kind of high-input approach will prove both very labour-intensive and costly. It also results in the rapid accumulation of organic matter; the management of which is disruptive to play and stressful for turf.
The optimum conditions for playing performance are most easily established during the design and construction phase of a golf course. For existing courses that wish to improve their levels of playing performance, an effective ongoing turf management plan, based on best practice, will deliver the desired result.
Achieving and maintaining high levels of playing performance will meet the expectations of your members and customers, while also ensuring that the course is open for play for as much of the year as possible. To assess performance, your business will benefit from keeping records such as number of rounds played, days of green and course closure, and dominant grass types to greens and fairways.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Heat is on!

Animal conspiracy theory- the animals are fighting back…….
We have a very aggressive grouse that feels Greywalls is its home and no one else should be out there. It attacked several people on # 4 last Friday and has now taken a dislike to your grounds staff. We had a run in with it yesterday on # 7 tee and again this morning behind # 8 green. If you encounter this irritated bird, I recommend backing down first but by all means defend yourself if it flies at you. We will continue to seek out and humanly deal with this bird in the mornings.

Scot and the crew have been repairing the cart path on #6 Heritage through the gully this week. Over the last few years it has really started to erode and was becoming a concern. The Heritage course is looking great and I thank the guys for doing some fine work during this warm spell we are under.

Many of you might have noticed that we have been doing some aerification and vertical mowing on Greywalls, with our limited pumping capacity (because we still only have one operational pump) we are developing some pretty good localized dry spots (LDS). These areas of soil become hydrophobic and are not easy to re-wet after drying out. The best cultural/mechanical solution is to do some solid tine aerification and/or vertical mowing, this allows water to penetrate the surface and get down to the roots where we need it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh Summer

Summer is indeed here with high temperatures and humidity providing the proof.
We finally received some much needed rain this week and it could not have come at a better time; we were almost out of water on the Heritage and only one operational pump at Greywalls was leaving us on the drier than our normal dry side.

Summer is indeed our most stressful time on the golf course, not only are the environmental stresses very high but it is also when the factory is roaring at full throttle and golf carts cover the playing field. While golf carts are needed to help many golfers play the game they also create additional stresses to our turfgrass most notably being compaction.

In an effort to lesson the stress on our golf course I ask everyone to please use common sense and follow some simple rules while operating a golf carts around the course…

-During dry times avoid brown areas of grass and drive on green grass only. I know some of our browner areas are hard to avoid this time of year but please do your best. I am sure you have all noticed the thousands of burned tire tracks through these areas. This happens when the unknowing drive through these areas during an afternoon round of golf; when the surface has dried out and the plants are at their wilting point.

-During wet times avoid saturated areas. Driving through these areas will compact the soil immensely and can even cause tire ruts.

-Follow all ropes and directional stakes as they are there to spread out the wear or eliminate wear in areas of high priority or stress.

-Brake easy and turn easy, this one is self evident.

One other side note.... to the individual who obviously has a putting issue and finds it necessary to rip divots out of the putting surface (as if it’s the grasses fault)….. Our wonderful teaching pros Marc or Mike are available for lessons, please give them a call.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heat wave

Over the weekend it was hot, humid and the air was filled with rain/thunder storms yet we only got a few drops out of the deal at the course. It is amazing how the lake creates a bubble around us in the summer.
We had the Greywalls irrigation pump pulled out yesterday. We discovered water inside the wires; so the repair looks like it might be quicker and cheaper than we thought. My fingers are crossed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer golf

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer that just arrived!! Both golf courses are playing great right now as they have dried out and the ball is rolling well for added enjoyment.

The bad Greywalls irrigation pump is being pulled out on Monday to be evaluated and repaired. We are still looking at another 2-3 weeks before we are irrigating at full capacity again. Until then we will try to keep up by hand watering areas or running some extra cycles in the morning, which is very time consuming for myself and my very small staff.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Celebrity Classic

We hosted the Celebrity Classic on Thurs. and it was a great success. Over $100K was raised for the Beacon House.
I would like to thank my grounds staff for the wonderful job they did all week. We had to step it up a knotch in order to get 5 days worth of tasks done in 3.5 days. Joey Ballgame and Super Dave from the Heritage staff came over to Greywalls on Thurs. morning to lend the GW crew a helping hand. It was the single best daily performance I have ever had from any crew and equipment; as we had no mechanical failures and everyone stayed focused on grooming the course by 10 am.
I would also like to say thank you to the clubhouse and proshop staff. Both of those departments also did a wonderful job. Everyone I talked to during and after the event said it was the best run operation they had seen.
We should all be very proud, MGC represented well as we impressed everyone.

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