Yesterday's morning frost hindered us from wrapping up the sodding of the new approach on number 5. However the project was buttoned up this morning.
Once the approach was completed, we began topdressing the seams that are created from sodding. This process will continue over the next couple of weeks till the cracks start to fill in. Once the sod begins to root we will start rolling the entire approach to help level out imperfections and seams before placing the first cut.
In the meantime, consult with Steve and the pro shop on how to play the area as it will be deemed Ground Under Repair until the sod begins to root. Please use caution when walking across or up the slope to the green as the sod could shift and impact your footing. With the temps that are in store, it should only take a couple of weeks for rooting and the approach will be open for play. Thanks for your patience and cooperation.
Intermediate Installation Around Greens:
We began working on the few greens around the course that needed to be altered to incorporate our 36 inch intermediate cut around the greens. Due to the severity of slopes around a few greens, examples being 7, 9 and 16, we had to strip sod from the collar to allow enough room for the 36 inches and to prevent scalping from the uneven playing surface. Below are some pictures of today's progress:
Removing the area needed on #9
The finished product on #11
These various areas on the property will provide consistency to all of our green surrounds while improving the playability of the intermediates ("first cuts"). Once the sod takes root, we will begin to mow the new sections down to the same height as the other intermediates around the greens.
XGD Drain Lines:
Have you ever asked yourself why does the drain lines on the greens that have XGD stand out so much? Hopefully, the picture of #13 green above will help point that out. Well, the answer is quite simple to understand. The profile that makes up the XGD system is different than the native mix that composes the rest of the putting surface. During the installation, sand was used to backfill the trenches of the drainage on each individual putting surface. This sand will allow water to perk through the profile faster than the existing mix. Water being able to perk faster would be the same as nutrients leaching through the profile, thus supporting the reason as to why these drain lines stand out on each respective green. The result of nutrients moving through the profile faster would create an deficiency in that line across the green and the end result would be a discoloration.
Today, in anticipation of this afternoon's expected rain, Max went to each green that includes XGD and sprinkled an organic based fertilizer to all of the drain lines, providing a little TLC to these areas and improving the aesthetics of the putting surface. This practice will be performed periodically throughout the growing season.
The Little Things:
Horticulture and the beds play an integral role in the ambience of Longue Vue, we all know that. Unfortunately, some of the beds can be a nuisance following a rain event. The beds on the #3 and #10 have mulch directly beside the teeing surface and following an heavy down pour the material washes onto the tee box, with the end result being a pain to clean up along with introduce new unwanted organic matter to the tees. Another drawback is that mowers have to turn on the mulch when mowing the tee, which can be detrimental to the piece of equipment and increases the possibility transporting the material on the tee.
Bunker Rake Placement:
In the bunker or Out of the bunker, that is the question? There is many theories and arguments as to where golfers place the rakes when exiting the bunker. From a maintenance standpoint, I would prefer for the rakes to be left in the bunker to reduce the chance of a rake being damaged by a mower or from golf carts running over them.
From a playability standpoint, does the rake outside of the bunker aid or hurt the golfer? Yes, the rake can aid the golfer by preventing the ball from entering the bunker, but there are repercussions because of uneven stances and awkward lies. Below is a picture of a rake placement I noticed on #15 this morning in my travels, now imagine the stance and lie that would be created if the rake prevented your ball from reaching the bunker.
I believe that if a ball was intended to be in the bunker then it should make it there and that comes from the worst bunker player in the country, actually i'm probably giving myself credit because in all honesty it's probably the world. Therefore, I'd like for everyone to begin making the effort to return rakes to the bunkers after use. Thanks for your continued help as we build to the future and the next chapter at Longue Vue.