The weather has had it's up and downs. We have experience a wide range in temperature changes from days in the 50s to days in the upper 80s, including a few late season frosts. A majority of time over the past few weeks have been used to keep up with mowing. And yes the rough units do have blades on them, we are getting through rough twice a week and that includes a couple of loops around the fairways on Friday to clean it up for the weekend. During the few hot spells, I've place a lot of emphasis on water management in training the staff on my techniques along with familiarizing myself with how far to push the envelop before using the irrigation system for night watering. The techniques are paramount in the success of our property not only for plant health but for playability. More importantly, firmer and well maintained water management is allowing us to handle rain events without impeding productivity from the staff and damage on the course from cart traffic.
Here are some additional updates:
The well being of Steve Poprocky:
As many of you know from my email blast to the membership last week concerning the accident that occurred on the course on Monday May 20th. One of my assistants, Steve Poprocky, who has been a fixture on this property for over 37 years, was involved in horrific accident while topdressing the 8th green that Monday morning resulting in multiple broken bones. I'm happy to report as of my visit yesterday afternoon, Steve is doing much better. I received a call from Steve yesterday afternoon, he asked if I was still coming today and if I wouldn't mind bringing him some watermelon. Once I got to the hospital, he was out of his bed for the first time sitting in a chair watching the Memorial on the golf channel.
If progress continues, then Steve should be out of the hospital next week and will have to spend some time in a rehabilitation hospital for a couple of weeks to regain his strength from the injuries. Steve asked me to tell everyone "Thanks for all the well wishes and cards". I'll keep everyone posted in the weeks to come.
Our shipment of annuals for this year came in last week and the staff has been hard at it with bringing the beds throughout the property to life.
We conducted our pre-emergent herbicide application to the rough and fairways on Monday May 20th and finished on the day after Memorial Day. This is one of the most important applications of the year to provide fertility for the stressful months in combination of reducing the weed population. The product we used was Dimension, with the active ingredient of Dithiopyr. Dimension creates a barrier in the soil profile that prevent weed seeds from entering and provides protection from any weeds from sprouting up. The main focus is for the prevention of crabgrass but does help prevent many pesky broadleaves. The combination of this application with Post-emergent sprays on the property will aid in all the clover and wild violet that stands out like a sore thumb.
I knew this was going to be a challenge and we are already experiencing many worn areas throughout the property. The key word to cart traffic is "scatter". I'll explain this more following a few pictures of the wear throughout the course.
This is a picture I took from 16 green, hopefully you can see the amount of carts that choose to drive down to the tee being used on the driving range compared to those that decided to park up top and walk down.
The result is a worn area of weaken turf from the constant traffic driving around the tee.
Constant traffic in one area (example being here left of the greenside bunker on #6) compacts and weakens the turf creating a poor growing environment and causing the turf to wilt (dry out faster). Not to mention it is aesthetically unpleasing to the eye.
Back to the word "scatter". I wanted to give a few tidbits and recommendations towards cart traffic as the summer months approach and we see more traffic on the course.
- Respect the Par 3's: All the par 3s on the property with the exception of #16 have cart paths from tee to green. Carts should remain on the path at all times on par 3s as this is a common practice at most courses. When playing #16, park your cart at the path for #17 tee or drive to the right of the green and circle around back using the existing path. With how that hole is played by using the slope from left to right, it is important the we keep the turf to the left of the green in good health and I surely wouldn't want to prevent a ball from making it to the green because I have to rope that section off and the stake could stop or alter a ball's path.
2. Respect the Tees & Greens: One of the beauties of this property, is at least we do have cart paths at the tees and greens of pretty much all the holes. Using these paths when starting or finishing a hole will keep these surrounds healthy and playable. Remember it's not just you playing this course, the wear constantly being created effects everyone.
3. Scatter at entry & exit of paths: When utilizing the paths, try to mix up your driving pattern when entering or exiting the path this will prevent compaction and turf loss. Again, some of our paths are in play.
4. Use caution in turns: Not only for safety, but turning to sharply or slamming on brakes can damage the turf.
Communication is important, not only from the staff but from the membership. A conscious effort from all parties will go a long ways. Remember it's the little things in life that have the biggest impact!
I hope everyone is excited for the summer months and I look forward to seeing you on the course!