Welcome to my blog!
It is my intention to give the readers a better understanding of what we do to maintain The Farms Country Club's 18 hole championship golf course and grounds.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Green Aerification Begins on Wednesday!

The course will be closed Wednesday and Thursday for green aerification and overseeding!

It is that time of year and the turf certainly needs some love. Mid to late August is when our turf, especially Poa Annua, is at its weakest point. The turf has performed well all summer and under the most trying weather conditions, but we are seeing the effects now. You may have noticed thinning turf and brown patches. Our goal is to provide firm fast playing conditions and we have done well reaching this goal.
Poa Annua on greens and collars are showing the late summer signs of stress yet the creeping bentgrass still looks excellent! The scheduled aerification and overseeding will definitely help stressed turf recover. It is also the perfect time to continue our plan of introducing the more desired creeping bentgrass through overseeding.
The greens will recover within the normal two week period after aerifying and we can enjoy the expected fine playing conditions through the home stretch of the season!
Some of the brown spots in fairways are the result of us not over watering turf and allowing isolated dry spots to go dormant. If we over-irrigate to reduce the isolated dry spots, most areas of the fairways would be soaked and playability would suffer. The brown areas are only dormant and will recover as cooler temperatures and better growing conditions arrive in the coming weeks.
I will keep you updated on our progress over the coming days. Thank you for your patience while we perform one of our most important maintenance tasks!
I urge you to catch up on the last couple of USGA Green Section Northeast Updates discussing what they are seeing in the region.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bembix Sand Wasps in Bunkers

Some concerns have been mentioned about the "bees" which invade our bunkers every year. They are actually Bembix Sand Wasps and pose no threat to humans. The are quite docile! I have copied this article I found from another superintendent, Tom Kaplun of North Hempstead Country Club. Remember , our staff maintains the bunkers daily and we are constantly disturbing them. NOT ONE STING!

"For a few weeks every year we have little friends make homes in our sand traps. These fast fliers are officially known as the Bembix Sand Wasp. They dig numerous burrows in soft sand (ie- bunkers) to lay their eggs. Juvenile wasps, known as larvae, emerge from the eggs where they remain in the sand and grow into adults. Adult females congregate together in large numbers when making nests to bait their prey. The higher populations of larvae in nesting sites attract flies, beetles, caterpillars and grasshopper. These insects are captured by the female sand wasp and taken back to the sand burrows to be fed to the growing larvae.
The existence of these critters in the bunkers is a nuisance to golfers but beneficial to the the course as they help to control the population of flies and detrimental turf beetles by preying on them.
The greatest concern for golfers is that they will get stung by these wasps when entering a bunker to play a shot.   Studies have proven that this particular wasp is not aggressive and of no harm to humans.  Both male and females wasps will not sting humans unless they are stepped on or smashed between your hands.  When approached by a human the sand wasp will initially swarm, looking for food, and then go back to their burrows to protect their larvae.

It may be a distraction when trying to play a shot from a bunker but keep in mind, bunkers are hazards and populations will dissipate in September when new adults emerge from the sand."

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bunker Renovation on Hole #14 Complete!

We began our renovation of the left green-side bunker on hole fourteen late last Fall. The bunker is now complete and in play! Below are some pictures which show the process we went through.
The base was cleared of old sand and the "DREADED FABRIC". Then it was sodded.

The sod was killed this Spring and the dead turf was scalped with a string trimmer.

After dead turf scalped and cleaned of debris.

The drain lines being filled with bunker sand so work vehicles could easily dump loads throughout. 

After 45 tons of sand added. We smoothed and packed by watering and using Sand Pro Machine.

Another view. The sand will continue to firm up and level off through normal maintenance.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Soil Temperatures. The Waiting Game.

Soil temperatures greatly effect our turfgrass management on the course. We have been struggling to see afternoon soil temperatures get over 55 degrees. It has been even worse this week with 48 to 50 degrees. There are a few things you should know about low soil temperature...

  • Air temperatures may get warm for portions of the day but soil temperatures fluctuate more slowly
  • Grass seed will not germinate so our project areas are slow to develop
  • Creeping Bentgrass and Poa Annua will not grow evenly due to different genetic characteristics
  • Those yellow rings on the greens will not go away until the grass grows
Soil temperature #1 Green
Air temperatures finally look to be on the rise for next week. With it, the hopes that soil temperatures will improve and we can get this party started! Soon enough we will be talking about green grass and thick rough!