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.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thank You Hugh Kurtz!!!

Responsible budget cuts to our 2010 fiscal year caused us to eliminate all ANNUAL flowers from our golf course plan.
While clubhouse and amenity areas were not sacrificed in the least, we had to make alternate plans for the course.
Hugh Kurtz made an offer that couldn't be refused! He has donated all the golf course flowers!
We are already planting!

The Farms CC can not thank you enough for your more than generous donation!
I look forward to sprucing up our landscape plantings with the beautiful flowers!

We all thank you for your generosity!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bunker Etiquette

Good Bunker etiquette should always be practiced by golfers. In an effort to educate players on the proper technique, I have included in this post a video tutorial from the USGA.
Note that during the video it talks about the option of rakes being placed inside bunker. Please disregard that info. At The Farms CC we place our rakes outside the bunkers as recommended by the USGA.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Maybe Poa Annua Isn’t So Bad?

The U.S. Open is being played at Pebble Beach this week. One of my favorite things is when the pros play Pebble because the announcers talk extensively about Poa Annua or Annual Bluegrass. Annual Bluegrass greens get a bad rap for several reasons. They are more difficult to care for because they are more susceptible to certain diseases and insects. Proper irrigation is more difficult because of a genetically restricted root system. The plants produce profuse seed-heads in the spring creating poor putting conditions. They are more susceptible to winter damage. I could go on and on.

Why do so many golf courses continue to manage Poa? Number one, it’s very expensive and requires a lengthy course shutdown to convert to creeping bentgrass. Number two, with proper management, Poa greens can provide an outstanding putting surface for the entire season. Golf course maintenance has come a long way in the last twenty years. There are many more “tools” at our disposal to manipulate this grass species.

Our greens are between 80% and 90% Poa Annua. While watching the tournament this weekend, you’ll notice the mottled, blotchy look of Pebble Beach’s greens. Our greens look the same. The different colored blotches you see are mostly the different strains of Poa.

Although labeled an annual, there are hundreds of strains of perennial Poas. Different varieties will survive best in their genetically determined environments. A Poa grass plant that has grown in shade for many years will likely be a different variety than a plant that has grown in the sun. In truth, there can be many varieties on one green alone. This leads me to another issue about Poa Annua. With many varieties come different growth rates and styles (upright, prostrate, etc.). This means that late in the day some plants may have grown more than others creating more bumpy conditions. I guarantee you will hear all about it this weekend when a player misses a putt late in the day in one of the rounds. Someone will blame the Poa for the missed putt.

This weekend’s player interviews and host commentaries should provide an abundance of information on Poa Annua. Take it all with a grain of salt. Last time I checked, we’re watching the U.S. Open at a venue with Poa greens. Heck, Oakmont Country Club’s Poa Annua strains are so rare that universities are trying to breed them. If I’m not mistaken, Oakmont has also hosted a few majors.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Meet Peter Wilson!

This month I’d like to introduce you to Peter Wilson,
Tennis & Clubhouse Grounds Maintenance Man.


Born: October 26, 1961, Weymouth, Massachusetts

Lives: Wallingford, Connecticut

School attended: Foran High School, Milford, Connecticut

Work History: U-Haul, 21 years in customer service
The Farms CC, 2 years grounds maintenance
Lowes, Wallingford

Family: Six Brothers and one sister
Son: Michael

Other Interests: 26 year Boy Scout leader, gardening, landscaping, fishing and hiking

Peter has worked at The Farms CC for almost two years. He started as a laborer on the golf course and quickly proved his worth. Peter excelled at every job he was assigned. His outstanding work ethic coupled with his attention to detail made him the perfect candidate to take over the position of Tennis and Clubhouse Grounds Maintenance Man. His position encompasses all tennis court maintenance and grounds maintenance of the tennis, pool and clubhouse areas.
I’m very pleased to say that since Pete has taken over his new position, the grounds have never looked better or more meticulously maintained! The court conditions are fantastic and his attention to detail is unsurpassed.
Pete not only takes great pride in his work here at The Farms CC, but shares his skills with Lowes of Wallingford where he “moonlights” in the garden department.
On the personal side, Peter is very proud of his son Michael. Michael is a sailor aboard the USS Chancellorsville. The USS Chancellorsville is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser. The ship is part of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group and is homeported in San Diego, California.
Last fall Peter had the wonderful experience of being able to take part in the “Tiger Cruise” with his son. The “Tiger Cruise” is a voyage aboard the vessel in which his son is stationed on. Pete met the USS Chancellorsville in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii. Once aboard, along with other families of the crew, he was able to sail to the ship’s home port of San Diego. Pete says the six day cruise was an experience of a lifetime and he’s incredibly proud to have shared it with his son.
I’m confident that Pete will continue to impress with his exemplary work ethic, dedication and impressive ideas. He has already set the benchmark for his position in less than three months!
Keep up the great work Pete!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Wildlife Pics From Course!

Back by popular demand!
The Ducklings have hatched on #7 pond. A Goldfinch near #18 tee. A Killdeer on #3 fairway.

Monday, June 7, 2010

When Aerifying Greens Shouldn't Scare You!

The words "aerifying greens" can strike fear into the hearts of golfers everywhere. Aerifying is a necessary cultural practice performed to varying degrees of aggressiveness. It’s one of the most beneficial maintenance practices we perform.
Aerifying is not always so aggressive that the surface quality of the greens are sacrificed. We are taking advantage of the flexibility of the new aerifier by aerifying some weaker greens with 3/16" needle tines.
We aerifyed the practice green this morning and then single cut it. The videos and pictures below show how non invasive this process is. Immediately after mowing, the holes are virtually invisible.
The benefits of this type of non invasive aerification provides us with another tool to balance turf health and consistent putting quality during the peak of the season. Unfortunately, we will always need to perform the more aggressive aerification in the spring and fall but we already know that that’s what affords us the outstanding peak season conditions.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fairways Have Dollar Spot Disease

The disease, Dollar Spot, is very common on all types of turfgrass. This is the most common disease we face all season. As with all fungi that effect turfgrass, the spores are always present. The disease becomes active when environmental conditions become favorable.
The common name, Dollar Spot, was termed due to the shape and size of the infected turf patches. They are about the size of a silver dollar. As the disease progresses these patches will coalesce and appear larger. Infection can spread rapidly if not controlled.
Needless to say, as of this morning, we have reached the threshold of the extent of damage we can withstand before turfgrass quality and playability become compromised.
We are spraying all fairways this morning.
All fairways have the disease but some are showing symptoms worse than others. This is very common because of the variety of growing conditions and micro-climates throughout the course.

Close-up Of One Spot

Close-up Of Small Grouping

Coalescing Spots

Broad View On Hole #14. 6 Feet On Tape Measure