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, October 24, 2013

Frost Delays Are Here. Be Prepared!

Frost Delays

By USGA Green Section 

I Am An Early-Morning Golfer. What Is The Justification For Frost Delays?

Frost is essentially frozen dew. Ice crystals visible on the outside of the plant can also form on the inside of grass blades. The grass plant, normally resilient to footsteps or cart traffic, becomes brittle and fragile when ice crystals form. Under the pressure of traffic, ice crystals puncture living plant tissues and rupture plant cells. Damage will not appear right away, but it will show up in footsteps and tire tracks the following days as the plant is unable to repair itself and begins to die. Frost damage can occur on any turfgrass mowed at any height, but it is amplified when the plant is mowed low, as on a putting green.
Keep in mind that a foursome typically takes several hundred footsteps on each green, so even allowing just a few groups to play when frost is present can be very damaging to the greens, as well as to the rest of the golf course. It is not completely understood when frost will cause damage, so the decision to keep traffic off the course must be made conservatively to protect the condition of the course. For this reason, golf facilities are wise to delay starting times in the morning until frost has completely melted.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stay Below The Hole!

This is a subject I don't often write about. I would love to take all the credit, but Mother Nature truly assists me at this time of year!
We are entering the period of time where we can reduce mowing, raise the height of cut and maintain excellent playing conditions on greens.
Heat and humidity stresses are long gone. The turf begins to slow its leaf-growth and our applied nutrients are feeding root-growth (my ultimate goal in October / November and beyond).
Our maintenance plan of optimizing root growth is actually easier at this time of year. I also must balance moisture levels, while raising the height of cut and making sure greens don't get too fast. If you are playing this weekend you should know I'm more concerned about the greens getting too firm and too fast!
We only rolled this morning to get the dew off the greens. They were rolling at 11.5 feet after the roll and they will only get quicker as the surfaces dry out. I will be watering this afternoon to make sure they stay receptive to good approach shots. We actually won't mow them again, at the higher height of cut, until Wednesday.
I am raising the height of cut to increase the amount of leaf surface of the individual turfgrass plants on the greens. This improves photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the food making process that all plants use to survive. It is the ultimate health factor our green's turf needs to prepare itself for the stresses of winter and the summer of 2014.
Our maintenance practices in autumn focuses on root growth because leaf growth naturally reduces and nutrient uptake is almost entirely used towards root enhancement . It is my job to optimize the plant's genetic capability to achieve it's root enhancement but not reduce playability. Yes, the proverbial tightrope.
Thankfully, the tightrope is easier to walk in the middle of October!
Here is what you really need to know... Stay below the hole because the greens are rolling great! They will be that way until we "put them to bed". Putting them to bed is when the soil freezes! Your guess is as good as mine! Let's hope Mother Nature is on our side!
I will certainly keep you updated!!!