Bumps and Bruises

The month of July is in the books and im glad to see the calender flip to a new month. 20 days in the 90s with no rain has put a tremendous amount of stress on the playing surfaces. The rough has been virtually dormant the last few weeks and we have largely stopped mowing it. All things considering the course has held up through the drought fairly well.

The greens,tees and fairways have have some bumps and bruises. I was forced to raise the height of cut on the greens to keep them healthy and consequently ball roll has been a little slower lately. Ill lower the height of cut down once this stressful period subsides.

The greens were “vented” yesterday coupled with a light coat of sand.

The green surface is aerated with solid tines in comparison to the the hollow tines that pulls cores.

This procedure promotes healthy gas exchange in the soil profile. It helps alleviate compaction and provides water to infiltrate the green profile. The sand helps mitigate thatch accumulation and smooths the putting surface. They should roll just fine in just a few days time.

Divot mix is provided for the carts and on the tee boxes. Please use it and encourage others to do the same. Also please repair your pitch mark and one other.

All things considered the course has held up through the drought fairly well. Ill see you out in the fairways!

Green Aeration

Its been a challenging three weeks which is why this blog has been so quiet.

We are solid tining the greens today and applying sand this morning. We will close one green at a time while we work on the greens. The greens will be a bit sandy for a day or two but im assuming Isaias will wash all the sand into the canopy.

Ill go into more detail later this week. Thank You for your cooperation and understanding.

Bouncing back

Thank you to whoever performed a rain dance! We have received adequete rainfall the past two weeks. This morning the rain gauge recorded .80 inches of rain from tropical storm Fay. The playing surfaces have bounced back and are actively growing once again.

Recently you have may noticed that the ball roll on the greens are bit slower. This is due to combination of high humidity, rainfall and infrequent green rolling. The high humidity and surface wetness causes more friction and slows the ball down. Also we are experiencing some equipment and staffing challenges this season. These challenges have made it difficult to consistently schedule green rolling. Im not sure when these issues will be resolved so we can temporarily expect inconsistent and slower ball roll going forward.

Chinch bugs have returned once again and decimated a large area of the 14th tee. Next season i will incoporate a plant protectant on all the tees at the appropriate stage of the chinch bugs life cycle. On a seasonal basis I use very little insecticides on the property due to environemental reasons. The insecticides i do apply are species specific and are the most environmentally chemistries that are currently available. Unfortunately next year I will have to make a broad spectrum insecticide application on the tees so we are protected. I sprayed the 14th tee the other day and we will spike and seed it to nurse it back.

The kestrels flew the coop earlier this week from there nest box near 9 green.

I spotted 4 juveniles in a dead tree near 9 green. This is another great example of environmental stewardship! Ill update again in two weeks. See you out in the fairways!

Prevent Defense

We have had 1.27 inches of rain this month coupled with very dry and hot conditions. Al the playing surfaces are suffering drought stress and the rough has all but gone dormant.

The irrigation system is old but functions well and is a supplement to mother natures liquid gold. Evapotranspiration rates (ET) have been extremely high and when i do irrigate it quickly evaporates into the atsmoshpere.

What can i do? I have raised the height of cut on the fairways and greens. What does raising the height of cut do? This gives the plant more photosynthetic leaf tissue which enables the plant to capture and store more energy. Increasing the “bank” of stored energy allows the plant to stay cooler for longer periods during these hot and dry days. In addition we are also mowing greens every other day and rolling on days we dont mow. This will create a little inconsistency in green speed and I will resume normal green maintenance as soon as the greens bounce back from this stressful period.

Some good environmental news to share! The kestrels have returned to the box on 9 green!

Its anyones guess how many are in the box. Last year i believe we had 5 chicks hatch succesfully. If you are lucky you might see the female swoop in and deposit food into the box. They are getting big so it wont be long now till they take there maiden voyage.

I also had a bobcat and newly born kit walk out in front of me on the 8th hole. It was a neat experience but i never want to be that close to her mother and yound ever again.

Have a great weekend and ill try to update on conditions again soon. Pray for rain!

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June

The weather has been almost perfect the last few weeks. Albeit a touch on the dry side at the moment. Thats ok though as i always say its easier to put water on than it is to take it off on our golf course.

The lupines really do look glorious in our native area on the 2nd hole. Pictures dont do it justice so you have to seem them for yourself.

The last two weeks is one of the busiest stretches on our calender from an agronomic standpoint. We are trying to get all our pre emergent fertilizers out in time and also combating the annual bluegrass weevil(ABW).

The ABW weevil is the most destructive pest of annual bluegrass which is a plant we have quite a bit of in our fairways and greens.

The weevils are only 4.5 milimeters long and are difficult to detect as they hunt for annual bluegrass to feed on. Whats most destructive of these weevils is the eggs and subsquent larvae that hatch. The larvae feed primarily on annual bluegrass and can decimate large areas of turf if left unchecked.

Our preventative program is solid for greens and tees and we make just one protective application on the fairways. So once a year i make a fairway application that needs to get watered in immediately to increase the efficacy of the chemistry. So if you happenned to play last week and the sprinkers were on this is why.

I dont have much environmental news to share other than i continue to see kestrel activity in the bird box near 9 green. All our blue bird boxes are occupied and we have already had a clutch of bluebirds take flight.

There has been an uptick in play recently and with that there are more divots and pitchmarks. Please repair your pitchmark and one other on the greens. Replace your divots on the tees and fairways. The staff and I are trying to keep up with the divot repair on the tees but i need your help in keeping the course in great shape. If you are unsure of course ettiqette please ask the golf pro or myself and we will be happy to show you the way.

Thanks for your efforts in these matters! Ill see you out in the fairways!

Getting into the swing of things

The golf course is in pretty good shape and it finally feels like late spring has arrived! We have had some gorgeous weather lately and i hope you have had a chance to get out and play.

The greens are not quite where they should be 15 days after treatment. We core aerated the greens the same time every year and typically by Memorial Day weekend they are rolling pretty true.

Regretfully all those cold nights have slowed down the top growth and they havent quite healed in. I expect within a few days from now they should be all healed over from aerification. You should expect a better ball roll and be able to enjoy them without any major distruptions till this fall.

There has been some activity in the kestrel box down on the 8th. Im not quite sure if they have laid eggs or hatched but will know for certain soon. We have established a no mow zone around the box to give them some more privacy. Please dont drive through this area.

Please help me keep the course in great shape. Replace your divots and fix your ball marks. Please do not exit a bunker on the high side on the 6th green. This is poor ettiquette and your likely to damage the bunker face.

Have a great holiday weekend and Ill see you out in the fairways!

Mid May Update

Thankfully this cold stretch of weather will be in the rear view mirror soon. The long term forecast looks very favorable for growing grass and playing golf!

The warmer weather and rain we are expecting will help heal up the greens.

6th green 7 DAT

Some greens are filling in well and others still need a touch of sand. I tried a different method of topdressing this year and the results on some of the greens were less than ideal. I hope to start cutting with a sharp set of reels on the greens soon so you should see an improvement in speed and ball roll.

Good new to share! We have passed all the competencies for ACSP! Later this year they will do a site visit and we will be the only 9 hole course in Connecticut to be a Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary golf course. Quite an achievement and i have to thank Fran and Vince for all their help!

A pair of kestrels have taken up residence in the box down between 8 & 9. Another great environental stewardship project that is making a difference!

Once the warm weather arrives it will be very busy for us and ill try to update again when i have something noteworthy to share. In the mean time please replace your divots on the tees and fairways.

Ill see you out in the fairways!