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!

Lean and Mean

The weather has been spectacular the past few weeks with ideal conditions to play golf. The greens have been on the dry side and with very little nitrogen inputs they have been lean and mean.

We have taken advantage of this great weather to complete a number of important cultural practices. We finished aerating all the tees and fairways. We aerated lower 8 fairway for a second time this year as well as the rough on the right side as you play the hole. This week we are aerating green collars and approaches.

Fall is the best time to apply post emergent herbicides. The warm soil temperatures and cooler daytime temperatures improves efficacy. I applied herbicides to our green complexes and tee slopes. This should reduce the amount of broad-leaf and annual weeds next season.

I finally received word from ACSP for golf that we have successfully completed the program. The last part of certification requires a representative of ACSP to make a site visit and attest to our environmental stewardship. Id like to thank White Memorial Foundation, Local Boy Scout Troop, Fran Devlin and Vince McDermott for all their hard work in helping to reach our goals.

We had a back to back light frosts last week and we can expect frost in the future. Calm nites in the mid to low 30s will result in frost and play being suspended until 930 or 10 am. Please plan accordingly.

Hope everyone is enjoying this indian summer. Hope to see you out in the fairways!

Switching Gears

The golf course was in great shape for our club championship and fields cup matches. With the conclusion of all our our premier tournaments of the season the LCC maintenance team will be switching gears and focus on soil cultivation practices.

We have started the process of aerating fairways, tees, collars, and approaches. This is a labor intensive procedure which requires the entire crew. So there may be days when you come out to play we do not mow greens or rake bunkers. Thanks for understanding as we have a small staff and these fall cultural practices are a higher priority than routine maintenance.

The weather looks good next week and I hope to aerate the 1st,4th, and 7th fairways. This fall, if time and weather allows us i would like to aerate some of our fairways for a second time this season. The thatch in our fairways is getting to a critical level and needs corrective action.

One very good reason to reduce thatch is that insects are attracted to that particular micro environment. Pictured below is the blight on the 3rd tee.

Orginally i thought this was drought and heat stress. Upon closer inspection i found chinchbugs! Yes chinchbugs! This is my first observation of these insects on the property. They enjoy sunny thatchy micro environments and the 3rd tee checks all the boxes.

We have applied a plant protectant and we are aerating and overseeding this area today. Next season i will monitor our tees a little more closely for this tiny destructive insect. Next year we will need to aerate this tee and others a few extra times to reduce the amount of thatch.

Green aeration has been pushed back to October. Im not exactly sure when i will schedule it. Invariably it will be during a beautiful sunny dry stretch of weather. I will send a notice out in the crier and also try to get it posted on the members event calender.

The weather has been spectacular to play golf! Hope to see you out in the fairways.

Green venting and vertical mowing

On Monday 8/19 we will lightly vertical mow the greens. This removes some thatch and grain in the greens. It also opens up the turf grass canopy for sand. On Tuesday we will apply sand and vent the greens. The greens will be a little sandy for a few days but will be in good shape by the weekend.

This procedure will help firm up the greens and improve ball roll as we look forward to club championship and the fields cup. The venting of greens promotes beneficial gas exchange into the root zone.

Greens aeration is scheduled for September and the dates are yet to be determined. Tentatively right after fields cup. The staff and I also have to schedule tee and approach aeration. Lastly we still need to finish aerating fairways. We have a busy fall planned.

Thanks for understanding as we try to maintain the golf course at the very best level for you and your guests.

Let them breathe

This morning we “vented” the greens. This is a practice of punching small holes in the green soil profile to exchange beneficial air into the root zone and release detrimental gases. It also helps water infiltrate the soil profile and stimulate root growth.

The greens are in pretty good shape as we head into August. They do feel a bit “spongy”to me which means they could use a bit of sand. If the weather is favorable sometime later this month i may put a fine dusting on the greens. This will firm them up a bit and make the putting surface smooth.

The mens member guest had a great weekend of weather and playing conditions. We did receive two inches of rain a few days before and it really made the property shine. It is starting to get dry again but it looks like we might get some much needed rainfall later this week.

The american kestrels flew the coup last week. I counted 5 juveniles in a dead ash tree near the 9th green. I hope we can get lucky again next year.

Its been a nice summer and there is plenty of it left. I hope to see you out in the fairways.

Tee it high and let it fly

The golf course is in really great shape if you had a chance to play it recently. The fairways have really firmed up and you should enjoy the extra roll off your drives.

The 8th fairway was aerated this past Monday. It will heal over quickly with the warm soil temperatures. We will continue to aerate fairways throughout this summer as time, labor, and weather allows us to do so.

I sprayed the lower half of the 8th this morning with some foliar fertilizers to try and nurse it back into shape. That part of the fairway has really suffered from the onslaught of rain we have received dating back to last August.

The area in front of 9 white is roped off. Also there are stakes and cart signs going towards 9 blue. These areas have been damaged from cart traffic when carts were let out when it was still too soft. We will have to fill in the ruts and will remain closed until it firms back up. In the future if we have excessive rainfall i may be forced to close all of 9 tees to cart traffic. The little known footbridge can be used to walk over to 9 blue and yellow.

Next week is a holiday week and we need to complete all maintenance procedures in only four days. The staff and I will need to “hustle” next week to reach our weekly goals. So please understand if we dont stop or slow down while you are out playing golf.

Enjoy your holiday and ill see you out in the fairways!

Full Swing

The golf course has recovered nicely after all the rain we received this spring. The staff and I are finally into a routine grounds maintenance mode. Its great to see everyone out enjoying the course finally!

The first green recovered nicely after receiving some fertilizer. The greens are in great shape and we are rolling greens thrice a week or more.

1st Green

The 8th fairway is finally starting to come around. We applied some foliar fertilizers recently and we mow it only once or twice a week dependent on the soil conditions.

8th Fairway

We are using the gang units to cut this fairway and the quality of cut is not as clean as our fairway tractor. Its the best I can do at this time until I can remove some of the excessive thatch.

Gang Units

The fairways are a bit “thatchy” because they have not been aerated in two years. The reasons for this is twofold. One has been the weather and the other has been a broken gear box on the fairway unit.

As you can see it is a complicated piece of equipment with a lot of moving parts. We were able to fix it and I plan on aerating the 8th fairway this coming Monday. Removing some of the excessive thatch will help water percolate down and also create a favorable exchange of oxygen into the soil profile. It will also allow me to cut the fairway a bit lower in the future.

The course is a bit soggy after all this rain and high humidity this week. If we receive more rain tonite its possible carts will not be available tomorrow. Regardless, I would expect that carts will be available for this weekend. Please call the pro shop or check his blog to see if carts are permissible.

Have a great weekend! It looks like a good weekend to be swinging a club!