Course Open/No carts

That was quite a storm! Two inches of rain and high winds have made the course an absolute disaster. Mother nature did some serious limb pruning on all our trees. We will be raking up sticks and branches for the remainder of our season.

The growing season has come to a conclusion. We will mow fairways, tees, and approaches only one or two more times this year. Next week we will start a deep vertical mowing on the greens. We will then topdress the greens and then solid tine them. In effect we are putting them to bed for the year.

Please call the pro shop this weekend to see if carts are available. I will reevaluate course conditions tomorrow morning.

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.

Course Closed Today

We received 1.3 inches of rain in about a half hour. It washed out the bunkers and the fairways are saturated. More rain is expected tonite and its a safe bet that carts wont be availabe tommorow. However, we should be open for walkers tommorow.

All that rain really beat down the sand into the greens. They will clean up real nice in a day or two. You would never know that we just applied 18 tons of sand on an acre of bentgrass greens.

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.

Pumping the Brakes

The last few weeks of weather have been a tough stretch to manage the turfgrass on the golf course. The hot and dry weather have exposed some of our poor soils on our greens, tees, and fairways. We have been maintaining the course very conservatively this past week and will continue this practice through this weekend with temperatures expected in the 90’s. This past week we cut greens Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The off days we only rolled them.

3rd Green

Tomorrow we will mow the greens and Sunday we will only roll them. The greens might have been a bit slower but our goal is for them to remain healthy as we prepare for our upcoming tournaments.

Please observe the white and green stakes and cart signs. These are out for a reason! The reason is to give the turfgrass a chance to survive this weather. Also, it is much easier to make a up and down around the greens in healthy grass than a trampled lie from a cart. Carts are not allowed near greens, on tee slopes or even on tees. Carts should not be driven behind the 6th green on the right side as you play the hole.

I encourage you to inform you playing partners or other members if they are not practicing proper etiquette. If for some medical reason you cant walk then i understand but please try and stay a reasonable distance from the greens and tees with a cart.

Thankfully we received close to a half inch of rain yesterday and the grass perked up a bit. That rainfall was a welcome sight and the turfgrass really needed that slow steady rain.

1st fairway

This weekend is going to be tough with the heat and humidity but next week it looks like the temperatures should be more tolerable. Hopefully we get some more rain next week so the property can really shine for the men’s member guest next weekend. Next week the weather looks favorable for me to put my foot on the gas and resume mowing and rolling greens every day. Stay cool and i hope to see you out in the fairways!

Birds of Prey

The golf course has really has firmed up nicely with the lack of precipitaion.

The long range weather looks hot and dry as well so the course is going to continue to get a bit more brown. The course will green up quickly when it does rain so im not concerned in the least. For now just enjoy the extra roll off your drives.

There are some drop zones on the 2nd,3rd, and 5th hole. Please talk to Scott about these areas if you are not sure of our local rules.

Drop zone 3rd hole

I have some exciting environmental stewardship news to report! A pair of American Kestrels have hatched a clutch of eggs in the box near the 9th green. The kestrels are our smallest falcon about the size of a robin. The number of kestrels have declined by 50% since 1966. Promoting their recovery by installing and maintaining these boxes is a great reason why we are involved in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf.

Yesterday, Jaime Fischer the Wildlife Research Director at WMF came to confirm this brood and we discussed banding the chicks by a kestrel expert from the Audubon Society in Sharon.

Young kestrels waiting for a treat
Breakfast time

For now just enjoy the aerial display of these magnificient falcons. Im guessing the young will fly the coop soon.

Hope to see you out in the fairways!