Wednesday, May 16, 2018

More Repairs, What's Next, & Important PSA!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper!  Today is Wednesday, May 16th and it's time for another update to our winter injury repairs.  Also, we are currently between our two largest spring tournaments (Member-Guest and Member-Member) and believe it or not we will be aerating greens in just two weeks.  I know, that last statement is a little hard to swallow considering March and April were unkind to growth and recovery, but I will explain so please stay with me.

The last time we were together I shared where we utilized 20 pallets (10,000 square feet) of new turf.  Exactly one week later we acquired another 20 pallets and continued the process of "erasing" the unsightliest areas.  The team prepped all areas selected for repair on Maintenance Monday, making quick work of the installation when turf arrived early the following day (last Tuesday).  
Prepped Area No. 18
Twenty pallets of new turf takes up considerable space.  We were able to immediately load four into haulers and we do our best to store as much as possible in the shade.  We quickly installed all the prepped areas from the day before wrapping up repairs on holes 1, 9 and 18.  

Repairs to tees No. 9
Repairs to No. 1 fairway continued where we left off the week prior.  We had three areas in No. 18 fairway we strongly felt would not heal in a timely fashion and installed new turf.  Hole No. 9 saw repairs made to the three most forward tees and the collar adjacent to the front right portion of the green.  

We had approximately 3,000 square feet (6 pallets) remaining and we repaired an area on the slope between the club house and cart storage building and we turfed the steep area adjacent to the pool where the three large poplar trees were removed last year.  All remaining turf was then installed at the Back Range Tee.

At this time you may be asking yourself what about some areas that still appear thin or nearly void of turf.  True, we haven't completely replaced 100 percent of all injured areas, but I believe we have replaced those on the course that do not possess the capacity to heal themselves given more time now that winter is finally over and they're receiving a little TLC (water and fertilizer).  As for the Practice Range, we will wait until after the conclusion of the Member-Member and greens aeration, then reevaluate what's in need of repairs before acquiring any new turf.

It's important to realize we experienced a morning low temperature in the 30's just two weeks ago.  The Member-Guest was contested during the warmest stretch of the year (four straight days of 90 degree plus temperatures), and although it has cooled somewhat, the moisture in the atmosphere and constant threat of rain the next several days is just what both new sod and thin areas trying to recover need.  In other words the course will continue to improve with each passing day.  

I referenced above we are scheduled to aerate greens in just two weeks.  If you were in attendance at the Annual Meeting in January I addressed how we would be taking a different approach to greens aeration this season due to our involvement with co-hosting the U.S. Mid-Am.  The good news is we will not be aerating in early September per our normal schedule.  The first round of competition begins on September 22nd and to provide proper conditions it will be necessary to forego aerating near the championship.  Also, I do not want to aerate immediately following the championship because I want you and your guests to enjoy the remainder of the fall golf season without disruption.

That means we are essentially performing our normal fall aeration three months early, immediately after Memorial Day (bad news).  Now we have always aerated immediately after Memorial Day but the process has been on a smaller scale with the objective of bridging the gap between spring and fall.  With no fall aeration this year, it's imperative we aerate aggressively enough to carry us through the entire summer and into fall without worry.  So, although you will once again be encountering freshly aerated greens (cores removed, sand topdressed) in a couple weeks you can take solace knowing it will be March 2019 before you have to endure it again.  Also, I'm certain you will be pleasantly surprised at the quicker recovery this time of year compared to spring with soil temperatures now at levels conducive for turf growth.

A couple other items before I go.  The other day the USGA published a Public Service Announcement about golf cars and their use.  I shared it on Twitter but I wanted to include it in the blog CLICK HERE because it contains really good information.  Pay particular attention to No. 4 because whenever I'm asked what is the one thing that could make Carolina Golf Club even better I always answer less traffic.  With an elevated club house and multiple elevated teeing grounds the eye is always looking down at turf stressed by heavy cart use.  I attempted several years ago CLICK HERE to encourage everyone to operate golf cars ONLY in the fairways but the practice has never become widely adopted by everyone from my observations.  

It's pretty simple, if you want to see less stress and more thick, uniform turf then avoid driving over the same areas daily.  We do our best to use short stakes or stakes and ropes to direct everyone away from highly trafficked areas but we can only do so much and your help would be greatly appreciated as we strive to improve course conditions not only as we prepare for a national championship, but more importantly for your daily enjoyment.

And to end on a positive note, I couldn't help but enjoy the site yesterday of this large turtle crossing 18 fairway.  I guess he was ready to go for a swim and he wasn't about to let me interfere with his plans.

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG  

Thursday, May 3, 2018

SITREP - Turf Repairs!

Hello and welcome to The Greenkeeper!  Today is Thursday, May 3rd and I want to take this time and give you a situation report about the ongoing turf repair process at Carolina Golf Club.  You'll recall last time I described in detail where most of the damage occurred and laid out a replacement plan over a two-week period.  Unfortunately Mother Nature interrupted week one when we received rainfall over four consecutive days totaling over 3.5 inches, thus meaning week one was this week.  

Twenty pallets of Latitude 36 arrived first thing Tuesday morning and the team wasted little time initiating repairs.  Normally we prep (remove damaged turf, smooth grade, etc.) for new sod the day before a truck arrives, but our golf outing schedule did not permit a normal Maintenance Monday this week.  Therefore prep work had to take place simultaneously with repairs which slows the process.  
The team worked very hard and by late Tuesday afternoon we had repaired the damaged portions of collars on holes 10-13 and 16 along with some other repairs near the green and bunker complexes of holes 10 and 11.
Yesterday was a long day as the team worked hard installing the new turf on holes 1 and 2.  Portions of the collars and approaches were repaired on both holes but the bulk of the new turf was used along the right side of the first fairway.  We will begin prep work this coming Maintenance Monday to ensure sod repairs next Tuesday morning progress more efficiently.  Areas targeted for repair next week include holes 1, 9 and 18.  Any remaining sod will be utilized on the practice area.

That's all for now, time to water sod and rope it off to prevent anyone from inadvertently driving through it.  Please be cautious as areas immediately adjacent may be wetter than anticipated and as always, free relief is granted from Ground Under Repair.

See you on the course,

Matthew Wharton, CGCS, MG