Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dead Hemlocks

You may notice a few hemlocks that have yellow ribbons  tied around them.  I am actively seeking out the dead trees that need removed this winter.  When the deciduous trees loose their leaves, the dead Hemlocks don't stand out like they do during the summer.  Therefore, marking them now will give me a better idea of what lies ahead, particularly heading into the budget season here at the Club.

E-Mow: Lawnmower That Runs On Grass



The warm temperatures in conjunction with low humidity and a breeze are making watering a challenge.  We have 4 staff members out there dragging a hose all afternoon being sure not to allow much wilt.  We are using the above roller base sprinkler head in areas the irrigation system doesn't reach.  We have two of these sprinkler heads and they are running all day long as we move them around the course to different areas.  The staff is doing a fantastic day keeping your course green.  Long hours and hard work are required to make up for a poor quality irrigation system. 
Rain is in the forecast...a 40% chance of afternoon thunderstorms on Saturday-Monday.  We are in need of a slow soaking rain.  A flash flood thunderstorm will not be of much help right now.  At the same time, it is great seeing the course playing firm and getting good bounces and roll.  Enjoy it as this doesn't occur often in our temperate rain forest community!

The science behind watering:

Plants use water (taken up via the roots) to cool themselves off.  The water rises through the plants and is released through the stomata, or small openings in the leaf.  The water evaporates, cooling the plant.  This evaporative cooling is similar to the feeling of getting out of the shower...very cold!  Once there is no available water left in the soil for the plant to take up, it wilts.  The plant shuts itself down because it can not live without water.  In most cases, the plant (or grass) goes dormant.  However, Poa annua does not go dormant, it dies.  This is why it is important to keep the turf well watered during drought times.  We do not want to lose turf.  On the other hand, it is a good time to allow Poa annua to check out, shifting the competitive advantage to the creeping bentgrass.  In the shorter season we have in the mountains, I know most members appreciate green and certainly wouldn't be satisfied with the Pinehurst No.2 look!  It is a delicate balance between maintaining adequate soil moisture and getting good ball roll as opposed to it being too wet.


Today was our 21 day interval fairway spray application which consisted of 2 fungicides and 2 growth regulators.  As you can see, I devised a way to eliminate using foam to mark our passes.  By tying chains to the end of the booms, the chain drags in the dew allowing the operator to see their last pass.  I know many members had a difficult time finding their golf balls in fairways with the white clumps of foam.  As long as we are able to spray on days when dew is present, we will eliminate the use of foam all together.

Big harvest today!  Spring mix lettuce, spinach and swiss chard were all harvested and delivered to Chef Bryant!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Swan Lake

I met this morning with our aquatic biologist about the weed issue behind the LEC.  As I mentioned before, we can't get a boat in there to treat because it is too shallow.  However, we devised a plan using hoses to get out into the middle.  The initial application was made today.  It is this vegetation you see drifting out into the main portion of the lake.  We need to proceed with extreme caution because this is our irrigation source.  Any chemical or herbicide placed into the Swan Lake has the potential to be taken up by the irrigation system and distributed on the turf!

Swan on #15 pond

Please refrain from feeding the swan on the 15th hole.  The swan is fed by staff when the fish are fed.  I am constantly getting called about the swan approaching members on the tee and the fact it does not get out of the way.  Of course, this is a direct result of several members feeding the swan and encouraging/ training it to think it is safe to approach people.  Your help would be appreciated!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Catch basin elevations

One of our many winter projects will be re-sodding around catch basins in fairways and raising irrigation heads which has been an ongoing project.  Over the last 10 years, we have really committed to an aggressive sand topdressing program on fairways.  by adding a 1/4" to 1/2" of sand to fairways each year, our sprinkler heads are slowly getting deeper as the surface is raised via the sand cap.  This requires us to go back and raise the heads to ground level.  In the case of basins, we reslope the ground down to the top of the basin.

Aquatic weeds

Within the last week, we've had some parrots feather, an aquatic weed, pop up in a few areas of Swan Lake.  I have a contract with Mountain Lake and Pond Management out of Sylva, NC who treat our ponds monthly.  However, since Swan Lake is our irrigation source, we are limited on what we can treat with.  If we use strong aquatic herbicides, the irrigation pumps will suck up the water and we will be irrigating with it.  The end result would not be positive.  We can hit the pond harder during periods of wet weather when we aren't irrigating.  As you know, it has been quite dry and will be dry for the foreseeable future.