Another rough year for winter kill in the North...
Friday, April 17, 2015
We are resloping a few pond banks on Swan lake. The banks above are being done to make it easier for folks to get in and out of canoes during camp week. Erosion is terrible on our banks and the primary culprit in my opinion is the muskrat. They are often seen in the lake and burrow in the banks leading to erosion. Below, is a log we pulled out of the bank! It was preserved in a waterlogged environment for 90 years! To think that this tree was cut down when the lake was built (and course) in the 1920's is pretty darn cool! This isn't uncommon...on the 10th hole, during some boulder work a few years ago, we found a log that had axe notches from where the tree was cut down. That is neat considering in the 1920's, chainsaws were not as prevalent as they are now. I did some research and found this:
The first portable chainsaw was invented in 1925 by what became the German company Festo in 1933. The company now operates as Festool producing portable power tools. Other important contributors to the modern chainsaw are Joseph Buford Cox and Andreas Stihl; the latter patented and developed an electrical chainsaw for use on bucking sites in 1926 and a gasoline-powered chainsaw in 1929, and founded a company to mass-produce them. In 1927, Emil Lerp, the founder of Dolmar, developed the world's first gasoline-powered chainsaw and mass-produced them.
If the gas powered chainsaw wasn't invented until the mid-1920's, I wonder if they even had them on site when the course was built? Just think of the time it would take to clear a few acres for 1 golf hole!
Despite the rain (almost 4") we got the course mowed out today and it looks great! Making the call on whether or not to mow can be challenging. There is a balance between causing damage and not allowing the turf to get too tall as that would create its own set of challenges. Our drainage, as you know, has gotten 100% better over the last 17 years and holes like #1 which used to be off limits after rain events are now some of the driest holes on the course. The investment we've made in drainage sure is paying off!
Thursday, April 16, 2015
3,500 fish were delivered to the Club today! #15 pond and Swan Lake received all of the Rainbow Trout ranging from 11" to 24". Based on the recommendation of the Recreation Committee, we added more trophy fish this year. These particular fish range from 18" up to 24"! Check out the upcoming edition of the Piper for HCC fishing rules.
This spring (specifically the last week) we've received a tremendous amount of rain in addition to much cooler temperatures. This caused a fairly large outbreak of brown patch and pink patch in our roughs. I pulled the trigger this morning on spraying a fungicide. Healing will only take a few days. These are 2 diseases that would most likely go away on their own, once active growth resumes. This is a tough time of year with regards to the rough. We try hard to keep the Kentucky bluegrass pure and uniform. However, warm temperatures are required to get this grass actively growing (75* or higher). The bentgrass, Poa and other undesirable grasses in the roughs are growing sooner at much cooler temps. This means the Kentucky Bluegrass simply can't compete and we loose a lot of ground. In addition to that, the 100" of rain per year is better suited to the bent and Poa annua. Bluegrass is better acclimated to drought like conditions.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
While winter of 2014-15 was friendlier to my fellow supers in the northeast compared to 2013-14, there are a handful of courses dealing with winter kill issues this spring. The photo above is a course in Eastern Pennsylvania. It's going to be a long year as the only option is to reseed with bentgrass. Poa annua is very susceptible to winter death if it spends too much time under ice, sealed off from oxygen.