We hope everyone is enjoying their summer. We have had several major monsoon storms the last several weeks with a total 3.75 inches of rain since July 9th. Unfortunately, in those storms we have lost several trees. The loss of the trees will be incorporated into our tree plan and reviewed by our arborist and golf course architect to help determine the replacement.
Now that the humidity has set for a lenghty amount of time we’ve seen a tremendous spike in the soil temperatures which has taken its toll on the ryegrass / bentgrass collars. While a some of the bent has hung on, it is thin and sparse. While the changes we made over the last year have produced progress on the collars we continue to struggle with maintaining a cool season grass in the collars on an annual basis. As you can see, there are white spot of suppressed Bermuda grass in the collars. We continue to address the Bermuda to keep it out of the putting surface. We will continue to evaluate and adjust to find a solution to the collars that will provide a year-round surface and provide Bermuda encroachment protection. Several options are currently being explored. Once the details are finalized the details will come from the club.
The weather has begun take its toll on the greens. We continue to be careful with our practices and watch our height of cut in-order to protect and preserve the health of the greens. While it is difficult to produce high greens speeds we continue to maintain our goal of 9+ on the Stimp Meter during the summer while still protecting the greens from the adverse weather conditions.
During times of stress bentgrass will struggle with 2 processes, photosynthesis and respiration. Photosynthesis is the process of the plant to produce food using sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. Respiration is the ability of the plant to convert the food of photosynthesis to produce energy for healthy growth. As the temperatures rise photosynthesis (food production) is reduced and respiration (food consumption) is increased. Thus, the plant produces less food but consumes more energy. After a period, the plant has depleted the food storage reserves and created an energy deficit. This is the main reason that we see a decline in the bentgrass by August. The betgrass is now deficient from using its food reserves during June and July and consumes more energy than is produces.
We have installed a fan on #3 green. The idea of the fan is to keep the consistent air movement on and above the green surface. The air movement helps to cool and keep excess moisture from the humidity from suffocating the bentgrass. So far, we have seen satisfactory results. We have seen slightly lower soil temperatures and surface temperatures. The constant air movement helps to decrease temperatures and increase photosynthesis and decrease respiration.
We have been very busy with multiple practices and projects. We have finished up the verticutting, aerifying, and topdressing of the fairways, tees, approaches, and roughs. We will now focus on getting the rest of the course healed up and recovered. While these practices are disruptive and impede the recovery of the Bermuda grass, they have very beneficial long term to the overall health of the course. We will start dialing in the heights and increase the mowing frequency now that all the sand has settled. During our last storm we saw the benefit of the sand and cultural practices. After an inch of rain, the golf course absorbed the rain very well and allowed to avoid cart path only.
The remaining projects we have planned will include leveling a couple of harsh depressions in the rough on #4, #18, #17 and a couple of drainage additions on #16 and #17. We still have one more round of trees to plant this season. Now that we have finished up our cultural practices we hope to plant these trees in the next several weeks. There are currently 13 more trees to be added to the course according to the master tree plan. In addition, we plan on getting caught up on the detail work. Cleaning and raking the deserts, trimming tree sucker growth, and edging. Much of the detail work gets put on hold during the cultural practices due to most of the staff being focused on those tasks.
|Lost pine on #4|
|Fairway before topdressing 3 years ago|
|Fairways after 3 years of topdressing - almost 2" of sand|
|Soil Temperature Reading on #17 Collar|
|Drainage working perfectly between #4 fairway and #7 tee, hold ing the water and slowing draining through the drain pip under the fairway - No debris contaminated #4 Fairway|
|Lost Tree #11 Tee|
|Video of the fan on #3|