Our dry winter / spring weather has the golf course playing firm and fast. We usually receive about ten inches of rainfall in the first four months of the year. Our rainfall totals so far this year are slightly below average, or about seven inches for the first four months. We do have some localized dry spots throughout the golf course due to the dry weather.
We have recently treated most of the hot spots in the fairways by solid tining these areas and applying a sludge-based fertilizer. This solid tining and fertilizer application will help with the hot spots by moving water down to the roots quicker and the fertilizer will help green up the turf.
We will be lowering the HOC in the roughs next week from 1.5” to 1.25”. The lowering of the HOC will help improve the rough mower cut and help the ball sit up in the rough. We are taking advantage of the dry conditions which enables us to lower the roughs at this time. There may be some slight scalping of the roughs next week when we lower the cut.
The Golf Maintenance Department has been finding quite a few cigarette butts throughout the golf course. With our current DRY CONDITIONS, it is very important that all cigarette butts get extinguished properly and disposed of -- and not thrown onto the golf course. Please help by policing your fellow members that smoke; we do not want another fire breaking out here at Hobe Sound Golf Club. We have had two HUGE fires here during my tenure at HSGC. They were both very scary and cost the club a great deal of money and hardship.
We started our aggressive vertical mowing on the greens this week. We double vertical mowed and double walk mowed the greens on Monday and Tuesday. You can see the slice marks in the greens from the vertical mowing. We vertical mow to reduce the organic matter (thatch) just below the turf line and to smooth out the turf for a better and more consistent ball roll. We removed a great deal of thatch and grass from each and every green on the course. We will continue this process one to two times a week, all the way up to the first coring of the greens on June 5. Once we core the greens we cannot aggressively vertical mow the greens as much due to the softness of the greens from the coring.
April 17: Hydro-jetting greens April 17
April 17 & May 1: Top-dressing and fertilizer on greens
May 30 & 31: Mole cricket and grub preventative application