Our Greens are in very nice overall shape as we head into season. We have a few edges of the greens where the wide-bladed Bermuda 419 turf has crept into the TifEagle turf and has scalped out slightly in some areas. We also have a few greens where the 419 has made its way into the middle of the greens. We have increased the amount of top-dressing that we apply during our normal bi-weekly top-dressing applications. We have switched to a heavier drag mat that enables us to work the sand into the canopy of the plant more than with the old drag brush. The increase in top-dressing sand will help with ball roll and with the firmness on our 15-year-old greens. Our current height of cut (“HOC”) on the greens is .125” which is normal this time of year. Along with the increase in top-dressing sand, we vertical mow the greens just about every Monday to help reduce thatch and help increase ball roll.
The tees throughout the golf course are in nice shape heading into season. We have struggled all summer with the pesky nematode worm, but we seem to have won the battle it for now. We have some broad leaf weeds that we are spraying out on the tee tops and tee slopes. Our current HOC on the tees is .575” which is a little lower than we will be during the winter.
Fairways and Roughs
We have just completed a wall-to-wall fertilizer application throughout the golf course. This fertilizer application has the fairways and rough growing and greening up nicely. We apply very little fertilizer on the roughs and fairways during the summer. We start applying fertilizer in mid to late September and continue throughout the winter months until late March or early April depending on the spring time temperatures. We want the turf as healthy as possible heading into cooler temperatures and the upcoming winter golf cart traffic. Fairway HOC is .575” and the HOC in the rough is 1.25”.
Both range tees are in good shape heading into the season; the west tee continues to get more use than the east tee. We encourage all our member to use the east range tee whenever possible to reduce some wear and tear on the west end.
We received a great deal of rainfall in the early part of the summer (May & June total rainfall 26 inches) and this left the bunkers wet and compacted. Starting in July, we changed the way we rake the bunkers to try and loosen up the sand more than smooth it out. We have bolts on the back of the sand pro machine that we can lower depending on how much sand we want to loosen up. We lowered the scarify bolts to a depth of about 1.5” to help loosen up the sand. We also removed the finish mat that we had on the back of the sand pro to smooth out the sand after raking. As the summer rains subside and the bunkers start to dry out a little, we will adjust our bunker raking accordingly.
TifTuf Test Plot
Our TifTuf test plot on hole #17, which we planted on July 24, has grown in nicely. The TifTuf grew in quickly and had 100% coverage in about 60 days. It seems to like our sandy soil and has not stressed out during low rainfall periods. We are mowing the TifTuf at .575” just like all the other fairways and we have a small rough area just to the south side of the 17th fairway to see how the TifTuf looks at 1.25” rough HOC. Please check it out when you are playing hole #17.
We will be working on many detail projects in the upcoming month to get the course ready for the start of the season.
New flags, cups, flag poles, yardage prism, painting stones, and ball washers and applying ant bait just to name a few….