Update from the HSGC Golf Course Maintenance Team: 08-22-20

Hello, everyone.

As we prepare for our final maintenance closing of the summer and continue to watch the conveyor belt of tropical storms heading across the Atlantic, everything is coming along nicely with the golf course. We recently experienced two weeks with no measurable rainfall and there were very few dry areas on the course, greens included. That tells us from an agronomy aspect that we are creating some organic matter and the wetting agents we are currently using are performing as expected.

Our process for this closure will nearly mirror the process for the first one. We will aerify the greens, tees, and fairways and drag the plugs back in. Like in June, this is done more so to generate some sand for topdressing and level out some of the depressing than it is to remove any organic matter. The holes created will also allow for better air flow to the root zone. The healthier the root zone, the more we can push the greens for speed and play-ability this season.

Just a fun fact: each hole created in the greens will be two inches apart. That will lead to a little over 1.5 million holes per acre of greens surface. We have three acres of greens, so next Monday and Tuesday, we will generate over 4.5 million two-inch in diameter holes in the greens, removing roughly 7% of the greens surface, with the goal of growing the TifEagle back in 12 days. I know as a golfer that aerification is dreaded, but as a grass farmer, it is one of my favorite times of the year.

I have heard there are some questions concerning the replacement of the bridges on holes 13 and 15. We have had the bridges surveyed and they will require quite a bit of work to bring them up to par. Last season we had several carts, ranging from Golf Course Maintenance carts to Member-owned carts, suffer flat tires caused by the bridges. While a flat tire is not the end of the world, often the cart causes damage to the turf as well. Taking the need to address the structural integrity of the bridges as well as resurfacing the bridges into account, and based on the guidance from Tom Fazio II, a much lower profile crossing fits in more to the current design of the golf course. This would have already been completed had we not experienced the record rain falls in early June. The water table continues to drop and as soon as it reaches a low enough level, we will install the culvert pipes and reroute the paths of both holes through the native area between them. This will ultimately create a much more aesthetically pleasing view on the course without the elevated bridges.

Lastly, while most of our work here at Golf Course Maintenance is visible to everyone on the course, there is much more that happens out of the eye of the membership. We strive every day to leave the property better at the end of the day than it was at the beginning. That includes the maintenance building and the storage areas associated with it. With the help of two members (who I could barely keep up with, by the way), we have re-vamped the fertilizer storage area. Not only is this a much more professional look, it allows for better inventory tracking, and it increases the safety of the area both physically and environmentally (see before and after pics below).

Thanks for checking in. Hit ’em straight and stay well.

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