22 September 2014

The A Team

Core aerification of fairways is a necessary and vital practice to the long-term health of our turf, and we must do this every September and October.  Core aerification is beneficial in many ways:  it alleviates compaction, corrects soil laying issues, introduces oxygen into the root zone, and helps create pathways for water infiltration and future root growth.

Our fairway aerification process is detailed in the above video, "The A Team."  Aerating the fairway is actually the easy part.  Cleaning up the mess left behind always takes the most amount of time.  Further complicating matters is the fact that we require dry, sunny weather for the best results--which also happens to be perfect golfing weather, too.  The short-term inconvenience to daily play is a necessary evil, as we are running out of days to get this process done and we have a lot of work left before the snow flies.

06 September 2014

You Dropped a Bomb on Me

70 m.p.h. winds yesterday evening have left the golf course an absolute mess. It literally looks like a bomb went off. 

Our entire team spent the whole morning blowing off greens, picking up debris, and blowing off tees and fairways. We lost some big limbs and one small tree on 18 tee. It will take days to clean all this up, but our team is making steady progress. 

We were unable to mow greens 12, 13, and 18 today because they remain too soft from all the rain. We also weren't able to get to the bunkers today because the rest of the golf course needed our attention more. 

03 September 2014

Plant Health Month

September is a Plant Health Month at Plum Hollow. This September, our team will be busy with fall core aeration of tees and fairways. September is the best month for this type of practice because temperatures are still good for growth and recovery, and there is still enough sunlight during the day to permit this. If we waited until October, with cooler temps and less sun, we would expect to see a lot slower recovery.

Fall core aeration is beneficial in many ways: reducing thatch, creating a firmer playing surface, correcting soil laying problems, giving roots a pathway to grow, adding oxygen to the soil, and alleviating compaction.  All of these are necessary ingredients to creating a healthy plant heading into winter. 

There are a lot of great golf days remaining in 2014, especially in September. However, these days are also the best days for us to aerate, when conditions are dry and the sun is out. We need dry conditions to drag and blow the cores, so unfortunately there will be a slight inconvenience to play from time to time. With two aerators we are able to knock out two or three fairways a day, so the process won't take long once it begins.  With another brutal winter expected for 2015, fall core aeration is extremely necessary this year, perhaps more important than ever.

Greens aeration this year is scheduled for Monday, October 13.

26 August 2014

The Pinehurst Experience

Fortunate to have been invited down to Pinehurst Resort for a couple days to learn about the renovation of Pinehurst No. 2 and the challenges of hosting back-to-back U.S. Opens.  The mornings have been spent in the classroom and the afternoons have been spent touring the many golf courses and facilities at Pinehurst Resort and seeing how a world class operation works from the inside-out. Many thanks to our friends at BASF for making this experience available to golf course superintendents.