Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lost ball finds a home

I was checking out the fairway surface on #2 and needed a golf ball to test a few lies against the solid tine aerification we just preformed.  I asked Manuel if he had a golf ball and he said, "I know where one is."  He led me to a nest near the lake and a Pro V that looked a little out of place.  I used it for my tests and returned it for hatching.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

Stockton Golf and Country Club has another beautiful day to celebrate freedom and the efforts of our veterans.  While you enjoy the holiday with your family with a BBQ or a round of golf, remember to give thanks to those who gave so much for us.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eucalyptus hair

This year's Invitational had one interesting problem to deal with.  After the crew detailed the course to tournament conditions, heavy winds arrived and made quite a mess.  Friday's first round's 9:00 am shotgun had us starting at 4:00 am to mow, double roll, and blow, blow, blow.  Thank you to our neighbors at Van Buskirk for the use of their roller, the greens were just awesome.

Three greens downwind of our massive and messy eucalyptus trees were covered in the flower parts that are tipped with tiny yellow anthers.  Here is a excellent photo pulled from Microscopy UK and author Brian Johnston.  The little white hairs covered three greens and slowed ball roll down making greens that were stimping 11.5 feet only roll out at 9.5.  That is not very fair to the contestants.

We tried to blow them off, but they were glued to the surface.  We tried to mow them off, and no luck at all.  We then tried to wash them off with a high pressure nozzle and the greens were going to be soaked by the time we finished.  As you can see below, the results were not that great.

Back to the drawing board and back to the shop to get our Greens Groomer brush.  I spun the greens a couple of times, we mowed again and double rolled.  Finally back up to speed and ready for play.

I'll have a couple more posts about the Invitational which was a very positive experience for members, guests, and the staff. I'm glad it's over with, but I enjoyed every minute. Thank you to my wonderful crew, the best around!!!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Aerification 2012

I'm well behind with blog posts, but it's better than being late with maintenance practices which are right on schedule.  April 9th, we aerified the greens with 1/4 inch quad tines on our Toro 648 Procore.  We had  to make a few adjustments to our original plan and settled with half as many holes as we hoped for.  The greens were lifting up way too much with all the tines in use so we had to pull a row.  Good for the golfers, but not that great for the greens.  We also verticut in two directions and wanted to go deep at 1/4" but the turf was too tight and bogged down the machine, so we settled with 1/8".  Good thing we are flexible.  Members were happy to see the small holes and the sand filled them up with no problem.  The greens were all healed up after ten days and back to normal height in 2 weeks time.

When we topdress with sand, we put down a little extra on purpose.  The worst thing you can do is apply too little sand and not fill the holes all the way to the top.  Sweeping the greens clean and removing the sand cap from the top of each hole will lead to bumpy greens for the next month or two. Aerification has many benefits and one major plus is the smooth surface that topdressing creates.  All the small depressions are filled in to improve ball roll and set the turf at a uniform height.  We only get to do this a few times a year, so we are very careful to get it right.

This year, we even got to use our old Mete-R-Matic topdresser, a 1983 model that still works really well.  Now that we have a new Progator to run the the Tycrop topdresser, the old unit can pull the Mete-R-Matic at any speed and achieve an even amount across the surface.  Having two topdressers throwing down sand saved us over 3 hours of this process, which means I wasn't here until dark.