Golf Course and Grounds Report May 11, 2017
What a difference a year makes. No doubt we were spoiled by the dry conditions last spring. Seems as if Mother nature is making up for it. I don’t know if you remember the old Bill Cosby routine about Noah and the Ark. “Noah, how long can you tread water?” Well, it looks like we are in for more of the same this weekend with another two inches predicted – hopefully the weatherman hit the wrong dartboard!
With the conditions, we have been focusing our efforts to try and mow when conditions are reasonable. With the accelerated growth of the turf normal for this time of the year, we are experiencing an excessive amount of clipping debris on the wetter, softer fairways and in the roughs. We managed to apply our growth regulator/poa annua seedhead suppressant material to all greens, tees, and fairways on the few good days we had between the raindrops. This program should help slow the growth rate and buy us some time between rain events allowing us to get the turf under control. The clipping debris will subside as growth rates slow. We are doing our best to avoid making ruts in the softer areas. Throughout situations like this I have stressed to our staff that an immense amount of patience is necessary to “weather” the conditions, so to speak and get through. I have said to them, there are times when you may get stuck, just make sure to repair what was disrupted. You probably have seen them out there walking an area before they mow it and they have done a magnificent job of keeping the course playable without too many disruptions.
We have been working on a project on Hole #4 involving an irrigation leak. The issue has been ongoing for some time and worsened last year to the point where something had to be done, and it has been anything but an easy repair because of its proximity to the drainage channel across Hole 4. There is a small amount of work to be completed and this issue will be finally resolved. The irrigation system is pressurized and except for the area we are working in, is fully functional, although it may be quite a while before we need to use the system at all.
Over the next few weeks we will be making application of plant protectants and augmenting the nutritional requirements for the turf. As mentioned the first application of the growth regulator has been made, along with an insecticide combination to eliminate and suppress the white grubs that overwinter in the soil and are moving up to feed on grass roots, and hyperodes weevil adults that are flying around and laying eggs that will hatch into small white grubs that feed on plant stems during the month of June. The growth regulator in addition to slowing the growth, suppresses the formation of Poa annua seedheads. The timing for this application, as a rule of thumb, is when the forsythia bushes begin to flower. You will notice a slight off color appearance of the turf as it goes into full regulator mode followed in about two weeks by a significant green-up from the stored nutrients that were not being used for excess top growth. Follow up applications will be for crabgrass and weed control, and on greens we will be continuing with fungus control and additional supplemental nutrients. As always, we post the applications of plant protectants on the bulletin board at Hole #1. By state law we are required to list the common and scientific name of the material, the area treated, the date, and contact information. The notice stays posted by law, for a minimum of 48 hours, although I usually leave it up for a longer period of time.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of our new members to Kingswood and hope you enjoy your experience. Our staff takes a great deal of pride in presenting the best possible conditions for your golfing pleasure and we look forward to seeing you out there.
Our staff has performed above and beyond the call so far this season. They had a week to clean up the course in difficult conditions, and they are still involved in clean up, before having to mow where last year they had a month to do it. They worked to prepare the course and we successfully hosted the New Hampshire State Four Ball event last Sunday in challenging conditions. They cleaned out the drainage channel of leaf and cattail debris across the entire length of Holes 2 and 4 and it looks great. They are motivated and want to set the standard of excellence for everyone to enjoy.
Once again, Thank You for adhering to the cart paths only rule during this difficult period. I know it makes for a long day but it helps the course conditions tremendously. I don’t think I have seen this challenging a season in sixteen years, but I am a cup half full person and we can get around the course and play golf on some excellent greens, and the sun will eventually shine. The rain has to end sometime.
Vince Matics CGCS
Golf Course and Grounds Superintendent