February 23rd – March 8th…

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The weather continues to be the story with 1.45″ of rain and only two days of sun since our last blog post. In Fact, since September, we have received 37.48 inches and very little sunshine. This is about 10″ short of our yearly average, and all coming during the fall/winter. For 2019, we have had only 9 days of sun.  I was unaware we had to grow Bermuda grass here in the Pacific Northwest.

For over a year I have been wanting to change-up our mowing pattern in regards to our tee complexes. The goal here is to provide the Membership with a clean updated look and better conditioned teeing surfaces.  This change in mowing does not affect playability and will provide a look that is aesthetically unique to the Golf Club of Houston.

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The scalped areas will go away rather quickly and will soon look just like the fairways. Turf quality will improve on the tee boxes as a result of an increase in cut frequency. Currently we are mowing tees twice a week and this change puts tees and fairways on the same schedule three times a week.

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This week we applied another pre-emergent herbicide on greens to both courses. This application should prevent any goosegrass or crabgrass from invading our putting greens.

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Detail work continued this week with lake banks being weedeated on both courses. This is the lake bank on #9 tee complex.

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All knock-out roses and crape myrtles are being trimmed throughout the property.

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This week we pulled soil samples from both courses. This soil test will let use know how we have done since last year in regards to the amount of organic matter in our soil profile. Information gained from this test dictates how we plan our aerifications for the year. This all goes back to percent organic matter and the amount we need to remove per year to provide the members with the best putting greens on a consistent basis. More information regarding this has been covered in past blogs.

Until next time, have a great weekend!

-Agronomy Team

February 9th – 22nd…

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The weather continues to dominate as it has for nearly 7 months straight with cloudy and rainy conditions. Cabin fever is setting in amongst the crew as we can only do so much with the courses being so wet.

Course conditions overall continue to be good on both courses. The greens however are beginning to show signs of a long, cloudy, wet winter. Turf coverage on the greens is thinning slightly on the Member Course and a bit more on the Tournament Course as the lack of sun is favoring algae growth. Playability wise they continue to be good, but some warm sunny days would go along way right now to get them top fill in.

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As you can see we have only really had about 3 sunny days in February month to date. January was no better.

Member & Tournament Courses

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Today’s Temperature

The week of the 11th, we finally had to pull the trigger and apply our spring pre-emerge. We were not dry enough, especially on the Tournament Course, but went ahead and sprayed knowing that we would have to repair some ruts as a result. Fixing ruts was well worth it versus trying to post spray out weeds the rest of the year. Good news is we did get both courses completely sprayed out and are due for another pre-emerge application mid April. Some folks will ask “How do you know when to apply your pre-emerges to prevent weeds?”.  We use a soil thermometer to measure the temperature at a 1-2 inch depth. We know that when temps are at 55 degrees or warmer for 3 plus days, that crabgrass will begin to germinate. The warm weather the week of the 11th dictated that we needed to get out our pre-emerge prior to crabgrass germination.  Goosegrass, another problem weed for us, germinates slightly later when temps are between 60-65 degrees for 3 days or so. This will get done on that April date mentioned earlier. So if we are pre-emerging now, you should as well for your home lawn. The good ol weed and feed from Scotts is ok, but a better choice would be Nitro-phos with Barricade. This can be found at your local nursery and not at the typical box store. Just remember that pre-emerges will not kill any existing weed, only prevent new ones from germinating. If you have existing weeds, kill them first.  Apply according to the label.

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This week we began our spring trimming of all crape myrtles and will soon be pruning back all knockout roses.

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Installed a new walk path for the halfway house restroom area. Yep, that’s stone from the Shell sign on #18.

Last week we finally dried up just enough to mow fairways on both courses. We even got the roughs on the back 9 mowed on the member course. On the Tournament we mowed about 6 holes worth of roughs before rain returned Sunday.

 

Thanks for checking out the blog, have a great weekend!

-Agronomy Team

 

 

 

January 26th – February 8th…

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Both courses are looking really good heading into this weekend. Warmer weather earlier in the week really greened up fairways and greens. If you played earlier this week you probably noticed greens speeds slowed significantly versus week prior. The warmer temps encouraged growth and the 1000% humidity made them very sticky. They’ve sped up a bit today and will continue to regain speed through the weekend. The Member Course is very close to getting off the paths and the Tournament Course continues to be very wet.

Member Course

While on the subject of wet courses and being on the cart paths, I must say I was very disappointed riding the course this past Monday with the amount of path only violators on the Member Course over the weekend. It amazes me that a small percentage of the membership simply has no respect for the course, other Members, or staff that work so hard to provide excellent conditions year-round. The agronomy team inspects the course thoroughly prior to making the decision whether we are to be regulated to the paths or not. Our decision will always be in the best interest of the course, to insure that it remains in great condition for future play of our Members.  In the instances when agronomy employees are the culprit, which does happen, the employees are counseled and disciplined if corrections are not made.

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This week we were able to treat all of our roughs for poa annua weed. Yes, the same weed they’re putting on at Pebble Beach. Unfortunately, we had some breakthrough on our fall pre-emerge herbicide with all the rain since September resulting in us having to make this application.  We should see results in a couple of weeks from the herbicide application.

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Poa Annua weed

 

Tournament Course

New cart path on #16! Not quite finished with some detail sod work and cleanup, but the new path is open. The old path was a safety concern with amount of erosion continuing undermine the path along the bayou.

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Our staff removed the sod first and used it on #18 around beds and sodded the washed out bank along #5 cart path.

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Not sure what this guy was thinking, bypassed counseling and told him to beat it.

Landscape beds on #18 Tournament Course were cleaned up and new cord grass was installed. The old wax myrtle had become tired and were deteriorating, thus we made the decision to remove them and make those beds consistent with the rest of the tournament course beds. Really I just hate wax myrtles.

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Clubhouse

At the clubhouse, we finally removed the pine stump on the tournament side entrance and also sodded the area adjacent to the new Member cart staging area by the Member entrance.

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Thanks for checking out the blog, hope everyone has a great weekend!

-Agronomy Team

January 12th – 25th…

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Both courses are in really good shape heading into this weekend. The Member course has really dried out well since our last rain event on Wednesday, enabling play to get off the paths legally as of noon today.  Greens are rolling well and will only get quicker. The Tournament course is in good shape as well but still continues to dry out. If the forecast holds true, we could be off the paths by the middle of next week.

The Member course saw the normal weekly storm cleanup as well as having all of the bunkers edged and detailed.

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A familiar sight the past 6 months, storms rolled in Saturday and Wednesday nights this week.
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Several trees were blown over, however none on the course itself. This was a homeowners tree on #16 tee area.
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This week we have seen three days of frost with a one day getting as low 30.
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Just a cool picture

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This week we started a three-month drainage project on the Tournament course. Most of the work will be in (in-play) areas using french drains. The project started on #8 fairway just short of the green with 500 linear feet of drainage being installed. Next we hit the bail out area to the right of #5 green, this was about 300 linear feet. We will continue next week hitting areas we feel will improve course playability.

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Just some roots you would typically find in a fairway soil profile. Not!

That’s about all for this blog update. Looks like the weather might cooperate though the weekend, so get out and enjoy both courses.

Thanks

-Agronomy Team