Week of 8/15/16


Felt like this picture really sums up our week!  It will definitely be a week we will want to forget weather wise.  Looking back we have only had about five hours each day where it wasn’t raining or threatening to rain.  Currently we almost to 7″ in the last 7 days but we are trending in the right direction as only 0.75″ has fallen in the last 48 hours.

We are doing our best to pick up the pieces and make an impact on the golf course without causing unnecessary damage.  We have not been able to mow fairways or rough at all, on either course.  We have been able to mow greens everyday and MC tees as scheduled.  Today we are able to mow most collars and approaches, as well as TC tees.  We will be working extra hours today and through the weekend to repair all bunkers and hopefully mowing fairways and rough as soon as they are dry enough.

Also, we have had to delay finishing the sod work on the TC from our transition.  The sod farm received more rain than we have and have not been able to get to the sod to cut it for us.  We are hoping to take a delivery next week if everything is able to dry out.

Just a reminder that we did not aerify the MC greens this week due to the weather.  Our plan is to complete this final aerification this coming Monday and Tuesday the 22nd and 23rd.  This aerification will be exactly the same as our recent TC aerification using smaller, 3/8″ tines that will allow the greens to recover in roughly 10-14 days.  Right now the forecast is calling for 100% chance of rain on Monday, so we are hoping that this turns out to be wrong.


Not only has the rain kept us too wet to mow most areas, it has also made the turf puffy.  We wanted to make you aware that our tee mowers are cutting great, but it doesn’t look that way on some tees.  When the turf gets puffy from the leaf blades swelling due to the excess moisture, this is how our cut will look.  If you notice the top picture we mowed what we call a 6 to 12 direction.  The next time we cut, we changed to a 3 to 9 direction and saw the same results.  This tells us that the puffiness and grain of the turf are the issue.  We are hoping to verticut and/or use a spring tooth rake that mimics verticutting on the tees next week when we are dry enough.  In combination with a break in the rain, this should help us improve the appearance of the tee after mowing.


We have still been chugging away at the tree trimming project, focused more on trees near the cart paths this week because of the rain.  We will not be cutting anything new today and hope to have nearly all limbs picked up today and through the weekend.  Once we are able to repair all of the bunkers on both courses, we will have more labor dedicated to cutting and picking up.  Holes #1-6 have been trimmed, minus a few touch ups on the larger spanish moss trees specifically between #2 and #8.image


imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage As you can see, the weather has been ruthless to the courses this week.  Yesterday we were able to pump all of the water from the MC bunkers and began the TC bunkers.  The areas around the bunkers were still soggy yesterday so we weren’t able to start repairing bunkers until this morning.  We are beginning with the greenside bunkers first, on both courses.  Once we finish the greenside, we will work our way back around repairing the fairway bunkers.  Our goal is to finish most if not all greenside bunkers today and the rest by the end of the weekend.  The crew will be working outside of their normal hours to help us catch up as quickly as we can.


The one benefit from the rain is the new nursery green is really coming along nicely.  Just two weeks since planting and we are very happy with the progress.  We will be rolling and topdressing these greens as soon as the weather cooperates and hope to get our first mow on them early next week.  imageimage

Aerfication Rescheduled


We have received 4.84″ of rain since Saturday afternoon with 2.15″ of that falling in the last 24 hours.  Due to the weather, we will not be able to aerify MC greens as scheduled this week.  We will shoot for next Monday  and Tuesday the 22nd and 23rd. We were able to perform our circle verticut yesterday, so that part of the process is complete.  We are hopeful that a break in this weather pattern is coming.

Week of 8/8/16


Another great week of work by the guys as we continue to hone in on some details.  We were able to start trimming low hanging branches this week.  This has not be done for over 3 years, so please pardon our progress as you may see some branches down over the weekend.  We sprayed all of the MC rough with growth regulator and a herbicide specific for doveweed and edged all of the bunkers as well.  On the TC we used our spring tooth rake to “verticut” the tees and fairways, continued prep and laid 40 pallets of sod, and finished the fairway core aerification.

Just a reminder that we will be performing many cultural practice next week on the MC.  The greens will be aerified using the same 3/8″ tine as the TC nearly two weeks ago.  We will also circle verticut the greens prior to the aerification.  The fairways will be circle cut as well and this time we will also be lowering the height of cut to get a bit more aggressive with the grain.  We also hope to begin core aerifying the MC fairways next week.  This process will be slower as we will only be able to complete 2-3 fairways per day.  Here are more highlights of the week:


It is extremely over due, so we are excited about starting to knock out some tree trimming on property.  One guy with a pole saw leads the way, focused on trimming low branches in the way of our mowers and/or ones that may hit the top of golf carts.  In many instances the turf surrounding the tree will also improve because we are creating more room for sunlight. The pole saw is followed by two guys using a chain saw to cut the branches into smaller sections and then they are hauled away.  As you will see in the pictures below, there are a number of branches on each tree that need trimmed.  We are doing our best to stay with the pole saw but there may still be some branches on the ground at the end of each day.  We started on TC #1, the DR, and then MC #1 this week.  We will be continuing on the MC, in order, until the course is done and the we will move back to the TC.  The results so far have been amazing and we are anxious to get around because of the visual impact we are already seeing. imageimageimageimageimageimageimage


As most of your probably noticed, it was time for a flower change out around the clubhouse.  We chose vincas again for this time of year because they performed great for us last year.  imageimageimageimage



You may have already noticed some new pull behind rough mowers making quick work of the rough recently.  These new mowers are made by Trimax, a company out of New Zealand, and are fairly new to golf courses.imageWe first demoed their first golf course model, the Snake, a few months ago and it quickly became a “no brainer” to add to our fleet.  This week we were able to mow all the rough on both courses and the driving range using both Trimax’s and one of our regular John Deere 8800’s.  imageimageBeing able to mow roughly 180 acres with just 3 guys really sets us up to be able to focus on more details in areas that we struggle to keep up with.  The best part is the cut quality is extremely good, if not better than our current JD rough mowers.imageimage  This was the third week we have had the Trimax’s in use and we believe we will continue to get more efficient with them.  We have already found a couple of more uses for this awesome machine.  This week we used it on the TC to mow fairways at 1/2″ behind the spring tooth rake in order to save the reels on our JD fairways mowers.  We also found it to be a great core destroyer in fairways at the same 1/2″ height.  This machine is a game changer for us!image imageimage


We received our first sod delivery of 20 pallets on Monday and the guys laid all but 3 pallets that same day.  After finishing the pallets on Tuesday, the guys pushed forward continuing and finish prep work on the entire course.  Wednesday was our second delivery of 20 pallets and the guys laid all 20 the same day.  So far, we have sodded roughly 18,200 square feet with another 20 pallets (9,100 square feet) being delivered on Monday morning.  We anticipate this third delivery to be enough to finish the TC and the area near the bunker on #17 MC.  This puts us roughly 6 weeks ahead of last year!  We are excited to have more time for the sod to establish, which will allow us to be more aggressive with our cut heights when “scalping” for overseed.imageimageimageimageimage  We have already applied a granular wetting agent to all of the sod to aid in moisture retention.  Over the next couple of weeks we will be topdressing and applying a starter fertilizer to these sodded areas.  We also plan to begin mowing these areas at 3/4 – 1″ next week to slowly step down the height to eventually match our current fairway height.  Please help us by trying your best to avoid driving over any sod as these areas will be very wet until the sod establishes.


Thought this picture really is a great example of why we are cart path only for so long during transition and then again after overseeding.  These brown tire tracks are from cart traffic during the afternoon heat.  Most people equate cart path only with wet conditions but that isn’t the only reason to follow cart path only during certain times of the year.  As you can see, it doesn’t take long for the turf to become damaged.  If this area had been struggling to grow in from transition, these two cart tracks would have set us back quite a bit.  As it stands now, these tracks will probably be visible until our next good rain.



Week of 8/1/16


The crew really got after it this week and we had one of our busiest weeks to date.  We started the week with our final TC greens aerification of the year and also fertilized the MC wall to wall with a slow release fertilizer.  We also finished up our new nursery green near our agronomy center, edged all of the practice and TC bunkers, prepped areas for sod on the front nine TC, and spot treated mole crickets on the MC.  All it all it was a tremendous week for us and we hope you enjoy the excellent conditions when you play this weekend.


We have begun work on the left green side bunker on #17 and also started sodding around the large tree near the right green side bunker on #17.  We used some extra sod we had from finishing our nursery green collar and will finish this area early next week when we receive our first sod delivery for the TC.  Also, we realize that the bunkers are playing slightly inconsistent because of the difference in firmness.  We will be working to tamp the newest bunkers, in the order they were renovated, to provide more consistent firmness throughout the course.imageimageimageimage


We applied a granular fertilizer to 130 acres on the MC this week.  The fertilizer is the same blend as before, using a polyon coating to slowly release nitrogen over the next 8-12 weeks.  The 35-1-0 product was applied at a rate of 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.  Overall it took 24,000 pounds of fertilizer to cover the entire MC.imageimageimage


We had a seamless final greens aerification of the year earlier this week.  This time we used a 3/8″ hollow tine that is just 2.5″ long on 1.5″ x 2″ spacing.  This is slightly smaller than the tines we used for the first aerification back in June.


The machine uses a total of 30 tines when using the 3/8″ tines



Top: 3/8″ tine, Bottom: 1/2″ tine


The tine of the left is the 1/2″ from our June aerification while the tine on the right is the 3/8″ used this week.

We began the process with a circle verticut, followed by walk mowers using out front brushes.  It was our first circle verticut on the TC greens and it really did a great job at removing quite a bit of thatch material.imageimageimageimageimageimageimageOnce the green was clean of the thatch material, we applied a heave layer of sand.  This is followed by the coring machines.  The boxes on the machines collect the plugs as they make each pass.  The plugs are then dumped on the collar as the machine lifts the tines at the end of each pass.  This makes it easier to clean up and minimizes unnecessary foot traffic on the freshly cored, soft greens.imageimage

imageAfter the cores are collected and the surface is allowed to dry for a few hours we double roll and drag the greens.  The roll comes first to firm up the green as much as possible to reduce tracks from the drag.  After dragging, we applied an 8-0-16 granular green grade fertilizer at a rate of 1/2 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.  This fertilizer is all quick release to give the greens a kick of nitrogen to aid in the recovery.  Overall, you can expect the greens to be slightly bumpy this weekend with most of the sand already down in the turf canopy.  The greens should be fully recovered in the next 10 days or so.imageimageimageimage


Greens tissue after our first mowing post aerification


The TC has grown in so much grass over the past couple months that our sod numbers have shrunk to a number that allows us to handle everything in house this year.  We started this week by prepping the entire front 9.  We will have our first sod delivery on Monday (8/8) containing 20 pallets of mini rolls totaling 9,100 square feet.  We anticipate needing no more than 2 more truck loads at the most.  All of these areas will play as ground under repair until the sod is established.  The sod being delivered is maintained at a 1″ cut height.  So the areas we sod in the fairway will be taller than our current cut height and we will have to slowly step down the height once the sod is established.  After the sod installation is complete, we will be helping these areas grow in quicker by topdressing  and fertilizing them.imageimageimage


After quite a bit of preparation of the area, our new nursery green is planted and will be fully grown in in a couple of months.  We divided the green into 3,000 square feet of mini-verde and 2,000 square feet of tifeagle.  Both of these grasses were planted via sprigs and a collar was installed using Bermuda 419 sod.  We applied soil amendments and fertilizer to aid in the grow in process.  The most important thing for the next several days is lots of water so that the sprigs are never allowed to get dry.  We will be running the sprinklers for 5 minutes nearly every hour.  Also, we will overseed the mini verde side at the same time as the TC every year.imageimageimageimageimage


We just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for following proper divot patterns on the driving range tee.  We have noticed this and appreciate your efforts in helping us provide the best conditions possible.  Please continue to model your divot patterns after the picture to increase the divot recovery time as well as minimizing the size of the area impacted.image


Week of 7/25/16


We are very happy with all that we accomplished this week despite the storms shortening our work days on both Wednesday and Thursday.  We received right around 1/2″ each day, that fell very quickly caused some flash flooding and the winds created quite a bit of debris.  The TC fairways were still a little too wet to mow today but we were able to mow all short grass and completed the final holes of rough on the MC.  We also finished edging cart paths on the MC and the bunker crew completed the first bunker on #17 and have made great progress so far on the left bunker as well.  All of the MC bunkers were flymowed and edged this week.

Just a reminder that the TC greens will be aerified for the final time this year on Monday and Tuesday of next week.  We will close all the practice greens at the driving range and #1-#9 on Monday 8/1.  Then, on Tuesday 8/2, these greens will re-open for play and  #10-#18 and the putting green behind #17 green will be closed.  The greens on #10-#18 and #17PG will re-open on Wednesday 8/3.  Also, we hope to begin prepping areas we have identified as needing sod on the TC next week



We finished up our greens verticut on Monday and followed it up with a kiln dried sand topdressing using rotary spreaders on Tuesday.  This sand is much finer than what we would use for our greens aerification so it is nearly unnoticeable.  We usually let the kiln dried sand settle into the turf canopy on it’s own followed by a normal overnight irrigation cycle.  imageimageimageimageimage


The guys did a great job this week putting a fresh edge on all the bunkers as well as trimming up those areas that our rough mowers can’t reach.  The rains really slowed down our process but the bunkers turned out great in the end.  Typically we will send up to four guys with weedeaters and they will edge the bunker lip and trim the bunker noses.  Then, a crew of two to three guys follow behind to blow out the inside and around the outside of the bunker.  This same group then uses hand rakes and the machine rake to finish up the bunker.imageimageimage


The guys were really determined to finish the right side bunker on #17, even working in the rain to put on the finishing touches.  We plan to sod the lip closest to the tree as well as enough area to re-establish the tree well.  This will be done when we order sod for the TC areas we will begin prepping next week.  We are also planning to selectively thin out the tree in order to allow for more sunlight to hit the new turf, giving it a greater chance of survival.  The guys have already made quick progress on the left side bunker and we anticipate it to be complete next week as long as weather continues to cooperate.  imageimageimageimage


7/25/16 MC Greens Verticut

Just a quick update on our circle verticut on the MC greens today. We chose to change up our grain attack today by going in a circle pattern instead of our usual backtrack pattern. Doing so, we were able to hit the grain at a new angle.  Once the material dried, we used a buffalo blower to blow the material off of the green.  Usually we will mow following the blow but due to the more aggressive circle pattern, we chose to roll the greens prior to mowing.  This is done to minimize scalping that we expect to see because of the circle pattern used. These areas often show up on the greens edge but also can be seen based on the direction of the mow.  You will see one mow width with none of these areas, then right next to it the mower hit these grain spots coming in the opposite direction.

Please know that these areas are a positive sign to us that we were very successful in continuing our thatch and grain control by hitting the plant from a new angle. The spots will be temporary and do not effect ball roll. We will be using our kiln dried sand and rotary spreaders to topdress the greens tomorrow but you will not even notice the sand is there.


Week of 7/18/16

We had a really productive week, if only we could get just a little rain.  We are careful what we ask for here in Texas, though.  Seems to either be flood or drought.  You will see excellent conditions when you come out to play this weekend.

We applied a herbicide spray to most of the clubhouse lawns.  This spray is the same as what we have done in areas on the TC and on the driving range.  These areas will look brown in the next few days but will green up again in 10-14 days.  We chose this mix because of the variety of weeds present at the clubhouse.  We also selectively chose the areas to spray so that the entire clubhouse wouldn’t be off color all at once.  The areas not treated are at the main club entrance and the member club entrance.  These areas will be spot treated so that the entire area will be less affected.

Also, just a reminder that the final aerification dates for this year are fast approaching.  The TC will be the Front 9 on August 1st followed by the back 9 on August 2nd.  The MC aerification will take place on August 15th and 16th.

Here are the highlights from the week:


We completed the backtrack verticut on the MC greens this past Monday.  This was done at a depth of 1/8″ and followed by blower and greens mower to clean up.  Then a light topdressing was applied using rotary spreaders with kiln dried sand.  We were very pleased with the process and results.


This picture is a great example of why we prefer the “backtrack” method.  This is his first pass and you can see we aren’t getting hardly any material.



When he goes back on the same line in the opposite direction, we get much more material.




Believe it or not this green was just topdressed with the kiln dried sand.  This sand does a great job settling into the canopy without extra effort to work it in ourselves.



Up close of the green after the topdressing shows the sand is hitting it’s target.




The guys have been working hard on #17 but we have ran into some drainage issues that has slowed us down some.  The main outfall drain line is clogged and we have had to borrow some equipment from Blackhorse in order to try and find the blockage.  The device has a camera on the end of a cable that we feed through the opening in the bunker.  There is also a handheld tracker device used above ground to track the camera so that we can accurately locate the blockage.  Unfortunately, there has been more than one blockage.  So the crew will be working on finding the blockages and then digging up the area to remove the blockage or replace the section of blocked pipe.  This can be quite a tedious process but we are making progress.  Once the drain line is clear and draining properly the rest of the bunker will go much quicker.  We anticipate having the bunker done by the end of next week.imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage


The TC continues to fill in and our sod numbers continue to shrink.  A month ago we were probably looking at nearly 2 acres of sod.  As of this week, we are estimating our needs at less than an acre.  We have begun marking some of the biggest areas first and will begin prep in the next week or two.  Fairways #6, #8, and #10 continue to be the most affected but have made tremendous progress in the last 14 days.  We will continue to hit thin areas with fertilizer and water to push them to grow in.imageimageimageimage


This picture really shows how much growth we’ve had during a 10 day stretch from 7/6/16 to 7/15/16.