Harvey…

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It was Friday afternoon when the rain began and finally ended Tuesday morning. After it was all said and done the perfect storm dumped 37″ of rain on the course. The course experienced flooding that was not even imaginable. The majority of the front nine of the Member’s Course was under water, an extension of Greens Bayou and its flow. The Tournament Course fared better with holes 1 & 18 under along with parts of holes running along Greens Bayou. Tuesday afternoon, five staff members were able to arrive on the property and begin to clear paths in order to access the damage and to view other sections of the course. On Wednesday, we had a crew of 20 along with some clubhouse outside service teammates begin the massive cleanup of the property. From that day forward our crew size grew as many were able to leave their flooded neighborhoods. On Thursday we continued with cleanup and we were able to begin mowing short grass areas on both courses. Huge support from The University of Houston Men’s golf team as they also showed up and helped with the cleanup around the Dave Williams Academy and The First Tee facilities. It was a great team effort by club departments staff members, U of H, and Members that helped get the courses back in shape and open timely. Thank you very much!

Week 1

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#18 Tournament Green
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The pumphouse, most important clean up tool survived.
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Water very close to entering clubhouse
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A total of around 30 trees were lost during the storm. Hole #16 MC here
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#7 MC
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#9 Member Course, look at all that debris.
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Debris left over from flood waters receding. Miscellaneous junk including many fire ants.
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U of H Men’s Golf Team helping with cleanup
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Member donation of drinks for the crew (Thank you Sir) 
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Early stages of debris pile outside maintenance facility
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Silt deposited on greens surface, must be removed quickly.
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Washing greens surface to remove silt #8 MC

 

 

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Washing silt from #1 TC

 

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Solid tine aerification to greens directly affected by flood waters.
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Major bunker wash to both courses
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Sand washed from bunkers #4 MC
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Bunker wash #8 MC
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Just a door.
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Still available if needed.
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Yes this actually was flood debris on hole 3 MC, my son Mitchel helping with cleanup.

Week 2

The second week after the Harvey floods consisted of some more detail cleanup and mowing out of both courses.

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Bunker sand washed into roughs and fairways. On hole 5, sand was washed on top of green.
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Contact and systemic fungicide applied after turf was subject to many days of rain and cloudy weather.
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Cleanout of Irrigation boxes covered with flood waters
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Mowing roughs- Silt dust cloud
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All hands on deck- Twila mowing out roughs on the First Tee

 

Once again I’d like to thank everyone that helped get our course back in shape and open timely.

-Agronomy Team

Week of August 14th…

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Long tough week for the crew as we tackled several projects. We began the week with aerification of the Member Course greens. The process began with a circle verticut and circle mow to remove as much grain as possible. We also do this in order to attack the grain from several different directions. Once this process was completed, we aerified using 1/2″ core tines and removed the cores. This process removed about 8% of the total surface. In comparison, our first aerification in June removed about 15%. Our goal is to remove more than 20% in a year so that we stay ahead of any thatch or organic build up throughout the year.

Along with the aerification process, we took the opportunity to circle cut fairways and tees. Height was lowered to .300″ and cut in a circular pattern with the same goal as the greens of attacking the grain from different directions. This process the scalps the turf as our normal cut height this time of year is .450″. Recovery from this is about 10 days.

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On the Tournament Course we prepped and sodded about 15,000 square feet of mostly out of play areas on holes 5 and 10. This should conclude any large-scale sod work this year with only small areas if needed going forward. The guys really stepped it up as it was brutal hot this week with little to no air movement. We also did some prep/sod work around the clubhouse. We are eliminating the jasmine ground cover at both the Member and Tournament entry’s. We are also choosing to sod the front of the clubhouse with zeon zoysia versus the 419 bermuda we have done in the past. The zoysia is much more shade tolerant and the use of this turf will allow us to eliminate overseen in these areas going forward. Transition around the clubhouse going forward should be eliminated. This next week we will continue to prep turf areas towards the Members entrance and should be laying sod on these areas Thursday.

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Next week will be just as busy. Maybe even a little pecten removal on 18 tee just to make interesting. Will see.

Have a great week.

-Agronomy Team

Week of August 7th…

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Feast or famine in regards to rain in Houston, and this week it was a feast. Over 4.5 inches dumped down Monday night into Tuesday. This eqautes to 31,000,000 million gallons of water dumped on the property.  Other than the bunkers (Hazards), the rest of the course fared well.  The crew has been working overtime in an effort to get the course mowed out and playable.

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About 102 man hours were spent just on the Member Course getting all the bunkers back in playing condition. The bunkers on the Tournament Course have been pumped, but still lack several days of work to get them back in shape.

Since we were unable to mow any turf for a couple of days, we took the opportunity to detail all bunkers on the Member and Tournament Courses.

We also did some pave stone work on Member Course #8 turnaround by the green. This area gets a lot of cart traffic wear and we are hoping this will alleviate the problem going forward.

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This Monday we will perform our final greens core aerification for 2017. The good news is you can look forward to 294 quality putting days till our next core aerification.

Have a good Weekend!

-Agronomy Team

 

 

Week of July 31….


Tournament Course:

This week began with the guys coming on a Sunday evening to get a head start on the Tournament Course aerification. The guys knocked out all of the practice greens and 4 greens on the course, which allowed us to finish all greens on Monday. Process included 2x backtrack vertical mowing and topdress after cores where removed. 

Backtrack verticut prior to aerification

This week we also prepped and layed another 10 pallets of sod on various holes. A few more pallets scheduled next week and we should be done. Then we will move to the clubhouse grounds where we plan on changing out our existing Bermuda turf in favor of zoysia. With the amount of shade around he club, it just makes sense to go this route. 

All roughs on the Tournament Course were fertilized this week. About 11 tons of fertilizer was applied and watered in.



Member Course:

No maintenance day this week for us on the Member Course with the USGA Senior Qualifier being played on Monday & Tuesday. We made some head way on the mulch project as we got much of the front nine complete. Our plan here is to do what I believe are the more visible beds first then come back and finish the rest. 

Mole crickets- you have probably noticed we have some areas on a few fairways and a couple of collars that have been damaged by mole cricket activity. The entire course was treated on July 26th with an insecticide. The insecticide creates a barrier within the soil which takes a week or so to develop. When the crickets come in contact with the barrier they die. These areas should see significant improvement in the next week.


Until next time, have a great rest of the weekend. No rain please!

-Agronomy Team

Week of July 24th…

20170728_071416The Member Course continues to perform well despite record temperatures. Below is a list of task that were completed.

  • Greens were lightly verticut and topdressed.
  • Fairways were treated with a growth regulator.
  • Cart paths edged.
  • Detail edging of yardage plates.
  • Lake banks trimmed.
  • Native areas mowed.
  • Bunkers detailed.

Bunker Project:

As was discussed in prior blog posts, the bunker project was put on hold temporarily in order to prep and sod some areas of the Tournament Course. The project will resume Wednesday on hole #6 after completion of the USGA Senior Qualifier.

Tournament Course:

The Tournament Course is continuing to transition well. This week we prepped a few more areas on hole 4, 6, and 15 that will be sodded next week. Also this week we finished spraying out all out native areas. Below are a few pics of historically poor transitioning holes that are doing well this year.

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Hole #1
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Hole #11
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Hole #4
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Hole #8 fairway to tee
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Hole #8 fairway to green
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Hole #2
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Hole #10- Historically the worst.

Just a reminder we will be aerifying the Tournament Course beginning Sunday evening and all day Monday. We will be using a little 5/8″ core tine on 2″ centers followed by topdressing.  Member Course aerification is scheduled for August 14th, same little tine.

Have a great weekend!

-Agronomy Team

 

 

 

Week of July 17th

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Tournament Course 

This week we continued our prep/sod of inside cart path areas. Another 8100 square feet were sodded on holes 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, and 13. Areas outside of the cart path not necessarily in play will continue to be fertilized and grown in as much as possible before evaluating the need for sod. 

Herbicide applications continued this week throughout the entire course. Most of our issues are in areas where there were structures for the Houston Open. 

In the next week or two, cart path repairs will be made on several holes. These areas are damaged from forklifts during prep and take down of the Tournament structures. Also the bridge going from #9 to #10 will be worked on.

Member Course
Luckily the heavy rains missed us this week, which allowed us to do a complete course mow out. The golf course continues to perform well and the greens are continuing to improve. This coming week we plan on doing a verticut and topdress to improve them even more. 


As you recall this winter we worked very hard to improve our water features throughout the course. Most of the lakes/ponds look good, but hole #14 is just a mess really. Our hopes were that we could get just the desirable aquatic plants to take off, but that’s just not the case right now. The lake bank is full of unwanted weeds and there’s is no herbicide that can be sprayed to treat only the weeds and not effect the disirables. So in the next week to ten days you will notice that all the vegetation from tee to green on both sides has been sprayed out. Future goal here is to have fine turf to the lakes edge and possibly looking into planting some disirable aquatic vegetation in areas. 


This week we also were able to aerify and topdressed both the Member and Tournament driving range tees. Transition on both these tees has been nearly flawless this year. 

Thanks for checking out the blog.

-Agronomy Team

Week of July 10th….Rain Again


This week began the same as last week, a couple inches of rain to create a mess for us to cleanup. All bunkers washed again and took us till Thursday to get them back to normal. Once we were caught up with bunker repairs, we were able to get a good topdressing done on the Member greens. Our mulching project was put on hold due to the rain cleanup, but plan on resuming this week #2 forward. 

On the Tournament Course we began our annual transition sod work. This week we prepped and laid sod on areas of #2 and 10. Next week our intentions are to hit areas on 8 and 11. Also this week we really attacked some of our weed issues. Weed pressure is extremely heavy on this course with the thin or bare areas from transition. Next week we plan on making a herbicide application to the course native areas as well. Cart path repairs on the Tournament Course will also begin next week. 


Nice end of the week photo. Our crew did a tremendous job as usual prepping the course for weekend play. Looks like we get to do it all over again next week. 

Have a great weekend.

-Agronomy Team