Week of Feb. 20

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Hope this finds you all well and out enjoying the beautiful weather and excellent playing conditions on your courses. For the most part, we have had another great week of growing weather and the course conditions are starting to reflect that! The rain at the beginning of the week is never ideal but the weather after allowed us to dry up fairly quickly! We hope to settle into a warmer, drier weather pattern over the next couple of weeks, but as always, I am sure that mother nature will have a few surprises for us!

Member Course

Last week we applied the first of two applications of a granular herbicide to the greens aimed at preventing goose and crabgrass. These are two problematic weeds that are unsightly as well as have a negative effect of greens play ability. While you will not see any affects of the application visually, it does weaken the plant slightly as it has not reached its full growing potential yet this spring. Unfortunately, the timing of emerge on the weeds necessitates that we make this application. To counteract the slightly negative effects, this week we fertilized the greens with a granular nitrogen source. This will help the Bermuda wake up from it’s winter nap and give it a bump to overcome the affects of the 1st application. The second application is scheduled for this upcoming Monday and with the extra fertility will serve as a good buffer for any potential detrimental growth effects.   As with any fertilizer application, we watered heavier than normal afterwards to ensure the nutrients are dissolved and reach the root systems.

In anticipation of a surge in growth following the fertilization, we have lowered the mowing heights on the MC greens to .115″. We have also increased our mowing frequency and will incorporate rolling, as needed, to maintain the play ability that you desire. By all accounts,our greens have come through the winter in really good shape and we are looking forward to the rest of year. As always, we will make decisions daily with the best interests of you the membership, and the plants health in mind.

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We also continued removing unsightly liner in the bunkers this week. Work was done on 6, and 7 green sides. All the sand was pulled down and the old liner was removed by hand. This is a slow and cumbersome process, so please be patient with us as we work to make your playing conditions more enjoyable.

We also began fertilizing areas around the course that needed a little help recovering from winter traffic. This will be on-going over the next week or so. As always, we will run water behind these applications so please be patient of any cart path restrictions that we impose. Please be understanding that these decisions are made to protect the turf and not to inconvenience the membership.

Tournament Course

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Work for the upcoming SHO is in full swing as we are busy completing some of our bigger projects and transitioning into smaller, detail oriented tasks. This week we have just about finished our bunker capping project, which is mandated by the PGA. We hope to finish this early next week. Next week we will be out detailing beds with pinestraw, cleaning up the wetland areas, and detailing bunkers. We applied the 3rd growth regulator to all grass areas of the tournament course this week and we will begin fertilizing for the last time early in March. This should carry us through the tournament at the end of March.

 

As always, thanks for following along and we hope to see you out there enjoying your courses. Please feel free to contacting us with any questions and/or comments.

 

GCOH Agronomy

Week on January 30th & February 6th & 13th.

Hope this finds you all well and out enjoying your club! As you may have noticed the weather is unseasonably warm this time of year, which is a great sign that the golf season is upon us. It appears as though that trend will continue, and in comparison to last year, we look to be about 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule from an agronomic standpoint. While we are certainly not caught off guard by this, it has accelerated our timetable for performing some critical spring agronomic practices.

Member Course

The main priority on the member course right now is to cultivate the greens to ensure strong health and top playing conditions throughout the coming months. To do this we completed a solid tine venting the last week in January. The main objective here was to relieve  compaction from all the winter traffic and and to aerate the root zone and facilitate gas exchange. We used bayonet solid tines, which do not pull a cores, that are 1/8″ wide and and 1″ in length, depth was 3.5″. We have seen a positive response in growth and we will look to utilize this as needed moving forward. As always, we will roll behind to minimize impact on play ability.

 

 

Rosendo completed all 18 Greens plus the Practice Greens in just over 1 day!

 

 

Daniel rolling behind the venting

 

 

Another cultural practice that we place an extreme amount of importance on is our daily mowing/rolling. We have been questioned on multiple occasions about whether or not we have mowed the greens on any given day. I hope this answer will satisfy those many questions that we have not been able to answer. To do so I will back up and re-visit some information that was disseminated in the fall as we entered our cool season:

It is an industry standard cultural practice to raise mowing heights going into the cool season on Ultra Dwarf Bermuda grasses.  The main reason for doing so is to allow for more leaf surface area to capture sunlight, which drives photosynthesis and energy production/ storage. Think of it as a bear on a feeding frenzy heading into winter hibernation. The goal is to store as much energy as possible to emerge in the spring with a reserve to draw off of. The correlation here is with raised mowing heights you will see slightly slower speeds.
The alternation of mowing and rolling is also a common cultural practice, with the goal of minimizing injury to plants and maximizing their health. While our mowing equipment is maintained to the highest quality standards in the industry, the physical act of mowing injures the turf plant. With decreased temperatures and sunlight hours, the plant is less able to recover from this injury. The act of alternating mowing and rolling is aimed at minimizing this stress that is applied to the turf plant.

We have adhered to these cultural guidelines since October, as our job is to be the middle men between what the grass needs for continued survival and what our membership demands from a play ability standpoint. We make daily decisions based on weather, temperature, moisture, play amount, upcoming events, etc etc. The bottom line is, we  mow or roll your greens 6 days a week. We like to give them a break on Mondays when the course is closed, and when we have extreme weather events such as rain or frosts/ cold snaps.

That being said, as the temperature has begun to warm we have lowered the mowing heights to maintain the play ability, but because we have not reached the consistent temperatures needed for sustained, healthy growth, we will continue to alternate our mow/roll practices based upon the aforementioned factors. We will also continue to adjust our daily cultural practices to account for the unpredictable weather extremes we are seeing this time of year. Rest assured that we make the decisions from a professionally educated standpoint and we have the full impact of the membership and the business in mind when doing so.

We will  be out fertilizing and venting many areas of the course in the coming weeks, which help the turf plants in recovery from all the winter stress and traffic.

 

Bunker Update:

Over the past few weeks, we  have completed the smaller of the two green side bunkers on #16. This bunker was back filled with clay to raise the floor approximately two feet, much like several of the other bunkers we have done.  New drainage was installed and the full liner and sand installation was completed quickly by the guys.


The completion of this bunker concludes the large scale work in bunkers until after the Shell Houston Open, but we have been spending time removing the unsightly liner on the older bunkers. This work will be on-going, but we are confident it will make for a better experience all around. We have currently completed work on holes 2-4 and will continue to try and provide the best possible conditions moving forward.

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Rosendo, Arturo and Perez pulling out old, unsightly liner! Machetes and hands did the trick on this!

 

 

 

Tournament Course

 

On the Tournament Course, we continued to work hard in preparation of this years Shell Houston Open which is only 38 days out. Our second to last fertilization of the entire course occurred using calcium nitrate. We also made our second of four applications of growth regulator. This growth regulator will help slow vertical growth and will make the turf more dense. Next application will be in three weeks and the forth coming at advance week.

We were able to take advantage of a busy Friday tournament schedule and sneak in a cook-out for the guys to thank them for all their hard work. 1/2 lb smoked burgers did the trick just fine! We are very thankful to have such a hard working and dedicated crew!

 

 

As always, thanks for following along and we look forward to seeing you out there enjoying your club!

 

GCOH Agronomy Team

Week of January 23rd

It was a good week for us in maintenance. We were able to repair all bunkers on both courses from the 9+” rain event last week. The crew worked longer than normal days in order to wrap up bunkers for weekend play.

Member Course

Along with bunker washout repairs, we were also able to finish sod work on #11 greenside. Minimal project work was done this week, with just the beginning stages of cleanout having been done on #16  greenside. This coming week we will hit the project hard and are hoping to have both 16 greenside bunkers lined by week’s end. 

Tournament Course 




As the same with the Member Course, the majority of the week was spent repairing over 4 acres of bunkers. With the Shell Open less than 60 days away, there is some sod work that must be completed now in order for the sod to take hold and be stable for tournament play. Here maestro Daniel is repairing bunker wear areas on hole 6. 

This week we began our annual spring pre-emerge herbicide application. This is a first of two applications with the second coming in May. This application must be completed prior to grandstand and tent construction which by the way, begins next Monday.

Looks like the weather forecast for next week is great, so get out and enjoy. Thanks for being a Member.

Agronomy Team 

Week of January 9th.

This week we are seeing the results of the very low temps along with heavy frost over the past weekend. The Member Course Bermudagrass has gone from lush green to dormant brown in just a matter of a few days. However, temps are already back in the upper 70’s and it won’t be long for that Bermuda to bounce back. On the Member Course this week, we completed the greenside bunker on #11. With the threat of more rainfall in the forecast we pushed hard this week to wrap it up. Along with the bunker completion, we made our final Poa Annua pre-emergent application on the greens. As of today we have not had any breakthrough of Poa Annua on the greens, which is a huge improvement over the past few years.

Heavy frost on the putting green from this past Sunday.
Crew finishing up bunker with a tamp to pack sand.
Completed bunker.


The sink hole behind #1 on the Member Course was also repaired this week. A contractor crew began on Tuesday and wrapped it up today. Annual rye seed will be spread around the work site to help prevent any run off.


Over the past few years, water has backed up and been a constant site in front of #17 on the Tournament Course. This past week we finally found the issue as a beaver compound was located and removed. The water level has dropped about 2 feet. Our intentions are to keep this area dry and restore it back to the crushed granite bed similar to creek beds on holes 13 and 15.


On the Tournament Course we began to solid tine several of our fairways. Tine size is 5/8″ diameter and we went at a depth of 9 inches. We plan on doing this for the next month to help improve drainage on fairways.

See you out on the course,

Agronomy Team

Week of January 2, 2017

The new year definitely has not started off great with about 1.5″ of rain this week, and as I’m writing this its 22 degrees. This next week’s weather looks promising with temps getting back into the 70’s. The wet weather has hampered our Member bunker project as we were hoping to wrap up #11 this week, but due to wet conditions, the bunker work was only achieved Wednesday, Thursday, and a half-day Friday. During these days we were able to get the trenches dug and lined, and half of the bunker lips were raised in preparation on the anchor liner.

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On the Tournament course we were able to mow out most of the course and continued briefly with the bunker project. Although adding sand to any of the bunkers was out of the question due to soft conditions, we were able to begin tamping. All bunkers will be tamped at least twice prior to the Tournament in 79 days.

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On the Tournament Course we experienced an irrigation blowout on hole 14 with a 6″ line. The leak has been repaired and should be buttoned up this Monday.

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Hope everyone has a great week!

Agronomy Team

Week of December 26th

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Sorry for the lack of a blog posting last week, but I took a couple days off for the holiday.

Member Course

The bunker project was the main item on the agenda. Great progress has been made and we are hoping to wrap up this bunker by the end of the week.

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This shows the early stages of the cleanout process. All existing sand and liner is removed.

 

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Here we are adding soil to build up the base. Not all of the bunkers have required this, but when it does, it adds about a week to the overall process. This bunker in particular will have the base raised about 18″. New drainage lines must be cut after this process.

Tournament Course

Along with the bunker project on the Member Course, the Tournament Course has a bunker project going on as well. All bunkers must be checked for proper depths and have sand added if needed in preparation for the Shell Houston Open. This work must be completed 60 days out from the tournament, which gives us about a month to complete. Once we have completed this step, all bunkers must be plate compacted at least twice.

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This week we took the opportunity to remove a couple of trees that were causing shade issues on #10 professional tee deck. We utilized a phone app called SunSeeker that tells us exactly were the sun pattern will be any time of the year.

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As you can see the tee complex was not seeing direct sunlight until 11 am.
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As you can see in this after pic, two hours a day of sunlight gained.

 

Maintenance Facility

During the past couple weeks, we have updated our facility with fresh paint. Head Mechanic Jack Metcalf and Office Boss Twila Morris have taken the lead during this process.

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Ya’ll have done an outstanding job, Thanks guys!!

 

 

Thanks again for checking out the blog. I hope everyone has a great week. Hope to see you out on the course.

Agronomy Team