Week of May 15th….

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Finally getting some warmer night time temperatures and the bermuda grass is really starting to pop. The definition between fairways and roughs is getting more noticeable everyday. The greens have come out of winter strong and are performing very well.

This week we continued our aerification of the roughs. With a few breakdowns, we were still able to get 6-9 completed. Next week we will push to complete the project.

Another priority for us is to remove some of the dead or dying trees throughout the property. This week we removed two dead pines on hole #11. Next week we will finish the job on those with a stump grind.

The bunker project continues on hole #9, and the guys are really doing a great job. By the end of today the front bunker will have been completed. The guys will be working late hours through the weekend in an attempt to get the second bunker lined before wet weather arrives Sunday/Monday.

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Next week we will be performing a project that I don’t believe has ever been done on property. We will be root pruning trees along fairways and roughs in hopes to insure healthier turf and ultimately a better playing surface.

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For example on hole 10, you can where the tree roots and turf compete for water and nutrients. The end result is turf that is thin and weak. Our hopes is that this practice of root pruning will eliminate the competition resulting in a much healthier turf.

We are about two weeks out for our first greens aerification. Along with aerification of the greens, we also take this opportunity to aerify all of our shortgrass areas (fairways/tees/collars). Below is our schedule for the year.

Member Course

     June 19th

     August 14th

Tournament Course

     June 6th

     July 31st

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Once again somebody did not notice that Wilson Rd dead ends and plowed through our property fence. Luckily no one was hurt as this happened in the early morning hours. However, this time we know who did it and Jake with Farmers is making sure this gets taking care of quickly.

We will see you on the course!

Agronomy Team

March & April….

Tee Cultivation

In the month of April, we accomplished quite a bit on the Member Course. One our main goals this year is to improve our teeing areas. This began with an aggressive verticut, 1/2 core aerification, and heavy topdressing. This is done to remove excessive thatch and firm up the playing surface. Along with this process, we did enlarge tees to incorporate yardage plates, as they once were years ago.

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This is our Wiedenmann Super 500 being utilized as a verticutter/sweeper. We were able to cut at a depth of 1″, removing a significant amount thatch material.
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Once the veriticut process was complete, we topdressed heavy with sand to fill verticut channels and smooth playing surface.
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After sand was drug in, we aerified with 1/2″ core tines to remove more unwanted thatch and organic matter. Once complete, soil was drug back into the holes and thatch and debris were blown off. Tees have been fertilized twice and are recovering nicely.

Bunker Project

The bunker project is back in action with work beginning on both green sides on #9. This work will continue daily Mon-Fri weather permitting. We are hoping to complete these two bunkers by May 20th.

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Tree Trimming

Next project on the Member Course was to trim up all out live oak trees. These trees have not been trimmed in many years, creating both play ability and agronomic issues.

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Massive live oak on #6

Bare areas on #2 under the trees that are inside the path will be sodded in the next month or so. Timing here will be in conjunction with Tournament Course sod work.

Drain Repair #8

We completed drain repairs on right side of #8. This drain is responsible for all drainage on #8 and half of #2. After any rain event, this blockage would mandate using trash pumps to clear the hole for play, usually requiring a full days work to complete.

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Alberto flushing drain after roots have been removed.

Rough Aerification

We have begun the process of aerifying all roughs. We do this mostly to help relieve soil compaction created after months of cart traffic. This machine pulls a 5/8″ plug.  We have completed holes 1-5 and plan to aerify/clean up two holes per day. This is a time-consuming practice that we hope to complete by May 27th.

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Projects Completed

Below is a list of other course projects that we have completed in the past couple months.

  • Spring Preemergent herbicide applications made course wide. (MC & TC)
  • Post emergent herbicide application made course wide. (MC)
  • Leveled all tee and fairway yardage plates. (MC)
  • Preemergent herbicide application made to greens for prevention of goosegrass. (MC)
  • Spot spraying of dallisgrass weeds. (MC)
  • Creek cleanup in between 6 & 7. (MC)
  • Cart Path Edging. (MC & TC)
  • Native areas mowed out. (MC)
  • Bi-weekly greens topdressing. (MC & TC)

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Future Projects

  • Dead tree removal: We have several dead trees on property that we will be removing in the next few weeks.
  • Drain basin repairs: We have several drain basins that have been comprimised.

 

Shell Houston Open

It was, by all accounts,  another successful Shell Houston Open. The weather held out and we were able to produce great conditions to accommodate some of the world’s best golfers.

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2014 Shell Open Champ Matt Jones visiting with the crew at the maintenance facility.
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Brian Buckner, Russell Henley, James Mazowieski, Walt Wilson

Thanks for checking out the Blog, updates will be weekly going forward.

See you on the course,

The Agronomy Team

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