Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hopeful The End Is In Sight

It looks like we had a great weekend for the 3rd annual Member/Guest golf tournament here at Creekmoor. Sounds like Sunday was a great day as Mr. Bruce Rehmer cashed in a hole in one on #4 and took home a free two year lease on a new Ford Mustang and a significant amount of cash that was in the hole-in-one fund!!! Congrats to Bruce hopefully we will see you soon driving around in the beautiful new Mustang. My hope is that the weather is going to cool down for good in the very near future. Our temperatures have been better over the last week, but I would like to see them in the low to mid 80's for highs and then have the lows in the 60 to 50 range. This would help the turf to relax and give it a break from the heat and humidity. Overall I think the golf course is fairing very well considering the conditions it has been fighting through. We are continuing to over-seed spots in the rough. There is a lot of seed coming up in the spots that were seeded last week and the week before. The greens on #2,10,12 have really continued to improve each and every day. It is amazing how the cooler temperatures for a few days really does some good. We applied our final high K fertilizer application on our fairways today. This application will help the fairways harden off for the winter and help protect them from the cold winter conditions. I hope everyone had a great weekend. It was great seeing all of you over the weekend at the Member/Guest events. Keep your fingers crossed for some much needed rain and cooler temperatures!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Member/Guest Weekend

Well the weather has really given us a treat this week. Who would have ever thought I would have to be wearing a jacket in the mornings after the weather we have been experiencing. It has been very refreshing for my staff and I and the turf as well. The golf course really responded to the cooler temperatures and has bounced back very strong. The greens on #2, 10, 12 continue to heal and the cooler weather is just what they needed. The timing for the cooler weather couldn't have come at a better time as we are getting ready to have our 3rd annual Member/Guest tournament this weekend. We have an extremely busy day today with 230 players on the tee sheet and then a busy weekend after today. We had a good couple of days this week over seeding in our roughs in the areas we had some summer stress along the cart paths and low areas. The new seed is already starting to blow out of the ground and will continue to fill in over the next couple of weeks. We still have a few more areas to get done and will hopefully have this completed next week sometime. It is nice to only have a couple of days worth of seeding after the summer we had. That means our agronomic program was pretty strong and our turf grass was in good shape going into the heat. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Good luck to the members who are playing in the Member/Guest. I hope you all have a great time and you enjoy the golf course.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Week Long Break

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Well we are finally going to get a extended break in the weather over the next four or five days. I mean we might even have to wear some jackets in the early morning hours with the lows forecasted to be in the 50's who would have ever thought this was going to happen after the weather we have been having. This break will really help out the turfgrass to continue to recover after the brutal stretch it was in. Our greens continue to improve and are really starting to recover in the stressed spots well over the last week or so. Temperatures haven't been perfect, but they have been a little cooler which has allowed the soil temperatures to decrease and encourage root growth for the grass. We should start to see some new grass in some of the areas we over seeded last week. I am just barely starting to see the seed germinating and I am expecting by the weekend that we should see some sort of green in these isolated areas. We are going to be extremely busy this week preparing or our Member/Guest tournament on Saturday and Sunday. It looks like the weather is going to be good and hopefully everything goes off without a hitch. Several individuals have asked me about using the roller on the greens for the event. I unfortunately am not going to put the greens under anymore stress until they have fully recovered. I feel like they have just come through one of the worst weather summers on record and they need a break to recover and get back to 100%. The double cutting and constant rolling will really put additional stress on the greens (#2,10,12)that they aren't ready for at this time. We will do everything else we can to help the roll on the greens and my hope is it will be just as enjoyable for all the participants. We are planning on lightly topdressing the greens tomorrow in hopes that it will help the greens firm up and roll nice and smooth over the weekend by helping the ball marks level out. The fairways and tees continue to be in great shape and are holding their own very nicely. Have a great week!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nice Break In The Weather

Mother Nature finally came through for us and has given us a much needed four day break. Temperatures have been very pleasant over the last couple of days highs in the upper 80's and the night time lows in the upper 60's to low 70's have been awesome. The golf course has really responded to these cooler temperatures and little rain shower we got the first part of the week. I would like to thank all the member volunteers who came out on Sunday August 15th to help repair ball marks and fill divots on the greens and tees. We had a great turnout and I think everyone had a great time. I appreciate all the hard work and your time in helping us try and keep Creekmoor at a Championship level even through these tough weather conditions. The greens on 2, 10,and 12 have started heal from the stress they were under. On Friday last week we double spiked and drop seeded these greens just to help the recovery time. I feel like we could have left them alone and eventually they would have recovered 100%, but I had some seed already, so I thought I would use it and maybe speed up the recovery time. We also have started some over seeding of areas in the rough. Predominately the enter and exit areas of the carts and the few areas where the water set during the big rains and the turf pretty much boiled to death. We are going to continue this for the next couple of weeks and should hopefully have some good success. With the break in the weather we have finally had the opportunity to start spraying our nutsedge and broadleaf weeds in the roughs. It has been a banner year for the nutsedge and this is the worst I have ever seen it. I hope everyone has had a great week. Next week begins a very busy stretch for us as we have a big outside event on Monday and then our Men's Member/Guest tournament followed by the holiday weekend the next week with a couple of other outside events. Don't forget that fall aerfication is scheduled for September 13th and 14th. We will be closed both of those days to allow us to get greens and tees aerified.

Friday, August 13, 2010

KC Weather Factor

I hope everyone has been trying to stay cool this last week. What a tough and difficult week it has been. Here is a report one of my colleeges put together with some very interesting information he gathered. Take a look at what we have been battling against. It is pretty amazing that we are where we are when you factor in everything this report says. I hope everyone has a good weekend.

KC Weather Factor, 2010

By Eric Bickel
Superintendent Hallbrook Country Club

Extreme heat and humidity have persisted for over four weeks. The wet conditions this spring coupled with the heat stress have combined for peak turf loss conditions. The cold spring and wet conditions (33” April through July) was not conducive to healthy deep root development. The cool season grasses have been surviving for the last six weeks off reserves in the root systems. Those reserves and the root systems have all but run out. In addition, high humidity has created constant high fungal disease pressure.

Dew points, temperatures, wind speed, and soil temperature are the key climactic factors which measure the stress associated with cool season grasses ability to perform its basic physiological functions, (respiration, photosynthesis, evapotranspiration). A brief summary of these factors, their critical values, and their occurrence follows for the period of June through Aug 11th.

Days with highs of 90 or above 37

Days with a low temperature above 70 43

Days with a average dew point above 70 46

Days with an average wind speed of 10 mph or less 65

Days in which soil temperatures have been above 86 52

When all five of these factors occur simultaneously at their critical values (highs & lows above 90 & 70 respectively, dew points above 70, soil temps above 86, and wind speed below 10), cool season grasses are in a state of full blown decline. There is no recover for that day. The plant can no longer perform its basic functions normally. Metabolic activity is sustained solely at the expense of the root system. When this occurs for extended periods of time little can be done to alleviate the issue.

Total days in which all five of these factors occurred simultaneously over the last 20 years, (i.e.# of severe root decline days)

Year 90’ 91’ 92’ 93’ 94’ 95’ 96’ 97’ 98’ 99’

# of days 5 8 1 3 2 14 5 10 12 17*

Year 00’ 01’ 02’ 03’ 04’ 05’ 06’ 07’ 08’ 09’

# of days 9 16 13 9 5 7 11 8 5 6

*1999 had the most consecutive days with 13

In 2010 this has happened 29 days, (this could hit 32 on Saturday, August 14th!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Heat Stress Continues Along With Hot Temperatures

Photo of drainage trench on #2 Green

Picture of the new trench line where the drain for #2 green exits the green.

Photo of the green drain on #2 that was clogged and we repaired it to get it draining once again.
The hot and humid weather continues to make it's presence felt here at Creekmoor. We are working extremely hard to help the turf grass continue to fight through these extreme conditions. Greens #2, 10, & 12 are continuing to improve each and every day. Some days are slower then others depending on the weather and play, but to notice an improvement in the weather conditions we have been having is a great thing. Hopefully by the end of this week night time temperatures will start to cool off and allow the turf to finally have a much needed break. We will be keeping our fingers crossed and keeping a close eye on the forecast. Our rough continues to amaze me with how well it is holding up with these extreme weather patterns. We have some areas where the water set after the big rain storms earlier in the summer on #10 on the right side and then on #11 in the low areas that we will be addressing as soon as the weather is going to break, but all in all I am very pleased with it. We will hopefully be out throughout this week spraying for nutsedge that has just taken over in some spots. It is a banner year for it and I have been getting a lot of questions from homeowners about their lawns and how to address it. You have to get a special chemical called Sedgehammer or ProSedge along with a spreader sticker. These chemicals are available at John Deere Landscapes or other professional distributors. I don't think they are available at Home Depot or Lowe's at least they weren't the last time I checked. Fairways continue to love life and grow by the minute. It is a great year to have zoysia and to set back and watch it grow. It is a nice luxury to have one less thing you have to worry about keeping alive and know that it is doing just fine. It allows us to concentrate on the other cool season grasses and help them survive the conditions. Here is a link to a story in the Wall Street Journal that came out today http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052748704017904575409411501359450-lMyQjAxMTAwMDAwOTEwNDkyWj.html. You can just copy and paste the link into your address bar. It just goes to show how drastic and severe the weather we have been dealing with is on turfgrass. I hope everyone has a great week.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Heat Wave Continues

Wow "Mother Nature" just doesn't want to give us much of a break. Temperatures are soaring into the upper 90's along with humidity levels in the upper 50's to 60's. This combination causes the heat index to be up around the 100 to 105 degree mark. Needless to say these are undesirable conditions to be growing turf in. I have been monitoring the soil temperatures and surface temperatures throughout the day. The lowest soil temperature reading (at a 1.5 to 2 inch depth) in the last 6 days I have seen was 81 degrees with the surface temperatures going from 92 degrees in the morning to 106 in the afternoons. These are extreme conditions that require us to be a little more cautious and conservative. I have raised the mowing height of the greens just slightly from .125" to .140". This is to help the plant photosynthesize and produce more carbohydrates so that it can survive the extreme conditions. We also have cutback on the rough mowing and other mowing around the golf course just to give the turf a break and not to put it under anymore stress then we have too. We are still trying to mow the golf course one time entirely and then are making mowing decisions at the end of the week depending on the growth and weather pattern we are in. Today we are working on repairing the collar on #10 green. I hope to have this installed before the temperatures get too hot today. We will continue to work on some of the other holes (i.e. 2,6,12) as weather and play permits. I feel that the greens are holding their own right now and seem to be turning the corner. It is tough for turf grass to recover in the extreme conditions we are having. If we can get a little break and have temperatures in the high 80's to low 90's and have night time temperatures get into the magic 60's it would really help us tremendously. The night time temperatures is where the turf really recovers or gets stressed.