North Course #15

North Course #15

Steve Cook, CGCS, MG - Director of Agronomy

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Winter Damage to Turf - Golf Course Update

Continuous improvement. The weather has not been conducive to rapid growth but the North greens are slowly improving. The damage was severe but not devastating. I think in a few more weeks we will see 100% recovery. The South is nearly damage free with #8 green the worst. The damage on the South was not as severe because we routinely remove snow from those greens.

The fairways were severely damaged and some of those areas will be sodded throughout May and June.

Below are some photos from the North comparing what we were seeing in March and what we are seeing today. We've come a long way.

#6 North March 2014

#6 North April 2014

#1 North March 2014

#1 North April 2014

#7 North March 2014

#7 North April 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Course Update

The date may be early April, the turf thinks it's mid-March. The golf course is slowly waking up. We have mowed greens only one time, unusual for this time of year.

As you know the greens suffered this winter. The South course, while damaged, came through in pretty good shape. The exceptions are #8 and #12 green which are struggling, but will survive. The North course greens were damaged to a greater degree, but they too will recover. Overall, we came through the winter in pretty good shape.

The golf course needs some time to recover.

Removing cover 15 green North

Why we use covers for recovery.
#7 South - weak areas due to tree shade

9 fairway North in March 2014


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cleaning House

We "purged" this past week. Cleaning and reorganizing the offices was a fun time to review some past photos from the Ryder Cup in 2004.

Jeff Frentz
Superintendent Lakeshore CC

L-R Ryan Canon, Andy Odenbach, Troy Tietjens

#16 South

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Golf Internships 2014

Every season Oakland Hills hosts a team of Interns, on the golf course as well as the Pro Shop and clubhouse. The Turf Care Team has 2 positions remaining for Turfgrass Intern in 2014. The information for that program and the application process can be found at the following link:

The Interns are exposed to all facets of golf course maintenance. A particular emphasis is placed on chemical/fertilizer applications, special projects and learning how to hand water. Our "firm and fast" philosophy requires close attention to irrigation practices and the Interns are required to become adept at monitoring moisture levels.

The Interns will also learn how to maintain a golf course to the exacting standards expected at a "Top 100" Platinum club. Oakland Hills has hosted 9 Major Championships and is the site of the 2016 US Amateur. Housing is provided on site free of charge for the duration of the Internship. The successful Interns will set high expectations for themselves as well as for the golf course.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Some of the South greens are covered each winter. Those greens had the snow removed and this week after review, look really good. There is nothing more than minimal damage  we would see each spring. On those greens, there is little to worry about.

Friday, March 21, 2014

No Panic Yet

A lot of information has been communicated about the extreme winter now ending. Snow, ice, cold temperatures. All of this has given many greenskeepers a nervous twitch. We tend to lose sleep over any amount of potential lost turf.

Certainly we are going to see dead turf this spring. It's expected. You can't go through a winter like this one and not expect some dead grass somewhere on the golf course. But I think it's too early to know exactly how much turf we've lost, we need a warmup to make that call. It may not be as bad as we think ... or maybe it's worse.

If and when we have lost turf, we'll repair it. That's what we do. We'll keep you informed as to the conditions on the golf courses and if there is dead grass, we'll get it back in play as quickly as possible.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Good Guys

Our team of mechanics is a special group. They provide the equipment we need to produce quality playing surfaces. This property is hallowed ground that has seen the greatest legends play the game. The equipment they put out the door every day helps us protect this revered place and we are proud of their work. More importantly, they help promote our workplace culture: treating the equipment like we treat the golf course, with respect, reverance and passion.

Thank you Chris Adler, Benson Thomas and Dave Anthony.

L-R   Dave, Chris, Ben

Friday, February 28, 2014

Window Dressing

One of the simple ways we use to check the health of turf during winter is placing samples inside to see if the turf will "sprout". The samples we have brought in are inconsistent but most show signs of life. It's too early to tell the extent of any damage, but these samples are encouraging.

South Course

18 green South

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winter Update and Status

We have been monitoring the condition of the greens on both courses. The unprecedented weather has caused concern throughout SE Michigan. The extreme cold and ice formation is dangerous to turf in all areas but especially on greens. We have been removing snow and ice where appropriate, covering the more at risk greens with permeable covers and generally worrying about the surviveability of the turf in these conditions.

Dr. Kevin Frank from MSU was here today to look at several greens. It is too early to know if there is any turf loss or the extent of loss if it occurs. We will keep you informed as conditions permit.

Dr. Kevin Frank on #1 green North

Monday, February 24, 2014

HorseTail Falls

Thanks to the staff for covering the golf courses while I was away in Ouray, Colorado and thanks to a great club for allowing me the time to indulge in my physical pursuits.