Fine Turgrass Management

Fine Turgrass Management

Steve Cook, CGCS, MG - Director of Agronomy

Friday, March 24, 2017


It's still too wet on the North for carts but walking at any time is OK.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

North Greens

North greens are open for play as of yesterday. If there is a 'freeze/thaw' cycle predicted, we may move back to temporary greens, but I do not foresee that happening.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Storm Damage

In the recent "wind storm" we lost a total of 4 trees. Not too bad considering the damage in SE Michigan. Numerous smaller limbs came down and will need to be cleaned up once the seasonal staff arrives, as early as next week.

Cleanup will begin this week with the removal of those 4 trees.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Course Status

Everything looks good, the upcoming forecast should have no negative impact on the turf.

In this freeze thaw cycle we will be moving the flags on the North Course back and forth between the greens and approaches.When the ground freezes at night it's best to stay off the greens to avoid traffic footprinting.

From the 'Common Questions' page on this blog:


A frost (frozen) layer in the greens causes water above that layer to sit, creating a "bathtub" effect. This condition leads to soft surfaces and foot-printing under traffic. As soon as the frost layer leaves and the water can release through the profile, creating a dry and firm surface, we will open the greens to traffic.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Current Projects

  • The steel wall adjacent to #13 green North has been repaired. The sodding and seeding will be completed by late May.
  • The greens covers have all been removed. Winter damage at this late date is rare.
  • Renovations to the basement (egress windows) at the club owned property at 3894 West Maple will be complete by late April. This is the 1st of 2 phases to renovate the basement that is used as temporary housing for Turfgrass Interns.
  • The 2 wells on the South Course adjacent to #4 green were scheduled to be serviced. Ground conditions do not permit access to this location, so that work will be completed after 11/1.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Volunteering Mission for The Turf Team

Each year the Turf Team does at least one volunteer project. The past 2 years its been with Habitat for Humanity.

Here is the homeowners story:

The road to home ownership is not always an easy one. Cindy, 45, knows this first hand. Until 2010, she was a successful Occupational Therapist and mother of two young children. Suddenly, she became very ill and her life was thrown into chaos. She was admitted to the hospital. Tests later revealed her diagnosis: Lyme disease. Though her passion was caring for others, she was now being cared for herself. Cindy would spend the next six years regaining her strength from the disease’s devastating effects. She’s stronger than ever and can’t wait to tackle life’s next challenge: home ownership.

The Turf Team 2017

Currently, Cindy and her children live in a cramped trailer home. She wants nothing more than for her children to have a safe, peaceful space to grow and play as well as a respite for her to pray and heal. “The kids and I love being outside. James is involved in baseball and Cub Scouts. Samantha is a Girl Scout and I am a troop leader,” Cindy says.

Though Cindy is as positive a person as one can get, she admits that her situation comes with its own challenges. “I am a single mother with two children trying to support our family on disability and a part time job.” She has longed for a home of her own for many years. “It would be awesome to own a home instead of rent. This would be a new start for the kids and I.”

Cindy is “grateful, thankful and joyful” about the home she has selected in Oak Park that will be rehabilitated for her with the sweat and hard work of Habitat Oakland County’s Women Build team. Being a part of the Habitat Homeownership Program is just a small part of the big life that Cindy has planned for herself and her children. In five years she sees herself, “Stronger and healthier. I plan to be back to working full time. The kids and I with be established in our homes and lives, financially secure and saving for the future.” She shares this message to Habitat’s volunteers: “You are making a huge difference in our lives by volunteering your time to work on our home. Thank you!”

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Well Servicing

If ground conditions permit next week, we begin pulling the two wells next to 4 green South so they can be serviced. They were installed in 2000 to supply water for  the new irrigation system installed in the same year. It's been 16 years since any work has been done so it's time to do an inspection.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Assistant Superintendent Job Opening

We are looking for an outstanding Assistant Superintendent that is upwardly mobile. You can contact us here through this blog, the clubs website

or email me at

Duties:                              All aspects of course maintenance including chemical/fertilizer application, special projects, irrigation repair, winter equipment repair, management/leadership of staff; community volunteering; interface w/OHCC members, USGA and PGA officials.

Benefits:                   Inclusive work environment; competitive compensation package includes: competitive wage, 401K, health insurance, vision, dental, overtime, uniforms, partial meals, education allowance and generous Paid Time Off System. On-site housing available at low cost. OHCC Scholarship opportunity. A commitment to helping you achieve your life and career goals.

Requirements:                     Excellent employment history; prior experience at a “Top 100” club or similar high end facility; strong work ethic; minimum 2 year Degree in Turf Management or related field; 2 years previous golf course experience; proven ability to work within a team; community volunteerism a plus.

Position available:                   Spring 2017

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Snow Removal

Due to the potential for melting snow and subsequent ice formation we will be removing snow from the South greens next Monday and Tuesday unless conditions change. Ice formation is detrimental to annual bluegrass (poa annua) greens.

Monday, November 21, 2016

From David Owen, Golf Digest:

Why We Should Do Away With Bunker Rakes

Golf, much more than other sports, is a game of good and bad luck. A great drive rolls into a divot: bogey. A lousy drive bounces off a boundary stake: birdie. Such unpredictability isn’t a defect. The tension between happy accidents and undeserved disasters helps to turn mere hackers into obsessives and philosophers. To make tennis comparably thought-provoking, you’d have to shift the lines during rallies and randomly lift and lower the net.

Yet golfers complain. Instead of savoring the game’s sublime inconsistency, we yearn for courses as predictable as tennis courts. We grumble when greens aren’t flawless, when fairways aren’t uniformly carpet-like, when sand is either too fluffy or not fluffy enough. A friend of mine once skulled an explosion shot, then slammed his wedge against his bag and cursed the greenkeeper’s crew for having failed to undo the effects of the previous day’s hard rain. Tour pros are even more finicky. If the sand in one trap isn’t indistinguishable from the sand in every other, they gripe.

Complaints about “unfair” bunkers are especially contrary to the spirit of golf: aren’t hazards supposed to be hazardous? On TV, the standard greenside-bunker shot is about as thrilling to watch as a two-foot putt. You know the guy is going to spin it close, and he knows he’s going to spin it close -- otherwise, he wouldn’t have yelled “Get in the bunker!” when his ball was in the air. Sand’s function in a tour event is often just to make the surrounding grass seem troublesome.

There’s a simple remedy: follow the example of Pine Valley, the legendary New Jersey golf club, which for decades has been listed at or near the top of nearly every ranking of the best courses in the world. Pine Valley has many, many bunkers -- some small, some large, some soft, some hard some coffin-shaped, some bottomless, some seemingly miles across -- but no rakes. The club’s maintenance regularly smooths everything out, but, if your ball ends up in a footprint (or behind a rock or under a cactus), that’s your tough luck, and you deal with it. As you should.

Rake-free bunkers would make televised golf a lot more interesting to watch. They would even be good for choppers like you and me. Pristine, consistent bunkers are expensive to build and maintain. Why not let a course’s sandy areas take care of themselves, and spend the savings on something more obviously beneficial, like cutting back overgrown trees? Most golfers, who can’t hit sand shots anyway, wouldn’t notice a difference. (That guy I mentioned earlier skulls balls from well-conditioned bunkers, too.) Everyone else either would learn an arsenal of useful new shots or would get better at doing what bunkers are supposed to make golfers want to do: stay out of them in the first place.