Fine Turgrass Management

Fine Turgrass Management

Steve Cook, CGCS, MG - Director of Agronomy

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Weekly Update

This week:

  • Aerification of #15 and #6 green North will help the turf defend itself from winter damage by promoting a healthier root system.
  • Removal of annual plant material at clubhouse.
  • Winterizing ice machines and fountains.
  • "Deep tine" aerification of South fairways.
  • Drainage projects North Course.
  • Mowing of South fescue areas.
  • Herbicide applications for clover.
  • Leaf cleanup.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Course Update

All of our agronomic practices this week continue to be focused on winter preparation. A typical summer day would see us entirely focused on quality playing surfaces centered around plant health ... but always prioritizing playing conditions first. Now, in October, is the time to really concentrate on plant health: higher heights of cut and a little more fertility.

We purchased a few more covers so that this winter all of the South greens will be covered, a new practice for us. We will continue to remove snow from the South greens, the North Winter maintenance Program will not change from prior years. Covers will not be installed until mid-November or just before the ground freezes.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Frost is formed when the temperature of a solid surface is cooled below the dew point.

Frost on objects is just water vapor in the air that has condensed as ice onto a surface. Frost forms on objects close to the ground, such as blades of grass. At night, a blade of grass loses energy by emitting a non-lethal kind of radiation, but it absorbs energy emitted by surrounding objects. Under clear nighttime skies, objects near the ground emit more radiation than they receive from the sky, and so a blade of grass cools due to the net energy loss. Once a grass blade gets cold enough, frost will form on it.

Overnight cooling of air near the ground causes morning frost on grass and car windshields. Frost will only form on a surface that is at or below freezing temperature. The observed air temperature may be above 32 F, since observations are taken at about four feet above the ground, where it can be warmer. The difference in frost formation from one to the next is most likely due to differences in elevation.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Course Update

 At this time of the season turf health and recovery takes precedence over playing conditions. All of our Agronomic practices are centered around getting the turf prepared for winter. Annual bluegrass is very susceptible to winter injury (as we discovered last winter). Here are a few of the things we do to get ready for the most difficult time of year for turfgrass:

Raise mowing heights - increases leaf surface to provide more photosynthesis
More fertility - provides food for the plant to become stronger
Aerification - increases rooting
Adequate irrigation - watering more frequently decreases moisture stress

All of these practices are an insurance policy for quality playing surfaces next year. In addition to covering greens and removing snow, this gives annual bluegrass the best chance to survive the winter.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Aerification Progress

It has been only 4 days since aerification. The fairways and approaches are nearly 100% recovered. The greens should be mostly healed by this weekend. As always the weather plays a key role in the recovery process and we have been blessed this past week with great weather!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Aerification Update

Yesterday was productive: all 18 South fairways aerified and the front 9 South greens completed. We have some cleanup to finish today but we will be finished with all greens and fairways by the end of today. Tees will be done at a later date as time and weather permit. Overall, a great fall aerification.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Storm Damage

We came through the recent storm in pretty good shape. We lost two trees on the South: an American Beech left of #15 fairway and a Shagbark Hickory on #16. These were two native trees, here when the course was built, so that's unfortunate. All other damage was minor and will be cleaned up by next week.

#16 -  1922

Shagbark Hickory #16 South

American Beech #15

American Beech #15

Thursday, August 21, 2014


It's just 2 weeks away: September 2nd - 4th. If the weather is conducive we'll be able to aerify most of the South Course. Fairways take the longest so those might require another two to three days to complete. Much depends on the weather.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Night Shift

This year we implemented an afternoon shift to help alleviate some of the infrastructure issues we face with an inadequate maintenance facility. By moving some of the work to the evening we free up space and equipment. It also allows us to get a "dry cut" on the range tee and moves some of this disruptive maintenance away from the morning when player access is most demanding.

As with anything we do, no strategy can succeed without great staff to implement it. I want to thank the wonderful Team we put together to accomplish this evening maintenance and they are listed below in the photo. Through rain and heat - sometimes both - these rookies did a great job. Thanks Team!

Jeremy Glod , Justin Mooney, Matt Andrus, Sean Nesbitt

Monday, July 28, 2014


White clover is a low growing perennial. As you can see on the golf courses, it's had a great year and is spreading rapidly by low, creeping stems. These stems are below the mowing height and that's one reason why it is so prolific. Originating in Europe it is used in foraging situations in North America and is most adaptable to cool, moist climates. It is not useful on golf courses.

Late fall is the best time to treat broadleaf weeds as the herbicide is more effectively translocated to the roots. We will treat both courses with herbicide sometime after Labor Day to eradicate the clover. Until then, know that we've got it scheduled as soon as the timing permits.