What’s Up With 12, 14 and 15

There 4 contributing factors that lead to the failure of the turf on those fairway’s -

1.  There is little to NO topsoil on those fairways. They consist of all clay and rock with very little dirt on top. The root system is very shallow.
2.  There is a layer of thatch that has developed on the top that does not allow water or the root system to penetrate.
3.  The variety of grass on our fairways is predominately Kentucky Blue Grass that does not tolerate the heat and stress very well.
4.  A very limited water system and no drainage help contribute to this problem.

These fairway’s are aerated every fall, fertilized the same as the rest, mowed at the same height and we have tried applying different amounts of water, all with no positive results.   Every year if the weather gets hot and we receive heavy rainfall during the day and then sunshine, this turf goes dormant.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Other than a very costly renovation that would close these fairways for a long time we would like to -

I have lined up to try a machine from the TORO rep that is called the “SEEDARATOR”.   This machine uses a solid 3 inch tine to punch holes and shatter the soil, breaks up the thatch, then puts seed into the soil, grooms and rolls the surface, all in one operation. I would like to try a different variety of grass on these holes, a straight “rye” grass that is much more heat tolerant and handles the stress better. We would be doing this right after the club championship weekend.  Not knowing how this will work out or how long it will take, we will probably try this on #15 first and then possibly the other 2 if we have positive results. There is not much of a downside to trying this as I don’t think we can make it any more “unplayable” than it already is. The cost of the seed is not a major factor.  

I have brought in many “experts” in the field to look at these holes and all have the same ideas as to why this happens but no easy solution to fix the ongoing problem.  I am always open to everyone’s thoughts and appreciate your patience as we continue to try and improve your golf course.

Golf Tip: Repairing Ball Marks

Repairing ball marks on the greens is very important. Equally important is doing it the right way. It isn’t just a matter of etiquette. It’s our obligation as members to help take care of the course we play.   The first step in repairing ball marks is to take your divot repair tool (everyone should carry one when playing) and insert the prongs into the turf at the edge of the depression.  Then push the edge of the ball mark towards the center.  DON’T inset the prongs into the center of the depression itself and use the tool as a lever to push up the center of the depression, this will only tear the roots and kill the grass.  Once you’ve worked around the rim of the ball mark with your repair tool, pushing towards the center, gently tamp down the repair ball mark with your putter or foot.

Course Condition

I’m sure you’ll all agree that the course last year was in the best shape ever.  That’s partially due to your excellent crew but more importantly due to you – the members.  You have a large part to play in keeping the course in playable shape all summer long.

What can I do you ask?  Well for starters:

1. Repair all divots.  You can see how fast a freshly repaired divot will regrow.

2. Keep your carts on the paths or in the rough as long as possible when going to your ball

3. Be prudent when you see wet areas.  Don’t leave marks from your cart or footprintg

4. Pick up your feet on the greens.  Don’t scuff.

5. Enter the traps from the low side and rake it when you leave from the same place.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call 585-123-4567

Smitty