HAYMAKER GREENS & A HOT, DRY SUMMER
I hope that everyone is enjoying the golf season! With cooler daytime temps and recent rainfall the golf course is feeling a bit of relief from a very hot and dry summer. As we transition into fall the golf course will begin to heal from the stress of drought conditions.
One of the major issues we’ve dealt with this season is battling fungal infections on our greens. This is rare for our location, fungal issues typically happen in areas where humidity levels are constantly elevated. There are several environmental factors that contribute to infections, making it difficult to know exactly why it developed.
The irregularities and indentations that you may have noticed on the greens are the remnants of a fungal disease. When it was identified as a disease we immediately sent samples into the CSU plant diagnostics lab to confirm the prognosis and began a preventative treatment with fungicide applications on the greens to slow further development.
The infection on our greens has been identified as leaf spot and melting-out. Melting-out is a two stage infection. The first symptoms are leaf blight with a yellowing appearance on the leaf blade. The second part of the infection moves into the crown and root system of the plant and ultimately causes loss of turf.
We are now at a point where the infection has been contained and we are beginning some aggressive cultural practices to smooth the surfaces of the greens. First, we will begin by vertical cutting the greens at a depth that borders on grading. Second, a light topdress will be applied on the entire surface of the green and a heavier topdress on the affected area. Finally, a drop seeder will be used to over seed the affected areas promoting new growth.
For the remainder of the season we will continually apply light topdressings on the greens to even out the surface. The spring of 2019 we will use tighter spacing on our aerification equipment in the affected areas to remove ample material and create openings for vegetative growth. The process of smoothing the surface of the greens will take time but they will make marked improvements in the weeks to come.
As always the maintenance staff appreciates your patience and understanding!
Adam Sando, Assistant Superintendent, Haymaker Golf Course
I would like to extend a welcome back to all golfers for the 2018 season. The Haymaker is in great early season shape thanks to the hard work of our maintenance staff.
I would like to start by addressing the most commonly asked question this time of year; “What’s up with the greens”? Every season we begin aerification on the greens ASAP. No other process on the course receives more scrutiny and ire than aerification. It goes without saying that this cultural practice is aggressive and has an undesirable effect on the surface of the greens. It’s difficult to convey to players that the long term benefits of the process far outweigh the temporary inconvenience but I promise you that this process is the most critical step to guarantee that Haymaker’s greens continue to thrive for years to come.
- Allows water to move into the soil profile more efficiently
- Increases the space available for oxygen to enter the green, this promotes healthy roots early and prepares the greens for heavy traffic and maintenance
- Removal of organic matter from the upper profile of the green. At Haymaker our greens are USGA standard putting greens built upon a sand base. We continually remove the organic matter from the upper portion of the green and fill the voids with topdress sand to keep the organic levels in check. When organic levels increase the thatch layer can act as a sponge holding moisture and creating a potential for disease.
- And finally, aerification alleviates compaction caused by traffic from both maintenance practices and play throughout the golf season. This also softens the surface allowing them to be more receptive to approach shots.
Where are we now and what’s the next steps for the greens?
Every season the greens react differently to aerification. Most of this has to do with a combination of weather and nutrient recovery/overlap from seasons past. Our approach to nutrition is not on a whim but rather is calculated and planned from a soil analysis that’s done every season to see what we do or do not lack as far as micro and macro nutrients are concerned. What this means is that when the greens wake up from a winters’ nap we feed them exactly what they require to put them in an optimum state for growth and recovery. This season what we seemed to lack from said combination was that soil temps did not climb as quickly as we would have liked. Now that soil temps are on the rise and the bentgrass is fed, the greens are beginning to fill in nicely and growth has taken off.
The next step for the greens is a gradual lowering of the mowing height and our first vertical cutting. At the moment our greens are at our highest height which is .187” or 3/16”. On Saturday morning the mowers will be lowered to .171” or 11/64”. The following Saturday,6/2, our greens mowers will be brought down to our target height for the summer months of .156” or 5/32”. The lowering of the greens mowers in combination with scheduled rolling will dramatically increase the rolling distance of your putt (greens speed) and also provide a smooth and uniform surface.
Our first vertical cutting of the greens will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week 5/29 and 5/30. This will also help get a clean clip on the greens and even out the surface. If you are interested in reading about the vertical cutting process at Haymaker it is posted on Turf Talk from 2017.
Our goal every season is to afford customers at Haymaker an opportunity to play quality and consistent greens. The month of May is always a bit frustrating for both players and the maintenance staff as we all want the greens to recover quickly. In short time we’ll be there and you can bet that that 10 foot left to righter will do exactly what you read.
Stay tuned for upcoming plans and projects in the month of June.
As always thanks for your patience and support,
Adam Sando, Assistant Superintendent Haymaker Golf Course
PLEASE DO NOT PLAY FROM NEWLY SODDED TEE BOXES
Sodding of the new tee boxes has begun! #5, 7, 12 and 17 tees are completed. The lower range tee is be partially completed.
Please do not play from the newly sodded tee boxes! As tempting as it may be, divots on new sod can permanently damage these pristine new surfaces. We need your help to ensure great condition for years to come. Alternative tee boxes are clearly marked. We thank you for your cooperation!
It’s a great time to play golf at haymaker! Enjoy discounted rates and fall colors!
Today (9/11) the Landscapes crew will be working on #1, #5 and #7. All holes will remain open and playable today. The driving range will be open today.
#1 The Landscapes crew will be using the gill blade and laser level on the tee surface.
#5 Areas around the tee box surround will be shaped by hand. When the tee surface is complete they tie in the surround of the tee box with the existing grade by hand. This hand work softens all the rough edges and melds new lines with old providing smooth transitions.
#7 Similar to the work on #5 the crew will finish up laser leveling the forward white tee and begin hand shaping the surrounds.
Tomorrow (9/12) the Landscapes crew will begin cutting and stripping sod from the upper driving range tee. They will also begin gilling and tilling the lower driving range tee. Hand work will continue on the #1 and #7 tees.
Tee boxes are set to be completed and ready for sod by 9/14
Tee box sodding is set to begin on 9/15
The driving range is set to be completed and ready for sod by 9/21
Driving range sodding is set to begin on 9/22
9/9,10,11 DRIVING RANGE will be OPEN.
9/12 DRIVING RANGE will be closed for improvements.
Today (9/7) the Landscapes crew will be working on #5, #12, #17 and the Lower Driving Range Tee.
THE DRIVING RANGE IS CLOSED TODAY!
#5. The Landscapes crew will be gilling the surface of the #5 gold/white tee with scarifier blades to break up compacted soils. All of the work is being done on the surface of the tee. The hole will remain open all day.
#12. They will be finishing up leveling the forward blue tee box. While this is being done the hole will be closed because of the close proximity to the temporary teeing area. They should have this completed rather quickly and #12 will be open by late morning/early afternoon.
#17. Yesterday afternoon the scarification process was completed on the #17 gold and white tees. Today the crew will begin roto tilling the surface and laser leveling. The hole will remain open for play.
Lower Driving Range Tee. The driving range will be closed today. The Landscapes crew will begin to cut and strip the sod from the lower driving range tee surface. The removal of these teeing surfaces will be tedious. Because of the amount of divots and the large amount of sand in the subsurface from top dressing over the years the sod will crumble when it is lifted. A good amount of the work will be done with a skid steer.
Allterrain Excavation will finish up work on the #7 bathroom site today and begin work on the #15 bathroom site. We may be cutting a temporary road from #14 green to #15 tee if they decide to stage the mini excavator in close proximity to the cart path. If this is the case we will have clear and detailed signage in place to route traffic to the #15 teeing area.
This morning (9/5) the Landscapes crew will be working on the #1 gold & white tee box. They are using a mini excavator and skid steer to remove the upper tier of the tee and pulling material forward to make a long and flat teeing surface.
After they have finished work on #1 they will be moving to #12 blue tee to begin stripping and removing sod. When they begin work on #12 the hole will be closed and customers will be routed on the temporary road to #13 tee (signage will be in place). All other holes on the course will be open and playable.
Today (9/1) the Landscapes crew will be localized to the #5 gold tee. The cart path is open on the entire course and all holes are playable from their designated teeing areas.
Tomorrow (9/2) the Landscapes crew will be working on #5 gold tee in the morning and moving to #1 gold/white tee in the late morning early afternoon. The beginning section of the cart path on #1 will be closed and customer traffic will be routed down the temporary road on #1 to the forward tee box.
Sunday and Monday (9/3 & 9/4) Landscapes will not be working and all holes will be open and playable from their designated teeing areas.
Tuesday (9/5) Landscapes will be receiving tilling equipment and laser leveling equipment.
Wednesday (9/6) Landscapes will begin laser leveling tee boxes, I will send an update in the morning on the order in which they will be working.
If you’ve wondered why they have spent so much time working on #5 it is because this tee box is being completely reshaped and shifted to align it with the green. What Landscapes is doing is a cut and fill. They are removing a large portion of the front right section of the tee and using it to fill in the back right (which was not a teeing surface in the past). They are also harvesting material from the tee surface in order to drop the tee box lower and using this material for further shaping. When this tee box is complete it will have a flat and forgiving surface and also more square footage to handle play.