Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How the Weather and Maintenance Practices are Affecting Green Speeds

Golf Course Maintenance Update
December 29, 2015

As our temperatures dip back into the 50’s, I want to take a few moments and explain what has been happening regarding the greens over the last few weeks.  Since early September the speed of the greens have been consistently quick until the past few weeks.  During the growing season for bermuda grasses, April through October in our part of the country, we generally maintain a low cut height on the greens at around .110 inches.  An exception to this, is during recovery from aerification the heights are raised slightly to relieve stress off the turf and encourage recovery.  The low mowing height coupled with other agronomic practices such as topdressing, verticutting, rolling and routine aerifications all contribute to how the greens putt, referring to both smoothness and speed.  The other major contributing factor is weather, especially moisture.

Starting in mid-October the growth rate of the turf on the greens starts to slow down and its ability to recover from stresses is greatly reduced.  This is due to shorter hours of sunlight and cooler air and soil temperatures, thus reducing the amount of time the plant has to produce energy from photosynthesis.  Gradually we begin to raise greens mowing heights in mid-October until late November when we reach about .130 inches.  Normally the green speeds remain consistent during this time of year because the decreasing growth rate balances out the increased mowing height.  During the month of December our average high temperature is 65F and the average low is 45F.  This year our average high in December has been 71F and the low 50F with stretches of 4 to 6 days in the high 70s/low 80s.  During stretches like we had the week of Christmas when we were in the low 80s for 3 days in a row, the grass “wakes up” and begins an abnormal growth.  The effect of the warm temperatures and seasonally adjusted mowing heights contributed to the greens speed slowing down.  We chose not to lower the mow height to counter this effect because of the risk of the temperatures dropping back down to “normal” or even lower, the grass will stop growing and its ability to recover from stress is decreased.  The projected temperatures this week shall slow the growth rate and the speeds will pick back up to the level that we are striving for.  During the winter (off-season) months we are managing greens for playability while also for the healthiest turf possible going into the spring.  If mow heights are raised and lower this time of year based on fluctuating temperatures the turf would use its stored energy faster than normal and create stress causing weaker turf going into the spring months.  

As always, I am happy to discuss this or any questions you may have regarding the maintenance of the golf course, 281-244-3829 or e-mail at kyle.brown@clubcorp.com

Thank you,

Kyle Brown
Golf Course Superintendent
bayoaksgcm.blogspot.com

Monday, December 28, 2015

Greeeeen

Is it December 28th or April 28th?  This time next week we will not be this green but it does look good now. This week is predicted to be on the 50s which will cause the Bermuda grass to start going dormant. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Weekend Rain Total

We received an additional 2.25" of rain on Sunday 11/1 bringing our weekend total to 7.25".  Over the nine day period starting Saturday 10/24 and ending Sunday 11/1 we received 14.5" bringing our year-to-date rain totals for 2015 to 81".  Our GCM team is starting today fixing bunkers and cleaning up tree debri.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween Storm

Hole 13 tree on left of fairway
Here are a few of pictures of the damage from the overnight storm. The holes with the worst damage are 6, 13 and 10.  We ended up with 5 inches from the Halloween rains. 
Hole 6 top of huge tree at dogleg
Tree behind 3 green, hung up in another tree

Cups on 6, 3, 10 all looked like this.  The flag sticks didn't give or come out of cup so cup shifted.

Videos of Halloween Storm damage

It looks like possibly a small tornado or straight line winds ripped through the golf course Friday night / Saturday morning across holes 6, 3, 10, 14, 15, 13.  We lost 4 trees on 6 including the top of one of the biggest ones at the dogleg.  The remainder of the large tree at the dogleg needs to be removed.  On hole 13 we lost 1 large tree on the left side of the fairway and 3 or 4 in the far right rough.  14 lost 1 tree on the right.  10 has a lot of downed limbs and debris. 
Hole #13
video
Hole #6
video
Hole #10
video

Monday, October 26, 2015

Update on weekend rain

For the weekend we totaled 7.25 inches of rain. We lost 2 trees, one on 9 and one between 2 and 7.   The wind knocked a lot of debris out of the trees. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weather event

We are almost to 5 inches of rain starting Saturday morning. The good thing is it has been a slow soaker so not much damage.  The course is extremely wet. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New Equipment

We received some much needed new equipment this month. 3 new Toro Workman MDX utility vehicles arrived a couple weeks ago. Our utility vehicle fleet is aging so the new vehicles will help us extend the life of our older ones.
On Friday a new equipment lift arrived and was installed at our GCM shop. The lift will help our equipment manager more efficiently keep our mowers, and carts maintained and repaired.  This will really make his job easier. 


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Greens Aerification August 10-12

This coming Monday thru Wednesday, August 10-12 the golf course is closed for our Golf Course Maintenance team to aerify the greens and verticut the fairways.  A 3/8ths inch core on 1.5 inch spacing will be used on the greens.  A topdressing of sand will be applied to the greens to aid in smoothing the greens and filling in the holes left by the aerification.  Aerification is beneficial to the greens by improving gas and moisture exchange as well as removing excess organic matter which in turn leads to healthier firmer turf.  Extra fertilizer is applied to the greens the week leading up to the aerification and the week after the aerification to assist in recovery.


Call me with any questions at 281-244-3829 or e-mail me at kyle.brown@clubcorp.com

Friday, June 19, 2015

Greens Aerification Reschedule

Tropical Storm Bill caused us to cancel the greens aerification part of our aerification this week.  We are now going to aerify the greens on June 29th and finish up on June 30th.  The course is closed Monday the 29th.  Tuesday the 30th the front nine will open as normal at 7:30am and the back nine will stay closed until noon.  We will use 1/4" tines on the greens which is smaller than we originally planned but using the smaller tines will allow us to complete the process in the compressed amount of time.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Golf Course Aerification

Due to the forcasted weather conditions, 5-10 inches of rain, over the next 2 days we have changed our aerification schedule.  It is not worth the risk to get all the greens aerified and then not be able to properly topdress, roll and cleanup.  We did get the tees and driving range tees aerified and verticut.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bug Spray and Sun Screen

Please refrain from applying bug spray and sprayable sunscreen to you legs while standing on the grass, especially the greens. The products have ingredients in them which turn the grass brown. 
This picture was taken Saturday 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Aerification June 15-17

This coming Monday thru Wednesday, June 15-17 the golf course is closed for our Golf Course Maintenance team to aerify the greens and tees and verticut the fairways.  A 3/8ths inch core on 1.5 inch spacing will be used on the greens and a slightly larger core on bigger spacing is planned for the tees.  A topdressing of sand will be applied to the greens to aid in smoothing the greens and filling in the holes left by the aerification.  Aerification is beneficial to the greens by improving gas and moisture exchange as well as removing excess organic matter which in turn leads to healthier firmer turf.  Extra fertilizer is applied to the greens the week leading up to the aerification and the week after the aerification to assist in recovery which does cause a slight decrease in green speed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Last Nights Storm

We got almost 6 inches of rain overnight which brings our year to date to 40 inches.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Aerification Day 1

We had a good day with our first Aerification day. We Aerification 10 greens today and will do the remaining Tuesday and Wednesday. If all goes well we plan to do some collar Aerification as well. 

The Rain Storm of May 12th & 13th

Our club received at minimum 8.5 inches of rain yesterday through last night. The actual total was probably over 9 inches but our rain gauges lacked enough capacity. The golf course had a lot of flooding, new ponds, another tree fell over adjacent to 11 tee and all the bunker sand washed down. 









Sunday, April 19, 2015

Storm Night of April 17


Friday April 10 thru Saturday April 18th we have received 7.1 inches of rain at the golf course. The storm Friday night brought us powerful winds and 3.7 inches of rain causing a lot of tree damage on the golf course. The winds were strong enough to blow the flagsticks and cups in the greens sideways.  We lost approximately 10 large trees. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Aerification April 20-22

This coming Monday thru Wednesday, April 20-22 the golf course is closed for our Golf Course Maintenance team to aerify the greens and collars.  A ¼ inch core on 1.5 inch spacing will be used on the greens and a slightly larger core on bigger spacing is planned for the collars.  The greens are now starting to grow but with the limited sun light and excessive rain we have had over the last few months we are using a much smaller tine than we have in the past.  This should help speed the recovery process over what it has been the last couple April aerifications.  A topdressing of sand will be applied to the greens to aid in smoothing the greens and filling in the holes left by the aerification.  Aerification is beneficial to the greens by improving gas and moisture exchange as well as removing excess organic matter which in turn leads to healthier firmer turf.  Extra fertilizer is applied to the greens the week leading up to the aerification and the week after the aerification to assist in recovery, which causes more growth and in turn, decreased green speeds.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring Time Bluebonnets

Spring is a great time of year. Everything is fresh and new and full of life. We can thank Harris County Flood Control District for the Bluebonnets along the banks of Horsepen Bayou.  Come out to the golf course and enjoy them while they last. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Fountain in Clubhouse Lake

Our new fountain was installed yesterday in the lake behind the clubhouse. It looks great. The fountain serves multiple functions. Aesthetically, it adds a lot to the ambiance of the putting green area, view from the clubhouse dining areas and the view as you play up 18 fairway. It will also aid water quality and clarity in the pond by aerifiyng and circulating the water. 

Bluebird Nest Boxes

We installed 12 bluebird nest boxes on the front nine of the golf course.  They provide a habitat for bluebirds as well as other birds of similar size.  They are located on holes 3, 5, 7 and the front drive. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Egret

Debbie Repasz captured this picture of an Egret on the golf course the other day.  What a beautiful example of our local wildlife.  It looks like it was posing for her.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Drainage on 10

We installed new drainage on #10 today at the 150yd mark along the cart path. This has historically been a water holding spot. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sleet

Our winter weather is full of inconsistencies and surprises. "Houston Winter". We had some sleet this morning.