Our cool-season turf grasses (bent-grass & poa annua) and sand-based Greens went through culture shock with the short Spring. I apologize for the Localized Dry Spots that flared up. Wow, end of June and it feels like we’ve weathered a full month of summer – – warm, dry & windy. We are alleviating these perennial LDSs with multiple techniques. Dragging hoses & watering alone didn’t work. Our aeration helped to reduce thatch but much remains. On June 15th, we sprayed all Greens with special Wetting Agent. It went on like sticky soap – – helps water penetrate and helps holds moisture & nutrients in our pure sand root-zone. We have also cultivated several bad Green surfaces with slicer to assist infiltration. We even pitch-forked LDSs on #16. Sod plugs will be done in bad spots. The Wetting Agent will be applied monthly thru summer. Our goal is to provide our golfers with smooth, consistent putting surfaces.
With late start to season, we are still a few weeks behind. Equipment tune-ups & fixes are being sorted out. Irrigation repairs will help us keep Greens watered. Nothing seemed routine yet this season; but I have my full crew now. Just last week, we began rolling Greens 2 times per week; bunkers and cups will be done more regularly. Fairways are fertilized and getting 3/week mowing.
June had 0.5” rain early until June 19th’s 0.7” rain. Last Wednesday brought .9”, whew! Our manual irrigation system and pond water can supplement Mother Nature but Channel 9 predicted “normal temps and wetter than normal” summer for CNY. Firm and fast golf courses are all the rage now. I think there is a middle ground where we get summer roll in fairways yet the grounds are lush enough to allow divots, tees in ground & a little “hold” on Greens. We’ll get there. I do get nervous when we start using our Reservoir Pond (#8) so early in season.
Cottonwood trees putting out a bumper crop of fluffy snow this year. We have marked several of the most prolific for winter removal. We have returned Broken Tee boxes to green tees; help us tidy our tees: either toss in box or throw off tee surface, please. We have a qualified volunteer helping fill divots on tees this season; thank you Mark Clark. You can help too. Sand bottles are on carts and find extras bottles supplied on Par-3s now. Distance stones at Tees have been trimmed as well as all Fairway irrigation heads (down the middle). With all “rescue” watering on Greens, please repair ball punch marks.
Most importantly, get out and play. Enjoy the weather and the “new” Sunset Ridge GC.
Golf Course Superintendent