Some of the superintendents that check in may like to see this.  Sometimes when mixing products to spray, some of those products do not get along.  That happened on Monday when we tried to spray fairways.  We were pushing our luck a little-I believe we used the line, "we haven't seen any problems yet" before adding another product to the mix.  When we mix products we use a 90 gallon mix tank with an aggressive agitation to mix the products together before pumping the solution into the spray tank.  I dissolved 3 different fertilizers, then added a liquid product to the tank, and this is what I got out of it.  It was amazing to witness how fast the entire mix (about 70 gallons) "gelled" up.  The consistency of the mix turned from liquid to "mashed potatoes" in about 10 seconds.  We decided to remove a couple of fertilizers from the mix, then mixed directly into the sprayer to begin with the fairways.

I was most surprised when I decided to shovel some out a couple of hours later while waiting on the fairway mowers in front of me.  It had all returned to liquid!
This issue includes more talk of the wet weather, and what is resulting from it.  You can see the issue by clicking here, or on the right under Turf Scouting Reports.
From time to time we are asked by a company if we are willing to test a product in the real conditions of a golf course.  We do not turn down the opportunity to assist a company who is working towards the same goal we are, which is improving turf conditions.  This is the first time we have come across these results.  Only 4 days after the application, I saw this on the driving range fairway.

We test this product in 4 locations around the course and this plot turned out to be the worst.  It is bad enough that the sequential applications that the program called for have be halted.

One reason they have been halted is we have already gotten the results we were looking for after the first application.  This is a product that can be sprayed to kill the annual bluegrass(poa annua).  It did kill the annual bluegrass.  The problem is that it killed the bentgrass also.

You may have been able to see this spot from the driving range tee, behind the Ash tree.  This spot has since been sprayed with green dye to mask the application.  This area will have to be reseeded.  This other areas we sprayed are much smaller.  We have seen some discoloration on those areas, but the turf has not died.
The month of June has been abnormally wet.  We usually welcome the occasional rain event, however this month has brought several rain events.  The biggest problem with the rain events were they spaced themselves through the month in a manner that prevented the course from being able to adequately dry.  This has brought on several issues this month, and possibly more issues into the summer.  Here are a few pictures of what we have seen on the course.

The picture on the left is showing symptoms of the disease brown patch on one of our tee boxes.  The weather patterns have kept the surface of the tee boxes wet, and combined with the heat has brought on visible disease symptoms.  We do treat the turf with products to prevent the outbreaks.  The downside is these products are not 100%, and during times of extreme disease pressure symptoms will still show.  These products have been beneficial to prevented the disease from progressing to excessive levels and causing turf damage, which at this time of year would be very detrimental to playing conditions through the rest of the year.

This picture show symptoms of Black Layer on a green.  This condition can be extremely difficult to manage if it becomes widespread.  Lucky for us this picture is of an isolated spot, this is not typical of all the greens.  This spot is in a low part of the green on 3.  Black Layer is a symptom of anaerobic(oxygen depleted) conditions in the soil.  Though plants take in carbon dioxide, they also need oxygen in the soil to continue the necessary processes.  When soil remains saturated and oxygen depleted for extended periods of time, nutrients in the soil undergo changes as well.  The black color that you see in the soil is a result of a build up of nutrients in the soil.

This picture is more difficult to see the problem, but in the bottom of this drainage swale the turf has become discolored.  This is a result of water draining to this area, then having temperatures rise quickly to the 90's which heats up the water and damages the turf.  Once this area dries, the turf will recover.
An update on some maintenance we completed last Monday, June 21st: we verticut the fairways.  This verticutting on the fairways was a little different than what we do to the greens.  These blades are set deeper to remove more material.  You can get more information from an earlier post on verticutting here.

These verticutting units are a separate set of attachments for our fairway mowers.  We can remove the cutting units and replace them with the verticutting units.

After the verticutting is completed on the fairway, we mowed the fairways to pick up the excess clippings.

The Turf Scouting Report from June 19th is available.  This issue discusses more rain and a few diseases that have come with it.  You can view it by clicking here.
The course did suffer some storm damage from the first wave to storms on Friday evening.  Most of the damage included sticks and debris on greens, tees and fairways.  There are a handful of large limbs down, and 1 tree has blown over.  I am writing this as the second round of storms is passing through, so we may need to reassess in the morning. More picture of the course.


The persistent wet weather that has bothered the club for 3 weeks is beginning to take a toll on the turf.  The wet conditions invite a number of maladies that will inhibit desirable turf conditions.  One malady gave quite a show on Wednesday.  This one was a slime mold that showed in only a few spots on the 10th tee box.  I was excited to see this and get a picture because I had never seen a slime mold this color.

Slime molds can occur on all common turfgrass varieties when specific conditions exist.  The most common condition is prolonged periods of wet weather.  The fortunate thing about slime molds is they do not harm the turf.  If an outbreak becomes very widespread, the fruiting bodies that you see on the leaves can be removed my mowing or dragging.

The more typical blue/gray color of slime mold.  Taken last year on a tee box.

The orange spots are slime mold seen on the 10th tee on Thursday.

A close-up of the slime mold on the 10th tee.  You can click on the picture to enlarge the photo.
The strain of the wind on Tuesday night was more than two trees could bear.  We lost part of a Hawthorne tree to the left of 13 forward tee and a branch out of a tree near 16 green.

With several new members joining the club this spring I thought I would make available the Green Department's New Member Orientation packet for 2010.  This packet highlights on course etiquette that members and their guests should exhibit, as well as specific issues unique to the club.  This packet will also be linked to under the "Frequently Used Maintenance Practices" heading.

2010 New Member Orientation Packet

Welcome new members!

It's hard to believe that the U.S. Open is already here.  Golf Course Management magazine, the publication of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, highlight some of the preparations made to Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open.  That article can be found here.

Also, the Golf Course Management blog will be following the superintendent and grounds crew through the week on their blog.  You can find those updates on the GCM blog.
The Turf Scouting Report for June 11th is available.  This issue discusses more rain, and fairy ring management.
On my April 21st post I talked about reseeding our fairway nursery.  During the past 7 weeks, the seed has established well.  There are spots that still need to fill in, but that will happen with more growth.

An area that has not recovered well is the area near 1 approach.  This area suffered the most extensive winter damage on the course, and the recovery has been slow.  The area has been seeded twice but appears very little of the seed has grown in.  All the rain has been great for the fairway nursery seed, however, we suspect that rain kept this area too wet-this area being an area that collects water before running into the creek.  We will continue to fertilizer this area, and reseed as necessary.
The last of our capital equipment improvements for the year have arrived.  The final pieces include a sod cutter and a set of verticutting units for a new-to-us used mower.  The picture on the left is of the new sod cutter.  This piece of equipment is replacing another sod cutter that looks very similar.  The old machine has been on the property for several years and weather the course renovation.

The machine in the foreground of this picture is the new-to-us used machine that will be used for the new set of verticutting units that was purchased as well.  The club had  two of these machines prior to this purchase.  The used machine was purchased to take advantage of interchangeable parts and cutting units.
There is one job on the course that is not well known but is done with the same regularity as mowing the greens and raking the bunkers.  That job is dragging dew.  We don not want to discount the benefits dragging dew has to the early morning golfer, but the main reason for doing the practice is the agronomic benefits of it.

Diseases occur on turfgrass when three conditions exist.  There needs to be a pathogen present, a susceptible host for the pathogen to attach to, then environmental conditions for that pathogen to survive on the host.  Any two of these being present will not result in an outbreak of disease.  All three need to be present for disease symptoms to appear on turfgrass. The diagram on the right is illustrating this.

An environment suitable for a pathogen to colonize a plant includes moisture or the duration of leaf wetness.  The longer there is moisture on the leaf blade from dew, irrigation or rain, the chances for disease outbreaks increase.  By dragging the dew off of the leaf blade it allows the turf canopy to dry more rapidly that it otherwise would have been able to do if the dew was left on the plant, thus decreasing the duration of leaf wetness and decreasing the chances that a pathogen has to survive.  This practice is not a method of disease control, rather a method of disease suppression.

Here is a good article from the USGA discussing the condition of roughs during the spring time: USGA: Spring Rough Is Rough! - June 2010
This weeks Turf Scouting Report has been posted.  This issue discusses diseases that are beginning to show around the Chicagoland area, as well as some dollar spot control trials.

I have also posted a video on the right column of the blog that discusses the CDGA Turfgrass Program.

Click here for the June 4th Scouting Report

There was on upside on Wednesday.  Though the course was too wet to accomplish anything, our summer flowers arrived on Wednesday morning.  This turned out to be great timing.  We were able to delegate most of the crew to start planting flowers.

The spring flowers that were in place in the beds were removed.  We work the soil lightly, then apply a fertilizer before planting the summer flowers.

By the end of the week we were able to plant most of the flowers.  The flowers for the flower pots will be arriving later.  Stay tuned for a later post when I will highlight what kind of flowers are planted around the clubhouse.

The flowers that were removed from the beds are still in good shape.  You are welcome to help yourself to however many you are interested in.  They will be underneath the pine trees near the south parking lot until the middle of the week, at which time they will be disposed of.
I had intensions to post this earlier but am just now getting around to it.  After the storms passed early in the week, the course was lucky to remain in great shape, but some evidence of the storm lingered through the week.  Here are a few problems we dealt with through the week.

This picture shows what behind 14 green looked liked around 11am on Wednesday, after the rains in the morning.  We suspected the water should have been receding quicker than what it was.  The next morning, after all of the water was off the course, and we were able to check drains, we found a problem in this area.

We found this drain, which is behind 14 green, to be completely clogged with with plants that had been washed out of the ponds and the adjacent ESA areas.  This drain is connected to the main drain pipe that runs through the property.  There was no other problem with the drain, it was just necessary to remove the debris that had collected.  Once that was done, we could see the water moving through the drain again.

This tree off the right side of 5 tees was the only trees or branches that fell.

We did receive some other tree damage.  This damage was from a lightning strike to a tree on the left side of 2 fairway.  This tree is not in great shape and the lightning strike is just one more ailment for this tree to deal with.
Lots of rain to start the month of June. If you were here on Monday, you may have been rained out of your golfing reservations with the 1.25 inches of rain that fell. Now on Wednesday morning we were greeted with 2.0 inches of additional rain. This rain has taken advantage of the floodway that crosses the course. Here is a series of videos showing how the water flows through the course after heavy rains.






Water entering the course at 11 tee.
video
Water moving from 17 pond across 16 fairway
video
Water flowing into the pond at 14 green
video
Water moving out of the pond on 14
video
Water moving across the driving range
video
Water moving from 9 fairway across 2 fairway
video
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