One of our biggest focal points leading into the season was eradicating the moss populations in the greens. The process is not an over night sensation. It's going to take a couple of growing seasons to completely eradicate the moss but I feel that we have made some incredible strides moving forward. There are 3 main focal points when attempting to kill the moss. The first is a bi-weekly chemical application that selectively weakens the moss populations. The next step is to verticutt the areas to thin the moss out, followed by multiple topdressing applications (sand). The last step involves keeping a balanced fertility program on the greens followed with a slightly higher height of cut. A healthier bentgrass green allows it to out compete the moss and slowly but surely begins to grow into these weakened areas of moss. The picture below illustrates this process.
The next project involved the re-establishment of our Bermuda practice tee. The harsh winter took its toll on the tee. The tee experienced "Winter Kill" to the extreme. In order to re-establish the tee we had to start over. The process began with a .50" solid tine aerification followed with a heavy topdress. The next step involved drop seeding bermudagrass in 2 directions followed by placing growing covers on the tee, as the picture below illustrates.
Fast forward 4 weeks and we pulled the covers off of the tee, followed by multiple fertilizer and topdress applications.
The last focal point for the agronomy team this year was bunker maintenance. As most of you have probably noticed this year, we have implemented a different raking technique this year. There were 3 main areas of focus throughout this process. The number one priority was to do our best to eliminate golf balls from plugging into the faces. The best way to achieve this was to minimize the amount of sand placed on the steep faces to allow the ball to bounce off of these slopes and roll down to the bottom of the bunkers. We have kept a maximum of 2 inches of sand on the faces and in turn have taken a lot of the excess sand from the faces and displaced the sand to the bottoms of the bunkers. The only raking that takes place on the faces is smoothing out the faces where sand has been displaced by using the back side of the rake. With eliminating raking the faces on a daily basis, the crew has been able to check sand depths more consistently along with pulling grasses and weeds in the bunkers on a daily basis. Here are a few images of the finished product.
In closing, I'd like to thank my entire staff for a successful Member Guest. We had absolutely perfect weather for the entire week. In turn, this allowed the course to play the way it was made to be played, fast and firm. The crew put in a lot of hours to ensure the course was "dialed in". Thanks again.
Golf Course Superintendent