This site is intended to share information relating to the management of the golf course conditioning and quality of Northmoor Country Club and the art, the science, and the factors that influence those conditions. Please visit as often as possible.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Aerification Video - Why We Aerify

Aerification is one of the most necessary and basic turfgrass management practices.  As the video below illustrates, relieving soil compaction, improving oxygen availability and increasing penetration and percolation within the soil profile are just a few of the benefits of aerifying.  In our case at NCC, aerification also benefits the health of our turf surfaces (especially the greens) by allowing us to remove some of the negative elements that accumulate in the rootzone via the poor irrigation quality water that we use.  The aerification process that we implement today, aides our course conditioning in the future.

Aerification timing and methods vary from course to course depending on any number of factors: tournament schedules, amount of play, irrigation water quality, sand or soil rootzone construction, available sunlight and air movement to the green, weather conditions (cold and heat), etc.  The size of the aerification tines also varies with the desired outcome.  In or fall aerification, we use the larger coring tines that remove the cores from the rootzone.  In the summer months we use "needle" or small solid tines that do not pull out a core. 

The timing of aerification varies at different courses.  I have chosen the mid to latter part of September for four reasons:
1. Even though the weather can still be really favorable for play in the latter part of September, the volume of play decreases after Labor Day.
2. Aerifying while there is still a degree of warmer days allows for the aerification holes to heal and cover quicker.
3. Most significantly, next to aerifying in mid-August, September is the next best time for us at NCC because we have very clean, poa annua free, green's surfaces.  Aerifying later is a more optimum time for poa annua to invade our greens.  Keeping our surfaces clean with a pure stand of bentgrass is a key to our management and course conditioning program.
4. Aerification in the middle to end of September comes after all of the major tournaments at the club

Please take a look at the following video.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Storm Damage

A microburst of wind and a thunderstorm passed through NCC on Friday afternoon leaving a wake of destruction and damage.  Below are some photos of the damage to the course.   Over 20 trees are on the ground and the inch of rain has left the course very wet.



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Flowers

This summer has been a bit on the cool side for many of our annual flowers but the perennials are in full bloom.  Below are a few of the seasonal colors at NCC.

Lorrie Witt, once again, has added her creativity and special touch for flowers on the tees for the Ladies Invitational.
Seasonal color abounds at NCC

Monday, July 21, 2014

Video - Divot Repair

Incorrectly and unrepaired fairway divots are an eyesore to our otherwise pristine bentgrass fairways.  They also diminish the quality of the playing conditions of any quality fairway turf.  Nothing is more unfair for a fellow golfer than to hit a perfect shot right down the middle of the fairway only to have his or her ball come to rest in
an unrepaired divot.  It is the responsibility of every golfer to leave the course in better condition than he or she found it.

Incorrectly repaired divots in the fairway

Unless the replaced divot is pressed firmly back into place, it will dry out and die as exhibited by the dried out brown dead divot in the photo below.
The following video shows the best way to repair or replace fairway divots.  Take a look.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Course Wetness

There are times, following heavier rainfalls, when we allow carts on the fairways.  We request that the carts stay in the fairway cut because most of the fairways have some form of subsurface drainage and the shorter cut turf dries faster.  The rough areas have many "birdbaths" and heavily shaded areas where water tends to stand.  Also the areas with higher turf takes longer to dry out.  For these reasons, we ask that golfers not drive in the roughs. 

The wetness of the course not only depends on the amount of rainfall we may have received on a given day but on the following factors:
     The rainfall on previous days
     The amount of sunlight to dry the course
     The amount of wind to dry the course
     The amount of humidity during the day

Below are some photos of the wet areas of the roughs that influence cart access at times.  These are photos taken on a day, following a rainfall,  when carts were permitted on the fairways.  
While the fairways may be drying, the roughs are so wet that carts can damage the course entering and exiting the fairways.   As always, I will get carts out ASAP.  This is your golf course and I will always place a high priority on you being able to enjoy it and have access to it. 

Although carts were running on the fairways following a rainfall, we were still pumping water from standing areas on the course.  You can imagine how carts being driven in the wrong place could cause damage. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

New Technology - New Equipment

Golf course management is steadily advancing both in playing conditions and the equipment utilized to deliver the new standards in course quality.  Below are some of the fairly new pieces of machinery and technology that we are using at NCC.

Moisture meters are used to check the soil moisture 3 to 4 inches deep in the soil profile.  The readings from the instrument (once we determine a base point for turf wilt) aide us in knowing when to syringe or irrigate the green to provide the proper amount of water to the grass plant.  This device does not preclude us from using other methods of determining optimum water management.  We still probe the rootzone, feel the turf surfaces, look for foot printing of wilting turf and check for visual discolorations of isolated areas of the greens.   The moisture meter is just another tool in our arsenal.
Vertical Mower to reduce thatch in the fairways for firmer and tighter ball lies
Excessive thatch material is removed.  Vertical mowing lines will be visible for a short period
Rolling the greens following daily mowing gives us faster green speeds
We generally roll 3 to 4 times a week.  Any more frequent and it placestoo much stress on the turf.
   The Verti Quake is a unit with 8 to 10 inch blades that we use along the fairways where tree roots affect the turf quality.  We also will use it in high traffic areas to relieve soil compaction.  In the photo below you will notice the off colored turf on #9 blue (the back tee.)  The Verti Quake blades are relieving compaction and severing the shallow tree roots that are encroaching into the tee.
The Planet Aire machine is an aerification type technology that is used to "vent" the green surfaces.  This practice helps relieve compaction and improve oxygen  availability to the rootzone.
 Drons are now being used by Golf Course Managers for a variety of functions:  mapping, documenting, photographing, etc.