Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vertical Mowing

The greens at Olde Florida Golf Club are being aggressively vertical mowed this week.
A vertical mower, also known as a "verticutter" or "dethatcher" has a series of revolving blades that cut through the thatch and bring it to the surface. The Graden units being used at Olde Florida are equipped with a 2 mm (thickness) blades, mounted 1 inch apart and are set to cut to a depth of 1 1/2 inches.  
#1 Green, May 27, 2014
Aggressive vertical mowing is a terrific cultural practice to remove "thatch". Thatch is a layer of organic tissue between the soil and the green leaves of the turfgrass. It’s usually made up of the harder to decompose parts of the turfgrass plant. A small amount of thatch (up to 1⁄2 inch) is good, but too much prevents turfgrass from adequately rooting into the soil, it reduces drainage, it enhances pest pressure and probably most noticeable to the golfer, excess thatch makes the course feel "puffy" or "spongey". 
Aggressive vertical mowing is performed in the summer months at Olde Florida Golf Club. Among other reasons it's done this time of year because this is when the warm-season turfgrass (bermudagrass) is most actively growing and the length of recovery is lessened.

#15 Green, May 28, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014

National Golf Day 2014

Today I am in route to Washington D.C. where I will co-chair the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Government Relations Committee Meeting and participate in National Golf Day (Wednesday, May, 21). National Golf Day is organized by WE ARE GOLF.

Founded in 2009, WE ARE GOLF is a coalition of golf’s leading organizations including the Club Managers Association of America, GCSAA, National Golf Course Owners Association, PGA TOUR, The PGA of America, the U.S Golf Manufacturers Council and the World Golf Foundation.

WE ARE GOLF was formed in part because it had become clear the industry was misunderstood by too many elected officials. Longstanding perceptions of the game simply didn’t square with the facts. By focusing on the nearly two million Americans whose livelihoods are tied to golf, WE ARE GOLF has leveled the playing field for the thousands of small businesses that make up the industry. As a result, golf is no longer being excluded from important legislation. Members of Congress now better understand the myriad benefits the game brings to their communities.
The nearly two million U.S. jobs generated by the nearly $69 billion golf industry, and its vast economic reach, are at the core of WE ARE GOLF’S message. Given the scope and pace of federal government activity and the impact on small businesses, the golf industry can play a vital role as policymakers continue efforts to boost employment and get the nation’s economy back on track.  Beyond better demonstrating golf’s profound economic clout, WE ARE GOLF illustrates the industry’s health and wellness benefits, its unparalleled charitable giving, and its environmental sustainability initiatives.

On National Golf Day WE ARE GOLF has scheduled personal meetings for me to meet with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25th). 
Photo from National Golf Day 2012

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Annual Report to the Olde Florida Golf Club Membership

By Darren J. Davis, CGCS
May, 2014
Annual Report to the Olde Florida Golf Club Membership

By Darren J. Davis, CGCS
May, 2014
The 2014 winter golf season at Olde Florida is winding down and my staff and I appreciate your support and positive feedback. 

We will soon be switching gears from routine maintenance to our summer project mode. In addition, we will begin work on the necessary cultural practices such as aerification, vertical mowing and topdressing, which enable us to provide you with quality golf course conditions in the winter months.
Last summer we completed several in-house projects. The most noticeable was the renovation of our greens collars.The uniformity of the collars had decreased significantly over the years due to the encroachment of off-type bermudagrass. It was particularly evident in the winter months when the turfgrass was not actively growing. The renovation included the eradication of the existing turfgrass, the leveling of the surrounding area and the installation of a consistent 48” collar of TifGrand bermudagrass.  
As in previous years, last year we also completed a mini-bunker renovation just prior to our winter golf season. With the average annual rainfall in Naples being just less than 52 inches, and 65% of this occurring between June and September, bunker washing and bunker sand contamination is an issue. Last year was particularly troublesome with over 60” of rain falling on property in this four-month period.
Beginning this week we will be undertaking an aggressive Brazilian Pepper removal project. This project will take several months to complete. Brazilian Pepper is an invasive plant that alters plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structure and ecological functions. Once the existing Brazilian Pepper is removed we will institute an annual, property-wide removal program. 
This summer we will also continue with perimeter turfgrass recovery. As you know, one of the terrific design aspects of Olde Florida is how the golf course was carved through a native forest.  Unfortunately, due to the very aggressive growth of cabbage palms along the perimeter of many golf holes we experience turfgrass loss. In many areas palm trees have essentially become weeds, sprouting and taking over areas that were originally turfgrass.  Last year we initiated the removal of some of these palms and we will continue this summer.
If you desire more information on our activities throughout the year, I utilize several forms of social media to provide course reports and other timely information on club activities. For a complete list of the social media outlets as well as articles, videos and blog entries visit www.darrenjdavisgcs.com.