Thursday, April 16, 2015

National Golf Day 2015

This week I am in Washington D.C. where on Monday and Tuesday I will chair the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Government Relations Committee Meeting. On Wednesday, the Committee and the GCSAA Board of Directors will participate in National Golf Day, which is organized by WE ARE GOLF. 

GCSAA, along with the Club Managers Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association, the PGA of America and the World Golf Foundation are founding members of WE ARE GOLF. 

Founded in 2009, WE ARE GOLF is a coalition of golf’s leading organizations. Among others, additional members of WE ARE GOLF include the PGA Tour, the U.S Golf Manufacturers Council, the American Society of Golf Course Architects, The LPGA, The Golf Course Builders Association and the United States Golf Association.   All of these organizations, and others will be represented on National Golf Day.  

WE ARE GOLF was formed in part because it was evident the golf industry was misunderstood by too many elected officials. Perceptions of the game simply did not coincide with reality. 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 and our elected officials have a better understanding of the myriad of 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. In addition to 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.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Driving Range Renovation

The driving range renovation at Olde Florida is progressing on schedule.

The first application of non-selective herbicide was applied to the range on March 30th. The second application will be applied on April 27th. Between applications the turfgrass is fertilized with quick release nitrogen and irrigated to encourage re-growth. Multiple applications of herbicide are necessary to eradicate bermudagrass. 

The Celebration bermudagrass range tees were not sprayed with the non-selective herbicide. The new range will be grassed with Celebration so there is not a concern with contamination of the new turfgrass. In addition, when the range is closed for play later this month the Celebration will be removed from the driving range tees and used on the golf course. Celebration is an improved variety of bermudagrass with enhanced shade, drought and traffic tolerance.

With the current east/west layout being reconfigured to a north/south orientation land to the north and south of the range needed to be cleared. A clearing plan is shown below.

The land to the north of the range has been cleared. The organic debris will soon be reduced through the use of a tub grinder. The area to the north of the range was void of almost all soil. Consequently, the predominant plant species was Brazilian Pepper. The land to the south of the driving range is currently being cleared.

The driving range will remain in open until April 30th. If construction progresses as planned the new range and short game practice facility will re-open on October 1st. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Annual Report to the Olde Florida Golf Club Membership

Annual Report to the Olde Florida Golf Club Membership

By Darren J. Davis, CGCS
April 7, 2015

The 2015 winter golf season at Olde Florida is winding down and my staff and I appreciate your support and positive feedback. Soon we will 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.
For most of the winter season the weather was conducive for turfgrass growth. This enabled us to maintain a healthy stand of turfgrass as well as produce a height of cut in the rough that allowed for good contrast with the fairway.   
Last summer we completed several in-house projects. The most noticeable was the renovation of #18 senior/forward tee. 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 summer we also completed an aggressive Brazilian Pepper removal project. Brazilian Pepper is an invasive plant that alters plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structure and ecological functions. Beginning this summer we will institute a property-wide maintenance program.   

For the third year in a row our Purple Martin structures are being utilized. The structures are located behind #2 championship tee. In our first winter (2013), we successfully fledged three Purple Martins. Although Purple Martins migrate each winter to South America, they remain incredibly faithful to their colony (nesting) sites each year. This was the case at Olde Florida. The Purple Martins from 2013 returned in late January 2014 to again utilize the nesting structure and over a dozen Purple Martins were fledged.  With a second structure being added this winter the number looks to have increased.  

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. A complete list of these as well as articles, videos and blog entries can be found on my website   

#10 Green, April 2015