Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fourth ... and Final Summer Update

Cultural Practices

The last closed week of the summer was September 21-28th. The golf course operations staff used the week to perform the final vertical mowing of the greens. This process was followed by a sand topdressing and a solid tine aeration. With the necessary summer cultural practices complete, and we head into our winter golf season, increased emphasis will be placed on green speed and trueness.
Topdressing greens after vertical mowing
Solid tine aeration 

Annual "Mini Bunker Renovation"

The staff also used the last closed week of the summer to complete a significant portion of our annual "mini bunker renovation". With the average annual rainfall in Naples being just under 60 inches, and 65% of this occurring between June and September, bunker washing and bunker sand contamination are an issue. Annual maintenance at the end of each summer helps us provide the membership with a consistent, quality bunker surface in the winter golf season. It also enables us to avoid a costly complete bunker renovation. 

The first step in the process is to remove the top layer of sand (1/2 to 1") from each bunker. The sand that is removed is used to topdress the bunker face. This reduces the time and expense of removing the sand and it also provides an agronomic benefit to the turfgrass surrounding the bunker.  

Removing the top 1/2 to 1" of existing bunker sand
Topdressing the bunker face with the top layer of existing sand

The remaining sand in the bunker is then leveled to a consistent depth (2, 3 or 4"). The final step is to add new, angular bunker sand to bring the total depth to a consistent 5" 

Driving Range

The driving range grow-in is progressing and the range will be ready for use on the scheduled October 15th opening date. Since my last update 1,000 linear feet of 6" drain tile was added in areas that needed additional subsurface drainage. 

Installing subsurface drainage at the driving range 
Installing subsurface drainage at the driving range 
Installing subsurface drainage at the driving range 
Rolling the sprigged landing area of the driving range
The two chipping greens on the short game practice facility were sprigged on August 27th, so at the time of the range opening they might be a little thin/open, but they will mature quickly. 

Mowing of the west chipping green 5 weeks after sprigging

Rolling the east chipping green 5 weeks after sprigging 

Irrigation Maintenance

Also since my last update, we raised/leveled every irrigation head, valve box and quick coupler on the golf course. With over 1,100 heads the process took three weeks to complete. Due to settling and the elevation of the playing surface from thatch production and cultural practices such as topdressing irrigation heads routinely need to be leveled. 

Raising an irrigation head and quick coupler on hole #1

An irrigation head after being leveled
New Tees

The new Super Senior, Forward, Senior and Middle tees that we added this summer are all established ready for play. 
Topdressing the new sod on/around the new Super Senior, Forward, Senior and Middle tee on hole #10