Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Quoting: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another" - Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1913)

Ambrose Bierce was a prominent essayist, journalist and satirist who was known for being a bit of a grump.  The quote of this particular entry is dedicated to a colleague of mine who wondered to me the other day about the obscurity of not only the quotes I choose, but also of the people who are quoted.  This one's for you, JB!

I won't bore you with too much in the way of a narrative so I'll get right to pictures and explanations:

Fairways, greens and tees came out of growth regulation this week!
We use growth regulators on greens, tees and fairways every ten days to three weeks depending on  many factors.  I choose to do this in an effort to save on mowing frequency and the ensuing benefits of not mowing (labor, fuel, equipment wear specifically).  Our rainfall total from 7/22 through 7/29 was 7".  7"!  That is more than double the monthly July average.  We were unable to apply preventive fungicides and growth regulators during this time period.  As a result we saw fair to significant disease breakthrough on tees and fairways and everything was outside of regulation.  The above picture represents 1 acre of fairway grass.  Our yield was about 2 yards of clippings per acre.  That's alot.

I forget I am 6'6" tall sometimes.  Chily needed some help getting to the dump truck bed
Angel is dispersing clippings with our topdresser
We only have one dump truck so our other fairway mowing team utilized our pull-behind topdresser to dump clippings and spread them in the rough.  It was a lot of grass!
Pythium injury on an untreated fairway
We normally treat for this particularly devastating disease preventively but the significant rainfall coupled with exceptionally hot weather (a repeat of last July, if you'll remember) precluded us from spraying.  Hence excessive growth and disease breakthrough.  Disease was minimal on tees, non-existent on greens and sporadic on fairways.  
  Brown Patch on an untreated fairway
This little ring here is present during the same environmental conditions as pythium.  Temperatures would be at, near or above 90 during the day and at, near or above 70 overnight.  Couple these temperatures with 7" of rain and you literally have a perfect storm for disease breakthrough.  The good news is it has cooled off, all turf has been treated for these diseases and recovery is already occurring.  
The above picture illustrates the impact marginal soils (the straight lines) and standing water from horrific environmental conditions (high heat, humidity, excessive rainfall).  The straight lines are an old cartpath that was bulldozed and grassed over in 2001.  The circle is a low spot in the fairway that takes longer to drain than the surrounding turf.  The injury present here is not disease but rather direct injury from high temps and standing water.  Quite literally the grass boiled.

Commonly referred to as 'operator error'
Since I was the operator in this instance you can all laugh at me now.  I treated this area in the spring with a combination product of fertilizer and crabgrass control.  The circle clearly shows where I whiffed.  Let this be a lesson to those of you at home: Prevention is always the best option when treating for grassy weeds.  Oh yeah, the guy shown below helped me out getting the stuff:
Feliciano trimming around the East Pavilion

The hotel grounds staff was able to make some headway detailing around the East Pavilion in the last week and began the West Pavilion as well.  John Pascente....
....has really improved the hotel grounds appearance and the staff has done a great job under his guidance. 
Not  a good picture but I wanted to mention it:
Standing water on a putting green after .3" of rain this morning is never a good thing.  Our greens are 'native soil' or 'push-up' construction.  There is no internal drainage, the soils are all inconsistent from green to green and sand topdressing depths are all different as well.  In the coming months I hope to have a few options/solutions in place to address this particular concern.

Felipe cleaning bird droppings off signage at the hotel
Some of you reading may have a solution to this problem but birds seem to think that signage is their own private little toilet!  This really is irritating.

Our resident divot expert, Escobar, at work in his laboratory
We use yard waste compost for divot filling and Escobar spearheads divot filling on the golf course and on the driving range tees.  I don't know what it is about compost but the truth is the seedlings fly out of the ground when we use it.  Admittedly it isn't as pretty as green sand or some other mixes but darned if it isn't effective.  Since we began using compost for divots our seed use has been cut in half because we don't need to add as much per unit volume as we did with sand or sand mixes!
I don't know what bug this is but I thought it looked cool so I took a picture
I became tired of looking at these things.....
So I cut them down.  It really cleans things up, I think
Alright, that's too much for today.  We have finished a busy week and are heading into a busy week next week.  8/1 through 8/7 had one 100 player tournament and 6 shotguns!  It's about all we can do to mow, rake and clean and get the heck out of the way.  8/8 through 8/14 will see 3 shotguns and 6 small (20 to 56 player) tournaments.  Yeesh!  It's great business for the company, for sure.  Thanks, one and all for coming out!

 My son, Tom, at a great playground in Chicago
My daughter, Molly, and wife, Tina, enjoying 'at home' time

Thanks everyone if you made it this far to see the great pictures of my family.  I don't know where the time went but Tom is 3 1/2 years old now and Molly's first 8 months really, really flew by.  Until next time be excellent to each other!  Thanks.