FALL IS UPON US…..
Summer is finally over and Fall is bringing some great weather. The course is in excellent condition. I hope you can get out on the course and enjoy it. October is the best golf weather of the year in my opinion. We are still unseasonably warm, but before long the cool nights will cause the Bermuda fairways to lose the lush green color. The first frost is just around the corner. As you know we always raise the height of cut on fairways in the fall. The extra height provides additional insulation needed to survive the winter. Once it gets hit with a couple frost the fairways will mat down and lose some of the fluff lies we are currently seeing.
Before you know it we will be contending with frost some mornings. As the days continue to shorten, it will be later each day before the sun peeks around and over the trees to thaw greens that have frost on them. In order to prevent unnecessary damage, I would ask all our early morning golfers to please stay off all areas of the golf course on frosty mornings
We aerified greens last Thursday/Friday and they are back in great shape. We did not pull cores like we always do during fall aerification. A number of factors steered me towards that decision. We were already two weeks later than normal and the forecast looked less than promising for the following Monday/Tuesday. We chose to use solid tines at the end of last week. Rain did interfere with the process on Thursday which delayed our opening Friday. Thanks for your patience during this disruption.
I am already getting questions as to why don’t we just do it this way every time. A true core aerification is about modifying the soil. Solid tine versus coring tine: A solid tine is just that, a solid rod that is pushed into the ground. No material is removed, but a hole is left behind. Some will say a solid tine actually increases compaction since it only pushes material to the side and crowds the pore space even more right around the hole it left. A coring tine or hollow tine pulls material out of the ground and leaves a clean, uniform hole that can be filled with sand. A long-term healthy green needs 18% of its surface removed/modified every year. Core aerification is the only way to achieve that. We manage to achieve about 14-15% with our current aerification strategy of two core aerifications each year and that works well for our greens. This year without the second core aerification we are only at 7 – 7.5% of the surface modified. Substituting an occasional solid tine aerification will not set us back to much. We just need to stick with our current twice a year core aerification program as much as possible.
We have reseeding some areas in the roughs. Some of the early seedlings did not survive the late heat. After that it looks to have been very successful the last few weeks. Some timely rains have been very beneficial and the new seedlings are looking nice.