Now that the projects from fall and spring are complete, we are able to move onto some detail work. The weather has been excellent this spring for turf growing and looks to continue nicely into summer. As a result, the greens are coming to speed earlier than past years.
We are currently focusing our resources in three main areas:
- Bunkers. We have ‘sectionalized’ our bunkers this season. Each hole is being maintained by a certain member (or members) of our maintenance staff. A little rivalry and competition seems to be the spark we need to improve our bunkers. We can already see the program paying some dividends in terms of pride and ownership of their specific bunkers.
- Mowing frequency and height of cut. We have lowered all of the heights of cut by just a tiny fraction this season on the Kentucky bluegrass while increasing frequency to 5 or 6 days per week from 4. So far the turf seems to be adapting by being a bit tighter and possibly more dense.
- Poa annua. Always on our mind. Not an easy fix as there is currently no chemical available that will remove poa annua from Kentucky bluegrass. We continue to pick and plug poa out of the greens. Greens remain mostly clean. Poa is coming back significantly in the fairways and we will be starting some new chemical testing areas soon to see what impact we can have. As usual, there are a couple of chemical options on the horizon that are in the testing phase and we will be evaluating those as they come to market.
One project of note that we will be working on throughout the rest of the season is root-pruning trees where the tree roots are encroaching on the turf and stealing all of the nutrients and water. You will see us out there in the fescue at the edge of the bluegrass rough with a Bobcat-mounted chain trencher. This will greatly improve the quality of turf in those areas with little to no impact on playability due to the location of the work.