Monday, June 30, 2014

Week in Pictures - drain tile and bug spray.

This section of drain tile came from the hill on #9 fairway, near the green.  You may have noticed a wet area on the hill last week.  This was caused by this tile failing due to being accidentally cut over 15 years ago when the irrigation system was installed.  Slowly slit entered the tile from the cut on top from where the wire puller nicked the tile.  Once the tile could no longer carry the water away, the water migrated to the surface, causing a wet spot.  We have replaced the clogged tile and everything is flowing again.

The American Celebration was a booming success!  However, the course did take a few hits.  Bug spray WILL KILL GRASS!  How do we know this was from bug spray?  The telltale signs of green foot prints.  When spraying bug spray, please stand on a cart path - it will not hurt the path one bit!  This always make me wonder, if bug spray kills grass - how safe is it on your skin....

Emerald Ash Borer and other Tree Removals

The Emerald Ash Borer moved into our area a few years ago.  It will be only a mater of time before the Ash trees go the way of the American Elm during the Dutch Elm Disease (DED) outbreak of the 1970's, which still continues to this day.  But since the outbreak of DED, breading of resistant Elms has occurred at Morton Arboretum.  A few years ago we planted a few of these Elm around the course; left of #6 fairway and right of #2 near the cart path by the green.  So far the Elms have been doing great.

As Ash trees are weakened by the borers, they will be removed.  Today we are taking down 5 Ash Trees, 2 pines and a Silver Maple.  The Scotch Pines have been dying for many years around the course from a borer that attacks them.  The Silver Maple on #18 was rotten and deemed a safety hazard.  Last week a large limb broke off the Silver Maple exposing the decay.  This week we will also be removing a dead oak next to #7 tee (on the right).  The winter was hard on many trees and they are still showing signs of stress and some may die for no apparent reason.

Silver Maple to the right of #18 fairway bunker was rotten and a safety hazard, so it was removed.  Last week a large limb broke off of the tree.

Ash trees are slowing becoming infected with the Emerald Ash Borer.  When they begin to show signs of decline, they will be removed.  The dead branches at the top of the Ash, with a flush of suckers is the first indication it is infected.

CDGA Weekly Update - June 27th, 2014

June 27, 2014 Scouting Report

A week of contrasts is the best way to describe this most recent week. Storms early in the week brought much flooding and damage to many courses, while towards the end of the week, conditions cooled off and turned rather comfortable. The lake has been creating its own problems as cold water in the center has led to a clash of temperatures and fronts around the city and mornings were extremely foggy and putting it nicely, cool. Further to that turfgrass canopies were staying very wet for extended periods which really was not what was needed.

The excess moisture and some of the extremely high humidity that we saw this week lead to further diversity on the disease front. I do not envy anyone trying to grow grass in tropical situations - there must be insane disease pressure - early this week we did get a taste of it, but summer is here so it's to be expected. Many courses are on the precipice of final recovery from what has been a long winter. I will say however spare a thought for managers in Minnesota who experienced something similar last year and dealt with the remnants into the early part of August - so be grateful for little mercies!

Our forecast is for the first three day spell in the 90's back to back to back, so depending on humidity, timing of control applications and how hot it actually will get, it could be a tough start to the week. Fortunately conditions look like cooling off so some relief is on the way. More importantly we can hope to see some bright skies which will help places which have been in fog and heavy cloud all week doing bentgrass no favors.

Click here to view the June 27, 2014 Scouting Report

As always if you have a question or query please do not hesitate to ask and you can call or email.

Ed Nangle PhD
Director of Turfgrass Programs
Chicago District Golf Association
Office: (630) 685-2307
Cell: (630) 423-1925
www.cdgaturf.org
Follow us on Twitter @TurfResearch

Sunday, June 22, 2014

CDGA Weekly Update - June 20, 2014

June 20, 2014 Scouting Report

Last week was all about the US Open and how the courses prepared down there for the men, and this week was all about working around extreme rain events as well as trying to get tournaments of a different nature run. Temperatures finally hit summer levels and they brought a round of unwelcome storms with them. Disease pressure has certainly ramped up and while no extreme issues have arisen as of right now, it's not ideal from a disease standpoint. Conditions may turn in our favor however at the early part of next week as a bout of cooler temperatures look to set in. Many courses are saturated however and so roots need to be watched as much as possible. The volumes of water have been astounding and have left many courses with a lot of cleanup work.

The regional research group also met this week at Purdue University for the annual meeting. Collaborative research projects involving growth modelling and looking at roadside salt tolerant turf varieties were initiated and discussions on new measurement techniques for parameters such as soil carbon and digital imaging were discussed. For superintendents in the southern part of the state, the esteemed Dr. Ken Diesburg announced that he will retire next year from Southern Illinois University and I am sure he will be sorely missed from both an educational and technical support standpoint.

Finally, field days are upcoming and so do keep an eye out for opportunities to learn and implement new strategies, especially when we are looking at sustainability issues which may need some creative thinking!

Click here to view the June 20, 2014 Scouting Report

As always if you have a question or query please do not hesitate to ask and you can call or email.

Ed Nangle PhD
Director of Turfgrass Programs
Chicago District Golf Association
Office: (630) 685-2307
Cell: (630) 423-1925
www.cdgaturf.org
Follow us on Twitter @TurfResearch

Sunday, June 15, 2014

CDGA Weekly Update - June 13 2014

June 13, 2014 Scouting Report

Brown is better it seems. That's what you have looked at this week in North Carolina as the television has broadcast pictures from the venerable Pinehurst No 2 course during the US Open. The trend however is not a brand new one, many of us should remember how Pebble Beach looked a little crisp in the most recent US Open it hosted. The benefits from a playability standpoint however seem to well received. Further run on the ball of the drives, lower labor costs from hand watering and reductions in time spent on the golf course during heavy play periods. While no expense has been spared for the event, cutting the irrigation system down to a single row and dropping water use to far below what many of managers could imagine which if paying for water would mean a huge cost saving. It may influence courses to start to cut water use going forward but it is going to require superintendents to put a lot of trust in their staff and equipment.

The heat has really turned up this week with temperatures finally pushing into the high 80's and of course bringing soil temperatures with it. Hopefully some moderation of the trend will occur as we don't want to turn it into an oven in mid June already. From the perspective of May, overall conditions turned out to be a little cooler than normal and certainly wetter than average. The data sets from the southern part of the city were warmer on average by 2-3 °F while rainfall was somewhat less consistent farther south though volumes were similar for the month which was approx. 1.5" above average.

As the senior PGA tour returns to Chicago and the US Open wraps up, it sure feels like has arrived - let's hope it's a good one! Finally - for the fathers out there - enjoy the day.

Click here to view the June 13, 2014 Scouting Report

As always if you have a question or query please do not hesitate to ask and you can call or email.

Ed Nangle PhD
Director of Turfgrass Programs
Chicago District Golf Association
Office: (630) 685-2307
Cell: (630) 423-1925
www.cdgaturf.org
Follow us on Twitter @TurfResearch

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Week in Pictures


We are finally getting around to some smaller projects that have been on the "to do" list.  Still have  more little detail projects planned for the coming weeks.  Some great golfing weather lately!
  Happy Fathers Day.

#14 Pond Bank- the area was cleared and seeded with a Fescue type grass.

The steps near the clubhouse were replaced due to the steps starting to deteriorate.  Unilock supplied replacement stone at no charge.

New fencing was put up around the dumpster.



Wyatt checking the fish in Honey Lake - they look healthy!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Perfect Weather for Golf!

This past week has been some great weather not only for golf, but for the turf.  The greens are in great shape, the rough is cut and things are looking pretty good!  Come out and enjoy a round of golf!  Photos by Wyatt Byrd.
#13 green - the new bent greens are looking better and better everyday!

#7 tee in the early morning, just prior to spraying - this tee was leveled last fall.

#4 green 

Blue birds have moved into the house on #16 tee, next to the rain shelter.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Week in Pictures


The past week we have been working on maintaining our Audubon Certification status.  Part of the process involves reviewing all of the birdhouses on the property, repairing those needing help, recording what birds are nesting and removing any sparrows.  We also erected a few new bird houses; including owl, wren, blue bird and wood duck.

All below photos were taken by Wyatt Byrd.  

New Wood Duck houses were put up in Honey Lake.


A very large tadpole, most likely a bull frog.  Having frogs are a good indicator that the waters are clean.  The frogs skin is very sensitive to pollution.  This was found in the creek on #15.


Painted turtles were found traveling around the course this past week.  Most likely this is a female looking for a place to lay her eggs in a sand trap.


Peter Westfall doing repairs to one of our sprayers, inside the tank.

The mornings are always exciting, you never know what you might see!  One year a hot air balloon landed on the #18 ladies tee.  This week they kept on going.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Not So Pretty

Sometimes we find things that are not so pretty in the early morning.  Typically it is signs that there is wildlife roaming the course in the dark night.  The below picture is the remains of a deer that we found on #6 fairway on Saturday morning.  Something drug it out of the woods, why I have no idea!

CDGA Weekly Report, May 30th 2014


May 30, 2014 Scouting Report

This week finally looked like growing season with conditions showing some consistency as well as the arrival of some consistently warmer weather. Golf courses are getting closer to being back in shape but as noted last week the emergence of tree leaves will mean there may be a battle in some spots for the rest of the year. The arrival of heat also brought increased activity on the pest front as we ran into some mild anthracnose and reports emerged of crabgrass activity - so much for a hard kill with the winter on that stuff!

There was a lack of tropical rainfall this week thankfully but we are still holding plenty of moisture. Golf activity has certainly increased and revenue driven facilities are most likely enjoying that. The forecast has a 90°F mark in the forecast as well as thunderstorms - so in reality summer has arrived in the locality. This also means that its time to ramp up the scouting and ensure that you're not missing any undesirable activity on the course.

Tournament time has also arrived and so many of you are getting as primed as possible for your big events - best of luck! Rounds for research is also coming to a head and so if you have not gotten involved - do take a look at it as it's a direct benefit to everyone involved.

Click here to view the May 30, 2014 Scouting Report

As always if you have a question or query please do not hesitate to ask and you can call or email.

Ed Nangle PhD
Director of Turfgrass Programs
Chicago District Golf Association
Office: (630) 685-2307
Cell: (630) 423-1925
www.cdgaturf.org
Follow us on Twitter @TurfResearch