Friday, April 17, 2015

Aerification - 4 days later

4 days ago we aerified greens and tees and 16 days ago the greens opened.  Aerification process went as planned and the greens are now healing.  Typically it takes about 14 days for the greens to recover and soon after we will be back to our normal in-season height of cut and green speeds.  Until then, the greens will be a bit bumpy and slower than normal.

After aerification we don’t cut the greens until Friday afternoon.  This is because of all the sand on the greens used to fill the aerification holes.  The sand is more easily picked up by the rollers on the mowers and then by the cutting units, especially when there is dew on the grass.  A dry cut in the afternoon picks up less sand.  The reels/cutting unit (cutting part of the mower) are easily damaged by sand which then leads to a poor cut on the greens.  A poor cut can allow diseases to enter the plant.  For this reason we wait until Friday afternoon to make the 1st cut after aerification.  Depending on how much sand is picked up, we may skip mowing on this Sat and/or Sun as well following aerification.
Javier cutting greens following aerification earlier this week.
Typically by next week we can begin cutting greens daily, in the morning.  We have also started cutting rough and continue until next winter.
Today we completed the removal of Buckthorn and Honeysuckle from the walking path below Biltmore Drive.  This helps this natural area improve by removing the non-native plants, but is also part of our Audubon Sanctuary Certification and it opened up a vista that had been lost of Honey Lake.
Buckthorn and Honeysuckle removed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Greens Aerification - 2015

Today was our annual spring aerification.  Sounds exciting, doesn't it!  For the crew it means a long, hard days of work.  We started the day at 6AM and will not finish working until it gets dark (around 8PM).  Today started out a bit wet so we had to wait until the rain stopped to begin the process.  The sand we use is very special - it comes dried and is man-made in OH.  We ordered it dry so that it will "flow" into the holes we make in the greens.  We will use about 75 tons of sand.

We will finish most of the greens today (Monday) but may have a few more to finish on Tuesday along with aerifiation of the driving range tee and regular tees.  We will also be rolling the greens several times to help smooth the surface.

The course will be open for play Tuesday.  With good weather, the holes will be mostly gone in a few weeks.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

CDGA Weekly - April 10th, 2015

April 10, 2015 Scouting Report

It has been a topsy turvy weather week. Last weekend had a cool breeze on Saturday which was then followed up with an excellent Sunday where temperatures reached the mid 60s. The week had ups and downs which included a 40 °F Tuesday that was bitterly cold with weather that was reminiscent of Ireland and Scotland. The moisture in the air and 100% dew cover for the day meant that microdochium had a great opportunity to return and start to show damage in untreated areas in particular. We did notice some roughs were glowing somewhat as we visited courses with the familiar pink/orange tinge. The problem with Tuesday was that it really slowed progress from winter dormancy. Courses had started to see green up but conditions like that which are part and parcel of the changeable spring weather in Chicago really impact bentgrass activity in particular. This week also brought views of the first serious winter damage. To the south suburbs it seems that some ice and the extreme cold temperatures left courses in the Kankakee area hurting unfortunately - the spring has been somewhat more promising to date so hopefully the turf will start to recover.

Roots are starting to appear however and so turf and soils are going to come together soon and act in a coherent manner to really get growth going. Some yellow patch popped up on a sample which was somewhat surprising but in light of the previous week's conditions - not earth shattering. This week also saw a visit to the annual University of Wisconsin snow mold field day. This year Chicago has seen a lot more pressure than in previous years with breakthrough noted in some situations. The field day had a large attendance and some of the data is to be found below. Remember however that Waussau, Wis. is a long way from Chicago and so there was extreme pressure as some of the pictures show.

The week also saw some much needed rainfall for many courses. It may not have brought levels back to normal but the precipitation was welcomed. In light of the change in water regulations in California - going forward natural rains will always be welcome. Golf activity certainly has picked up and with the Masters on TV once again - expect the annual question to arrive, Why can't we look like that? Simple answer - grass isn't growing. Enjoy it and hopefully the weather will allow for excellent conditions once the warmth arrives.

Click here to view the April 10, 2015 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
Follow us on Twitter @TurfResearch

Friday, April 10, 2015

Storm and Aerification

The 1st storm of the season came though yesterday dropping 2.73" of rain.  Because we were so dry, flooding was not as much of a concern.  We did have a wind gust last night at 10:07 PM at 42.5 MPH.  What was interesting about this wind gust is that it was not associated with any thunderstorm, but came after the storms had passed. The wind did not blow any major branches down, just lots of little stuff.  Our weather station has had over 4,500 hits since April 1st!  It is a great way to see what is happening when the storms are rolling through, be sure to check it out! Link to Biltmore Weather Station

Carts:  It is possible that we might have carts by Sunday, just depends on how things dry out the next few days.  The course has really greened up and the grass is starting to grow.

Aerification:  Spring green aerification is scheduled for Monday, April 13th.  In the spring we use smaller tines and should recovery fairly quickly.

Spring aerification is scheduled for Monday, April 13th.  It typically takes a few weeks for the greens to completely heal.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Weather Station at Biltmore

For those of you into weather - we have a new weather station on the course; located on the left side of #18 fairway, near the creek.  This weather station is tied into the internet so it can be viewed 24 hrs a day showing in real time the actual temps, rainfall, etc.  It can be viewed at Weather Underground by clicking on this link Biltmore CC Weather Station  You can also download the Weather Underground App and search for our weather station.

The weather shown to the right on this blog site is the data from our  on site weather station.

New Weather Station - data is available in real time on the blog site and at Weather Underground's website.