Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Nordic Track Update

The JHGTC Nordic Track will be open to members and their guests on Wednesday, December 18th.  Staff will groom the track twice per week and any time we receive more that 4 inches of snow.  As a reminder, dogs are welcome but please use a leash and clean up after them.  To access the track, simply park in the main lot at JHGTC and use the pathways to access the track via the driving range area.

As many of you are aware, large numbers of elk migrate through the golf course this time of year to reach their winter feeding grounds.  In addition to elk, we have spotted moose, deer, and bison recently during our track preparations.

Please give wildlife the right of way as winter is a critical time of year for their long term survival.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Irrigation Winterization

The maintenance team began the process of winterizing the irrigation system yesterday.  So far it has gone smoothly, and we aim to complete the process by mid-day tomorrow. 

For homeowners attached to the irrigation system, this afternoon is a good opportunity to use the air pressure supplied via the golf course.  As in the past, if we find the supply valve to your home's irrigation system closed, we will assume that you have already winterized the home site.

If you have any concerns that your home may get missed, please leave your system in its normal summer operation mode (7:00 am start time).  We will begin pressurizing the system tomorrow morning at 7:00 am in order to complete this extra check or automatic blowout for all homeowners.

Thank you.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Member Coffee at the Shop Tomorrow

Tomorrow from 8:00 am to 9:00 am the turf maintenance team will be hosting another "Member Coffee at the Shop."  Come by for coffee and doughnuts and a morning chat with turf maintenance staff!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Irrigation Update

Our technicians have completed today's repairs and maintenance tasks on our irrigation system.  They are currently in the process of bringing our system back online.  We should have normal operation of the irrigation system restored momentarily.

Once again, thank you for your patience and apologies for any inconvenience.

Irrigation Update

Today we are taking advantage of the recent rains to catch up on irrigation repairs and maintenance.  In order to accomplish this our pump station was shut down this morning.

If you have a home irrigation system that is connected to the golf course irrigation system, there will not be any water pressure to your system until the pump station is back online.  We aim to have the pump station up and running again by noon today.

Thank you for your patience and sorry for the inconvenience.  I will post on this blog when the repairs and maintenance are completed and the system is back to normal.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Upcomming Tuesday Night Maintenance

This Tuesday the turf maintenance team will perform the monthly vertical cutting and topdressing practices on the putting greens.  These practices help to smooth and firm up the putting surfaces.

In addition, there have been a variety of turf health issues on the 9th green this season.  These stem from poor drainage and airflow in the soil profile.  Why only the 9th green? That is because it is the only “push up” green on the golf course.  In other words, the soil profile is a shallow layer of sand on top of native soil instead of a sand profile that sits above a drainage layer.  Fortunately, of the two grass species in the putting greens: bentgrass and annual bluegrass, the less desirable annual bluegrass is the primary species that has been affected. 

Chemical applications have been made to the 9th green throughout this season to treat the festering pathogens in the soil.  This has cured the disease, but we are still left with summer annual bluegrass decline primarily due to poor drainage. This Tuesday we will take steps to help correct the ultimate cause of these problems by using a “bayonet” tine aerification on this green in order to improve soil drainage and increase airflow. We will also use this opportunity to introduce more bentgrass seed in order to promote the more desirable grass species of our putting greens.

Photos of this treatment are below.  As you can see, this practice is minimally invasive and any effect on playability will be relatively minor.



Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Organic Matter Management & Growing Degree Days

Last night's rain pushed our first vertical cutting of the putting greens to this morning.  As you can see from the photo below the process is minimally invasive, but we are still able to remove a large quantity of organic matter from the thatch layer.  This serves many functions: improves firmness, increases green speed, improves water infiltration, and reduces disease potential. The putting greens are then traditionally mowed (horizontally) in order to "clean up" and smooth out the surface. 

Close up of the putting green surface after vertical cutting; before the traditional mow.

The turf maintenance team uses Growing Degree Day (GDD) or Growing Degree Unit (GDU) models to predict plant growth.  This is essentially a cumulative measurement of the "good growing weather" for a period of time.  This helps us to properly time cultural practices like vertical mowing in addition to fertilizer and chemical applications.  We all have a good feeling that this year we have seen a slow spring.  To put it in Growing Degree Units in 2019 we have a current total 79.5 GDDs versus this same date last year in which we had 141.5 GDDs.  There may be some yawning and eye rolling as you read this, but if you could take away one thing: this model helps us disturb the golf course (and your round) as little as possible. 
Our putting greens seem perform at their peak when vertical cutting is performed at approximately a 350 GDD interval.  Or in other words, this process will be repeated about mid-July and we aim to perform this four to five total times in a given season.
Current research on organic matter accumulation in turfgrass suggests that if vertical cutting and sand topdressing are performed to match the growth rate of the turf, required aeration events could be reduced or even eliminated in rare occurance... and I know we all like hearing that. 
All this science has its purpose. Through diligent soil sampling, the use of growing degree day models, and a touch of horticultural instinct our long term goal is to refine our putting green management practices to achieve something very few in the golf course industry can do: reduce or eliminate (if possible) the need for aeration practices while still maintaining a high performance putting surface. 

The crew vertical cutting on #9 green.