Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Tall Fescue Rough Establishing Nicely

 It seems a little longer, but it was just  a little over a month ago that we started aggressively aerifying our primary rough followed by a substantial seeding of the areas with Tall Fescue. The seeding process was a great success as we experienced rapid germination and establishment throughout the golf course. Thanks for enduring cart restrictions & ropes & signs & and wetter then ideal conditions. These restraints and nuisance's were necessary to achieve the results we are currently watching unfold before our eyes. 

Cooler weather is on the horizon which will allow us to further cut  back the irrigation on these new seedlings. The most mature seedlings are just  twenty days old on the front nine and just two weeks old on the back nine. Therefore we are still going to ask cart operators to use the gates to enter and exit the golf holes and when driving on the hole we'll ask that you drive on the fairway turf only. This will go a long way to helping this turf establish and mature further. 

On Monday 10/24/22 we will be overseeding the tee tops. We are not planning on an aggressive procedure so the only thing members will notice this week is a little extra sand. Next week and beyond you will notice the new fresh seedlings, which will be the turf we will be teeing off of all winter long.

Enjoy some current pictures below and thanks again for your efforts in helping get our primary rough recovered from summer setbacks. 

A lot of fescue seed was sliced into established rough which we will continue for the next few Septembers & Octobers in an attempt to convert all of our rough into a more heat and drought tolerant tall fescue stand of turf. 

tall fescue coming up in the bank behind #4 tee. This fescue was seeded into a hybrid bermuda bank  so we will see how the two co-exist. 

We aggressively seeded the rough edge just adjacent to the fairway line to give us really good definition for winter. The new hybrid bermuda fairways will change and start to go into dormancy  the further we go into winter. We do plan to apply iron and pigments, not paint, which will  keep them a green color. The very defined contrast of bright green rough next to the olive green will be much better this year compared to last because of this focused seeding

I've been writing so much about the seeding of the rough as of late, I neglected to mention we raised the height of cut on the fairways in preparation for winter several weeks ago. This is a best management practice on hybrid bermuda providing a much better surface for winter play. If you continue to mow the hybrid bermuda at low heights and cold weather arrives, and the hybrid bermuda stops growing, we can run the risk of of thin and bare turf areas all winter long until the growing season starts again and the hybrid can grow out of it. Granted, you'll get not as much roll in October but something to play off  of in January & February.

Close-up of the higher height of cut, only 1+ year old Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda.

Another look at the hybrid bermuda with a raised height of cut.

#3 Tee after overseeding and watering in  of the associated seed and topdressing.

Close-up of the tee turf on #3 Tee after overseeding and topdressing. 

Thursday, October 13, 2022

New Seed is Coming Up

We completed the seeding of the primary rough on the golf course last week. Front 9 seed is all coming in nicely and we will start to back off the irrigation accordingly. Back 9 seed is still germinating. Cart path only restrictions remain on holes #2, 6, 8 on the front side and #’s 10 & 17 on the backside. Enter and exit the fairways through the clearly marked gates on the rest of the holes and please drive carts in fairways only, not in the newly seeded rough. 

Overseeding / interseeding turf is tricky in the presence of golfers as seed germination requires allot of irrigation that contributes to non seeded areas over saturation.  In our specific case this year, we are trying to keep the fairways as dry as possible while keeping the newly seeded rough and surrounds adequately irrigated to germinate and establish seed which adds to the trickiness, as many of the same irrigation heads on the edges of fairways irrigate both fairway areas as well as rough areas. I'm sure it can be frustrating for  uninformed members who are not necessarily paying attention to our communications, and what we are doing, that areas of the golf course are wetter then they obviously need to be. However our main focus right now is all about the 10 tons of seed we just put into the golf course rough and getting it  germinated & established. 

We are on the right track and doing the right things to this golf course for the very near as well as remote future. Converting our primary playing surfaces from cool season hodgepodge of turf to Santa Anna Hybrid Bermuda was the right thing to do. Introducing Tall Fescue,  a better more heat and drought tolerant variety of cool season turf into our primary rough is the right thing to do. And getting started on adding supplemental sprinklers to these rough areas to irrigate them independently of the new hybrid bermuda fairways is the right thing as well. I'll be sharing allot more about that in November when we commence.

Above is a  copy of a irrigation map on #10  illustrating the challenges of trying to irrigate cool season rough independently of our new  warm season fairways hybrid bermuda fairways, both of which have different irrigation needs. In this illustration, irrigation sprinkler heads marked 10F1 &10F2 contribute to both the irrigation of the rough and fairway. 

The tall slender blades are Tall Fescue seedlings that were overseeded into the prepared hybrid bermuda tee surround of #4 tee. The bermuda was aerated then scalped down to give the fescue a chance to get up without competition. Weather has been conducive to hybrid bermuda recovering from the preparation, but as this picture illustrates the fescue is up above  the hybrid bermuda and will continue to establish all fall and winter long. The hybrid will eventually slow way down giving this Fescue a chance to establish and the two to co-exist next summer. Our goal is to continue refreshing the fescue every fall in areas like this so all the rough has a tied in similar appearance year round to the rest of our rough. 

#4 Tee, same area as above close-up. We couldn't keep the Santa Anna completely tamed with this very warm, unseasonable October weather, but much of what appears here is tall fescue seedlings, only seeded 14 days prior. 

Shady area running up the right hand side of #2 fairway. Seed came up nicely in this area.

Same area, right hand side of #2. Shade, downslope shedding irrigation from the left hand side of the fairway with dry, south facing bunker slopes and an ideal traffic exit area. Tricky. We have a plan for drainage, tree pruning, irrigation re-configuration to finally get this area right, but first things first lets get some grass established.

The back nine was seeded just last week. This collar around the #12 club tee level is Hybrid bermuda that we have prepared and seeded the same way we seeded the #4 tees shown above, this area is just a week later. Seed is coming up here, and by this time next week this "tie-in" around the tee will be full of tall fescue seedlings.

Its been just over a year since we re-opened from the 2021 renovation. Much has been accomplished. Much more still to do. We just finished our Agronomic and Golf Course Budgeting Process, building plans on what we learned from this first crucial grow in year after a fairly significant renovation and a new golf course in many ways. I believe we really needed this year, I needed this year,  to put together a better agronomic plan moving forward. I'm excited about the future of this golf course.

The Best Is Yet To Come. Thank You For Your Support.