Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Hawk GC Greens Aeration Program

The Hawk Golf Course will be closed on Monday June 18th for the annual putting green aeration program.

Believe it or not, Turf Care staff are probably the only people who dislike the putting green aeration process more than golfers. It is a very difficult and onerous task that takes huge amounts of labour and is very stressful on all staff involved. If the weather does not cooperate and it rains during the aeration process (it always rains during greens aeration) the finished product can be less than the intended standard.

Of course, in reality, golfers do not dislike the aeration process but dislike putting on greens that have aeration holes in them for 10-14 days after the aeration process. One of our main goals during the greens aeration process is to minimize the time it takes for the aeration holes to heal over. The healing process is directly impacted by pre and post aeration fertilizer practices to encourage growth, the quality of the topdressing process to fill the holes with sand and weather. Staff have control of the the first two items but unfortunately not the weather. If warm sunny days that encourage turf recovery follow aeration the greens will heal quickly and if the weather is cool and wet the holes will stick around longer.

For a more in depth agronomic look at why putting green aeration is important please click on the following URL.


http://gsr.lib.msu.edu/article/bevard-putting-3-4-11.pdf

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Practice Green and Event Lawn Construction

The construction of the new practice putting green and event lawn area will commence on Tuesday June 12 / 2012. The contractors will be on site early on Tuesday June 12th and will start the demolition process of removing the asphalt from the old tennis court and will be removing the sod and other organic debris at the same time. During the demolition process there will be approximately 75 trucks required to haul the materials off site. The asphalt will be hauled to a recycling plant and the organic debris will be hauled to an off site compost pile. During the initial demolition and hauling process, access to the top entrance of the Club House may be cordoned off for safety purposes. If the top entrance is cordoned off, there will be daily updates on the members section of the Priddis Greens web site. Parking lot access will then be limited to the lower entrance only.

The entire project is scheduled to take 4-5 weeks to complete not factoring weather delays. Updates will also be provided on this blog and on the members web site for access information to the Raven 1st and 10th tees as well as the Snack Shop.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Flood Prevention Work Put To The Test

The flood prevention work that was performed in the fall of 2011 after the golf course was closed was put to the test last night and this morning after a heavy rain of more than 2.5" + overnight at the golf course. We are pleased to report the new culverts, bridge, stream bank stabilization and spill-way all worked very well.

Prior to this work being performed the golf course would have been unable to open today and there would have been significant damage. Instead, the water in the creek banks calmly flowed through the culverts and exited the golf course with very little to no damage. Staff were able to spend their time working on storm damage in the playable areas instead of sandbagging the creeks.

The culvert on 9 Hawk handling the water with ease

The culvert in front of 10 Hawk Tee in heavy flow - no problem

The culvert under 11 hawk cart path

The new bridge and rock armouring along the creek bank during high flows on Wednesday Morning

Water crossing the path at 17 Raven, hitting the curb and flowing down the rock spillway. As planned!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Golf Course Update


It has been a very active few weeks in Turf Care since the last blog post.

Now that the golf course has been open for three weeks the maintenance programs are in full swing.

On alternating weeks the putting surfaces on each of the Hawk and Raven golf courses have been and will continue to be verticut, topdressed and spiked. This process helps to control grain, aids in enhancing surface firmness as well as smoothing the surface of the greens. The spiking will also help water and air penetration into the putting green which promotes rooting and healthier turf.

Greens were fertilized this past week with a foliar (liquid) fertilizer and our first growth regulator application of the season was applied. Growth regulators are applied with each foliar fertilizer application throughout the season to enhance turf density,plant health and in general, improved playability on the putting surfaces.

Greens were also fertilized this past Tuesday - Wednesday with 3 granular fertilizer products. A control release fertilizer product that supplies the turf with very small amounts of Nitrogen that supplements the bi-weekly foliar fertilizer spray program. The other 2 fertilizer products are applied to balance soil chemistry for optimum turf growth. With very high pH in our soil and water (7.8 - 9.8) these products help to provide essential nutrients to the turf that are normally unavailable when the pH is very high.

The Construction and project crew have also had a very productive past two weeks in completing a creek stabilization project at 11 Hawk creek and have installed 30,000 sq' of sod replacing snow mold damaged turf.

Contractors are now well into the fence construction at the Turf Care compound adjacent to Priddis Greens Drive near #2 Hawk. The new fence will provide a visual barrier to the compound were materials such as topdressing sands and construction materials are stored.

The bunker crew also had a very productive week while starting an aggressive bunker edging project. The bunker crew will continue to edge green side bunkers over the next week or two prior to moving into fairway bunkers. The purpose of edging bunkers is to define the edge of the hazard and to reduce the potential for grass growing in the perimeter of the bunkers. Edging also provides a sharp margin on the edge of the bunkers that enhances aesthetics. This bunker edging process will take approximately 3 weeks.

The Horticulture crew has been preparing the flower beds and will commence planting next week (May 28th).


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Golf Course Update - The Week in Review

May 5th - 12th

The past week was a very interesting week at Priddis Greens as the weather threw a few curve balls.

  • Select greens on the Hawk and Raven golf courses were sprayed with a Fungicide to control a turfgrass disease that infects the roots on bentgrass. At this point we are very pleased with the response and recovery on the affected turf.
  • On Saturday May 5th the golf course received  6" of heavy wet snow that shut the golf course down for the entire weekend.
  • The golf course reopened Monday and finally Turf Care staff were able to get back out and prepare the golf course for members. The golf course was very wet after the snow melted due to the 1.5" of moisture that the snow provided.
  • Staff were able to fertilize greens on both golf courses on Monday 
  • Tuesday and Wednesday the staff performed our first verticut and sand topdressing of the year on both the Hawk and Raven. The verticut and sand topdressing is a weekly - bi weekly program that helps keep the putting greens firm and smooth.
  • Thursday morning the golf course was blasted with a quick 3 hour snow storm that dumped 3" of snow. While the golf course was closed in the morning, Turf Care staff installed 18,000 square feet of sod on holes 4&7 Raven and 14 Hawk. Working in the snow and moisture adds many difficult elements to the installation process. However the staff did an exceptional job.
  • Tees were fertilized on Friday morning.
  • Training of new staff continues to be a focus.
Miscellaneous Notes from the week:

  • Select greens were fertilized a second time  this week with a liquid fertilizer on Friday morning as part of a spring recovery program to fill in any thin or weak areas on putting greens. This process of extra light applications of liquid fertilzer will happen 2-3 times / week until the required turf density is achieved.
  • The installation of a new fence around the 2 Hawk materials compound and Turf Care Facility was started late this week and will continue over the next 3 weeks.
  • Irrigation pipe repair caused by ice in pipe was completed on holes 2, 9 & 12 Raven. The ground remains frozen in shaded areas and the water has re froze in the pipes in these areas rendering the irrigation system until the ground thaws out.
  • The bunker left of 3 Hawk green had new drainage installed and sand replaced (currently in the process)
  • Green speeds were in Range for the first time this season as the height of cut was lowered by .010" and greens rolling was initiated.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Golf Course Marking Modifications 7 & 8 Hawk

Priddis Greens members, please be advised that the property line on the right hand side of holes # 7 and 8 of The Hawk golf course have now been marked as out of bounds. The out of bounds / property line has been marked with white paint. Out of bounds stakes have been ordered and will be installed in the near future.

Priddis Greens Weather Station

Priddis Greens G&CC has installed a weather station on the golf course.  The weather station will provide more accurate data for on site weather . The weather is data logged and will provide  accurate daily weather records specific to the Priddis Greens micro climate. The weather station provides accurate weather information in the following areas:

  • Temperatures
  • Relative Humidity
  • Wind Speed
  • Precipitation
The information provided by the weather station is both data logged into the station and it sends the information to a web site through wireless technology.

Members are able to access this information from a computer or smart phone by clicking on the following URL.

http://www.spectrumweather.com/index.cfm/go/public.allstations/station/290005736

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Golf Course Update

Golf Course Opening :

As the snow melts, Turf Care staff are working on preparing the golf course for opening. The back nine Raven has the least amount of snow and there are now only 6 greens on the entire golf course that are still covered in snow / ice.

As the snow melts and  frost comes out of the ground, staff are preparing each area of the Golf Course as it dries out. With some warm and dry weather, we forecast that the  golf course could open by the week of April 23rd - 27th. At this point, we are working toward having all 36 holes open by the end of April (weather dependent). As conditions improve we will update that forecast with a more accurate projection.

The back nine Raven will open first, followed by the old Hawk holes, then either the front nine Raven or the new Hawk holes depending on snow melt and completion of the flood control work from last fall.


The Photos below show a few of the projects and a variety of conditions out on the golf course.
Blowing snow off 18 Hawk green Wednesday April 11th
Bridge removal and erosion control rock work near 10 Hawk green.
Sweeping Debris after Verti-Cutting (April 10th - 12 Raven)
Snow Covered Fairways (Monday April 9th)
Shaded holes remain covered with snow April 9th

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Golf Course Update March 29, 2012

Driving Range/Practice Facility Update

The driving range will open Friday at 12:00pm on hitting mats. Turf Care staff has worked hard to help facilitate melting of the remaining snow around the clubhouse and driving range areas. Even though the long range forecast looks favourable, the putting and chipping greens will remain closed. The short game practice facility will also remain closed until further notice.


Golf Course Update

Above seasonal temperatures have allowed Turf Care to see more and more of the golf course each day. Both courses are still 70% snow covered, but from what we have seen thus far everything looks good. We are snow blowing greens, tees and fairways when needed to help with the melting. It is still too early to forecast an opening. Stay tuned to this blog or the Priddis Greens website for more golf course updates.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Golf Course Update

Driving Range Update / Opening schedule

Approximatley 80% of the snow cover on the driving has melted. Turf Care Staff will snow blow the remainder of the snow this week to spread it around to facilitate melting.
This weeks forecast is showing temperatures that return to cooler seasonal temperatures which means very little melting and drying of the ground will happen. Fortunatley the long range forecast shows temperatures returning to double diget daily high's next week.

If the long range forecast stays reasonably close to accurate, we will plan and work toward having the driving range open for the last weekend in March or April 1st. Stay tuned to this blog or the Priddis Greens web site for updates as we get closer to the end of the month.

If the driving range opens as forecasted, the chipping green, practice putting green and short game practice areas will likely remain closed. These practice greens will open once the turf on the putting surfaces starts to grow. Without growth at this time of year, the turf will not recover from foot traffic and the greens will be set back significantly.

Golf Course Conditions

As the melt has slowly continued over the past week since our last update,
Turf Care Staff has been able to remove snow off a handful of greens and also
crawl under a few green covers to evaluate turf conditions.

So far the 8 greens that have had snow removed look good and the few greens
that we have crawled under the tarps also look good.

Snow is starting to recede from tree lines and we are seeing more and more
turf each day. We have seen some burrowing damage in the rough from voles
(minor so far) and a small amount of snow mold in rough (minor so far).

We are encouraged with the condition of the turf so far and we anxiously
await the big melt so we can see and prepare the remainder of the turf for
another golf season.

It is too early to start forecasting opening dates for the golf course as we
some holes that are entirely covered. Although if the trend of warm dry weather
continues, we will be in a position to start preparing the golf course for
opening a few weeks earlier than the past few years.


2 Raven Green After Snow Removal

4 Raven Fairway Friday march 16th
4 Raven fairway - Snow Cover 8 -12" deep (Friday March 16th)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Golf Course Update March 11 2012




Driving Range Sunday March 11th / 2012




Hole # 12 Raven Sunday March 11 / 2012




Hole # 11 Raven Sunday March 11 / 2012






Hole # 17 Raven Sunday March 11 / 2012






Hole # 7 Hawk Sunday March 11 / 2012





Snow Melt Update:



The melting of snow over the past 3 days has been significant. As you can see in the photos, the open areas of the golf course are starting to open up but the shaded and low lying holes remain entirely covered with snow.



Driving Range Update:



With significant snow loss this weekend, some of the turf on the range is now exposed and there is only an average of approximately 1.5 " of snow covering the remainder of the driving range surface. The driving range could be open earlier than in the past few years if the long range forecast holds true. Stay tuned to this blog for further updates.



Turfgrass Conditions:



This time of year is a very anxious but exciting few weeks for us Golf Course Superintendents. We start to get the chance to evaluate the turf after it has gone through the long winter. Although the winter has been mild, the warm temperatures created ideal conditions for ice accumulation which can cause winter injury to the turf. Fortunately, the small amounts of turf we have been able to see so far looks good. We haven't seen any snow mold, very little vole damage, and no signs of ice damage yet! The turf is very dormant (brown), this is due to a long fall with very little snow cover. When we cut pieces of turf out of the ground and look closely there are plenty green shoots at the base and we have even started to see new roots growing already. This is a positive sign.



Maybe the greatest spring challenge here at Priddis Greens is how long the snow takes to melt and the ground to dry out because of extensive shade. One of the keys to having a good start to the season is for the turf to dry out as soon as possible, so it does not sit wet for extended periods. When the turf sits wet for extended periods it is susceptible to numerous plant health issues such as turf disease, poor vigour and crown rot. This is why we hope for a consistent warm melt followed by dry weather and no more snow. Because the shadows are so long at this time of year when the weather is cool and wet the turf can stay wet for weeks on end.



Stay tuned for future updates as we progress to the start of the golf season.













Friday, 9 March 2012

Golf Courses Update March 9th / 2012

13 Raven Remains Covered with close to 1 Foot of Snow!


The Driving Range remains covered in snow



Golf Course Update:

The golf course received approximately 7 inches of snow this past week and remains covered. With the warm weather forcasted over the next few days, the snow load is certain to be reduced. Turf Care staff will continue to monitor the melt and will be out this weekend ensuring any running water is being managed. Based on the warm forecast for next week Turf Care staff will start a big push to blow snow off greens and tees that hold water when the snow melts. We look forward to removing the snow off the few greens that have ice too see if there is any damage from the ice that has accumulated over the past 8 weeks. Stay posted to the blog to receive updates on how well things are progressing.

Blowing snow on 11 Raven green today

Driving Range Opening Date:

The driving remains covered in snow (between 6" -12"). The driving range is one of the most exposed areas on the entire golf course and will melt off before all other areas. We normally Target an opening date of April 1st for opening the driving range but of course it is entirely weather dependent. Turf Care staff will blow snow off the range if need be, to help get the range open as soon as possible. Once the snow has melted and the surface of the range is dry enough for golf balls not to plug and the ball picker to work, the range will be open.

Firewood

There is a small pile of firewood remaining in the compound at 2 Hawk beside Priddis Greens Drive. Members are welcome to take this firewood free of charge. Most of the wood is Aspen or Poplar. As the snow recedes on the golf course, staff will be adding to the pile as we clean up the numerous trees that have blown over in storms this winter.


Skating Rink

The skating rink on 17 Hawk pond is now closed for the season.