Wednesday, November 25, 2009
We are running a lean crew the next 4 days so the guys can enjoy time with their families. We'll have 2 people in each day from Thursday to Sunday. The greens will either be mowed or rolled each day. The tees and pins will be changed each day as well. Hopefully the weather holds up and the course can have a chance to dry a bit. Katy and I will be dry...Cabo San Lucas, here we come! 82 degrees and that thing that shines bright in the sky, the sun I think is what they call it. I almost forgot there was a sun. See you all next Thursday.
My assistant Peder Rauen will be left in charge while I'm gone. Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The course is getting a break from the heavy rainfall. We are actually able to get some things done. We're going to mow greens today for the first time in 8 days. Wow! Tees are getting mowed today as well...for the first time in 2 weeks. The tractor blower is able to drive around to blow leaves without making a mess. Our goal is to get the course cleaned up and the greens rolling smooth for the Thanksgiving weekend. We'll probably take most of Wednesday to work on bunker repair. So far so good....
Saturday, November 21, 2009
THE PRECIPITATION FORECAST IS CONSISTENT WITH ENSO COMPOSITES WITH SOME REVISIONS DUE TO THE CFS MODEL FORECASTS AND AN ACTIVE MJO. EL NINO USUALLY INCREASES THE CHANCES OF ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. AN ACTIVE MJO IN THE PHASE PREDICTED IN EARLY DECEMBER INCREASES CHANCES FOR ENHANCED PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FARTHER NORTH ALONG THE COAST THAN NORMALLY EXPECTED IN EL NINO, SO ELEVATED CHANCES FOR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FOR THIS DECEMBER EXTEND TO SOUTHERN OREGON. THE MJO RELATED ACTIVITY FAVORS WET CONDITIONS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, CONTRADICTING THE DRY CONDITIONS USUALLY FAVORED IN EL NINO DECEMBERS RESULTING IN A FORECAST FOR EQUAL CHANCES FOR BELOW, NEAR, OR ABOVE MEDIAN PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS FOR COASTAL AREAS IN WASHINGTON STATE AND NORTHERN OREGON.
Let's hope they are wrong!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Last winter was very cold and relatively dry, but with a prolonged period of snow cover. Summer started in mid May and ended up being one of the hottest and driest on record. Anybody remember when we hit 101 degrees the day of the Charity Pro Am? October was double the average rainfall for the month and we are already double the average for November.
Everything I just listed is abnormal for our turf, and all of these weather extremes spell danger for the root zone. Add in the routine practice of aeration, which innevitably puts extra stress on the greens for a couple weeks, and you've got one heck of weak plant going into Winter. Keep in mind that aeration is very necessary, it's just the nature of the beast, you're going to hurt the plant for a short time for the long term health benefits.
Most of the turf is just fine, but the perennial weak greens due to shade are seeing the effects of Winter much more and much earlier than normal. We most likely came out of summer with a weak root system and now they have been water logged, cutting off oxygen exchange, resulting in even more stress. We are trying to back way off on anything that will cause stress to them outside of good old Mother Nature.
We are mowing and rolling less and less. Since we've backed off, there has been a "break" in the progression of turf decline in the shady areas. Let's hope this weather subsides soon and we can get back to somewhat of a normal maintenance routine. In the meantime, we need to be patient and give the greens a break.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
2 or 3 months went by before I finally met Gary on the 9th fairway. Someone had pointed him out to me earlier that day when I asked who he was. Every time he saw me, he complimented me and the staff. This man I really never knew has passed far too early. I hope his kindness resonates through the club, because he was exactly what Wing Point is all about. He will be missed.
The following is the email he sent me. I saved it because I've never had someone do this without ever having met me before. It truly is something I cherish to this day.
During my rookie year at WP starting last June, I have greatly enjoyed the superb condition of your course. Every time I have a friend over they are very complimentary of the conditions. Simply perfect and year round too!
Thanks to you and your crew on a terrific job.
Gary Peterson 1136
Lori Ogle served as the Green Chairman of the club in 2007/2008. I don't know if many people stopped to realize she was the first female Green Chairman the club had, which is quite an accomplishment. She was amazing in her pursuit of what I needed to get the job done. I remember her calling me every week to ask what our needs were and how we could fight for them. She took the job very serious and in her time we saw the rock wall constructed on #10, the lease package on equipment pushed through the final stages, and of course her totally unpredictable meeting that started the ball rolling on the irrigation project. Most people have no idea that Lori spearheaded the movement of the irrigation upgrade.
We all came to a Green Committee meeting one evening with no real agenda, but Lori took that opportunity to point out our need for an upgrade. I guess she had enough of all my complaining about fixing leaks. The people in attendance can tell you, she was passionate about it! I remember thinking, "Wow, she means business!", as she challenged people at the table to acknowledge we had a big problem on our hands.
That meeting started it all. I wish she were here to see how quickly we were able to accomplish the goal. Much like Gary, she was far too young. Wing Point owes Lori Ogle a great deal. Her passion was infectious and I will always remember all the hard work she did for me.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
In the winter months we play the water's edge as the hazard line. Stakes are for vertical marking and reference points, they are not meant to indicate the edge of the hazard. We don't mark the hazards this time of year because the wet weather would wash it away quickly. Also, with a limited staff, some things get put off so that others can be prioritized. It takes about 2 hours to paint hazards in the summer, but that's when we can keep a steady hand and drive along in a cart. This time of year we need to walk along every hazard. That job takes about 4 hours right now, and may need to be done more frequently due to rainfall.
So next time take advantage of those extra few feet and ground your club. You'll wish we could do that all year long.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Some funny things have been witnessed with all the decoys. Vince Lanza watched from his deck on the 17th hole as the two Bald Eagles stood over the dead goose decoy and attacked it. He said they also dove down on the swans a few times. The coyote scared the heck out of Al Clasens and Gary Hurt. On a foggy morning the day after the coyote was first put out, Al approached it with his golf club high above his head until he realized it was a fake. Maybe it's time to visit Brad Maier for a check up guys? On a more serious note, the geese being gone has improved work efficiency. The greens crew routinely had to blow goose poop off the 18th, 10th, 11th, and 17th greens before mowing.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The root zone is water logged and weak. That, combined with too much shade is taking a toll on the green. We have not mowed the green in 6 days so it can take a break. Hopefully the weather improves and we see signs of better health soon. Most people never get to see this puddle, so I am going to take a picture of how bad it really is and post it on the blog. The other option is you could ask Brian Johnson who laughs at me every time I'm on the green scratching my head in frustration. His favorite comment to me is, "Mike, you're gonna have to rebuild it you know." Unfortunately that may be the only solution.
FYI: 9" rainfall in last 30 days...3.5" since Saturday morning!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Pink Snow Mold and Fusarium Patch, Microdochium nivale
Pink snow mold and Fusarium patch are diseases caused by the fungus Microdochium nivale. Pink snow mold is the name used to describe the disease associated with snow cover, appearing when snow melts. Fusarium patch is the name of the disease that occurs without snow cover. The causal organism of these diseases, Microdochium nivale, was formerly known as Fusarium nivale. To avoid confusion, Fusarium was retained as the disease name.
Symptoms of pink snow mold on annual bluegrass putting green.
Pink snow mold is a true snow mold since it develops under snow cover. The disease gets its name from the accumulation of pink fungal spores that pile up on the leaves of infected grass plants, producing a pink cast on circular patches of matted grass. Usually only leaves are attacked, but under conditions favorable for disease development the fungus may kill the crowns and roots as well. Thus, pink snow mold can be more severe than gray snow mold.
Matted foliage of pink snow mold-affected turf.
Fusarium patch is similar in appearance to pink snow mold except that the centers of the patches are not usually as matted. Often, a fluffy growth of mycelium can be observed around the periphery of the patch. During periods of cool, wet weather from October to April, Fusarium patch may appear when temperatures are in the 40° to 50° F range. If pink snow mold develops in the cold, wet weather in early fall, the fungus may continue its activity through the winter and into spring. Damage to the turf is then likely to be quite severe and long-lasting.
The fungus survives warm dry weather as dormant fungal mycelium or as dormant spores in soil and thatch. Spores germinate in cool, wet conditions, producing hyphae that infect grass leaves.
Pink snow mold usually can be managed successfully in home lawns without fungicides provided the lawn has been established for more than a year. Mow on a regular schedule well into the fall, and avoid high unclipped grass that tends to fall over and mat under snow cover. Try to avoid creating snow banks when removing and piling snow from sidewalks and driveways. Straw mulches and piles of leaves provide a favorable environment for pink snow mold and should be removed from the lawn before snow fall. In general, creeping bentgrass and perennial ryegrass are most susceptible to this disease, whereas Kentucky bluegrass and the fine fescues are only moderately susceptible.
Fusarium patch is typically only a problem on golf courses and can be managed by maintaining a balanced fertility program and avoiding excessive nitrogen applications in mid-fall.
Fungicide treatment may be needed to control pink snow mold and Fusarium patch in new turfgrass seedings or if a history of unmanageable outbreaks is known. On golf courses, fall or spring fungicide applications may be needed in cold, wet weather.
On a side note, my assistant Peder Rauen is down and out recovering from hernia surgery last Tuesday. He's a hurting boy right now, but not missing the bad weather. We're missing his presence on the crew though. You would be amazed how much harder it is to get everything you want done when just one person is missing.
Go Seahawks! They are still limping along...
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Monday will be a full day of leaf blowing for the crew. Most of the trees have shed their leaves, so now we need to get them picked up. The greens haven't been mowed since Thursday because they are too soft and we would actually cause damage if we attempted to mow them right now. If the rains subside over the next 24 hours, then we will try to get them mowed on Monday. Please keep all carts on the path, the fairways and rough are saturated!
We have some thinning areas on the greens from all the rain, mowing them too soon afterwards, and compaction due to foot traffic coming on and off the greens. The areas are also in shady, heavy foot traffic areas. Please try to walk around some of these areas to give them a break. The thin areas are the front of #7, back of #8, back and left of #10, back of #15 and back right of #16. All of these areas are weak and need time to heal.