Thursday, October 30, 2014

The People have Spoken

Good afternoon everyone,

3 Blogs in a month....we're on a roll now...

I would like to thank everyone who attended the AGM held this past Tuesday.  Although it was an intimate group, there was no shortage of passion.  Your comments, suggestions and encouragement goes a long way with the staff and management of Sawmill Creek, and we certainly appreciate it.

Although I am the first to admit that I dropped the ball in communicating to you this season, it became quite clear Tuesday evening as to why this blog is important.  I was once told that perception becomes reality if left un-attended; and it appears as though this has happened with some items this season.  I will begin to address some of these realities over the coming blogs.\

13 Tee


As you can see, the tee deck closed sign is up for the remaining few weeks of the season.  The reason behind this is simple; it is a short par three with a very small tee deck, and growth has all but halted.  From the picture below, you can see the wear and tear that this tee deck experiences.


The goal behind closing the tee deck is to minimize any further divots at this time of year, and allow the deck to heal for next season.  Please use the mat placed at the front of the tee deck for the last few weeks of the season.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Aeration

This seemed to be a hot button topic on Tuesday evening.  Questions arose as to why we chose to aerate at the end of August, and "ruin perfect greens"  If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this question, well, I think I'd have a couple of bucks....

I will direct your attention to our friends at the United States Golf Association, and this short video, briefly explaining why it is we aerify: USGA Greens Aeration Video

Now this video doesn't answer the question posed; why did we do it in August?

Again, I will revert you back to the video.  Did you catch the line about greens needing aeration 2, 3, often 4 times per season?  What a dream world this would be for the turf.  But the reality is, we simply cannot accomplish this task that often.

We therefore apply different techniques, and various practices to combat this need.  This year, we chose to pull a larger core from the greens at the end of August.  A time which historically provides warm daytime temperatures, cool nights, and generally speaking, adequate moisture.  All of these equal optimal growing conditions.  Keep in mind, that we are still the proud owners of a Southern Bentgrass species, and anything past September 15th, risks the ability of the plant to re-cooperate in good time.

So that answers the question as to why we chose the time frame that we did; optimal growing and re-cooperative conditions.  So then if this is the case, why is it that we were one of a select few courses in the area to do it mid season?

Of course I cannot speak on their behalf, but I do carry the opinion that any public golf course in the area is scared to lose out an any revenue at this time of year.  They sacrifice plant health for the all mighty dollar.  Now I'm not here to say who is wrong or who is right, but I stand behind our decision to do what is right for the turf, and very happy with the results we received.  This was a deposit into the turf bank account, and will allow us to withdrawal when we really need to.

Yes there are many methods to use in greens aeration.  There are solid tines, mini tines, shatter tines, water injection methods, etc., and all of these methods result in a different reaction from the plant.  We chose a larger tine this year to help remove as match organic material as possible.  Depending on these levels in the spring, we will determine the course of action that we need to aerate at that time.  Let's never forget that a turf plant is a living, breathing thing, and it is us who must adapt.

The long and short of it, we made a decision based on the health of our greens, our turf, and our business.  A golf course green is involved in 75% of your scorecard (or higher for us not so skilled in the art of putting).  It is imperative that we make the correct agronomic decisions, and we most certainly did.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me: jamie.downton@sawmill-creek.com

Thanks for reading,


Jamie

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