Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Winter Update

I think its officially here, we haven't had a "winter" in what seems like a few years. Not only are we having daily and weekly snow events but now we will have a polar vortex and the coldest recorded temperatures since 1994.

We are always asked what is the best kind of winter weather for the grass. With so many strange weather years over the last few seasons, its definitely hard to quantify what has been best, but we know that we don't want the grass to be exposed to the cold and wind or even ice for too long.

Greens roped off and ready for snow
Prior to the snow we received a few rain events, this is good because it gives the ground and grass a bit of moisture helping keep everything well hydrated. Then by having a good blanket of snow we know that the grass is well protected and insulated from the harsh winter wind protecting the grass from dehydration and desiccation.
Groomer in Action 
With snow on the ground we have been open for ski season. All of the golf course greens were roped off to keep skiers off of the greens, and we wait for a six inch base before grooming to insure that there would be limited damage to the grass/ground underneath the snow.

Due to the volume of snow we have been grooming regularly, almost once a day but on average four  days a week. We will not be grooming trails during the brutally cold days, but we will continue to groom based on snow and the amount the trail is used.


Nick Marfise
Golf Course Superintendent

Friday, October 5, 2018

Greens Aerification and #6 Tee

Greens Aerification
Aerifier collecting the cores
Greens aerification was completed Tuesday afternoon and through the day on Wednesday, with 18 holes back open for play on Thursday of this past week. Our process went very smooth considering that we needed to work within the only 48 hours we had without any rain. All greens were punched with 5/8 hollow tines, pulling out the aerification plugs. All the plugs were cleaned and the sand was swept back into all/most of the holes. 

Brushing in the sand
Next week we will be doing some touch up work and adding sand to a few areas where it is needed. The putting green was completed about 9 days ago and it is healing nicely. Assuming we have some nice warm days ahead of us we should see the greens be completely healed in the next two weeks.

Putting Green on September 26th 
Putting Green on October 4th

#6 Tee 
There it is
As many of you are aware the 6th tee struggles to maintain adequate grass, this is due to the horrific environment that it sits in, back in mosquito ally. This tee sits back in the trees it has little to no air movement and receives little to no sun most of the day. It is constantly wet and has been in need of some attention. 

Seed lines are growing
We have got some grass growing on this tee and it is important that we see to it that we are successful. With all the major events on the golf calender being complete we have decided to close the tee for play the rest of the year.

Over the next few weeks you will see us put some fertilizer on this tee, and most likely we will get a cover on it when it starts to really get cold. As we tend to this tee gingerly we appreciate it if all players can use the temporary tee that has been shaved into the rough in-front of the large tee box. We also ask that you respect our fence that is being used to keep anyone from trying to get back there. As always we appreciate your support 

Tee cut into the rough

Golf Course Superintendent 
Nick Marfise 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Greens Aerification to Begin Later Today

We will be starting our greens aerification process later this afternoon after the high school tournament is over. We are starting today instead of waiting for tomorrow in order to try and beat the rain and weather that is predicted for the rest of the week. We are hoping to be finished sometime on Thursday. 

We have done several different variations of aerification on these greens, all of which have been done in an attempt to find what is the best type of practice for our facility. We want to continue to improve our greens playing surfaces from a health stand point and a play-ability stand point. We have also wanted to work out a procedure that works well with our small staff size.  The first thing we do is cover the green  in a heavy amount of sand. Second, we take our aerifier over the green, the aerifier has a plow on the back that catches the aerification cores and drags them to the sides of the greens for easy cleanup. 

After the green is free of debris, we brush in the sand and blow the surfaces clean. The days after are focused on rolling the holes for smoothness. If we get some good dry warm weather, here in October we should see the holes close up in about two weeks.  


Golf Course Superintendent 
Nick Marfise 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fall Over-Seeding

Seeded lines in #8 Fairway 
It is that time of year where fall is quickly approaching and many golf courses have already begun fall projects, and most have started and some have even completed their Aerification practices. Our greens aerification will not take place for another two weeks, we plan to aerify our greens the week of October 1st.
Seed coming in on #14 Fariway
In the mean time we are over-seeding the fairways to help improve our overall density. This time of year is great for growing grass because the soil is still warm, but temperatures are cool, giving plants a much needed break from the summer.  This time of year we should get a good months worth of growing weather before it gets cold and plants really slow down.

Seed filling in, in a bare area
By the end of this week all of the fairways will have been seeded, we are seeing germination and growth in less then seven days, and are happy with the results so far. As our fairways mature over the next four to six weeks we will be in better shape to start next years golf season.


Golf Course Superintendent
Nick Marfise

Friday, September 7, 2018

September Update

#3 Approach
Unfortunately it has been another wet week the golf course has received three inches of rain over the last several days and hasn't had much of a break to dry out. We were able to mow the Tees, Approaches, and Fairways only once so far this week, and it is still unknown if we will be dry enough by Friday to mow much more.

Wet Fairways have resulted in a week of no riding golf carts 
On the bright side the extended forecast looks really good for not only growing grass but also playing golf, dry and cool.

Several areas on the course have been improving and our fairway recovery methods have definitely paid off. The stress has warn off and many of the fairways are looking better. We have also gone back to a more normal mowing pattern (when we aren't wet) on fairways and have lowered the mowing height slightly to help get the playing surfaces a bit tighter.

#4 Fairway 
Our seeding efforts have paid off as we have seen lots of positive growth. Most recently we have started to seed the fairways again in an attempt to help get the thin areas addressed and more mature.

#15 Fairway

 #15 Fairway seedlings  recently mowed 
As the course dries out we will be getting caught up with mowing all playing surfaces, we will then resume fixing and improving related areas on the course.

Thank you for your support

Golf Course Superintendent
Nick Marfise

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Fairway Recovery

This years weather has had its share of challenges, we started off spring with over 14 inches of rain, which was followed buy early season heat and humidity. We just finished up a stretch of hot and dry weather all of which has put an abundant amount of stress on the golf course, but primarily the fairways.

The weather can surely cause set backs, but when you combined that with continuous golf, golf cart traffic, and mower/equipment traffic you now have created additional stresses. When all these factors are added up we wind up with turf thinning, hard panned lies, and a stressed out golf course.

In the extreme heat like we saw last week and through the weekend, riding carts and even pull carts can damage turf when the turf is dry and wilting.

Pull cart tracks on #10 approach
The maintenance staff has already begun seeding the fairways in areas where grass has been lost due to the water damage, additional seed has also been put in fairways that were thinning due to weather stress and excessive traffic. Several other areas have already been given additional fertilizer to promote extra growth and recovery.

seed germinating on #6 fairway 
In an attempt to help promote recovery the maintenance staff is going to take a more conservative approach to maintaining the golf course. Starting this past week the fairways have been mowed at a slightly higher height of cut. By raising the height of cut there will be more turf to help cushion and displace all related traffic . Longer grass helps the grass grow better roots and get stronger for the future.
slightly longer grass in the fairways 
The fairways will also be mowed less frequently, by doing this we are eliminating one of those additional stresses that were mentioned previously. Excessive mower traffic can cause stress on the grass, including over compacting soils.

Un-mowed on the left/ mowed on the right 
Once the turf gets stronger and healthier we will then begin to mow more often and potentially lower the height of cut down once again. Right now we want to have a thick stand of grass for the future and this has shown in a short period of time that it is working. We appreciate your patience, see you out there.


Golf Course Superintendent

Nick Marfise

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Venting Greens

After this last stretch of warm and dry weather it is important to make sure we get air and oxygen into our greens. Over the next couple of days you will see us poking small holes in the greens to help with air exchange and let our grass and its roots breath. The holes will heal quickly and after they are rolled, should not disrupt the putting surface.