Golf Course Management

SEP 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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56 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 09.14 First steps Independent lab testing reported that the main disease problem with our greens was pythium root dysfunction. Next, Mavis Con - sulting charted the depth of greens mix on all 19 greens using an accurate probe to fnd the gravel layer and found that depths varied from 5 to 24 inches. Digital Turf Imaging conducted a subsurface drainage study on all greens and confrmed our suspicion that many greens had limited drainage tile. Finally, a shade study conducted by Arbor Com proved that we had a serious shade problem on sev - eral greens. Architect Bob Lohmann of Lohmann Golf Design was called in to put together a solid plan and prepare cost estimates, which he then presented to the newly formed greens task force committee. The new committee de - cided that several items other than the greens should be addressed: rough renovation, pe - rimeter greens irrigation, new greens irrigation heads, bluegrass sodding and bunker modif - cations. A 23-page report prepared by inter- national golf course consultant Richard M. Bator following a site visit covered all details of the Greens + Project. Now that all known costs were put together, we had a preliminary budget, contingencies, weather issues and lost revenue to consider. Because the club had just completed an ex - pansion of the grill room in 2011, the board considered a modifed plan that deleted some options, but ultimately approved the premium Brian C. Chalifoux (left) and Brian J. Chalifoux. plan, as recommended. It was decided that the work would begin Aug. 1, 2013, and be com - pleted by Oct. 1. Weather watch With the project dates in place, we had to fgure out how to get through the summers of 2012 (which turned out to be worse than 2011) and 2013. On our most problematic greens (Nos. 6 and 12), we were allowed to establish six different bentgrass cultivars or blends that were under consideration: T-1, Penn A-1/A-4, Dominator, 007/Tyee, V8 and Pure Distinction. The No. 12 collar was seeded with Crystal Blue Links. We approached the 2013 season with ex - treme caution, using a prevent-defense ap- proach. We went to higher cutting heights, increased rolling, additional fungicide ap - plications and lab testing every month. The grow-in on No. 6 and No. 12 greens came in fne, and those holes were in play throughout the 2013 season. Following much discussion and a feld trip and presentation by fellow superintendent Aaron McMaster at Orchard Lake Country Club, Pure Distinction was selected when it came out on top in terms of density, root growth, disease resistance, wear tolerance and leaf texture. As the Aug. 1, 2013, closing date ap - proached, we were relieved to have gotten through the season with relatively few issues. In analyzing the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons, we still cannot pinpoint exactly what hap - Plastic tarps are glued together over tubing for methyl bromide gas on the No. 12 green.

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