Sunday, April 29, 2012

Prayers Needed

I received an email last night of a horrible accident that has left a local superintendent, and all around great guy, Jim DeYoung in a coma. Please send a prayer and thoughts out for him and his family in their time of need. This is the email received from his wife last night:

"This is Jim's wife. I just got home from ECMC. Jim did fall off a ladder and is in a medically induced coma. He had bleeding on his brain....this is very tough to write, but he might have brain damage. He had surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain. It is probably the first of many surgeries to come. It is a waiting game. He will need your support. It is going to be a long haul for Jim. He is in ICU and will be probably for weeks. Our daughter is flying home tonight and our son and his wife are driving and should be here soon. We need lots of prayers. Jim is the best husband and father anyone could every ask for and we need him back, so keep those prayers going.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Black greens, yellow flags and cream caterpillars.

I'm sure many of you have noticed the three greens that appear black, the yellow flags scattered throughout both courses, and the hoards of cream colored caterpillars on some of the greens. Fortunately, these items are completely unrelated.

The black greens are indeed just that, and are completely healthy and pest free. In an effort to speed recovery of #6, 7, & 8 greens, I have been topdressing them with black sand this spring. Black sand was used to soak up the sun's warmth and raise soil temperatures quicker than normal. It has worked wonderfully as these three greens have really filled in since last fall and have averaged 6-10 degrees warmer than the rest of the greens.

The yellow flags are guidelines for my rough mowers. As part of our progress toward Audubon International certification we are letting several of the out-of-play portions of both courses grow up as natural areas. Advantages to this include improved quality of runoff water, wildlife habitat, decreased labor costs and less fuel usage. I will elaborate more in another post to answer some of the questions and concerns that will certainly arise.

The cream caterpillars are a relatively new pest in turf management and are an invasive species known as the European Crane Fly. The native variety of crane fly is not a pest for turf, but the European Crane Fly, first noticed in western New York about 10 years ago has become quite a problem recently. Fortunately, highly maintained turf can sustain relatively high populations, 15-50 larvae per sq ft, without too much concern of damage. We are within this range but are treating for them now before they become more of an issue later on when they are more mature and harder or control.

As always, I am available to answer question and concerns regarding these and any other topics by giving me a call at my office or through email.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, April 16, 2012

#6, 7 & 8 Greeen Update

The early spring weather has been great for the course as we continue to regain mid season playing surfaces on #6, 7 and 8 Lake greens. The colder weather with several frosts/freezes in the last two weeks has slowed things down considerably but we have treated these greens a little differently that the rest and they are still growing and filling in nicely.  #6 is 100% back and #7 and 8 are right behind and will be back by mid May if not sooner.

I realize that tree removal is still a touchy issue with most Chautauquans and encourage those with questions to contact me. In past posts I've detailed why removal was necessary but it is always nice to hear this from other sources as well.  In the You Tube video below, Chris Tritabaugh of Northland Country Club in Minnesota articulates this very well.  Chris' blog is tagged as Northland Country Club Turfgrass Maintenance to the right of this blog as one I follow and is loaded with good information.  It's worth checking out.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Early April Update

It's hard to believe it is April 3rd and we're having a hard time keeping up with the mowing.  Soil temps have fallen 12-13 degrees in the last week and, while the growth has slowed down, it is still going quick enough that we're having a hard time catching up.  Please be patient with our mowing and maintenance schedule when things don't appear to be in mid season form.  Keep in mind that it is only April 3rd and we usually still have snow cover at this time.

The last two days have been verticutting days for the Lake Course, getting fairways and aprons done for the first time this season.  The greens have been verticut once and will be done a second time this week.  In the past I haven't been happy with our verticutting on the greens. They just didn't seem to bring up much material or stand the leaf blades up like I wanted so this winter we replaced the OEM blades on our verticutters with some 2mm carbide tip blades and decreased the gap from 3/4" to 1/2".  What a difference and a sense of accomplishment when we verticut compared to years past. I think you will really see a difference in the greens this season and will be thrilled with the improved putting quality and consistancy.

Also this week, we will be getting out tee markers, ball washers and tee signs, bunkers are being cleaned and raked, and the Learning Center driving range is now open.

Happy Spring!