Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Opening day!

At 9:30 AM, on Wednesday, March 24th, Leslie Park Golf Course opened for play.  Come on out.  The weather is fine!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Burn, baby, burn!

The last couple of days have been very busy here.  With the cooperation of the City of Ann Arbor's Natural Areas Preservation (NAP) division, we have done some prescribed burns of the natural areas on the course.  This allows native, more fire resistant plants to get back a competive advantage over alot of invasive plant species.  These invasive plant are usually not well adapted to fire and burning will control the spread of these plants.  Words are not enough, so here are pictures.
Starting the burn near #14 tee

Behind the clubhouse.

Smoke column (#11)

#14 tee before the burn

#14 tee after the burn

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Weather station

We have a new weather station at Leslie Park.  I will get into the details more later, but for now here are some specifics.  It is located between #14 and #17.  It is a Davis Vantage Pro II with a solar radiation sensor.  The above gadget shows the current weather conditions.  It is updated every 5 minutes or so.  This will allow me to calculate the Evapotranspiration rate each day, as well as see the current conditions on the course from anywhere.  It is uplinked through the weather underground at I will put a link on the sidebar, but you can always see it from this website also.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Snow Mold

With the snow on the way out, I have decided to update you on an old foe of golf course superintendents.  Snow Mold.  There are two different varieties that are normaly present in Michigan, pink snow mold (Microdochium nivale) and grey snow mold (Typhula incarnata and Typhula ishikariensis).  For grey snow mold, there has to be continuous snow cover for at least 60 days.  Luckily, in southeast Michigan, this rarely happens.  Grey snow mold is also a very destructive pathogen, as it will kill and infect not only the leaf blades, but will also infect the crown of the plant, leaving bare spots in the spring.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, pink snow mold does not even need snow cover to form and infect the grass.  As long as temperatures are below 50 degrees and conditions are damp, pink snow mold can occur.  Usually pink snow mold does not kill the plant, but just infects the leaf blades.  Once the temperatures start to warm up, the crown will start to regenerate leaf tissue and the damage will disappear.  Here is a picture of some pink snow mold that I saw on #5 fairway.

Unfortunatly, you can not see the characteristic pink ring around the outside of the spot, but you can see the white mycelium in the middle of the spot.  Luckily, it appears that we had an easy winter in regards to snow mold.  The ground was frozen before we had much snow and I have not seen any snow mold on the greens or tees, just some on the fairways and more in the rough.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Also, here are some monkeys that some pranksters put up in a tree near #6 tee.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


We are waiting for the snow to melt. The snow quantity and quality make it hard to get around the golf course right now, so mostly I have been doing projects in the shop. I have built a couple of wood duck houses, a couple of bat houses as well as some store bought bluebird houses and a butterfly house. I have been working on recertifiying our Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program credentials and begining the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program certification. I have a new weather station that will be going up. It will give me such readings as temperature, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and direction. This will help me calculate daily evapotranspriation rates (the amount of water a plant uses in a day) as well as posting a daily weather log on sites like This weekend looks like it will be warm and we should be able to get out more and start the spring clean-up.