Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day off from work for most people. It is also the unofficial start of the summer.  Most golf in Michigan occurs between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  This is not to say that people will not golf in the spring or fall, but the play will dramatically increase during this time period.

The summer is a period where I will concentrate on keeping the golf course in the best condition that I can.  Spring and Fall are time periods when, because there are less golfers on the course, I can do some projects, such as aerification, topdressing, plantings and other new features for the course.  These projects slow down considerably during the summer. For one thing, it is harder for us to work around the customers, for another, most of our effort is put toward mowing and conditioning.

Welcome to summer, but on this long weekend, let us not forget all of the people who have served our country and communities.  These men and women risk their lives to in order for us to play golf or go to the beach or just sit on the deck grilling some hamburgers.  So this Monday, take some time to think about our young men and women in the armed forces as well as those who serve closer to home as police officers or in the fire department.

To these brave people, thank you for all that you do. Come home safely.  I will have a hot dog ready for you.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program

Here is a new video that explains some of the aspects of the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program.  We are weeks away from becoming re-certified in the program.  Leslie Park has been certified in the program since 2001.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


So far, in the month of May, we have gotten almost 4.5 inches of rain.  This follows an April where Ann Arbor got 1.9 inches of rain.  We had 6 days in April where we got over a tenth of an inch of rain.  On the 13th day of May, we have already equaled that number.  Traver Creek, which runs through the golf course, has overflowed it's banks.  All of this has forced us to close the golf course for at least today.  Hopefully, we will not get much more rain in the near future and the course will dry out for the weekend.

Also, don't forget to check out the homepage for details on how to win a free round of golf in our "Round-A-Day" golf giveaway.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Topdressing Greens

This week, we began topdressing the greens.  This means that we put a light coat of sand on the top of the playing surface and then drag it into the turf canopy. This achieves two things: 1) it smooths out any bumps or dips that might be on the green and 2) it dilutes any thatch that might be on the green.

Smoothing the green out makes the greens "faster" and a ball will roll further when putted.  It will also make the ball roll more "true", meaning that the ball will roll where you intend it to go.

Thatch is a build-up of organic matter between the soil and the grass leaves.  Thatch is mostly comprised of decaying stolons and rhizomes and not leaf blades.  Despite popular misconception, removing the grass after cutting has no effect on thatch build-up.  A little thatch is a good thing for the grass, as it will protect the crown of the plant from traffic, ie, being stepped on. Too much thatch, however, will harbor insect and fungal pests as well as prevent water from reaching the soil.

Before topdressing, we also ran a verticutting unit over the greens before putting down the sand.  This is a rotating blade that digs down into the thatch and brings up some of that organic matter, as well as cuts any grass blade that might be laying over.  Because of this, we can incorperate some of the sand into the thatch layer and we can also eliminate any grain that develops on the playing surface.

After putting down the sand, we drag a brush over the green to work the sand into the turf.  After we are done, the green will be slightly "slower" than normal, but once the grass starts to grow back through the sand, it will be back to normal and hopefully, even faster.