Friday, January 20, 2012

Pace of Play

Copperleaf expects a round of golf to take just over 4 hours when playing in a stroke play format. However, I had a complaint recently of some exceptionally slow play that I was asked to investigate.

After closer inspection, I found the culprit on hole 18 and quickly asked the offender to pick up the pace and move to the next hole. Fortunatley, he said that his round was over and decided to cool off in one of our adjacent lakes.

This little fella decided to hold up play just before the openning round of the Member guset tournament.

We are fortunate to have a wide variety of wildlife co-existing with the members of Copperleaf and enjoying the habitat provided for them.

Traffic Compaction

It is great to see so many of our members and their guests enjoying the beautiful weather out on the golf course. In fact, the course has been receiving over 230 rounds of golf per day for the past several weeks. With this increased play, our turf grass becomes affected due to the cart traffic and the compaction of the soil that they create.

As can be seen here, cart traffic is our number one cause for stressed turf.

The use of signs and stakes has been implemented throughout the course in an effort to guide golfers where to drive their golf carts, and importantly, where not to drive their golf carts, so as to preserve the health of the turf and provide quality conditions.

Please stay off tee slopes and utilize the 90 degree rule on each hole

Please help by following the directional signs placed strategically in certain locations, do not drive in between the green and white stakes, stay off tee slopes and do not follow the golf cart in front of you when driving on the fairways.

Utilizing the 90 degree rule is extremely helpful by staying on the cart paths as much as possible. Also, when travelling down the hole, please scatter in the fairway rather than the rough to help maintain dense turf in these areas. The longer growing rough can not withstand the constant stress of cart traffic, especially during these cooler months.

I appreciate the help in maintaining your golf course.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Frost Damage

The cold weather last week brought us our first frosts of the year. There were two mornings with below freezing temperatures that produced frost on our turf grass for several hours.
This frost has a damaging affect on the 'rough' turf grass, in particular, due to its higher height of cut and the ability for the ice to settle down into the canopy. The closer mown turf grass on the approaches and fairways has the ability to maintain a higher soil temperature and so withstand the cold weather without as much injury.

The frost has a damaging affect on the higher mown turf grass (foreground) as seen on hole 12 whereas the fairways (background) have shown relatively no color loss..

The entire golf course was fertilized with granular fertilizer this week and will be followed up with a liquid fertilizer application over the weekend to help promote turf recovery and greener grass. The affected areas of turf will soon grow out of this condition and the affected leaf blades will be mown off.

Our greens were prepared before the frosts with an application of liquid fertilizers that was very successful. A wetting agent, Hydrahawk, that displaces dew from the leaf blade, was also applied to the greens and tees prior to the frost that prevents the ice from forming.

Overall, the golf course remains in excellent condition with fast greens for all to enjoy. if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Posted by David Dore-Smith
Director of Golf Course and Grounds Maintenance

Friday, January 6, 2012

Driving Range Etiquette

Following the reconstruction of the driving range this past summer, I wanted to pass along to our members the correct way to take divots when practicing so that the turf grass remains in playable condition throughout the cooler months when the warm season Bermuda grass is slow to recover.

With some YouTube searches, I was able to find this excellent video describing the correct method to take pratice divots created James Beebe, from Priddis Golf and Country Club in Canada.

As you can see, it is recommended to place your next shot directly behind the previous shot to make a line of divots about 2 to 3 feet long.
Once that channel has been completed, move the ball over several inches and begin the process again.

In this manner, a far greater area is made available for the next golfer to practice from rather than 'connecting the dots' if the divots have been spread out over a large area.

Importantly, this method of taking divots makes it a lot easier for the maintenance staff to fill the voids with sand each morning rather than spreading the diot mix over a large area. Also, Jason Miller and his staff will find it much easier to position the tee stations in the correct location each day as the practice area will be well defined rather than spread out over a large area.

Overall, the practice tee has matured extremely well since re-grassing in June. Fertilizer is applied weekly and the entire tee is top-dressed with sand every two weeks to provide quality conditions for our members and guests to enjoy. Please do your part to keep the practice tee at the high level expected at Copperleaf.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cold Weather

Unfortunately, it was inevitable. The beautiful and mild weather we have been experiencing over the past month is coming to an end this week. Temperatures are expected to dip to the mid 30's by Wednesday morning and last for several days. This cool weather has a detrimental affect on our warm season Bermuda grass and so in preparation, our greens were sprayed with liquid fertilizer this morning.

There was a concoction of various fertilizers added to the brew including minor elements Manganese and Magnesium for color and major elements Nitrogen, in a slow release form, and Potassium to aide in withstanding the cooler weather. An important ingredient that was used successfully last year during the cold weather was also added; liquified Sea Kelp. The trace elements in this product stimulate growth during the coldest weather and help provide a deep green color to the grass as can be seen above on hole 15. This dark color actually absorbs more heat from the sun and uses it to maintain higher soil temperatures and ultimately healthier turf. The science behind maintaining healthy turf has evolved substantially over the past decade including wireless underground sensors used to measure soil temperatures and moisture as well as various products within the Superintendents inventory. I am pleased to say that this new technology and forward thinking has been embraced at Copperleaf and the course conditions will be better for it. Stay warm and enjoy your golf. Posted by David Dore-Smith Director of Golf Course and Grounds Maintenance