Monday, November 6, 2017


October has come and gone and now one of our biggest tasks at hand is keeping the course clean of leaves.  The trees changing colors look beautiful this time of year but the mess they make is frustrating for the golfer and the maintenance crew.  With the course surrounded by trees its going to be a constant battle this time of year. Every morning we take a backpack blower and clean off the greens of debris (acorns, sticks and leaves). Below is a photo of what some of the greens look like before we start blowing them off.

Friday, September 29, 2017

September Review

September is over and at times, it felt more like August but with shorter sunlight hours the heat doesn't last long. This is the time of year when we aerify our greens.  On the 5th of September we fertilized the greens to get them rapidly growing. Then the evening of the 11th we started aerifying and finished up on the 12th.   On the 17th we received just under and 1.5" of rain.  With the fertilizer, moisture and warm days the greens healed extremely quick.  This morning when I rolled the greens I was unable to see any holes caused by the aerifyer.  This is a task we perform twice a year and it is done to relieve compaction, increase air to the plants roots, as well as removing thatch from the surface.  The result is a much healthier putting surface!   

Friday, August 25, 2017

August Report

The above two pictures sums up the month of August. It has been a month of flooding all around Kansas City. Swope Memorial however is lucky when it comes to heavy rains, because of the hills on property we get very good surface drainage. The bunkers are the biggest issue at Swope Memorial when dealing with excessive rainfall. Almost all bunkers have been severely contaminated with silt blocking the drainage and then holding water.  We are forced to pump the water out and push the sand back in place.  Most of the bunkers need to have the sand removed, drainage fixed and new sand added.  It is a slow process with the size of crew we have and the amount of bunkers on property but getting them repaired is on our to do list.  The positive for the month of August is the below average temperatures we have been experiencing. Very comfortable playing conditions! Aerification is scheduled for September 12&13.

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 Update

Like most Golf Course Superintendents July is their least favorite month. For me this July is no exception. We have been battling extreme heat, humidity, high dew points and excessive rain. All are recipes for disaster when maintaining cool season turf. If you have played you may have noticed fans running on holes 12 & 14. Those greens don't get very good air flow and that creates a sauna like atmosphere not ideal for short cut Poa greens. We have been using the resources available to help the turf survive but still have had some weak spots show up. We have vented all the greens twice this month to give the roots more oxygen and help water infiltration but what the turf really needs is cooler temps with less humidity. The extended forecast looks promising.
You may have also noticed bunkers aren't as sandy as they once were. Heavy rain has washed silt from the edges into the traps and plugging the drain tiles.  With a small staff this is going to take some time to repair but it is on our radar.  The course is still very playable so come out and enjoy or if you are like me wait till September:)  

Saturday, June 24, 2017

June Report

In the month of June we have been staying busy with detail work. We have started edging some bunker faces, spraying broadleafs in the rough, and sodding some tee boxes. Below is a photo of 18 greenside bunker.   
From what I have been told sodding the tees on 16 is an annual task.  This year we were lucky enough to have received the leftover sod that Arrowhead Stadium uses on there field to put on the tee. It is called Northbridge Bermuda and the head groundskeeper at Arrowhead Travis Hogan thinks its an excellent cultivar of turf for areas like 16 that take a beating.  It recovers much quicker than Zoysia, has great color like bent grass, better shade tolerant, cold tolerant and it can handle the cleats of Dontari Poe.  Below is a before and after photo and also a photo of the sod shortly after being put down at the stadium.

Top picture is Zoysia bottom half is Northbridge Bermuda. Please remember to fill your divot with sand. 

Arrowhead shortly after the Northbridge was put down in early June