January here and there
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Monday, November 30, 2020
November is finally here!
(Bird hunting in northwest Kansas.)
Fall has arrived. The temperature has dropped, along with all the leaves. The colder weather helps everything start to slow down, especially the grass on the course. Our zoysia fairways have turned straw yellow and entered into dormancy for the winter. The greens haven't completely shut down, but their growth has started to slow. Our rough has been fertilized to prepare it for the winter months ahead. The trees have almost completely dropped their leaves, and for the last month we have been blowing and mulching those leaves. Blowing the leaves off the fairway and mulching them in the rough allows for a clean and smooth playing course along with free organic fertilizer for the rough grass.
Another November project has been mapping our irrigation system. Instead of a numbered list with a general description of where the sprinklers are located, we made maps with exact pin points instead. This will help up diagnose dry spots, leaks, and target water certain areas.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
October and September
Summer has ended and fall work has begun. As we do every year, the course was aerified this September. Aerification includes layering the greens with sand, poking holes in the green allowing the sand to refill the hole, then rolling the green to smooth the surface and close holes. This promotes new healthy growth, increases ventilation to the roots, and relieves compacted areas. Our aerification took place September 22. Within two weeks, all aerification holes were naturally closed up and the greens were back to rolling and looking normal.
Have fun out there, stay warm, and fix your divots!
Friday, August 28, 2020
August brought the HEAT!!
Hello all, I apologize for not giving you the Swope content for the month of July. Sometimes a blogger needs a break. Not to mention this blogger was busy fixing breaks. The end of summer is always a challenge for golf course maintenance. Up until mid July and almost all of August, we had had a mild summer. The temperatures were hovering around 80 degrees and we were even getting the random rain shower. The last two weeks have been nothing but 90's and the last rain we saw was in July. As soon as the weather turns mean, our course goes into survival mode. We rely completely on irrigation during these stretches. However, it never fails that when we are running irrigation at 100%, there will always be issues. Clogged sprinklers, faulty computer stations, and the dreaded 6" main line break were all problems that had to be addressed. One positive, positive-ish, aspect of being in a drought is being able to tell exactly which sprinklers are not running; look for the dry spots, or look for the isolated green patches where sprinklers are just leaking out. Keeping our heads up, we've tackled the problems as they've arrived and can see the end. Today is a high of 95, tomorrow 78. Fingers crossed, please.
(Carlos rolling 18)
To relieve the disease and drought pressure on our greens, we've had to allow them to keep a longer leaf blade during the week to promote healthy growth and water management. We would roll our greens two days, and mow the third. Some of the more particular golfers noticed the speed of our greens were slower than preferred, but keeping our Poa alive and in check always outweighs stimping at 12. With cooler weather forecast, we look forward to lowering our height of cut from .150 to .125 in the next few weeks. The balls are going to roll all the way back to the tee box after we're done with them.
(Man, Myth, Legend, Mike Daffer)
Most of our regulars will recognize this view, especially during the hottest times of the summer. Mike Daffer is a huge asset for us. Starting off as a marshal for Swope, he became interested in helping out the maintenance side of the business. Needing someone to help us with hand watering throughout the day, he quickly learned the in's and out's of keeping his greens alive and healthy. With Mike at the wheel of hand-watering, my supervisor and I are able to focus on other aspects of the course that need attention, and know that the greens are taken care of. Mike also runs his own company, S.A.F.E - Surveillance Alarm and Fire Equipment, specializing in security systems, fire detection, and all other electrical safety systems and deals with all commercial and residential electric protection. Without him our greens would be browns.
Stay cool out there folks, hope to see you in September!
Fix your Divots!!