Friday, March 3, 2023

Zoysia clean-up 2023

     Over the past several years we have applied a combination of non-selective post-emergent herbicide as well as pre-emergent herbicide during the dormancy period of the zoysia. For years this process worked well. What we have found recently, however, is that we have developed resistant Poa Annua that is unaffected by even the highest rates of this herbicide.  

This is an example of how the herbicide was not controlling all of the undesirable turf this past year.

Without getting good control of the poa over the winter, the zoysia goes into the season with unwanted competition and is weakened in areas. 

    This year we have completely changed our approach with all new chemistries. Instead of the post-emergent glyphosate (roundup), we have switched to a different, stronger non-selective glufosinate (finale). In addition to this change, we have switched our pre-emergent herbicide to a much more effective combination product that utilizes Imazaquin, Prodiamine, and Simazine.

So far, the very early activity of the new combination seems to be exceptionally effective.

We look forward to seeing how well we can clean the zoysia up this year to have healthy, and aesthetically pleasing fairways and tees. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Seed Corn Beetles


Seed Corn Beetles on Greens


Tiny mounds of sand on putting surface     


Seed Corn Beetles are the culprit!


We have had several golf patrons inquire about those pesky little mounds that seem to appear from late morning to mid-afternoon on several of our putting greens at Swope Memorial.  This annoyance to a true putt is caused by a new little nuisance called the Seed Corn Beetle. 


Despite their name, corn seeds are not the primary food source for seed corn beetles. Rather, they feed on other things they find in the soil including other insects. They are also highly attracted to lights at night. There are two generations per year, typically occurring in May/June and again in August (Purdue University Entomology Dept.).


These critters do not feed upon turf.  They burrow into the greens which causes the mounds of sand that appear and become noticeable throughout the day.  For the dew sweepers who play early, their presence is barely noticed as the greenmowers have picked up the sand as we cut the closely mown turf.  But the little bugs get busy after that!


We have thrown the proverbial kitchen sink in the form of several different insecticides in an effort to control the pests.  As a new problem to turf, entomologists are currently working toward a solution that we hope can resolve this issue.  Rest assured; we are diligently working on a viable solution!


Josh Linn, GC Supt.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Spring Aerification

 Spring at Swope

(Aerification on #10)

The season is almost upon us, again. It was a mild winter, but a winter none the less. Now that average temperatures are starting to rise, our greens were ready for their bi-annual aerification. This process relieves compaction in our greens, creates ventilation to our root zone, and promotes new healthy growth of our green's turf.

(Aerification on #10)

Aerification is one of our largest projects each year, however this year we were faced with another huge issue. Our main valve to the course, located on 9's fairway, broke as we were shutting down the system in December. We expect these repairs to be difficult, but nothing prepared us for the rats nest of issues that came with this problem. After 4 days of digging, a rented jackhammer attachment, and two sore backs, the valve was succesfully replaced and the course was able to charge up our irrigation system.

(Exposing the pipe and valve fitting.)

(Josh experiencing some delirium while chipping out a concrete patio that held the old valve in place.)

(Removed concrete and existing pipe along with broken valve.)

(Putting the finishing touches on the repair.)

Besides our two massive projects, we also were able to paint and put out our enter/exit signs on the course, paint and install our ball washers, and repaired a handful of cart path pot holes. 

(Josh repairing hole on #5.)

We look forward to seeing you all on the course this season, and remember...


Friday, December 31, 2021

Winter has arrived

 December at Swope

Is it December, is it March, is it June....who knows?!

First off, Merry Christmas and happy New Year to everyone, what a year it has been. I had completely given up on winter and started planning what my life was going to be like working year round with growing season weather. Luckily, I was able to quit planning. With this cold front coming in literally with the New Year, the course is finally ready to shut down. The difficulty with the warm temperatures this late in the season is that the turf doesn't know if it's time to start dormancy or continue using it's energy for growth. Therefore, we were throwing water up until the last week of December. Now that we have average temperatures in the 20's coming up, and with the winterizing (fertilizing/spraying) of the greens done, the course will be ready for its winter slumber. As will I.

Spraying 13.
Fertilizing 15.

Before the cold set in, there were two applications that needed to be done to the greens. We put down a winter fertilizer. This will help the plant have nutrients to store throughout the winter, and to utilize once spring comes around. Secondly, we spray a wetting agent and a fungicide. The wetting agent will help disperse and filter down snow melt on the greens, and the PCNB fungicide will prevent snow mold and a handful of other fungi that appear in the spring. Snow mold appears after a green has been covered in deep snow for a prolonged period of time. Places like Colorado or Montana have a higher susceptibility to this issue, but besides protecting against that, it will suppress Wakia patch in the spring. Wakia patch are the little lime green circles that show up when the plant comes out of dormancy, it's simply and aesthetic issue, no turf death, but with the application of PCNB now it will improve our chances of avoiding it. 

Trees on 5.
Trees on 15.

If you lived in the Midwest, you experienced one hell of  a wind storm mid-December. This knocked down trees and branches like the Chiefs knocking down everyone in the AFC West. We were lucky to only have a few large limbs and a couple trees on the periphery of the course. However, we have had some trees on the course that have been dead for a year or two, they constantly shed old limbs, causing continuous clean up throughout the season. We went ahead and removed 2 trees on #5 to the right of the second fairway, 2 trees on #9 near the front tee box, and 2 trees on #15 near the end of the fairway. These trees were oaks, so they were cut, split and stacked behind the shop after the smaller limbs were hauled off. 

Always adding to the firewood pile. 

We continue to sell firewood here at Swope, best deal in town as my loyal customers have told me!! If you or a friend has a wood burning stove, a fire-pit, or just like to burn wood, please come and buy a load. We sell it for $75 per truckload, or $100 if you want it delivered within reasonable distance. The money we make from this goes into our Carne Asada fund, so we can have a few Fridays during the season to relax as a crew and enjoy some grilled meat, a cold Corona, or an orange flavored Jalisco together. Shawshank's Andy Dufresne said it best: "I think a man working outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds."

Have a great New Years everyone and thank you for all your patronage throughout this long season. We expect to always push this course in a positive way and are proud to do so.

From June to January, 2021 to 2060, Fix your divots!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2021

October Goodbyes

Happy trails to Sam!


This blog will be slightly different than the ones I normally write. It also has a small sting to it. Swope's superintendent since 2017, Sam Bailey, has taken another job and is leaving us. Sam is taking the Superintendent position at Fred Arbanas Golf Course in Lee's Summit. Arbanas includes an 18 hole normal course, a 9 hole par 3, and a driving range, and no one is more deserving of this position than Sam.

(Big ole Chiefs fan.)

Sam started his KC career down at Heart of America in 2012, previously he was managing a 9 hole course in Nebraska. When the position for Swope opened up in 2017 he was an easy decision to replace the previous super. Each year, Swope continued to show improvement. Greens that were notorious for dying each season became playable again. Tree's were removed to create better airflow on certain greens. And to the disdain of many golfers, he grew out some bunker faces to pay homage to Tillinghast.

(Still not sure if he shot this.)

(Sam's family) 

Sam has been an amazing mentor to myself, and I owe everything I've learned about this industry to him. He's an integral part of our team/family out here and  all of us here at Swope wish nothing but the best for Sam. He will always be welcomed back to play 18 holes, enjoy a cold beer, and lose a couple balls in the tall grass.

Goodbye and Goodluck, Sam.

Don't forget to fix your divots at Arbanas.