As I had mentioned towards the end of last year, we have
been working on a few things around the course while the turf was in a dormant
state. Here is a little update on what we were able to accomplish during that
time with a winter "skeleton" crew.
The trees along the left side of hole two have all been
limbed up to allow the irrigation to get to the turf. You should see turf
improvements all along that area this season. We have also been around to
various holes around the golf courses cleaning out deadwood (#2, #4) and
cleaning out desert mistletoe throughout the entire golf course. Desert
mistletoe is the dense cluster of brittle, leafless jointed green stems that
you will see most commonly in the mesquite trees. If mistletoe is ignored it
will spread from branch to branch and eventually to the neighboring tree. It is
a slow parasite but would eventually kill the tree.
Limbing up trees along #2 cartpath
We were able to get a few sumps done to drain water off the
cart paths. We started off tackling the bad ones first; 9, 11 and one leading
to the maintenance shop. We still need to get out to holes 7, 12 and 15 to get
these knocked out before summer.
#9 tee sump
The crew removing sod for the sump on #11 cartpath
Finished shop sump
We have been trying to get the bunkers back into better
shape as far as playability and aesthetics go. The back 9 bunkers have been
edged out and cleaned. A lot of the bunkers had lost their lip on the low side
and have had a lot of bermuda grass contamination. Along with cleaning the
edges, we have been checking depths of the sand, moving sand and adding sand
where needed. We are shooting for 1.5-2” inches on the face of the bunkersto prevent any “fried egg” lies and 4-5” on
the bottoms to give the player a little fluff the splash their shot out. We are
continuing on the front 9 as we are about halfway through there.
#12 bunker new edge- added sand
#10 bunker new edge
#8 bunker new edge...added sand
As always, Philly, our mechanic, has been very busy in and around the shop
cleaning, organizing and preparing the equipment for another long season.
We have recently finished building a brush attachment for
our greens mower. After we got our plan of attack and all the materials, it
went together rather quickly and cost us under $100. Our mechanic Phil fabricated the steel
tubing, painted it, attached the three 24’ broom heads, hooked up the chain to hold up brush for transport all in about 5 hours(bathroom breaks not included) . The finished product
mounts directly into the existing square tubing on the mower itself which makes
for a nice clean look and functional unit. The many benefits to brushing 2-3
three times a week are as follows:
•Quality and consistency of cut
•Increased ball roll
•Less evasive than grooming or verticutting
•Promote upright growth
•Poa seedhead reduction
•Increased density and finer texture
•Opens up turf canopy to accept amendments like sand and fertilizer and
also keeps air space in the canopy to help prevent diseases
•Overall improved greens health and appearance
•Can be mounted on a vibratory roller to brush in topdressing sand
All of these benefits combined will result in greater
putting quality and an improvement in overall playability.
Over the last 3 months we have been seeing a lot of unrepaired or
improperly repaired divots in fairways.
I know many of you may be uncertain on how to properly repair a divot
because different courses and Superintendents have different preferences on how
to go about repairing a divot. Well, here at Pueblo del Sol we ask that you replace any solid
turf. Any turf you can put back in the divot will speed up recovery- whether it
be a pelt or chunks that are still holding together. Once the turf is put back all you need to do is add a little sand around the edges and pat it down with your foot. At this time of the year we tend to be on the dryer side and seed takes constant moisture to germinate
and fill in, so any turf you can replace will help speed the healing process.
Improper divot repair- replace available turf
Proper divot repair- turf replaced- added a little divot mix
Improper divot repair- replace available turf
Proper divot repair- replace turf added a bit of divot mix-leveled with foot
Improper divot repair- No divot repair at all
Proper divot repair- replaced turf- divot mix-leveled with foot
Improper divot repair- too much sand
If the divot explodes into little pieces and there is nothing solid to replace, then you can fill the divot completely with divot mix that is provided on your golf cart. Always make sure you fill it just below the turf surface and then smooth it with your foot. Any overfilled divot is wasteful of seed and soil and is bad for our mowing equipment.
As turf growth finally slows we can shift our focus from the
every day grind to equipment preventative maintenance, limbing up trees,
deadwood removal, installing drainage in low areas that tend to collect water
and continue with course cleanup like sweeping leaves and debris.
Throughout the golf course there are tree limbs that have
grown low and impede the irrigation throw preventing the water from getting onto
the turf areas that need it. We will go through and selectively prune these
limbs to get the irrigation watering more efficiently providing adequate water
to the turf and making for a healthier more playable turf. Along with selective limb pruning, we will go
through and remove any deadwood that could be a falling hazard to the golfer.
Some of this work will be contracted out as we are not set up to prune anything
above 20 feet in house. A good example of this is the eucalyptus tree on #15.
Also, around the golf course there are areas that hold water
along the edge of the cart path/grass. In these areas we will go through and
install drainage to move the water down off path and turf. There are also areas
that any excess irrigation or rain water will collect and run down onto the
playing surface making for poor playability. In these areas, we will also try
and install drainage to catch the water before it makes its way onto the turf
keeping the areas firm and playable.
As always, we still want to provide the best conditions for
the golfer, so we will still be out setting up the golf course, blowing and
sweeping fallen leaves, mowing or rolling greens as needed, touching up bunkers
when we can and keeping a light layer of sand on the green for smoothness and a
little bit of warmth during these cold months.
The GMS team would like to welcome Clay and his family to Sierra Vista . Originally from Colorado, Clay has gained a ton of knowledge and experience with an internship at Augusta National as well as an Assistant at some top golf clubs in Colorado and Wyoming. Clay has spent the last three years as Superintendent at The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We are all excited for the future here at Pueblo del Sol !