Friday, October 11, 2019

Fall Aerification wraps up September

A look back at aerificaion

We got through another fall aerification successfully even with the rains and a shortage of crew members. We aerified front 9 fairways the first week of September with 1" x 11.5" solid tines at a depth of 5". During the week we also verticut front 9 tees and approaches. The second week we did the greens and approaches with a 5/8" tine at spacing grid of 1.5". The third week we wrapped up the back 9 fairways and tee aerification and finished the verticutting process on the back 9 tees and approaches.

greens aerification
moving plugs with backpack blowers for the sweeper
topdress and brush
brush and roll and ready for play
solid tine of fairways
mow cut at .120 and a roll on a heavy dew morning...... 20 days post aerification
first cut at .110  ....... 30 days post aerification

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

If lightning is the anger of the gods, then the gods are concerned mostly about trees. -Lao Tzu

We had two lightning strikes(that we know for sure) that actually touched ground on golf course property last Saturday night. The first  strike was in the middle of the second half of #5 fairway, causing damage to our rainbird controller and frying 8 sprinkler head solenoids. The second strike hit a tree on the pond on #14. That strike actually sent tree bark debris 20-30 yards. 

A storm a brewing.......

Time to find cover
Lightning strike #5 fairway
Tree hit #14 pond
Tree bark explosion

Friday, July 26, 2019

Dealing with Summer Stress

Turf decline during the summer months usually is a combination of many factors. Here at PDS our turf issues usually revolve around mechanical stress(frequent mowing and cart traffic) during prolonged periods of high temperatures(not enjoyed by cool season turf), and disease from high humidity after heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. Some of the practices we do before and during this time to try and stay ahead of the game are:    hand watering and syringing, needle tine venting of greens, solid tine aeration of hard compacted areas in fairways, spoon feeding nutrients, applying preventative fungicides, spraying wetting agents/penetrants to needed areas and alternating between rolling and mowing greens during high stress periods.

Needle tine venting..... it's all about the root zone

This process creates a small hole in the green surface without removing any material. A relatively painless process that helps relieve compaction and more importantly increasing oxygen content in the soil for better root and soil health and displacing harmful excess build up of CO2(carbon dioxide). 
We alternate every 2-3 weeks during the summer stress periods with either a 5 or 8 mm tine at a depth of 3" on a 2" x 2" grid.

June 26th......needle tine greens with 5mm tines
5mm tines on a 2x2 grid at a 3" depth
Double roll following
ready for play
July 16..... needle tine greens with 8mm tines

8mm tines on a 2x2 grid at a depth of 3"
ready for play after a roll and mow

Summer stress and the Poa(annual blugrass)

The poa in our fairways usually starts to check out once we start getting extended periods of tempertatures around 90F and soil temperatures in the 70 -77F range.... and then you factor in the high humidity during the monsoon and our cool season turf is NOT very happy. Cool-season turfgrasses optimum growth level is at temperatures between 60 and 75°F . So when we get these extended periods of heat the already weakened plants will be extremely susceptible to damage from pressures such as heat, drought, traffic, disease, and insects. I'm sure many of you have noticed these areas in our fairways. In these areas we will continue doing a few different things. We will continue syringing these areas in the mornings and afternoons to help keep the canopy cool. We will also aerify with solid tines to increase oxygen levels in the soil and help with water penetration. We have also started to slit-seed the really bad areas in the fairways to try and establish some new growth during the monsoon. 

Slit seeding  #1 fairway
Slit seeding two directions #1 fairway
Slit seeding second half #15 fairway
Slit seeded/Top-dressed area front of approach #9

Monday, July 8, 2019

In Remembrance.......Oscar Perez

I was deeply saddened to hear of Oscar's passing on June 20th and would like to take a moment and extend my deepest condolences on behalf of the entire staff of GMS to the family of Oscar Perez. My sincere sympathy to his wife Martha and son Oscar Jr.

Oscar started out as a groundsman for my father back in 1990 when Castle & Cooke still ran golf operations and was eventually promoted to lead mechanic. He held that position with C&C, Valley Crest golf maintenance and GMS. Oscar retired in 2017.

Oscar's contributions during his 27 years here at Pueblo del Sol are far to numerous to name. Working with Oscar for 20 of those years I can tell you his strong work ethic, integrity and willingness to help others in need always stood out for me and personally will never be forgotten.

Thank you Oscar, not just for the things you did here but for being my friend. 

When I'm Gone

When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And remember only the smile
Forget unkind words I have spoken
Remember some good I have done
Forget that I ever had heartache
And remember I've had loads of fun
Forget that I've stumbled and blundered
And sometimes fell by the way
Remember I have fought some hard battles
And won, ere the close of the day
Then forget to grieve for my going
I would not have you sad for a day
But in summer just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay
And come in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best Mrs. Lyman Hancock

Friday, June 14, 2019

A little help out there please............

Divot Repair and Ball Marks at Pueblo del Sol

We are re-posting part of our blog entry from 2018 because of the noticeable increase in unfixed ball marks on our greens and divots in our fairways. 


Since the start of March 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- replaced turf- divot mix-leveled with foot

Just Truly frustrating......just put the turf back!!! 

Improper divot repair- too much sand-  damages our reel mowers and is a waste of mix

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.

Ball Marks on Greens

As a general rule, a ball mark repaired within 10 minutes will heal with a smooth surface within two to three days. An unrepaired ball mark may take as long as three weeks to heal, but the result will be an uneven surface.  Beginner or pro, it is your responsibility as a golfer to fix your own marks. If you're truly a steward of the game, you'll fix any others you see while your partners are putting.  ( Source:  GCSAA)

Because of all the hard work and time we put into our greens, we have a lot of pride in our product so we try and fix as many ball marks as possible in the mornings as time permits. Having anywhere from 20-40 unfixed ball marks on 80% of the greens on a daily basis is quite disconcerting. So can we get a little help out there?!?!??   

Some interesting stats from Gary L. Tungate, Enviromental Care Inc. on an article titled-  "Repair divots and ball marks" for Golf Course Maintenance Magazine :

The average golfer leaves about 12 ball marks during a typical round of golf. With a daily average of 160 rounds on a typical golf course, your greens will suffer 1,920 ball marks each day and 58,400 ball marks per month--more than 700,000 ball marks each year! Further, consider that the average number of divots a typical golfer creates during a round of golf is 45. This equates to 7,200 divots a day or 2,628,000 divots each year!

Not sure if any of our golfers have used the Pitchifx 2.0, but these ball mark repair tools are pretty awesome !

The operation of the Pitchifx Twister 2.0 is extremely easy.  All you do is twist the device to expose the three metal prongs and you’re ready to go.  To repair the ball mark, insert the prongs straight into the mark and pull straight back up.  Repeat this a couple of times, pat the spot back down with your putter, and you’ve done your job.

Pitchifx vid:

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

"Spring - an experience in immortality." - Henry D. Thoreau

Our busy tournament season schedule has arrived....... May and June brings us some hotter weather and a host of tournaments including the S.V. Open, The Memorial Day tournament, The Hummingbird Classic, The City Championship, The City Senior Championship and the S.V & Coronado Cups. Tournament prep has begun and the work that has been started in March and April will set us up well going forward. 

Bunker work:  edging, string trimming, fixing sand washboards and pushing sand the week before the SV OPEN. We will continue to work on bunkers over the next few months.


Our gran jefe Bill Nauroth getting speed readings with the stimpmeter the day before the SV OPEN
Part of our tourney prep is understanding the moisture in our greens and what we need going forward.
Donnie "Burning" in some rough lines


The GMS team worked really hard getting us ready.....


              This picture taken by Bill Nauroth

Monday, March 25, 2019

Aerification of Greens, Fairways and Tees

We kicked off the first full week of March with everybody's favorite - core aerification of greens. Although core aerification upsets many golfers by temporarily diminishing putting surface quality, the much needed disruption results in a season long gain for healthy turf. Aeration helps reduce levels of thatch and organic matter, relieves soil compaction, increases soil oxygen and stimulates healthy turf growth. We used a 5/8" x 6.5" long side eject tine at a 4" depth and a 1.5" x 1.5" spacing grid. We used the Toro pro sweeper to vacuum up the plugs and used backpack blowers to clean off any left over debris. We then top-dressed the greens with USGA sand (90 tons) and brushed to evenly fill holes to surface. We rolled the greens(two directions) the rest of the week to help smooth surface irregularities and to help push sand down into the holes(along with irrigation). On Friday, after completing the aerification process on greens, we applied our final turf amendments- gypsum and fertilizer. We use gypsum to aid in improving soil structure by opening up pore space and increasing air movement(relieves soil compaction) and the fertilizer will help speed up the recovery and growth of the turf.

After finishing up the greens portion of aerification, the next two weeks we jumped right into punching the fairways, tees and surrounds. With the weather turning quite a bit colder and with rain and a heavy wind advisory in the forecast we decided to go to solid tines for the fairways and surrounds and to pull cores on the tees. On fairways and surrounds we used a 1" x 10.5"(L) solid tine at a depth of 4.5" - 5.5". On tees we pulled cores with a 5/8" x 6.5"(L) tine and a 2" x 2" spacing grid. We then seeded, sanded and brushed to level and fertilized.

We also decided to continue our verticutting program on tees and approaches. The verticutting thins out turf and helps reduce thatch and promotes lateral and vertical turf growth.  


                             Toro Pro Core #1 green

                           Toro Pro Core #1 green

                            Toro Sweeper #1 green

                             Toro Sweeper

                            Brushing in sand

             A much needed cool drink of water!  

  #3 green First mow @ .125 ( 8 days post aerification) 

 #3 green First mow @ .125 ( 8 days post aerification) 

#12 green First mow @ .125 (8 days post aerification)

#15 green First mow @ .125 (8 days post aerification)

#12 green @ .120  (12 days post aerification)

Light topdress and brush (42 days post aerification)


    Super cold and ominous start to fairway aerification

  Triumphant arch, that fill'st the sky when storms prepare to part!  -Thomas Campbell

Second week punching fairways saw much improved weather!


Verticutting #16 Tees (2 Directions) 

                   Tees: aerified & verticut 

Tees: seeded, topdressed, brushed and fertilized

Verticutting #6 approach(2 Directions)
 #6 approach: aerified, verticut(2 directions) and blown