Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show." - Andrew Wyeth

Winter at Pueblo del Sol

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. 

Clay McKinley
PDSCC Golf Course Superintendent

Monday, November 6, 2017

GMS at Pueblo del Sol Welcomes New Superintendent Clayton McKinley

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 !

Light frequent sand topdressing

Here at PDS we will be adding a light frequent topdressing program into our maintenance schedule. This will be coupled with a light groom/verticut to create channels for the sand to move into the canopy of the turf and off the surface to replace the organic matter that was removed after the verticut. Dragging the sand in after a topdress will also be used to get the sand down. Another benefit to grooming and dragging is to get the leaf blade standing more upright for a cleaner cut which in turn will create a smoother, truer putting surfaced and increased speeds. Another important cultural practice we will employ will be to needle tine the greens to help with compaction, drainage and to create air and oxygen exchange pockets for overall soil health. We will try to stick to a 14-28 day light topdressing throughout the growing season and during the hotter months we may go to a very light dusting that will just require a watering cycle to work it down to minimize any extra traffic and wear and tear on the greens when they are already stressed from the heat. Not topdressing enough will create layers in the soil profile that you can actually see and that is the worst thing you can do. This type of program will result in smooth, firm and uniform putting surface resulting in increased ball roll distance. Outlined below are some more benefits to light frequent topdressing:

·               Thatch management: Like I have mentioned above, the sand is used to dilute and replace the organic matter that builds up at surface, without verticutting and topdressing the green will be come soft and spongy and encourage mower scalping and localized dry spot.
·               Smooth and firm the surface: Sand is used to replace the voids which exits in the turf canopy to produce a firm and smooth putting surface. This encourages an upright growth habit as well.
·               Protect the crown of the plant: The sand gives the crown of the plant a cushion from the impact of the ball and protects it from the elements to maintain turf health and quality. Also allows us to maintain a lower mowing height.
·               Improve root zone and drainage: Overtime the buildup from sand topdressing will improve soil physical properties. Since sand drains better than a native soil it will help keep the water moving through the profile creating a firmer surface. Sand also resists compaction as well, which is very important with all the traffic that a putting green receives.

All of these benefits combined will make for a much healthier turf stand as well as a quality putting surface and a much better golfing experience. 

Clayton McKinley
PDS Golf Course Superintendent

Friday, October 13, 2017

"Happily we bask in this warm September sun, Which illuminates all creatures..." - Henry David Thoreau


We started the first two weeks in September with solid tine aerification of Fairways with the Wiedenmann Terra Spike. We used a 1"(diameter) X 9"(long) tine and depending on the fairway, we went between 4"- 6" deep. 

Aerifying #13 fwy
Aerifying #1 fwy

During the two weeks of fairway aerification we also began punching tees. We used the Toro Pro-core with 1/2" (diameter) tines and went at a depth of 3 ".  After clean up we sanded and seeded as needed.

Aerifying Tees 
Picking up plugs on Tees
 aerified  tee after clean up

After finishing the fairways and tees we jumped right into aerifying greens. We used  1/2"(diameter)carbide tip tines at a depth of 3 1/2". After picking up plugs by hand and a final clean up with a blower we top dressed the greens with USGA sand, using almost 80 tons for all 18 plus the practice greens. We then started brushing and rolling the greens for the next 7 days. Finally the first mow @ .120 , 8 days post aerification. We would like to thank our GMS crew for a job well done !

                    Getting an early start on the greens                                     

                      Toro pro-core 
                    Top-dressing greens 
               Brushing greens...... Filling holes
                Ready for fertilizer and a drink
Double rolled and Brushed- 2 days post aerification
Double rolled and Brushed- 2 days post aerification    
First mow #7 green @ .120"- 8 days post aerification 
First mow #10 green @ .120"  8 days post aerification
 First mow #5 green @ .110  21 days post aerification

Monday, July 17, 2017

At last the monsoon season has arrived........

The monsoon season is always a great time for us to get out with the Wiedenman Terra Spike aerifier and work some of our localized dry spots(LDS) in our fairways.

                 #2 fairway

 LDS are defined as irregular areas of turfgrass that start to show signs of drought stress for no apparent reason. Typically, for us, the problem lies in compacted, hydrophobic soil in the heat of the summer as being the main reason.Though we have had irrigation issues, thatch, disease and soil salinity as contributing factors in the past. 

            Aerified LDS spots 2 directions  #2Fairway

We will continue to work these LDS areas with the Wiedenmann terra spike to increase oxygen levels in the root zone and allow better water penetration.

We will also continue to spot spray these areas with a wetting agents(a surfactant that bonds with water and the organic coating on sand particles, allowing the soil to become wet) and continue our preventative disease spray program throughout the rest of summer. When the temps start to lower towards the end of summer we will re-visit the areas that we lost turf in and core aerify, seed and topdress. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

SIerra Vista Open 2017

The 33rd annual Sierra Vista Open @ Pueblo del Sol Country Club

First off we would like to thank the Huachucans for another great job at hosting the Sierra Vista Open this past weekend here at Pueblo del Sol. We would also like to thank the Sponsors, those who attended the charity dinner and all the participants in the tournament that help the Huachucans continue their efforts to help and support local youth organizations here in Cochise County. A special thanks to Pueblo del Sol's general manager Jeff Sims and his staff for their support and assistance. We also wanted to recognize the GMS crew for all the hard work put into the course so far this year, another awesome job getting the course in tournament condition. Thanks to our supreme leader Bill Nauroth  for taking time out of his busy schedule and coming down to help out during the week. And finally Congrats to the winner of the SV Open and current member of the U of A golf team- Briggs Duce .....Bear Down! 

A few pics from the weekend......

Saturday, May 13, 2017

"Among the changing months, May stands confest The sweetest, and in fairest colors dressed." - James Thomson, On May

New Tee Markers

If you haven't noticed yet we removed the old rock tee markers last week that have been around for 7+ years and went with a clean, easy to paint marker.......with an added touch to the ladies red tees.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spring Aerification of Fairways,Tees and Greens

Another successful Spring aerification of Fairways, Tees and Greens is in the books

We started the process back on March 6th with the core aerification of Fairways. We pulled a 1"(diameter) x 5"(depth) core, broke up the cores with drag mats, and blew off the remaining debris. During this time we also completed the Tees with the same process except we pulled a 4"(depth) core and seeded and top-dressed the par 3's and brushed to level. After a few days and the second cleanup from a blower,  the Fairways and Tees were ready to be mowed to finish the cleanup process. All Fairways and Tees were ready for play March 17th. With no rest for the weary we jumped right into aerifying greens on March 20th. We pulled a 5/8"(diameter) x 3" (depth) core @ 1.5" spacing on the greens. With the awesome work done by our crew, some amazing weather during this period, and some added soil nutrients- the healing and recovery time of the turf has been significantly increased and we are very happy where we are at after 3 weeks on Fairways and Tee's and one week after Greens.

Completion of the greens was March 23 and the entire course was open for play March 24th.

A condensed look at this long process through photos.........

Pulling cores with the Wiedenmann Terra Spike

Cores drying for easier breakup during dragging

Breaking up cores with drag mat

Blowing off debris

 #4 Fairway after a drag and blow

#10 Tee aerified

#4 tee after clean up

Aerifying greens with the Toro ProCore
#1 green

Greens: 5/8"(diameter) tine x 3" (depth) @ 1.5" spacing

Picking up plugs by hand

Blowing off remaining debris

Topdressing greens

Filling holes with the greens-groomer brush

 One day after aerifying....second brushing

Ready for play...3 days after aerification. Rolled and brushed

First Mow @ .120  (April 3rd)  .... 13 days post aerification

First drop in mowing height to .100  ....  30 days post aerification