Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Frost Delays

Since we have a frost delay today, I thought I would post some information on frost and frost delays.  No one likes frost delays - maintenance workers especially - but they are necessary for the health of the course.  Golf course employees ask for your understanding during frost delays.  We don't like them either.

Here are some key points from the Golf Course Superintendent Association:
• Frost is basically frozen dew that has crystallized on the grass, making it hard and brittle. A grass blade is actually 90 percent water, therefore it also freezes.

• Walking on frost-covered greens causes the plant to break and cell walls to rupture, thereby losing its ability to function normally.

• When damaged, the putting surface weakens and becomes more susceptible to disease and weeds.

• One foursome can leave several hundred footprints on each green, causing extensive damage.

• A short delay while the frost melts can preserve the quality of the greens and prevent needless repairs.
You can find a more detailed article on frost formation and effects in this article - "The Big Chill"

The following is a video from the USGA:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Flowering Trees

Many of the Crabapple trees are flowering right now.  Some cultivars are about to open next week.  In this picture you can see a nice old white crabapple with two Saucer Magnolias in the foreground:

Another tree currently blooming is the Redbud (Cercis canadensis).  Here is one blooming nicely behind the 1st tee:

A week ago, the Callery Pears (a.k.a. Bradford Pears) were beautiful.  They have since dropped most of their petals with some help from the rain.  This picture is from April 16th:

7th Fairway - Update

Previous posts on this topic:
Good Winter or Bad Winter for Turf?
A Long, Difficult Winter for Turf
7th Fairway Project

Update - 4/25/2010
The seed planted 3 weeks ago has germinated and started to grow.  In this picture you can see the seed that is filling in the damaged areas:

The maintenance crew also sodded some areas that we know from experience will take a long time to fill in with seed alone.  This should speed up the grow-in time.

You can see some of the sodded areas in this picture:

Most of the areas injured over the winter have filled in or are greatly improved.  These few stubborn spots needed some sod.  With a little more sun and heat, the rest of the seeded areas should fill in quickly.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New Yardage Markers

Last week, the maintenance crew installed new yardage markers on the course.  The five par 4's are marked down the middle of the fairway every 25 yards from 200 yards out to 75 yards out.  We measured the center of the green back to front and left to right.  Remember that the markers go to the center of the green, not necessarily the pin location.  For pin locations, a red flag means the hole is in the front third of the green, a white flag indicates the middle third, and a blue flag means back third. 

One of our new pop-up yardage markers:

Yardage marker on the 6th hole:

We hope having more visible yardage markers every 25 yards instead of every 50 yards will make it easier to find your distance to the green and lead to more enjoyable rounds at Sugar Creek.

Monday, April 12, 2010

3rd Hole - April 9, 2010

The turf really greened up last week and the willows are flowering. An abundance of catkins (flowers) and growing stems gives them a yellow color this time of year.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

An Interesting Duck

Last week we saw a duck that looks different than any other duck we've seen at Sugar Creek.  After a little research, I think it is a hybrid between a Mallard and a Muscovy duck (that would be Anas platyryhnchos x Cairina moschata).  If there are any duck experts out there, please let me know if I'm on the right track.  Whatever it is, it's an interesting looking duck with nice green and blue colors in its wings.

Check out the pictures below.  You can click on the picture for a larger image.

In this one, you can see that it is much bigger than most Mallard ducks:

If anyone has any information on this duck, please let me know.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

First Flowers of the Year

A Crocus blooming on March 30:

This Corneliancherry Dogwood (Cornus mas) is about to be in full bloom:

The Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) are beginning to bloom near the clubhouse:

Soon dozens of species will be in bloom around the clubhouse and golf course.  Our reward for making it through another long winter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

7th Fairway Project

A few weeks ago, I wrote about some of the turf problems golf courses have been experiencing this spring under "A Long, Difficult Winter for Turf."  Our 7th fairway experienced some crown hydration damage in the late winter.  The maintenance crew has taken many steps to regrow these areas with less sensitive grass species.  Read on to learn more....
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