Congrats!

Today we say our goodbyes to a long employed full-time member of our team. Gaudencio Rodriguez, better known as “Lencho,” is retiring from day-to-day employment. He will be back in mid-April to help our team this golf season.

Lencho has spent most of his career working on golf courses and has been an asset to our department for the last 10 years. We will all miss seeing his smile and all his wise-crack axioms that made us laugh day-in and day-out!

Native Rough Update & Happy Thanksgiving!

After three sequential applications of Round-Up, approximately 14 days apart, our staff completed the first phase of the native rough renovation. Above, Lead Assistant Superintendent, Charlie Lonergan seeded all 23 acres of native to hard fine fescue.

After seeding, we dragged the area to blend the seed into the ground and dead turf, followed by a heavy roll, pictured above and operated by Jesus Apointe. With help from Mother Nature, we should begin to see germination of the seed in late January. 

As part of the native rough renovation, we eliminated the Championship Teeing Ground on number 6 and used the turf to expand the middle and back tees near the Halfway House. The orange line above delineates the new teeing area.

Our staff added a sand/ soil mixture to the base and harvested sod from the Championship Tee. Below is the finished teeing ground. 

With the holiday upon, our staff wishes you and your families a happy Thanksgiving!

(left to right) 
Jesus, Christian, Evan, Alfredo, Gerry, Hector, Ray, Alberto, Charlie, Lencho and Miguel.

Please Be Aware: Native Roughs

Today we begin our application of non-selective herbicides (Round-Up) in the native roughs. We will apply this chemical to kill the un-wanted turf cover and seed fine fescue in a few weeks. 

We are asking for everyone to remain out of the native rough where the herbicide has been sprayed. Our staff will post signs like above and below.

This material will adhere to golf shoes and tires from golf carts. If this were to happen, we could see this:

Or this:

(notice the foot prints across the tee)

 

We thank you for your cooperation!

Te Veo Pronto!

We once again are saying farewell to one of our valuable team members. Dave Ward joined the staff this past February for his internship as part of Rutgers University’s turfgrass management program. 

Dave brought a great sense of humor with him, as well as, a wealth of experience as an arborist. He flourished within our our team dynamic as he progressed through his first season in golf course maintenance. This past May, as part of our internship program, Dave volunteered on the grounds staff for the Senior PGA Championship. 

Dave has indicated he would like to come back the team in 2018, and even though he is a Dallas Cowboys fan, we hope he decides to start his management career with us next golf season.

Au Revoir!

This year our golf maintenance program was fortunate to have two students on staff. This past week, A.J. Josefoski headed back to Penn State for his final year in the Golf Course Turfgrass Management Program.

There were many beneficial aspects to his internship, but one opportunity A.J. had was volunteering on the grounds staff for the U.S. Women’s Open in July. This week, he and all the second year students at Penn State are volunteering for the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club.
A.J. was an incredible asset to our team and he is already missed! A.J. has indicated he would like to return to work for the Club upon graduation and we certainly hope he will make the choice to return to the Brandywine Valley.

We wish A.J. well and Godspeed! 

Native Rough: Phase 1

This afternoon we began mowing the native rough fields on the course. While this is the normal time of year we harvest the hay and begin our fall preparations for the next golf season, some areas of the native will be renovated.At the July Green Committee Meeting, plans were approved to renovate the upper-side of the golf course. This will consist of mowing the meadows, applying a non-selective herbicide (Round-Up) and then seeding with hard fine fescue. The outcome we can expect is that of the native rough on the left-side of the fifth hole, picture below. Our goal in regards to the native rough meadows is for the golfer to find their ball and advance it to the hole.

Holes to be renovated this fall will include:
Right of 3 tees and to the rear of 4 green
Left side of 3, 6 and 7
Small buffer on right of 7
Left and right of 12
Left of 13
Left and right of 14
Right of 15 between 5 tees

 

EZ Pins, A Division of EZ Locator

Over the last several weeks, the Grounds Department has been using a pilot program for hole locations on the greens. The intent of this software system is to use all available cupping areas to limit wear and tear of the putting surfaces.

With every new launch, there are some growing pains, in this case, you may have experienced some interesting hole locations. The system has been a learning curve for all involved and we are pleased to announce this system is available for use to the entire membership via the mobile app.

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The are many benefits beyond the agronomic reasons in utilizing this software system. The Club will save money in regards to labor and resources for golf events and day to-day operations:

The Golf Shop

  1. Staff members need not to print numerous copies of hole location sheets and place them in carts prior to an event, saving labor and paper!

The Grounds Department

  1. Staff members have been more efficient on the course using this system. We are able to cut hole locations in a timely fashion re-allocating 2.5 man hours each day!
  2. Less wear and tear to the putting surfaces will decrease inputs such as fertilizer and chemical applications and have the ability to re-allocate the labor that is needed to apply these inputs!

Each day you can access the app on your smartphone and have the hole locations at your finger tips. To add the app to your phone, go to the App Store or Google Play and look for EZ LOCATOR.

Some of the area Clubs utilizing this system (EZ Pins) or the parent company system, EZ Locator, are Gulph Mills Golf Club, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, Saucon Valley Country Club, Overbrook Golf Club, Llanerch Country Club, Aronimink Golf Club, St. Davids Golf Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club.

Sunscreen & Bug Spray

 

It is important to note, although it is beneficial for us to protect ourselves repeatedly from the sun and insects during the golf round, the chemicals found in these protection materials will damage turf, as seen in the picture below.

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This picture is from the Chip Fairway. The arrows are pointing towards where one was standing and applying either sunscreen or bug spray.

Please apply these protectants to your body on a hard surface or away from the greens, tees and fairways.

Maintenance Monday – Topdress Tuesday

With the great weather pattern we have been experiencing in the mid-Atlantic, our staff has been positively affecting the playing surfaces through various cultural practices.

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After the participants headed out for the shotgun of the Philadelphia PGA’s Connelly Cup, we aggressively groomed the teeing surface of the Latitude 36 Bermuda practice tee. Above is Ben Gotwalt, First Assistant Superintendent, with the Graden. For more information on the Graden, please click  here for http://www.gradenusa.com/.

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The material seen above is the organic amt layer associated with Bermuda grass. It is imperative to groom this warm season grass often as its aggressive growth habit will lead to soft ground conditions.

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After the event, we got a jump start to our maintenance plan for the week utilizing the Planet Air aerifier on the greens. Above is intern AJ Josefoski on #13 green.

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The Planet Air helps with gas exchange and is another form of aerification with minimal disturbance to the putting surface. More information on this machine can be found by clicking HERE.

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This morning, Second Assistant Charlie Lonergan vertically mowed the greens (or verti-cut) using a triplex to remove the underlying organic material, seen in the picture below.

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The triplex removed three cart loads of organic material composing of grass, thatch and minimal amount of sand. This was our fourth verti-cut of the season and each time the amount we remove has reduced, indicating positive results for our putting surfaces.

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The above picture displays the slicing that is made by the triplex verti-cut mower. Since it is a ride-on unit, there are some areas of the greens that can be mowed, mainly the perimeter passes along the green’s edge. We verti-cut these areas by hand, depicted in the picture below by Hector Bonilla.

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After each vertical mowing of the greens, we follow with a light topdressing of sand.

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The sand is incorporated into the putting surface using a mat consisting of cocoa fibers.

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After the sand is brushed into the playing surface, we applied potash and gypsum according to our soil reports on all the greens. Below on the 10th green is Intern, Dave Ward, on the left and Assistant Superintendent Trainee, Nick Keeley.

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Vertical mowing is different from our conventional mowing practices due to the machinery involved in the operation. Below is a picture of a conventional cylindrical reel mower we use on our greens.

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The picture below is the same machine, however, the reel has been replaced with vertical blades. By verti-cutting, we remove material, that if left undisturbed, would lend itself to slow, soft greens. In a few days, the greens will heal on their own and perform well during the next round of hot weather slated to hit our region by the end of the work week.

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Master Plan: #15 Cart Path

With very wet conditions for this year’s Dick Wilson Derby Day Tournament, more cart path work was needed on the 15th hole.

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The only area available for cart traffic was on the left-side of the green complex. This area is also where all surface drainage exits the approach to the green. After just 36 carts traveling through this area for the event, we could already see problems for the remainder of the golf season. Something needed to be done.

Picture3The Master Plan of 2016 called for a cart path through the hillside to the right of the green and below the Golf Cottage. The plan also called for the path to be hidden from the fairway.

Andrew Green Rendering #15Our Master Plan Architect, Andrew Green, sent us a depiction of the path seen above with the red line.

IMG_3466With some help from friends, we used a mini-excavator to find level ground for the new path.

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We created a sizable berm on the left-side of the path to help capture surface run-off from the hillside and not allowing the water to reach the green surround.

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Due to the slope, some interesting tactics were used for the installation of fine fescue sod. The turf will grow into native rough and will aid in hiding the path from the fairway.

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The above picture shows some golfers utilizing the new path. We now have options to help disperse vehicular traffic.

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Second Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, Charlie Lonergan was charged with this project and accomplished our objectives – to hide the path from play and capture water run-off before reaching the green complex. Well done Charlie!