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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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!

Master Plan: Cart Path #6

Our staff recently installed a small cart path near the 6th green. This was all in accordance with the Master Plan of 2016.


Each year, the turf on the right-side of the green complex would become thin due to cart traffic from golfers and maintenance vehicles.


The Green Committee approved this new path and we had Dave Ward, Student Intern (pictured below), head-up the project with a few staff personnel.


Some hand work was required at each end of the path for the red stone.


The staff that helped Dave complete this task were, left to right: Jesus Aponte, Alfredo Pagan and Alberto Duran. All of these gentlemen are in the second season with the Club.


When playing the 6th hole and utilizing the new path, please continue through to the end and park your golf cart at the rear of the green complex to enter the putting surface.