Update from Golf Course Superintendent Alex Kugelberg - October 27, 2016
Willow Creek Golf Club
Grounds Maintenance Update
October 27, 2016
Willow Creek Members,
What a busy summer and early fall at Willow Creek Golf Club. Great progress has been made on course conditions and flood recovery projects since June. I’m writing this to provide a brief synopsis of course conditions and expectations through the winter and also update about special projects we are completing at Willow Creek or will soon be completed.
The Greens are in very healthy shape going into the winter. With the completion last weekend of the Men’s Fall Member/Member, we will begin to gradually raise the mowing heights of the greens from the current height of .110” to somewhere in the range of .150”-.175”, depending upon ball roll and speed. Once the greens stop their current growth, as the temperatures begin to fall, the greens will naturally hold speed. At that point we will begin a technique of alternating rolling and mowing the greens.
All tees on the course, with the exception of the Zoysia tee boxes were overseeded once on October 10th and 11th with a perennial ryegrass blend. Beginning tomorrow, we will overseed once more on the tees to promote more germination with the end result of having a lush, thick and healthy turf stand through the winter months.
The fairways are our most accomplished project this season. With the completion of the drain work throughout the course, post-flood events, they have really shined! All sod has been laid in place and I believe the fairways through the winter will perform outstanding and superior to prior years. One project that is underway is a course-wide tree pruning effort. The idea behind this is to raise the canopies of many low lying branches to capture more sunlight during the winter and going forward. This will enable the turf in shaded areas to receive the much-needed sunlight for biological processes and also help dry areas that would otherwise remain saturated. We have already begun a rotation of CART PATH ONLY THIS HOLE on fairways that have struggled in the past. We ask that everyone to abide by these rules, as it will help maintain healthy turf through the winter and promote a stronger turf stand in the springtime.
Pre-Emergent Weed Control Application
We have completed our first preventative herbicide application to the course on all fairways, roughs and tee/green surrounds. A second application to the same areas will begin on Oct 31st and continue through the first week of November. This application will prevent the weed, Poa Annua (annual bluegrass) from germination on any areas the chemical was applied. As a whole, the course will be very clean this winter. There are a few areas, 18 fairway and 4 green surround, that have a weed present that is baffling me and evading my attempts to kill it. We have applied 4 different herbicides to these areas with no effective results. We will continue to apply herbicides until the desirable outcome prevails.
#18 Concrete Bag Wall and #11 Overflow Drain
This week at the club, the contractors will complete a new concrete bag wall behind #18 tee. This will prevent any further erosion or overall loss of a tee box into the pond directly behind. The bags will be placed and over time the actual bag will dissipate to form a beautiful bag wall, similar to the one previous. After this project is competed, the team will head to #11 and repair the breach in the overflow drain to the pond in front of the green.
#17 Green – Retaining Wall
On Friday, October 28th, we will begin the rebuild of the retaining wall in front of #17 green. Our first task will be draining down the lake to an appropriate water level that we can begin the work. We will be using a pump to drain the lake down. The plan is to have the discharge hose in between the panels of cart path and sunken as to not limit accessibility to holes #14-17. After the lake is drained down, the following Monday, October 31st, we will begin work on the removing the existing wall, regrading the sub-surface, replacing the wall and finally laying sod to complete the project.
Beginning on Tuesday, November 1, a TEMPORARY GREEN will be in place, similar in fashion to what was done during the 2015 Greens Renovation. Time of completion of this project is 10-14 days.
I’d like to thank all the membership at Willow Creek for their continued support of Willow Creek Golf Club. 2016 has definitely been a rough year for the golf course, however with the continued support and patience from the membership the golf course is looking better and better everyday as well as improving greatly on a capital level.
Golf Course Superintendent