Throughout the season, the goal is to keep the sand in the bunkers as player friendly as possible. One of the biggest challenges to this is moisture management of the sand. With the wet spring this year, turfgrass rooting is not as deep as is typically seen. This has meant a need for more frequent watering to keep the turf alive through the drier stretches of July and August. Unfortunately, the sand has been wet on a more consistent basis as a result.
We have a few techniques we utilize to try and soften the sand up for playability on a frequent basis. The biggest help is using hard steel toothed rakes to aggressively rake and turn the sand over. This softens up the sand, allows for more oxygen to help promote drying out and is completed weekly with frequency increased more than usual this season.
We have also been utilizing a push rake technique more often this year, which has the teeth of the bunker rakes creating a similar situation to the steel rakes while simultaneously raking the bunkers for play.
As cooler weather arrives there is less need for water to be applied, leading to more favourable playing conditions through the fall.
With cooler weather, nighttime lows especially, having arrived during the last few weeks we have begun to see a return of earthworm castings. These beneficial worms cause a lot of grief in the spring and fall to golf balls, shoes and mower blades on fairways particularly.
We will be utilizing a few cultural practices over the next few weeks to continue to try and mitigate their effects on the enjoyment of the golf course. Although this will help to reduce the level of severity and impact they have on play, it will be an ongoing effort to reduce their effect on course enjoyment.
6 Tee Slope Work
As Jason outlined in his blog last week the work for the slope in front of 6 tee is scheduled to begin Thursday. This work should only last for approximately 7 days with the tees being moved down to the 6th fairway for safety. Signs will be in place notifying golfers of the adjusted changes and where to proceed to begin the hole.
Between the 12th and 14th green we have a plot of greens and tee/fairway height turf which we use for repair work on the course. Over time this area has become thatch, uneven and has a less than desirable appearance.
Later this week the nursery will be tilled, graded, rolled and seeded to develop proper germination and turf conditions for next season if any use is required.
This renovation project will make any use of the nursery onto the golf course less noticeable aesthetically and playability-wise as well.