Thursday, November 29, 2018

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

First snow of the season on November 8th
Missouri weather, ever changing and unpredictable! Saturday November 24th we were mowing greens and reached 67 degrees here at the course. The next day brought a blizzard with 5 inches of snow and temperatures in the 20's. This November was the coldest on record for Kansas City. We have seen 7+ inches of snow already which is more than the total from each of the last three years. It is looking like we might need to strap in and prepare for a rough winter. There will surely be a few warmer days mixed in to get out and enjoy the golf course but for the time being stay warm and GO CHIEFS!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

'Tis the Season of... Frost Delays

A number of factors lead to the formation of frost but if the temperature drops below 34 degrees you can almost bet on there being frost on the golf course. Frost delays can be an inconvenience to both golfers and the maintenance crew. Frost is the formation of ice crystals on the outside and the inside of the plant. These crystals make the plant weaker and more susceptible to damage from cart and foot traffic. It is important to stay off any frost covered turf as the damage can take months to heal itself.

What makes frost tricky to work around is that the entire course does not thaw out at the same time. While the first hole might be frost free other holes will still have some. Frost will stick around in low lying and shaded areas much longer than in areas of full sun. So if you do not see frost and are wondering why the course is still not open, the crew is most likely waiting on these areas to thaw out to be prepared for play.

Along with frost, fall also means an abundance of leaves are being shed by the trees. We are working around the clock to keep the course as clean and leaf free as possible. We hope everyone enjoys their cool season golf here at Adams Pointe and would also like to thank you for your patience and your help protecting the course from damage during frost delays.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Autumn at Adams Pointe

The fall season is officially upon us. This is an important time of year for our cool season turf to heal, hopefully thrive, and begin storing food for the winter. We are currently overseeding around 1,250 pounds of fescue seed into the rough. First, focusing on the areas around bunkers that were sodded over the winter. After all of the bunker edges are seeded we will overseed other thinning areas throughout the rough. We have already overseeded 450 pounds of bentgrass seed into thinning areas of the fairways. Bentgrass is also seeded into areas of our fairways that are predominantly bermuda grass. This is a practice we apply every fall in an effort to introduce new bentgrass as the warm season bermuda grass begins to go dormant.

With roughly 1,700 pounds of seed throughout the golf course it is important to keep moisture in these newly seeded areas. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to isolate our irrigation system to just water the seeded areas. As a result, some areas that do not necessarily need the water have to get wet and may become soggy.  Typically these are low areas in fairways that have a tendency to hold water.  We ask that these areas are avoided with cart traffic. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Bentgrass seed germinating in thinning area of fairway

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Aerification Time

Fall aerification might be the most important cultural practice we implement all year. The process may be an inconvenience for golfers leaving the greens slow and bumpy for a short period of time but it is very important from a maintenance standpoint. The aerification process relieves compaction, breaks up the thatch layer and promotes the exchange of gasses and moisture in the root zone.

Greens aerification is a long process that requires the course to close for a day as the greens are unplayable.

First, cores are pulled out of the green with hollow tines.

Cores are then harvested with a sweeper. Any cores left behind are blown out into the rough.

Greens are then top dressed with sand.

After top dressing, fertilizer can be applied and then the green is dragged with a mat to work the sand into the soil profile. The sand creates more pore space for water and oxygen allowing roots to grow deeper. A roller is then used to smooth out any bumps or ruts.

Lastly, irrigation is ran on the greens and the healing process begins.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Heat is on

Another summer month has passed us by and the heat is still on. July is always a hot month in which cool season grasses are under a lot of stress. This year is different because of an unseasonably hot June causing turf health to decline earlier than usual. Temperatures this July have averaged over 90 degrees with the heat index well over 100 degrees. Rainfall has continued to be scarce as well falling further behind for the year keeping us in a severe drought. 

Turf will undergo different types of stresses throughout the year. Mechanical stresses from our cultural practices such as mowing and aerification, disease pressure and environmental stresses such as heat, humidity, drought and even too much rain which hasn't been the case this year.  These are just a few of the battles the maintenance staff will fight off any given year.

We do our best to provide golfers with a healthy and consistent playing surface. During the hot summer months we try to do as much as we can to reduce the amount of stress that our turf has to endure. One of these practices is to switch to a walk mower on some of our weaker greens. These greens might be weaker than others because of different micro-climates throughout the golf course. A micro-climate could be an area that receives more sunlight, like a south facing hill, or an area that does not receive as much air movement or sun because it is surrounded by trees. The walk behind greens mower is set at a slightly higher mowing height to allow for more leaf tissue for better photosynthesis and reduced stress. Another change that is implemented during the summer is restricting carts to path only on certain holes. This is done again to help alleviate the added stress the turf is facing from cart traffic that can damage turf that is dehydrated.  Hole #6 is one of our weaker growing holes. This hole is completely surrounded by trees and receives very little air movement. Thus, it stays very hot during the summer with no help from mother nature to cool it down. The soil characteristics of  #6 are very similar to most holes out here consisting of very heavy clay which makes managing consistent moisture levels very difficult.  The different environmental stresses that each hole is faced with creates the need to manage and utilize different tactics to help get through the summer months.  We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to an early fall this year.  

Cart damage on #6 from previous years

Friday, June 29, 2018

Dog Days of June.....

As June has come and gone, it is apparent that there will be no rebounding back to spring that we missed, unfortunately.  Half of the days this month have been above 90 degrees with heat indexes well over 100 nearing 115 here at the end of the month.  Not ideal for cool season grasses that in general optimum temperatures are from 60-75 degrees.  Besides the elevated temperatures, rainfall has been scarce for the most part falling about 3" short of average for the month.  Below are a set of pictures that reveal surface temperatures of a couple of greens and a fairway taken with an infrared thermometer about 2' from the ground.  A couple of observations besides the fact that these temperatures are way too hot for cool season grass, is the changes before and after water applied and its residual temperature swings. Water was needed but a very temporary cooling affect was provided.  In addition to some extreme surface temperatures, soil temps are rising quickly as well measuring around 96 degrees about 2" deep in the early afternoon.  Needless to say, a very long summer awaits the course and hopefully an early arrival to fall is in the near future.   

17 green

17 green after applied water

17 green, 15 minutes after being watered

8 green at 2:00 pm

9 fairway at 2:00 pm

8 green soil temperature 2" deep 2:00 pm

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What happened to Spring???

  April 9th after 2" snow and day time high 36

       May 30th after 1.4" rain and day time high 94

Somehow we completely skipped a season this year going straight from winter into summer.  April was the second coldest month on record with more snow falling this month then the entire winter. May will be the second warmest month on record with a record breaking stretch of 90's for highs.  Memorial weekend felt more like the end of July.  Not just here, but weather has created havoc across the country in several ways and this trend doesn't seem to be changing.  Doesn't do much good to complain about it either as Mother Nature will ultimately control our world.  Good luck to all the grass growers out there this year and to anyone else that is affected daily on the unpredictable nature of our wonderful weather.