Thursday, July 30, 2020

Identifying Summer Weeds

The big three summertime weeds
Identifying problems such as pests, diseases and weeds is a crucial element of daily golf course maintenance. Let's focus on a few of the major warm season weeds today. Yes, we have them. Personally, these imperfections are sometimes all I can see while driving the course. A weed is defined as a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth.

Yellow Nutsedge 
Yellow nutsedge resembles a grass plant but is technically in the sedge family. It can be identified by its yellowish green color and triangular shaped stem. It is a very aggressive grower. That plant that is twice as tall as your turf and already needs trimmed again just a couple days after mowing, that's probably nutsedge.  It will grow just about anywhere but thrives in excessive moisture. Nutsedge is a perennial that spreads by underground rhizomes and nutlets. Hand pulling this weed is usually not productive as more plants will form out of these nutlets in the ground. A very selective herbicide that targets sedges is the best plan of attack to control these little monsters.

Crabgrass and goosegrass are somewhat similar plants that can be easily confused with one another. Both are grassy annual warm season weeds. Both tend to grow in less than ideal often compacted soils and areas void of healthy turf. Crabgrass normally shows up earlier in the season when soil temperatures reach 55-60 degrees. Soil temps need to reach 60-65 degrees for goosegrass seeds to germinate. The easiest way to distinguish the two is by looking strait down at the center of the plant. Goosegrass has a circular white center with the stems resembling the spokes of a wheel. Goosegrass also has a darker green and thinner grass blade and tends to grow more horizontally. Conversely, the grass blades of crabgrass are wider that tends to grow taller. A thick and healthy stand of grass is the best defense against any weed, but a well timed pre-emergent herbicide can help prevent crab and goosegrass populations. Effective post emergent selective herbicides are available for crabgrass but there are not many options for goosegrass. 


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Summertime Fun

Things can change quite quickly so don't blink, you just might miss something. Last month we had nearly a foot of rain, a week later the soil was rock hard again and the greens were showing signs of summer heat stress. We have aerified the greens, as well as the fairways,  for better water infiltration and to allow the soil to breathe.  "Venting" as it is sometimes referred to will be done a handful of times throughout the summer months.
Solid needle tine aerification

Friday, May 29, 2020

Streamlining Maintenance Operations

Over the past few years the maintenance staff has been working to streamline our maintenance operations. This means focusing most of our efforts on areas of the course that directly affect play. Not in any particular order but greens, fairways, tees, rough and bunkers are the main focus. This includes mowing, fertilization, chemical applications, and maintaining functioning irrigation and drainage among other things. Areas outside of what we consider to directly affect play are not ignored completely but put on the back burner until we can find time to get to them. Every now and then, depending on the weather, it is all we can do to keep up with mowing. Due to the uncertain economical times currently, this year is shaping up to be the epitome of this practice. That being said, we have found time for a few "side projects".

The hillside on the north side of the parking lot has been cultivated and seeded with a mixture of native grasses 

Tandem Paving has finished the cart path around the practice area and No.1 tee boxes

We are working on expanding the white tee on No.6. Roughly 1000 sq. ft. will be added to the tee when this project is completed 

A drain was also added along the edge of the tee box in an effort to reduce excess water on the tee box


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Spring Course Update

In these uncertain times it seems like everything is a little different and things change from day to day. This is also true at Adams Pointe as we have changed some of the ways we do things and have made adjustments to the course. One thing that is for certain, grass and weeds alike will continue to grow. From a turf maintenance stand point this spring has been routine for the most part. We put out fertilizers, battle weeds with herbicides and try to prevent or control diseases with fungicides. As always in the spring we aerify fairways and greens.

It has been exactly one month since aerification and we are still on the back end of the healing process. This year we decided to do a deep tine aerification on our greens. These tines penetrated the soil anywhere from 8-10" compared to our 5.5" tines that we typically use. The goal with deep tines is breaking through a layer of the soil profile that has not been penetrated for some time. This process can release possibly trapped gasses, work fresh sand deeper and hopefully drive roots deeper into the the soil profile. This more aggressive cultural practice, combined with a few hard freezes afterwards, has made the healing process a little slower than past years.

Day of aerification

1 month after

Quick cart path update

  • The back nine path edges have all be hydro-seeded 
  • Construction on the front 9 is scheduled to begin the week of May 11th (weather permitting of course)


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Temporary Course Changes

The cup is turned upside down and sitting about an inch below the surface

Balls should still be able to roll into the hole but sit close enough to the top to be grabbed easily by hand or fished out with putter

Today Adams Pointe is implementing a few temporary changes to the course to try to do our part in slowing down the spread of the corona virus.  We are trying a couple different options with our cups. The main goal is to keep from having to touch the flag stick. Bunker rakes have also been removed from the course.

Also, just a reminder that the course will be closed Monday 03/23/2020  for our spring greens aerification.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Trees Trees and Yes... More Trees

Quick cart path update since our last post in November.

  • The old asphalt path around the club house has been replaced with concrete
  • The parking lot has been repaved and striped
  • The back 9 path edges have been back filled with soil 
  • Sod has been laid on the path edges in high foot traffic areas by the tees and greens 

We are entering the month of March and inching closer to more pleasant weather and the 22nd golf season here at Adams Pointe Golf Club. As time goes by the course has seen many changes. Some changes are abrupt and very noticeable, i.e. the cart path renovation project and new white sand bunkers, while others happen right under our noses as we barley notice. Native areas surrounding the course that were mostly grassland that have been left mostly untouched are now full of trees and underbrush.

#6 as built in 1997                                        #6 in 2020

#13 as built in 1997                                #13 in 2020
Native area right of #5 & 6 in 2000          Native area right of #5 & 6 in 2020

Some might say that 20 years seems like a long time while others may think that 20 years can fly by. Either way you look at it, a lot can change in that period of time. Nature has very strict rules pertaining to time and things will most certainly change. The pictures above show how much growth the golf course has seen since being built in 1997. I, along with a good majority of the maintenance crew, have seen and been a part of Adams Pointe maturing over the years.

#14 as built in 1997                                 #14 in 2020

#14 pond as built in 1997                      #14 pond in 2020
A large portion of our time working outside during this winter has been spent removing trees in the hazard areas of the course. We have focused mainly on areas surrounding tee boxes and in particular on holes number 6,8 and 14. These tee boxes have struggled to grow for years despite many attempts of laying new sod. Removing as many trees as we have will help promote airflow, increase sunlight and remove excess moisture. Our goal is to give the turf the best environment possible to grow and cutting down trees is necessary to achieve that goal.

As we enter spring the course is still under two major construction projects. Evergy is currently replacing power lines and poles that run along side of #'s 1, 14, 15, 18 and the driving range. Although they are mostly out of the way of play some of the equipment is on the course mildly affecting travel on the cart path. This project is scheduled to be completed in the next few weeks. The cart path renovation project has been put on hold due to winter weather. It is currently unknown when this project will be completed as the job requires the course to be fairly dry. Golf and navigating the front 9 holes will unfortunately be affected this spring. We apologize in advance for any inconveniences. All of that being said, we are certainly always excited for this time of year. We are ready to come out of hibernation to get the course looking beautiful again. Happy spring to you all and hit 'em straight.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Cart Path Renovation Project

The much anticipated cart path renovation is under way at Adams Pointe. In the fall of 2011 holes # 1,2 and 18 were excavated and redone with concrete. This fall the rest of the cart path, plus the path around the club house and parking lot will be torn up and repaved with asphalt. Two local companies, Mid-States Excavating and Tandem Paving Co. are working together on the project.

Unfortunately, it is a bit of a messy process and also an inconvenience navigating the course around the major construction. 
A milling machine is first used to grind up the existing cart path

A soil compactor is then rolled over the millings to create a solid base for the new asphalt

The next step in the process will be to grade and back fill soil to create a smooth transition from the path to the rough. Finally, our crew will be seeding along the edges of the path. Sections with high foot traffic around the greens and tees will be sodded. Wet conditions have unfortunately led to some turf damage away from the path which will have to be seeded as well. 

Cart traffic damage to turf due to excavation of  cart path
As of November 1st the back nine is completely repaved. An unfortunate snow event has delayed the grading and back filling process. An unusually wet fall has slowed down progress while also making it difficult to determine a completion date for the project.