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.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Welcome to the New Look of Adams Pointe...

Bunker renovations here at Adams Pointe Golf Club have finally been completed. We have reduced the total number of bunkers on the property from 37 to 30. Removal of certain bunkers was necessary because of flooding and other maintenance issues while others were removed or relocated because of lack of play. We feel these renovations have made the golf course more aesthetically pleasing and also maintenance friendly. The Arkansas Premier Play white sand stands out and defines the bunker edges nicely. This sand also has a high infiltration rate. That along with the Better Billy Bunker liner and new drainage systems should hopefully reduce, if not eliminate, washouts and standing water issues. 

With the bunkers just recently being finished some of the sand feels soft and is susceptible to the dreaded "fried egg" lie. This is more prevalent on the front nine since the back nine was finished a few months ago. Over time and with a few heavier rains the new sand will settle and become a more consistent playing surface. 
No.1 bunker was reshaped and reduced in size. 4500 sq. ft. of fairway was also added to the landing zone 
A new bunker was added to the layup area on the par 5 No.2
No. 4 bunker relocated from behind the green to front left 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Bunker Project Update

Progress on the bunker project has again been slowed due to weather. Work has been started on all of the front nine but with each rain the exposed soil turns to mud, making it impossible to work cleanly. The work that Mid-America Golf has finished so far has been very professional and the outcome of the finished bunkers look great. We do not want to rush by working in unfavorable conditions and risk the finished product looking sloppy. With that being said, the target completion date of March 31st is not going to be reached.

April is the informal start to our golf season here at Adams Pointe. Leagues and high school events begin as well as tournaments. The maintenance staff would like to apologize for any inconveniences the bunker project may cause during your round here at Adams Pointe but we assure you that the finished product will be worth the wait.

Our annual Masters scramble is scheduled for Sunday April 8th. Although the bunker project will not be completed, all holes will be open for play during this event.

A few bunkers (pictured below) have been completed since our last post. Scroll down to our February post to compare some of the architectural plans to the photos and to the work that you may have seen being done on the course.
No.18 before
No.18 after

No.6 before
No.6 after
No.5 before
No.5 after