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.  

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

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Spring is on the Horizon


Winter can be long, grey and perhaps even a little mundane for both golfers and the golf course maintenance staff. We have seen nice, sunny days recently with temperatures in the upper 60's followed by freezing rain and lows in the teens the very next day. These drastic changes in the weather can be frustrating and can make it hard to get into any kind of a rhythm. Regardless, work is still being done both on the course and inside of the maintenance shop. Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner and the 2018 golf season is fast approaching. 

A significant amount of trees have been removed from the course this winter, most notably on No.'s 5, 6 and 12. Three trees along the right side of No. 5 have been removed for better visibility and access of approach shots from the fairway to the right side of the green. This will also give us a better chance to grow turf in these areas that have struggled in the past. Compaction issues and competition for water and nutrients from the tree roots can make it hard to grow turf. Trees have also been removed from behind the green to allow more sunlight and airflow to struggling turf in the rough and to the green itself. Multiple trees have been cut down along both sides of No.6 fairway. These trees have been removed for better visibility and access to the fairway from the tee boxes. No. 12 is a tough par 3 requiring  an accurate tee shot to thread the needle between tree lines on both sides of the tees. Over the years brush has grown up and trees have gotten a little too big. Brush on the left side and a few trees from both sides of the tee boxes have been removed. This hole is still demanding and will require an accurate tee shot for par. 

No. 12 before tree clearing
No.12 after clearing
Progress on the bunker renovation project was slowed down due to bad weather in the month of February. This project is now scheduled to be completed by March 31st. Our next post will highlight some of the work that has been completed on the front nine bunkers. Also, just a heads up, the course will be closed Monday March 12th for greens aerification.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February Bunker Update

Finished bunker in front of No. 17 green.
After a fast start to our bunker project this fall, things have slowed down a bit in the past month. With the holiday season, followed by abnormally cold and then wet weather, the bunker renovation is currently on hold. As soon as more favorable weather conditions take over, we will be back at it to finish work on the back nine. Sand needs to be added to the bunkers on No. 10 and No. 18 still has a few days of work left before it is finished. Check out our last post for more information about the work that was completed before the holidays and plans for No. 10 and No. 18.

After the back nine bunkers are finished, we will shift our focus to the front nine. Not all work will be finished on the back as we will begin tree removal and rehabilitation of the haul roads used during construction. Aside from those two projects, all heavy construction will be finished on the back nine. 

In this post, we will focus on the plans for the front nine and practice area. With the uncertainty in weather forecasting and amount of moving parts involved in a project of this magnitude, no firm timeline can be established for completion of the front nine. As with any large project, plans are subject to change for a variety of reasons. It remains our goal to have the bulk of the work finished before spring and the unofficial start of golf season.
Design plans for No. 5 green complex.
Almost every hole on the front has changes in store, except for holes No. 7 and No. 8. We will most likely begin work on No. 5, as it is the furthest hole from our shop and storage areas, and work our way back towards the center of the property. As you can see in the plans above, No. 5 will have quite a different look. Slight reshapes will take place to the two bunkers in front of the green, while the two bunkers behind the green will be removed. Two trees on the right side of the fairway will be removed to open up the right side of the green, which in its current form is basically inaccessible. The large tree in front of green will also be removed, in part to open up that side of the green, but also to reduce root encroachment in the bunker and under the green. We are confident that removal of these trees will provide improved playability, but also healthier turf in these areas. 

Design plan for No. 6 fairway bunkers.
Design plan for No. 6 green.
Hole No. 6 will be a straightforward renovation with slight shape changes to the bunkers in the works as well as new sand. The large tree between the fairway bunkers will be removed to reduce root encroachment and should increase the lifespan of these new bunkers dramatically. 

Design plans for No. 4.
Tee shots in to No. 4 green will be much more daunting after work is completed. The bunker behind the green will be removed, as it is not in a location conducive to catching shots, and will be replaced with a grass mound. A new bunker is being added to the front left of the green, where it is sure to see more action than the replaced back bunker.

No. 3 fairway bunker plan.
Design plan for No. 3 green complex.
Hole No. 3 will also look quite a bit different this year. The fairway bunker is being reduced in size and moved to make it more visible from the teeing area. The big bunker behind the green is being removed and replaced with rough. The bunker in front of the green is being enlarged and reshaped to make for a more challenging shot in to the green. These changes will improve playability as well as aesthetics on the hole.

Design plan for No. 2 fairway.
No. 2 is seeing a new hazard being added to it with the addition of a fairway bunker on the right side of the hole. This is a popular landing area for second shots, and with the current topography a bunker should lay in seamlessly, making for a tougher choice in club selection after your drive.

Design plan for No. 1 fairway.
Unlike most holes in this renovation, the tee shot on No. 1 should be a bit easier. The fairway bunker is being reduced in size, and additional bentgrass fairway will be added where the old bunker was. This will create a wider landing zone for tee shots, and should only punish longer hitters who try to "cut the corner". 

No. 9 green complex design plans.
Hole No. 9 is also a very simple renovation. Bunkers will be cleaned out, reshaped, and new white sand added. The small bunker in front of the green will have fescue sod added around it to hopefully increase turf health around that bunker. Both bunkers will also be made more visible from the approach area.

Design plans for the practice area.
The practice area is our last target for renovation. The west bunker is being removed and replaced with bentgrass. The east bunker is being reshaped and expanded to allow for bunker shots in to all areas of the chipping green, not just one side of it. Allowing shots to be spread out, instead of all shots going in one direction and sand building up over time, will help increase the lifespan of this bunker and reduce maintenance needs.

As mentioned above, with unpredictable weather and numerous moving parts, these plans are subject to change. Keep checking back here for updates on our progress, before and after pictures, and more.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January Bunker Project Update

No. 18 green complex before and during construction.
In our last post, we highlighted changes to holes No. 11 through No. 14, and discussed upcoming plans for holes No. 10, 15, 16, 17, and 18. In this month's post we will be reviewing the work that has finished since our last post, as well as discuss plans moving forward from here. Due to challenging weather conditions and the holiday season, we will not be getting in to plans for the front nine in this month's post. Be sure to check back in towards the end of the month for updates on those plans and more.

No. 15 fairway bunker before and after.
A lot of work has taken place since you last heard from us. Sand was added to the two bunkers on No. 15, and short of seeding haul roads all major work on that hole is finished. The fairway bunker was reshaped, allowing better visibility off the tee, and the green side bunker was reduced in size and reshaped for improved playability.

Sod ready to be laid on No. 16 old fairway bunker.
No. 16 fairway bunker before and after.
Looking back towards No. 16 from the new fairway bunker.
All major construction has finished on No. 16 as well. With one fairway bunker removed, and a smaller one added in a new location, this tee shot has become much more challenging. Reshaping of the green side bunkers has also been completed, making these bunkers more visible from the landing area.

No. 17 before and after.
No. 17 green complex before and after.
No. 17 has gone through one of the more dramatic changes on the course. The green complex still has four bunkers but all have been reshaped and three of the four have been moved to make them more visible from the teeing area. A bentgrass bail out area has been added behind the green to prevent punishment of good tee shots.

Removing the rock wall on No. 18 green. 

One of the most visible changes on the course is happening on No. 18. The bunker behind the green is being removed, with a rock wall to the edge of the pond, and sod on a gentle slope down to the water. The bunker on the right of the green is being reshaped, and shifted further to the front of the green. A second bunker is being added to the left front of the green, making for a much more demanding approach shot. 

All bunkers in this project are being completely cleaned out, with four inches of new white sand being added. Old drainage is being inspected and replaced as needed. Almost all bunkers are undergoing a shape change with some being shifted from their current locations. After all earth work is finished, a layer of gravel is put down, and then locked in place with the Better Billy Bunker polymer spray. After a quality check of the polymer, we add sand to depth and replace any disturbed turf with sod. Below is a video of the polymer spray on No. 16 green side bunker.

Moving forward from here, we are going to finish adding sand to the bunkers on No. 10 to complete work on that hole. After that, we will head down to No. 18 and finish up the remaining work on that complex. After No. 18 is finished, basically all heavy construction will have been completed on the back nine. We will still need to seed haul roads, and a good deal of tree work still needs to take place, but focus will shift towards the front nine. Check back at the end of the month for progress updates and our plans for renovating the front nine bunkers.