Friday, December 2, 2011

Winter Projects at Jimmie Austin

     It is finally starting to look and feel like winter in Oklahoma! It is around this time when the bermudagrass goes dormant and the bentgrass greens and the ryegrass over-seed  growth tends to slow down to almost nothing. The amount of mowing on these areas are then done only on an as-needed basis and typically we will start rolling greens rather than mow them. There might be time periods when we do not  mow or roll, thus giving the greens a much needed break from any type of mechanical preparation.These types of decisions will be based on the amount of growth that has occurred in the plant. This concept goes along with the ryegrass, as the growth in the over-seeded areas has slowed down tremendously due to the cooler weather and shorter hours of daylight. We will only mow these areas on an as-needed basis as well.

     It is during these times of the year, when normal golf course maintenance slows down to a bare minimum, that we will begin working on other projects that we have identified  and deemed necessary throughout the year. Since these projects can be time consuming, we will try and utilize the winter months so  that we are able to spend the amount of time necessary to complete them without having to neglect the routine maintenance of the golf course.

      Some of the projects that we will be working on and hoping to complete before next spring include: green side bunker restoration/renovation, irrigation additions and adjustments, landscaping improvements and additions, tree trimming and removals as well as tree planting, and various other smaller scale projects.

 We continually strive to improve the conditions and the atmosphere that the players of Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club will experience when they visit our course. It is the small details that we try and improve upon that make for a great golfing experience. By identifying and completing projects, like we have done in the past and continue to do, we have been able to make Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club one of the most popular and enjoyable golf clubs in Oklahoma. We hope to keep this reputation and continue to make Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club better in the future.

As always, any questions, comments or feedback is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A whole lot of shaking going on!

Living in Oklahoma my whole life, I have experienced a lot of odd and extreme weather and non-weather related incidents. Tornadoes, Blizzards, Ice Storms, Hail Storms, Extreme Drought, Floods Etc. But, as of this past weekend, Earthquakes can now be marked off of that particular check list!

It is not odd for Oklahoma to have Earthquakes, although large ones like the 5.6 magnitude that can be felt in states as far away as Wisconsin are fairly rare.

Here's a look at some of the quakes that have been felt in Oklahoma since before statehood and the more recent quakes of 2010 and 2011.

1800s and 1900s

1800s: The great earthquakes in the New Madrid, Mo., region in 1811-1812, and a strong earthquake centered in Arkansas on Oct. 22, 1881, likely were felt in the area that is now Oklahoma.
Dec. 2, 1897: The first recorded quake known to have been centered in the state occurred Dec. 2, 1897, in Grant County.
September 1918: In September 1918, a series of shocks in El Reno produced minor effects.
Dec. 27, 1929: On Dec. 27, 1929, another quake was felt in parts of central and western Oklahoma. Some plaster cracked and at least one chimney fell in El Reno. Clocks stopped, objects moved and some reports indicated walls and floors swayed. People rushed from their homes in alarm.
April 9, 1952: A magnitude-5.5 earthquake on April 9, 1952, was centered near El Reno and affected most of Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas. Damage from the 10:30 a.m. earthquake was not extensive, but many people near the epicenter were alarmed. Plate glass windows were shattered in the business district of El Reno. Aftershocks were felt on April 11, 15, and 16, July 16 and Aug. 14. Homes and buildings shook and people were awakened in El Reno in the April 16 aftershock, at 5 minutes after midnight. People reported feeling the earthquake in Kingfisher, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Union City.
Oct. 7, 1952: A quake was felt in Holdenville and Wewoka on Oct. 7, 1952.
March 17, 1953: Minor damage to a building foundation and plaster in Concho resulted from two March 17, 1953, quakes about an hour apart. People felt the earthquake in Calumet, Edmond, El Reno, Minco, Okarche, Piedmont and Union City.
April 2, 1956: Southeastern Oklahoma was disturbed by a noisy earthquake on April 2, 1956. Buildings shook and objects fell in Antlers, and people were alarmed.
Oct. 30, 1956: On Oct. 30, 1956, a large area in northeastern Oklahoma was shaken. West of Catoosa, the movement caused an oil well to be shut down.
June 17, 1959: A broad area of southwestern Oklahoma and the adjacent portion of Texas felt an early morning shock June 17, 1959. Slight damage, consisting of cracks in plaster, pavement and a house foundation occurred in Cache, Duncan and Lawton. A smaller earthquake June 15 was felt by many in Ada and nearby.
Jan. 10, 1961: On Jan. 10, 1961, a mild shock was felt in Latimer and Pittsburg counties in southeastern Oklahoma. Thunderous earth sounds were heard in many places, but no damage was reported. Another noisy quake April 27, 1961, awoke many in Antlers, Coalgate, Hartshorne, Le Flore, McCurtain, Panola, Poteau, Talihina and Wilburton.
Oct. 14, 1968: An Oct. 14, 1968, earthquake caused cracked walls and broke glass in two structures in Durant. The media reported that a 5-foot-tall advertising stand fell over. Slight foreshocks were felt in Durant on Oct. 10 and 11. Effects from the Oct. 14 event were noted in Caddo.
May 2, 1969: A magnitude-4.6 earthquake cracked plaster in Wewoka on May 2, 1969. Effects were reported in several other towns in the region.


Jan. 15, 2010: On Jan. 15 a magnitude-4 earthquake occurred at 9:18 a.m. with an epicenter three miles northeast of Jones. A second earthquake, magnitude 3.8, was recorded at 9:27 a.m. with an epicenter one mile northeast of Jones.
Jan. 24, 2010: A 3.7-magnitude quake occurred in eastern Oklahoma County near Jones about 1:15 a.m. Jan. 24. Its epicenter was about six miles below the surface, which is about three miles deeper than most of the quakes that have hit in the last year.
Feb. 1, 2010: A 2.5-magnitude earthquake hit near Jones on Feb. 1. The quake was three miles southeast of Jones and five miles northeast of Choctaw about 5:45 p.m.
Feb. 12, 2010: A 3.2-magnitude earthquake occurred southeast of Luther about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 12. The epicenter was about six miles southeast of Luther and three miles beneath the surface.
Feb. 26, 2010: Two earthquakes were recorded Feb. 26 in Lincoln County. A magnitude-2.9 quake was reported at 10:12 a.m. two miles southeast of Wellston in Lincoln County. The quake was about three miles below the surface. A magnitude-2.5 quake was recorded at 8:35 a.m. five miles southwest of Chandler.
Feb. 27, 2010: The earthquake felt across wide swathes of Oklahoma on Feb. 27 was a magnitude 4.1. The quake struck near Sparks along the Turner Turnpike northeast of Oklahoma City, but state residents reported feeling the quake as far south as Norman and as far north as Tulsa.
March 11, 2010: Western Canadian County was struck by 10 quakes March 11 with several being felt in Minco and Niles. The area was near the Caddo and Grady County lines, according to Oklahoma Geological Survey officials. The strongest of the group registered a magnitude 3.4. That quake's epicenter was 10 miles west-southwest of El Reno and happened just before 6 p.m. Of the other nine quakes, six were clustered about 11 miles south-southwest of El Reno.
March 13, 2010: A 3.1-magnitude earthquake struck southwest of El Reno in Canadian County on March 13. The quake, which occurred about 3 a.m., was 12 miles southwest of El Reno and about three miles beneath the surface.
March 19, 2010: The epicenter of the 2.4-magnitude quake March 19 was about three miles east of Forest Park and six miles northeast of Oklahoma City.
March 21, 2010: A 3.7-magnitude earthquake struck near Prague in Lincoln County on March 21. The quake, which occurred about 8:35 p.m., was recorded five miles northwest of Prague. Reports came from as far as Tulsa and Claremore.
April 11, 2010: A magnitude-3 earthquake occurred about 11:05 p.m. April 11 about six miles southeast of Luther in Oklahoma County.
April 14-15, 2010: Quakes were recorded April 14 and 15. The first quake was magnitude 3 and struck about six miles north of Tupelo, and the second was magnitude 3.2 and hit about six miles southeast of Allen.
May 7, 2010: A magnitude-3.1 quake was recorded May 7 four miles southeast of Jones. The quake occurred at 7:44 a.m.
June 30-July 1, 2010: The U.S. Geological Survey said two earthquakes were detected 5 minutes apart beginning about 7:41 p.m. June 30 near Ratliff City. Both had a magnitude of 2.5. A third was about 12:52 p.m. July 1, 2010, near Harrah. That quake had a magnitude of 2.6.
Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2010: Six small earthquakes were recorded in the Luther and Jones areas Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. The quakes had a magnitude of 3.1 on Aug. 31.
Sept. 4, 2010: A small quake hit Sept. 4 near Luther. The 3.1-magnitude quake occurred about 10:20 a.m. and was centered about four miles south of Luther.
Sept. 19, 2010: A quake with a 4 magnitude was recorded Sept. 19 about four miles southwest of Luther. It hit about 5 p.m. and could be felt in Luther, Jones, Oklahoma City, Arcadia, Harrah, Edmond and Choctaw.
Oct. 13, 2010: The epicenter of a magnitude 4.7 quake Oct. 13 was about eight miles southeast of Norman, south of Lake Thunderbird near E Post Oak Road and 84th Avenue SE.
Oct. 19, 2010: A magnitude-2.6 earthquake centered seven miles southeast of Norman was reported Oct. 19.
Nov. 24: A 4.2-magnitude quake occurred about 4:45 p.m. Nov. 24 in central Oklahoma, and a second quake at 3.2 magnitude hit the same area about an hour later. The epicenter of the first quake was about four miles southwest of Luther and 19 miles east-northeast of Oklahoma City, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
Nov. 25: A 2.5-magnitude quake was recorded about 10:09 a.m. Nov. 25 with the epicenter about three miles east of Arcadia. Another 2.8-magnitude earthquake followed about a minute later, centered about four miles from Arcadia.
December: A small earthquake was recorded for the second time in four days near Allen in Pontotoc County, about 75 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the 2.8-magnitude quake at 3:49 a.m. Dec. 24. A 2.5-magnitude quake was recorded in the same area Dec. 20.


Jan. 15: A 3.4-magnitude earthquake struck near Jones early Jan. 15, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The 4:50 a.m. quake's epicenter was about three miles southeast of Jones and 17 miles east-northeast of Oklahoma City.
Feb. 3: At 8:06 p.m. Feb. 3, a magnitude-2.5 quake was felt between N Air Depot and N Midwest Boulevard between NE 23 and NE 10.
Feb. 4: At 1:30 a.m. Feb. 4, a magnitude-2.3 quake was felt by about 10 people who reported it from the same area as the previous day. The quakes were about three miles below the surface.
July 29: The Oklahoma Geological Survey said six small earthquakes were recorded July 29 near Choctaw. The survey said the largest was magnitude 2.7 and was recorded at 10:45 p.m.
Aug. 7: Two quakes struck south of Oklahoma City on Aug. 7, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The first quake occurred shortly after 2:30 a.m. and had an estimated magnitude of 2.0. Its epicenter was about 10 miles from Oklahoma City. The survey reported the second one happened about 8 a.m. with a magnitude of 2.3. Its epicenter was 15 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. Geologists say earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3 are generally the smallest felt by humans.
Aug. 23: An earthquake with a magnitude of 2.8 was recorded in eastern Oklahoma County on Aug. 23, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake hit two miles south of Jones and four miles north-northwest of Choctaw about 4:40 p.m.
Oct. 18: On Oct. 18, a 2.9-magnitude earthquake shook the ground in the Oklahoma City area and was reportedly felt by nearly 300 people, with reports coming from Shawnee, Wellston and as far away as Claremore — about 190 miles from the epicenter.
Oct. 23: Two small earthquakes were reported early Oct. 23 in the Oklahoma City area, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The larger of the two reportedly struck at 12:45 a.m., about six miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The 2.5-magnitude earthquake netted 22 reports from nearby residents in Oklahoma City, Choctaw and Spencer, the USGS reported. A 2.2-magnitude quake occurred at roughly 3 a.m. and was reportedly felt by 10 residents in Oklahoma City and Spencer. The smaller quake struck about 13 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.
Saturday: A 4.7-magnitude earthquake that hit at 2:12 a.m. Saturday was initially thought to be the main shock until the 5.6-magnitude quake struck later in the day. The epicenter was in Lincoln County, but the tremors were felt throughout Oklahoma and in other states.


As always, any questions, comments or feedback is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Understanding Frost Delays

The following article, Understanding Frost Delays was presented by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

    As we exit the scorching extremes of summer and move into cooler fall temperatures, the desire to hit the golf course intensifies. It also signals a change in golf course management activities that can affect one's game and the conditions found on the course.
    In many regions of the country, golfers occasionally face frost delays in the mornings, thus pushing back starting tee times. When frost is present golf course superintendents delay play until the frost has melted. This is done to prevent damage that affects the quality of the playing surface and could potentially be very expensive to repair.
    Frost is basically frozen dew that has crystallized on the grass, making it hard and brittle. A grass blade is actually 90 percent water, therefore it also freezes. Because of the short mowing height (sometimes as low as 1/8 inch) and fragile nature of the turf, putting greens are most affected by frost. Walking on frost-covered greens causes the plant to break and cell walls to rupture, thereby losing its ability to function normally. When the membrane is broken, much like an egg, it cannot be put back together.
    Golfers who ignore frost delays will not see immediate damage. The proof generally comes 48-72 hours later as the plant leaves turn brown and die. The result is a thinning of the putting surface and a weakening of the plant. The greens in turn become more susceptible to disease and weeds. While it may not appear to be much of an issue if a foursome begins play early on frost-covered greens, consider the number of footprints that may occur on any given hole by one person is approximately 60. Multiply that by 18 holes with an average of 200 rounds per day and the result is 216,000 footprints on greens in a day or 6,480,000 in a month.
    As golf enthusiasts, superintendents do not like to delay play, but they are more concerned about turf damage and the quality of turf conditions for the golfer. Frost also creates a hardship on a golf facility's staff as all course preparations are put to a halt until thawing occurs. Golf carts can cause considerable damage, therefore personnel cannot maneuver around the course to mow, change cup positions, collect range balls, etc.
    One technique employed to reduce possible frost damage is to raise the cutting height of mowers to create a heartier surface. It may also be possible to reroute play to holes where the frost melts more quickly. But regardless of these methods, the best medicine is for all to understand the hows and whys of the delay and in turn gain a greater appreciation for the golf course. It would also be wise to give the course a phone call before heading out to play to see if tee times have been pushed back due to frost.
    For more information regarding golf course maintenance and etiquette, contact your local superintendent or the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America at

As always any questions, comments or feedback is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Now, If that doesn't get your attention.....


     It has been a little over 10 days since we put out our Perennial Ryegrass seed mixture onto the course, and with some much needed rain and properly scheduled irrigation cycles, we have had successful germination in all of the areas that we had Overseeded!

     Now that the seed has germinated, we will spend the next couple of weeks nurturing the young seedlings by continuing the irrigation cycles and applying a 10-20-20 starter fertilizer to provide crucial nutrients for plant growth and development. During this time of continued maintenance and care of the young seedlings, we will restrict all carts to the cart paths until the plants mature a little more. By doing this, we will ensure that the plants have the best opportunity for maturity and establishment.
 (NOTE: we will not be irrigating as frequently, but, we will start applying longer cycles to saturate deeper down into the soil to promote deeper rooting of the young seedlings)

     We will continue to mow as needed for the next couple of weeks until seedlings mature, and then we will start mowing all of these areas on a routine and scheduled basis. But, as the pictures show, there is nothing quite as aesthetically pleasing as brightly and perfectly striped Fairways!!

As always any questions, comments or feedback is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall Overseeding & Aerification


    We are in the full swing of our Fall Overseeding & Aerification project. We have the luxury of having the course closed for play from Sept. 12 thru Sept. 20 to perform these projects. Both projects will involve many steps, long days and fully staffed crews to get everything accomplished in the allotted days that the course will be closed.

    The biggest contributing factor to the successful completion of both projects is careful planning, good communication and thorough understanding of the tasks that are to be performed by our Turf Care Facility staff and a step-by-step process that works like a well-oiled machine!
    We at the Turf Care Facility have performed many successful aerifications in the past and have created an efficient method of performing this vital agronomic practice. I have explained our multi-step process in previous blog entries and our Fall process does not vary much from that of the Spring process. The only difference in this process will be the aerification tine sizing and spacings. We will be using a 3/8in tine on 1in centers and 2.5in spacings. This will be smaller holes than the Spring process but more holes on tighter spacings. This allows a sizable amount of material to be removed. But, because of the smaller diameter aerfication holes, and allows for faster fill-in and recovery of the greens.


    This will be the 3rd year that The Jimmie will be Overseeding. But, unlike previous years, we will be Overseeding ALL Fairways, Tees as well as Collars and Approaches! We will also be Overseeding the OU Team Practice Facility at the south end of the Driving Range, the Short Game Practice Facility and The Everest Pavilion Lawn.

    Total amount to be Overseeded will be 35 Acres!

    The Overseed process actually started August 9th, 2011. We applied a Pre-Emergent Herbicide to all areas that were to be Overseeded to stop any Fall weeds from germinating. This will help the Overseed, by not having any noxious weed populations competing for water and nutrients while we are germinating the Overseed.

    On September 8th, we applied a PGR (Plant Growth Regulator) called Primo MAXX. This will slow down the growth of the Bermudagrass areas that are to be Overseeded. This will allow the Overseed a time period in which it will not be in competition with actively, and aggressively growing Bermudagrass during the germination period of the Overseed.

    The Overseeding process began on September 12th and will most likely be finished up September 14th. We are using a blend of Brightstar and Grayfox Perennial Ryegrass that is certified blue-tag, fungicide treated and salt tolerant. It came directly from a grower out of Oregon. After we have the seed down, we will topdress and cap the seed with mason sand in the thinner weaker areas so the seed will not wash away during the irrigation cycles.

    Starting September 15th, we will beginning the irrigation cycles ( 2mins of irrigation per station every 2 hours) until we have achieved complete germination of the seed. Once the seed germinates we will be able to irrigate less frequently and apply more volume of irrigation.

    Approximately September 20th, we will apply a 10-20-20 starter fertilizer to give the young seedlings vital nutrients involved with plant growth and development.

    The first mowing will be approximately 7 to 10 days after germination, and 8 weeks after germination we will apply another Pre-Emergent application to prevent any noxious weed outbreaks in the Overseeded areas.

    We at the Turf Care Facility continually strive for championship caliber conditions at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, and by performing a successful Fall aerification and overseed, we will have taken important steps in achieving these conditions.

As always, any questions, comments and feedback is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fairway Agronomic and Cultural Practices

     We have started doing some agronomic and cultural practices to our fairways this week. We are proud to be one of the few golf courses in Oklahoma that over-seeds their fairways and tees with perennial ryegrass. Over-seeding dormant bermudagrass adds tremendous value to the golf course both in terms of playability and aesthetics, unfortunately, over-seeding year after year can be detrimental to the underlying bermudagrass.
     Bermudagrass is a warm-season grass, which means it's typical growing environment is usually in warmer climates closer to the equator. Perennial ryegrass is a cool-season grass, which means it's typical growing environment is usually in cooler climates farther away from the equator. Since these two types of turf-grasses have different growing environments, one grass will typically be stronger and healthier during climates which are favorable growing conditions for that type of turf-grass.


    This past Spring in Oklahoma was abnormally cool and dry, even going into the start of the summer months. When over-seeded bermudagrass does not get the favorable growing environment to break dormancy early enough and the cooler temperatures persist, the bermudagrass will start to thin and get choked out by the stronger, healthier stand of perennial ryegrass.

Current Bermudagrass Turf Conditions due to extreme weather patterns

     One of the easiest ways to limit the amount of competition of the perennial ryegrass going into summer is to use a chemical herbicide which will aid in the transition of the perennial ryegrass allowing the bermudagrass unrestricted growth and the ability to heal and fill-in.

Normal Bermudagrass Turf Conditions

     We have not done these chemical transitions on our Fairways, as using this chemical herbicide can yellow-out or discolor the perennial ryegrass during this transition phase. These chemical herbicides also have the ability to track, meaning that some of the chemical residue can attach to shoes, tires, etc. and come in contact with other grasses that are susceptible to chemical injury from these herbicides such as the creeping bentgrass greens! We have chosen not to use these chemical herbicides as the risks out-weigh the reward in our situation.

     We have suffered a little this year, do to the fact that the bermudgrass turf was weak when the warmer temperatures to allow the bermudagrass to break dormancy finally arrived. And, when the warmer temperatures arrived they arrived in a hurry and unfortunately we were tossed into one of the hottest and driest summers on record in Oklahoma!

     All of these unfortunate climatic events are the cause of our current bermudagrass turf conditions. So, in order to grow-in the remainder of the Fairways and get them as healthy as possible before the next over-seeding in 5 weeks, we will be spot-topdressing the weaker areas with sand and will be on a strong fertility program using Ammonium Sulfate at 1lb Nitrogen/1000sqft. every 7 days until adequate coverage is achieved.

*Ammonium Sulfate is one of the best fertilizers pound for pound for plant growth and health!

     We hope this explains things a little better and we appreciate your patience and understanding as the Turf Care Facility works hard over the next few weeks to get the Fairways at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club back to the level of excellence that our players and members deserve.

As always, any questions, comments and concerns is appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MSU-China Turf Program Interns at The Jimmie

     Due to the extremely hot and dry conditions that we have experienced in Oklahoma this year, I have been very busy on the golf course and it has been a while since I have had the opportunity to post on the Turf Blog. Now, that it is finally starting to cool down a little, I will give an update on the current events at the Turf Care Facility. 

     The summer turf interns have returned to school for the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. We had another great group of guys and I would like to take an opportunity to personally say thanks to Brandon Clawson, Evan Hammons and Derrick Devon. You guys did an awesome job and were tremendous assets to the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club Turf Care Facility.

     We have recently hired on three new interns who will be with us thru November. This will be a first for Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, as all three interns are part of the Michigan State University-China Turf Intern Program. The three interns are all from China. China is in the middle of a golf course construction boom much like that the U.S. experienced in the late 80's and early 90's. The Turf Schools do not have the extensive turf research and training educational facilities that the U.S. has. Therefore, Professor Yusong Mu of Michigan State University started the program to adjunct teach in China, and then set up internships for those students here in the U.S.

     This program is still fairly new, but, is growing in popularity as these students are coming into the point of the golf season when most summer interns are going back to school. These times of year are typically under-staffed and more work-force is needed until the end of Fall.

     Please, if you come across the three interns, say hello and welcome them to the U.S. and to the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.

As always, any questions, comments or concerns is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring Aerification of Greens #2


     We have just finished up our second aerification of the spring. We got a little more aggressive with this aerification than in the past in order to remove a larger quantity of material going into the summer. By doing this, it is going to allow us to manage our moisture levels more precisely. This will be achieved by not having an excessive thatch accumulation within the upper portion of the rootzone. Removing this organic material will allow us to keep the putting surfaces smoother and firmer, without having to utilize excessive maintenance practices during time periods when the bentgrass greens are not able to recuperate at night due to higher air and soil temperatures.
     The aerification process was completed by the sequence listed:
1.) We used a Toro ProCore aerifier with 0.5 inch OD tines on 1.5 inch spacings at a depth of 3 inches, we then removed all of the plugs. 2.) We used verticut reels on our Toro Greensmaster Triplex mower set at 1 inch spacings and cut to a depth of 0.25 inches and made passes at a 45 degree angle to the aerifier passes. 3.) We used our Buffalo Turbines to blow off the excess material and then topdressed the greens with enough sand to fill in our aerification holes and verticut lines. 4.) We used a drag brush and made a pass across the entirety of each green to drag in the sand. 5.) The Turf Care Facility staff used push brooms to fill in any empty holes that were remaining on the greens. 6.) We blew off any remaining sand on the greens and we then rolled the greens smooth with our Smithco Speed Rollers.    7.) Finally, we applied our calcium products and wetting agents. We then flushed the greens to remove excessive salts in the upper rootzone.
     The finished product has the appearance of a green that has not been aerified until you are up close and personal. We will now adjust our fertilization program to promote growth and recovery, this will aid in filling the greens back in to an acceptable level of grass coverage.

As always, any questions, comments or concerns is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Friday, April 29, 2011

USGA article regarding Putting Surface Height

Below is an article written by Charles "Bud" White, the Mid-Continent Director for the USGA. In this article, it explains all of the negatives associated with the decrease in putting surface heights during the summer stress time periods. It also promotes increasing the putting surface height just slightly going into these time periods,as it can prove to be beneficial as it relates to managing bentgrass in the southern transition zones of the United States.

       Finding the right balance.

In the last few years, there has been an ever-increasing demand for faster putting green speeds on golf courses throughout the United States. Brought on in large part by “TV golf” or tournament golf, the general public now wants to play under the same conditions as the professionals.
During my USGA Turf Advisory Service visits, I am often informed of how golfers played on 12' or 13' Stimpmeter® speeds during an event and loved it. The fact is, these golfers were probably playing on greens that may have been about 11' on the Stimpmeter,® but they thought or were told that greens were at speeds of 13'.
Bottom line, the average golfer would three-putt or four-putt with those speeds. This need for speed has brought on a new set of problems because superintendents are reducing cutting heights to achieve these increased speeds.
In the last 10 to 12 years, we have seen  a shift in putting green maintenance, where the average cutting height at many courses has gone from 5/32" (0.155) to less than 1/8" (0.125). Some courses are even at the 0.085" to 0.090" range. At these extreme heights, there is virtually no leaf area left, and the turf is in significant physiological stress all the time.
Root development and turf health are directly related to cutting height — the lower the cutting height, the less root development. The shift in putting green management causes undue and often unbearable stress and strain on the turf.
Literally, it is management on a razor’s edge, and it is a major reason why we have a large increase in disease and fan use on bentgrass greens in the South over the last several years. Golfers often tell me that 15 years ago the greens were just fine. Now these greens can’t survive without fans, and golfers want to know why. Quite simply, the decrease in cutting height has caused increased stress on the grass.
I refer you to a Green Section Record article authored by Dr. Bingru Huang, Burning the Candle at Both Ends, which clearly points out the dramatic difference in turf health by simply raising the cutting height 1/32" during the summer stress periods. This basic, grass-roots research summarizes most of the turf health problems we are experiencing and where this lowered cutting height on greens has led us as an industry. In addition to increased use of fans, we have also seen a greater negative impact from tree shade and root com- petition.
Shade imposes stress on turf at lower cutting heights because of less turf leaf area and a reduced ability to photosynthesize in reduced-light environments. Even concentrated foot traffic, such as the ingress and egress points on greens, has a much greater impact due to this reduction in leaf area and turf health. A slight raise in cutting heights to moderate levels would still maintain greens at a very acceptable level of speed and quality during the times of summer stress yet would minimize most problems and eliminate many.
Superintendents are using alternative measures, such as alternating mowing and rolling during the summer to reduce stress. In my experience, there is no reason that a golfer at any level cannot enjoy an average daily speed of 9' to 10' during the summer stress and still have a challenging game. If a golfer insists he must have 11' or more on an average day to have a quality putting green, then he or she has missed the whole purpose of the game and is not concerned about course health whatsoever.
The cutting height dilemma on U.S. golf courses has gone way past the reality mark and is creating impossible growing conditions for many courses. Golf courses cutting below 1/10" have found that raising the cutting heights above this level can actually produce greater putting quality and speed by utilizing other grooming techniques, because there is more leaf tissue to work with during the grooming process. There is definitely a point of diminishing returns once the cutting height drops below 1/8". With luck, golfers can be educated to understand what these excessively low cutting heights do to the turfgrass, and then they may be more realistic in their demands. The summer of 2010 taught many a lesson the hard way. Reasonable cutting heights, when balanced with other grooming techniques, will not reduce the quality of greens, can actually enhance the golfing experience, and can do so without putting speed reductions.

BUD WHITE is the director of the Green
Section’s Mid-Continent Region.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Aerification of Greens


   We have started our spring aerfication of the greens. Aerification is a crucial agronomic practice but is typically despised by most golfers, yet, most golfers do not realize the importance of this particular  practice.

   Aerification achieves three important objectives. It relieves soil compaction, it provides a method to improve the soil mixture around the highest part of a green’s roots and it reduces or prevents the accumulation of excess thatch. The condition of a green has a lot to do with what goes on below the surface. In order for grass to grow at 1/8-inch, it must have deep, healthy roots. Good roots demand oxygen. In good soil, they get the oxygen from tiny pockets of air trapped between soil and sand particles. Over the course of time, foot traffic from golfers, mowing equipment, etc. compact the soil under the putting green surface. When the soil becomes compacted, the tiny air pockets become crushed and the roots start becoming deprived of necessary oxygen.Without oxygen, the grass plants become weaker and will eventually wither and die.

   Aerification is a mechanical process that creates more air space in the soil and promotes deeper rooting, helping the grass plants stay healthy. In most cases, the process is done by removing cores from the compacted soil, allowing for an infusion of air and water that brings a resurgence of growth. The spaces are then filled with sand “topdressing” that helps the soil retain air space and makes it easier for roots to grow downward. Older greens are often constructed of soils with significant amounts of silt, clay and fine organic particles that are prone to compaction. Filling aerification holes with sand improves drainage and resists compaction. The periodic introduction of sand to a green’s top layer can over time, avoid or postpone expensive rebuilding or renovation of greens.
   Finally, actively growing turf adds to a layer of organic matter on the surface. This layer, called thatch, is an accumulation of dead stems, leaves and roots. A little organic matters makes for a resilient green, but too much invites diseases and insects. Topdressing with sand can prevent thatch buildup, and aerification is one of the best ways to reduce an existing layer and prevent an excess of thatch from becoming established.

   As always, any questions, comments or feedback is always appreciated

   We'll see you out there!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Installation of Transplanted Pine Trees

 We have spent the past couple of weeks adding a number of pine trees in selected areas of the course.
A total of (40) 9-10ft. B&B or (Balled and Burlapped) pine trees were installed last week. This week we have been installing some larger trees by a transplanting method requiring a large tree spade.
    These trees will be an immediate impact to the holes on which they have been added. We are currently in the process of a tree master plan in which we will strategically place around 40 to 50 trees per year.
    Our hopes are to remove any dying or dead trees, trees which are in the wrong position for playability reasons, or just a bad species of tree which tends to be more of a hindrance than help.
    In place of these particular removals, we are placing and planting new and better selected trees which will add value to the course in terms of playability and aesthetics.
    And, by doing this in a master plan over a period of time, the trees will develop and mature at different stages and therefore look more natural over the course of time.

As always any questions, comments or concerns are appreciated.

We'll see you out there.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pre/Post-Emergent Applications For Proper Weed Control

     We have started applying our Pre/Post-Emergent herbicides on the golf course this week.

     It is very important to apply these applications at the proper time to achieve the desired control of annual and perennial weeds throughout the growing season.

      Poa annua or "annual bluegrass" is the weed that we are most concerned with controlling. This weed is a major problem when it becomes infested in the creeping bentgrass greens, as it's growth habit is different than that of creeping bentgrass. The seedhead Poa annua produces can make the greens bumpy and inconsistent.
Applications that are timed correctly provide the most control and reduce the risk of infestation of Poa annua in the greens throughout the growing season.
    The use of a pre-emergent herbicide is a very beneficial way of reducing the amount of weeds within the turf throughout the growing season as well as reducing the number of post-emergent herbicide applications needed for proper weed control.

As always any concerns, comments or feedback is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.......

   Sometimes, when you wish for some precipitation during a severe drought, Mother Nature sure does have a good sense of "humor"!
   We have received another major blizzard in Oklahoma for the second winter season in a row.     
   These types of major snow events are not common in Oklahoma and always prove to be a major problem for the state, as we do not have the type of resources available to deal with these types of winter storms as areas in the northern parts of the U.S. have.
   So, for now, we will be snowed-in for a while and hoping the temperatures will climb relatively quickly so that we may begin to thaw out and begin to recover from Mother Natures blessing of precipitation.

As always, any questions, comments or feedback is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!
(When it warms up a bit, maybe)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Little Poa Control....

We have started applying a post-emergent herbicide (Glyphosate) around the green complexes today. Although this is a very low application rate, (about 0.5oz product/1000sqft) we will get the desired outcome of removing any populations of the noxious weed Poa annua (Annual Bluegrass) that we may currently have around the greens. This will allow us to better control the spread of Poa annua into the greens by eliminating the infestation levels around the greens. We will follow up this application in about 30 to 45 days with another application of the same rate, but, we will also begin applying our pre-emergent herbicides at that time. By putting down these chemical applications at the right times of the year, it will allow us to have a better manicured and weed-free golf course.

As always, any questions, comments or feedback is always appreciated.

We'll see you out there!

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 2011 Projects Continue at The Jimmie

January projects at The Jimmie continue on. We were very lucky that the weather has not contributed to any type of major delays in our current projects. Some of the projects that the Turf Care Facility staff are working on are listed below:

* Creekline cleanup and improvements along holes 1, 2, 9 and by #1 tees and #18 green
* Irrigation additions and improvements on Par Dr., NW side of #3 fairway and the new tee on #8
* Cleaning out cattails on #10 pond
* Replacing and Re-attaching the yardage plates on the cartpaths
* Constructing a new landscape bed on the S side of the bridge by #1 tees and #18 green

As always, we appreciate any feedback from the members and players of The Jimmie and hope that you all are pleased with the continuing improvements being made to the property.

We'll see you out there!