Paradise Pointe Golf Complex Blog
The golf course crew has been busy preparing the greens for the heat and humidity we experience every year in Kansas City. This spring we purchased a new aerifier to punch holes in the greens. This will relieve compaction, reduce thatch, increase drainage and allow air to reach the roots. The new aerifier is taking cores about two inches deeper than the old aerifier, and it is wider so each pass covers more ground, travels faster and leaves a cleaner hole. All of those benefits result in less disruption to the golfer, quicker recovery time and a healthier green this summer. The new aerifier will allow us to change the tine this summer to needle tines that will only punch a small hole without pulling a core. That means we can aerify frequently throughout the summer with little or no disruption to golf play. The picture below shows the business end of the new aerifier.
The pictures below show the aerifier in action.
After the aerifier pulls the cores, the crew drives a core harvester across the green. The core harvester funnels the cores onto a conveyer belt that dumps the cores into the bed of the utility cart. These cores are hauled off and can be used in later projects.
After the cores have been cleaned up, the green is covered in sand using a topdresser. This machine spreads an even layer of sand across the green. The crew carefully calibrates the topdresser to spread just the right amount of sand needed. The sand is a special blend designed specifically for golf course greens. It is baked at extremely high temperatures to kill weed seed which prevents the greens from becoming contaminated with poa annua, crab grass and other weeds.
After the green is covered in sand a special brush is pulled behind a utility cart dragging the sand into the holes. The bristles on the brush are designed to be stiff enough to actually move the sand yet not so stiff that they severely damage the blades of grass. The extra sand that is left on top helps to break down thatch and smooth out the green.
When the holes have been filled the crew leaves sand still visible on the surface of the green. The turf will quickly grow through the sand leaving a smooth putting surface.
Despite the cloudy day, after only one week the green looks great and is back in action putting smooth and true. Holes can still be seen but have very little impact on the how the ball rolls. These will be grown over quickly and leaving no indication aerification even happened.
After the ground thawed out for the year towards the end of February, the team was able to complete a few drainage projects in high traffic areas. The picture to the left shows number two approach on the Posse. The addition of the drainage box along with perforated pipe will allow the water to drain out into the prairie grass instead of puddling up in the approach.
The team has also repaired drainage in low areas around the greens and in grass bunkers. The picture above shows a compromised drain line in a grass bunker that needed additional perforated pipe and a new catch basin. This can be a long and laborious task but is necessary not only to improve play but to speed up the time it takes to mow rough after a rain event.
Another project that was completed this February was the removal of an old planting bed next to number one tee box on the Posse. This was removed and replaced by a rock boarder and will be planted with a design similar to the bed on the first hole of the Outlaw. Hopefully this addition will make a better first impression then the old overgrown bed it replaced.
The next task the team was able to accomplish was removing all the old stumps on the golf course with a stump grinder. There were quite a few trees that were killed over the past few years by the emerald ash borer. These trees were removed and disposed of properly, leaving quite a few stumps in playable areas. The grinder was used to remove the stump six to eight inches below the surface.
The team then added top soil and will seed these areas in the spring. Some of the cool season tee boxes have become an iteresting challege to maintain during the heat of the summer. Labor and budget restrictions have helped make the decision to change over to a zoysia tee surface. This will allow for less input of fertilizer, fungcide and water during the summer months.
There are a few areas where the team will obtain zoysia sod on property and the current plan is to replace one tee surface per hole until the sod runs out.
While attempting to flush greens on the Outlaw the team found out that the greens drainage did not daylight any of the pipe upon construction. After xxx locating the pipe and adding a vent/flush to the surface the team noticed that the majority of the greens drainage had been compromised in a few different ways. There were a few holes that had damaged pipe but the most common problem found were roots growing in the pipe near the outlet. The damaged or clogged sections were cut out and replaced so that water would flow freely once again. On a few holes the team had to remove contaminated sand and pea gravel. The image to the left shows this contamination of iron (red) and manganese (black). This can be a pretty big issue due to the fact that water will not penetrate these layers. New gravel was added to the trench and new sand was added to the greens mix. As with many older golf courses new problems show their face every year. The golf maintenance team has done a good job repairing some of these problems that tend to be very labor intensive. Working at this pace we are hoping to finish flushing the Posse greens before summer brings on new challenges.
January brought a few warmer days giving the golf course maintenance team a chance to start a few projects outside. The first project is bunker edging. While the zoysia bunker faces hold up better through the summer months they also tend to spread at a faster rate. This means the team needs to constantly remove new growth to keep the original bunker edge. Every winter the team cuts any new growth back and rearranges the sand to ensure proper depths.
The greens also thawed out for a few days this month allowing the team to cut new pin locations and pull cores for soil testing. The test the maintenance staff decided to use is a breakdown of all the primary and secondary nutrients in the soil. This test also includes soil PH and organic matter based on percent. This will be a vital guide to help correct any deficiencies in the soil and adjust PH.
During some of the colder days the team has started repairing and cleaning areas of the pro shop and banquet room. This included cleaning out all light fixtures and replacing bulbs as needed. The carpets will also be vacuumed and shampooed after the walls are cleaned and painted. This will improve the area for any venues or meetings that take place here in the future.
Winter finally showed up with extremely cold temperatures this past week. The golf course maintenance team was able to finish blowing out the irrigation system which was the last task in preparing the golf course for winter. Blowing out the irrigation system is the process of hooking up an air compressor in a quick coupler and running air through the entire system to ensure all of the water has been removed from the pipe and sprinkler heads.
There were also numerous trees that have been killed by the emerald ash borer over the past few years. These trees have been cut down and disposed of properly. The remaining ash trees that have not been infected will continue to be treated in an attempt to save the uninfected ash trees on property. There is currently a long term plan to replace some of these trees that affect the playability of the golf course. This is also a reminder to help prevent the spread of this invasive species by keeping firewood local and not hauling it to uninfected areas.
Winter gives the maintenance department time to refurbish or replace worn down accessories on the golf course. Associates have been working hard on the colder days by cleaning and replacing broken parts on the ball washers, refurbishing tee markers, replacing old water cooler stands and organizing the shop.
The grinding process has begun with the start of the New Year. All reel to bedknife units will be disassembled and sharped. This is a continuous process that ensures a clean cut without tearing the grass blades. All rotary blades used in the rough will be sharpened as well. A dull mower will leave torn grass blades leaving an entry point for disease.
Clay County is excited to introduce a page dedicated to updating you on events and work being completed at The Outlaw, The Posse, and The Academy golf courses.
If you believe in the wooly worm you will notice this monster I found racing across a Zoysia tee has no brown. The old wive’s tale suggests that the wider the brown stripe, the milder the winter. Since there is no brown at all on this guy, we may need to stock up on milk soon.
Twenty four hundered pounds of grass seed was planted this fall with a slit seeder that cut a groove in the ground and placed the seed in the groove. Fescue was planted into the rough and Bluegrass was planted in the fairways and tees. The seed has germinated and is coming up nicely. When spring hits it will quickly thicken up and take on a beautiful deep green color.
Maps have been made as a reference to show trouble areas of crabgrass, goosegrass and grub damage. These maps will be used next year when we apply our pre-emergent herbicides and insecticides. With these maps we will be able to use higher rates or second applications on the areas of concern.
The greens are in great shape going into the winter. They are rolling smooth and true, the color is beautiful and the roots are long. This time of year the growth slows down which means it is difficult for the grass to grow out of damage. Please help us out by fixing an extra ball mark or two while you are on the greens this fall. If the ball marks are not fixed this time of year we will go into spring with pitted freckles covering the putting surface. We will soon be making a final fungicide application to put the greens to bed.
Please help me recognize a great job done by our Golf Course Team. This has been a very challenging year, and they’ve stepped up to the challenge and done a great job. Thank you!