We stripped the dead turf and sodded it with bent in late early May. Sod will normally do relatively well when laid this time of year, but early heat and drought put the sod under stress, and with heavy tight soils below the sod, rooting was minimal. Even though some of the sod died out it remained relatively level and smooth allowing normal play to continue. But our program of over seeding with an aerifier trying to get grass back into this area did more damage than good, leaving us with chunks of dirt and uneven ground. The real solution is to remove the heavy tight soil with an excavator this fall when the stress of summer is behind us, back filling with lighter soil and seeding. Unfortunately that is still about 2 and a half months away. In the mean time we will try and keep it flat and level to reduce interfering with play and have painted it GUR (ground under repair) in case your ball comes to rest within the area.
Another change most members have noticed is that we have been cutting down some spots in our naturalized areas. Some people refer to these areas as fescue and although there is fescue grass in these areas, they are actually naturalized as we do not water, fertilize or weed spray in them. Our original goal when we began sending in the mower was to knock down weeds before they became too large and before they went to seed in an attempt to reduce the weeds from over running these areas. The only real problem was it looks terrible cutting some spots and not others in the same area. The challenge is we don't have the man power to cut them all completely without neglecting another part of the golf course. We will be continuing to mow out the worst of the weeds as the summer progresses. There has also been a number of areas identified as contributing to slow play as members are spending too much time walking through them looking for a lost ball. We will be cutting a couple of these areas back on about an every 3 week schedule to see if this will rectify the issue. At the same time we will identify all the areas this might benefit the pace of play and calculate what cost would be involved to make this a regular mow route in future seasons. this will allow us to budget for the extra cost of labour, fuel and equipment maintenance for future seasons.
Naturalized area on the left side of #2 has been cut down to help pace of play.
12 green taken July 28th