Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pre-emergent On Roughs

Pre-emergent combined with fertilizer was applied to all of the roughs on Wednesday, March 28.  This application was made by a custom applicator with a company called Harrell's that sells a variety of different turf products.  With the earlier spring weather we are experiencing this year, applications like these have been bumped up by almost three weeks.  We had been monitoring ground conditions for almost two weeks to try to find the perfect day to maneuver the spreader truck around the course. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Splash of Upfront Color

One of the big projects that we have taken on this spring has been the landscaping around the clubhouse, parking lot and driving range at Stillmeadow Country Club.  While we haven't done much yet as far as new plantings, we have made and continue to make an effort to refresh the outside ambiance.  The first step was to clean 4-5+ years of old mulch out of the beds, apply a new spaded edge, weed, pre-emerge and mulch the beds.  We have had weeds poking back through as fast as we apply the new mulch but that should somewhat subside once the pre-emergent receives the proper moisture to create an herbicidal barrier to keep the weeds out.  Round-up will be applied to any weeds that continue to make it through.  Aside from the new mulch we have also planted 35 flats of pansies and sprayed all the weeds in the turf areas.  Pre-emergent and fertilizer will be applied to all of the turf areas soon.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Large Investment Toward Future Success

In the past many of you have probably already noticed the maintenance department using hand held radios to run irrigation on the course.  What you probably didn't know was that the two way radios, base station and central computer were functioning on a broad band signal.  According to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) broad band signals are illegal to use for the purpose of irrigation at the end of the year.  Instead, a narrow band signal must be used.  This came at a good time for the course because the old system was outdated and obsolete.  That being said ownership could have made the decision to limp through with the old system for another year.  They also could have made the attempt to operate illegally for years to come.  They could have decided that the new maintenance crew would have to learn the old system only to turn around and learn a new system shortly after........They didn't.  They took a proactive approach and I believe that the decision will pay off in course conditions.  Here are a couple pictures of the new system.

The new central computer with two monitors. The monitor on the left is to be used for programing and the one on the right contains the mapping feature for easier identification of the key components of the irrigation system.

Two way radio with touch tone keypad to use codes to turn sprinkler heads on and off in a variety of different ways.

With this new system we will also have the capability to operate our irrigation from any computer.  The operator doesn't have to be on site.  It can also be operated from a smart phone or tablet on site or off.  These features will prove helpful in a variety of ways.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just a couple Photos

Picture looking back from #12 Green.  The turf areas all over the course have already shown drastic improvement.  The upcoming spring fertilizer applications should add to the already great start.  As many of you have seen, herbicide applications have already been applied to the majority of the roughs on the course.  Weed populations have been greatly increased due to the hot and wet weather conditions that have caused weakened turf over the last couple years. This creates openings for weed seeds that are already in the soil to germinate and flourish.  It really has been a perfect storm for weeds since the spring of 2010.  If you see a few weeds out there just know that many of the areas have already been applicated and the areas that haven't will be taken care of as soon as possible. 

Klint and Randy attaching a new screen to the intake pipe for the irrigation system.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Helping Hand

Chris Mazzaro along with long time member John Ramando.  Thanks John!

Friday, March 16, 2012


As you can see from the pictures below, we have made an effort to fill all the divots on all of the tee boxes.  The result is a more manicured and detailed golf course.  Stillmeadow Turf and Maintenance has every intention of keeping the divots on tees filled as often as possible.  The next hurdle is to fill all the divots on the fairways and to then keep them filled.  Keeping up with fairway divots can be difficult and for this reason we would like to ask you the members for help. 

The first thing that all members can do is to please replace your divots.  If you are not able to find your divot then please fill your divot with the sand and seed blend.  You will find the bottles containing the sand and seed mix on your golf cart.  I realize that at times this process is annoying and can be difficult especially when carts are on the paths for the day.  However, it is definitely a necessary process for you to have the type of golfing experience that represents the club and yourself well.  It starts with you!

The second thing we would like to mention is that the management team has made an investment in the purchase of a divot bottle storage box that will be located at the tenth tee.  This box will contain filled bottles to be used on the back 9.  This means if you have any extra sand in either of the two bottles you started with on your cart, please fill extra divots on 9 fairway because you will quickly be able to replace your empty bottles at the turn.

The last thing we are looking for when it comes to divot maintenance is to have members that would be willing to come out and volunteer to fill fairway divots.  There is no set time that you would have to be available so if you have any interest at all we would urge you to drop your name in the pro-shop and someone from the Stillmeadow Turf and maintenance will contact you shortly.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Driving Range

While there is a lot of work that needs to be done to the driving range, the focus of this blog post is the turfgrass coverage on the tees.  Here are some photos of the tee conditions as of last week.

The current grass species is perennial ryegrass.  Ryegrass isn't a terrible grass to have on a driving range where you have plenty of usable locations.  We do not have many different teeing locations due to the fact that the back side of the range needs to be lengthened to prevent balls from being lost into the woods.  This situation is one that we hope to someday rectify but until then we are forced to get as much use out of the back two range tees as possible.  This means that those two range tees get a lot of use and being that ryegrass isn't a spreading turfgrass, recuperation can be a slow process.  Our long term goals for the driving range tees are to convert them to bermuda grass.  Bermuda grass is a warm season grass that will go dormant in the winter.  However, during the golf season the range tees will be covered with a resilient and durable turfgrass.  The only disadvantage to bermuda is brown turf for about 5-6 months when it is cool.  That being said, we feel that it will be a long term solution to a problem area.  We will achieve bermuda coverage over time.  This will be done by overseeding all of the range tees every year during the months of May, June and July until a desired coverage is achieved.  We may even seed them several times during those months.  In the mean time we have decided to move forward with trying to improve the range tee by seeding it with ryegrass.  Seeding and fertilization will hopefully improve our range tees enough to buy us a couple months of playability until the upcoming bermuda seeding.  Here are photos of that process.

Step 1: Aerate several times

Step 2: Drag the area to break up and smooth aeration cores 

Step 3: Blow off any leaves or leftover grassy material

Step 4: Seed

The only other thing we will continue to do is keep our fertilization levels high.  The rest is going to depend on some good weather to moisten the seed and get it growing.

While we are on the topic of seeding I would like to mention that while I understand that there are a lot of areas especially in rough that everyone would like to see seeded this spring, it simply isn't the time to do so.  The most important thing that we can do to improve our rough areas this spring/summer is to prevent weeds through pre-emergent and post emergent chemical applications and fertilization which results in the promotion of existing plants.  The driving range tee was the exception because we are on a shorter timeline on these highly used tees.  The seed we are applying to these tees prevents us from applying pre-emergent.  Even in a small area like the range tees, weeds will be a concern and could be a costly problem.  This is the only area where taking this risk is acceptable.  In all the other rough areas we have chosen to delay any seeding until fall.  If anyone would like a further explanation of this, I would be happy to do so.

Klint Ladd
Golf Course Superintendent

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Greens Aerification Dates

Front 9 Greens- Monday, April 2
Back 9 Greens- Tuesday, April 3
Rain date- Wednesday, April 4

More details will be posted closer to aerification.

A New Addition

Tim Grote is one of the new additions to Stillmeadow Turf and Maintenance that has been added this week.  Tim's father is Rick Grote.  Rick was the Superintendent at Terrace Park Country Club for over twenty five years and consequently Tim has been around golf course maintenance since childhood.  Tim officially has fifteen years of experience and a wealth of knowledge that he brings to the table.  We believe that Tim will work his way onto the Turf and Maintenance management team quickly.  Tim will be doing technical duties such as irrigation repair, spraying, fertilizing, project management and many other duties as well.  Please join us in welcoming Tim to Stillmeadow Country Club!