GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENT’S
Dear Member / Property Owner,
Following on from the First Quarter Golf Course Superintendent’s News Letter, which was designed to keep you up to date with all of the important maintenance procedures which were scheduled to take place on The Indiana Course in the second quarter, I am pleased to be able to give you an update on the works carried out and to inform you of the schedule of works which shall take place during the third quarter of 2018.
2ndQUARTER COURSE MAINTENANCE UPDATE
Hollow Coring Greens
The hollow coring of the golf course greens and practice greens took place and was completed as per schedule on Monday 16thApril and Monday 21stMay.
Hollow Coring Tees
The hollow coring of the golf course tees was completed between Monday 8thand Tuesday 29thMay.
Greens Solid Tining, Verti-Cutting & Topdressing Greens
Last summer the greens became ‘puffy’, on occasion causing the hand mowers to dig in and scalp the putting surface. At this time of the year with high soil temperatures, reduction in root growth is common for creeping bentgrass, causing an imbalance in tillering capabilities and root growth. The higher order tillers produced tend to be succulent (soft), easily pulled upon, and the leaves from these tillers are elevated above the canopy (unevenness) and are therefore easily scalped.
The year round maintenance practices of the greens play a big part in the prevention of the greens becoming ‘puffy’. More hand watering of the greens during the summer will help reduce the amount of water being applied to the putting surfaces that could make the greens excessively wet, creating more thatch growth. Other practices include, solid tining (venting), light verticutting and topdressing of the greens each month which helps promote deeper roots, reduce thatch, and therefore improves green firmness for the mowers.
After the hollow coring programme in May, the greens get verti cut, topdressed and brushed every 2 to 3 weeks followed by solid tining. The timing is dependant on growth rates and golf competition schedules. As previously mentioned, the greens’ new brush and roller units allow this process to take place more often increasing sand volumes applied to the green without reducing the quality of the playing surface and more importantly reduces green puffiness in the summer months.
Air2G2 Greens’ Aeration
The scheduled Aerating of the greens with the Air2G2 has been changed due to the late second hollow coring of the greens this year. This program will be rescheduled.
The golf course landscaping teams continue to reduce the amount of plant material around the golf course. This will be an on going programme throughout the year.
Verti Draining and Spiking Fairways
The second and third programme of verti-draining and spiking of the fairways was completed to improve both water and air movement throughout the soil profile. The programme of verti draining, followed by spiking will continue throughout the year to help improve aeration of the compacted fairways.
Sand Topdressing Fairways
The fairways were topdressed with a mixture of sand, humic acid and gypsum during June. This topdressing mix will help improve the fairway density of the rye grass during the summer months.
Driving Range Tee Turf Grass Conversion
The driving range turf grass conversion commneced in April with three applications of roundup®to the existing tee. In May, a Koro Field Top Maker was used to fraise mow and strip the grass surface of the existing turf layer. All the old material was then disposed of. Additional sand and soil amendments were added to the surface and incorporated. The new surface was then levelled using a laser box grader before the bermuda grass sprigs were planted. Over the following 6 weeks an exact grow-in program was followed, including weekly applications of fertiliser and hourly irrigation cycles. The new bermuda grass is now being mowed daily to promote further growth. The surface is expected to be completely grown in and playable by August.
Rabbit Fencing & Control
A specialised rabbit capture company worked on the golf course for two months. Future visits are planned in the year and prio notice will be given. The landscaping teams continue to reduce the amount of landscaping plant material in the golf course that are protecting the rabbits in specific areas.
Renovation of the Golf Academy Bunker
The large practice bunker was completely renovated with new turf in April. When practicing bunker shots, sand is continuously deposited outside the bunker onto the green surround, creating an area where grass cannot thrive in the summer months due to the very fast percolation rates of the pure bunker sand. The excessive sand was removed from the bunker face and the bunker surround rebuilt to its original soil level. New turf was placed and established. The new bunker sand, which is less prone to plugging, will be introduced during the summer months.
Anti slip “GripClad” have not been placed to date on the Men’s tee. This work has been set as a priority and whenever there is available time during the summer months, it will be completed.
3rdQUARTER GOLF COURSE MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME
Greens Hollow Coring
When the final tournament schedule for the autumn is completed, the September hollow coring dates will be confirmed. The hollow coring of the greens is a maintenance practice which is scheduled each year to both maintain and enhance the playing quality of the putting surfaces with which we are accustomed at The Indiana. This practice creates the required environment for strong vigorous roots to grow, the very essence of golf course maintenance.
Tees Hollow Coring
The hollow coring of the tees with micro tines will take place in September to help dilute thatch and improve both air and water movement throughout the soil profile. This maintenance program will take two weeks to complete. During this time tee markers may be moved to adjacent teeing areas so that work can continue uninterrupted.
Solid Tining Greens
The Indiana course greens will be solid tined, with 5 mm pencil tines each month. These holes are only open (noticeable) for the first 2 days, increasing air movement for the root system and allowing products to be flushed through the rootzone which will help reduce the negative impact of accumulated salts. There is no noticeable effect to the playing quality of the green’s surface.
Verti Cutting and Topdressing Greens
The greens will be verticut and topdressed every two weeks. Topdressing is an essential maintenance process to help improve the playing surfaces, by keeping them true and firm by diluting thatch accumulation. The volume of sand applied to the greens will vary to match the growth rate of the grass, so that the sand applied is incorporated into the playing surface and not collected by hand mowing.
Air2G2 Greens’ Aeration
The aeration of the greens using the Air2G2 last year was a great success, both improving the surface and subsurface drainage of the green. The machine will be hired again and the greens aerated taking 3 days to complete. The small holes after aeration will quickly fill in and do not affect the playing surface of the green.
The Golf Course landscaping crew has started work on reducing the amount and height of plant material in front of all the tee complexes, especially the Ladies Tees.
Fairway Verti Draining and Spiking
For the fourth time this year, the fairways will be verti-drained and spiked. This particular aspect of golf course maintenance is both extremely necessary and time consuming, so we ask you to please bear with us until its completion. Disruption to play, as always, will be kept to an absolute minimum.
Throughout the summer months hand watering and syringing of the greens and tees will take place to help reduce the effects of stress on the playing surfaces. Hand watering also reduces water consumption and improves the performance of the bent grass during drought conditions. Please be advised that watering cannot be stopped during play for this reason.
Sand Topdressing Fairways
The fairways will be top-dressed with more sand during the next few months. Gypsum will be applied separately to improve the overall health of the rye grass fairways. The gypsum formulation is a course prill but over time will break down stabilising the soil structure.
Driving Range Tee Turf Grass Conversion
The new bermuda grass is now being mowed daily to promote further growth. The surface is expected to be completely grown-in and playable by August 2018.
Hydro Jet Greens
The greens and collars will be aerified with the “Hydrojet” machine throughout the summer months. This system of aeration creates small pin sized air holes in the green by using high-pressure water, improving both water and air movement throughout the soil profile. There will be no adverse effect to the quality of the green playing surface during this time.
Annual Golf Course Verti-Cutting and Overseeding Program
The annual maintenance program of verti-cutting, overseeding and topdressing will commence on Monday 10thSeptember, on all rye grass areas of the golf course to improve the turf quality and density after the summer months. During this time a local rule of “preferred lies” will be introduced. The reception staff will be updated with the golf course conditions on a daily basis. The program will take 3 weeks to complete.
2018 Greens Hollow Coring Dates
In the knowledge that all Property Owners and Members need to have as much notice as possible concerning particular aspects of the golf course maintenance schedule that may temporarily effect the playing conditions of the green’s surface, thus enabling them to plan particular holidays accordingly, please see below the remaining hollow coring date for 2018. This date is subject to change due to weather conditions.
Hollow Coring Dates for 2018:
September Date : TBC
You will be able to keep up to date with the full tournament and social calendar, format and any additions, information of how to enter, and much more, by visiting either our official website www.desertspringsresort.es or by contacting the golf reception at Desert Springs.
We and the staff at Desert Springs are looking forward to seeing you on The Indiana course in the near future.
Kind regards, Kind regards,
Alfonso Castiñeira Anthony Brooks
Golf Operations Manager Golf Course Superintendent