Thursday, July 30, 2009


Is it really July? Over the last few days you would think it was May with temperatures only reaching into upper 60's and rainy. This July is definitely one for the books. We have had high temperatures in the 90's and so called high temperatures in the upper 60's with some lows dipping in to the high 40's. We have also had some extreme thunder storms, hail, wind and tornado sightings. July is typically our hottest month of the entire year. I guess our current weather pattern is holding, cool and rainy for now but we will see what August brings. If this weather pattern continues this July could go down a one of the coolest July's in Denver History. How about that July 2008 was the 3rd hottest and 3rd driest July in Denver History.

Here are some averages and records for Denver for July.

- Average High 88
- Average Low 59
- Average rain fall 2.2 inches
- Record rain fall 6.4 inches
- Rain fall July 2009 3.52 inches
- Driest July .01 inches
- Record High 104 in 1931
- Record Low 36 in 1939

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Localized Dry Spot

Localized dry spot or (LDS) are found on all types of turf grasses and soil conditions all over the world. These LDS areas are characterized by non-wettable or hydrophobic soil conditions. These areas usually have excessive organic mater and a waxy fungus in the soil medium called mycelium. Controlling localized dry spots is an ongoing and some times difficult battle, especially if you let the areas severely dry out. If localized dry spot is present it is best to spike or Hydro Jet the areas, apply a wetting agent and immediately water in . The wetting agent helps breaks up the waxy build up and allows the soil to take the water. Other practices to minimize the severity of localized dry spots include thatch removal, application of a fungicide or core aerification.

Localized dry spot on a green

Hand watering with wetting agents

The Hydro Jet injects water and wetting agent at
high pressure into the soil up to 10 inches deep.

Picture of hydrophobic soil
(you can see the waxy buildup)

Picture of non-hydrophobic soil

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Drainage, Drainage, Drainage

What are the three most important things for a golf course turf and soil? Drainage, Drainage, Drainage. Recently we discovered a greens drainage problem on the front left of #17 green. The old Purr-Wick drain was crushed during installation of the new irrigation system. This damage of the pipe backed up water in to the green causing it not to drain properly. This type of drainage problem creates anaerobic conditions in the soil making it very difficult to grow grass. The definition of anaerobic soil is, soil that is devoid of interstitial oxygen. This condition mostly occurs because of the sustained presence of water, which limits contact with the atmosphere. Once the drainage is fixed, the drainage of water through the green will pull in much needed oxygen making the area firm again and returning the area to an aerobic soil.

Front left of #17 green

Old Purr-Wick drain

Entire drain project

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tournament Preparation

The Pinery Preferential is just around the corner and I bet a lot of members are wondering what we do to prepare. The main thing we do different is we starting rolling greens. We usually start rolling greens the Monday before the first round and roll greens through that Saturday. When rolling greens I found it best to roll at least three days prior to a tournament to see the best results. Usually the first day or so you only see a slight increase in greens speeds, it is after the third and fourth days you see a significant difference in the green speeds. Typically we can see the greens increase up to one to two feet on the stimp meter this is all dependent on the weather and any irrigation events. Secondly we increase our mowing frequency on certain areas of the course which include fairways, approaches, tees and intermediate rough. Normally these areas only see a mower three to four times a week. When you increase the mowing frequency we get a much better cut and it keeps the course tight. The down side is the labor hours we spend mowing, but it is only for a short time and the results are worth it.

Greens Roller

Greens roller heads up close

Prism to check quality of cut

Fairway mower in action