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December Greens Staff Newsletter

December Greens Staff Newsletter

     We came out of the wettest October and into a very dry November with unusually cold temperatures and our first snow of the season. As we head in to the colder months of the year we feel that the golf course is in the best shape and more prepared for the winter than it has been in years. The course is playing fair and consistent to all levels of golfers. The golf course has gone completely dormant for the season. The greens are in excellent condition at this point and time. The greens are still holding some color but basically the color that  you see is a pigment that we spray on the greens to help keep the soil temperatures up. 

     We had a meeting with Champion Greens who installed the new greens. The staff from Champion said that we are way ahead of schedule with the greens. They said that we were a 10 out of 10 when it comes to the aesthetic and agronomic variables of the greens. They took soil samples from the greens and the report came back stating that the greens basically are very healthy. There will be a few things that we will tweak in our spray and fertilization program going forward to help the greens maintain and improve on what they are now.

      I am sure that you have noticed the covers that are out on the course. We will be placing the covers on the greens any time that the temperature falls below 28 degrees. We are making the decision to cover them to help the green survive and respond better and quicker in the spring. We are not the only course with Bermuda Greens that is doing this in this area. When we put them on we will be removing them as the weather allows. Frost is going to be a bigger issue this year as compared to years in the past. So please be patient with us when these situations occur. I apologize for any inconvenience.

     The bright green that you are seeing around the collars is Poa Annua. We have sprayed a herbicide which will eliminate that problem as the temperatures rise in the next few days. 

     Throughout the rest of the winter season we will periodically be topdressing the collars to improve the smoothness around the greens. This needs to be done to firm the collars up and give you the best playing conditions throughout the entire course, especially around the greens.

     During the second week of the month we will be starting the first phase of our tree removal plan. Any tree that has been marked with an X will be removed by us. Any marked tree that is along the power lines will be removed by KUB at no charge to us. Also for every tree they remove they will provide us with a tree at no cost to plant. As I stated before, we will start on #6. The white pine left of the green will eventually cause an agronomic issue with the green if it is not removed. With the position of the tree and sun angle that green never sees the sun and that is not what we need to keep that green in the condition that it is in now. After #6 we will move over to #3 to remove the dead tree behind the green. When we complete #3 we will move to #17 green to remove the trees on the left of the green. These trees also will cause an agronomic issue with the green if we do not remove them. That green also does not receive enough sun light. We will end our plan for this year by removing 2 trees behind 16 tee which have become a safety issue. There are other trees on the list to be removed in the second phase of our plan. As we remove these trees we will be placing the logs by the shop if anyone wants firewood. Please have at it and take what you need. Also once we finish we plan to rent a chipper and chip everything into mulch. Feel free to take what you need.

     Going forward into the spring we plan to aerify the tees, fairways, collars, approaches and greens. We will top dress the tees, collars and approaches. We will accomplish these tasks with minimum interruption to the golf and playability of the course. In our next newsletter I will go more into the spring and the plans and changes that we have for the course next season.

     We are in a great position with our staff and I will not be making any more changes. We will go forward with the guys that we have. The staff works countless hours in all types of weather conditions to give you one of the best public courses in East Tennessee. We recently promoted Travis Sturdivant to our Assistant Mechanic position. Scotti Williamson will stay on as the Irrigation Technician and Austin Nicely will serve as my Assistant. Austin will be starting school in the near future to obtain his Turf Degree. Travis will be attending a mechanic school in January and Austin and Scotti will be attending Irrigation school in February. These schools will allow each one to better perform their jobs. Each one of these guys play a key role in helping us succeed.

     Lastly I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. If you have any questions feel free to stop and ask me.

- Rusty Howell, General Manager