Monday, June 12, 2017

10 DAY COUNTDOWN BEGINS:

What's in 10 days?  The start of our 3 day Member Guest.   Let the preparations begin:   Actually we already have started.  We fertilized fairways and bunker banks last week so that we have good color and nice thick rough.  We started Edging bunkers a week ago but only have half the course done.  We need to keep moving on them.  Today was Not a good day to work in bunkers.   At 90+ degrees even the tough boss that I am (time to laugh) has to say it's too hot to be working in bunkers.  Actually it is all hands on hoses.  A lot of watering being done today.  
Edging bunkers last week,  we are only half way finished.
The back of 13 black tee was caving in.  The guys did a nice job adding this little wall to stabilize the bank.
On a more long term note.   We are having our soils tested to see if we need to address issues that we can not see.  Over the years we have changed our aerification practices.  We decided not to Drill and fill and instead opt for a less aggressive procedure called dry-jet.   We aerify the greens once per year and fill holes with sand.   We have also increased our top-dressing frequency.   We now top-dress more frequently but lighter.  Pictured below is Steve Renzetti from Pinnacle Turf.    We sampled three greens.  The Putting Green,  Six, and Fifteen.  He will send the samples off to the lab and will report on the findings.  The lab measures for Organic matter, pore space and other soil properties that need to be maintained for healthy turf.   It takes a little time,  about 4 weeks for the results.  Stay tuned,  I am very interested in seeing what the results are.  
Steve Renzetti from Pinnacle Turf,  Taking soil samples for testing.  

Friday, May 26, 2017

MEMORAIL DAY UPDATE:

Rain, Rain and more Rain.   Maybe it's because we have been spoiled the past few years but it seems like we have had a lot of rainy days.  Yesterday was miserable, a slow drizzle all day but we only had .32 inches.  I thought good, we should be fine for today.  When I drove through the course I realized that we must have had a pretty good storm roll through late last night.   Another .52 inches in the rain gauge and the course is soaked.   So much for being in great shape for the holiday weekend.   Cart path only for today.  Let's hope the weather pattern shifts and we start to get some more summer type weather.   Once the course does dry out we should be back to normal.  Believe it or not it won't be long before we are hand watering again.  

The putting green is still on the new side even though this is the start of the third season.  We probably pushed it a little too hard for this time of year.  The cold days are not helping either.   We have had it tested for disease and fertility and its fine.  I think in a couple of weeks of letting it grow
 a little and giving it some tender loving care we should be fine.   

Our North American Bird count went well.   We found 44 different species this year.   A Yellow-Billed Cuckoo was a nice surprise.  I have only seen them here once before.  He was too fast for me to get a good picture. 

Blue Birds are always nice to see.   Sitting in the sun shows his colors. 






We have 40 nest boxes on the course.  5 have Blue Birds nesting in them.   Chicks are getting big!!!


 









Why are we watering with all the rain?  We applied a crabgrass control product in our roughs.  In order for the product to be effective it needs to be moved to the soil.  With the new irrigation system we are able to water just the roughs and just long enough to get it to where we want it.  
The Black Swallow- Tail recently hatched that was saved from last year.   
We kept the chrysalis in a cool dry place over the winter tying to mimic mother nature.   Nice to see it worked!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY

1.60 Inches of rain yesterday has the course good and soaked.   The forecast for next week is more promising with temps in the mid 80's and no rain for the next few days.    Good-thing,  we need to dry out.   With this forecast it will be all hands on deck just getting the grass mowed.

Big Day for the Kitchen and House staff.   Carmin is busy setting up the tables getting ready for the Mothers Day Dinners.   Looks like a great day ahead.  


Algae is looking a little bit better. 
Course is looking better now that the trees are dressed in leaves.  
Not sure why, but for some reason we have more poison Ivy in our native areas than usual.  If you are like me you avoid it at all costs.  We have been spraying it as soon as we see it.  There is an old saying "leaves of three let it be. Leaves of five let it thrive".   A real good native plant is called Virginia Creeper and has five leaves.   If not sure the best bet is to avoid anything that resembles poison ivy.   If you see some on the course let me or another staff member know and we will remove it.   
These are from the right of 16 fairway and are maple seedling.  A poison Ivy copy cat.  
This is Porcelain Berry one of the most invasive plants we have.  We remove it as soon as we see it.  Of course the best bet is to keep it in the Fairway  :-)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

PLAYING HOOKY----FOR A GOOD REASON

You didn't see me on the course last Friday for a good reason.   I was attending a summit sponsored by United Airlines and Audubon International.  They are in the beginning stages of starting a Raptor relocation project.   I knew birds and airplanes do not mix but didn't know how many or the different species that were of concern.   Raptors in particular are a problem at airports and they are looking for areas to release them.   Golf to the rescue.  The program is just getting started but our first meeting was a huge success.    I am really honored that Rockland and I can be a part of saving these great birds.   Look for more information as this program gets started.


Pictured from left to right:   Christine Kane, Executive Director Audubon International,  Mr. Jim Jones, Volunteers for Wildlife,  Mr Tim Connolly,  Golf Course Superintendent, TPC Jasna Polana (and our host)  Mr. Aaron Stash, Senior Strategist Environmental Sustainability United Airlines, Ms. Mikki Viehoever, Wildlife Biologist Airport Operations Seattle - Tacoma Int'l Airport and Mr. Jeff Kolodzinski, Senior Wildlife Biologist Aviation Department, John F. Kennedy International Airport.