Friday, August 30, 2013


Last Monday we hosted Girl Scout troop 4010 from Westwood New Jersey for our annual Monarch Tagging day.  Unfortunately we were not able to tag any Monarchs but we were able to show the scouts that golf courses can provide great habitat for a variety of butterflies and other wildlife.   In case you did not know the Monarch populations are at an all time low.  The fact that we saw one was actually pretty good.  They count the amount of Monarchs by how much acreage they occupy in Mexico each winter.  Last year they were at an all time low of 2.9 acres.  Compare that to 1996-97 when the area they occupied was 44.9 Acres.  Ten years ago they occupied 27 acres.  In a sentence the Monarchs need our help.   

As you can see the aerification is all ready starting to heal.  We were able to mow with our regular mowers yesterday.  By next weekend we should be able to go back to summer rules and the greens will hardly be noticeable.  Thanks for your patience.  Aerification is necessary if we are to ensure good greens in the future.  

Below is a list of all the butterflies we saw. 

By: John Lampkin

Rockland Country Club Golf Course
Rockland County, NY
Periodic survey
With Matt Ceplo, Groundskeeper and Girl Scout Troop 4010 of Westwood, NJ
78, overcast with impending showers
First Sachems of the season
  • Black Swallowtail 2
  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 11
  • Spicebush Swallowtail 5
  • Cabbage White 32
  • Clouded Sulphur 1
  • Orange Sulphur 1
  • Great Spangled Fritillary 1
  • Pearl Crescent 1
  • Monarch 1
  • Silver-spotted Skipper 1
  • Horace's Duskywing 1
  • Wild Indigo Duskywing 2
  • Least Skipper 1
  • Peck's Skipper 1
  • Sachem 8
  • Zabulon Skipper 7
  • Dun Skipper 1

Mr. John Lampkin talking about the butterflies we have at the club

Troop 4010 on there way to catch some butterflies. 


Tony mowing greens with hand mower. 

Greens look much better.  A lot of recovery in one week. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


The hard part is done.  We finished aerifying Greens and Fairways yesterday.  We still have a few areas to clean up but the worst is over.  We will be seeding thin areas on greens and Collars over the next couple of days.  Now is a great time to seed.  Hopefully we are in the “Goldilocks” time period.   Not too hot and not too cold.  There also is less seed competition from weeds.  That is why many area courses aerify this time of year.  

What can you expect?  For the first week the greens will be bumpy and slow.   It takes at least a week for things to start to recover. We can't get a good cut, because the sand dulls the blades.  In the second week things begin to recover and cuts get better. Ball roll starts to improve.  By the third week we should be totally healed and back in business.  Fairways don't impact play because we just go to winter rules. Once they have recovered then it is business as usual and back to summer rules.    

Unfortunately aerification is a process that must be done if we are to insure good playing conditions in the future.  I want to thank our staff.  Aerification is not an easy process.  They worked some pretty long, hard hours.  
What Aerification????   from a distance you can hardly tell we did anything. 
Close up of green.  Holes are filled with sand. 
Close up of Fairway. 
Owel is preparing the green for seed. 

Close up of seed bed.  The seed is smaller than a grain of rice. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013


The weather this past week has been ideal for recovery.  Many stressed areas have rebounded and the course looks great.  Not that we don’t have our problem areas.  Next week we will be starting our aerification process.  Fairways and Greens will be done first.   We will start greens on Sunday night (August 18th) after the Parent Child Tournament.  Starting at night has advantages.   It gives us a head start to make sure we finish quicker but more importantly the Cooler temperatures make the process less disruptive to the turf.  On the down side, it is hard on the staff and more difficult to see.    

We finished a drain by the green tee on number 4.  That area has been a problem all year.   It has dried up nicely, so you don’t have to walk around the wet area to get to the tee anymore.    
Drain on 4 tee empties into the pond in front. 

Side view of drain. 
Please do not practice putting in one place for too long on the putting green.   The green was just sodded late last year and is still maturing.  It is not able to handle the extreme wear that occurs if you practice in one place.  We are still mowing the green higher and letting it mature.  Hopefully next season it will roll like the rest of the course.
These worn areas are from putting in one place for too long. 
Finally our Sambucus or elderberry shrub that we planted is being enjoyed by our Mockingbirds and Catbirds.   They are constantly eating the berries.   The Mockingbird and Catbirds are both very good songsters and a nice addition to the course. 
Mockingbird enjoying some Elderberries