Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More than the birds "tweeting" at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay

The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay golf course is now on Twitter.  You can follow us at @BearTraceHB.

We will be posting information about course conditions and up coming events such as tournaments, course activities, weather delays or closures, as well as photos of the golf course and wildlife.

Follow us to get the latest scoop on what is going on at your Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chipping Green Update

I am well pleased with the progress of our grow in of the new chipping/nursery green.  It has been three weeks today since it was planted and appears to be right on schedule.

Once the cover was removed we mowed the green for the first time with our John Deere 220B walk behind mowers.  This first mow is always touchy because you are removing a lot of the extra sprigs which did not take hold and also finding all the high spots in the green.

After the first mow a heavy layer of topdressing sand was applied to the green.  This layer will help smooth out any low areas and will help heat up the soil surface while also protecting the crown of the turfgrass plant from further damage from the mower. 

A granular fertilizer application was made to the green and then watered in.  In the upcoming weeks we will continue to mow reducing our height of cut and applying topdressing sand which will help the plant spread and fill in all the voids. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Little Things that Make the Course Better


It is nice when golfers notice the little things that we do on the golf course to try and make their experience better.  Last week we replaced the old ball washers which were installed when the course opened with new Standard Golf ball washers and I have had several golfers thank me for this improvement.  This upgrade has been needed for several years and I am glad that we can finally make this improvement.  The old ball washers could only wash one ball at a time and rarely functioned smoothly as they were designed.  The new ball washers are a crank style washer which can accommodate four balls at once. The plastic design of this new ball washer will also allow for a longer life and easier clean up. 
Another improvement to the course that we hope you will like are the new flag sticks which were installed today. 

The new flagsticks have the range finder prisms installed in the flagstick itself which makes them easier to locate with the range finder and will help to protect them from damage from being dropped on the green.  It might take some getting used to, looking in a different spot, but I think you will like these thicker better flagsticks better.

Speaking of dropping the flagsticks on the ground...Please be mindful of the putting surface when you remove the flag from the cup and place it on the ground.  A flagstick just being allowed to fall on the turfgrass plant is like a 300 foot tall Redwood falling on you or I, it can do a great amount of damage.  Please be careful and set the flagstick down in a more gentler manner.  It was easy to see today in the topdressing sand how many golfers had simply dropped the flagstick on the green.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chipping Green Update

Well after a week of almost eight inches of rain we finally got out on the course to do some maintenance today.  It will take a few days of mowing to get the turfgrass back down to the heights that we are all used to, so please be patient with us.

 One thing we did today was remove the cover from the newly sprigged chipping/nursery green.  It has been nine days since Champion Turf Farms planted the green and with the very minimum sunlight we have had I was very surprised to see the sprigs greening up and trying to root down.
 The area down toward #10 tee which was added on is doing better than the original green area because of the lack of drainage in this new area and because of the high moisture holding capacity of this sand.  It might take the upper area a little bit longer to fill in but all in all it looks very good.
I am very pleased with the process of using the greens cover to protect the sprigs following sprigging.  We have had some very heavy rains over the past week and I can say almost certainly that if the sprigs had only been covered with topdressing sand we would have a pile of sprigs at the bottom of the hill.  I think the cover protected the sprigs from washing and also helped to heat up the soil or retain any heat generated during the day.  I also like the fact that the new sprig doesn't have to use any of its stored energy to emerge from a layer of sand, it can just start trying to root down.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Chipping Green/Nursery Green Renovation

For many years now our trusted and faithful nursery green has served us well when needing to repair damaged areas on the golf course but it has past its point of usefulness and needs to be replaced. 
Our first step was to cut and remove the existing turfgrass from the nursery green.  We also realized that the 2,000 square foot green was not large enough for our golf course needs so we expanded the area to almost 4,000 square feet.
 The good 419 sod which was removed from the expansion area was taken to areas on the golf course which needed some fresher sod.
 Once the usable sod was removed we scraped off the old surface that had been cut with the sod cutter and hauled it away.
 New sand was brought in to the area and packed and floated to raise the expanded area up to the slope that we need for both drainage and mowing capabilities.
 The newly, expanded chipping/nursery green after it has been packed and the preplant fertilizer applied.  Ready for sprigging.
 Our great friends from Champion Turf Farms came over to the golf course Saturday afternoon after they were done planting the new Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass greens at The Honors Course and planted the chipping green.  I can't say enough about the help and advice we have received from Morris and Mike Brown and Tom Green of Champion over the years. 

 The sprigging process took about 15 minutes for the seven Champion employees to spread the new sprigs on the surface.  Very quick but very efficient. 
As with most things in life, new procedures and techniques come along that are supposed to be better than before.  When we first planted our Champion greens back in 2003 we covered the sprigs with topdressing sand immediately after the sprigs were placed on the ground.  A new thought process has come to pass where covers are used to protect the sprigs from washing in heavy rains or irrigation and to increase the heating of the soil and thus encourage greater rooting and growth of the new greens.  So we are giving this method a shot and have decided to use our winter cover for this green as our protection for the sprigs.  Time will tell if this is a good plan but it sounds very good in theory.
The green will take about 5-6 weeks before it is ready for use and it is our hope that we never have to use it for repairs on the course again.