Sunday, March 20, 2016

Time to Tee Off with Rounds For Research Again

It is almost that time of year again where you have the opportunity to bid for the chance to play some of the best courses in the state of Tennessee while at the same time supporting and funding turfgrass research.  I am proud to announce that we (The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay) and all the other courses along the Tennessee Golf Trail will join close to 100 other golf courses in Tennessee as part of the Rounds 4 Research program.  Between April 1-10, 2016 you will have the opportunity to bid on rounds of golf on the Bidding For Good website with proceeds from your winning bid going to local and national golf associations to be used to fund education, research, advocacy, and scholarships.

The Rounds 4 Research program is a great and simple way for you to "support turfgrass research while playing on exclusive courses.  It's a WIN-WIN."  The funds raised by your winning bid will be split with at least 80% going to your local golf course superintendent association and the remaining amount going to the GCSAA Environmental Institute for Golf .  As stated before, it's a Win-Win.  You get to play on some of the best courses that you might have thought you would never get the opportunity to play and your local golf association, Tennessee Golf Course Superintendents Association gets much needed, and valuable, funds to help support turfgrass research that will aid all golf courses.

We have a generous collection of golf courses throughout the state of Tennessee who have stepped up and donated rounds of golf, usually a foursome with golf carts and some with range balls and/or other extras, which will make your golf experience even that much better.

So how can you help??  

1.  Go to Bidding For Good website and register for an account.
2.  Look over the golf courses for Tennessee and select the courses you are interested in bidding on.
3.  Get ready to bid on your choices from April 1-10.

That seems so simple so what else can you do to help out??

1.  Check the list of golf courses and make sure your home course is listed.
2.  If they are, Thank them for supporting the cause.  If they are not, Ask them why they are not on the list.  There is still time for your course to get involved.  Donations will be accepted throughout the auction period.


3.  Help promote the program but telling your membership, golf buddies, and anyone that will listen about this great opportunity.  Every little bit of promotion helps.

The Rounds 4 Research program only works if people bid on the rounds, so we can get millions of rounds donated, but if you don't do your part and bid on these amazing golf properties, then neither of us wins.  Please help us raise much needed funds for turfgrass research.

If you are a golf course in Tennessee that has donated a round THANK YOU.  The project would not be a success without you.

If you are a golf course interested in joining this great group of donors there is still time.  Please contact TGCSA Executive Secretary Ms. Shelia Finney or myself to donate a round.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Rebirth of #3 Green

For several year now we have been dealing with the poor performance of #3 green.  We have tried many different practices and processes to try and revive this green but with no success.  So this winter we took on a renovation of this green in order to continue to work to provide the best possible playing conditions and experience we can.  Details of the project and why we chose to make this drastic step can be viewed on a previous blog post, Renovation of #3 Green.

We began the project in November by removing the top 5 inches of the contaminated greens mix. The excess organic matter in the greens surface made it virtually impossible for the green to perform properly.  It was surprising how fresh the greens mix below this level was.  Like it had just been installed a few days ago.  This difference in the two layers validates the need, and our request, for deeper aerification of the greens surfaces to eliminate this hard pan layer and allow for roots, water, and air to penetrate deeper into the greens profile.

The next step was to bring in new greens mix which was spread and contoured to a new greens shape.  The new greens mix and the old greens mix was lightly blended together to insure we did not have a barrier between the two soils.  The green was then graded and packed which gave it a similar but new look to the surface and now provides us with about twice the legal pinning areas as before.

Once the green was packed and contoured we installed new Champion ultradwarf bermudagrass sod to the surface.  Now sodding an ultradwarf green in the middle of winter in Tennessee is not the ideal way of doing things I will agree but it was the only time we could do this project and affect the smallest amount of play.  We were extremely lucky during the time of the sodding as we had unusually warm weather through the end of December which allowed us to roll and top dress the green several times and helped in its transplanting.

On February 27th we decided to officially open #3 green for play.  Although there are still a few seams that you can see and it is not as smooth or fast as the other greens on the course, playing on the greens surface is better than playing on the temporary green out in the fairway.  We will continue to roll and top dress the green over the remainder of the month and believe by the end of March the green will be as good as the rest of them, maybe even better.

We are very pleased with the results of this project and very encouraged by the growth we are seeing from the green given how early it is in the season and the weather we have had so far.  This is a picture of a plug taken from #3 green and as you can see the roots are starting to grow and establish into the greens mix.  This is a very encouraging sign and one we are very happy to see.

I would like to thank our Agronomy Staff for all their hard work on this project.  We took on a challenge that many people said we were crazy to attempt and through hard work and determination have succeeded in reviving our worst green to one we can now be very proud of.  I would also like to thank everyone, from the proshop to the golfers, for their patience and understanding as we carried out this process.  I know it was not ideal to have to play to a temporary green for three months but I believe you will agree with me that the pain was worth the gain.

As always we will continue to strive everyday to make The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay the best that we possibly can and we thank you for your patronage and your support.  If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to contact me with them.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Our Newest Residents---HB9 and HB10

It's been an exciting weekend for all of us at Harrison Bay and our loyal family of viewers at Harrison Bay Eagle Cam as we welcomed our two newest residents to the course, HB9 and HB10.

HB9 hatched at 7:30 PM on Saturday, March 5 and HB10 hatched 4:31 PM on Sunday, March 6.  Both eaglets appear to be happy and healthy and we are looking forward to an exciting year of watching these two grow and join the rest of Elliott and Eloise's family in the big blue sky.