Willow Oaks Country Club Golf Course Updates

Our goal is to keep the membership informed about projects, agronomic practices, and upcoming events on the golf course.


Navigating this Webpage

Maintenance Calendar, Follow us via Email or Social Media, and ways to find more information


Spring Aeration

Golf Course Closed March 27-31


February Golf Course Update

Winter Projects, Bunker Maintenance, and Greens Aeration Schedule


Air Movement and Fan Video

I took this video to show the efficacy and performance of our new Turf Breeze portable 50" Fan.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Successful Divot Party

Many thanks to the members that came out and filled divots on the golf course last night.  Our group was able to fill all of the fairway divots on the top 9 golf holes.  I would like to recognize the members who came out last night because I failed to take a picture.  Thank you Chuck Ditsler, Joe O'Hare, Lee Parker, Mike Mikeska, and Tom Cavanaugh for coming out and helping make the golf course better.  Many thanks as well to Richard and Tammy White for their hard work filling divots.  Overall, we are seeing more filled divots and many more repaired ball marks on the course.  Our golf maintenance team will finish up the bottom 9 divots this week. 

We have a lot of great events and weather to look forward to and greens are recovering from aeration and drill and fill.  We fertilized greens again this morning to help speed recovery.  The rain that we are currently getting should help as well.  While the drill and fill holes are still visible; ball roll, surface smoothness, and green speed are all in good shape.  This will still improve once the holes fill all the way over and we can more aggressively groom the greens.

The weather has really changed and with colder temperatures looming , we are beginning to groom the TifSport and T-10 bermudagrass for winter dormancy.  The height of cut has been raised on all tees, collars, fairways, and approaches.  We will be switching over to ride-mowing greens to take wear and tear off of the collars starting in November.  The collars have been historically weak in the early spring and we have made an aggressive effort to strengthen these areas all summer long.  The collars of TifSport directly around the greens have been core aerated 4 times this year and topdressed in an effort to improve the soils and relieve compaction.  They have also been fertilized with 5 different applications of organic fertilizer to encourage growth and promote stronger soils.  These efforts, along with ride mowing greens will improve these areas.  

Finally, I would like to recognize our staff for all of their hard work this season.  We still have a long way to go and a lot of great tournaments but we have started shrinking our staff size.  We have retained a great group of team members to help finish the season.  Our Lead Assistant Superintendent, Kevin Mark, and our two Assistants-in Training, Ryan Johnson and Dan Smith put in long, hard hours this year to help us provide a great golf experience.  Thank you to our entire team for all of your hard work and dedication.   

Ryan Johnson (left) and Dan Smith have proven themselves this summer through hard work and dedication.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Divot Party Monday September 17, 5:30 p.m.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

You are cordially invited to participate in our seasonal divot party.  The course walk and divot party will take place on Monday September 17 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.  The goal of Monday's event will be to fill divots on fairways and tees on the top 9 golf holes.  (Holes 1, 2, 18, 9-14) The event should take about 2 hours and will be rescheduled in the event of bad weather. 

Thank you and we look forward to the event,

Course Care Committee
Joe O'Hare
Lee Parker
Paul Sinclair
Richard White
Eric Frazier
Jordan Booth

Over 50 members attended the event in the spring.  These events are a great way to learn about the course and help improve conditions. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Drill and Fill

The Drill and Fill process was completed over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday.  Luckily, we finished late last night after two very long days because most of today was a rain out.  The process went overall very smoothly and we learned a lot of lessons for next year.  The machines consist of 24, 1 inch drill bits that drill down into the green and pull out the old material.  The sand then fills the new holes with fresh sand.  Any holes that were not perfectly filled, our team filled with funnels.  It is a very labor intensive process but is one that will benefit us for years to come.  Moving forward, the drill and fill will be performed in the spring along with our normal core aeration.

After the drill and fill, our team core aerated the greens with 1/4" hollow tine.  These create very small holes but help smooth the surface, remove thatch, and drag the sand into the drill and fill holes.  All of the remaining material was cleaned up and the green was blown off and rolled.  Soil amendments and topdressing were the last step in the process.  We began rolling and mowing greens today but were cut short due to rain.  The remainder of the greens will be rolled and mowed tomorrow ahead of play and the golf course will open tomorrow morning as scheduled.

The remaining pictures and video really show the process well.  Many thanks to our staff who worked from 5:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. both days to accomplish this important process.  The weather also held up great.  I didn't want to talk about it because it would be like talking to your pitcher in the middle of a no-hitter but the weather was perfect. We dodged a lot of storms to make this process happen in two days.  Have a great weekend and we look forward to cooler temperatures and lower humidity starting Sunday.

Jordan Booth
Harmon Turf Services was contracted out to perform the Drill and Fill.  The holes are between 9-11 inches deep and are back filled with fresh sand. 
Our team filled any holes with funnels that the machine did not fill to the brim.  

Using only two machines is not ideal for this process.  We will bring in 3 or 4 machines in the future.  Every green takes about 1 hour with two machines.  That is not terrible right now with about 13.5 working hours of sunlight but in early March, it won't cut it.
Our team pulled 1/4" cores right behind the drill and fill.  All of the material was then pushed off the greens and cleaned up.  The green was then blown off and rolled.  The core aeration smoothed the surface, removed thatch, and helped drag the sand into the holes.

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