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, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

The golf course and the club held up very well throughout the last 48 hours of storms.  No trees fell and the golf course really handled the 1.75" of rain very well.  It has still been raining all morning but it appears that the worst is past us.  We should all be very thankful as many of our northern neighbors suffered greatly during this storm.

Monday was productive but today is really to wet to do too much work.  Our team is busy cleaning up from the storm and will be doing so for the remainder of the week.  The golf course is soaked but playable.  I would be surprised if cart traffic will be allowed on fairways this week.  Here are a few pictures from last week and yesterday.  Stay safe out there.

This picture shows the team laying out the plant material for the installation of the butterfly garden at #8 tee complex.  All of the plant material is native and will make a great improvement in this area.

This is the butterfly garden at #12 tee.  All of the plants are native with varying size and color.  The tree is a native Choke Cherry and the plant material consists of native Bee Balm, Black Eyed Susan, and Tickseed. 
The staff was able to mow greens ahead of the storm yesterday.  This was well worth it as mowing will not happen today.
Dan and Ryan applied gypsum and a balanced fertility package to the greens yesterday.  We were able to take advantage of the rain and the gypsum will help mitigate any extra salinity that may be in the rain water associated with this storm.
Danny Golden was here yesterday to grind the large stump at the first tee.  If you need a stump ground, he is your man.  Our team will be cleaning up the area this week.

Have a great week,

Jordan Booth

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Preparing for Sandy

The forecasts are still varied but it looks like Hurricane Sandy will hit the DelMarVa peninsula and greatly affect the Mid-Atlantic.  Flooding of the James River is not a major concern right now but obviously this is subject to change.  We anticipate downed trees and power outages and we have prepared all of our equipment, chain saws, fuel storage, etc. for such an event.  The club is undergoing preparations to have power for essential operations and will always make every effort to operate as normal.  We will be updating the blog and twitter once the storm arrives.  Prepare yourself for the worst and stay safe.

Thank you,

Jordan Booth

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Fall Golf Swing

We are currently in a busy time for golf, outings, and tournaments.  Our workload and staff size is shrinking and with shorter, colder days the bermudagrass has more or less stopped growing.  Our main focus this time of year is golf course preparation and leaf removal.  Projects are kept to a minimum for the most part and our real focus is on golf course maintenance.

The holes from the drill and fill process are starting to disappear.  They have been a real eyesore and took longer than expected to fill over.  This process will not be performed in the fall moving forward.  We had to make a decision.  Over fertilize the turf and see quicker recovery but diminished putting quality.  Or maintain the turf with normal, balanced fertility and provide good putting quality minus a few bumps.  We chose the latter.  Doing this process in the Spring of the year will allow us to be more aggressive and grow the holes over must faster.  This is still a great process and we have already seen improved drainage and firmness.

This morning, we were scheduled for a preventative fungicide application that needs to be watered in.  While we were doing this we took the opportunity to fertilize the turf.  A granular product consisting mainly of Calcium, Phosphorus, and Potassium was applied ahead of the spray.  The fungicide was coupled with a variety of nitrogen sources to continue recovery and maintain healthy turf.  We spiked the greens ahead of this process to break the surface tension and allow for water, chemical and fertility infiltration.  The greens get very dense and tight this time of year so the spiking helps a lot.

The yellow oval in the upper portion of the picture indicates a void left from the spiking process.  This allows for the water, fungicide, and fertilizer to easily penetrate the turf and enter the root zone.  The smaller circle is an example of the turf growing laterally over an old drill and fill hole.  Some holes are totally covered while a few are further behind. 

Kevin applied a 1-7-10 fertilizer package that provided calcium, phosphorus and potassium.  Nitrogen was applied with a preventative pythium fungicide and watered into the root zone.
This is a great time of year to enjoy the golf course and I look forward to seeing you out there.  Have a great week.

Jordan Booth

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall is Here

Fall is here and with it the typical projects, weather, and surprises.  Yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m., half of the large willow oak between the clubhouse putting green and #1 tee fell down.  This tree is very old and had a significant amount of work performed over the years to allow it to stand as long as it did.  Thank goodness no one was underneath it.  Arborscapes was quick to survey the damage on Sunday and their crew was out this morning to help with cleanup.  Over half of the tree was gone and the remainder had to be removed.  Their team started the take down today and will finish next Monday.  This is a great loss and a lot of consideration will go into how to renovate this area.  Hopefully new trees will be planted to replace this great old willow oak.

We are all very lucky that no one was underneath the tree when it fell.  The falling tree shook the ground in the clubhouse and at neighboring houses.
You can tell that about half of the tree fell at once.  The remainder of the tree was no longer structurally sound and had to be removed.  All of the wait was leaning in one direction.
The fallen branches had grown together over time and created one huge mass of weight which combined with rot, took down this tree.
Arborscapes made this tree a priority and were on site first thing this morning.  Our staff will clean up and Arborscapes will be back next Monday to finish.

The front, side, and back range tees have been overseeded with ryegrass for winter color.  We are preserving the middle tee as much as possible so it is in good shape next spring.  Even with the ryegrass, divots are still taken from the bermudagrass base.  This does not recover in the winter and early spring.  The target greens have also been overseeded and should take shape soon.

The holes on the putting greens from drill and fill are slowly creeping over.  We are about 4 weeks out from the process and the greens have honestly been slow to recover.  This aggressive process takes time to heal.  It takes the greens about two weeks to recover from a 1/2" aeration so it makes since that it would take much longer with these much larger holes.  We are working to provide quality putting conditions in the interim and the long term benefits of the drill and fill will outweigh the short term inconvenience. 
The holes are filling over and some of them have already healed completely.  Some holes still have a ways to go.

Fall is upon us and with it leaf removal, drainage projects, and underbrush removal.  Tree work will be limited this season and our team will focus on other areas of the course.  Enjoy the weather while it lasts. 

Have a great weekend,


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