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.


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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.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gearing up for the Season with Spring Aeration

Next week really kicks off the 2013 growing season for our team.  Next week, March 4-8, the golf course will be closed for aeration.  We have had a successful winter having completed fan wiring to 3, 4, 6, 10, 11, and 13.  This doesn't sound like a lot but it was a ton of work.  (We installed over 2.5 miles of wire.)  Those fans are scheduled for delivery today.  We have also finished the necessary in-house tree work for the season.  March will be dedicated to fan installations, stump grinding, drainage installation, irrigation installation, and above all our spring aeration.

Weather permitting, our team along with Harmon Turf Services will perform three aggressive cultural practices to our greens next week. 

1.  Drill and Fill with 1" holes on a 7.5" x 7.5" spacing. (Blog Post: "Showing the benefits of Drill and Fill with a Camera")
This is the same process that was performed last fall.   From now on a process called DryJect will be used in the fall of the year to minimize disruption of play.

2.  Core aerate and backfill topdress with .55" holes on a 2" x 2" spacing in a single direction.  (Aeration Blog Post)
 This process that we perform every spring pulls a core from the green and the holes are backfilled with sand.
3. Graden with 3 mm blades 1 1/4 inch deep and sand injection.
This is a picture of the Graden with sand injection.  The Graden cuts 3mm wide channels into the greens surface and backfills it with fresh sand.  This removes a large amount of thatch, improves surface firmness, and improves drainage.  It does a great job of getting a large amount of sand into the putting green surface.
These three processes will combine to incorporate over 120 tons of sand into and onto the greens.  This will be a great improvement for our greens and sets us up well for a successful 2013.  We have already seen great improvements from the drill and fill process performed last fall.  Much deeper rooting, firm surfaces, and better drainage are a few of the noticeable differences.  We will be drill and filling this year in a different direction to minimize hitting the same holes as last fall.  The biggest lesson learned from last year was the speed in which the holes recovered.  It took much longer than we expected and for this reason, we have changed our expectations and techniques.  First, we will not be performing this aggressive process in the fall as to avoid disruption to this busy time of year.  Second, we will be much more aggressive in our fertility, topdressing, and watering practices to promote recovery.  We will let the plants grow, unregulated, to heal quickly and speeds will be of secondary concern.  A nice, warm March will allow these holes to heal as quickly as possible.  We expect to have everything healed back in by mid to late April, depending on weather.  There will be a lot of disruption to the putting surface so expect bumpy, sandy conditions.  We perform these processes early in the season to minimize disruption.  Short term pain will lead to long term gains this year.  I will have a lot of pictures and videos from the processes next week.  We hope for good weather next week and for the entire 2013 golfing season.

Have a great weekend,

Jordan Booth

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