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, June 24, 2014

First Days of Summer

This past Saturday was the official first day of summer or the summer solstice.  This marks the longest hours of daylight all year.  With the longer days comes heat and the golf course is loving it.  The tees, fairways, and roughs are soaking up the heat and recent rain and growing wonderfully.  Our team is taking full advantage of the heat and longer hours.

Over the last few weeks, we have been focused on golf course setup, tournament prep and recovering from rain storms.  This week, we are more focused on turf health and maintenance.  Between yesterday and today, our team has accomplished quite a lot to promote and maintain turf health.  All of these are normally scheduled maintenance programs that are quite beneficial to turf health and playability.

1.  Greens were vented, spiked and topdressed
2.  Green surrounds, approaches, fairways and driving range fertilized
3.  Back range tee, short game area, and golf course teeing grounds core aerated and received sand topdressing, fertilizer, and lime applications.
4.  Bunker depths checked and sand added (This is a constant practice after heavy thunderstorms)
5.  Bunker faces fertilized and sprayed for weeds
6.  Golf course and driving range spot sprayed for weeds
7.  Fairways sliced
8.  All surfaces mowed

We do all of these practices to the warm season, bermudagrass approaches, tees and fairways now during their growing season to promote a healthy, hearty stand of turfgrass.   Bunker work has been an ongoing process.  Two weeks ago during men's member/guest, the course received over 5 inches of rain, most of it coming in short violent storms.  Our team worked quickly and sometimes into the night to repair bunkers, clean up storm damaged trees, and ready the course for play the following day.  Lightning wreaked havoc on the golf course trees and irrigation system.  We greatly appreciate all of the kind notes, emails and words from many members and echo the thank you to our team for a job well done.  When repairing bunkers, our team must remove contaminated sand and redistribute sand that is washed throughout the bunkers.  This is the reason that we have so much work directly after and for weeks to follow heavy rain events.  

Heavy rain and high heat have also forced us to be very conservative with greens.  We have made multiple applications of preventative fungicides and have vented greens to allow gas exchange and air movement.  Overall, we are very pleased with how greens are behaving and are starting to feel the impact of multiple years of aggressive agronomic practices to promote a healthier root zone.  The greens reacted very well to the heat last week and are draining better than ever.

The course is really taking shape and our team is doing a tremendous job of not only providing a great golf experience but promoting a very healthy turfgrass playing surface.

Enjoy the weather,

Jordan Booth, CGCS 

Thanks to the addition of a second aerator this year, our team was able to quickly core aerate the driving range back tee and short game area.  All of the teeing grounds on the golf course were also core aerated, topdressed and received fertilizer and lime.
Lightning can leave its mark anywhere.  This is in the dead center of #5 fairway.  
Lightning literally blew this tree on the driving range to pieces.  Large pieces of solid oak were blown as far as 250 feet away.  A special thanks to Arborscapes for arriving immediately the next morning to make the trees damaged from the storms safe.  Our team was able to clean up the trees shortly thereafter.   The remainder of the tree at the driving range will be removed next week.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Grateful and busy

I have not been busy blogging because we have been so busy on the golf course.  I am very grateful to our staff for the wonderful work that our team has accomplished this spring.  We are barreling into the summer and our tournament season.  I am excited and proud of the golf course and all of the progress we have made this spring.  So what has been going on?

Normal maintenance has included fertilizing and slicing of fairways to promote growth and recover from Spring Dead Spot.  Dave McCall, PhD Candidate at VT is still working on his fan research this year but will also include a new Spring Dead Spot study.  He is GPS mapping the spots on 2 and 16 to quantify the progress we are making from year to year.  We have gotten into a very regular mowing pattern and our seasonal maintenance of greens and bunkers.  We have been busy fine tuning the irrigation system.  As the system gets older, we have more and more work to keep it operating at an optimum level.  The staff has also been through bunkers several times to add and redistribute sand to maintain proper bunker depths.

Our project work has been close to normal.  We sodded the winterkill damage around greens and in a few fairways.  We did use a new variety around greens to try and combat the issues we have every year.  This variety should be wore cold and traffic tolerant.  As normal, we will be on an aggressive aeration and fertility program in these high traffic areas.  We will continue to do some sod work to improve the area between 13/14 this summer.   We have installed four new Willow Oaks this year as well as steps to the 11th green tee and a new butterfly garden on 16.  As of today, the fans on 2, 14, 5 and the Driving Range green will be fully functional.  Our team has been hard at work spreading mulch and pine straw and removing weeds/woody plants from around the ponds.

Mr. and Mrs. Pierce donated this Willow Oak on #18.  Our team has since sodded around the mulch bed.  Many thanks to the Pierce's for their generous donation.
The most unusual/painful experience was a tree falling on #10 green.  I am very grateful to our team for the quick cleanup of the tree and repair to the green.  An unfortunate martyr in this event was the large TurfBreeze fan that took a direct hit.  It may have softened the blow to the green but the fan was destroyed.  Our team has already set the ground pole for the replacement.  We lost a few more trees and large limbs during these heavy storms but our team has been swift to clean up these areas.

The large pine tree behind #10 green fell during a quick, very strong storm.  This is another good reason to keep trees as far away from putting surfaces as possible.  The fan took a direct hit.  Our team had the tree cleaned up in about 2.5 hours.  
The tree's limbs did the most damage when they pierced directly into the green.  Huge limbs made large holes and divots.  Luckily the fan and hillside kept the large trunk off of the green.  Our team had the green plugged and repaired by noon the following day.  A new fan will be installed in the next 7-10 days.
Once again, this has been a very busy spring and one that our team is quite proud of.  The golf course is coming together very well and we look forward to more improvements to surrounding areas this summer.  One reason that we have been so busy is the fact that our lead assistant superintendent, Kevin Mark took a new job in Pennsylvania this week.  Kevin was a real leader on our team and an even better person.  We wish Kevin the best of luck back home in PA at Carlisle Country Club.  Carlisle will be very luck to have him.

Have a great weekend,

Jordan Booth

Site Search