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.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Equipment Day, Winter Prep and Cultural Practices

Our team has been busy this fall on the golf course.  Leaf removal is always a large part of our Fall task list and the seasonal color has been outstanding this year.  It has truly been a beautiful end to a wonderful season on the golf course.  That season looks to be coming to an end this Thursday with cold temperatures moving in.  Make sure you enjoy the golf course on Tuesday and Wednesday if possible.  Highs look to be near 70.

One of the ways that our team participates in club-wide family activities is through a hands on equipment day.  Our team brings 4-5 large pieces of golf course maintenance equipment to the clubhouse for children and parents to climb on, experience and learn about.  Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon for a fun, exciting equipment day.
Our General Manager, Chris Welles CCM, was on hand at Equipment Day to give Loader/Backhoe operating lessons.  A good time was had by all.  
The need to mow most of our surfaces has come to an end with the warm season turf heading into dormancy.  This frees up a lot of our labor hours to be dedicated to small projects and preparing the course for the winter months.  Our team has done a great job adding concrete and stone edging to high traffic areas around cart paths.  We are currently wrapping up the winterization of the irrigation system to make sure that none of the irrigation or pump components are damaged from freezing conditions.  Removal of course amenities will continue this month so they can be refurbished this winter.  Applications have been made to remove and prevent winter weeds such as poa annua on the golf course as well as applications to prevent spring dead spot and other winter injury.  Our team shrinks down to our very skilled, experienced full time staff which makes project work more efficient.  With the onset of more frost delays our attention will soon turn to shop, equipment, and amenities maintenance as well.
These pictures illustrate some of the equipment used to blow and remove leaves from the golf course.  There are still a lot of leaves left on the trees.
This picture is one example of the stone curbing that is being installed around the course in high traffic areas.

I have received a lot of inquiries about the aeration that took place on the putting greens last Monday.  This was a scheduled, contracted deep tine aeration.  The solid tines used during this aeration were on a 3" x 3" spacing and did not pull a core out of the green.  They did relieve compaction to a depth of 8" or 9" which will encourage water infiltration and deep rooting.  The aeration was scheduled for November 3 to allow enough time for the greens to heal over while minimizing our disruption of play.   We bookend the golf season with early and late deep tine aerations to take advantage of the aggressive rooting that the bentgrass greens are capable of in late fall and early spring.  The goal is to impact lower depths in the green soil profile much like the drill and fill process.  The benefits of a solid, deep tine like the one performed last week are quick recovery, minimal impact to putting quality, and more holes per square foot when compared to drill and fill.  The obvious benefit of drill and fill is the removal of thatch and the "fill" of creating a sand channel in the green.  Both tools have been very successful for our team to create firm, healthy, deep rooted putting greens.
The deep, solid tines relieve compaction in the green to a depth of 8-9"  This encourages deep rooting which takes place in the fall and spring months.
These pictures attempt to illustrate the depth at which the deep tine aeration impacts the green and the surface of the green after the aeration and rolling.  The greens were impacted about the length of a golf grip or 8-9"
This is a friendly reminder that this time of year brings changes to the rules of golf and the club.  Playing winter rules make the game of golf more fun and enjoyable when the course is out of season.  Playing by the rules of the club including carts on path and the use of the artificial range tee protects and preserves the turf quality of the golf course and driving range for the entire membership.  As posted in the golf pro shop, the golf course will be cart path only with handicapped flag exemptions starting next Tuesday, November 18.  At this time we will also be moving to the artificial teeing surface on the driving range and moving to our winter set of tees.

Make sure to play Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of the cold weather.  Have a great week,

Jordan Booth, CGCS

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