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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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.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Three Notes

I haven't updated the blog in two months and now I have twice in two days.  I had three other thoughts from my observations etc around the course.  As I am writing this, the golf course is receiving a nice rain fall.  We need it.  The staff was able to mow greens, tees and fairways ahead of the rain this morning.  We also applied soil amendments to greens and tees just ahead of the rain.  It is a great benefit to do this prior to rain so that we don't have to water these products in at a later time.

Dolomitic Lime (Calcium and Magnesium) being applied to tees.  This product provides necessary soil nutrients and increases pH which allows for better uptake of nutrients by the turf.

1.  Please don't turn fans off when you are playing.  Fans give the turf a great advantage and help us provide great putting conditions in our hot/humid region.  When the air temperature and humidity is low, we turn the fans off.  Fans are considered a temporary immovable obstruction (TIO) in the rules of golf giving the player relief from stance, swing or line of sight (line of play.)  If the physical fan is in your way at all, please take a drop from the closest point of relief, no closer to the hole.  Permanent immovable obstructions only allow for relief from stance or swing.  Use the rules to your advantage.

    a.  If you absolutely feel like you need to turn the fans off to play the game due to the wind that they are producing, please turn them back on.  When controlling fans, please use the black switch.  The red switch would be comparable to switching off a breaker in your house while the black switch would be like a light switch.  The black switch is much easier on the fan's motor.

2.  You will observe turf discoloration in the shape of tire tracks around greens, especially in the rough.  This happens after an application that we just made to prevent summer weeds.  Tires lay the turf over and make it more susceptible to discoloration from the preventative weed application.  This will go away in the next 7-10 days.

This really shows where the mowers turned prior to the application.  Tire tracks lay the turf down and expose the entire side of the blade of grass to the preventative weed application.  Discoloration will be evident but will cause no long term damage.
3.  Please do not drive through the fine fescue areas.  Cart traffic is directed around the course through the black and white "on/off posts."  Please observe these posts and proper golf course etiquette when driving golf carts.  Drainage installed over the last few years has allowed us to get carts back on the fairways faster after rain events and our priority is always to allow carts off paths when possible.

4.  (Alright there are really four notes)  The golf course is closed on Tuesday to allow for maintenance practices since the course is open on Memorial Day.  The sod around greens in knitting in nicely.  We plan to mow and topdress these areas on Tuesday when the course is closed.   Players are allowed relief from any sod seams when the lie of the ball, stance or area of intended swing is interfered by the sod seam.  Once again, use the rules to your advantage.  

Enjoy the weekend,

Jordan Booth, CGCS

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Course Update

The Spring of 2015 has been a beautiful, productive season to say the least.  Our team has been busy preparing the golf course and performing many essential agronomic practices to ready the turf and course for the season.  Overall, we are very pleased with course conditioning.  A few eye sores remain in the turf around bunker faces.  This is being sodded out on Tuesday.  Collars came out of the winter better than ever with very little sod needing to be installed.  Spring Dead Spot was much less evident this year and proves that our programs have been working.   Virginia Tech Turf Pathologist, David McCall will be on site next week to gather data on a few of his research projects.  There is not a comparison between 2015 and 2014 in regards to Spring Dead Spot.  I can't wait for his research to quantify the reduction of occurrence.

Darin Brevard, our USGA Agronomist, was on site this month to conduct his annual Spring visit.  Darin's visits always prove to be insightful and this one was no different.  Darin reported healthy turf conditions and had great insights into fine tuning our agronomic programs including core aeration, collar management and the management of our fine fescue areas,  Darin is the Director of Championship Agronomy for the USGA and I am excited to watch his work in action next month at the US Open.

Speaking of fine fescues, the areas on 7, 8, and 15 are growing in beautifully.  These areas require very little fertilizer inputs and now that they are establised, I was able to shut the irrigation heads off in these areas.  We will be patient and not over water or fertilze these areas.  We don't want to promote weed growth or overly thick turf.  We want to promote a healthy stand of fine fescue.  The goal of these areas is reduced water use, reduced chemical use, reduced fertilizer inputs and the creation of habitats for a large amount of wildlife....Not to mention, the aestetics of these areas are beautiful.

These fine fescues have thrived and grown into a beautiful stand of grass.  They will turn a khaki color this summer.

A view towards 15 green

A view towards 17 green

A few other projects around the club have included the installation of fans on 7 and 17, repairing the driving range net, renovating the driving range practice bunker and renovating the landscaping in front of the clubhouse.  The primary focus of the spring has been dedicated to turf health and waking the course from winter.  Now that all of our turf has been set up to thrive this summer, we will focus on course conditioning and our tournament season.  Over the next month, we will host the RWGA City Champtionship, Men's Member Guest, a US Amateur Qualifier and our Men's, Women's and Senior's Club Championship.  Our team is motivated and ready to provide a great playing experience.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend,

Jordan Booth CGCS

Over time, sand is hit out of the practice bunker and on to the surrounding turf during practice.  After years and years of this, the bunker becomes distorted.  To renovate the bunker, all of the turf was removed from the face and the sand was removed until we reached soil and the original shape of the bunker  Sand had built up to a depth of 12 - 16" on the face and had dramatically changed the look and feel of the practice bunker.

The finished product on the Driving Range bunker renovation.
All of the damaged nets on the driving range were replaced this past week.  

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