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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Battling Mother Nature

Mother Nature has not been kind to us over the last 8 days.  On Tuesday, July 19, the golf course received a harrowing storm that deposited 1.5" of rain and knocked down or damaged over 25 trees.  In the following days, the heat was turned up and we sustained 5 straight days with a heat index over 110 degrees.  Today and tomorrow don't look much better.  During this time, the putting greens started showing real signs of stress especially where they are not impacted by fans.  The turf around the fans has held up strong and is a real testament to the ability of the fans to cool the surface.  Last night, the course received another 2.5" of rain and countless amounts of internal flooding and debris.  It has been a very difficult week on the turf and our staff and one our team has worked hard to endure.      

In the effort to prevent further turf stress, the decision has been made to close the golf course until the greens show signs of recovery and the weather breaks.  This is a preventative measure to protect the putting greens and allow for healthy playing surfaces during late August - November.  

In the foreground you can see general thinning and decline.  As you get closer to the fan, turf health rapidly improves.

We have selected fan locations based on a number of factors including line of play, impact to play, wind direction, and benefit to turf.   The fans are angled down and calibrated using a Kestrel Weather Meter to measure wind speed generated by the fan and to maximize our distance of throw.

How did we get here?

Overall, the spring and early summer of 2016 yielded high rainfall totals with May 2016 being the wettest May on record and June being the 9th wettest June.  This provided great growing conditions for the tees, approaches and fairways but did not allow the putting surfaces to develop the necessary rooting to thrive in the summer.  When greens stay wet, the roots do not have any incentive to grow down and "seek out water."  On top of the wet spring, our team has been battling nematodes which are parasitic round worms that attack the roots of the bentgrass putting greens.  The microscopic nematodes are very difficult to eradicate and are viewed similarly to a disease.  These compounding factors led to a compromised root system that could not sustain the intense heat and humidity over the past week.

Where do we go from here?

The decision to close the golf course was preventative.  Our team believes that for the most part, the greens can recover with the reduction in traffic and some very careful handling.  We will need to plug and seed a few edges to aid in recovery.  We will continue to be aggressive in the Spring of the year to continue to amend our putting green mix with core aeration, deep-tine aeration, linear aeration and drill and fill to improve drainage and encourage deep rooting.   

Is there any other work that can be accomplished while the course is closed?

Yes, we plan to continue to renovate the tree line between 13 and 14 as well as the rough areas on 9 and 18.  We still have a lot of storm cleanup from the past week including bunker repair, stump grinding, damaged tree removal and debris removal. 

Have a great week,

Jordan Booth, CGCS

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Course Update

It has been a while since I have updated the blog and we have certainly been busy.  Record rainfall in May and a very wet June have helped parts of the course flourish and has hampered progress in others.  The rain certainly highlighted the benefits of the drainage projects we have completed and identified next winter's priorities.  The two closed days this week allowed our team to verticut, aerate, and topdress the warm season tees and fairways.  These are necessary practices to maintain firm, healthy surfaces.  We expect to see recovery very quickly given our ideal growing conditions.  Our team also laid a truck load of sod to finish the conversion of fescue to bermudagrass on #11.  We will be closed again August 22-26 for maintenance.   During this time, we will be venting greens, applying pre-emergent fungicides and herbicides, and completing numerous drainage, sod, and renovation projects around the course that otherwise could not happen in a timely fashion.

Have a great week and we look forward to seeing you on the course,

Jordan Booth, CGCS

Verticutting fairways removes a lot of thatch and is the perfect time to topdress the fairways so that the sand can work down into the canopy.  Holes 1-6, 10, 13, and 17 were all verticut this go round.
Topdressing was applied behind the verticutting on fairways to help smooth and firm the surface.
Our team topdressed and core aerated the par 3 tees.
We also deep tine aerated and topdressed all of the tees.

Our team also removed the rest of the fescue on #11 and sodded this area back to bermudagrass.  Our current and future areas for renovation are the tree line between 13/14 and the fescue areas on 9/18.  

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