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.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Navigating this Webpage

The Golf Course Updates are intended to be a source of information about the ongoing course maintenance, projects. challenges, and successes at Willow Oaks Country Club.  We want to make the information as accessible as possible.  The updates can be accessed by visiting the club website.  Once you enter your login information, you will find 'Golf Course Information' under the 'Golf' tab.  You can also bookmark this website: because we know it is a handful to remember.  A few helpful tools.

1.  Receive an Email whenever a new Update is Posted

To do this, scroll down on the right side of the Home Page.  You should see this option.

Enter your email on the webpage and hit 'submit'.  This will begin the registration process and you will receive updates whenever they are posted.

2.  Access the Maintenance Calendar.

The Golf Course Maintenance Calendar including major club tournaments, outings, closure for maintenance etc. can be found on the webpage.  The top of the webpage allows for a few selections including FAQ's, Agronomic Practices, Green Committee Materials, Staff Info, and the Calendar.  Click on any of the tabs for more information.

3.  Access more information via Social Media.

While the website is relatively easy to navigate and read through old postings, social media, specifically Twitter is a great way to follow our operation.  When projects or interesting things happen on the course, we try and upload to Twitter to keep members involved.  You can access this Twitter account on the webpage by clicking on the Twitter icon.  You can also email me direct questions or feedback by clicking on the green Mail icon on the right.

Have a great weekend,

Jordan Booth, CGCS 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February Golf Course Update

2017 has brought warm weather and a great extended forecast.  Our team is busy balancing golf course setup and finishing our winter project list.  We don't schedule or budget for 75F weeks in February but we will certainly take them.  The bermudagrass is breaking dormancy and greens are just starting to grow.  It will be a while until we are in full form but the golf course is waking up from its winter nap.

I am very proud of the drainage work our team has accomplished, despite a very wet January.  To date, the team has completed 8 drainage projects with one more finishing tomorrow.  We still have a long "to-do" list of winter work and our team is working hard to transition from projects into course maintenance.  One of the maintenance items you may have noticed around the course is the way we have been raking bunkers.  Our team has been rolling the faces and raking the floors.  This technique is shown in pictures below but the goal is for balls to hit the smooth, firm faces and roll down to the floor of the bunker for a safer, more manageable shot out of the hazard.  We are still fine-tuning this process and I expect many more improvements to be made that will streamline the process.  Bunker rakes are being refurbished, along with other golf course amenities so there aren't quite as many on the course.  We apologize for the inconvenience and will have them back ASAP.  

You will also notice a dark coloration to the fairways, approaches, tees, and collars.  This results from an application of Ferrous (Iron) Sulfate.  This dark color attracts more sunlight, raising the temperature of the canopy and encouraging the plants out of winter dormancy.  I was recently asked about this and normally we don't make this application until mid-March.  Mother Nature doesn't work on a calendar, so that is why we base applications on soil temperatures, long range forecasts, natural indicators like Forsythia bloom, and growing degree days.  Iron is a natural soil nutrient and allows us to add some color and nutrition at the same time.

The next 6-8 weeks are extremely busy for our team.  We have a few more dead tree removals, 5 more planned drainage projects, a large mulching project between 13 and 14, the installation of fans on holes 9 and 18, the renovation of the back, greenside bunker on 3, and putting green aeration.  We also have work waiting approval along the river and lake/stone wall work on holes 7 and 17.  We work very hard to have all winter projects finished by late April so we can begin normal maintenance and focus solely on course conditioning.  

As noted earlier, spring aeration is planned for March 27-31.  The golf course will be closed for the greens to undergo cultural practices on March 20, March 27-31, and April 10.  We expect conditions to be back to normal by mid-late April depending on the weather.

Monday, March 20: Deep Solid Tine Aeration: Medium Disruption to the Putting Surface
Monday - Friday March 27-31: Core Aeration and Graden Linear Aeration: Heavy Disruption to the Putting Surface
Monday, April 10: DryJect Aeration: Minimal Disruption

Have a great week and enjoy the weather,

Jordan Booth, CGCS

Our team has spent countless hours this winter clearing areas of underbrush like this area between 15, 16, and 17.  There is a large Sycamore, covered in vines.  We will remove the vines when we bring in a lift this March for another project.
You can really begin to see the green grass emerging as the bermudagrass breaks dormancy.  The dark color provided by the Iron Sulfate (Left) will encourage spring green up.  

You can notice a difference between the coloration of the fairways and the roughs.  The fairways have been sprayed to promote spring green up.  

This is the finished look of our new bunker maintenance program.  The rolled, firmed, smooth edges promote the ball rolling back into the raked center instead of plugging into the face.  We have been managing the green-side bunkers this way and are transitioning this practice into the fairway bunkers. 
This picture does a nice job of illustrating the process.  Our team smooths the faces, waters the bunker to promote firmness, rolls the faces, and then rakes the centers.  
When raking your foot traffic in the bunkers, we would ask that you use the back side of the rake to smooth the edges that we have rolled.  As always, please enter and exit the bunker at the lowest point for your safety and to maintain the firm faces.

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