Golf Course Superintendent Ready to Answer Any Questions You May Have

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  • augustgolfaugustgolf Golf with dignity Coastal NCMembers Posts: 3,898 ✭✭
    edited Jul 28, 2017 #62
    I think that anyone in the golf bidness appreciated and understood it as well
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  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,913 ✭✭
    edited Jul 30, 2017 #63
    spud3 wrote:


    How does bentgrass fare compared to poa? Here in the PNW, poa seems to invade everything, especially those nice fescue greens that just seem destined to ultimately fail.




    Hey Spud, look at your courses collection areas vs the greens image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    Greens are Poa and collections are bent. Throw in a some rye and Poa on the fairways and we just have a "We Are The World" golf course.



    We use rye in all divots and then after about 2 weeks the Poa takes it over
  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,913 ✭✭
    BNGL wrote:

    spud3 wrote:


    How does bentgrass fare compared to poa? Here in the PNW, poa seems to invade everything, especially those nice fescue greens that just seem destined to ultimately fail.




    Truthfully I do not have much experience with either bent grass or poa, but you are correct that poa does aggressively encroach on everything. In my opinion it would not be a problem if the whole green was uniformly poa, instead of the clumps that tend to occur in the fescue greens. In fact that is what is happening to Chambers Bay right now, I know that they are transitioning from fescue to poa, in the hopes of landing another US Open. Again it comes down to money and what ownership wants. When a course is being built it is extremely easy to say that I want this grass, and this is what we will do to keep it etc. BUT it is another thing once the grass is actively growing and some courses simply cannot afford the cost of keeping the invasive out.




    The irony in this post. My super is really good friends and classmates with the first super at Chambers. He went round and round with them about how to handle the Poa. He actually had to give in to their way, which led to the greens being replanted with fescue before the Open. He told them they wouldn't sustain but they insisted.



    The guy took A LOT of heat for something he had absolutely no control over. If they took his recommendations the 1st time around the greens would have been fine.
  • carreracarrera Members Posts: 2,548 ✭✭
    BNGL wrote:


    I'd just like to apologize for my sarcasm in the post above, I had literally just read an email from my greens committee making a request and did not mean to project it onto you, again my apologies.




    No offense taken and no apology necessary! And it's "Green" committee, singular! image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
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  • gr00vetechgr00vetech Members Posts: 499 ✭✭
    BNGL,



    Thanks for all the contributions. What are your thoughts on this pic? What are ways to solve/prevent this? Bermuda in the south and colder than usual this year. Seems like we have lost feet of green in the last 6 months out of nowhere. I am an employee not a member and asked the super about this a year ago and nothing has been done. I am in the just lack of attention to detail boat but am afraid if it isn't checked in the near future its going to become a big issue. Thanks
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,599 ✭✭
    gr00vetech wrote:
    BNGL,



    Thanks for all the contributions. What are your thoughts on this pic? What are ways to solve/prevent this? Bermuda in the south and colder than usual this year. Seems like we have lost feet of green in the last 6 months out of nowhere. I am an employee not a member and asked the super about this a year ago and nothing has been done. I am in the just lack of attention to detail boat but am afraid if it isn't checked in the near future its going to become a big issue. Thanks




    Messaged you. Will post answer to this thread when I have one. Thanks!
  • jclevejcleve Members Posts: 128 ✭✭
    In the cold weather (upper midwest) what would you consider the best way to winter greens.
  • North TexasNorth Texas Members Posts: 4,113 ✭✭
    Awesome thread here and much appreciation and thanks to BNGL for taking time to do this.



    We are a small private equity club with bent greens that are going on 20 years old and our super has done a really good job maintaining them despite the limited maintenance budget he has at his disposal. But they have really begun to noticeably suffer over the past several hot summers and we're about to have to replace them. Interestingly enough, here in North Texas, there have been 10 courses convert from bent to bermuda in the last 3 years.



    From a maintenance standpoint, which requires more time, effort, and money? Here in North Texas, one of things that courses with bermuda greens have to do is cover the greens whenever it is going to freeze. How big a deal is that?



    Finally, I know (based on the last few courses that did this) going from bent to bermuda is roughly a 6 month process, but what is a typical time frame for replacing bent greens and going back with bent?



    Thanks.
  • Big BenBig Ben Members Posts: 8,973 ✭✭
    Is it true that once a course is fully frozen and dormant that frost damage is no longer a concern? Living in Northeastern Ohio we are a hardy group and always try to convince the local courses to allow us to play when there's no snow! Thanks, great thread...BB
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  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,599 ✭✭
    Big Ben wrote:
    Is it true that once a course is fully frozen and dormant that frost damage is no longer a concern? Living in Northeastern Ohio we are a hardy group and always try to convince the local courses to allow us to play when there's no snow! Thanks, great thread...BB




    Hola BB



    Never worked a cold weather climate, but the big issue is damage to the course. If things are fully dormant, and you cause damage, it's going to take forever to heal. That's the common sense answer I'd tell my members.



    The textbook reason is that you can cause damage and shear roots in the top layers of the soil. If the top layer is thawed or not as frozen as the bottom layers, the thawed layers become saturated and spongy, walking on this turf will cause the surface to become uneven and the damage will shear the roots (because the lower layer don't move while the upper does) So you'll see weaker turf later in the season. It's difficult to explain, but there is reasoning for not allowing play. Clubs want revenue, but need to protect their property too.
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,599 ✭✭
    Awesome thread here and much appreciation and thanks to BNGL for taking time to do this.



    We are a small private equity club with bent greens that are going on 20 years old and our super has done a really good job maintaining them despite the limited maintenance budget he has at his disposal. But they have really begun to noticeably suffer over the past several hot summers and we're about to have to replace them. Interestingly enough, here in North Texas, there have been 10 courses convert from bent to bermuda in the last 3 years.



    From a maintenance standpoint, which requires more time, effort, and money? Here in North Texas, one of things that courses with bermuda greens have to do is cover the greens whenever it is going to freeze. How big a deal is that?



    Finally, I know (based on the last few courses that did this) going from bent to bermuda is roughly a 6 month process, but what is a typical time frame for replacing bent greens and going back with bent?



    Thanks.




    Bent is way more expensive (time and money) I believe to maintain. It's so much more temperamental than bermudas, and current ultra dwarfs are just as good, if not better than bent grass.



    Tarps isn't that big of a deal honesty, I mean mild inconvenience but will protect your investment.



    If you go 6 months with ideal conditions from sprigs you should have a fine playing surface. But just to clarify are you asking to go back to bent from Bermuda? Because I think you'll be happy with Bermuda strains to be honest.



    This is something y'all need to do, a green has a life, 20 years is on the upper end of a lifespan in my opinion.
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,599 ✭✭
    jcleve wrote:
    In the cold weather (upper midwest) what would you consider the best way to winter greens.




    I've never prepped a course for winter, I've only worked in Florida. Let me do a little research and get back to you. Yeah learned about it a long time ago, but knew I was going to Florida lol
  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,913 ✭✭
    edited Feb 6, 2018 #74
    Question for BNGL and some answers maybe.



    Here almost all supers handle their courses differently when it freezes or snows. One super, at a course with fescue, floods his greens and tee boxes with sand before the 1st snow of the season. I only know of one Poa course up here that tarps their greens.



    Do all types of grass used on greens have a life span?



    Also, is there anything you can do to address crowning of tee boxes aside from redoing the tee box? Like if you get to it early?
  • klebs01klebs01 Members Posts: 391 ✭✭
    BNGL wrote:
    This is something y'all need to do, a green has a life, 20 years is on the upper end of a lifespan in my opinion.




    Is this a regional thing? I can’t think of a single course around me that has rebuilt greens outside a major renovation. Most courses have push up bent greens that are 30-40+ years old.
  • WidespreadPanicWidespreadPanic Wizard in the Corner Members Posts: 4,826 ✭✭
    Why don't golf courses send a worker/workers out on the course solely to fix ball marks on the green? I ask myself this question every time I play a course that has a lot of them.
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  • carreracarrera Members Posts: 2,548 ✭✭


    Why don't golf courses send a worker/workers out on the course solely to fix ball marks on the green? I ask myself this question every time I play a course that has a lot of them.




    It is labor dollars spent doing something that should be done by players/members.
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  • thug the bunnythug the bunny Members Posts: 6,141 ✭✭
    BNGL, if you have been a course super for a while, I was wondering if you have an opinion on the relative damage caused on greens by softspikes vs. metal spikes? I have noticed that some of the more aggressive softspike shoes leave huge nickel sized divots from each spike and late in the day softer greens can look like the surface of the moon.
  • bthomps33bthomps33 Members Posts: 117
    Awesome thread! I have a simple one for you. Every once in a while you'll get a player that takes out a big long divot. I see golfers place the turf back in the divot, but I can't help to think that it's going to die. Is replacing the turf in the divot the proper procedure or is it better to fill it with sand?
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,599 ✭✭
    klebs01 wrote:
    BNGL wrote:
    This is something y'all need to do, a green has a life, 20 years is on the upper end of a lifespan in my opinion.




    Is this a regional thing? I can’t think of a single course around me that has rebuilt greens outside a major renovation. Most courses have push up bent greens that are 30-40+ years old.




    No it's not. All living things have an expiration date. USGA recommends 15 to 30 years between replacing greens. Push up greens can last a longer, but you should still regrass them on a similar time table to sand based greens. Bent doesn't accumulate thatch as quickly as Bermuda though, so that might be a reason for the longevity.
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,599 ✭✭
    Why don't golf courses send a worker/workers out on the course solely to fix ball marks on the green? I ask myself this question every time I play a course that has a lot of them.




    Some courses do, we do it at our club. We have three sticks called gash-b-gone. It's a 3 foot long pvc pipe with a spring loaded check valve at the bottom, when you push the valve in sand comes out. It's a luxury few courses can afford though, I have close to 30 guys on staff so we can do those things. Those gash-b-gones are always in the supers carts though, if yu got 5 minutes of nothing to do, go do greens ball marks.
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,599 ✭✭
    bthomps33 wrote:
    Awesome thread! I have a simple one for you. Every once in a while you'll get a player that takes out a big long divot. I see golfers place the turf back in the divot, but I can't help to think that it's going to die. Is replacing the turf in the divot the proper procedure or is it better to fill it with sand?




    Depends, if there's a pelt flying with a good bit of soil, replace the divot back into the hole you just excavated, make sure to firmly step it down and sand the edges. If the grass just explodes with little to no soil don't put it back just sand it, again stepping the sand down to make it level with the surrounding area.
  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,913 ✭✭
    edited Feb 7, 2018 #83
    BNGL wrote:

    bthomps33 wrote:
    Awesome thread! I have a simple one for you. Every once in a while you'll get a player that takes out a big long divot. I see golfers place the turf back in the divot, but I can't help to think that it's going to die. Is replacing the turf in the divot the proper procedure or is it better to fill it with sand?




    Depends, if there's a pelt flying with a good bit of soil, replace the divot back into the hole you just excavated, make sure to firmly step it down and sand the edges. If the grass just explodes with little to no soil don't put it back just sand it, again stepping the sand down to make it level with the surrounding area.




    Our Super also has us go by if the roots are sheared off or intact. So if the chunk is big enough to contain the roots put it back and stomp it down. If the edges stick up the mowers will just kick it up.
  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,913 ✭✭


    Why don't golf courses send a worker/workers out on the course solely to fix ball marks on the green? I ask myself this question every time I play a course that has a lot of them.




    My course does. We have a divot tool on every push mower and tri-plex. Or if we just brush the greens that person also fixes ball marks.
  • AlmostscratchonceAlmostscratchonce Members Posts: 187 ✭✭
    BNGL -



    Thanks for your contributions here, you guys are the unsung heroes of this game we all enjoy!



    I read an article this morning regarding the PGA Tour's new local rule that aims to limit relief from a players stance coming into contact with a bunker liner (as Hoffman & Berger pushed the boundaries last season).



    In the article I read, there was a comment from the author about the recent adoption of spray-in liners (Billy Bunker or Capillary Concrete). The author's take on them was he "feels they are more fad than functional fix for sand contamintaion". Here in my area of the Midwest, I've seen several clubs make the switch in the past few years. Unfortunately, our club is not in a position where we can make the capex commitment to make the move in the foreseeable future. The feedback I've heard from guys at places with BBB has all been positive; both guys that play there and indirectly through our superintendent from his peers. Our super does a fantastic job, given the labor resources he has at his disposal, but bunker recovery time from heavy rainfall is a significant challenge.



    The article I referenced above was the first "less than glowing" take I'd heard about the technology. Curious to know if you might have experience with or an opinion on their utility and lifespan?
  • Waterball6Waterball6 Members Posts: 161
    What if I wanted to turn my backyard into a putting green. On average how much maintenance would it be and would it even be feasible?
  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,599 ✭✭
    Waterball6 wrote:
    What if I wanted to turn my backyard into a putting green. On average how much maintenance would it be and would it even be feasible?




    Don't do it. You'll spend more time laboring over it, than enjoying it. Unless you wanna mow it, apply fert and chem to manage disease and fungus, topdress, aerify, verticut, and water daily managing ET. Synthetic greens nowadays are excellent practice areas and not as much of a hassle on upkeep (I think you just have to blow it off) and you'll actually have time use it instead of maintaining it.



  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,599 ✭✭
    BNGL -



    Thanks for your contributions here, you guys are the unsung heroes of this game we all enjoy!



    I read an article this morning regarding the PGA Tour's new local rule that aims to limit relief from a players stance coming into contact with a bunker liner (as Hoffman & Berger pushed the boundaries last season).



    In the article I read, there was a comment from the author about the recent adoption of spray-in liners (Billy Bunker or Capillary Concrete). The author's take on them was he "feels they are more fad than functional fix for sand contamintaion". Here in my area of the Midwest, I've seen several clubs make the switch in the past few years. Unfortunately, our club is not in a position where we can make the capex commitment to make the move in the foreseeable future. The feedback I've heard from guys at places with BBB has all been positive; both guys that play there and indirectly through our superintendent from his peers. Our super does a fantastic job, given the labor resources he has at his disposal, but bunker recovery time from heavy rainfall is a significant challenge.



    The article I referenced above was the first "less than glowing" take I'd heard about the technology. Curious to know if you might have experience with or an opinion on their utility and lifespan?




    Messaged you, please forward the article you are referencing. I'd like to read it before giving an answer.



    Personally I've redone bunkers and just used traditional liners, but I'd like to try the new BB method, I have seen it done at a club a few years ago when they underwent renovation and their sand is still a marvelous playing surface lacking much contamination. The supers I know that have installed it love it, I hadn't heard many complaints about it myself. That's not to say that there aren't in other areas of the country. Big positive I have heard from Florida supers is that it greatly reduces washouts in bunker faces from the Florida summer rains. Which is a huge problem at almost every club I know of using traditional liners, not to say clubs with BB are immune it just reduces the severity of the washout.
  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,913 ✭✭
    BNGL wrote:

    BNGL -



    Thanks for your contributions here, you guys are the unsung heroes of this game we all enjoy!



    I read an article this morning regarding the PGA Tour's new local rule that aims to limit relief from a players stance coming into contact with a bunker liner (as Hoffman & Berger pushed the boundaries last season).



    In the article I read, there was a comment from the author about the recent adoption of spray-in liners (Billy Bunker or Capillary Concrete). The author's take on them was he "feels they are more fad than functional fix for sand contamintaion". Here in my area of the Midwest, I've seen several clubs make the switch in the past few years. Unfortunately, our club is not in a position where we can make the capex commitment to make the move in the foreseeable future. The feedback I've heard from guys at places with BBB has all been positive; both guys that play there and indirectly through our superintendent from his peers. Our super does a fantastic job, given the labor resources he has at his disposal, but bunker recovery time from heavy rainfall is a significant challenge.



    The article I referenced above was the first "less than glowing" take I'd heard about the technology. Curious to know if you might have experience with or an opinion on their utility and lifespan?




    Messaged you, please forward the article you are referencing. I'd like to read it before giving an answer.



    Personally I've redone bunkers and just used traditional liners, but I'd like to try the new BB method, I have seen it done at a club a few years ago when they underwent renovation and their sand is still a marvelous playing surface lacking much contamination. The supers I know that have installed it love it, I hadn't heard many complaints about it myself. That's not to say that there aren't in other areas of the country. Big positive I have heard from Florida supers is that it greatly reduces washouts in bunker faces from the Florida summer rains. Which is a huge problem at almost every club I know of using traditional liners, not to say clubs with BB are immune it just reduces the severity of the washout.




    Wait there is a product out there that will limit the amount of rebuilding bunkers I have to do (spend 2-3 days a week on the sand Pro)? With the amount of rain in Oregon I hope a course tries this out soon up here.
  • driveandputtmachinedriveandputtmachine 4 wedges or 2 iron? That is the question! Members Posts: 1,171 ✭✭
    Having played "resort" area courses, stadard public and private courses they all seem to have differing ideas of whether or not to overseed fairways. Resort courses in the Myrtle Beach area overseed as the package players want to see a green course, completely understandable. The course I grew up on lightly overseeded and the super said he mainly did it to help with rainy winters. At least that is what i was told by the members. This made sense as I had bermuda grass when i lived at the beach and i overseeded each winter some areas of the backyard and it helped with wet winters.



    If this is the case why dont more private courses at least do light overseeding? Ive heard many people say in spring the bermuda is hurt by the overseed grass and it stunts the wake up from dormancy. Is that true?
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  • BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,599 ✭✭
    Having played "resort" area courses, stadard public and private courses they all seem to have differing ideas of whether or not to overseed fairways. Resort courses in the Myrtle Beach area overseed as the package players want to see a green course, completely understandable. The course I grew up on lightly overseeded and the super said he mainly did it to help with rainy winters. At least that is what i was told by the members. This made sense as I had bermuda grass when i lived at the beach and i overseeded each winter some areas of the backyard and it helped with wet winters.



    If this is the case why dont more private courses at least do light overseeding? Ive heard many people say in spring the bermuda is hurt by the overseed grass and it stunts the wake up from dormancy. Is that true?




    It depends. I have read some literature that overseeding year in year out can adversely affect the dormant grasses when it comes to wake up. I used to work at a club in Orlando that overseeded wall to wall, and it stripped up phenomenally well. We did that to attract those from up north to our emerald green fairways. Now I'm at one of the most exclusive clubs in world, and we don't seed (part of the reason why is that we don't have much traffic). The problems that I see and know are, decreased weed control, increased nematode/bug activity, potential for disease. When turf goes dormant, there's not a lot that can happen. But it's good to have growing turf, because if there's damage to the course it'll heal up.



    While there can be adversity when exiting dormancy periods, I was always pumping so much N into the plant to get it growing you can manage the bad effects if any. Personally I haven't dealt with big problems, the only problem I ever had was getting the seed to check out in areas that stayed wet/shaded.



    Resort courses need to be wall to wall green, especially in an area so dependent on vacationers from colder locales. My members don't care, greens are firm and fast and fairways are nice and tight. We're starting to grow again, and spraying PGRs to manage plant growth.



    It all depends on what each course wants. Seeding is getting more expensive, because harvests are yielding less and less each year (due to warmer temps affecting the plant). But with warmer temps, that means fewer courses may feel the need to seed.
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