Many changes occur here in Northern Indiana in August, from our children going back to school, to hearing sounds on the gridiron (Boiler Up!). Here at Elcona it is no different. While our day-to-day maintenance goals do not change, some of our focus shifts to begin the process of healing and recovery from a weird summer of extremes weather wise so that the turf goes into the winter season in great health and shape. The vast majority of the golf course remains in great shape, but there are some areas that need additional attention.
The effect of the weather extremes this year, combined with the normal traffic it receives and an unfortunate sprayer malfunction has caused the small practice green located by the locker room exits to be closed from play temporarily. We have inter-seeded bentgrass into the thinner areas and increased the fertility on this green to promote a quick recovery. I anticipate this green being closed for about 10-14 days while it recovers and the new seed germinates, and I appreciate your cooperation in regards to it being closed to play.
We also had some areas on select tees and fairways suffer from both drought and disease conditions that require overseeding as well. We will be out seeding these areas with bent grass as staff and time allow, and these areas will be marked ground under repair as needed.
August also brings signs of other traffic stress to our green and bunker surrounds. This week we will be applying our next round of fertilizer to promote continued health, recovery, and vigor to the rough around the greens. Traffic stress can also be noticed on entry and exit points near cart paths, such as the picture shows around 5 white tee. These areas will be aerified and fertilized to aid in their recovery as well.
Some other quick observations around the golf course:
- July’s drought-like conditions created changes with some trees as well. The heat and lack of rainfall caused these trees to shed leaves in an attempt to conserve resources (food and water). They are in no danger of becoming unhealthy, they are simply going through a natural defense mechanism.
- A few of you have asked about the mounds that have been noticeable on select greens. These are being caused by the seed corn beetle, which is pictured above on a mound on 12 green. These beetles are prevalent this time of year, especially on greens that are located by adjacent fields. They are not causing harm to the turf and will leave shortly.
- The bee hotel on #16 is filling up quickly with mainly 2 types of bees: mason bees and the leafcutter bee, pictured above. This activity is noted mainly by either mud or a resin-like substance that fills the hole in the wood. After the female lays her egg, she seals the hole with this mud or resin. When the egg hatches, the new bee will chew its way out of the hole and begin its life in the outside world. I continue to be happy with our efforts to provide new habitats for our pollinator friends.
If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great week and I will see you on the golf course!