Course Notes, 8/26/2019

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With all of Elcona’s Club Championships contested by the end of this week, we have reached the point in the season where we are past the dog days of summer and the weather turns a bit cooler and crisper.  Labor Day signifies that change, but as we all know, there is a ton of great weather to come out and enjoy your golf course.

2019 Grounds Staff
2019 Grounds Department Staff

I also would like to give a special thanks to our staff. I am very proud of the product they have produced for throughout the year. Throughout the next few weeks most of them will be leaving us for the season and will be missed until they return in April 2020. So a huge thank you/muchas gracias to Matt, Steve, Greg, Ron, Bob, Paul, Harold, Larry, Caity, Doug, Jorge, Abelardo, Eduardo, Vernando, Luis, and Mitch for all your hard work this year.

 

I came across a share on Twitter the other day from Coach Eric Musselman (via Matt Windy, thanks Coach!):

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I couldn’t help but think how important this saying is to our operation here at Elcona.  Each day, we are constantly looking for ways we can do things better and improve on an already great golf course.  Some of the subtle changes made this year to our maintenance, combined with some great weather, have provided a great product for you to enjoy.  From brushing fairway turf, to using solely mechanical rakes in bunkers, to trying different products in our agronomic plan, each of these changes may not seem like much but I believe they have made a difference for the better.

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Brushing fairway turf up before it gets mowed.
New Rough 16
Expanded rough left of 16

 

That being said, September brings a great opportunity to complete additional improvements around the course. We have already widened the rough left of #16, about 130 yards out, by scalping down the existing turf and seeding new grass into it, that will move the native area further away from play.  The area should be fully grown and complete in a couple more weeks.  We also will be adding drainage in the low area next to 4 blue tee.

Some other quick hits from around the course:

Golf course aerification is directly around the corner.   Tees will be aerified next Tuesday (9/3/2019), and we will be pulling cores again.  Greens will be aerified on Thursday and Friday, October 3rd/4th, after the Hole in One Stag.  Fairways will be aerified the following week, October 7-11.  Green surrounds will be aerified through the next 4 weeks depending on schedule and weather.  We will be pulling cores on fairways this year to improve drainage and to better fill in divot area that have been left unprepared.

IMG_0374This sugar maple on the right side of 14 will be removed on September 16th, during a shut down day for the course.  It was hit by lightning earlier in the year and has not shown any signs that it will recover.

IMG_0377With this spring and early summer’s heavy rainfall, crabgrass pressure has been through the roof and a challenge this season.  We have spot sprayed the crabgrass that emerged in a few areas on the fairways and rough with great results.  The bronzing of the fairway turf surrounding the crabgrass will grow out within a couple of weeks.

Hiking Trails MowingAnother change made this summer is using a different mower to maintain the hiking trails. This mower has allowed us to mow the grass at 3.5” (compared to 5”) and drastically reduces the time it takes to mow them. If you are looking for an area to exercise or walk with your family or pooch, the Elcona trails are a perfect place for that. Maps are located in the main office or at http://www.elconacc.com.

Please use caution the next couple of weeks as you drive along CR 21, as a boring crew will be installing fiber optic lines toward US 20, and then towards the cell tower.  While this will not impact the golf course, crews will be working very close to it and the roadway.

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Monarch caterpillar enjoying some lunch
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Monarch on some Purple coneflower

 

 

 

 

 

Our pollinator areas have seen a large increase in butterfly populations this year, especially Monarchs.  The areas of milkweed you have noticed along the native areas are the Monarch’s main source of food and habitat for them to complete their life cycle on their migration from Mexico to Canada and back.  Where appropriate, we will continue to provide habitat for pollinating insects while not impacting the golf course.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at ryan@elconacc.com, or stop me when you see me out on the course.  Have a great, safe Labor Day weekend, and I will see you out on the golf course!

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Ryan