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August 9, 2011

Does anybody care?

Sean McCue, Country Club at Castle Pines, Castle Rock, CO:

"Everybody is quick to point out the flaws in the maintenance of the golf course, but it seems as if rules and etiquette don't apply to anyone. With more than 5200 rounds in the month of July, the golf course is getting worn out. You need to do your part while playing to help maintain your golf course and help with the overall member experience.

Do your part: fix your ballmarks, replace your divots, rake bunkers and follow all cart signage and traffic ropes. These seem like things that should go without saying, but that is not always the case.

I have a staff of hard working men and women who give their all each and every day to make CCCP a better place and it becomes frustrating to them when people seem to take for granted the effort that is put in every day.

There is a lot of activity taking place on the course after hours. Practicing on the golf course is prohibited! If you see someone out practicing on the course at night tell them to stop, or if you are not comfortable doing that call the golf shop or even Emergency Services and let them handle it. These people who are practicing at night are ruining your golf course.

Here is what my staff gets to see most mornings on the golf course at first light:

Divots and empty ball sleeves.

Short game practice at night.

Practice divots on a fairway.

Practice balls and unrepaired ballmarks.

Unrepaired ballmarks from after-hours practice.

Divots on a green and surrounds.

Fairway damage from dog paws.

Tight golf cart turns.

Do your part, it is your golf course after all."

Visit Sean's blog at

Reason #58 Why I DESPISE Crows...

Jason Hooper, Quilchena Golf & Country Club, Richmond, BC, Canada:

"Crows can be quite a nuisance on the course. Whether they're swiping your sandwich, hot dog or other snack while you leave your bag to hit your shot or squawking for hours on end while they chase one of our eagles around the course or empty out an entire garbage can at a tee, they are downright annoying. Well, here's another reason I hate the darned crows...

Yup, the pesky crows have been pulling out our bunker liners from the fairway bunkers on #1 one little piece at a time. They are using these stolen pieces of bunker liner for their nests. I know some will think that they are brilliant for doing so, but it still doesn't change my opinion of these vandals and thieves. They leave us quite a mess to cleanup each and every morning as they leave liner pieces scattered all around and within the bunkers.

Anyway, now that I've vented about the darned things, we do have a plan to hopefully stop them from continuing to destroy the liners. We will be removing the liner from the edges about 4' back into the bunker. It seems as though this is where they are focusing on removing (stealing) it from, likely because it is quite shallow around the edges. Bunkers typically have 2" of sand around the edges and 4" in the bellies or flats of the bunker. Being that those are the only 2 bunkers on the course with liners so we don't anticipate it taking too long to complete this task. They were installed to help prevent stones in the subsurface from migrating up into the bunker sand. Hopefully this will not become a problem around the edges when we remove the liner, but it makes sense to do so before the crows complete it for us anyway.

Oh yeah, Reason #44 Why I DESPISE Crows:

They swiped my sunflower seeds from my cart yesterday... but I fought back and wasn't going to let them take off with them!"

Visit Jason's blog at

July Survival Edition

Michael Stachowicz, Dedham Country and Polo Club, Dedham, MA:

"We are just finished with the Russell Cup, which seems to have gone well. Every year we get to present a better and better course during a tough time of year. We were able to get greenspeeds up for the weekend without lowering the height of cut (which would cause stress during a tough time of year) by just adding daily rolling for the week leading up to it. Research is showing that rolling is less stressful on the turf and more effective at adding to speed. We also like the extra firmness from it. Some clubs are skipping mowing greens some days (typically mowed every day) and just rolling. I would say that the rollers and the fairway topdresser are the most influential pieces of equipment in the last twenty years at Dedham.

Below is a picture from the fourth fairway, one of our most aggressively topdressed (sand applications) areas on the course. We had an irrigation break to fix. You can see how healthy the roots are in the 3" to 4" of sand that has been applied over the past seven years. Below is the rocky muck that it used to grow on."

Visit Michaels's blog at

Turf Brown-Out Warning: Conserve Energy

Jerry Kershasky, Westmoor Country Club, Brookfield, WI :

"Sometimes, in the summer, during extended heat waves, your power company might issue a Black Out Warning, meaning if everyone uses their air conditioners and other electric consuming equipment, they (the power company) might not be able to meet the energy demand which would trigger a network shutdown or a blackout.

Well, I'm not the power company, I'm a golf course superintendent and I'm issuing a Brown Out Warning for the cool season grasses, Bent and Poa annua.

"...we will conserve energy by raising the green mowing height slightly from .095" to .11", mow the greens and roll every other day rather than daily..."

When temperatures get hot and humid for extended periods of time, Bent Grass and Poa annua will use more energy than they can produce. This energy deficiency weakens their whole vascular system and the normal wear and tear of mowing, rolling and foot traffic that had no effect on their health during cooler times now has a drastic consequence of turf thinning or outright kill. So, much like the power company asking you to conserve power during high demand periods, we will conserve energy by raising the green mowing height slightly from .095" to .11", mow the greens and roll every other day rather than daily. By making these simple adjustments we reduce the stress on these weakened grasses.

Yes, this will slow green speed down but it will also conserve energy and get these grasses through this hot weather period with minimal damage."

Visit Jerry's blog at

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The offer is still open, so send us some course photos (at least 1000 pixels wide), a headshot or two of yourself and a club logo... and we'll take it from there! Yet another advantage of being a TurfNet member!

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