Golf course update

Ralph Scafuri

On August 26, 2014, the Green Committee did an analysis of our greens. The expert used was Jimmy Fox of Evergreen Turf of Chandler, Arizona. In attendance for the Green Committee were J.R. Kies, Joel Jaress, Mike Taylor, Ralph Scafuri, Craig Parsons, Skip Fumia, Dreama Fumia, Roger Oravetz and Frank Hewitt.

The grass on our greens here at Quail Creek is Champion Ultra Dwarf Bermuda and Mr. Fox has been an independent consultant for the status and health of our greens for many years. We sampled greens on all three of our courses. The samples taken were approximately one inch wide, five inches long and about five to six inches deep. Photographs were done to further document the findings. The conclusions follow.

Our greens are in excellent health with a good root system. The older courses, Quail and Coyote, have a deeper root system and more consistent organic layer than Road Runner. This is related to the age of the greens. Also, the solid tined soil reliever which we purchased this past summer will be used on the Road Runner greens to greatly improve the organic layer. The thatch layer on all three courses is approximately 3/8”. This thatch layer depth is close to the perfect thickness by industry standards. This layer determines the receptiveness of the greens to golf shots.

All our greens should be able to support heavy golf volume without overseeding. Jim Fox was of the opinion that our greens are in the best condition he has seen since starting consulting here at Quail Creek.

J.R. Kies, our course superintendent, has done an excellent job to improve the health and playability of our greens. He will continue to use wetting agents on the Road Runner greens to improve water retention. Verticutting will continue to be done to improve the putting surface over the winter months. The use of a tint on the greens helps keep the grass warmer to help prevent winter kill.

There has been an aggressive green aerification program throughout the summer to help cut down on the problem of poa growing on our non overseeded greens. Hopefully there will be significantly less poa this coming winter season. But there will be a plan to deal with the potential problem utilizing both chemical and mechanical means. Also, pin placement is very important for playability of our greens. Steps will be done to ensure as much consistency as possible in this regard.

Finally, how about all that crab grass? The good news is that it will die off as the weather gets cooler and we get a frost. Not only will we spray this fall, but we will add a second application of the pre-emergent next spring. That puts us up to three chemical applications to curb the crab grass problem. This plan should be effective going forward.