Summer Golf Course Maintenance Initiative


Robert Lewis, Green Committee

A very interesting question was asked at the March Green Committee Meeting. The question was, “What recommendations have we implemented from previous golf course studies?” One example was to implement the counterclockwise spinal brushes on all green mowers providing a smoother putting surface after cutting.

The most current study, by the USGA pertaining to the soil conditions, will impact the golf community the most. You can read this report as well as all of the reports conducted to date on the Quail Creek website (click on GOLF, then click on GREEN COMMITTEE at the bottom of the list).

The newest USGA Report provides very meaningful data on the soil conditions for the three separate 9-hole courses. Keep in mind that the 9-hole courses were developed many years apart but all were constructed using approved USGA standards. Although you could get overwhelmed with all of the details on the aspects of the soil evaluations, the bottom line is that we are in desperate need of aeration on all three 9-hole courses and most notably the Roadrunner nine.

We have been expounding the need for course aeration in the monthly Quail Creek Crossing news articles for the last year. This new USGA Report validates our concerns but also provides a detailed process to address course conditions for each 9-hole course.

So, the summer schedule, listed below, that has been approved by the Green Committee, Golf Course Associations, Golf Professional, Course Superintendent and Robson Management, will specifically address the recommendations in the newest USGA Report.

The Roadrunner Course has been identified as needing the most severe actions to help increase more favorable soil conditions to grow healthy grass. The soil profile revealed a heavy clay soil with only minor organic matter (needed for growth). Soil compaction, as identified in the USGA Report, is of great concern. Soil compaction reduces the ability for water and nutrients to soak down to a favorable level for deep (acceptable) root growth. To increase soil absorption of the fertilizers and other chemicals will require major aeration and increase in sand topdressing throughout the summer.

Both the Quail and Coyote courses will require aeration but will not require the same amount of sand top dress as needed for the Roadrunner Course.

The report also provides short term recommendations on transitioning from over seed, mowing heights, fertilizing, moisture management, chemical transition from the winter rye grass to Bermuda, aeration, etc. As many of these recommendations will be implemented as practical.

Bottom line to the report, the recommendations are “based on the result of soil tests, infield observations and commentary from Mr. Kies (course Superintendent). It is the agronomist’s opinion that the only viable options to improve the soil characteristics and turf quality is to initiate an aggressive sand topdressing and cultivation program.”

This a long-term strategy that will continue for the next five-six years. Evaluation by the USGA as to progress will be conducted periodically during this major soil conditioning initiative.

The following schedule is being implemented to meet the recommendations of the study:

June 7: RR, Quail, Coyote Closed (Fairway Aeration)

June 8: Coyote Closed (Fairway Aeration)

June 18 through July 1: RR Closed for Top Dressing (sand)

July 2 and 3: Coyote Closed (Aerify Greens)

July 9 and 10: Quail Closed (Aerify Greens)

August 6 through 12: RR Closed for Top Dressing (sand)

September 17 through October 8: Overseed

This information has been distributed to all Quail Creek Golf Organizations as of May 3, 2018.