TurfNet Blog Aggregator email

Every Tuesday TurfNet sends an email called the TurfNet Turf Blog Aggregator where they compile the most interesting blog posts of that week from it's members. Mine has been on there a few times. Some of these blogs are extremely well done and I have learned a lot from them. At times I have added a link to a particular post that I thought was pertinent for us here at Mink. That is the case this week. As I scrolled down the email every post seemed to resonate with me. I am not sure if the link will work but here is this weeks Aggregator: LINK

Starting with Paul Carter, CGCS I truly believe the players have a bigger impact on conditions than the staff does. We can prep the course in the AM and have it look as if we were never there by 10:00. Jon Kiger has been my roommate on all the Bandon Dunes trips and does a great job organizing all the TurfNet members trips He has a special affinity for all things Irish even hosting a Celtic radio show in Atlanta.

I cannot tell you how many times I have felt silly watering in a product when rain is predicted or is actually falling. Brad Novotny does a great job explaining why we do what we have to sometimes. I mean the forecasts are never wrong right? Dave Schlagetter has been a contributor to the forum on TurfNet for years and has some great insights. "Robot" mowers are making some in-roads into golf and it is exciting and very daunting. What can I say about Bug Spray Disease? Fred Gehrisch, CGCS sums it up perfectly. I think most of us suffer from this affliction.

Even though we do not have ponds on the course we do have ponds and water bodies in Mink Meadows. Brian Stiehler, CGCS MG covers the issues of treating ponds for aquatic weeds. John Slade is a fixture on the Aggregator because he is simply damn good at it. Tremendous coverage of some of his summer staff and a reminder that few people here at Mink need. The members here are very good about complimenting the staff and  appreciating the hard work they do every day.

Finally Jorge Croda, CGCS covers a topic I too believe in and participate in every day. The day you stop learning is the day they plant you in the ground. The final "Thoughts from a foolish golf course superintendent" is fairly new to the Aggregator but after seeing one a few weeks ago I decided to follow this and receive them every day. Many are quite good and very profound. One I loved and forwarded to a friend was this one:

I have thought about doing this format many times since the topics most superintendents write about and deal with are universal. I feel as though I would be reinventing the wheel so why not share a well written post. This week seemed to just strike a chord where every post was relevant. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Fescue, Little bluestem and hyperodes?

By the title of this post many of you must be thinking "he has finally lost his mind completely". I would not be the best to judge that, now would I? You will see some changes in the "Native" or Fescue areas. Basically I have mowed some of them because they were already too lush and unplayable. I assume because of all the rain we have had this spring and early summer. So what exactly is the difference between native grasses? Here is a couple links describing two main species: Little bluestem and Fescue. The only difference I really care about is playability or how easy it is to find your ball and then play it from these tall grass areas. Speed of play is directly related to enjoyment for all and will have an impact on the cash register as well.

just a small sample area. can you see the ball?

same area without the Little Bluestem
I have picked the areas where the most play happens and where the grass is the thickest. I started two weeks ago with a bit on the right of 2 and inside the fence on the right of 4 where it was weedy so impossible to see a ball under the flowers of the weed. Yesterday I continued on the right of 6 and the left of 15 and 8. I also mowed some poison ivy to the left of 9 green. We will try to spray that as well.
right of 6
left of 8 green
8 saved the wild flowers 
So what the heck is a hyperode? The article in the link provided will explain in detail but simply put the annual bluegrass weevil is a nasty little bug that kills grass. We have had a good run here with only one major outbreak on collars and that was 15 years ago. Once in the last 20 years have I had to put a rescue treatment on fairways and that was only 9 and 3 fairways. These buggers have multiple generations in one season, can become resistant to insecticides quickly and the timing of applying those chemicals is very tricky. We have some damage to many collars out there and possibly some fairway areas as well. I have begun insecticide treatments to slow their progress and hopefully stave off any more damage. Please keep all pull carts off all collars. The added traffic will impede any recovery efforts.
tiny adults from 2 collar
poor 3 collar suffers so much already from pull carts and tree roots
4 fwy near drain
The picture of 4 above shows the discerning pallet of the weevil. Look at the bluegrass sod we used to patch the drain we installed in front of the forward tee. It looks great, yet the edges are getting destroyed where the old fairway meets up to the new sod. It has been shown to eat other grasses when populations are extreme but it usually always starts on Poa or annual bluegrass which is why it is called the ABW or annual bluegrass weevil.

Road Trip

In the last post I mentioned how wet we had been. That trend continues. We ended up over 7" of rain in May and now on June 10th we have over 1.25" so far. There are glimpses of a brighter future with full sunshine and even some heat in the forecast. It is currently 76 at 10 am, not bad. I found a couple of hours of sunshine to get some outdoor painting done. There is a gate on the West side of the property that has not been touched in years. I prepped it then put a rust proofing on it and the next day a coat of paint. Good for another 20 years!
Gate painting

I made a road trip this week to play a course in Maine. I had set this up while at the Maine Turfgrass Conference in Jan. The Superintendent is on the board of the NERTF with me. It happened that there was a board meeting scheduled this week also so I tied in a visit to my sister's in Vermont. It was great to see her and her wonderful gardens.
Big Sister's gardens in VT
I am proud to admit that i have an affinity for 9-hole courses and this one on the coast of Maine was a treat.
Abenaqui in Biddeford Pool, ME
On the way back to MV we played Renaissance GC in Haverhill, MA. Another treat and another spectacular weather day.
Woods Hole sunset at the end of the road trip
And lastly a few pics from around the course since the last post:
Turtle tracks in a bunker, Rainbows, Osprey, Salamander & Bert
Random pics from the course