End of an Era

It has been two weeks since my last post and a lot has happened in that time. We continue to try and improve the property as well as maintain it. The rain is welcomed but adds to the pothole duty on roads, paths and some bunkers. We added stones in front of the course rest rooms to try and minimize the sand dragged into them which ruins the floors. We edged the sprinklers and fairway stones and then Murph painted the numbers on those stones. The brush cutting of the road edges continues in earnest and we even tackled some of the woods edges to help speed up play. The wildlife seems to be going nuts this year with sightings of all sorts. In fact one morning I was barely paying attention driving up three when I looked over at Bert sniffing the air. I looked around and saw my deer friend so stopped and engaged my phone camera for a picture. She actually started walking towards us and that is when Bert decided it would be more fun to chase the "big doggy". Murph found a lunar moth one morning so we snapped her picture and tucked her into the woods in hopes that she would survive.  The red tail hawks continue to dominate the course but the osprey can be seen flying overhead on a regular basis. The turkeys have been around but the number of poults is dwindling with each sighting. I made a collage of the different categories over the last two weeks: wildlife, irrigation, and projects

I could write an entire post on how a simple task of flushing a weepy head turns into a 24 hour project. Suffice to say Murphy's Law was in full force and if it could go wrong it did. A 3-5 minute flush turned into a new found leak then a broken valve which required a full system shutdown and draining. We managed and have seen a marked improvement on the pressure maintenance pump cycle so that surprise leak might have been going for some time.
7 fairway
As you can clearly see in the picture above there is a distinct line of disease damaged turf on the right. We spray our greens, tees, and approaches conventionally. What that means is we apply synthetic fungicides on a scheduled preventative basis. Much like your high blood pressure pill. The fungal pathogens are in the soil so always present. Once the conditions are met for growth they spring into life, so to avoid damage we have a preventative spray on the turf. Since September of 1997 we have not done this on fairways. Instead we have relied on a biological approach using a bacteria that we brew and either injected through the irrigation or for the last three seasons sprayed on the turf. This is more like your insulin monitoring and dosage with diabetes. When we noticed disease we would start brewing and spraying. As a contingency for this season I purchased a fungicide to avoid catastrophe like last season and pulled the trigger this week and applied it to all fairways. We have stopped the disease activity and hopefully will grow out of the damage. Most of the fairways are fine and you would not even notice, but other areas were hit pretty hard such as you see in the picture. It is hard not to feel like a failure when you have tried to be as environmentally progressive as I have and managed this long, but all in all it was a good run. I will continue to tweak the program and work to be fungicide free again but the reality is that I do this voluntarily. We are not under any restrictions and can treat conventionally but I have chosen since 97 to try a different path. Why be normal right? Thanks for sticking with me so far. I could not have done it without a great staff and tremendous support from the members and owners of the property. Maybe not quite the end  of an era but a speed bump along the roadway. Just thought I would keep you informed to the best of my abilities.
6 fwy. The sun always rises on a new day

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