An Update from the Grounds Crew

Blog Post By: Craig McKinley

I hope this update finds you well and enjoying the beautiful days we have been having. This summer has been full of great golfing days and gorgeous sunrises. I wanted to first share this picture overlooking our 14th green. Every morning when I make a scouting run around the golf course, I can stop here and remember how much I enjoy this piece of property and how thankful I am to be doing what I love. 

The Grounds Crew has been busy the past few weeks doing a lot of detail work, as well as keeping up the golf course during a dry spell. New mulch has been added to all garden beds, bunkers have been edged, and areas where trees have been removed have matured enough to have ropes taken down and handle traffic.

 Bed behind our Men’s Tee on Hole #2 getting some detail work.

Hole #12 green and surrounding area looking healthy after selective tree removal.

Another topic I wanted to touch on today was moisture management at Bucks Run Golf Club. It is a common misconception that golf courses are abusers when it comes to water usage. Golfers may see myself or our team out with hoses or sprinklers during the day time. This isn’t because we did not water at night, but is because it is always best to water lighter at night and supplement irrigation later where it actually needs it. Therefore, instead of running heavier irrigation programs at night, we can turn on one or two sprinklers in the morning to water a dry area. We also rarely use overhead irrigation on our putting greens, but instead hand water where the turf needs it.

In addition, we use moisture readers to determine the moisture content of our soil.  This reader allows us to give water to the areas, such as ridges, that will dry out faster than lower areas of greens. Whereas turning on sprinklers would water areas that do not need it, as well as the areas that do. Once the whole of the green has reached an equilibrium in terms of its water needs, it is time to run overhead irrigation. 

In addition, the moisture readers allow us to find hot spots on greens before the plant goes through the stress of wilting and not being able to cool itself down. This reader shows us the volumetric water content percentage of our soil. Our Bentgrass will wilt at 4%, and this tool enables us to give it water when it needs it, right before it gets to its wilt point. We also employ wetting agents on tees and fairways to help water penetrate the soil and remain deep in the root zone, which allows us to keep the top layer drier, while conserving water at the same time.

I would like to recommend checking out this USGA video that gives a brief look into hand watering practices on golf courses.

USGA Video - Hand Watering Greens

As always, we hope to see you on the course and please continue fixing your ball marks. Have a great week!

Posted by admin at Jun 28, 2016 Category: June 2016
Tags: Bucks Run Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Sunrise, Grounds, Maintenance, Moisture, Water