Now this is more like it! As I’m writing this blog, it is hard to imagine there could be a nicer day weather wise. Temperatures in the low 70’s with a light breeze and nary a cloud in sight. Hope you’re enjoying your round of golf at Hilldale…thanks for coming out. As I mentioned in the last update, maintenance practices can really be intensified this time of year due to such benign weather conditions. Green speeds are running just over 11′ this morning as the putting surfaces had no problem handling a double cut and rolling. These practices will continue as we head into the fall golf season. It is a pleasure to manage poa/bentgrass greens when you combine cool temps., light moisture (.25″ of rain yesterday morning), and no seedheads.
Overseeding work has been completed on tees 11 & 13 and fairways 2, 11, 18. A newer generation of bentgrass seed was planted this year, and so far germination has been excellent as #18 fairway is completely filled in, with the tees and #2 fairway not far behind. #11 fairway was just completed two days ago, and because the new seed only takes about one week to germinate, you should see significant progress…if not complete fill in by mid-October. Just a note about the newer generation bentgrasses; they have a much denser growth habit along with a great ability to handle heat stress. Today, many courses in the southeast part of the country are using these new bents because of that ability to tolerate high heat. The older bentgrasses that were planted on golf courses forty and fifty years ago, simply don’t have the “makeup” to withstand the kind of summer heat that hit the Chicago area this year and the southeast part of the country just about every year.
We will delay greens aerification plans for at least one more week to allow our customers the benefit of putting on undisturbed greens. Please remember that when we do aerify, only half of each green is done at one time with the hole location put on the non-aerified half. Following recovery of the first half (2 week period), the other half of each green will be done. We’ve received very positive feedback at Hilldale by using this method…obviously the idea is to give our golfers a large area around the cup from which to putt w/o rolling over a recently disturbed surface. Needless to say, if aerification wasn’t such an integral part of producing high quality greens, then it would not be done.
Please share your opinion if there is something the Hilldale Grounds Department can do to better your golf course experience…comments are always welcome.
Bryan Widmer, CGCS