Kent’s Korner – Water Wisely for Dew Removal

Oftentimes, I get asked, what time is the best time to irrigate a lawn. Normally, it is best to begin irrigation cycles in the early morning hours and target the water to be completed before 8 am, when the natural drying process is underway. Watering your lawn in this manner helps decrease the wet period of the turf and is a good first step in suppressing disease. Dew begins setting after sunset and dissipates in the morning as the sun rises. Dew is a combination of condensation and guttation (excretions of sap) water from the turf’s respiration. This plant exudate is full of natural juices that combine with normal condensation to create an ideal environment for disease. Planning your irrigation to help wash guttation water off the turf and interrupt the dew period is a good way to improve your lawn.
 
We follow these same watering principles on both courses to help reduce disease. In addition to good watering practices, you may notice our teams periodically dragging a hose down the course fairways with maintenance carts in the mornings. This process is done on days we are not mowing the fairways to remove the dew from the grass blades and promote quicker drying. Knocking the dew down not only helps keep our member’s feet dry, it also improves ball roll and aids in disease prevention. Reducing the wet period and promoting drying is an important part of interrupting the pathogen’s life cycles, minimizing disease, and promoting healthy turf. Hope to see you on the courses.

Dragging fairways to promote drying

Kent’s Korner – Seasonal Changes

As summer comes to an end, Steve Tennant and the Colleton River Club Community Grounds team begin to plan the major flower change-out at the front entrance, clubhouses, and key beds throughout the community. The summer annuals that enjoyed the heat and humidity of the Lowcountry get replaced with cold hardy species including: Cyclamen, Delphinium, Dianthus, Cabbage, Kale, Mustard, Pansies, Snapdragons, Irish Moss, Stock, Calendula, and Foxglove. The seasonal change-out encompasses over 15,000 square feet of bed space and provides a splash of color, unique texture, and added interest against the natural background that defines Colleton River Club. For members interested in rescuing and repurposing the plants we utilize as summer annuals, the Hibiscus, Oyster Plant, Duranta, Coleus and Pentas will be available on a first come, first served basis at the Nicklaus maintenance area toward the end of October. We won’t be providing prolonged care to these plants, so act fast to keep them looking good in the garden. We hope you enjoy the interesting annual displays throughout the community this fall. 

Kent’s Korner – Prepping the Practice Tees

Since converting the fairways, tees, and approaches on both courses to Celebration bermudagrass, Colleton River Club has long forgotten the evils associated with overseeding. Abandoning overseeding of the playing surfaces eliminates the disturbance created during fall seed establishment and the problems associated with the overseed removal and spring transition. In lieu of the rye grass overseed, we will again utilize micro-nutrients, turf pigments, and colorants to maintain the turf’s rich green color.  Under normal dry weather, we expect both golf courses to provide good playing conditions throughout the golf season and winter months. Please continue to disperse traffic and keep carts a minimum of twenty yards from the green surfaces. We will utilize ropes and stakes as necessary and will monitor the cart policy based on weather.
To help manage focused practice patterns, we will continue to overseed the range tees on both courses. The front practice tees on the Nicklaus Course and Dye Course will be overseeded on September 23rd and 24th respectively. Following two weeks of establishment, we will rotate practice to the artificial mats for one week and overseed the back tees during the normal course closures, October 7th and 8th. We fully expect to utilize the tees for the Fall Member Guest October 9th – 12th. We appreciate your understanding as we complete this necessary process.

Overseed is a necessary evil for the practice tees

Colleton River Club Represented by Todd White

Colleton River Club was proud to be represented on the bag of Todd White at the 39th U.S Mid-Amateur last month at the Colorado Golf Club.  White has advanced to match play in all seven U.S. Mid-Amateurs he has played. When he is in the area, White trains at Colleton River on both the Dye and Nicklaus courses.  White, a high school history teacher, has competed in 27 USGA championships, including the 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills.  He also competed and was part of the winning 2013 Walker Cup team.  In 2019, he tied for ninth in the South Carolina Amateur on Aug. 3.

Learn more about this recent event.  

 

Kent’s Korner – August 30, 2019

Rarely, throughout the coastal southeast, are surprises that suddenly appear in late summer pleasant. Coinciding with hurricane season, in late August and throughout September, hurricane lilies, Lycoris spp., defy this conventional wisdom. These bulbs in the amaryllis family seemingly appear out of nowhere, shooting leafless flower stalks 12 to 24″ from the ground. Adorned with delicate tubular flowers, they provide a delightful presence in the late summer garden. Generally appearing following late season rains, each bulb sprouts between one and four stems that produce 8″ clusters of flowers that have a spidery appearance. Hurricane lilies don’t require fertilization or irrigation, but they prefer partial shade and benefit from rich, moist soils. In the Lowcountry it is best to amend the soil with compost prior to planting. Use caution when planting these flowers in the presence of pets and small children. All Lycoris species contain the alkaloid poison, lycorine, which makes the plant resistant to damage from deer and rodents but can be harmful if consumed. While enjoying the community this fall, keep an eye out for this delightful surprise popping up where you might least expect it.

Lycoris radiata at the Nicklaus Clubhouse Porte-cochère

Kent’s Korner – Sands of Time

As discussed in last week’s Agronomy newsletter, during the Nicklaus course closure, we have begun redistributing the sand in the dunes on holes fifteen through eighteen. Years of erosion have moved the sand from the peaks of the mounds and have deposited it along the base of the dunes. While the cordgrass, Spartina patens, and sea oats help reduce erosion, the exposed slopes are especially prone to run-off. Over the next few weeks, our teams will be mining the sand from the lower edges of the dunes and redistributing it to conceal the exposed subsoil on the mounds. In the event an errant shot enters an area where equipment is working, please play the area as required in Rule 16.1b, Abnormal Course Conditions -Relief in General Area, by taking complete free relief from the ground under repair. For your safety, don’t attempt to retrieve the ball. Thank you for your understanding as we complete this much needed improvement project.

Replacing sand that has eroded from the peaks of the dunes

Kent’s Korner – Dye Course Improvements

“The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection,” is a catchy Lexus slogan that the Dye golf maintenance team put into practice this past week. Along with all the benefits gained from the aeration and verticutting of the playing surfaces, Dye Course superintendent Jake Williams and his team completed a laundry list of worthwhile projects on the golf course. These enhancements included: drainage improvements to alleviate chronically wet catch basins on holes nine and sixteen, adjustments to the cart drive-off area on the left of one fairway, improvements to the walk-off at six green, the regrassing of the egress from the white tee on hole ten, and the leveling of the black tee on hole twelve. These projects addressed important weak points in the Dye Course presentation. When we reopen the course on Tuesday, expect the Dye greens to be slightly slower than their pre-aeration conditions. Within seven to ten days we expect things to be back to normal. Thank you for your patience during this process, and I’ll see you on the course.  

Adding drainage around the catch basin in sixteen fairway

Widening and irrigating the walk-off to six green

Leveling the black tee on twelve

Two Qualifiers for the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship

Colleton River Club is pleased to announce that two of our Members have qualified to play in the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, NC from August 24-29, 2019.

Duke Delcher secured his opportunity to compete at the end of August with a 1-under 71 score(70) in the 18-hole qualifier at The Kittansett Club of Massachusetts on Monday, July 29th.   Delcher finished first on the leader board and earned medalist honors on the 18-hole course which is tucked along a peninsula on Buzzards Bay and served as the first step for hopeful competitors to advance to the 2019 Championship Proper. https://www.massgolf.org/news/19ussramrecap/

Also, on Monday, July 29th, Kevin King earned one of the six qualifying spots at the 2019 USGA U.S. Senior Amateur Sectional Qualifying at Biltmore Forest Country Club in Asheville, North Carolina.   King tied for second at the event with a score of 71.

https://www.carolinasgolf.org/blog-post/home/homepage/year/2019/id/290975/us-senior-amateur-qualifying-results-biltmore-forest

Kent’s Korner – Vegetarians

On hot summer days, Lowcountry menus offer refreshing summer salads with a variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Taking note of the abundant summer harvest, the Agronomy Department is employing an additional group of hungry triploid grass carp to help with the smorgasbord of weeds growing in the course ponds. These newest additions to Colleton River Club are true vegetarians that enjoy feeding on hydrilla, pondweed, spike rush, naiads, alligator weed and grass clippings.  Grass carp can grow to as much as fifty pounds and can eat as much as their own body weight in a single day. These sterile relatives to the Asian carp will not reproduce but can live for up to ten years and provide a cost-effective means for reducing aquatic weeds.  We believe the addition of grass carp as a biological control method, along with aeration and normal treatments will help improve the quality of the ponds at Colleton River Club. 

Mature grass carp can grow to as much as fifty pounds

Kent’s Korner – Speed Management

As part of our normal maintenance at Colleton River Club, we measure green speeds daily with a Stimpmeter and post them in the golf shop. Used on a level portion of the green, this tool is designed to release a golf ball from an inclined plane at a consistent height. Taking the average distance in feet of three balls rolled in opposing directions determines the Stimpmeter reading, or green speed. At higher green speeds, more caution is required when putting. In 1978 the USGA adopted the use of the Stimpmeter to provide consistency throughout their championships.
  
Along with knowing how fast the greens are putting, Stimpmeter readings and surface firmness measurements are tools we use in the agronomy department to help direct maintenance activities. Everything that occurs on a golf course happens in a cyclical pattern. Along with weather, normal sound maintenance practices such as topdressing, grooming, venting, fertilizing, and irrigating all affect green speed and play an important role in producing healthy turf. This week we vented and topdressed the Nicklaus Course greens to address the surface firmness. Immediately following these procedures, the green speeds temporarily take a back seat to the agronomy practices that are required to sustain the playing conditions we all desire. Knowing the speed limit, by prioritizing and managing these steps in a thoughtful, calculated approach is the key to sustaining good conditions. Next time you are in the golf shop and notice the green speed in the tens, consider what the agronomy team is doing to improve the turf health and achieve the consistently smooth and fast greens we have become accustomed to.   
 

Venting to incorporate sand