Kent’s Korner – December 6, 2019

Top of the Food Chain

Among the myriad of benefits of living adjacent to the river and amongst the Lowcountry marshes is the abundance of wildlife. Near the top of the food chain are a group of majestic birds classified as raptors. These birds use their keen eyesight to scour the marshes and the pineland forests hunting for vertebrates including; rodents, small mammals, lizards, fish, and snakes. The American Bald Eagles have returned and are active along the marsh on hole nine of the Nicklaus Course and along the fifteenth and sixteenth holes of the Dye Course. Red-tailed hawks strike fear in the hearts of squirrels on the Borland and have been active along Magnolia Blossom Drive. For early risers, keep an eye out for the Great Horned Owl, who has recently been spotted between Inverness Drive and Merion Way, and a local Barred Owl, who roosts near the duck pond on Foot Point Drive. If you are interested in observing some of these fascinating species, an active group of birders lead by Mark Hyner, Karen Anderson, and Stephen Dickson routinely meet with the Colleton River Birding Club and catalogue bird species in the neighborhood. Both novice and experienced birders are welcomed to join the Birding Club. Expect another great month of golf at Colleton River Club and take time to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Red-tailed Hawk overseeing the bush hogging process.

Barred Owl roosting on Foot Point Road.

Bald Eagle perched on Turnberry Way.

The Land Between Two Rivers – as seen in Executive Golfer

The inaugural U.S. Senior Men’s Amateur Championship was held in 1955.  This year, 2,466 competitors, age 55 and up, at 49 sites, played for the right to compete at Old Chatham Golf Club in North Carolina. Duke Delcher and Kevin King, both members at Colleton River Club, made the field of 156 players, and earned the right to trek north.

Read the November Executive Golfer article to learn more!

Kent’s Korner – October 29, 2019

Queen of the South

Whether you are a longtime resident or new to the Lowcountry, take a moment
to appreciate the beautiful camellias that are beginning to bloom throughout the
community. Camellias are members of the tea family, Theaceae. While there are
two members of the family that are native to Beaufort County, fragrant Camellia
japonica were originally brought to South Carolina from China and Japan by
wealthy families who used them to adorn their formal gardens. Today, due to
hybridization, there are thousands of varieties of both Camellia japonica
and Camellia sasanqua to choose from.

When selecting a planting site for camellias, choose an area in filtered sun, with
adequate air movement, and good drainage. Camellias are best used as feature
plants rather than in a cramped foundation planting. Generally, smaller leafed
Camellia sasanqua will tolerate more sun than Camellia japonica, which exhibit
symptoms of leaf scorch if exposed to direct sun. Both species prefer moist but
not constantly wet conditions. In the sandy Lowcountry soils, these shallow
rooted shrubs benefit from the addition of compost at planting and normal break
down of leaf litter to enrich the soil. Selecting an appropriate planting site and
adhering to good cultural practices helps promote healthy plants that are less
prone to insect and disease problems. Happy camellias pay gardeners dividends
with vibrant winter blossom displays while many shrubs are dormant. If you are
interested in these shrubs, there are samples of seven different varieties planted
at the Camellia Garden across from the community dock.

Camellia sasanqua ‘Cleopatra’

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