GRASS CLIPPINGS

JESSE SHAVER
Grounds & Facilities Superintendent
jesses@gulllakecc.com
269-998-4407

Dear Members & Friends,

Hello from the Grounds Department! Aerification time has come and gone and Mother Nature smiled down on us again with the entire process only taking two weeks! Aerification holes on the greens were already 80% healed in after only 7 dats and completely healed in 2 weeks. As always we thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of year. This is a necessary part of the maintenance program and you can expect putting green conditions to be outstanding in the spring and throughout the season of 2016.

Core aerification is one of the dirty words of turfgrass maintenance. Give a veteran superintendent a dollar for every time he has heard, "why do you punch holes in our greens just when they start to look good?" and he would be a wealthy man. Unfortunately, today's players are even less tolerant of core aerification. This attitude has resulted in less frequent or smaller tine core aerification. An important purpose of core aeration is the physical removal of unwanted organic matter from the upper portion of the rootzone. When core aeration is neglected, the upper portion of the profile can be an inhospitable place for plant roots to grow. The pore space in a dense organic layer is dominated by small, water-filled capillary pores, while the large air-filled macropores are lacking. Oxygen is necessary for thep lant to carry out respiration, which is the conversion of stored food to energy. Respiration takes place in the roots and, therefore, good air exchange in the upper soil profile is vital to plant survival. Aerification of turftgrass is a necessary evil (cultural practice) to maintain healthy plans. Benefits are thatch control, compaction relief, beneficial air and gas exchange to the root zone, improved water movement, greater nutrient penetration, increased shoot and root growth, improved soil structure...all vital to a healthy stand of grass mowed at less than .120 inches. A healthy stand of grass naturally recycles organic matter into the upper soil profile of greens when roots, shoots, stolons, and other plant parts are replaced throughout the season. This organic matter accumulation must be removed with core aeration! The medicine (aerification) does not always taste good, but a healthy patient (grass) is worth the effort and inconvenience! It is always our goal to make aerification as painless as possible. 

The grounds staff is in full leaf cleanup mode. The irrigation system will be winterized soon and our snow mold aplications will be made in the next few weeks. We are also in the process of shifting gears to winter activities here at the club along with some winter projects out on the course. Your golf course is in wonderful shape and we hope you can make it out to enjoy some golf yet this fall.

A big thank you to our staff for a great job so far this season. From the turf and bunkers, to the flowers, everything looks great! If you see one of them on the course thank them, I know they would appreciate the compliment.