Monday, July 15, 2019

Summer is Coming

Well now that Stampede is in the rear view mirror we can all take a breath.  From what I could tell everyone had a great time.  I feel like the course responded well to the break in weather and should have been playing fast with the drop in humidity.  My team did exceptional and put in some long days to prepare the course for the event and I can't thank them enough for that. 

It looks like the upcoming 5-7 days will be bringing us some extreme heat with no rain in sight.  The fairways are starting to show signs of drought stress even though I have been watering them every night.  This morning I began applying a wetting agent to select fairways in order to hold in moisture, and I will finish tomorrow morning.  This will make the water I put out at night a lot more efficient, and with no rain in the forecast, we NEED efficient water.  This, in turn, has a chance to make the fairways a little softer in these areas which I know is not desirable.  If the result is unacceptable in my eyes then I have a different product that I can turn to.  My goal will always be to provide a golf course that I would want to play on myself, but my number 1 must have will always be living turf.

With the heat that is about to set in, I feel it is a great time to bring up the subject of ball mark repair.  The greens are now under a lot more stress and would really benefit from a higher percentage of correctly repaired ball marks.  I have added a link to a video produced by the USGA on the proper technique.  Please take a look and implement when you play your next round.  Poor #3 and #12 are getting annihilated.  I know that scalped plugs have been causing a lot of blemishes on the greens as well, and I believe that I have gotten to the bottom of that issue so those hopefully will be a thing of the past as well. 

 https://www.usga.org/videos/2013/03/05/usga-course-care-video--how-to-repair-ball-marks-2204995528001.html


Try and stay cool and hydrated out there these next couple of months.  As always, stop me or Grant on the course anytime if you have any questions or concerns. 


Brien

Friday, June 14, 2019

Putting Green Drill and Fill

As many of you have seen, Grant and I were doing a project on the upper putting green in the month of May.  We created a template out of a sheet of plywood and drilled holes in a portion of the green with a 12" long x 1" wide auger bit.  You could call it "a very aggressive aerification".  We were mimicking a process called Drill and Fill, but spending a mere percentage of the cost.  The area of the green we worked on was the driest part of the entire golf course due to the high clay and pea gravel content of that green's root-zone.  We removed as much material as we could with the auger bit, and then funneled in a new, clean material to help retain moisture and nutrients.  The product we used is a porous, ceramic granule that is commonly used in greens construction and aerifications.  We have already seen a positive change in the moisture levels of that area and I have added a video that shows just how much water those channels take now compared to the surrounding area.  Now if we could just tear off the second story of the clubhouse to alleviate the shade issue ha ha ha.


This is the process we are mimicking:



The Natives

In the month of June I finally found some time to begin spraying the native areas on the course.  So far I have completed the front nine and most of 18.  I am using 2 different types of broadleaf herbicides as well as a pre-emergant, and spray enhancer.  Goodness gracious that Milkweed is one tough cookie!  I know that my timing is late as far as controlling all the broadleaf weeds, but I am making an impact I believe.  Snowfall, ground moisture, and my start date all played a role in that, and going forward it is my plan to get the entire course pre-emerged much earlier in the year.  I also plan to attack the natives come fall and winter.  Every tree out there needs to be limbed up and freed of suckers.  I know this will make a big impact on the overall aesthetics of the course for the years to come.  We plan to mow all native areas once Stampede is completed, and then once again in the fall.   
 So there is this month's peek into my head.  Please continue to stop me and ask questions as you see me on the course.  I am really enjoying my time here at Staley Farms and lets try to keep Mother Nature on our side. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Staley Farms Assistant Golf Course Superintendent: Grant Sherwood

I would like to introduce the blogosphere to Staley Farm's new Assistant Superintendent, Grant Sherwood.  Grant is already proving himself as a vital asset to our team and golf course though he has only been here for a month.

Being a native of Platte City, MO, Grant attended many years of summer golf camps at Shiloh Springs Golf Course.  This led to becoming a member of their course maintenance team and a passion for turfgrass management.  Grant took this passion to the University of Missouri where he completed his degree in Plant Science-Turfgrass Management.  He took advantage of internships at TPC Southwind, Trump National Bedminster, and Austin Country Club as well as volunteering at several PGA events.  Straight out of college, Grant accepted a job as Assistant Superintendent at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, TX where his team hosted the AT&T Byron Nelson.  After Trinity, he followed his passion for bentgrass to an Assistant position at Austin Country Club.  Side note..........wanting to grow bentgrass in Texas is nuts!!  A good, confident kind of nuts though.  This April Grant accepted the Assistant Superintendent position here at Staley Farms, a course that he has always held in high regard.  He is excited to be a part of the team and the pursuit for constant improvement. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Verticutting Greens

Hello everybody, and welcome to my first blog entry.  Today I wanted to throw some information out there about the benefits of verticutting our putting greens.  This is a cultural practice that I plan to implement in the spring and fall each year.  Our team performed this task this past monday before mother nature opened the flood gates. The process uses many thin vertical blades to cut grooves into the surface of the green and then a light sand topdressing is applied to fill the grooves.  The cutting action removes thatch as well as a small amount of leaf tissue which allows better water, nutrient, and air infiltration.  Another benefit is a smoother surface which leads to a truer ball roll.  This is produced because the grain of the grass is reduced. This process adds stress to the bentgrass which is why I will only do this in spring and fall when I know the turf can recover well. Below I have added a picture of our practice green after the verticutting process.

In other news, my Assistant Golf Course Superintendent has started and is going to be a huge asset for Staley Farms and myself.  His name is Grant Sherwood and I will be adding his bio on this blog shortly.  

Mother Nature has told me that there will be no mowing this week and she is threatening me about next week being the same.  Staley has received near 4" of rainfall in the past 4 days.  We have been able to squeeze in greens mowing and that is about it.  So we have worked on some details like sprinkler and cart path edging. Hopefully this trend will change soon or we will be dealing with a large clipping mess the next time we do get to mow.  Until next time, hit em long and straight.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

STAFFING CHANGES AT STALEY FARMS





STAFFING CHANGES AT STALEY FARMS
Matt Hemphill has taken a different position with GLKC.  Matt has accepted the Superintendent position at Shiloh Springs Golf Course.  We appreciate everything Matt did for us at Staley Farms and we wish him the best. 

Gregg Dutton has taken the Superintendent position at Royal Meadows.  Greg was a great Assistant Superintedent at Staley and we are thrilled to promote him to his first Superintendet position.  Greg will do great and we are happy for him. 

I am currently the Director of Agronomy for GLKC and I oversee all of the GLKC Superintendents.  My job is to recruit, train, and retain great maintenance staff.  We are building our team and getting stronger each year.  The latest moves made our company the strongest it has been in my tenure at GLKC. 

I would like to introduce Brien Agler as our new Superintendent of Staley Farms Golf Club.

BRIEN AGLER BIO
Brien was born and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas where his parents still live to this day.  His father is a PGA golf professional which is where his love for the game came from. As a kid Brien would go to work with his dad in the summer and spend the entire day hitting balls and swimming in the pool…. He says he had it made. As Brien got into junior high and high school, his summers were spent with his Mom, traveling throughout the region playing in golf tournaments which ended up earning him a scholarship to play collegiate golf. Then after 1 year he realized how good you really needed to be in order to make the tour so Brien decided to come back home to Fayetteville and finish his college career. Brien had really enjoyed agriculture classes in high school so he decided to combine that with his passion for golf. So, four years later he graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Degree in Turfgrass Management. After 8 years as an assistant in the state of Arkansas at 2 high end country clubs, Brien made the move to Kansas City in order to find a bigger and better golf market. He landed at The National Golf Club of Kansas City for 2 years and Indian Hills Country Club for 3 until he received his first Head Superintendent Position at Deer Creek Golf Club. Brien has been at Deer Creek since April of 2017 and has improved the overall golf course maintenance operation in his time there. Brien was awarded Superintendent of the year honors in 2017 by the Heart of America Golf Course Superintendent Association.  Brien is excited and honored to now become Head Golf Course Superintendent at Staley Farms where he will continue improve course conditions and all maintenance operations.

Please join me in welcoming Brien Agler to Staley Farms Golf Club

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

STALEY FARMS BUNKER PROJECT UPDATE

We started the bunker project January 2017.  We laid out a plan to complete the project in two years.  We came very close to achieving that goal, but the weather has slowed us down a bit.  As I look at the video of the bunkers we sprayed that first winter, it is a drastic contrast from the winter we experienced in 2018/2019.  We obviously haven't been able to do much outside work this winter with snow on the ground for most of the winter.  The staff is anxious to get outside and the bunkers will be one of our highest priorities once winter breaks. 

We are planning to resume the bunker project April 1st.  We will give the course some time to thaw, and dry out before we start driving heavy equipment out there. We are also planning to aerate greens the 25th through the 27th of March (weather permitting) and that will take our entire crew to complete that process.

Bunker status update:
We started with 100,000 square feet of bunkers.  That is 2.3 acres!  That is a big number for an 18 hole golf course.  We reduced the square footage by nearly 14,000 square feet to make the bunkers more manageable. 

The great news is that we only have 8 bunkers left to complete. 

We have 4 bunkers shaped into depressions.  The shaper Doug Thackery did an outstanding job, we are lucky to have access to his talent.  These bunkers include 7 fairway right side, 16 fairway right side, 3 green back right, 13 fairway right side.  We will be seeding them as soon as the ground dries up.

There are two bunkers that are cored out, drainage installed, rock installed, and polymer treated.  The last step with these is to add the sand.  This will take place starting April 1st. 

This will leave two bunkers left to complete the project.  These bunkers include the front left green side bunker on 7 and the left fairway bunker on 9.  We will completely change the shape and contour of these bunkers to reduce the size and practicality of these hazards.  This will involve a skilled shaper so Doug will return to help us finish the last two bunkers. 

The Staley Farms staff as well as Chris, Justin, Doug, and Daryl did terrific quality work and we appreciate your efforts.  Thank you Great Life KC for your commitment to Staley Farms.   

Lastly we extend our gratitude to the Staley Farms members and guests.  We appreciate your patience and support of projects like this that improve our club.

The weather is getting better by the day.  We are excited for the 2019 golf season at Staley Farms Golf Club.         

Thursday, July 20, 2017

FUNGAL DISEASE

The summer heat has set in and we are working hard to keep the condition of the course at a championship level.

We dial in our water management practices due to the drought stress we see due to the heat.

We also put extra resources into fungal disease management. We treated fairways this morning with fungicide to prevent and slow down fungal pressure. We put extra emphasis on 11, 12, and 13 fairways. Air movement helps reduce disease pressure and these fairways see the least amount of air movement.

We have Bentgrass fairways and they are very susceptible to fungal disease. Other courses with Zoysia do not have this issue. We want to set a reasonable expectation for our Bentgrass fairway condition. We will have some setbacks, but please trust that we will have the seeder ready to bring these areas back quickly.

The extreme pressure window starts July 1 and goes until August 15th. On August 15th we typically see lower night time temps, shorter days, and better growing conditions for out Bentgrass fairways.

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts.