Thursday, July 28, 2011

Environmental Guidebook for Golf Courses

20 Facts You Didn't Know About Golf.

1. 125,000 golf balls a year are hit into the water at the famous 17th hole of the Stadium Course at Sawgrass

2. The longest drive ever is 515 yards. The longest putt ever is a monstrous 375 feet

3. Phil Mickelson, who plays left-handed, is actually right handed. He learned to play golf by mirroring his father’s golf swing, and he has used left handed golf clubs ever since.

4. The chances of making two holes-in-one in a round of golf are one in 67 million.

5. Tiger Woods snagged his first ace at the tender age of eight years old.

6. Balls travel significantly further on hot days. A golfer swinging a club at around 100 mph will carry the driver up to eight yards longer for each increase in air temperature of 25°F.

7. The longest golf course in the world is the par 77 International Golf Club in Massachusetts which measures a fearsome 8325 yards

8. The highest golf course in the world is the Tactu Golf Club in Morococha, Peru, which sits 14,335 feet above sea level at its lowest point.

9. The longest golf hole in the world is the 7th hole (par 7) of the Sano Course at the Satsuki Golf Club in Japan. It measures an incredible 909 yards.

10. The largest bunker in the world is Hell's Half Acre on the 585-yard 7th hole of the Pine Valley Course in New Jersey.

11. The largest golfing green is that of the 695-yard, 5th hole, a par 6 at the International Golf Club in Massachusetts, with an area in excess of 28,000 square feet.

12. The driver swing speed of an average lady golfer is 62mph; 96mph for an average LPGA professional; 84mph for an average male golfer; 108mph for an average PGA Tour player; 130mph for Tiger Woods; 148-152mph for a national long drive champion.

13. There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.

14. The first golf balls were made of thin leather stuffed with feathers. Tightly-packed feathers made balls that flew the farthest. Feather balls were used until 1848.

15. The youngest golfer to shoot a hole-in-one was Coby Orr, who was five years old at the time. It happened in Littleton, Colorado, in 1975.

16. 22.8% of golfers are women.

17. Golf was banned in Scotland from 1457 to 1502 to ensure citizens wouldn't waste time when preparing for an English invasion

18. The term birdie comes from an American named Ab Smith. While playing 1899, he played what he described as a "bird of a shot", which became "birdie" over time.

19. The word golf does not mean "Gentleman Only, Ladies Forbidden". This is an internet myth.

20. Don't feel bad about your high handicap -80% of all golfers will never achieve a handicap of less than 18 .

"If you wish to hide your character, do not play golf."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Robotic Mowers... Is this going to be the future ?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dusting Greens...

Dusting is a practice of applying a thin layer of growing medium to turf. It is an important management operation, especially for heavily used turf. Dusting was first carried out at St Andrews, Scotland some 300 years ago! The benefits of dusting are: creates a smooth surface, biological control of thatch, improved infiltration rate, through improved texture at the top of the root zone, creates a tighter turf sward and finer leaf texture and firms the surface especially during wet periods.

During summer we do it quite heavily every 2 weeks but now in mid winter the growth slows down tremendously so we still do it only at a very low rate every 3 weeks depending on soil temperatures. Player hardly notice the sand and enjoy a smooth rolling green surface through winter.s

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Moles, Moles, Moles...

Moles must be one of the most annoying things for any golf course superintendent, they certainly are for me ! Moles have the tendency to push up mole heaps in the worst places and can really spoil the look of any great looking golf course.

The have there young in March to the end of April so there young are now strong and are running around feeding and pushing up mole heaps everywhere. Moles have a hairless, pointed snout and small eyes. These animals are insectivores and feed primarily on grubs and earthworms. For the most part, moles live in seclusion and underground burrows and rarely come to the surface. These mammals are solitary and rarely do more than 2 or 3 moles occupy the same burrow system. Moles have a very high metabolic rate and, therefore, have to consume large amounts of food. Studies of moles on golf courses have shown that an infested area will contain about one mole per acre. Because of the extensive tunneling and length of the tunnels, it may appear that many moles occupy an area. Moles dig elaborate tunnel systems and have feeding runways barely beneath the grass. That is why a mole on a golf course can stick out like a sore thumb. The ridge is elevated and easily visible. The tunnel system will have many meters of traveling tunnels within several centimeters of the ground surface. As the weather cools, moles will retreat into their deeper tunnels, up to 5 feet beneath the surface.

We have found 2-3 different species on the course.. They cost golf courses thousands every year by superintendents spending money on mole poison, traps, gas and mole catchers... At Durban country club we have an employee called Chili a border collie (sheep dog) ... he together with the other staff members are being incentivized when catching a mole and the mole heap numbers have dropped tremendously in the last year he has been with us. We also have found that as you see them pushing soil they are easely caught ... just ask chili !

Well done my boy !!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Rotavating Bunker

Due to the good summer and spring rain our bunkers have settled and started to get a bit compacted. We are currently busy with a compacting process by rotavating them , fixing any levels in bunkers and topping up of bunkers where necessary. This should only take 2 days to complete and we will continue this process through the summer months. The main reason for having to compact them is because we don't use a USGA spec sand which is a sand that does not compact because of the particle sizes and shapes of the sand. It is also very crucial that you use the same sand in the bunkers as what your growing medium is made up of on the greens as you will get layering on the greens close to the bunker. Layering causes numerous problems.