Welcome to the Maintenance Blog for Radrick Farms Golf Course. Visit this blog to view pictures and other information about golf course projects and maintenance practices on the golf course.

Friday, March 20, 2015

First Day of Spring Greens Conditions

Happy First Day of Spring

It sure doesn't quite feel like spring yet, but hopefully it will soon. There is still some snow cover and a good amount of frost in the ground on the course. Locate your good luck charm, whatever it may be. I'm knocking on wood. So far, the course survived the winter as expected. 

The playing surfaces are all in typical condition for coming out of winter. The turf is still dormant and looks exactly as it should. There is still the possibility of crown hydration (refer to our March 3rd blog post for more info).  Hang in there, warm weather is coming. 

We look forward to a great season celebrating our 50th anniversary.

9 tee covered in snow and very frozen ground.
9 green free of snow, frost and winter damage.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Greens Update

Not Quite Out of the Woods Yet

The Maintenance Team has been sampling various greens since late December in order to monitor their conditions. Lincoln White, our equipment mechanic, fabricated a tool we use to extract soil and turf from the green. After the sample is removed from the green, it is brought into the Maintenance Facility to warm-up and break dormancy. This process is how we will know what the turf's health will be come spring. Thankfully, all the samples that we have taken this winter have done well.

Turf samples collected from various
greens are marked and monitored.

We are not quite out of the woods yet. Crown hydration is still a concern to turf surfaces. Weather conditions dictate whether crown hydration occurs. In order for it to happen, temperatures warm for a few days and snow and ice start to melt. The plant breaks dormancy and starts to take in water. The major concern at this point becomes the nighttime lows or the "flash freeze". When this happens, the cells of the plant tissue rupture, causing the plant to die. To counter this issue, the Team remains very cognizant of the weather forecast and will adjust practices accordingly.

For more information about winter injury, view this site from the MSU Turf Team.http://www.turf.msu.edu/winterkill-of-turfgrass

The weather forecast for next week looks promising. We will continue to monitor turf conditions and make adjustments accordingly. Remember, only 15 days until spring!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

February Update

The Team has been busy in the Maintenance Facility this month. The Team is nearly finished with refurbishing our benches with a brand new look. We have also tackled some building maintenance, including a lot of painting and organizing. During this time of frigid temperatures, we also do our annual deep clean. We are excited to have the facility organized in order to maximize our efficiency throughout the next year. Now, we truly look forward to spring's arrival.

Stay warm out there, only 21 days until the first day of spring!

Bench Before
Bench After

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tree Maintenance

Tree maintenance is a necessary practice on the golf course. Trees are trimmed or removed for the safety of our Team and customers first and foremost. Secondary to that, trees are maintained for the health of the tree and of the turf.   As far as a tree's effect on play-ability is concerned, we rely on subject matter experts before making any changes.

So far this winter, the Team has been removing trees that pose a hazard on the 6th hole. Unfortunately, a wind storm in late November took out the Cherry tree on the inside corner of the dogleg.  This tree had been cabled together several years ago to prolong its life, but its time had come.  We also planted several Poplar trees in front of this tree in preparation for this event.

Where aesthetics and play-ability are concerned, once a tree has been removed, we will watch this area closely for a full season of golf to determine if another tree or trees will need to be planted. 6 will be no different in this case.

Severe rotting at the base of tree above. Tree must be removed.

Friday, December 19, 2014

December Update

The winter weather this month has not been typical. Fortunately for us, we have been able to work on a few projects. The 16th tee renovation is in the final review stage.

The Team has started planting trees on the 6th hole and will move to the 8th in the coming weeks. These trees are part of our continuing plan to maximize the natural feel of the property in spite of  an area housing development.

Work on course accessories (garbage cans, ball washers, etc.) has also started. This year we are giving the benches a face lift. Stay tuned to see that transformation.

Planting Norway Spruce on 6
Planting Norway Spruce on 6

16 Tee Before

16 Tee After


Benches Dissembled 
Benches before refurbishment

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

16 Tee Renovation Update

Since the last update in late August, the bed has been graded and shaped, drainage has been installed, and the pea stone and mix profiles have been installed. The final steps are laying the teeing surface sod, installing irrigation, and laying the tee bank sod.

The conditions have been wet, then dry, cold and then warm throughout this process which makes some of these steps tough  to complete in a timely manner.  The Team, which has included some guest Team members from UMGC, has done a great job adapting to these conditions!





                                                  PEA STONE LAYER INSTALL





Friday, November 7, 2014

2014 Greens Aeration Summary

The greens are in great shape going into winter thanks to the 2014 aerification process.

Looking back, we had great weather for this season's greens aeration. The golf course was open for play with a progressive number of temporary greens each day of this three day process. We decided to try this "course-open-during-aeration" experiment for a few reasons. We wanted our customers to see our Team in action as we tackled this important undertaking. Plus, we needed more time as we decided to add an important step to our fall greens aeration process.

Deep tine machine.
This year we incorporated a deep tine aeration into our traditional hollow core aeration. By doing both processes at the same time we only disrupted the putting surface once. We were able to create a deeper channel (depths of 10") for air, water ,and sand to improve drainage deeper than the traditional 4" depth of the core aeration. This depth also allows rooting to go deeper into the profile.

We monitor and test the physical make-up of the green profile bi-annually to determine the best cultural practices. We are seeing great results using the 1/2" tines. We will continue to monitor our current program and do whats in the best long term interest of the greens' health.

Thanks to our golfers for their patience during this important process. And thanks to our Team for doing a great job!