Why do we verticut and topdress greens so frequently?
One of the main differences between bentgrass putting greens and ultradwarf bermudagrass putting greens is the way in which they grow. Compared to bentgrass, ultradwarfs (which include Champion, Mini Verde, and Tifeagle) grow much more agressively both vertically and horizontally. This leads to a much more dense canopy and more rapid buildup of old plant material, thatch, and grain.
In order to provide a good putting surface this dense canopy needs to be thinned out, removing old plant material, and encouraging a more upright growth habit. This is done through frequent, light verticutting, which is usually done at a depth ranging from 1/32”-⅛” deep. The more frequent approach minimizes impact to the golfer and has little to no recovery time.
This leads to our next topic: topdressing. Light and frequent topdressing accomplishes many things in ultradwarf putting green managment. It for one fills in any inconsistencies in the putting surface, adds firmness, reduces the impact of grain, reduces algae, and most importantly dilutes the soil profile, leading to better water infiltration, more oxygen for roots, and disease prevention. Again more frequent light applications of sand affect play less, and ensure that the most sand possible stays in the plant canopy and does not get picked up by mowers.
Turf Talk is brought to you by Oaks Course Superintendent, John Fields. Stay tuned for more about the turf of our course and additional information as we roll out this new blog series!
Everyone wants to hit the ball farther. No matter the skill level, no matter the age or gender of the player, distance is important. The longer the player hits the ball, the potential for lower scores goes up. So the bottom line is…distance is important!
There is a saying that I have been taught my whole golfing career; “swing faster, not harder.” What I would like to talk to you about in this Coaches Corner is how to properly create more speed, and to swing faster, not harder.
This is a tasty drill, literally. All you need is a bag of your favorite potato chips, your driver and some range balls. Take out a chip and put it between your back teeth. I know it is tempting, but don’t crunch down yet!
Tee up a ball and swing as fast as you can, making sure that you do not chomp down on that chip yet. If you find that you bit down on the chip, you've swung too hard. If the chip is still intact, you are on your way to swinging faster!
If you can swing fast without biting down, wait until the ball lands, then reward yourself with that potato chip. You can now enjoy the tastiest drill that can improve your distance.
The Coaches Corner is brought to you by our Oaks Course Golf Pro, Brad Patton. Brad is the Lead Staff Instructor and PGA Assistant Golf Professional. He has real a passion for golf and instruction, and has been part of the Oaks Course team for several years.
Holidays at the Oaks are a very special time for both the staff and guests at the Oaks Course. We love the spirit in the air of giving during this time of year. Every year, we host a Christmas tournament in which the players must complete each hole with our many “wacky” ways to play golf. It starts the season off with fun, and all proceeds go to charity. If you haven’t played in this annual tournament before, don’t miss out on the opportunity. You won’t regret it!
The holiday season is also a very busy time for Putters Restaurant, located inside our clubhouse. We specialize in personalizing your party for you. Putters can host breakfast, lunch and dinner parties. Here, we have the perfect atmosphere and setting for your holiday party. In the south, you never know if the weather will be warm or cold, but we have a beautiful veranda overlooking the course to sip on hot chocolate or enjoy a refreshing cool drink. It’s a beautiful way to celebrate family, friends and co-workers.
Come in and feel the holiday spirit. Friday marks the beginning of September, but availability will fill up fast! Prepare for the holidays and don’t get left behind in planning your special event for your guests. I love the holidays and more important, I love to plan and serve your holiday party. The guests love the personal attention to detail and the overall giving spirit in the air. It is “Southern Holiday Hospitality” at its best. I look forward to seeing you.
Karen Presley is the Hospitality Manager at the Oaks Golf Course, and has been a part of our team for many years. Karen and her culinary team work daily to help clients plan their parties in addition to preparing the delicious meals and refreshing beverage specials that we offer at Putters Restaurant.
I was born and raised in nearby Monroe, Georgia by my parents Steve and Joanne. I grew up playing sports, primarily baseball all through high school. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I picked up golf. From there, I played golf any time I wasn’t on the baseball field. This lead me to my first turfcare job at the then Woodlake Golf Course in Monroe, where for two summers I mowed fairways and wilt watched bentgrass greens in the afternoon.
My passion for this industry developed in those two summers, which led me to my career choice. I graduated from the University of Georiga in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in turfgrass managment. Immediately following graduation I accepted a 2nd assistant superintendent position at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, where I had just completed an internship the previous summer. East Lake was in the middle of a major renovation including converting greens to Mini Verde Bermudagrass. I spent nearly 3 years there before moving on to a first assistant position at Planterra Ridge in Peachtree City.
After almost a year there, I accepted a job as senior assistant at Governors Towne Club in Acworth. Nearly two years later I was offered the Golf Course Superintendents job at Ashton Hills Golf Club, where I spent the last 4.5 years manicuring the new Miniverde greens and restoring a course that had sat unmaintained for nearly a year. My goals for The Oaks are simple: To return the course to the prestige of previous years and to have the best putting greens in the area. It will take some time and work to get there, but I am confident that with our new programs in place and renewed interest of the staff, that we will meet those goals in the near future.
Turf Talk is brought to you by Oaks Course Superintendent, John Fields. Stay tuned for more information about the turf of our course and more information as we roll out this new blog series!