Friday, July 13, 2018

Hail, Mother Nature!


On June 6, 2018 an epic hail storm ripped through DFW and the City of Carrollton was not spared, including our beloved Indian Creek golf course.

Emergency Aerification was necessary so the course closed the next day, as the greens were not playable as is, all 37 greens were aerified to help heave the turf and begin the process of ‘dent removal’.  Aerification is normally planned weeks or months in advance to prepare equipment and staff for a 2-day process, in this case Superintendent Kenny Baker and his crew sprung into action after arriving at dawn to see an ugly sight.





After the sun had risen the damage became clearer, so making the greens playable for a tournament in two days became the top priority!  With a full weekend tee sheet it was a sunup to sundown job for three days to top dress and roll all 37 green complexes so they could be played. 



 This is how far we’ve come in the past 30 days to recover from the wrath of that late spring Texas storm!




Pretty amazing progress, but hard fought…our maintenance and cart staff began working to repair each and every hail dent by hand in order to fully heal the smooth surface our golfers are accustomed to.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Eight Days a Week...


At Indian Creek, we manage 84 bunkers and 37 greens across 36 holes.  With a staff of 9, they cover a lot of ground before the first tee times… and now that the days are getting longer, we are starting tee times at 6:36AM and will go to 6AM on weekends (starting May 19th), as we know the main goal will be to beat the heat!

Unlike private owned clubs, public courses do not close on Mondays to perform large maintenance tasks to help repair and recover from high traffic.  So how do public courses manage the same task load with daily play?  Like anything in life, priorities must be laid out. We focus our ‘before sunrise’ efforts on cutting fresh cups, setting tee markers and mowing greens/tee boxes before the first tee time begins.  In addition, we check for overnight damage or other abnormal conditions.  Our maintenance practices are modified in a way that allows most work, including special projects to be accomplished between the hours of 5AM and 2PM. Inevitably, golfers eventually do catch up to daily mowing, watering, bunker grooming, and fertilizing which can cause distraction… if only we could add an 8th day to the week.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Involuntary Bunker Makeover


Bunker work continues after the rainy winter and mini flood event in late February.  All but a small number are now refilled and groomed, ready to capture your ball and set you up for a great ‘sandy’ or a dastardly bogey.

BEFORE:
This shows before new sand and additional labor arrived, the aftermath of flood water had exposed the liners of our upgraded ‘Better Billy’ bunkers, so silt had to be removed and sand added back. 


AFTER:
Pricey sand box! (Six loads of sand can cost in excess of $8,000)



Bunker work is costly and requires serious labor on a daily basis as each gets groomed every morning.  When Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate it becomes an unplanned expense…and all so golfers get penalized for errant shots. Bunkers do provide a mental hurdle for most golfers and also highlight the creative vision of many great course designers….for better or worse! 

Monday, February 12, 2018

FROM THE PRO: Valentine's Day Edition


BOUNCE & GRIND
Julie Roberts, PGA
Director of Golf

The good news for women who love to play golf and are straight bored of getting flowers and chocolate… Callaway’s Mack Daddy 4 Chrome wedges are available with custom specs for women!  YES, finally!

But what the heck is bounce and grind?  Are we dancing or playing golf?

Grind is well described in the following post from the Callaway community golf forum (click to graphic to enlarge):



The degree of
bounce further helps players define the correct wedge setup to match their specific needs and style of play.  A standard is 12 degrees as the chart below shows.  If more bounce/grind options are needed, customizing a men’s wedge works too!  Ideally have your coach or golf instructor show you what works best for you in a ‘real grass’ situation, but if you are glued to your phone right now try this link so you have an idea in mind. (Click graphic below to enlarge)


Having a good set of clubs without the proper wedge(s) is like having the perfect outfit but no coat to go with it, what’s the use?  Too often a short game lesson reveals a student rarely uses the ‘S’ club as it is only being selected for sand shots and it happens with women most often.  What’s worse is the sand wedge is poorly fit to their game so it’s a double negative.  Know this…if you aren’t using the Sand wedge for a variety of shots, you are for sure losing strokes.  So if scoring lower is your goal, it’s time to break out of your Sand wedge ‘box’ and bring on the Bounce & Grind!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

No Weeds? No Problem!

     It’s Pre-emergent time in North Texas including at Indian Creek Golf Club, we manage the full gamut of weeds, so whether it’s your .25 acre lawn or our 200+ acre golf course, getting the proper treatment applied at the right time is crucial.

     We were visited by our friends at the TDA (Texas Department of Agriculture) recently and are happy to report we are compliant and passed the inspection with flyer colors!  Speaking of color…in the next few days (during calm winds) you may notice a greenish-blue dye in places.  This dye indicates where the pre-emergent has been sprayed to ensure proper rate of application.


     The fairways on the Creek course have active winter rye growing so they will not be in the mix, only dormant areas qualify for the ‘round up’ of weeds for both post and pre-emerge application. 

     Our greens are fighting a bit of Poa Annua at the moment and our treatments have begun.  Frequent low dose applications of a growth regulator will keep the Poa in check, basically ‘sickened’ to help negate the effect of an uneven putting surface (hence the appropriately named Negate, our choice for this post emergent application).  Poa is identifiable by it’s bright green color and fast growth as it invades the dormant Bermuda.  It’s pesky for sure but like most golf courses we treat it as it comes.  You will start to notice the Poa’s unhealthy appearance during the next 4-6 weeks as treatment continues.  Our green surfaces total approximately 3 acres of delicate turf, we hope we are through with ‘tarp season’ and won’t have to cover greens due to freezing for another year or so!

For home lawn tips about Poa Annua, check out this short video.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Covering Greens in Winter Weather

Covering greens is a challenging but necessary process.  First we strategically plan so we can ideally insulate the greens, preserving the warmest air prior to the wind and cold hitting.  Believe it or not, WIND is the greater enemy when it comes to protecting our warm season turf.  Not only does it make the tarps blow like an out of control parachute, but the danger to delicate Bermuda greens increases, we refer to the term desiccation to best explain what we are working to prevent.

DESICCATION: Desiccation, also known as winter drought, is the term used to describe turf grass death due to drying out over the course of winter when the grass is dormant or semi-dormant. Desiccation is more likely to appear in areas where soil was dry prior to entering winter or where there has been little snow precipitation or cover throughout the cool winter months. NOTE: In regions where drought occurs regularly throughout the season, desiccation is more likely to be prominent (i.e. the Dakotas, Kansas, Nebraska and others). - Reference: Turf Care Supply

For this reason our first order of business is to hydrate by hand watering each green the day before we anticipate covering.  Then we must manage guest play as we work to get 36 greens prepped and covered for cold wind and freezing temperatures. 


We would much prefer to stay open and keep our staffs working and golfers happy, but alas, Mother Nature reigns supreme.  If we don’t play it conservative the potential cost of turf loss for one green can be $3,000-$4,000 to strip then reseed or resod.  Multiply that cost x36 greens in addition to the lost rounds and trust from the playing public and it makes sense that all golf courses are conservative about the process of covering and UNcovering warm-season Bermuda greens during severe winter weather.

Our fingers are crossed that this next stretch of bad weather is short-lived, so you can all move on with your golf goals for 2018 and we can put the tarps away for the season!

Click here to follow us on Facebook to stay updated on the latest regarding any interruption in play due to weather; we’ll keep you posted!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Overseed Project Results

Here at Indian Creek GC’s Creek Course the overseed project wrapped up in October and we are now seeing the fruits of that labor as the fairways and tee boxes are green and lush with winter rye grass.



The project took place over 4 days as the crew seeded 40+ acres using 24,000 pounds of seed to cover the tee boxes, fairways, driving range and chipping area.  Getting the winter rye to germinate requires a lot of watering, a bit of cooperation from mother nature (so the seed doesn't get washed away in a torrential storm) and management of cart traffic while the seedlings fight to sprout!  


While it is a significant investment overseeding provides premium conditions during the winter months.  Golfers enjoy the look of the defined fairways and the lush turf helps preserve the integrity of the course layout.  The warm season Bermuda grass will start to spread again in May or June depending on how fast we warm up this spring, effectively it chokes out the winter rye and takes back over for the hot summer months!