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!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Meet our Assistant Superintendent: Doug Cameron

Hello, my name is Douglas Shawn Cameron, Assistant Superintendent at Indian Creek Golf Club.   My parents met at the University of Iowa and I was born shortly thereafter.  I am of Scottish descent and as a youngster had freckles and bright red hair. 

As my mother will attest, I was an outdoor kid.  I love to fish and poor mom spent many an evening wondering when I would drag in, wet from head to toe, after all day at the creek.  I have two younger sisters Morgan and Shannon. We grew up with an assortment of dogs, cats and horses.  My only pet now is a fish.  He is a Beta.  I call him Fish.
My father was in the United States Army and we moved from Iowa to Texas when I was four.  I got here as fast as I could!  San Antonio was home on three occasions.  I have also lived in El Paso, TX; San Francisco, CA; and spent four years in Germany.  I graduated from high school in Baumholder, Germany with a class of 58 students.  Baumholder was my fifth high school, we moved around quite a bit.  Growing up I loved to play baseball and hoped one day to play college or pro ball.  Alas, in Germany soccer rules and there was no baseball.  While in El Paso I also dabbled in motocross.  My friends and I would spend all day riding across the desert for miles and miles.  Sounds like a song from Asleep at the Wheel.
I am a graduate of Texas A&M University.  As a student I worked for the university Grounds Maintenance Department in the irrigation division.  I also served as a care taker for Hensel Park, a 25 acre facility owned by the University.  I lived in a small cabin in the park while attending classes.
I moved to Carrollton, Texas in 1987 where I met Teresa, my wife of 28 years.  We enjoy camping, fishing and going to local festivals together.  Our children, Brian and Sarah, are grown and reside in Lewisville and Carrollton.  No grandchildren yet, but sometimes Maggie comes to visit.  She is Sarah’s Cairn terrier, a Scottish breed.  Teresa works in Accounts Receivable for Parks Coffee.  A local business started in 1986 by Randy Parks in the garage of his Carrollton home. 

I began working at Indian Creek Golf Club in the spring of 2016.  I really enjoyed the challenge of helping our Superintendent, Kenny Baker, prepare the courses for reopening after the great flood of 2015.  Prior to Indian Creek I worked at three other local golf courses.  Buffalo Creek in Rockwall, TX; Castle Hills in Lewisville, TX and Royal Oaks in Dallas, Texas.
Oddly, I don’t play golf.  I realized early on that it takes a lot of time and patience to chase the little white ball!!  Since fishing has always been my favorite hobby I ditched the clubs and kept my poles.  I like being outdoors and exploring new places.  I think nothing beats good BBQ.  I like most music, especially blues and bluegrass.   I also enjoy craft beer and of course Scotch.  Single malts only please. 

I work with a great staff and enjoy meeting our customers.  A little patch of green amidst the urban chaos, Indian Creek is home for now.  Hope to see you there soon.

Time Change & Frost Delays

The recent time change caused both disruption to our sleep pattern and our golf habits, so how does daylight 'savings' affect Golf Courses and is it a positive thing?  The short answer is NO.
After November (and this year the first frost came in October) even North Texas battles cold mornings, which are less desirable for golfers and can cause starting time issues due to frost.

OFF SEASON HOURS begin when daylight savings starts and ends, while the sun is coming up sooner it doesn't equal earlier start times due to necessary adjustments:
1. Demand for sunrise tee times is reduced due to colder temps
2. Maintenance staff is reduced to prepare for off season, course set up for 36 holes is still required, but with a skeleton crew 
3. Frost delays must be managed
4. Overall facility resources are reduced to align with less demand


Monday, October 2, 2017

Weed Control: Fall / Winter

Whether it’s a homeowner’s lawn or a golf course, weeds are unwanted aesthetically and pesky for golfers who expect a good lie in the fairway!  Pre emergent weed control is a common practice for Golf Course Superintendents, but perhaps not as much at home.

At ICGC we have approx 115 acres of turf where weed control is essential, a relatively inexpensive commercial grade pre emergent can cost up to $30/acre.  So for the fall pre emergent application we budget $3000-$3500. 

The photos below show a plot treated with and without weed prevention and the difference is clear, so unless you have goats roaming your yard, here are recommendations for fall/winter lawn care specific to North Dallas.
The facts from a Texas Coop Extension expert: 
  • Apply pre emergent in early to mid September (weather dependent, if too hot and dry wait a couple more weeks)
    • Ensure you purchase the correct material for your lawn type
    • Water a good half inch within 1-2 days
  • Annual winter weeds may require a post emergent application, because the best time to treat is fall and early winter while they are actively growing.
    • Allow material to dry a couple days, then mow
Weedy dormant bermudagrass

Plot of turf untreated vs. treated

Dormant bermudagrass sans the weeds

Friday, September 8, 2017

Grub Control

What can make a pristine fairway (or lawn) like this…

Look like this?

As we rolled into August, not only did Pre Season football kick off, but so did Grub season!

Many have asked the question, ‘what is happening on some tees and fairways?’  The simple answer is skunks and armadillos have an appetite for grubs, and we have plenty for them to find!  Our grub control program has begun with applications of Imidacloprid in the affected areas.  The areas closer to the Elm Fork of the Trinity River (holes on the Creek like 14 & 15) get the most activity, as there are areas of vegetation along it, which make a comfortable home for these critters.  Other pests like ants will also be affected so we can control the mounded anthills on fairways and tees.

Next month:  Weed Control

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Why Aerate the Greens?

Premium turf conditions and healthy greens are no accident, regular maintenance practices create the ideal playing surfaces we have come to expect as golfers. One of those key practices is Aerification of the putting surfaces.  This method relieves compaction and helps to reduce the possibility of turf loss from disease and other threats.

We completed core aerification of both The Creek & Lakes courses in July while turf health has been at its peak.  This allowed for faster healing and less ‘downtime’ for the ideal green conditions we all prefer. 

Thanks to our golfers who continue to play and comment about the great conditions here at Indian Creek, it’s been a good weather season so far with well-timed soaking rains and moderate heat.  In addition we continue efforts in preventative care to ensure the course is always ready for your next golf outing!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Proper Range Maintenance

A word on proper range maintenance and how you can help! Which divot pattern do you think will heal faster?  A or B? Image A: The ‘Line’ or  Image B: The ‘Patch’?

Image A
Image B

In Image A you see a narrow pattern which leaves less area for the Bermuda to have to span as it works to grow in again, this line will heal quickly, whereas the ‘Patch’ takes twice as long to heal and leaves golfers with less and lower quality turf to hit from. 
So to help healing and preserve the tee line for better conditions please use the example shown in Image A the ‘Line’ as your practice pattern for faster healing and healthier turf.

Filling divots with sand allows the Bermuda something to latch onto for faster growth and quicker recovery from turf damage.
  Our staff works to fill divots with sand bottles, as we all do our part to help the healing process and get grass to spread in faster!  When you have the time please use the provided sand bottles to fill divots on tee boxes, fairways and the driving range.

The light green patches are old divots with new Bermuda growth, it’s amazing what fertilizer and proper turf care can do!  If everyone does their part when it comes to the recovery process we’ll have more grass to play from and better range conditions overall!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Practice Area

We are currently transitioning from Rye grass back to Bermuda for the heat of the summer season. On Tuesday we sprayed a mixture 46-0-0 Urea/Iron fertilizer to promote growth and color. After hot summer nights take over, it won't be long before we see a full stand of Bermuda turf.

The first photo shows a carpet of Rye grass (about 2 months ago) that had been over-seeded to maintain a lush green practice surface for off-season chipping.  The second photo (taken May 23) shows the progress of the Bermuda as it reclaims its host turf status.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Superintendent's Corner

Welcome to the Indian Creek Golf Club maintenance blog! Our hope is to provide our patrons with useful and timely information about general maintenance at our course. We will add content from standard course care to comprehensive details about our agronomic practices. Stay tuned for monthly updates...

Kenny Baker, Superintendent