We had a great start to the week. The Maryland State Golf Association had the MD Senior Open at Hillendale on Monday and Tuesday. We had 120 of the best over-50 golfers in the state enjoy the course. It played tough with only 3 players finishing the two day event under par. We're looking forward to our next MSGA event- the 2017 US Open qualifier in May.
Wednesday was a challenging day with 3 different events on the course. Luckily, they weren't full course shotguns and we could stay in some gaps around the course to get some work done. Thursday and Friday were great days to get work accomplished. A large amount of our work beyond mowing was focusing on our seeding efforts. With our Bermudagrass control program finished, we're now seeding heavily into the areas around the greens where the Bermudagrass once resided. We're using our aerifier to poke holes so we can seed into them, and we're following that with our slit seeder to help fill the areas quicker. It looks like we're going to have some rain early next week followed by temperatures in the 70s, so I anticipate a rapid germination of the ryegrass.
The areas that were seeded at the end of the summer have filled in well. I mentioned to the Green Committee last week that areas that haven't filled completely with ryegrass will naturally fill with Poa- a winter annual. Upon checking some areas today, the poa has already begun filling in these spots. Since our fairways are 50/50 Rye/Poa, this isn't a concern at all. You can see in the picture below where the darker ryegrass was seeded in straight lines and the lighter poa is filling between them.
Our tee on 15 has come in extremely well. We used a high seeding rate and added some fertilizer, including a High Mycorrhiza material from Soil-Tech that greatly enhanced the establishment speed and density. We're going to do another round of seeding to fill in where we lost some plants from disease under the turf cover. We'll apply a heavy topdressing to further improve the surface next week, but it will be opened for play this weekend. I'm very happy with the outcome and look forward to getting the tee consistent with the rest of the tees very soon. You'll notice there are still some areas that need sodded around the tee. We will complete these with our next sod delivery.
Finally, I was out most of the week with strep throat and upon returning, I was very pleased with the quantity AND quality of work performed around the course while I was gone. Nick Donner, the assistant in charge this week did a great job organizing and leading the crew. Well done Nick (and Fletcher)!