Saturday, April 27, 2013

Seeding tees and posting trees

Here's a view from behind #6 green looking back at the new teeing ground.  Ironically it's also the old teeing ground as this hole used to be played from what is today's 18th tee.  Once this area is "grown in", we will be able to play again from the original teeing ground but also from today's teeing ground and all areas in between, giving us a lot of different angles and distances.  From this view you can see the teeing ground bright, and light green.  What you're seeing is the hydro mulch which we applied to the surface in order to accelerate establishment.  Here is what we did.
Once the surface was prepared to our liking, as in smooth and level, we used a drop spreader to apply ryegrass at about 7 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.
This is what the ryegrass seed looks like.  Now this isn't just your plane, ordinary ryegrass.  This is transition ryegrass.  It is genetically engineered to be a temporary component of the turf stand, or sward.  Unlike perennial ryegrass, this transition ryegrass will not be happy during periods of stress and should get out competed by the desirable grasses.  For us of course that desirable grass is Poa annua since that is what is predominantly covering every square inch of the course. The reason we put the transition ryegrass on the tee is because it quickly germinates and will give us some quick cover.  This will allow us to start mowing it quicker and play the tee sooner.  Over time, it will get choked out and we should end up with a sward of Poa.
So anyway, now we seed the tee again but this time the desirable grasses are introduced.  Now we seed it with a blend of Poa annua at 2 lbs/1000sq.ft., and colonial bentgrass at a rate of 1 lb/1000sq.ft.
This is Poa annua seed which is pretty small............
and this is colonial bentgrass seed which is super tiny.
Now using a mulch roller we apply one coating of the hydromulch.
After that we rake the surface very lightly to incorporate everything into the surface.  Then we apply two more coats of the hydromulch.
This is what it looked like when we were finished and before it was watered.  The temperatures are very good for germinating seed so we can expect to see that transition ryegrass pop up within 4 or 5 days.
Here you can see that seeding process being done to the massive teeing ground between 6 and 18 tee which will eventually serve both holes.  The guys who worked on this project deserve a big "high five".  As you can see this a huge area and it took several days to get the seeding process completed.  Way to go guys! This seeded area is about 25,000 square feet, but is only half of what will be the finished teeing ground.  So in the end, there will be about an acre of tee space being shared by the two holes........................very cool!!!
Also very cool, this week we successfully posted the old Garry Oak on #5.  This has been in the works for quite some time and the timing of this final step was perfect.  I say this because we have been dry for quite some time and the tree has not "leafed out" yet so there is hardly any excessive weight on the tree structure, meaning the canopy is as upright as it can be.
Once the holes were dug and the posts were placed, we called in the concrete truck.  Before I go any further, I must say it might sound easy that we dug holes and placed some posts, but that is far from the truth.  These posts weighed at least 500 pounds each so getting them is place was very difficult.  Kudos to my crew for remaining diligent with that task and finding a way.  So anyway we used the loader bucket to get the concrete out to the tree.  Again, it has been dry and the course is very firm so the weight of the loader had virtually no impact on the turf.
Each post hole took about 4000 lbs of concrete so these things are not going anywhere soon.  The project went very well which is gratifying since it is something we've never done before.
Well here is how she turned out.  I've already had some very negative comments about how it looks, but personally, I think it is uniquely fantastic!!  I believe in a short time it will just be the new normal and we won't think twice about it.  The best thing about it is we can rest easy that this tree is not falling over unless there is a significant wind event.  By the way, the posts are immovable obstructions.  You get relief if they interfere with lie, stance, and intended swing.   That is of course the ruling now, as the golf committee has not had time to review the issue yet.


  1. Hi Joel - great blog! It’s really interesting to be in a region where Poa is encouraged. I planted 007 creeping bentgrass in my yard in South King County 3 years ago after killing everything off. It’s looked amazing cut at 3/4in, but I have a major infestation of Poa this spring. I’m thinking of just giving in and letting the yard convert. How do you encourage quick transition to Poa at your course and where do you actually find Poa Annua seed? I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Thanks! -Patrick

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