Marc Francoeur, Golf Course Superintendent
It is starting to heat up here in Arizona, and you know what that means – it is transition time! That means we will be saying goodbye to the winter grass (ryegrass) and a warm welcome to the summer grass (Bermuda grass). Unfortunately, this means we will see some ugly on the golf course. We will be doing our best to fight it and make sure it doesn’t last long! You will see sprinklers running again through the day. We will be slicing, which is similar to aerating. Rather than punching a hole, it will slice the ground, and this has less surface disruption, but it will help the water to get down into the root zone quicker.
Also this month, we will be closing the golf course on the 15th for greens and fairway aerification. This will also help speed up our transition. This will be the same process as the past. The fairways will be done with multiple large tractors, and the turf care department will be doing the greens with our new aerator. That same week we will be adding the lime down to combat the salt levels in the soil to keep the grass thriving! And yes, we will be using sand on the fairways when they are complete with the aerification.
After one of the wettest winters in a few years, we have had a weed explosion out in the non-grassed areas of the property. Please be patient. We are working on them. I know everyone would like to have it done in one day! Manpower-wise, that is not possible. Hopefully, by the time this is published, we will have made great gains in these areas. I’ve been told/hearing it’s never been this bad, and that is probably true. What I have been explaining to some who have asked is that the seed has just multiplied over the past few years because of the lack of rain to germinate it. Like a bank account saving money for that big vacation to come, then, boom, you spend it all at once – in this case, waiting for that big rain or in this situation, lots of days with rain. Again, I ask for your patience with the weed control and your understanding with the grass transition. The turf crew and I will be doing our very best to keep SunBird Golf Course in the best condition possible.