Monday, March 31, 2014

Fairy Rings

The golf course is showing some fairy rings right now as I am sure some of you have noticed.  They are quite distinctive and can be seen around the golf course right now. 

Left side of #9 Fairway


They are caused by fungi that inhabit the soil and feed on the dead organic matter that is present. Nitrogen is released during the process which causes the surge of growth in the edge area. 






The mycelium is the white stuff (#15 fairway)


The fungi usually create a mat of mycelium that is underneath the thatch, it can be seen if you scratch the surface.  The layer of mycelium can be pretty impermeable and can make it difficult to water those areas.  







Also, during certain times of the year mushrooms will emerge from the rings. Those are the fruiting bodies of the fungi and will release their spores to the wind and propagate. 





The appearance of the fairy rings and the locations in the playing areas of the golf course have made it necessary to treat.  We started applying fungicides to the areas last week and will most likely have to retreat the areas at least one more time.  Be assured that the golf course maintenance department is on top of the situation.

Thank you for your time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Geese!


We all know what they are and what they can do to the golf course. This is the time of the year when they want to pair up and mate to create more of themselves. They can leave large areas of droppings on the turf and cart paths. If the eggs successfully hatch then we could have as many as 10 new baby geese on the course along with the very protective parents.  The parents can be very aggressive when protecting the young.  So in response the maintenance department steps up the efforts to discourage them from using the golf course and home owner lakes as a nesting ground.

The tools that we employ are somewhat limited but we do the best that we can.  I am sure all of you have heard the report of the noise makers that we launch with shotguns out on the course. These are one of our more effective tools, but we are limited in the times that we can use them. Out of respect for the residents of the community we typically do not use the noise makers before 8 am. 

There has been some misinformation out there that we are shooting the geese. I want to be very clear on this point; we cannot and will not ever shoot the geese on the golf course. We do not own any standard shotgun shells that could be a danger to people. The noise makers that we have travel approximately 100 yards over the water and then explode creating a loud report which scares the geese away.  The Sheriff is aware of our activities and signs off on the use of the noise makers.

We only use the noise makers when we cannot access an area with our vehicles or as a last resort after we chase them and they retreat to the water.  Most often they leave when they see the white trucks that Sal and I drive.

More recently we added a handheld green laser to our tool box. It has been shown that the green laser hitting the birds feathers really scares them and they jump up and fly off rather quickly. I have been using this device for about a year and can say that it does work. The downside to the laser is that it only works in the twilight hours of the day, but it is effective and makes no noise. It allows us to do goose control in the early morning hours and evening hours if we happen to be on property.  If you are early riser. you may have noticed green laser light shooting across the lake banks and other areas of the course. That is us doing early morning goose control.

Other devices that we have heard about and could employ in the future include the Goosinator http://www.goosinator.com/ and Away with Geese http://www.paraide.com/ParAideProducts/MaintenanceTools/CourseMaintenance/tabid/186/p/away-with-geese/Default.aspx
Decoys have been employed in past and could be again in the future.

I hope this has helped your understanding of our efforts to keep the geese away from the golf course.

Chris Mains
Superintendent