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Summer heat and drought came early this year, June was an abnormally dry month which turned hot quickly near the end, hasn’t let up since and looks to persist for the long term as well. Hot and dry means we are relying on our irrigation system extremely heavily and while it is performing its role admirably it can never substitute for a natural rainfall. So far we are doing just fine in terms of turf quality given the difficult circumstances we are dealing with however there are of course some stressed turf areas be it due to traffic or poor soil structure or a weak turf species etc.…They are simply areas where the turf is not living the good life currently and will struggle to survive. During these times we ask for help in the form of please being careful where you drive and walk… the saying here in the Greens Department is “ If it’s brown go around”. Kind of a poor rhyme but the point is to try and traffic upon only the healthy green turf that can take it and drive or walk around the brown or yellow turf to avoid making those areas much worse. Reduced traffic stress will make a huge difference.

The hot days have been tough on the Greens Crew as well, we have adjusted our working hours to earlier in the day and often are letting staff go much earlier in the day to avoid heat stress. Difficult tasks are tackled with more staff than usual so as to complete them quickly and efficiently while the temperatures are still manageable.

Wasps in the sand traps continues to be an issue here and they seem to be getting more prevalent as we get into July. We have explored countless methods to help eradicate them but so far have found limited success. We have  noticed that sand traps where we added a lot of new sand this spring have fewer wasps in them so topping up the remaining bunkers will be on the to do list as well as continued efforts to find a sustainable method of eliminating this pest. From what our research has told us so far they are buzzing around in the traps looking for food and aren’t really interested in stinging people however we understand that it looks quite menacing and it is something that we intend to eliminate. 

The area behind the 6th green has been seeded to Scottish Links fescue seed, unfortunately we picked the wrong season to try and grow this in, fescue seed takes a long time to establish and with the heat and drought it hasn’t filled in yet nearly as well as we had hoped. It certainly will however it is just taking longer than anticipated especially on the south facing slopes that get battered by the sun.

The second green on the Mackenzie Hughes Par3 course has reopened for play right on schedule and we are happy with the grow in process. It is a difficult growing environment right there in the shade of a giant elm tree and despite several setbacks from deer dance parties which tore it up several times it is now a green again so let’s hope for no more car fires.

As we look to the immediate future the focus of the Greens Department will be daily maintenance and making sure our playing surfaces are as good as they can be while paying mind to the long game and making sure we keep our turf healthy and sustainable. Hopefully Mother Nature is kind or at least not too harsh and we get some cooler weather ahead which would be a big relief to what is currently a very busy and stressed out golf course.

Hope to see you out on the course,

 

Jamie Cutting

G.C Superintendent

Dundas Valley Golf and Curling Club

greens@dundasvalleygolf.com