Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Little Things

At Heart of America this year it is my goal to complete small aesthetic projects each week. I think that it is the little things that really set a course apart from the rest and we are looking for ways to improve the look and play-ability  of the course with small manageable projects.

Here are a few examples of the types of projects you can expect to see this year at HOA:

 This is the walk-up to #9 River Tee. Previously it was an undefined area of old mulch and rock. The new pavers create a functional, eye pleasing element to the finishing hole.
Finished Product #9 River Tee

The pavers were generously donated to us and you can expect to see them pop up in a couple more spots on the course this year. The golf course greatly appreciates donations like this that may have been thrown away otherwise and can be utilized on the course to improve its appearance.

Even simple projects, like defining the water cooler area with edge stones and some mulch help clean up the area and make the course look nicer
The Kansas City Chiefs resodded Arrowhead Stadium this spring and were kind enough to let us have some of the leftover Bermuda from the project. We used some of this grass to resod a Footgolf green with the warm season grass to match the others. Bermuda is a very heat and drought tolerant grass and should thrive in this situation with little rain or irrigation.

Before the grass was laid

Immediately after the grass was laid

3 days after the grass was laid

Just this week we really tried to clean up around #1 River Tee so that a golfers first impression of the course is a positive one. We lined the fence and marshal turn-around area with some ornamental grasses and made a clean mulch bed.

These projects will continue throughout the year, and will not affect our day to day maintenance. The crew will also be completing much larger bunker renovation and pond rejuvenation projects this summer, but I am a firm believer that the addition of these mini-projects will make us stand out.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Springtime at Heart of America

These spring months are often times some of the best turf-growing conditions we see. As long as mother nature plays ball, we can expect to see big progress in turf health and growth. Of course the weeds also excel during this time of year, but what's life without a challenge?

I wanted to take a moment to update everyone on what you can expect if you make the trip to wonderful Heart of America Golf Course.

Greens are recovering very well from aerification. The rain played havoc on our scheduling this year and some greens got punched and healed much faster than others, but most are almost completely healed at this point. We will be continuing a routine topdressing program that will continue to smooth and firm the greens.

The main turf range tee is opened all the way up now. The 1.6 acre teeing surface is healthy and looks great so I encourage you to come out and hone your game.

All manicured turf on the course has been mowed and we are back in the routine for the season of keeping clean, playable conditions. We have also put out all new flags and sticks, which looks very sharp on the course. In the next couple days, the footgolf holes can expect a face-lift, as we are going to be putting out new front tee flags and new numbered flags for the holes.

My goal at Heart of America is to make this course as fair and enjoyable as possible as well as making all of our patrons happy. We are a thin crew this year, and inevitably will overlook things along the way so I truly encourage you to bring any concerns to our attention. Most people know who I am now and if you see me, please stop me and let me know what you think we are doing right and what you think we are doing wrong. I love the feedback good or bad. That goes for anyone on my crew, and if not the crew, you can let them know in the clubhouse, they will certainly pass it along. Thanks in advanced and I look forward to seeing you this season at HOA.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2017 Spring Aerification

It's that time of year again, albeit a little sooner than normal, Spring Aerification. Heart of America Golf Course will be aerifying starting Monday, March 27. This will be entirely dependent on weather conditions, being that next weeks weather seems to be up in the air a little. If we do get rained out, (and at this point I'm welcoming any rain at any time), we will just push back the start day until we are dry enough to begin.

A little bit about aerification:

Although the aerification holes can be unsightly and affect play-ability for awhile, the benefits far outweigh the very minor draw-backs. The process helps in many ways including: helping gas exchange in the soil, allowing water and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the green, thinning thatch, strengthening the root zone, relieving compaction, and a number of other benefits.
 Above is a great graphic that helps show whats going on "behind the scenes". This is a generic description of aerification on a lawn, but the premise is still the same. We will obviously be expecting the short turf on the greens to be healed in far less than 8-10 weeks. One thing the graphic does not show, is the topdressing. Topdressing is the sand you will see us spreading on the greens, which will fill the aerification holes and give the roots an easy place to take hold. The topdressing is key in replacing the compacted material that was there and helping thin the thatch down even further while smoothing the playing surface of the green.

This process will typically take us two-three days to complete if the weather cooperates, so bear with us while we complete this essential maintenance practice, which will undoubtedly improve the health of the Heart of America greens.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Superintendent Introduction

My name is Josh Linn and I am the new head superintendent of Heart of America Golf Course. I have 14 years of experience and I have had the pleasure of being the assistant at Swope Memorial Golf Course for 3 years. Welcome to our new Maintenance Blog! Our hope is to provide our patrons with useful, timely information about general maintenance at our course. We will add content from standard course care to comprehensive details about our agronomic practices.