On the Green Blog
Greetings from Fox Hills! As I write this report, we've just opened the Golf Course. Monday, April 24th, was opening day and we are starting to charge the irrigation system.
April has been unseasonably colder with limited precipitation events causing the soil temps to remain LOW and slowing the green up of the turf. A constant 50° to 65° range of soil temps will be needed to start the growth and greening up of the turf. Until that time the turf will remain in a state of semi-dormancy with limited evapotranspiration, growth, and green up. April also saw two big processes accomplished on the course. The application of 52-tons of topdressing sand to the tees and the application of 5-tons of gypsum to the fairways & tees. The topdressing of tees will begin to improve the playing surfaces, especially those built out of straight clay material. Gypsum will also begin to help neutralize the sodic soil conditions found on the golf course. It will help the movement of water through the soil profile and improve the exchange of nutrients between the soil and plant.
The month of May will see the beginning of wetting agent applications & the startup of fungicide and fertilization applications across the golf course.
Spring aerification of the greens will occur the 3rd week of May.
This summer will see the transition of the current maintenance operations to our new facility just East of the driving range. This will be a huge improvement over our current situation with heat, running water, bathroom, office space, and a large equipment maintenance work area. A big THANK YOU to the City of Watford City and the Administration /Council for purchasing this building and their willingness to invest in Fox Hills Golf Course.
Until Next Time, Keep‘em on the Green!
Greetings from Fox Hills Golf Course. This is the first of many blogs/reports detailing the Maintenance Practices and Conditioning of the Award-Winning Golf Course in Watford City.
I’d first like to introduce myself as Travis Rodenhizer. I moved here from Northwest Indiana in January. I’m a 1984 graduate from Stanley, ND and a 1989 graduate of North Dakota State University. I graduated with a BS in Horticulture and a Minor in Business Management. I’m married to a beautiful woman from Africa, Cynthia Bandawe. We are currently renting in the City of Watford City.
As I write this report, we have around 20” of snow on the level on the course. We’ve had some melting on the course but need a good solid week of 40-50 degree temperatures to really put a dent in the snowpack. The snowpack is good for moisture and protecting that sensitive growing point of the plant we call the “CROWN”. The crown of the plant is what gets damaged due to cold temperatures and wind during the winter months IF NOT covered by top dressing sand or covers.
Looking ahead at a possible opening date, I’m targeting the week of April 17-21. This will all depend on melting and daytime temperatures and with no more snow added to the current snowpack. The course has handled the winter and snowpack rather well. I’ll include a picture of a plug I have taken off #11 Green and #8 tee box. This will show you that there is life in the crown or growing point of the turf.
We’ve added a few more pieces of turf maintenance equipment to the fleet during the winter months. Fox Hills now has the ability to roll greens on a daily basis if needed. This will help improve green speed and lessen the potential for disease. The most important part of rolling is the ability to ‘roll’ only on days the agronomy conditions warrant. This would be during stressful times brought on by high temps and windy conditions. Some other new equipment added are a Top Dresser, Greens Groomer Brush, and John Deere Gator Utility Vehicles.
Here is the Process for Prepping the Greens for Play this Spring:
Opening Process on Greens
- Greens Cover Removal
- Blow off Greens with Blowers
- Brush Greens One Direction
- Roll Greens
- Cut Greens with Dirt Heads
- Put New Pins in Greens
I’m looking forward to an exciting season here at Fox Hills Golf Course and being able to share it with you via this Monthly Report. With Fox Hills still in its infancy, it will be fun to see it mature through the coming years with proper agronomy practices in place and the repair of #4 and #6 fairways.
Until Next Month, Keep It on The Green!