summer The Vail Golf Club earned our re-certification with Audubon
International which began for us in 1998. The Audubon helps golf courses
to protect and enhance the natural environment that exist on golf courses. Some
of the things we are incorporating now are additions of more native rough that
is out of play to reduce mowing and water use. With this we have turned
off 8 irrigation heads and reduced the coverage of 4 more. Look for more areas
like this to pop up as we continue to assess other possible areas. We also have
added two wildflower beds and plan seeding more into native areas to help honey bee population and aesthetics of
the areas. Certification helps us continue to improve on our standard
environmental practices. Making the golf course a great place to play and
This week we aerated the greens with an X-tine. In the past we've used a 1/8' solid needle tine but have changed it up this week. The X-tine creates a larger hole but doesn't cause any more disturbance in the putting surface. The holes created helps relieve compaction, allow water to percolate down into the soil, and provide better air movement around the roots. All which helps the turf remain healthy and maintain a good putting surface. We will be following up with a light topdressing on Thursday. By Friday the holes should be non-existent.
This May was the wettest in at least the last 15 years with 3.55 inches of rain and snow melt. The next closest was 2010 but still .41 of an inch less than this year. We even received one more inch of snow on the course in May as we did in April. While it may have seemed a lot cooler the high temperature was only about 2 degrees cooler than the past 10 year average. All the cloud cover and moisture in the air definitely made it feel cooler.
While we needed the moisture to make up for the dry March and April it has slowed down the recovery of some of the winter damage in the fairways and rough. Now the last week has been warm and sunny, this should help raise soil temperatures and get the course healing quickly. Next Tuesday we will be applying our first application of fertilizer to the course which will also help in the healing process.
With the GoPro games coming up this weekend it usually times well with Gore creek flows getting higher and this year is no different. You will start to see high water on the course most notably right now in #1 fairway and around the cart path on #7. Some years are worse than others as we all know so we'll see how much run off and ground water coming up affects us this year.
We have started working on tees this spring. Again we are continuing to level and shape
tees and continue to make improvements. The
blue tee on #17 has already been leveled this year. On number #5 blue / Black tee the rock wall
has been removed and the gold tee has been slightly elevated and leveled. The construction crew is now on 2 yellow tee and should have it leveled and re-sodded by the end of the day. Other tees that will have work done on them are #9 black, #13 green, gold, blue, and #17 black. Once a tee is re-sodded it will be out of play for two to three weeks while it begins to root and recover. The tees in the meantime the tees will be moved to the nearest playable tee. Please be patient while the sod recovers it will make for a much better tee once they are opened back up.
It's opening weekend here at The Vail Golf Club! The weather has held up and the course is in great shape. Thanks to the warm weather and lack of snow this spring the course is at least a couple weeks ahead of schedule.
Just a reminder we are cart paths only until we the fairways fully recover and we get into a full growing season. On Monday May 4th we will be dry-jecting the greens. The back nine will be open but the front nine will be closed. Dry-jecting is a fairly non-evasive form of aeration and should have very little impact on the playability of the greens. Enjoy the weekend and get out and play!
More Snow!After the driest and one of the warmest Marchs I can find on record we are starting to get back on track with moisture this month.We only received .5” of moisture in 5” of snow, while the average high for this March was 46 also one of the warmest Marchs I can find.I know everyone was excited to play golf in Vail in April but like it or not this snow is very much needed for the course now and going into the summer.http://www.erwsd.org/files/snow/SnowWaterApr16_2012.pdf is the latest snow water equivalent graph which is very important for future water use and the heath of the course and all living in the Vail Valley
Thursday I began clearing greens.We are a little behind due to being short handed on staff but with the good weather we had last week I had to get out and see what was happening under the snow.So, Kirk has picked up a couple of grooming shifts for me and I’ve been working on clearing greens.This is the first time I’ve appreciated the lack of powder days this year. So far I’ve been able to clear 2 and 3 completely and they look great.I was able to get 6 and 7 blown off but not completely shoveled.Seven looks good and I should be able to get it cleared by the end of the day Wednesday.Six on the other hand is going to be more work, as usual.It had several inches of water standing on it along with some ice.Luckily we have good weather through at least Friday and have plenty of time to get it dried out.Overall clearing greens has gone well and they look pretty healthy.This weekend I’ll get some help as an intern will be joining us early to help get things ready this spring.