Hyde Park Est. 1909, A Donald Ross Design

Friday, October 28, 2016

Ryder Cup Experience

As many of you know our team members at HP including myself take the opportunity each season to volunteer at PGA events around the country to help the host Agronomic Teams. Each experience is a little different, the take home ideas and strategies in leadership and turf management are diverse, many relationships are forged and we come back invigorated with ideas to share at HP.

This September, I was afforded the opportunity to be part of the Volunteer team that would assist Superintendent, Chris Tritabaugh and the Hazeltine National Agronomy team with preparing the course for the Ryder Cup. In all honesty, I really did not understand the magnitude of this event, but I quickly realized this event was unlike any other.

-Outstanding Conditions

-Hazeltine National Agronomy Team

-Superintendent- Chris Tritabaugh
-Chris Addressing Staff and Volunteers

Upon arrival, for orientation the near 150 turf volunteers consisting of Golf Course Superintendents, Assistants, turf industry folks coming from Minnesota and around the world were greeted to a perfect conditioned golf course from the 50 members of Hazeltine National. The team had been preparing this gem for many, many months for this event. The weather before the event was record breaking wet, but you could hardly tell from the past improvements with infrastructure and the efforts of the Hazeltine Staff.

At each event I attend I am always amazed at the high quality agronomic conditions (this was no different at Hazeltine) however, the leadership of Chris Tritabaugh and Ryan Moy, Assistant Superientendent was amazing. They were calm, poised and the team leaders executed well. There was no question there was a clear Vision of what was needed to be accomplished and how it was going to be executed was well laid out. From the time we arrived on site we felt we were part of something special, the atmosphere was conducive to have fun and enjoy the experience while getting the work completed for a world class event. The use of social media by the majority of the staff and volunteers was transparent and offered a behind the scenes look into agronomic practices and the culture of the organization. It also helped with memories and for this blog, proividing many photos that I pulled from various Twitter feeds! Thanks!

Team A- one final shot!

During the event I was part of Team A, led by Mike Graves, Assistant Superintendent. My primary role was working with the stimp team, the team consisted of Charles Granger (Professor- Horry Georgetown Technical College, SC) Mike Manthey (GC Superintendent, Mn) and Paul Maccormack (GC Superintendent, PEI Canada) Our primary role was data collection for ball roll distance, and let me tell you the greens were smooth!

Having a little fun with Stimp Team A...

Like many of the volunteering opportunities; the networking, discussions and idea sharing were incredible, I was fortunate to be part of this team and look back fondly at this experience. Thanks to Chris and his wonderful staff! Special thanks to the entire Hyde Park Grounds Team for their work while I was gone, it is always nice to come back to the property looking and playing fantastic!

To top off the experience, the golf was great....I was able to watch the US team take the Ryder Cup back after a little bit of a drought. Good Stuff!

Thank-you,

Pat O'Brien

Grounds Superintendent

 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fall projects and cultural practices update

The unseasonably warm and dry weather in September and now October has been excellent for golf, but also what we like to call, project season. Here is a quick update on what has been accomplished:

 

Aerification and inner-seeding of the Roughs

The weather was perfect for the staff to complete this process and with help from the membership, cart restrictions enabled excellent germination of turf-type tall fescue in many areas across the golf course. You'll also notice bleaching of turf on 4 hillside and a few other areas, that is due to an application of selective herbicide targeting bermudagrass in these areas.

Fescue seedlings germinating in the rough
Herbicide application to bermudagrass on 4

 

Green and Fairway Drainage

The first week of October, we had an outside contractor on site to install drainage on 18 and 13 greens, the last two greens at Hyde Park without drainage! We are very excited about this being completed as it has been a successful process since it was started in 2008, along with being a great benefit to the entire membership. A few members have even noted following some of our 1"+ rain events, how little course status has been impacted.

While on site, drainage was installed to low and persistently wet areas on 9, 17, and 18 fairways and rough. Again, we are very excited about this because it is something that affects the entire membership. Much like the golfer, we do not enjoy when carts are restricted to the path, or what can seem like miles of rope and stakes to direct traffic. We expect that this initial test of drainage design proves beneficial and effective.

 

Tee renovations

The grounds staff has moved forward with renovations to the 5th tee, while having completed the back tees on 12 last week. The scope of work for each tee varies, but typically involves: lifting of existing teeing surface to be reused, removing old grasses in the surround, regrading the surface and properly aligning the tee to the hole, reshaping and regressing the tee surround. During and after these renovations, the new sodded teeing surfaces will be closed to play until proper rooting takes place.
12 tee - Before
12 tee - After

 

Upcoming cultural practices

During the first week of November, DryJect aerification will take place on the putting surfaces. Leading up to this process, deep-tine aerifcation will be completed prior to DryJect. The combination of these processes will relieve compaction, amend the soil profile while improveing drainage and root growth, all with minimal surface disruption. Upon completion the greens will be open for play.

As always, we are open to feedback and comments and welcome you to follow us for daily course and project updates on Twitter - @pobrienhpgcc, @djlaw308, and @pcarroll14.

 

Thank you,

Dan Lawendowski, Assistant Grounds Superintendent