|The area on #13 fairway stressing 3 days before the poa died off.|
|Topdressing the area|
|Close up of solid tine aeration holes|
|Aeration of the area.|
The grounds department will do everything possible to keep as much of the cool-season turf alive and healthy but we could use everyone's help during the summer. We ask that all golfers try and limit the amount of time that carts are in the fairways, and use the ninety- degree rule when entering and exiting during days of extreme heat (close to or over 90 degrees). On these days the grass is so stressed simply driving over them can cause severe damage. This type of damage usually occurs during the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak and the temperatures are the highest. Limiting cart traffic to the rough as much as possible will greatly help improve fairway conditions.
|Golf cart damage on #18 fairway after a 90 degree day|
The greens maintenance program is on schedule and running smoothly. We have been keeping up with fertilization, herbicide, PGR and fungicide sprays. Also, cultural practices have been increased. We are periodically spiking the greens to improve water, oxygen, and nutrient infiltration. Spiking makes holes about 1 inch below the surface, much less invasive than aeration but with similar benefits and quicker recovery time. It does not replace aeration but is a way to help alleviate some compaction during the hot summer months. In addition, we have been topdressing the greens every two weeks with the help of the new spinning topdressing unit. These practices have helped with the firmness and health of the greens.
|Putting green after spiking|
|#12 green half-way through with a light topdressing|
The trees to the right of #16 fence line were starting to encroach into the fairway. The Grounds Crew cut back much of this brush, improving the play ability for this hole.
The Landscape crew has been working hard to complete a project that had been put on hold in the late winter/early spring because of the current pandemic. The area in between #16 green and #15 tee was cleared out of brush and honeysuckle during last winter. Now stones are being added to improve aesthetics and soil erosion. The finish product should look like a creek with native trees lining both sides, adding to the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.
|Oversized rip/rap added|
The Grounds Department continues to battle pop up thunderstorms that seem to blow through the course at least once a week. Every time the wind picks up the crew has a lot of debris cleanup to contend with; in the form of leaves, sticks, branches, and sometimes entire trees. We will forge ahead and clean up whatever mother nature dishes out.
|#3 green after a wind storm|
"That’s something to be proud of!"
John Gerke, the Assistant Mechanic, was a simple hard working man. He graduated from Diamond Oaks with a certification in appliance repair in 1980. After working in the industry for a short while he decided to change course, first working at a family farm and then at a local auto parts store. In the mid-1990s he joined the WHCC Grounds Department working as the Assistant Mechanic under "Buck" Martini-the Head Mechanic from the mid-1960s to 2002. In 2002 John took the Head Mechanic position at Deer Run Country Club. After that club closed for good, John moved on to the Head Mechanic at Crooked Tree Golf Course and eventually ended up as the Mechanic at Traditions Golf Club. In 2018, John again joined the WHCC Grounds Crew as the Assistant Mechanic working under Jim Hessel.
John was a dedicated employee. He was the first one to arrive at work, sometimes arriving as early as 3:30 am during tournaments to get maintenance accomplished before the first tee times. Anyone who met him knew he had the gift of gab and loved to tell stories about occurrences from past employments or to talk about his favorite sport, NASCAR. He was a good mechanic who would spend hours reading through manuals to figure out tough mechanical issues and usually was able to fix them. John passed away suddenly last weekend (July 26th). His life reminds me of one of my favorite country songs- "Something to be Proud of" by Montgomery Gentry. John's life was "Something to be proud of, That's a life you can hang your hat on!" John lived alone but he touched many lives through his hard work and kindness. Hopefully now you are able to rest and reflect on a life well lived. RIP John Gerke- You will be missed!