Weekly Course Update

Once again rain has been the story as it relates to weather, course care and the game of golf.  With the most recent rainfall this week we have surpassed 15 inches on the property since May 1st.  Annual precipitation numbers over a year are generally in the 20 inch range.  Needless to say this rain will have us behind in mowing and other practices on course while we dry out. The last week of June provided enough relief that we were able to mow and maintain all aspects of the property for the first time this season.

Green speeds continue to be inconsistent day to day.  We have at no point this season had control of moisture with all the rain.  We are hopeful that we will have the opportunity to manage moisture levels soon and when we do we will see green speeds become more consistent and in line with the pace we expect. Moisture levels have a significant impact on green speeds.

Some general reminders as it relates to course care.  We are asking that all rickshaws remain off of tee boxes and collars while enjoying your round.  This will assist in managing wear on collars and remove the unsightly look of tires across tee boxes.
The naturalized area to the right of hole 10 is marked with white stakes that have solid green tops.  These stakes and this area are mandatory relief.  Please do not play your golf ball if it ends up in this area.  There is no penalty for relief and is considered an environmentally sensitive and protected area. 

As always please put forth your best effort with ball mark repair.  The relentless rains have had greens soft and vulnerable to larger ball marks.  If not repaired these ball marks become a great environment for poa to encroach which hurts the investment made by the club in these bentgrass greens.  Playing conditions also suffer with unrepaired ball marks.  

Please ensure you rake your bunkers once you have played in them.  We continue to find an unacceptable amount of bunkers not cared for each morning.  The turfcare team does not have the ability or resources to maintain the bunkers daily and your efforts with this basic and expected course care item can provide all members and guests a better golf experience.

This Monday July 8th the tee sheet will be closed until 3pm.  This additional time is required to complete some key agronomy practices.  These practices will assist in setting the stage for the remainder of the summer on greens and assist in ensuring turf health.  We will look to topdress, vent and fertilize greens as well as complete spraying practices across all fairways and tees. These items have not taken place to the level required with all the weather challenges of the season to date. 

Respectfully,

Shawn Major, AGS

Course Update

A wonderful stretch of dry weather this past week allowed the Turfcare team to complete mowing practices across the entire property for the first time this season. It was great to see all rough cut and perimeter areas that had been too saturated to mow finally attended too. We are hopeful that the forecasts for significant rainfall to start July in inaccurate so we can continue with some good weather for both the game of golf and course maintenance.

On Monday July 1st the driving range will be closed at 1:00pm to allow the climber’s time to replace the missing range net panel.  This should take approximately 1.5 hours for them to complete and we will look to have the range re-opened as soon as possible.  We apologize for this inconvenience.

Have a great long weekend ahead!

Respectfully,

Shawn Major, AGS

Weekly Course Update

Mosquitos are beginning to buzz around the property.  A reminder to apply bug spray on asphalt or gravel paths and not while on turf.  Bug spray will kill the turf leaving unsightly areas that will take time to recuperate. The City of Winnipeg has been on property three times this spring and will continue to assist in the battle with mosquitos every few weeks.  Some dry weather would help!

With June 15th upon us we are now entering the prime 90 days of golf at Niakwa.  We are happy with how greens are performing considering the weather challenges of the spring.  There is still recovery needed across the property from a fairway and approach stand point.  These areas will continue to recover. Mowing frequencies will increase on tees, approaches and fairways. We will do our best to stay on top of rough mowing.  Some dry weather would also benefit slowing down the rough.  Overall details are still behind but we are slowly catching up in some areas.

  • A reminder to keep rickshaw traffic off of tee boxes and collars around greens.  This will help keep wear to a minimum.
  • We have completed an herbicide application to the front nine fairways.  We are beginning to see the weeds die back.  As soon as we have another good spray window we will complete the back nine fairways.
  • We are behind and need to apply herbicide to many out of play and rough areas on the property. Once other spray programs have caught up we will continue to work our way through this program.
  • We beginning to catch up in areas that had not previously been mown with standing water.  With some of these areas clippings are left behind.  We are working to ensure that clippings are blown and you may experience the blowers out during the day to manage this issue.
  • Flowers continue to be installed for the season.  We are hopeful that we will complete planting in the next few days.
  • We are beginning to see algae blooms in the ponds. We are working on a long term solution to this issue.  The past two seasons we were fortunate to trial electromagnetic technology that kept our ponds free of weeds and algae.  Without these units this season we have seen the return of the algae blooms.
  • On Monday June 24th the Audubon resource group is having a member volunteer event.  We will be physically removing thistle from the property.  This program was successful last season making a significant improvement to the hazard area between #10 and #18 green.  If you are interested please meet at the clubhouse for 8:30am.

Have a great week ahead!

Respectfully submitted,

Shawn Major, AGS

Course Update

This past Monday the Turfcare team made a repair to the collar on the right hand side of the 5th green.  Please refrain from taking your rickshaw over this collar as we work to establish it.  A reminder that the club asks for rickshaws to stay off of tee boxes and avoid walking them over the collars of greens.  With some weak turf from a difficult winter the traffic will hinder recovery and wear these areas down.

  • The rains have continued making it difficult to meet the demands and expectations of the property.  We are still behind in many facets of course maintenance. 
  • Rough is growing rapidly.  We have been challenged to get equipment into all areas in need of mowing due to soft grounds conditions and standing water.  When we do mow we are leaving clippings which we are working to disperse with the blowers.  Please be patient as we navigate this early season growth which has been greatly assisted by the relentless rain events.
  • We will button up the 10th tee surrounds repairs on Monday June 10th.
  • With the standing water on the property and general wet conditions around the city we are beginning to experience some mosquito activity.  A reminder that bug repellent kills grass and is not to be applied while on turf.  Please apply on asphalt, concrete or cart paths.
  • Flowers have begun to be planted on the property.  This process has also been hindered by rain events.  This will continue into next week.
  • Cart paths continue to require attention after each rainfall.  If you come across a path with water and pot holes please just slow down and travel through the area using the path.  When we start to go around the rough areas of paths we are beginning to wear out the turf in that area.
  • On Monday June 24th the resource advisory group will be having a volunteer thistle pulling event in the morning.  We had great success with this last season making a significant improvement to the area between #18 & #10.
  • This Saturday June 8th if you are golfing you will see a large volume of canoes and kayaks in the Seine River. Please be aware of these folks as you play your game of golf to ensure everyone is safe.
  • Our working relationship with Save Our Seine continues to be a very positive one for the club.  This weekend June 8th and 9th they are looking for volunteers to assist in planting 1000 trees at Marlene Park.  If you are able and want to contribute to this great cause for the City of Winnipeg they are asking for volunteers to show up between 10am and 3pm each day.

We are hopeful for some sunshine and warm weather for both the game of golf and course maintenance. Have a great week ahead.

Respectfully submitted,

Shawn Major, AGS

Course Update

As we make the turn into June we are hopeful to see some warmth and reduced rain events.  While it has created significant challenges with course care and the game of golf the above average moisture most certainly played a vital role in the improvement of our fairway conditions.

  • There is still recovery needed on course as it relates to the large acres.  We will have a good sense of what will not recover in the next week or two.  We have minimal sod options available for repairs but we will begin to button up some areas around greens this Monday June 3rd.
  • On Monday June 3rd the Turfcare team will be utilizing additional time to look after the property.  There has been significant challenges with weather variables that have some critical programs behind.  We will utilize the additional time to topdress, vent and fertilize greens. We will look to spray large acreage with liquid fertility.  We will do some collar repairs with the sod we have available.  Providing the weather cooperates these programs will aid in providing the membership with better course conditions as we close in on the prime 90 days at Niakwa.
    • In the event that we receive poor weather on the Monday and cannot topdress greens we will capitalize on the next sunny day to make this application in play.  This will mean the topdressing sand will be evident on greens until it dries and then we will brush the sand in through golf. We have not been able to achieve enough sand this spring to protect the greens and smooth them out.  At this point we need to find a way to complete this program around bad weather if required. The sand will not affect the ball roll negatively it will only be beneficial.
  • We are asking all members that walk and use rickshaw’s to refrain from walking the rickshaw on tee boxes and collars.  Please keep the rickshaws to the areas around these key features.
  • With standing water we may soon begin to experience the return of mosquitos. A reminder that bug repellent kills grass.  Any use of repellent should be applied on cart paths or away from turf.
  • Our partners Save Our Seine are looking to plant 1000 trees on June 8th at Marlene Street Park.  They are looking for volunteers to help with this goal.  We have a great relationship with Save Our Seine that has seen them provide and establish 50 trees in the past year at Niakwa.  If you are available and interested we know they can use the assistance.  Save Our Seine will be providing Niakwa with some additional trees to plant this fall. 
  • Flowers are beginning to be planted for the season.  Daphne and her team will continue to plant daily once course preparations are complete and until all flowers are planted.
  • The rough on course continues to thrive and grow with the rain events we have had.  We are doing our best to stay on top of this through the weather challenges.
  • Cart traffic with the wet weather continue to be challenged.  Protecting our course has served us well this spring as we have seen major improvements on the property.  Please remember the clubs rules for keeping carts in fairways when playing and obeying any traffic control in place.
  • Greens are at their summer heights.  We are waiting for control of moisture which assists in increasing green speeds.  While these rain events continue we will not roll as desired.

Respectfully submitted,

Shawn Major, AGS

Course Update

There are silver linings to every scenario.  The patterns of wet and cool weather have continued.  This has led to a less desirable start to the golf season than we would hope not only for the game of golf but for golf course maintenance. However the wet weather has been positive in promoting recovery of poa across the property. At the time of this course update Friday May 24th, we have now received rainfall 18 of the last 30 days totalling just over 5 inches.  This does not include the large rain event we are currently experiencing. 

When the weather does improve there are many items in need on course.  We have fallen behind on product applications, mowing practices and general details.  As it relates to mowing ahead of this current rainfall event there are areas on the property that we still have not been able to get mowing equipment on due to ground conditions.  We thank you for your patience as we navigate this difficult start while ensuring we minimize what can be negative impacts to course conditions in these weather scenarios. 

  • Greens have been lowered to summer heights of cut.  The greens are not rolling as quick and true as we are custom too.  The rain events has washed out topdressing sand from the canopy which is vital to smooth greens.  We will look to topdress greens as soon as the window and weather allows.  Green speed will also increase as we hopefully will dry out and be in control of moisture sooner than later.  Growth regulators have been applied as well to aid in increasing green speeds.
  • The storm that rolled through with heavy wind last week tore one of the range panels.  We will have climbers in on Tuesday May 28th later afternoon to take down the damaged panel.  A replacement has been ordered and we will install as soon as possible.
  • Fairways continue to recover.  We will continue to protect them in wet weather events.  This decision this spring when required has aided in the recovery we have to date.  It will continue to be vital to the success of the fairways until we have achieved recovery. 
  • Some collar areas particularly on greens #3 and #5 are in very poor condition and do not look as if they will recover.  We will utilize what sod we have available on the nursery to repair as much collar damage as possible in the near future.
  • Dandelions have become a large issue on the property.  The weather variables have been great to support their abundance.  We have made a couple of applications on the property to begin to control these and other broadleaf weeds.  This program will continue when the weather allows and once other application programs to prime play features have been caught up. 

Respectfully submitted,

Shawn Major, AGS

Course Update

With the continued wet weather this spring we continue to protect our recovering fairways in scenarios of saturation.  We are seeing some good recovery across the fairways with lots of new plants emerging.  It will be vital to the recovery that we continue to protect the integrity of the turf canopy in these weather events.  Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate this challenging start.

With the repetitive wetness we are beginning to fall behind on certain items.  This includes spray programs and general mowing practices.  We will continue to do what we can to keep up with the demands while ensuring we minimize any negative impacts to the property.  Warm sunny weather will make a significant difference to all things on course once we get it. 

  • With the long weekend the maintenance morning will not be available to the Turfcare team.  This will see us fall behind to start the week mainly as it relates to rough mowing.  Greens topdressing program will not take place.  This may result on greens being less smooth and true than we would like until we can topdress them again on May 27th our next available maintenance day.
  • Aeration was completed on all greens and tee boxes.  Fairways are not in condition to accept an aeration practice and will be addressed at a time when they can handle to process.
  • All of the turf on the property has received a granular fertility application including fairways and rough.  This will assist with recovery.
  • With the fertility we are beginning to see an abundance of growth on greens.  Late day putting conditions will be slower until a time we can apply growth regulators.
  • Heights have come down on greens.  We are getting some separation between the poa and bentgrass heights.  This will allow us to be more consistent from green to green with speeds. We still have a couple more adjustments to be made to heights over the next couple weeks to achieve summer putting conditions.
  • We have made one application of herbicide to control weeds on the property.  This will continue once we have caught up other spray programs.
  • Cart paths continue to be poor from rain events.  We will attend to these as soon as conditions and time allow.
  • We will be getting a couple pallets of sod this week to button up the stump removal holes on the property.

With the soft conditions it is important to be repairing all ball marks.  An unrepaired ball mark in wet conditions will be a great host for poa.  Your attention with this detail is greatly appreciated.

Respectfully submitted,

Shawn Major, AGS

Course Update

Beginning this Sunday at 3:30pm the Turfcare team will begin the spring aeration programs on greens and tees.  We will begin on the putting green at 3:30 and work our way on to the front nine of the golf course followed by the back.  This program will be similar to the aeration programs of the past 5 years as our greens continue to be in good health and have come through a difficult winter in great condition. Spring items continue on course as we push towards the prime playing months of the season beginning in early June.

  • Fairways are beginning to show some improvement.  We have over seeded the fairways, applied two liquid fertility applications to aid in recovery.  We will continue to protect the turf that is trying to establish and protect the canopy for which it grows in scenarios of wet weather.  This will be critical to promoting new growth and the sooner we can get through the recovery we can resume with normal cart operations. While at times it may seem as if the property can handle traffic as there is minimal standing water it is critical that in these soft scenarios we do not place an abundance of wear on the fairways. Please be aware of your travel while using a cart and do your best to avoid travel through the damaged areas.
    • In this photo you can see the displacement of turf and the canopy.  This will cause damage that will not promote recovery.  This is why the decision to restrict carts has been made a couple of times this season to date. 
  • With the conditions of fairways and approaches our mowing frequency on these areas will stay minimal.  Just as we are protecting the turf from cart use we are doing the same from a maintenance equipment standpoint.  If we receive rain events we can expect that no mowing will take place on large acres until conditions are proper.  At times areas will look shaggy and in need of a mow due to this.
  • Granular fertilizer will be applied to all fairways and rough over the aeration window.  This fertilizer will take about 7 days to kick in at which time we hope to see another push towards recovery.
  • Rough has begun to pop and there will be big demand on mowing this grass moving forward. We will work to keep rough detailed and playable each week as we get through the spring growth flush.
  • We continue to battle wet conditions as it relates to a few bunkers on the property.  We will continue to pump and attempt to prep these when conditions allow.
  • Cart paths are in rough condition with the repetitive wet days we have had the last couple weeks.  We will work to smooth them out when time and conditions allow.
  • Greens will begin to see daily mowing requirements moving forward.  We are starting to see flushes of growth.  Once aeration is complete we will begin to lower heights for summer putting conditions.
  • Range deck will move to turf beginning this Saturday May 11th.  Please remember to use linear lines while practicing and avoid taking divots in large patch formations to aid in recovery of these areas from week to week. 
  • Stumps have been ground and prepared for sodding.  Sodding will take place as soon as we can get delivery.
  • On Monday June 3rd the Audubon program is having a Bio-Blitz day.  Posters will be in the clubhouse area with information.  This is an opportunity for members to come out and test their knowledge of animal and plant species as we seek to identify as many as possible that morning.  If you are interested please sign up!
  • Weeds are beginning to pop on the property.  We will do what we can to control these when conditions allow.  We have been challenged this spring with relentless windy days that are preventing many spray programs from taking place and will prioritize turf health and recovery over weeds.

Course etiquette to begin the golf season has been below standard for Niakwa.  We are finding many unraked bunkers, unrepaired ball marks and neglect with traffic control on course.  These items all take away from the member experience.  It is your responsibility as a member to practice basic and proper course etiquette.  Encourage your peers to do so and this will go a long way to assisting the Turfcare team in providing you the member with a great experience.

Respectfully submitted,

Shawn Major, AGS

Cart Traffic Update

With the wet start to the golf season and the condition of our fairways it will be important that we protect the canopy through wet stretches of time until they are fully recovered.  The past three days has delivered 1 inch of rainfall leaving the fairways saturated.  In this scenario the turf canopy is easily displaced causing more harm and hurting any recuperative abilities the weakest turf may have.

The course may not seem to be holding as much water as it would typically take to restrict carts.  However the dead and damaged poa turf does not have the ability to use water.  This leaves those areas susceptible to damage. 

The Turfcare team restricted and will continue to restrict its maintenance practices through these scenarios as well to ensure we are protecting the course until a time it can handle the wear.

In the photos attached you can see how cart traffic will have a negative impact on the fairways when the weather is less than ideal.  This photo was taken Saturday morning May 4th.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to regain the fairway conditions expected.

Course Update

It is an exciting time around Niakwa with the arrival of greens 9 and 10.  In the next week we are expecting to be ready to open greens 4 and 7 returning to 18 holes of golf.  We would like to thank the membership for the support and patience as we established these new putting surfaces.  As has been the case in the past with new greens there are some awareness items to note.Read More>>

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