What’s Fall like for a Golf Course Superintendent?
With the cooler temperatures come slightly later start times and the sight of your breath in the morning. Gone are the days of high humidity and the sun beating down while you edge bunkers and fill divots the length of 560-yard fairways. Aside from Octoberfest, we were wondering what’s on tap for fall season golf course maintenance? Garrett Luck, Golf Course Superintendent at Hidden Glen Golf Club, broke down his most important fall projects, maintenance strategies and looking ahead, what’s on every Superintendent’s Christmas list.
Q: What are the most important projects you take on each fall season?
Aerification and topdressing, drainage, fescue management and winterizing the irrigation system.
Q: Are there any specific pet projects you’ll be undertaking this fall? How will you get it done?
- Aerification and topdressing – solid tine and continuous applications of sand on greens tees and fairways
- Drainage installation in fairways and tees — planning on using a dingo and mini excavator, gravel, corrugated drain pipe and sand
- Re-establish original green perimeters to increase putting green collar consistency
- Overseeding thin areas in fescue naturalized areas
Q: What are some jobs you put off each year until the fall season? Why is that?
- Drainage — falls typically are dryer
- Rough herbicide application—best time to spray for most weeds
Q: Are there any specific diseases or problems on the course?
- Dollar spot—treat early September with Velista covers us until snow mold application
- Preventative take all applications
Q: Fall fescue plantings in native areas – yay or nay?
40 acres — mowing, collecting, overseeding and spraying in fall.
Q: Do you maintain the same size crew in fall as in the peak summer months? Same schedule?
Our crew is reduced by half, however, the schedule remains similar.
Q: What the key to ensuring your turf is as strong and healthy in fall as it was during the warmer months?
Stay consistent with regular maintenance practices.
Q: Looking ahead, what’s on every superintendent’s Christmas list?
On a personal note, vacation and time with family. The number one thing on every superintendent’s wish list is retaining their staff.
Keep up with Garrett & the happenings on course at Hidden Glen on Twitter — @mrgarrettluck.