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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

South Tees

The laser leveling is complete on both #3 and #7 south and we're now doing the aftercare.  The tees are in great shape and we're anticipating possibly opening these tees again for play on May 15th when 8 and 9 south open for play.  Please stay tuned for updates.

3 South Men's tee getting a cut after laser leveling, topdressing, and rolling

Friday, April 19, 2013

Course Conditions

Over the last week and a half we've received over 6" of rain which has led to a very wet golf course.  Our crew is working hard to ensure all drains are clear to allow for the fastest removal of the water and are cleaning up the course the fastest we can.  We have limited our staff to only a few carts on the course as to minimize any potential damage from cart traffic.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend much of the water will have drained off.

Behind 9 North Tee
2 West fairway and rough.
Beginning of 5 North fairway and rough
5 North fairway. The water is almost connected form both sides.
6 North Fairway

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Preferred Divot Pattern During Range Use

I encourage all members and guests to view this short video done by Dan Meersman at The Philadelphia Cricket Club who explains the preferred method for range use.  If members and guests use this preferred divot pattern on the range, it will aid in much quicker turf recovery and a better playing surface all year long.  On behalf of the entire grounds staff, we appreciate your cooperation in using this preferred divot pattern here at Walnut Creek Country Club.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fertilizer: There are so many choices...what one is the best? How do I know what I need to put on my lawn?

Today I thought it might be a good idea to share a little knowledge in the field of fertilizer for everyone to use on their home lawns.  As the weather is starting to break, many people are beginning to think about putting fertilizer down on their home lawns as well trying to control any weeds .  Now comes the hard decision...what one do you buy? How do you know if you're getting the best value for your money?Hopefully I can help you make the best decision for your yard this season.

At the Home Depot, there is a full isle of choices for fertilizers which can be somewhat overwhelming if you don't know exactly what you're looking at.  Some bags are straight fertilizers while other bags contain herbicide to hold off crabgrass germination or control summer annual weeds.  What do you need?  When do you apply it?


First, take a look at the guaranteed analysis of the actual fertilizer.  This is the three number combination you see on the bag.  For example, 30-0-4.  The first number stands for the amount of Nitrogen it contains, the second is for Phosphorus, and the third is for Potassium.  In general, you don't need a fertilizer with phosphorus unless you are fertilizing an area that is newly seeded.  If you have an established home lawn, chances are you don't need any phosphorus.  The most important thing to look at is the amount of Nitrogen
Scott's brand is $4.07/lb N and Vigoro is $3.33/lb N
you will be getting.  A 30-0-10 granular fertilizer contains 30% nitrogen.  So, if you buy a 50 lb bag of 30-0-4, there is 15 lb's of Nitrogen in the bag.  If you want to apply 3/4 lb of Nitrogen to you lawn in the spring (this is a normal rate), then with one 50 lb bag of 30-0-4 you can treat 20,000 sq. ft by applying 2.5 lb's of fertilizer per 1,000 sq. ft. To find out how big your lawn is, visit

Long story short, if the are two bags of straight fertilizer or both bags have crabgrass preventing herbicides in them and they have the same analysis but one weighs 14.5 lb's and the other weighs 13.35 lb's, just do the math on the price per pound of N and it will tell you which one is the better value. In the picture above, the Scotts bag is $18.98 and weighs 13.35 lb's and the Vigoro is $21.98 and weighs 14.5 lb's.  If you do the math, it's actually a better deal to go with the Vigoro brand fertilizer here.


Step 1: Their are two things you can do to know when to apply a pre-emergent herbicide/fertilizer combination for good crabgrass control and a nice green lawn in the spring. One rule of thumb is to apply the herbicide when Forsythia bushes are half bloomed.  Forsythia bushes bloom when soil temperatures are about 5 to 10 degrees cooler than that needed for crabgrass germination (top 2 inches of soil being 60-70 degrees).  If you see them blooming, it's a good time to put it down.  If you don't have Forsythia bushes in your area or you want to be precise, you can track GDD days at and if you put in your email, it will send you an alert for good timing.  As of right now, it's looking like the best time to apply a fertilizer with crabgrass control for our immediate area is within the next 10 to 15 days.

Step 2:  A fertilizer with herbicide in it for weed control should be applied this year around the first or second week of May.

Step 3:  In the beginning of June, an application should be made that is a slow release form of Nitrogen (usually says this on the bag).  It should allow you not to have to fertilize during the summer months and will enable you to wait until the fall when the plant is under less stress.

Step 4: Fall fertilizing in our area should be done in the beginning of September.  Applying Nitrogen too late in the year doesn't help the plant because most of the Nitrogen leaches into groundwater instead of being taken up by the plant that is shutting down for winter.

In my opinion, a fertilizer program like the one that the Scott's company lays out for you for a full year that you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes is expensive but will work well on most home lawns.  If there's a competing companies product with a similar program on the pallet next to the Scott's brand, it's probably worth your time to see what the better value is for your money by comparing the cost per pound of Nitrogen.  If you're comfortable doing the math and understand when and what to treat, commercial grade fertilizers can be purchased at the same stores and could potentially save you even more money.

Best of luck fertilizing this year!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Tee project moving forward despite wet weather

Today our crew stripped the old sod from the surround on #1 South men's tee and the shaping is going to begin this afternoon to help match the visual of the square tee top.  The tee surround shaping will be completed today and this weekend we will be laser leveling the men's tees on #3 South and #7 South.

Next week starting Monday our staff will be preparing the surrounds for seeding with the addition of top soil, fertilizer, and pre-emergent herbicide to hold off weed germination.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April Showers Bring May Flowers

This weeks forecast is very wet with little sunshine, but the rain is important to get the course growing for the season as well as filling the course ponds.  The courses will remain open and the use of carts will be decided based on the current course conditions.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Divot Replacement: Preferred Method at WCCC

Proper Ball Mark Repair

Tee Squaring: Day 1

#2 South  White Tee
Yesterday we began our tee squaring project on the South course.  Sod from around the new square tees was stripped off and prepped for seeding.  Small walk paths remain on each tee for entry/exit points.  These walk paths will be removed and seeded as soon as our other surround areas have been established.  We will be able to complete approximately 1 hole per day for sod removal so the project will go quickly.  Laser leveling will begin in the middle of next week on select tees.

#2 South Gold Tee

Extra sod was removed so shaping could be completed on surrounds