Here are some of our golf course practices. This is all done to ensure the best conditions possible at all times

 

Restricted Use of Golf Carts During Wet Conditions

 

The use of golf carts plays an important role at the Mississippi.  They provide a revenue source and increase the accessibility for our members and guests who might not otherwise be able to play the course.

 

However, golf carts can have very negative impacts on turf health and playing conditions, especially during wet conditions.  Therefore there will be days where carts will not be allowed out on the course. This occurs when the course is deemed to be too wet.   

Unfortunately, wet course conditions and cart traffic do not mix.  Carts can slide, skid and sink when turf is wet, causing immediate and lasting damage. Compaction of wet turf can also have a negative long-term effect on playing conditions, even if those impacts are not immediately visible. Compacted areas are more susceptible to diseases such as dollar spot, fusarium patch, typhula blight, pythium blight and Rhizoctonia brown patch.

 

The decision to restrict the use of carts is not made or taken lightly.

 

Before the decision is made following a rain event, several steps are taken to evaluate the condition of the course. First, the previous day’s fairway moisture readings are examined. (Note that moisture readings are taken daily on the fairways, greens and tees.) Second, the exact amount of rainfall is determined using data from the weather station at the course’s maintenance area. Finally, a visual inspection of the course is made to evaluate the presence of standing water. Based on all this information, a decision is made regarding cart usage. 

 

With the variation in drainage rates on the course, certain areas will appear dry enough to allow the use of carts. However, we have to protect the entire course and we ask for your patience and understanding.  We don’t want to put the cart before the course.

 

 For the 2018 season, there were three days when cart usage was not allowed.

 

 

December 5, 2018

Sources: USGA and the MGC

Frost Delays

 

In spring and fall we will experience playing delays due to frost. When a frost occurs, the course management will put a notification on the daily tee sheet indicating this and there will be a delay in tee times.

 

On these mornings, play will not start until the frost on the grass has melted, as in spring and fall frost appears on the longer grass before the greens.  To minimize delays, tee-offs will begin on the Carleton Place Nine (the back nine) as the holes on this nine are not as sheltered as those on the Almonte Nine (the front nine) and the frost melts more quickly.

 

Frost damage can occur on any height of mowed grass, but it is amplified when the plant is mowed low, as on a green. Frost is essentially frozen dew. Ice crystals visible on the outside of the plant can also form on the inside of grass blades. The grass plant, normally resilient to footsteps or cart traffic, becomes brittle and fragile when ice crystals form. Under the pressure of traffic, ice crystals puncture living plant tissues and rupture plant cells. Damage will not appear right away, but it will show up in footsteps in the following days as the plant is unable to repair itself and begins to die and turn black. The recovery from this severe damage can take months.

 

Keep in mind, a foursome typically takes several hundred footsteps on each green, so even allowing just a few groups to play when frost is present can be very damaging to the greens. It is not completely understood when frost will cause damage, so the decision to keep traffic off the golf course is made conservatively to protect the condition of the course. For this reason, the Mississippi will close the course to play or delay starting times until frost has completely melted. 

 

December 5, 2018

Sources: USGA and the MGC

Greens

 

Introduction

 

The Mississippi is committed to enhance the playing experience of members and guests by providing greens that provide a firm uniform surface to putt on.

 

Grasses are specifically selected for use on putting greens. At the Mississippi, the greens are made up of bentgrass and Poa annua type grasses.

 

Newer greens are mostly composed of sand. These types of greens are commonly known as USGA built greens and tend to be firm and provide a fast putting surface. The first and the eighteenth greens at the Mississippi are of this type.

Our other greens at the Mississippi are soil-based putting greens known as “push-up” greens. To ensure we provide the fastest and truest putting surface possible on our greens, we have implemented a comprehensive maintenance program of aeration, topdressing and rolling. The aeration and topdressing programs will occasionally disrupt playing conditions but are aimed at maintaining and improving the putting greens and their soils.

Our objective is to ensure that Mississippi greens run at 10 to 11 on the Stimpmeter.

The following information is provided to help understand our maintenance program and the resources needed to provide the best greens possible.

 

Mowing

 

Greens are mowed seven days per week, weather permitting. This mowing frequency helps promote a dense turf. Our greens are mowed at a height of 0.140 inches from opening day and gradually reduced to a mid-summer height of 0.120 inches. Starting at the beginning of October, height is gradually increased to 0.140 inches.

 

Starting the third week of June to the beginning of September, the greens are double cut daily.

 

Green aprons and approaches are mowed Monday, Wednesday and Friday to a height of 0.50 inches.

 

Aeration

 

The three important objectives of aeration are to relieve soil compaction, improve the soil mixture around the highest part of a green’s roots, and reduce or prevent the accumulation of excess thatch.

 

In mid-May, the greens are aerated by removing a half-inch diameter core with a depth of 3 inches followed by top dressing. In late August, a half-inch diameter core is punched to a depth of 3 inches followed by top dressing. In late fall, a three-quarter inch core is punched to a depth of 6 inches and left open. 

 

Vertical Cutting

 

Verticutting involves the use of vertically operated rigid blades that cut into the turf perpendicular to the surface. It is done to control the lateral growth of bentgrass and is done as required, when growth is too tight.

 

Light Top-dressing

 

Top-dressing is the spreading of a thin layer of sand on the green. This is done to smooth the surface, control thatch for modification of the surface soil and to provide a firm, tight putting surface. We top-dress every second week from the beginning of May until September, when the turf is actively growing. We mow the greens first, then top-dress. The material is brushed and watered in and we follow up with a second mowing.

 

Rolling

 

This operation smooths the putting surface and increases green speed. Rolling is done on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week and if possible both days on the weekend. Care is taken to ensure that conditions are appropriate for this procedure. We use a vibrating type of roller to perform this work.

 

Growth Regulators

 

We use growth regulators on our greens throughout the growing season. The product we use is called Primo (Trinexapac-ethyl). It is applied weekly, generally from June 1 to mid-September. It encourages grass to spread, as opposed to growing upwards.

 

Fertilizing

 

Granular slow-release fertilizers are used at low rates every 4 to 6 weeks on the greens. In addition, we apply water-soluble fertilizer once a week.

 

Wetting Agent

 

A wetting agent is applied to the greens once a week to reduce the surface tension of water molecules, which allows them to infiltrate the soil more effectively. This helps maintain a firmer putting surface and allows us to use less water when watering.

 

Pesticide Applications

 

Pesticides are applied to the greens on an as-required basis to help keep turf healthy by reducing damage caused by insects and fungus diseases.  For additional information see Pesticide Use.

 

Watering

 

Moisture readings are taken once a day on the greens. When and how much to water is also based on several other factors, such as topdressing, fertilization and aerification. We try to water the greens as effectively as possible to help keep them firm.

 

Winter Protection

In preparation for winter, the greens are sprayed with three applications of a fungicide which prevents snow mould or fusarium patch. The first application is done in mid-October, the second at the beginning of November and the last just prior to the greens being covered with tarps, which is generally in mid-November.

 

The greens are covered with two types of tarps. The first is a bubble type laid over perforated piping which is laid directly on the green.  This is then covered with an ice shield tarp.

 

During the winter, the greens are inspected regularly and air is blown every two weeks under the tarps through the perforated piping.

 

Up to three greens are fitted with Turf Guard sensors which are installed under the tarps. During the winter the remote sensors continuously relay moisture content, soil temperature and salinity readings of the monitored greens to the Greens Superintendent’s computer. The readings are monitored daily and used to help determine when air is blown under the taps. The readings are also used in helping determine when the tarps should be removed from the greens in preparation of spring.

 

Updated Jan. 02, 2019

Fairways and Rough

Introduction

 

The Mississippi is committed to enhance the playing experience of members and guests by maintaining fairways that provide a lush, uniform surface to hit off and rough that is challenging but fair.  

 

Grasses are specifically selected for use on the fairways and the rough.  At the Mississippi, the fairways and rough are a mixture of blue grass and Poa annua.

 

The following information is provided to help understand our maintenance program and the resources needed to provide the best fairways and rough possible.

 

Rough

 

The primary rough is mowed to a height of 2.50 inches.  Mowing starts Monday morning and is completed by Thursday afternoon; this requires approximately 24 man-hours.  The secondary rough is cut Monday and Friday to a height of 1.25 inches during fairway mowing.  Depending on the hole, the secondary rough is either approximately 12 feet or 24 feet wide; this requires 1 or 2 mower passes respectively and takes a total of 8 man-hours to complete.

 

The rough is fertilized once a year in June with granular slow-release fertilizer, which helps prevent weeds and grubs. Throughout the season the rough is also spot sprayed for weeds.

 

Fairways

 

Fairways are cut Monday, Wednesday and Friday to a height of 0.540 inches.

 

Fairways are fertilized once every five weeks throughout the season with a granular slow-release fertilizer. Between the applications of the granular fertilizer a water-soluble fertilizer is applied twice.

 

Aeration of the fairways is conducted twice a year in spring and fall but is dependent upon weather conditions. The spring aeration removes a three-quarter inch diameter core with a depth up to 3 inches. In the fall, a three-quarter inch diameter core is punched to a depth up to 3 inches. The aeration program will occasionally disrupt playing conditions but is aimed at maintaining and improving the fairways and their soils.

 

Depending on the weather conditions, a fungicide is applied four times each summer to the fairways.

 

Moisture readings are taken once a day on the fairways. When and how much to water is also based on several other factors, such as fertilization and aerification. We try to water the fairways as effectively as possible.

 

December 5, 2018

Tee Boxes at the Mississippi

 

We strive to provide our members and guests with well-maintained tee boxes to allow for that first critical shot on each hole.  The following information is provided to help understand our maintenance program and the resources needed to provide the best tee boxes possible.

Grasses are specifically selected for use on the tee boxes.  At the Mississippi, the tee boxes are a mixture of blue grass and Poa annua.

 

Tee boxes are mowed Monday, Wednesday and Friday to a height of 0.50 inches.

In the spring and fall the tee boxes are aerated by removing a half-inch diameter core with a depth of 3 inches followed by top dressing.

 

Granular slow-release fertilizers are used at low rates every 3 weeks on the tees with over seeding (filling of divots) done daily.

 

Depending on the weather conditions, a fungicide is applied two to three times each summer, and throughout the season the tee boxes are spot sprayed for weeds.

 

Moisture readings are taken once a day on the tees. When and how much to water is also based on several other factors, such as topdressing, fertilization and aerification. We try to water the tee as effectively as possible.

 

In preparation for winter, the tees are sprayed with two applications of a fungicide which prevents snow mould or fusarium patch. The first application is done in mid-October and the second at the beginning of November.

 

The most exposed tee boxes are covered with an ice-shield type tarp.

 

 

December 5, 2018

Pesticide Use

 

Pesticides come in a variety of different forms. At the Mississippi we basically use the three following types:

  • Fungicides – Designed to eliminate or control fungus. They may also be designed to render specific forms of fungus harmless to our grasses.
  • Herbicides – Created to eliminate or reduce the presence of invasive plant species and weeds.
  • Insecticides – Focus on suppressing, killing, or inhibiting infestations or feeding by one or more types of insects.

The Mississippi is registered and has received accreditation from the Ontario Ministry of Environment-approved Integrated Pest Management (IPM) body. This allows us to use Class 9 pesticides at the golf course.

 

IMP and the Ministry requirements include the following:

  • post warning signs to notify golfers of pesticide use on playing surfaces;
  • prepare an annual report summarizing all pesticide use on the course;
  • conduct an annual public meeting with the neighbours (within 100 meters) of the golf course.

 

 December 5, 2018

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