We developed this blog to provide golf course maintenance information to our members. From projects, small and large, to updates on course conditions, we want to provide as much information as possible. Although we hope this blog answers all of the pertinent questions regarding our operation, we always welcome more personalized dialogue. If you have questions beyond the information found on this blog, feel free to contact our golf course superintendent, Trevor Hedgepeth.



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Deep Tine and Verticutting of Fairways

As the winter begins at Kinloch, the staff has started some of the usual cultural practices necessary to create ideal playing conditions throughout the growing months.  This begins on the fairways with a deep tine aerification.  We use a tractor implement to create small holes in the fairways that extend 6-9 inches down into the soil surface.  This process is completed to ensure water movement though the soil profile.  Over the years, this process has provided the playing conditions that our members have come to expect, including a reduction in recovery time after large storms.  Shown below is the process being completed on number 4 fairway.

After the completion of the deep tine, we begin the process of verticutting the existing turf.  During the season, regular mowing of the fairway is necessary to ensure proper playing height.  While this process removes leaf blades extending in an upward direction, many will continue to grow in a lateral direction, and normal mowers are unable to cut these blades.  The verticutting process will mow this section of the turf by spinning many small blades in a vertical direction.  Regular verticutting will promote a reduction in internode length, causing a denser stand of turf.  The process is quite aggressive, therefore it is only done a few times a year.  Regular completion of the practice has allowed for the density that our members experience in the fairways all through the playing season.

In order to allow for immediate return of play, the Kinloch staff will finalize the process with a light fairway mowing.  While this process will mow any upward extending leaf blades, it is primarily used to roll the previously verticut fairway back to the previously existing condition.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Leaf Cleanup

During the fall months, leaf cleanup becomes a major priority for the maintenance staff at Kinloch.  We begin by blowing all the leaves from the playing surfaces into the woodlines and native areas.  This allows us to quickly return the golf course into a playable condition.  This, however, is not a permanent solution to the leaf problem.  As the wind picks up, the leaves that were previously cleared will blow back onto the fairways and rough.  For this reason, the maintenance staff uses specialty equipment to vacuum the leaves out of the native areas and return them to the shop.  Shown below is an example of the tractor blowers moving leaves across three fairway.

A video of the leaf vacuum can be seen by clicking HERE.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Continuous Rain has Left Fairway Sections Underwater

Water has been standing in the fairways at Kinloch for 3 days straight.  We have accumulated over 4 inches of rain since Sunday, and have seen very little sun.  

Over the last several days, you may have seen the maintenance staff using the deep tines and squeegees in the fairway swales to try and move some of the water into the basins.  Similarly to humans, bentrgass cannot survive without oxygen, so at this point, anything we can do to alleviate this stress can help.  Shown below are photo of the previously described method. 

In addition to the deep tine, the maintenance staff is using fairway mowers to push water towards basins in the fairway.  Shown below are photos of this process. A video of this process can be seen here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Heavy Winds and Rain Hit Kinloch

On the night of Friday, April 19th, the Richmond area was hit with high winds and rain.  Upon arrival to the course, the maintenance staff discovered several trees had been uprooted and debris covered the course.  Cleanup began immediately on greens and fairways with a portion of the staff allocated to large tree removal.  The team was able to complete the work by the end of the morning.  Pictured below are a few examples of the downed trees and cleanup process.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What a Difference Three Weeks Makes

The Richmond area has seen beautiful weather in the month of April, and it has shown itself in the golf course. Pictured below are photos of number 7 and number 11.  The first picture of each hole was taken on April 1st while the second picture was taken three weeks later on April 23rd.  You can see a distinct increase in the amount of foliage on the trees as well as a much darker green in the grass.  With continued weather like this, Kinloch will be in ideal shape for the summer to come.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Aerification Day One Recap

Day one of spring aerification was a productive one despite the weather.  The snow covered greens caused a small delay in progress, however the maintenance staff was still able to get through most of the greens today.  The first step in the process was to uncover the greens.  Equipped with snow shovels, we were able to quickly remove all the snow cover from the green surface and surrounding areas.

The next step in the process was to deep tine the greens.  This involved poking a half inch hole every 5 inches to a depth of 7 inches.  This process allows for extended root development throughout the spring growing months.

Directly after the deep tine, core aerifiers were used to remove organic material and thatch from the soil.  3/8ths inch holes were poked to a depth of almost 2 inches.  The cores were then carefully removed from the green surface.

Stay tuned for more updates this week on the aerification progress.

Big Putter Sinkhole

On March 20th, while preparing the golf course for daily play, a small sinkhole was discovered by the maintenance staff on the large practice green.  While not nearly as severe as those sinkholes that made the news recently in Florida and Illinois, it still presented a tripping hazard for golfers crossing the green.

The area was roped off with caution tape and work began immediately.  Very carefully, the turf was removed and set aside.  The rootzone layer was then removed and saved, along with the gravel layer underneath.  What remained was a hole in the subsoil surface.

After digging down to the subsoil, it was discovered that the problem was an old tree stump that had decomposed over time.  With constant foot and equipment traffic, the area sunk and caused a visible depression in the green surface.  The maintenance staff was able to remove the decomposed material, which extended down 36 inches on the main trunk with an additional 6-10 inches roots extending from the sides.

The area was then backfilled and leveled with the existing subsoil grade.  The gravel layer was then replaced, followed by the rootzone mix. In the end, the turf was replaced and leveled, allowing a great putting surface for the next day's golfers.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First Plants in the New Garden

With the warmer weather over the last week, the Kinloch staff has been able to begin moving plants from the greenhouse to the new garden beds.  The 8 inch raised beds will provide ample room for root growth while still allowing for water drainage.  We look forward to filling each bed and providing fresh fruit and vegetables over the coming year.

In the photo below, horticulturist Benson Marshall is planting broccoli.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Garden Fence Update

Below are a few photos showing the progress of the fence surrounding the new garden.  Hopefully we can complete all ground work tomorrow before the snow arrives.  Stay tuned for more updates.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fence Construction Begins

The Kinloch maintenance staff has begun work on the fence surrounding the new garden.  This fence will be constructed of welded wire and will keep animals from entering the garden.  The fence extends 8 feet up to deter rabbits, dear, and any other hungry animal.  In addition, the fence will continue 2 feet below the soil surface.  This will deter burrowing animals such as groundhogs from entering the garden.  Below is a photo of the first wall of the fence being constructed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Update on Garden Construction

Construction continues on the fruit and vegetable garden at Kinloch.  While the wet weather has delayed construction of the fence, planting boxes are being built above ground and will house composed soil for ideal growing conditions.  Mulch is placed between the boxes to provide space to water, trim, and harvest the plants.  Stay tuned for further updates as progress continues.

Monday, February 25, 2013

11 Creek Project

Over the past several weeks we have been working on improving the creek on 11. 

During the last year, the dams on the 11th hole have been compromised.  Water would begin to run under or around the dams, causing silt build up in the creek.  It also caused uneven water flow and contributed to an unattractive creek.  Pictured below is an example of this problem. 

 Currently, we are in the process of reclaiming and shaping the area near the cart path by removing mud and adding good soil with the mini excavator.  The following pictures show our current progress with reshaping and grading.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Horticulturist Benson Marshall

Kinloch Golf Club is proud to introduce our new horticulturist, Benson Marshall.  Benson has been a horticulturist in the Richmond area for over 15 years.  Most recently, he has come to us from The Virginia Historical Society, where he spent 12 years as a grounds manager. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Construction Begins on the New Vegetable Garden

As winter progresses along, the maintenance staff has begun preparations for this year’s vegetable garden.  Due to last year’s success with our small scale plots, we have decided to expand the garden to nearly 10,000 sq ft.  This will provide ample room to implement a season long growing and harvesting schedule.

Work has begun on grading the existing garden as well as the area around it in order to provide proper water runoff.  In addition, drainage will be installed in case of larger rains and continuously wet conditions.  In order to provide proper conditions for growing, sub-ground irrigation will be installed.  Plants will be cultivated in raised beds which will allow for ideal soil conditions for growth.

The following pictures show the beginnings of the grade work on the new garden area.  Stay tuned for more pictures.

Friday, February 1, 2013

2013 Virginia Turfgrass Council trade show

On Tuesday, January 29, the Kinloch assistants attended the Virginia Turfgrass Council’s annual conference in Fredericksburg. During the visit, they attended several educational seminars to further their knowledge of the turfgrass industry in the state of Virginia.  These educational seminars included; the USGA Year in Review presented by Mr. Keith Happ and Mr. Darin Bevard of the USGA, Fungicides for Heat-Stressed Bentgrass presented by Dr. Bruce Martin of Clemson University, Plant Healthcare products presented by Dr. Erik Ervin and Mr. David McCall of Virginia Tech, and a presentation about Environmental Golf Course design presented by Mr. Glenn Muckley of Williamsburg Environmental Group.   After the conclusion of the education programs, they were able to tour the annual trade show and learn about the newest technologies within the golf course maintenance industry.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wood Refinishing

During frost delays in the winter months, the golf course maintenance staff has been refinishing the woodwork on the golf course.  This includes benches and trash cans located on tee boxes as well as rope line stakes throughout the course.  By refinishing these items during the winter, we can ensure they continue to look their best throughout the year.

The following photo shows our staff during this process

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fairway Aerification/Topdressing

Fairway Aerification/Topdressing

This winter we will be continuing our fairway aerification and topdressing program. This process includes, deep tining the fairways, coring the fairways, dragging the plugs, collecting the plugs with our large vacuum, topdressing, and finally dragging the sand into the cored holes. We start this important process during every off-season to improve air flow, and relieve soil compaction, which then leads to better rooting for the fairways during the year. The topdressing helps fill in the holes left behind, which decreases the recovery time. In addition, the sand helps provide a firmer, well draining surface to play on. We have seen incredible results over the past twelve years amending our heavy clay soils. The infiltration rates, percolation rates, and playability at all times of year has improved immensely.

 The following photos show the process in action: