13 Green Kingswood

 

Pictured is #13 green Kingswood, the painted lines are the edge of the original greens cavity. Over the last 20 or so years the surrounding Bermudagrass has encroached into the bent grass drastically reducing the size of the green.

The green has become so small that pin locations have been reduced to just a few areas and the foot traffic takes a toll during the summer months.  This results in more man hours spent maintaining this green and an increased cost in chemicals and fertilizers to keep the green playable.

The decision was made to expand the green back to its original size using bent grass sod grown onsite on our nursery green and possibly sod from the closed holes on Berksdale.

The green will only need to be closed for 2-3 days during the fall in order to give the staff time to strip the Bermuda grass and install the bentgrass sod.

The process will be as follows, with all work being completed by Golf Maintenance.

  • The Bermuda will be sprayed with herbicide every 14 days until frost. Once the Bermuda starts dying it will turn brown but still be playable.
  • The bent grass nursery will receive additional fertility to get it ready to be transplanted.
  • Towards the end of October or first of November the dead Bermuda will be stripped, the ground will be lightly graded to match the green surface and bent grass will be taken from the nursery and laid around the green.
  • The green will be reopened once the new sod has been laid.
  • During the fall the new sod will be rolled and topdressed and grown slightly taller than the green to encourage rooting.
  • In the early spring of 2019 the height will gradually be taken down to greens height at which time the new sod will be playable as a greens surface.
  • We fully expect the new area to need additional maintenance during the 2019 season until it is fully established. This will include additional hand watering, topdressing, and small tine aeration.
  • The large oscillating fan from #6 Berksdale will be moved to the left side of #13 green Kingswood and the small square fans in the back of the green will be removed.

We appreciate your patience during this time and apologize for any inconvenience. We are confident that this project will improve your golfing experience.

Thank you.

2018 USGA VISIT SET

Steve Kammerer, Ph.D., SE Regional Director, USGA Greens Section will visit the Bella Vista POA on Wednesday, September 12th.

A full day agenda will begin with Kammerer meeting with the POA’s Director of Golf Maintenance Keith Ihms, CGCS, and golf course superintendents at 8 a.m. to discuss golf maintenance issues affecting the various courses.

At 10 a.m., Kammerer will meet with members of the Board of Directors, Golf Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) and management at the Scotsdale Golf Pro Shop for a course tour. The tour is open to the public and will occur rain or shine.

In addition, at 4 p.m., the public is invited to attend the September Golf JAC meeting which will take place in the BVCC Board Room. Mr. Kammerer will make a short presentation on his day’s visit and answer questions.

Scotsdale GCM Update

It has been a long summer but the end of the grow in is quickly coming upon us. While it was unfortunate what happened with winter kill, we have been able to make improvements and will have better greens because of it. One of the most important things we have been able to do is build the soil. Soil management is one of the most valuable components of a high maintenance turf grass. We have managed to incorporate a lot of beneficial nutrients and carbon building material that helped tremendously and will continue to aid the grass. This will also be a very important thing we will continue to do, especially with the combination of aerifications to really get the material into the soil profile. Along with renovating the greens, we have also added drainage to areas to aid in preventing wet conditions and improve playing conditions. We also added new irrigation to some areas that had none, and our team thinks this will improve some high-profile areas greatly aesthetically and play-ability wise. The bridge on #9 was repaired with a new curb along with work among the banks close to the bridge. We also cleaned and deepened the creek on #3 and cleared out the bridge culverts in hopes this will help in the future, and that #3 fairway will not be as prone to flooding as in the past.

 

One of the most important things we were able to accomplish was the renovation of 12 green. We have removed the slope from the green and made it much more puttable.  Now we have several pin positions to use instead of only 2 at most. The surrounds were also re-shaped to accommodate the greens change. The back has a slope, which will help feed into the green, and the front will have a more level area to hold shots if they come just a foot or two short. These will be improved in the future as it matures, and we can add more defined mowing lines. By mowing lines, this means a collar and some collar height cut around the green that will help to give a better visualization for a shot from the tee. Right now, we feel the best choice is to let the turf mature going into winter and add these in the spring when the team knows the grass will have the time to properly heal and adjust. Also, with the reshaping, more walk able areas are available for use. In the past, it was just one flat area that was easily walk able. Now we have several places to choose and help distribute foot traffic instead of wearing out one area.

Since the heat is declining, mowing heights are raised slightly to aid in maturing the grass. The greens will still roll very nice, but they will be just a tad slower than where we plan to maintain them next summer. The main thing is preparing them for the off season and keeping the greens as healthy as possible. We have ordered new covers for the greens that are thicker and better suited to our part of the country, but we are also keeping the old covers to aid in extraordinary cold weather by double covering and giving the greens an extra layer of protection. With these covers in place along with the soil conditioning we are performing, they should be well protected.

Part of the soil conditioning and maintenance we perform is watering ahead of cold weather.  This builds moisture in the crown of the plant and with covering keeps the plant from drying out under the covers and winter desiccation and this will be monitored with soil moisture reading devices. Our team just wanted to give a heads-up, so people will know why we will run water or hose water greens in the winter when it is dormant. Guidelines will be on the cautious side this winter to protect the greens and we will always give as much notice ahead of time as possible.

My crew has worked very hard and put many hours into the course. We are very excited to see everyone out here, we hope everyone enjoys it and has a great time playing this fantastic course.

Kyle Soller

Scotsdale Superintendent

Species Profile – Procyon lotor – Northern Raccoon

Procyon lotor – Northern Raccoon

Scientific Name: Procyon lotor

Common Name(s): Raccoon, Northern Raccoon, North American Raccoon, Coon

Identification:

The northern raccoon (Procyon lotoris) is a medium-sized mammal most recognizable by its “mask”; the black fur around the eyes that contrasts with their white face and distinct ringed tail. Raccoons measure 16-28 inches in length, not including their 10-inch tail. The shoulder height ranges from 9-12 inches. They can weigh from 4-60 lbs. but are commonly 10-30 lbs. Raccoons in the northern limits of their range tend to be larger. This is an adaptation seen in many mammals to combat heat loss in cold weather. Raccoons also have a dense underfur that insulates against cold weather, making up almost 90% of their coat. Their bushy tails have alternating light and dark rings, and their slightly rounded ears have a white border. The body is various shades of gray and brown. They are extremely dexterous and are able to stand on their hind legs to inspect objects with their nimble front paws.

Range:

Raccoons are common within their range and occur from southern Canada through central America.  They inhabit nearly all the continental United States. Because of deliberate introductions and escapes, they are now found in several European and Asian countries. Raccoons are extremely adaptable and occupy diverse habitat from mountains, deserts, to costal marshes and urban areas.

Ecology:

Raccoons have comparable movement speeds to humans: 10-15 mph for sprinting and 3 mph for swimming. Being able to climb down a tree headfirst is unusual for a mammal of its size, but raccoons manage this feat by rotating their hind feet backwards for a better grip. Raccoons sweat and pant which aid in the dissipation of heat in summer.

The raccoon’s sense of touch is very important. Their front paws are hyper sensitive and are protected by a thin horny layer that is flexible when wet. For raccoons, nearly two-thirds of the brain’s sensory portion is specialized for touch, more than any other studied animal.

Raccoons have gender-specific social groups. Females share a mutual area and sometimes meet when feeding or resting and are often related. Males not related to each other form groups to protect their territory and mating status against rival males. These male groups are small, consisting of up to four individuals. Raccoons’ home ranges vary depending on age, sex and habitat. Adult home ranges are double that of juveniles. Odor marks using urine or feces establish home ranges and are used for identification.

The diet of raccoons is highly variable and can consist of insects, worms, fruits, nuts, fish, amphibians and bird eggs. They will occasionally eat birds and other mammals, although they prefer easy to catch prey. They are typically nocturnal, but will sometimes be active during the day as they are opportunistic feeders.

Raccoons usually mate from January – March, but there can be differences depending on location. Raccoons in southern states tend to mate later. Males will constantly roam their home ranges to court females. Females can mate with more than one male over several nights. A litter usually ranges from 2-5 young called “kits” or “cubs,” which are blind and deaf when born. The young are weaned from their mother by 16 weeks and begin to split up. The females stay close to their mothers’ home range, but the males sometimes move more than 12 miles away. This natural behavior inhibits inbreeding. The life expectancy for wild raccoons is 2-3 years, although captive raccoons have lived for more than 20 years.

Special Notes:

Here in Bella Vista, raccoons can be seen commonly at night and are considered pests by many residents. They routinely overturn small waste containers or tear garbage bags apart in search of food.  The increasing number of raccoons in urban areas has resulted in different reactions from homeowners, from frustration to deliberate feeding. Feeding raccoons may cause them to become more of a nuisance and dependent on humans as a food source. Raccoons in search of food can break into poultry houses to feed on chickens, chicks, their eggs or feed. They will also feed on domestic cat and dog food. If raccoons become a problem, all food and garbage cans should be tightly sealed or locked in a container.

Additionally, where raccoon populations are high, associated diseases and parasite outbreaks increase.  Raccoon roundworm, leptospirosis, salmonella, rabies, distemper and mange are just a few that can be transferred to humans and/or pets.

Raccoons can be a nuisance, they are neat mammals to see and watch due to their high intelligence and problem-solving skills.

Windsor Drawdown

The Lake Windsor Drawdown will begin November 15 and run to March 1, 2019. It will be lowered by 6 feet and will likely take until December 1 to complete.

Informational meetings were held July 17 and 26. To view the presentation, click here.

As noted in the presentation, permits are required for:

  • POA (Common Property) Alterations
  • Miscellaneous/Accessory Improvements (City): build or repair docks and seawalls permit
  • Short Term Activity Authorization: dredge or remove material from the lake below water line permit
  • Miscellaneous Improvements (ACC) Application
  • Contractor List

Further questions can be directed to Rick Echols, ricke@bvvpoa.com, 479-855-5068

Board Action on Golf Task Force Recommendations

The Board of Directors would like to recognize the efforts of the Golf Task Force.  In evaluating the recommendations, the Board agrees with the recommendations put forth by the Task Force.

Recommendations:

  1. Berksdale South – The 9-holes of Berksdale that are currently closed should remain closed. The Board agrees with the recommendation from the Task Force.
  2. Berksdale North – Berksdale North will remain open, unless there is a triggering event (i.e., a devastating flood). The Board agrees with the recommendation from the Task Force.
  3. Kingswood – Kingswood will remain open, unless there is a triggering event (see below). The Board agrees with the recommendation from the Task Force.
    1. If rounds go up to 165,000 per year, the POA should begin investing funds to mitigate flood issues and bring the course up to the same standards as the other four courses. The Board agrees with the recommendation from the Task Force.
    2. If rounds decrease to below 120,000 per year, the Board may consider closing this course. Management is tasked with taking all reasonable measures to increase rounds.  The Board agrees with the recommendation from the Task Force.
    3. Future major flood damage could result in a re-evaluation of the golf course. The Board agrees with the recommendation from the Task Force.
  4. Country Club – The POA should target funding for flood mitigation to the Country Club as quickly as possible. The Board agrees with the recommendation from the Task Force.
  5. ARKMO – The POA will not pursue a golf course at ARKMO at this time. The Board agrees with the recommendation from the Task Force.

The Board of Directors would like to thank the Golf Task Force for their efforts.

Suggested Motion

I make a motion to approve the above detailed document on Board Action on Golf Task Force Recommendations.  The Board of Directors would like to recognize the efforts of the Golf Task Force and the residents of our community who provided feedback on these important decisions.

Did You Know?

All Bella Vista golf courses abide by a “Pair Up Policy” in which we try to pair single golfers and twosomes to make complete groups of four. There are reasons why the foursome is best for the golf course. The first is PACE OF PLAY. Foursomes are the most common and most efficient way of getting the most players on the course when demand is high.

 

Second, it is no fun being the only twosome on the course, having to wait to play your shots on every hole because the foursome ahead of you is naturally slower. It’s also no fun to be the foursome playing at the appropriate pace but constantly feeling the need to step aside and let twosomes play through. Of course, singles and doubles playing on a busy course cannot expect to play through. If the course is jammed, it is much better to be paired up with others. Certainly, if the course is not overly busy, letting smaller and faster groups play through is the right thing to do.

 

If you want to go out by yourself, you can do that too. Just try to pick times when the course is not as busy. You can call the course directly and we will be more than happy to assist you with what times will be best.

 

Our final reason for using our Pair Up Policy is to maximize our revenue per tee time. We have a finite number of tee times during our peak hours and we need to make the most out of these times. Our goal is to accommodate as many golfers in as close proximity to their desired starting time as possible.

Cicada Killers

Cicada killers are very large wasps, up to 1 5/8” long, that resemble gigantic hornets or yellow jackets

Each summer we receive complaints of them menacing golfers and digging holes into the greens and bunkers. While they look formidable, they are in fact not a threat. The male wasp is territorial and will buzz around you trying to chase you away but lacks a stinger, so he is completely harmless.

The female wasp is non-aggressive but can sting if handled or stepped on with bare feet. She prefers to spend her time burrowing into the ground and hunting annual cicadas.  After digging an extensive burrow up to a foot in depth, the female will find a cicada, paralyze it with her stinger and carry it back to her burrow. After placing the cicada in a chamber, she will lay an egg on it and bury the cicada where it becomes food for her young. She will repeat this process nonstop for a couple of weeks.

 

This is a picture of a cicada burrow on a green. Each morning the golf course crew will look for these mounds and will inject an insecticide into the hole to stop the cicada killer from causing further damage.  Although the mounds are cleaned up every day, a cicada killer can complete a new burrow in less than an hour. There is no insecticide that will prevent the cicada killers from digging into a green, so all control must be done post damage. Failing to control the cicada killers causes later damage to the greens when coyotes, foxes, and crows dig up the buried cicadas for food. Therefore, when the wasps are active, crew members will watch for recent activity during the day and treat the new burrows that appear.

Divot Repairs on Tee and Fairway Areas

Many of our Members grew up playing golf in the northern climate zone on cool season turf such as ryegrass, bluegrass or bent grass used on fairway and tee surfaces. Divot repair with these varieties of grass is much different than repairs to our warm season bermudagrass playing surfaces.

While on cool season turf the actual divot is replaced or a sand seed mix is used to fill the divot. On our warm season turf it’s best to just place a small amount of plain sand in the divot. The sand should be smoothed out with your foot or golf club and not left in a pile. This will insure a smooth surface and not cause damage to our mowing equipment. Our rental carts are now equipped with sand buckets and scoops for your convenience. If you don’t have any sand available, the next best method is to use your club or foot to gently push or kick the surrounding turf toward the divot hole. Although this will not make the divot completely level, it stimulates the turf to send runners out which will cover the divot faster than not making any type repair.

Your maintenance staff and fellow golfers appreciate your help and cooperation in this effort.