Recycling Stations on Berksdale

Recycling stations have been placed at Berksdale’s halfway house and #8 Tee Box. These were built with re-purposed pallets and accumulated scrap lumber. Casual observation has indicated 90% of waste collected on the course are aluminum cans and plastic drink bottles. We successfully began collecting cans a few years ago, using a large blue receptacle at the halfway house. We also began recycling cardboard at the maintenance shop in cooperation with the Bella Vista Recycling Center last year. Our hope is that these stations will help further reduce our waste stream and support Berksdale’s mission of environmental responsibility. For more information, see bellavistarecycling.org, auduboninternational.org, or contact wendyb@bvvpoa.com.

Berksdale Update 12/18 Tree Removal

We chose to remove the Bradford pear trees on the Berksdale Golf Course for several reasons. Primarily, it was a proactive effort to take them down before they fell. Second, Bradfords (Callery pear) have become an invasive species, cross pollinating with native pears and over running many fields. Third, we realized chipping the limbs would generate significant mulch. Upper limbs were chipped and can be seen at our signature Berksdale bed. Larger limbs were piled in our debris area to naturally decay instead of being burned and trunk stumps were left for basic chainsaw carving.

For more information contact wendyb@bvvpoa.com or visit this website for helpful information on problem plant control.

Scotsdale GCM Update

Winter is definitely here and sticking around. We have been fortunate with weather so far this season that while we have still had to cover, they were not on for too long of a period. We are about a week into it now and the forecast shows we will have a week left. Hopefully this will change, but we are prepared for it.

While the new covers have been extremely helpful and proven much better, this time we did install both sets when we put them on. We used the old ones first and then covered them with the darker, thicker set. This will help hold in more favorable temperature and prevent the wind from hammering over the top. In preparation before covering, there were some things we did to help aid the covers. First, we took moisture readings over the greens to tell us how they are holding. Then, we applied a wetting agent that helps the sand profile hold onto the moisture without being overly wet. Next, we took soil moisture readings again over areas where we know the greens tend to dry out. We followed this with hand watering select spots as needed. Keeping moisture in the crown/root-zone area also helps hold more heat for the plant since the temperature will drop faster in a dried out profile. Luckily this time we also got about a half inch of rain the night before covering so our readings were perfect and where we like to see the moisture levels before covering. Last, we put the covers on. We did this while it was still warm to help trap more heat inside the soil profile. Doing both covers took a little longer than normal, but we were also very diligent about securing them since high winds were expected and that can cause problems if not staked down accordingly. We’ve had good success so far and will continue to do everything we can to aid the turf through the winter.

While the covers are on we’ve been busy. We have taken out dead trees that were not only unsightly but also could have posed a hazard as time passes. We also had a company come out and trim up the tree on #10 fairway. That tree helps make the hole but due to the growth it was starting to become too much of a hazard. The limbs were starting to get into the fairway too much blocking what should be a good tee shot leading into the second. We’ve trimmed it back so the hole is more playable. The canopy was also raised and thinned to improve the health of the tree and the turf underneath by allowing more sunlight through. This also took quite a bit of weight off the tree helping to prevent high wind damage in the future.

Before

After

Hopefully the weather will soon change, and everyone can come enjoy Scotsdale again. I thank everyone for their patience and understanding the winter practices we do for the golf course.

Drainage Project: #1 Green BVCC

Click here to see the Drainage Project.

Update: 13 Green Kingswood

We have targeted week of November 26th to begin the next phase of this project as described in the information below. Over the past seven weeks the encroaching Bermuda grass has been sprayed 3 times. The last spray was on October 26.

At that time, there was very little live bermuda observed.  With the kill we’ve achieved and the bermuda going into winter dormancy there is no reason to wait any longer to sod the encroached area.

On Monday November 26th we will close the green and start renovating the surround.

The process is as follows

  • 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 aerification.
  • 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.

During the re-sodding a temporary green in the approach will be used.

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.

#1 Green – Bella Vista Country Club

At the end of September, the sprayer malfunctioned while putting an application on the greens at BVCC. It was discovered that the sprayer was putting out a much higher rate than intended. Due to this malfunction, some of the greens were injured. The most notable of the greens injured was #1. While most of the green will recover on its own with time, an underlying issue was exposed which will require some additional work to be done.

The front (bottom) of #1 green was significantly damaged from the malfunctioning sprayer. The reason for this is that the drainage in the green is not functioning properly. Where most of the green was able to drain the excess chemicals through, the front of the green held onto the chemicals and the grass soaked them all up, due to the drainage not working properly. This highly concentrated area of the green was not able to withstand the injury.

Moving forward, it is in the best interest of BVCC to fix the drainage issue, to prevent potential future problems. While this drainage replacement would be a significant improvement, it should be noted that this will be a temporary fix until we completely renovate the entire greens drainage.

Starting Monday November 26, the new drainage pipe will be installed in the front portion of the green. We will re-sod this area using grass from our nursery green. While we do not anticipate the green being closed for a long period of time, we will need to use a temporary green on #1 while the sod grows in and becomes an acceptable playing surface. Thank you for your patience as we perform this necessary work.

Rob Dreesen, Superintendent, BVCC

Drainage Pipe on Front of #1 Green. The USGA recommends drainage pipe be at least 16 inches deep. The current depth is only 6 inches deep.

Black layer caused by broken drainage pipe and pipe being installed at an inadequate depth.

Winter Covering of Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Greens Freeze Protection

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Cold temperatures can damage Bermudagrass. History has shown that unprotected Bermudagrass putting greens are often the first victim of an all-Bermudagrass golf course to succumb to colder temperatures. Fortunately, turf covers can dramatically decrease the chance of winter injury. Golf courses with Ultradwarf putting greens in the transition zone (like NW Arkansas) need covers and must deploy them when conditions warrant.

We purchased green covers as part of the overall greens conversion project at Scotsdale in 2016. After the unusually cold winter of 2017-2018 we have purchased an additional set of tarps which will allow us to double cover under similar severe weather in the future (temperatures approaching zero or below or extended periods when temperatures remain below freezing). We also have covers that we have been using since the installation of the ultradwarf bermudagrass greens at Brittany. The following guidelines will be utilized this winter at Scotsdale. These guidelines are based on our experience with the greens at Brittany, guidelines provided to us by our Ultradwarf Bermudagrass supplier, winter of 2017-18, Champion Turf Farm, and recommendations from the USGA Agronomist.

Since our Scotsdale greens were replanted in June of this year, we will be utilizing a more conservative approach again this winter, deploying the new, thicker and darker covers when the temperatures are forecast to be below 27 degrees and trending down. When the forecast is for temperatures in mid-teens or expected to remain below freezing for an extended period we will install the second set of tarps. Under these conditions our original tarps will go down first, and the new tarps will then be placed on top and secured. It will be necessary to close the course the day before since it requires a minimum of 6 hours to complete deployment on all 18 holes plus putting and nursery greens. If we double tarp it may require additional time to complete deployment. Once temperatures allow for the removal of tarps an additional day, maybe longer if double tarped, will be required to remove the tarps as well. We will give as much advanced notice as possible to the Pro Shop personnel, Golf Operations Office and on Today’s Play on the web.

We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation.

Kyle Soller, Superintendent, Scotsdale

 

Frost Delays

“While much of the U.S. deals with winter’s brunt, golfers in the Sun Belt and other mild parts of the country are still playing away. However, cool, crisp mornings bring the risk of frost delays. At some golf courses frost delays are rare, while at others they may be a regular occurrence. How often your morning round is affected by frost depends on the weather and a variety of other factors. Here are five things every golfer should know about frost delays.” Read more.

Scotsdale Update

Fall is here, and winter temperatures are coming.  Soon we will be having frost which will cause the Bermuda grass to start going dormant. Since Scotsdale has Bermuda greens that do go dormant, we do have to do some things differently.

Due to the turf going dormant, old cup plugs do not heal in on the greens. For this reason, we will be cutting 3 pins in each green for blue, red, and white flags. The ones we use for setup that day will have the flags in and we will have a special insert for the other two. This will help keep a better appearance for the greens and not have a bunch of old plugs on each of them, since over time that could be numerous. We will watch the wear around these and switch as needed to keep from thinning turf around these set positions. This will go into effect starting this weekend (October 20).

We will also be painting the greens. This is a process that we have started already by incorporating a pigment into the turf while it is still green. This is part of a process as the pigment helps hold onto the turfs natural color just a little longer. Later we will come back and spray a special turf paint to give the dormant turf a green appearance for play. As we go thru winter and see that starting to fade we will re-apply as needed.

I hope this helps everyone understand a little more about what we do and that everyone has been enjoying the course.

Kyle Soller, Superintendent, Scotsdale

Berksdale Update

It’s been a long hot summer for golf, but fall is bringing more families out to play and the after work crowd is enjoying a quick afternoon round. Fall is also highlighting some of our ongoing wildlife habitat improvements.

Monarch butterfly sightings continue to increase as we expand our milkweed plantings. Three different species of milkweed seedlings were distributed to various niches in the spring, and self-seeding is anticipated over time. Northwest Arkansas is in the re-generation layover as monarchs migrate through the year. Caterpillars were noted in late August, and fresh adults are being spotted throughout the course now.

Our experiments with planting for flood mitigation/riparian restoration are less majestic but have been equally successful. The red twig dogwood plantings along the creek at 2 Fairway took a beating. Minor flooding in February, April and May did little damage;  prolonged heat and drought through September did take a toll. As predicted, we had a 10% survival rate… twenty plus shrubs along a 200 yard stretch remain vigorous.

Berksdale is well on it’s way to achieving full status as an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary. Various alterations around the course, from increasing the buffer zone along Little Sugar Creek to establishing native plants at the half way house to expanding prairie grass acreage, are all in line with encouraging a strong stewardship legacy. For more information on how you may get involved, please see auduboninternational.org, or contact wendyb@bvvpoa.com.