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Recent Tree Removal Update

Posted on by Chris Tritabaugh

Tree Removals-December 2014 Last week the HNGC staff and Vineland Tree Care completed a number of tree removals around the golf course; these removals were completed in order to satisfy the needs of both Hazeltine and the PGA of America. I wanted to take a moment today to write about the decision making process when it comes to removing trees on the golf course. There are several considerations made whenever…

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Autumn Comes to a Screeching Halt

Posted on by Chris Tritabaugh

I have been working on golf courses for 20 years; never can I remember a season coming to such an abrupt a halt as it did this year. One of the great ironies of this season is while fantastic October weather resulted in the bunker project being nearly complete; ultimately the weather will result in the project not being quite finished. When Duininck started the bunker work in September, we…

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Poa annua herbicide on Fairways-An Update

Posted on by Chris Tritabaugh

Bentgrass Promotion on Fairways-An Update In September, I wrote about our use of the Poa annua herbicide, Velocity. The use of this herbicide has been successful for two reasons. It has given us a great look at how much Poa we have in our fairways. The answer: not a lot! The Poa we have in our fairways is very much isolated to small pockets. The most noticeable of these areas…

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Late-Season Putting Surface Aeration

Posted on by Chris Tritabaugh

Today, we are performing the final putting surface aeration of the season. We are using 3/8″ solid-tines for this aeration. The goal of this aeration is to provide surface infiltration during the late-fall, winter and early-spring. I have used this approach for many years with great success. The surfaces will be rolled tomorrow to firm and smooth the surfaces.

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Bunker Project-The Early Days

Posted on by Chris Tritabaugh

Duininck Golf arrived on-site Wednesday to begin the bunker renovation; they have begun their work on the 11th and 15th hole. The first order of business was for all of the old sand to be scraped from the floor and piled in each bunker. This is completed using a combination of skid steer and mini-excavator. Once the sand is piled, a large excavator is used to load the sand into…

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PrecisionAire Subsurface Blowing System

Posted on by Chris Tritabaugh

If you played the course last week, you noticed this blower unit next to the 13th green. What exactly is this unit? This unit is the above-ground portion of the PrecisionAire subsurface blower system. When the putting surfaces were re-built, they were done so with a construction method that meets the PrecisionAire system requirements. This blower hooks up to the drainage system of the green, allowing air to be either…

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Bunker Renovation Project

Posted on by Chris Tritabaugh

When I interviewed for the superintendent job here at Hazeltine National I stated, even before spending a day managing the course that our bunkers were going to be the biggest obstacle to providing championship conditions on a daily basis. After nearly two years in the position, I can attest to the truth of my earlier statement. The number one impact on a golfer’s enjoyment of a course is the putting…

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Bentgrass Promotion on Fairways

Posted on by Chris Tritabaugh

If you have played the golf course in the past couple of weeks, you will notice varying colors on the fairways. Two weeks ago we begin herbicide treatments aimed at the Poa annua populations in our fairways. The herbicide we are using is called Velocity; a selective herbicide detrimental to Poa. By applying the Velocity at low rates, we put the Poa into a weakened state. This can be seen…

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Extra Putting Surface Aeration

Posted on by Chris Tritabaugh

On Tuesday, we completed some extra aeration on the front portion of four green and the entirety of five green. These two spots were first cored with a .320″ followed by the holes being filled with sand. When we first aerified greens the first week of August, we completed this same procedure on portions of three, four, 17 and 18 greens. Five green was not done at that time due…

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My Week at Valhalla

Posted on by Chris Tritabaugh

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of the PGA Championship volunteer staff for Golf Course Superintendent Roger Meier at Valhalla. The five days at Valhalla were a wonderful experience on multiple levels. It was a wonderful personal experience getting to help prepare the course and to walk on Major Championship surfaces before and after the players. At the very same time, it was a strong…

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