One Word: LUSH
We knew it was going to be inconvenient – and sometimes downright frustrating – but the midday watering schedule was very effective! The combination of deep irrigation and aggressive fertilization has produced the greenest, lushest golf course that we’ve had in years. The extra water encouraged the root system to reach deeper into the soil – in some places, an additional 1”-2”. We ended the daytime watering at the beginning of September, and we will continue to irrigate nightly until mid- to late October, when the water gets turned off. A lot of the credit goes to Jeff Riddelle and his volunteer Irrigation Committee, who are mapping and optimizing the irrigation system.
As we enter the fall, our #1 priority continues to be greens. We intended to aerate the greens last week, but our puncher was damaged, unfortunately, and we’re waiting for new parts. As soon as it’s repaired, we’ll punch all of the greens and tee boxes before the cold weather sets in. In the meantime, the greens have been treated with fertilizer every week for the last three weeks, and they’re showing real improvement.
The #3 green and the #12 green are coming back – the long grass has been mowed and new grass is emerging. The #4 green will be sanded and seeded. The #2 green still needs work: we plan to use a sod cutter to level the “humps” and fill in low areas with sand. One of our winter projects is to re-do the irrigation for the #2 green. In October, we’ll apply a fungicide to prevent “snow mold” this winter. The cold-weather fungus did a lot of damage last winter, so this treatment should prevent that from happening again.
There’s been a lot of work in other areas of the course as well. We now have eight staff members on our grounds crew, and given the rapid growth, we need all of them to keep the course maintained. The fairways and rough are being mowed every week, but we will likely need to go to a twice-per-week schedule for the remaining weeks of the growing season. Do you know how long it takes to mow just the rough for all 18 holes? 24 hours! So expect to see our grounds crew on mowers regularly for the next few weeks! In some places, we are extending the rough into wider areas to allow for greater playability. For example, we’ve widened the “collection area” left of the 150-yard marker on the #7 fairway. That fairway funnels balls down to the left, and a larger collection area will still allow golfers to have a reasonable second shot at the green.
“It’s been a lot work, and we’re expecting the course to be in outstanding shape next spring. In late March/early April, we’ll punch the greens again and start verticutting and rolling the greens monthly. The work that we’ve done to fertilize and irrigate the course through the burning hot days of August and the strong growth days of September will serve us well throughout the winter and position us for a truly awesome course in the spring!”
Sand & Seed Available for Divot Repair
There is now sand and seed in the bin next to the cart barn for your use. When you fill your sanding bottle, remember it takes surprisingly little seed to be effective, about 1/8 cup of seed in a typical bottle. Please don’t “help” by mixing seed into the sand pile – it will germinate in the pile, and we would rather it germinate on the course!