Sunday, October 5, 2014

Golf Course Update

The crew has busy out aerifying on the golf course.  Starting on September 22nd we aerified the greens.  We had a great stretch of sunny weather and were able to finish all of the greens and fill in the core holes with sand in 2 days.  Capitalizing on the great fall weather we moved right into finishing the tees on Wednesday and started our journey on the fairways over the following days.  Generally 2 fairways are aerified in a day including busting of the cores and blowing off left over debris.  We currently have 3,4,5,6,7,8 fairways to finish which should be accomplished next week.  We have had good success and have seen very good recovery in all aerated areas as greens are playing fairly smooth and the core holes are shrinking daily.  Limiting factors in aerifying late fall include amount of sunlight and fall rains that leave soils saturated.

Greens aeration #14
Core cleanup #7 Tee
On October 6th we will start construction on hole #17. The greens committee has prioritized the surrounds and greens complex as an area that needs improvement.  Due to the loss of several green side Norway Spruce as well as a large corpse of White Pines the character and attractiveness of this golf hole was compromised.   With the help of C.W. Golf Architecture, a plan was developed to improve this signature Par3 hole.  Major improvements will include fairway extension up the left side of the green, a pot bunker on the left side to frame the golf hole, a small greens extension on the left side, smoothing out the ground and contours, cart path rerouting and relocating irrigation control boxes.  The project is estimated to take 2 weeks to complete.  The 17th hole will be removed from play for the remainder of the year.

#15 White Oak
#3 Green (2008)
Over the last few years trees have been a major area of focus.  Several mature Spruce and White Pines have been removed from the property.  Also we have experience several storms, including late July this season which has contributed to tree loss.  One of the greens committees main focus is planting new trees in key locations on the golf course.  Although trees are attractive and can add functional improvements and challenges to the golf course, it is important to understand the relationship trees and turf have between them.   Trees need space and as they grow they start creating challenges such as shade, roots, air flow and create debris.  They directly compete with turf for water and nutrients in the soil.  As shown in the bottom right picture of  #3 green in 2008.  Shade played a significant role in the quality of turf for this green, as well as limited frost from burning off and moisture being trapped in the greens surface.  Also as these trees shed their needles it littered the greens surface with debris.  This is 1 example where trees in this area were not beneficial and offered little value.  The large White Oak on #15 is an example of a tree that was planted in a place that defines the golf hole.  Not only does the stateliness of this tree show up from the tee box, it also protects the right side of the golf hole.  The grouping of Norway Spruce that used to be in this area blocked this trees full beauty, as well as created thin turf full of surface roots.  As the greens committee moves through the tree selection and planting process simple examples of past planting successes and failures will be used as guidelines. Our current goal is to identify areas on the golf course and tree species to be planted in Spring 2015.