Saturday, April 4, 2015

Course Update

Welcome back to the FLCC Golf Course Maintenance Blog!

Throughout the season we will be posting course photos, projects and providing updates on course conditions.

As the warm weather of spring nears upon us, we are all looking to come out of hibernation, or start making our way back home to our favorite retreat "Forest Lake Country Club".  The greens staff is eager to welcome you back, and kick off an exciting 2015 season.  While many of our members were away the Greens staff have been busy, and would like to get a chance to catch you up to speed.

This winter the Greens maintenance staff embarked on a different strategy to minimize potential winter damage on our putting surfaces.  The start of process involved laying a thin permeable tarp on the greens, to add a small buffer between winter extremes and the turf surface.  Through the winter the greens crew removed all the snow off the greens during periods of potential melt, to eliminate melt water from refreezing.  This process took an average of 2-3 days depending on the amount of snow.  This winter we removed snow 6 times from January through March.
Half way done!
Snow removal #6 green March

#18 green April 7th 2014.
#18 Green April 1st 2015
The great news is that we have little to no winter injury to our putting greens, which we feel this process helped us achieve this goal.  When we start the 2015 golf season we will be playing all of the greens, with the exception of 1.  This being hole #17 which was renovated late fall, and still needs some warm spring weather to knit in sod seems and transitioned into playable condition.  What a difference from last season! On the right side is a stark difference in the greens from 2014-2015. This is consistent result for all 18 greens, including the practice facilities.

Flags are in!
When will the course be fully open?  We opened the greens for play on Friday, and they will remain open as long as weather cooperates.  The golf course for the moment is open for walkers only, and as the rest of the frost leaves the ground and the course firms up, golf carts will be allowed.  The putting green and chipping areas are as well open.  The driving range will have a delayed start until the ground firms up in the landing areas.  The greens committee would like everyone to be aware of the impacts a player can have on the golf course through the early season.  Divots, ball marks and cart traffic scars do not heal very quickly in April.  So do your part in "Caring for the course", so that these blemishes have a minimal impact on our course.

In the maintenance staff news; 

This past winter Jim D. Lough a 30 year employee on the greens maintenance staff passed away.  We truly thank Jim for all of his years of hard work, dedication and his impact on the grounds at Forest Lake.

New to the maintenance staff this year, is Assistant Tyler Cooper.  He is a MSU graduate in Turf Management, with working experience on golf courses throughout the country.  We are looking forward to Tyler helping us improve our day to day maintenance procedures, turf quality and playing conditions.