We try and provide as many opportunities for winter fun as reasonably possible. One of the activities is using the 17th hole for a sledding hill. Under the right conditions a sledding enthusiast can enjoy a 300-yard ride dropping 100 feet in elevation. It is a thrilling ride for sure. We monitor snow conditions on the hill and will open and close the hill as necessary. We monitor snow conditions to protect the turf, it is your responsibility to use the hill at your own risk. Without adequate snow cover turf can cause a sled to stop suddenly and send the former occupant tumbling down the hill possibly causing injury. There is no greater fun as a child than sledding, as long as it is done safely.
Our staff is working hard preparing the golf course and grounds for its long winters nap. The greens have been aerated and the irrigation system blown out. This week we are applying plant protectants to the greens, tees and fairways and will then put up the stakes and ropes around greens. The last day or two for our seasonal staff will be spent blowing and cleaning up leaves on the course and in the condo’s.
“What’s up with all of the acorns this year?” If you have been underneath any oak trees this fall you may be feeling like your one of the moles in the Wac-A-Mole arcade game.
When a tree produces a huge crop of nuts, it is called a “mast” year and this year is a mast year for white oak trees. There aren’t any good predictors as to why acorn production varies from year to year or from species to species. The true reason for this phenomenon has baffled scientists for hundreds of years. The good news for your head is that mast-years occur every two to five years in oak trees, so you don’t have to worry about being bopped on the head again for several years.
It is that time of year again when the majority of our residents return to their winter homes. Cooler temperatures of fall are moving in, football has started and another school year has begun. This annual migration allows us the time to rejuvenate the golf course from the stress of daily play. One of the most beneficial cultural practices we can do is aerate the playing surfaces. Aerating relieves compaction and creates pore space in the soil so it can breathe easy again. The DryJect process is a combination of aeration and filling the holes with sand. The sand helps maintain pore spaces within the soil to aid in gas exchange and water percolation as well as maintaining a firm playing surface.
On September 5th the golf course will be closed so we can aerate/dryject the greens. We will be open again on September 6th for play.
This week has been a challenge for sure. Heavy rainfall in just a few hours proved to be more than what our drainage systems could handle. Many areas on the property suffered damage from flash flooding and home sump pumps were pushed to maximum capacity. Our staff is working hard to clean up the mess left in the storms wake as well as keep up with our regular work load. Even though we have a lot of extra work for the next week we are still fortunate. Many of our neighboring communities received double the amount of rain that we did and suffered much more damage. Keep our neighbors in your prayers wishing them a safe and quick recovery.
I have highlighted in red divots in the approach on the 10th hole from this past week. A properly repaired divot will recover very quickly, a divot left unrepaired will take weeks to fully recover. That is why it is so important that everyone replaces their divot or properly repairs it with our divot sand. After you are done admiring your spectacular golf shot please take a moment to fix your divot properly.
So how do you decide to repair or replace? If the displaced turf still has soil intact carefully put it back in place, using your foot firmly press to ensure good soil contact. If the displaced turf has broken into many pieces and has no soil intact fill the divot with sand and lightly press and level with your foot to ensure good sand soil contact.
We have started the renovation of the sand bunker next to the 17th green. The old sand has been removed and a little reshaping done to keep water from entering the bunker. We have also installed drainage lines to keep water from collecting in the bunker. The next step is placement of the bunker liner to prevent any future contamination of silt and soil and finally adding the sand.
April was a very difficult month to accomplish any small projects, due to frequent heavy rain storms. It seemed that just about the time the ground was drying up another storm would roll in. Despite the rain we did manage to do some bunker repairs, subsurface drainage repairs, remove several dead trees and plant replacements. Hopefully better weather in May will allow us some time to scratch a few more projects off the list.
It has been a slower start than normal to get the golf course ready for the season. Colder temperatures in the month of March and plenty of rain kept our staff from getting an early start. The golf course is still very wet so please pay extra attention to signage while you enjoy your early rounds.