I know most of you don’t want to hear this but we are almost halfway through the golf season. It was a great spring for the course, and I hope that you are figuring out and enjoying the new greens. The weather brought drought in May, showers in June, and July has been unusually cool at night and average during the day. Even with all the weather fluctuations, the one thing that I have noticed is the amount of play the course is getting. This year has shown that the golf course gets a significant amount of play, and with this play all sorts of challenges come to mind. When the Club averages 250-300 rounds per day, wear issues throughout the course become noticeable: tee block areas become beat up, fairway landing areas and approaches get riddled with divots, cart enter and exit points get worn down, and greens get hammered with ball marks. These wear issues are signs of a golf course that is getting well played. To combat this wear we all need to work together and be diligent with seeding or replacing divots on fairways, driving carts in the fairway where possible, paying attention to cart directional posts, and, most importantly, fixing ball marks.
The new greens on the front nine holes have the most noticeable wear, but it’s also on tees and fairways. To alleviate the extra 75-100 rounds the first seven holes receive each day, we will begin more back-nine starts over the next few weeks. Comparing the front nine rounds to back nine rounds is difficult, but there are days when 30-40% more rounds are played on the front nine. So let’s say if the Club has 16,000 rounds year-to-date, that would mean the front nine has received 4800-6800 more rounds than the back nine. Having back nine starts is the only way to alleviate the play on the front nine, and this will help with my philosophy for the season, which is plant health before anything else during the first year of growth.
The rest of the course is taking shape. Over the next couple of weeks we will focus on cleaning up the mulch and garden beds throughout the course and around the clubhouse. This will include edging, weeding, and adding new mulch where necessary. They have been put on the backburner over the last little while and need some attention to tidy up the overall look of the property.
Have a great weekend!
Ian McQueen, Course Superintendent