Some of you who played earlier this week may have noticed quite a bit of sand on #11 fairway. I was asked why we put down the sand and what does the sand do. With the very wet season we’ve had, some areas have stayed wet too long. When an area becomes anaerobic, (no oxygen) the plant starts to die. An anaerobic environment can also cause significant and long-lasting damage to roots. The 11th fairway, because of its microclimate, got quite a bit of damage. It is now in the recovery process and this will take time. This is when sand is used. We have punched holes (aerified) and added sand (topdressed) to the 11th fairway to help with its recovery. As the plant continues to recover and manufacture new roots, it will have a much better environment to grow in. Topdressing is also one of our regular agricultural practices, as it allows for firmer, smoother, and overall better playing surfaces.
With the Canadian Amateur coming up I have been asked if and how the conditions will change. With the day to day conditions that we provide here at Islington, we are pretty much always tournament ready. Therefore, Golf Canada has not asked us to make any significant changes. The only difference in course playability will be the roughs. They will be longer to make them more penal so as to reward the player who is able to stay in the fairway. They will be grown to approximately 3-4 inches as opposed to our typical 2 inches. Our plan to achieve this is to stop cutting them late next week so it will have minimal impact on regular member play.
Have a great weekend!
Andre Aymar, Golf Course Superintendent