Course Update for July 7, 2017

It seems like it has been a long time coming but we finally got a great week of sunny weather. It was a good week for our team as the course finally dried up and we got caught up on some much needed mowing.

With the peak of the summer around the corner and warmer days ahead, we are starting to prep the younger trees for the summer stress. This week we were able to start building tree wells at the bottom of the trees with shredded mulch. (see photo below) The tree wells along with a little fertilizer and the gator bags (green bags on trees) help the trees retain more continuous moisture and nutrition. This is an important process in assuring a good success rate with the development and survival of immature trees that at this point still have much undeveloped root systems.

I was playing the golf course this week and came across a couple of small things I thought might be worth mentioning.

I noticed that there were a considerable amount of spike marks (scuff marks) on the greens (see photo below). Be cautious not to drag your feet while walking on the green. The spike marks make the surface rough and uneven and will affect the smoothness of the ball roll. It is important that we all make an effort to lift our feet in order to ensure the consistency of the putting surface for our fellow competitors behind us.

I also noticed that there were several bunkers that had been played in but hadn’t been raked very smoothly. Leaving footprints or depressions in bunkers can create terrible lies for players behind you (see photo below). In my opinion, there is no perfect way to rake a bunker. As I mentioned in my broadcast last week, the bunkers themselves can’t be maintained perfectly. Nevertheless, there are a few key points to remember that will help maintain good playability throughout the entire day:

  • Enter the bunker from a low point (entering on slopes creates extra disturbance)
    • Level the area from which you played (raking from multiple directions makes this smoother)
    • Do a final rake without putting much pressure on the rake (nice and smooth)
    • Exit the bunker where you entered the bunker
    • Place the rake on flat ground outside of the bunker
    • Tap your shoes to clear any sand that might come off on the green

These few small steps can play a big role in making everyone’s day more enjoyable.

Andre Aymar, Golf Course Superintendent