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Greens Update – July 2020

An update and a reminder that your help is always appreciated.

Greens

We have had a great season to date. Greens have, by and large, been firm and within our targeted speeds since early June. These conditions tend to be more easily achieved when the weather is dry, as it has been. In wet years such as spring 2019 and, what felt like all of, 2017 it takes a lot longer to achieve the firmness and true ball roll on greens as we have enjoyed early this year.

Ball marks may be difficult to find when the greens are firm – if you can’t find yours you may find one that someone else missed … please fix that one and it will all even out.

While on the subject of greens – please note there is a dark green line approximately 10 yards around the front of greens – this defines a “no entry zone” for pull carts and electronic caddies. This line also extends so that this cart traffic should not enter between greens and adjacent greenside bunkers. We appreciate your support here.

With few days of rain this season, our electric carts have not missed many days. Given that the cart have an accurate GPS system, some members may have noticed that their carts won’t let them go where they may have gone in previous years. The defined “no cart” entry points are under constant review. I can assure you that we try to balance members’ desire to access their ball with maintaining the prized turf around our greens.

Should you face a medical emergency while out on course (call 911) – the fastest way back to the Clubhouse on an electric cart is on the cart path. Attempting to go cross country will invariably get you to an area that is not safe or too wet or so rough you may not find the other side, all of which will slow you down. Stay on a path!

Establishing and adhering to our Monday maintenance windows continues to be an important part of our greens management and general maintenance program. With our continuous grooming, sand topdressing and micro feeding we believe the program helps keep greens in peak condition. These programs are very time consuming and take the full window to stay ahead of play – all helping to keep greens smooth and consistent.

As we enter Stage 3 of Reopening, some select course hardware will once again be placed on the golf course. The membership has generally been supportive and active in the seed and soil program. We encourage you to use the material provided on the tees (please pick up your broken tees or parts thereof). When taking a divot from a fairway we ask that you replace your divots when possible, and then top up with seed soil if needed, pressing the combination down firmly with your foot. The divot always has a better chance right-side up from where it came than upside down in the middle of the fairway.

Driving range

The turf portion is open 5 days per week and typically just over half of the width is in use on a given day. In the beginning of June we start using the turf at about one third the way into the deck and work our way towards the far (front) edge of the tee. This uses roughly 2/3’s by the end of July and brings us to just short of the far edge of the tee by this time. Next we come back to the third nearest the mats for the month of August (saving 4 yards) and start edging our way to where we began in June. The back four yards is saved for the Club Championship and in typical years – Member Guest events.

This process allows us to manage the deck to ensure there is turf for a full three months. On or about Labour Day we close the turf portion for the balance of the season – it is at this time we aerate, seed and allow the tee to regenerate for the next season. We encourage players to practice the long linear pattern when taking divots (refer to the picture below and the small placards at the range tee) – using this method is best for turf recovery and helps maintain a level teeing ground.

 

2 & 8 North

As mentioned in the June article – the Covid situation delayed the start of this project, which in turn has delayed the opening of these two greens. From the onset, we had indicated that we needed a minimum of 6 inches of dense root mass – we believe we are close to that. Typically cooler temperatures prevail in August so we are confident that we can open these two greens on July 31.

Please note however that if we encounter another extreme heat spell we may need to revisit the play schedule for these greens. These two greens will play slower and softer than the rest of the greens on the course, for much of this season. We expect by end of year that they will begin to match the other greens and that by next year they will be equal.

Parts of these two fairways are a little weak so please use the GUR rule.

Eric Ruhs
Course Superintendent

 

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