It has been a long summer but the end of the grow in is quickly coming upon us. While it was unfortunate what happened with winter kill, we have been able to make improvements and will have better greens because of it. One of the most important things we have been able to do is build the soil. Soil management is one of the most valuable components of a high maintenance turf grass. We have managed to incorporate a lot of beneficial nutrients and carbon building material that helped tremendously and will continue to aid the grass. This will also be a very important thing we will continue to do, especially with the combination of aerifications to really get the material into the soil profile. Along with renovating the greens, we have also added drainage to areas to aid in preventing wet conditions and improve playing conditions. We also added new irrigation to some areas that had none, and our team thinks this will improve some high-profile areas greatly aesthetically and play-ability wise. The bridge on #9 was repaired with a new curb along with work among the banks close to the bridge. We also cleaned and deepened the creek on #3 and cleared out the bridge culverts in hopes this will help in the future, and that #3 fairway will not be as prone to flooding as in the past.
One of the most important things we were able to accomplish was the renovation of 12 green. We have removed the slope from the green and made it much more puttable. Now we have several pin positions to use instead of only 2 at most. The surrounds were also re-shaped to accommodate the greens change. The back has a slope, which will help feed into the green, and the front will have a more level area to hold shots if they come just a foot or two short. These will be improved in the future as it matures, and we can add more defined mowing lines. By mowing lines, this means a collar and some collar height cut around the green that will help to give a better visualization for a shot from the tee. Right now, we feel the best choice is to let the turf mature going into winter and add these in the spring when the team knows the grass will have the time to properly heal and adjust. Also, with the reshaping, more walk able areas are available for use. In the past, it was just one flat area that was easily walk able. Now we have several places to choose and help distribute foot traffic instead of wearing out one area.
Since the heat is declining, mowing heights are raised slightly to aid in maturing the grass. The greens will still roll very nice, but they will be just a tad slower than where we plan to maintain them next summer. The main thing is preparing them for the off season and keeping the greens as healthy as possible. We have ordered new covers for the greens that are thicker and better suited to our part of the country, but we are also keeping the old covers to aid in extraordinary cold weather by double covering and giving the greens an extra layer of protection. With these covers in place along with the soil conditioning we are performing, they should be well protected.
Part of the soil conditioning and maintenance we perform is watering ahead of cold weather. This builds moisture in the crown of the plant and with covering keeps the plant from drying out under the covers and winter desiccation and this will be monitored with soil moisture reading devices. Our team just wanted to give a heads-up, so people will know why we will run water or hose water greens in the winter when it is dormant. Guidelines will be on the cautious side this winter to protect the greens and we will always give as much notice ahead of time as possible.
My crew has worked very hard and put many hours into the course. We are very excited to see everyone out here, we hope everyone enjoys it and has a great time playing this fantastic course.