Springtime MaintenanceWho, What, When, Why, and How…
There are so many questions these days. Information and opinions about the current state of the world are rampant right now. Everyone is entitled to feel how they feel, and those emotions are different depending on many variables that affect an individual’s given situation. I don't know about you, but I am a bit overwhelmed with the daily inundation of information.
Do I want to stay as current as possible with the news and how it impacts the Club? Absolutely.
Does it affect the way we operate on a daily basis? Without question, it is a challenge.
Do I want to continue to update the Members with day to day minutia? For the sake of everybody, I would venture to say NO is the correct path. I would like to ensure you all that we are taking every precaution about how we operate.
That being said, what I think everyone cares about right now is returning to normal and playing a little (or a LOT) of golf. When is that, how does that happen, and is there a new normal? We do not have all of those answers, but rest assured the question, "will the golf course be ready for play when we open?" is a question we can answer with certainty.
As is normal in the spring, the Grounds crew is in the process of checking all the necessary springtime tasks off the list, which at times feels like it grows faster than we can check them off. Every spring we have more tasks to complete than the weather generally allows us the time to finish. This year is no different in that regard.
- We are cleaning the entire course
- Sweeping and dethatching all of the rough
- Working in sand on the greens, approaches and fairways
- Gradually reducing heights of cut on all playing surfaces
- Rolling playing surfaces to smooth out any heaving from the winter
- Charging up the irrigation system and repairing any issues that may have happened over winter
- Testing and diagnosing every sprinkler to ensure the system is operating properly when we need it during the season
- Cleaning out the creek
- Sodding out some worn out areas
- Filling every divot on every tee and fairway
- Cleaning and prepping the clubhouse grounds, and many other routine tasks.
One key date that we adjusted to help with the return to golf is the spring aeration. We will sand topdress and aerify the greens on April 20, weather permitting. While the growing conditions are not ideal, this will allow enough time to work the sand in and have a decent surface to putt on when you return without any additional closures to the course right as we re-open. You will still be able to see the aerification holes to some degree, depending on how warm it gets in the coming weeks, and there will be some sand on the surface, but the goal is to turn the golf course back to our Members as soon as possible. Last week, we finished aerifying and overseeding the entire east and west range tees. We will fertilize and begin to water as necessary to try to get some growth and recovery before play returns.
At home, this is a great time to prepare flower and landscape beds by edging, cleaning old mulch and weeds, and adding a fresh layer of mulch (if you can find it). It is important not to bury and mound up the mulch at the base of your trees and plant material.
Generally speaking, it is a good rule to wait until Mother’s Day to plant any annuals, so don’t let a couple of unusually warm days in the spring trick you. We are known to get some late frosts and low temperatures through mid-May that can seriously injure annual plants.
Also, we are in the window of timing for crabgrass control. If you historically have an issue with crabgrass in your lawn, put down a pre-emergent herbicide now, and you should see a substantial improvement. These herbicides are available at hardware stores and usually are combined with a fertilizer that you can spread with a rotary spreader to knock out both your fertility and weed control needs with one application. Every landscaping company should also carry the necessary product.
If you have an irrigation system, check it now, but do not set it to run on any schedule yet. There is no reason a home sprinkler system should have to run before June in our region.
We are continuing our efforts on the Grounds and Greens team to bring you excellent conditions this season and we are looking forward to returning to normal sooner than later, whatever that may be.
While I do not have all the answers to the questions right now, I do know one thing. I am really looking forward to seeing people out here enjoying this great course!