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A Thank You Message From Turf

14 NOV 2020

As the season comes to a close, the Turf Department would like to wish all our members well over the winter months.  It was a crazy season to say the least, but we are incredibly fortunate we were able to golf and interact with our RattleSnake community despite all of the isolation measures we have in our world right now.  A big thank you to our members for helping us follow protocols and making all the new rules we had in place easy to enforce.  Thank you for your support throughout the season, your comments good or constructive go a long way.

This year we missed some of the flare from our gardens around the clubhouse and the freshly raked bunkers on a daily basis, but apart from that we are happy with the conditions of our course this season.  We saw some record breaking heat for weeks at a time. Some of those stretches had us up all night worried that we were going to be losing grass from heat stress and its associated diseases, but we managed to pull through.  As a department, we learned how to more efficiently manage our staff and the tasks we assign them.  Our staff deserve an incredible amount of recognition.  They took a lot of pride in keeping up with conditions this year and worked together to fill the shoes of our teammates we were missing.  We accomplished more than we ever expected and for that we are thankful for our dedicated team.

We would like to give Timothy McGillion a huge shout out for the mulch him and his team at Great Lakes Wood Products Inc. donated to the club.  He delivered about 100 cubic yards that we have started spreading in areas at the front entrance.  With a load that big we should be able to fill all of our tree wells and gardens around the clubhouse for next season.  Thank you Tim, what a difference a layer of fresh mulch does to clean up our gardens!

Very soon we will start putting the course to bed for the winter.  Once we close we have a lengthy list to complete before we can officially be ready for the snow to fly.  On course we will be verti-draining our greens with a solid 12inch tine poking as many holes in our greens as possible.  We have had a good scare the last few winters with the constant thaw then snap freeze and ice storms that we do not want to take any chances.  When snow thaws out or we get a large amount of rain that causes pooling on greens followed by freezing temperatures it causes an ice layer to form suffocating our grass.  The verti-drain holes allow the water to drain into the ground faster so when we get a sudden freeze the water is deep enough that there is no suffocating at the top layer where the plants’ gas exchange takes place.  We then spray all of our tees, greens, and fairways with a fungicide to protect us from snow mold.  We top dress our greens with a heavy layer of sand to protect the crown of the plant from wind desiccation.  The typical 4 club wind on 5 SW can be very damaging to the plant during dormancy when the plant cannot recover.  We put a dormant fertilizer app on our tees and greens to help gather carbohydrate storage for the winter and to help with spring green up and winter recovery.  Other than that, we bring in all of our course hardware (tees, pins, hazard stakes etc.) for fresh paint and tune up.  The 800m snow fence gets put up along the driveway to help with snow plowing.  And the most exciting winter project will begin on 11CH. 

Enjoy the last few rounds out there, have a great winter, and stay in touch! 

Christine Kumagai, Golf Course Associate Superintendent