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Turf Update

06 MAY 2021

To those of you who I saw and had the chance to catch up with prior to shutting down such a pleasure.  To those of you who I have yet to see in 2021, I can’t wait!  Our team is missing the early morning hustle, the comradery at the Halfway House and Putting Green, Ladies Day, Seniors Day, Men's Night, and just like all of you…we also miss golf!  Our key turf staff is fortunate to be able to continue work on the golf course with the help of the golf shop team.  It takes a long time to get through 800 acres of mowing each week and they are helping us stay on top of all of it.  The rain earlier this week, the wind last week, the snow 2 weeks ago, and a few back-breaking jobs while getting covered in dirt…you can bet these guys have gotten the full turf experience!

As we eagerly await the return of golf, we have kept busy with essential on-course maintenance.  Mowing, Spraying, and irrigation maintenance and repairs.  We are continuing with our course improvement projects.  We have completed our project on 11CH.  Between this week and last, we laid 40 skids of sod to officially call it done!  We are thankful for the help from our golf shop team as well as Bev and Tanya!! 

We have also taken advantage of this time to do some aerating.  To date, we have aerated all of Sidewinder collars, aprons, and greens.  And hopefully, the holes will be mostly filled in when golf returns so there is minimal disruption to your putting.  By aerating our collars and aprons followed by a vertical mow (mechanical dethatch) we were picking up mountains of thatch.  How will this help in the long run?  The thatch layer causes difficulties with water infiltration and will cause localized dry spots.  Those localized dry areas will need to be watered even more to stay alive in the summer, but by watering those small areas causes the areas adjacent to be oversaturated.  A challenging imbalance and is sometimes the reason for overwatered fairways in the middle of a drought.  The thatch layer also harbors many diseases and insect pests and the removal of thatch is an excellent cultural control practice in our Integrated Pest Management program.  How does thatch affect golf?  It causes bumpy putting on greens and the removal of thatch allows us to cut our grass shorter without any scalping.  Thatch removal also helps us achieve fast, firm playing conditions, keeping the bump and run shots pure and matching the Links style and theme on Sidewinder…and there is no question that Mother Nature does her part in keeping it windy out there for the full experience!

Staying open until late November left the course with more divots than in previous years.  We are in the process of filling in all our divots with some extra help from our executive team.  To date, we have completed 28 holes and have 8 to go. 

In the upcoming weeks we are planning to continue filling in some out-of-play bunkers; aerating the Putting green, Chipping Green, and Rattler greens. Looking forward to the return of golf.  See you soon!

Christine Kumagai

Associate Golf Course Superintendent