It seems as though each spring has its own way of being very busy. With the transition into a new golf season, the “to-do” lists seem endless. I’m unsure what it is about this season, but, the facts are that this has been (and will continue to be) the year of the to-do list.
It has been much documented about the number of golf facilities in Ontario that suffered serious turf damage from last December’s ice storm. While we were mostly unscathed from the storm. The slow melt, standing water issues and extensive snowmobile damage we sustained are the “fish we have had to fry” this spring. On top of regular golf course maintenance we have had a full list of repairs and upgrades take place late last fall and early this spring.
Past years and experience has told us that sometimes waiting for seed to fill in our damaged areas isn’t always the best option. In the past few years we have sodded damage to gain the full impact from repairs sooner, this allows putting surfaces to match others on the golf course in a shorter time-frame. We were quick to decide to sod some damaged areas on a few greens, and mow them at a higher height of cut until they are ready for the full pressure of mowing at .120″. Below are a few snapshots of the before and after;
An example of what a lot of snowmobile traffic can do to a green can also been seen here;
We have also re-sodded the Blue/White teeing ground on Uplands #1;
We also completed the green surround renovation at Highlands #1 green that was started last fall;
We will also be seeding the chipping green on the driving range next week. We used much of the turf there for repairs on other areas of the golf course while our new bentgrass nursery grew in after being seeded last August. The new chipping green will be much larger than the old one as well and should be ready for activity before the end of the summer;
While all greens are now in decent condition (I more critical of that then you’ll ever be) it was decided yesterday afternoon that the green site at Uplands #2 was not going to recover fast enough. This green has been a source of many pains in my 8 years here and would likely continue to be an issue going forward. While we had considered fully re-sodding the green with Bentgrass from our nursery as Bentgrass is able to handle more of the issues harsh winters and hot and humid summer present than mixed stands of Poa annua and Bentgrass in sites such as Uplands 2.
Bentgrass plugs in great spring shape;
A distinct line where we had sodded an area a few years ago on Uplands 2;
So starting this morning we are moving forward with a full renovation and re-build of Uplands 2 green, bunkers and green surrounds. The process began this morning with marking existing irrigation and the area that we will be renovating. Monday an excavator will be on site to begin the process of moving earth to build the green up and make a drainage swale around the back of the green to keep the green free of water. This project had been discussed for a couple of years now, but the time to move forward is now given the slow healing of the water damaged areas on this green. We have already stripped all of the sod away from the green complex and will discuss the future location of the green with consulting golf course architect Ian Andrew on Monday morning.
Uplands 2 from behind the green;
And from about 100 yards out in the fairway;
How the green site looks today;
What does this mean for golf on that hole in the interim? The hole will be shortened to a Par 3 for the next few weeks while construction takes place and sod is laid and allowed to establish. While temporary greens are not fun for players or those who manage golf courses, it is necessary in this case. The great thing about this project is that not only will we have a new green, green side bunker and stand of bentgrass, but, the greens new location will make for a better golf hole. I will keep everyone abreast of how the process is going right through to completion. The management of Pheasant Run thanks all of you for your support and understanding during this time of progress and club improvement.