The start of a new year with many challenges, learning moments and plenty of successes behind us; onto 2021 for the Grounds operations. We expect very similar challenges with the 2021 season; labor shortages, the usual Mother Nature wild cards and a high volume of play. Pre-pandemic, the golf course would see about 20,000-22,000 rounds, this year the turf was subjected to roughly 32,000 rounds, the wear and tear from foot traffic and golf carts was minimal in many cases. The past agronomic plans, data interpretation, strategic investment in key infrastructure (greens drainage, irrigation, tree management and new technology) along with the willingness, flexibility and resilience of the grounds team allowed for a positive outcome. Moving forward, the team and I started in the early fall preparing for 2021 with a continued focus on agronomics.
Aerification is a helpful tool to reduce compaction from the increased foot and golf cart traffic; fortunately the weather was conducive to achieve the desired goals to aerify all of the surfaces (rough, greens, tees, fairways and high traffic areas) at least once. We will engage in a similar program for 2021 with couple adjustments for short-comings. Typically, the weather and soil conditions allow for the aerification of the greens in early April.
Over the winter months the staff will be engaged in many initiatives which include:
Tree Management Program: included this year are the removal of dead and dying trees across the property; the staff has been busy removing invasive honey suckle on holes 4,5,6 and 13. Behind the 5th green and 6th tee, new landscaping will improve aesthetics and help reduce noise from Brotherton Ave.
Recently, a new forward tee was constructed on the 18th, making the hole a little more enjoyable with the new location on the right side along with the reduction of overall yardage by approximately 50 yards. The tee will be closed until early spring, please utilize the fairway for a temporary teeing area.
Dredging of the Ditch: Unfortunately, removal of silt and grass in the bottom of the ditch on holes 4,6 and 7 was long overdue as you can see from the photos below. This process, will allow water to move steadily during rain events and allow for drain pipes that exit into the ditch not to become backed up. We are hopeful that we will be finished this project by late February.
Bunker Maintenance: The winter months are a great time for bunker maintenance (limited play) which includes detailed practices of edging, checking drainage efficiency and overall depth of sand. Overtime, sand build-up will occur along the edges, shrinking the size of the bunkers, periodic edging will help with the integrity of size and shape of the bunkering.
Happy New Year! Here's to 2021, it won't be long until golf is in full swing again. As always, thanks for all the feedback and please do not hesitate to send questions or comments to email@example.com.