If February went out like a lamb, the lions of March appear to be sticking around for the foreseeable future. Record breaking temperatures and high skies treated golfers to a brief respite from an arguably tame winter. From a maintenance standpoint, the balmy weather provided ample opportunity to expand our bunker renovation campaign, as well as install nearly 1000’ of drainage throughout the property. Bunker renovations and improvements have been completed at 18 and 1 fairways, 5 fairway and green, 6 green, 10 green, 11 green, 13 fairway, and 15 green for a grand total of 16 bunkers! As mentioned in previous newsletters, these bunkers will benefit from newly installed internal drainage and new sand, both of which will contribute to better playing conditions as well as reducing man-hours required for regular bunker maintenance. In the coming weeks, professional renovation will take place at 16 fairway, consolidating the two bunkers into one, per master plan design. During that time, installation of a new pro tee on hole 2 will commence and will be ready for play by mid-summer. The drainage installations throughout the property, while much less visible, will help divert water from low lying areas into our irrigation pond. You could say that we’ve been collecting our rainwater before it was the fashionable thing to do! The end result will be drier soil and better quality turf in highly traveled areas throughout the course, not to mention dry pant cuffs!
Continuing with the curb appeal improvements undertaken last year, additional landscape features will take shape at 18 forward tee, 2 men’s tee, as well as at the new artificial range tee. Combinations of ornamental grasses, rose bushes, as well as other continuously blooming perennials will provide season long appeal throughout the property.
Course aerification is scheduled to take place March 27-29, 2017. Aerification is a necessary procedure employed to mitigate the adverse effects of thatch accumulation in a soil profile. Thatch is continuously produced as individual turfgrass leaves die and degrade into the soil. This detritus, if left unchecked will decrease the infiltration and percolation rate of water through the soil, promoting soft and damp turf surface. Just like any houseplant, turfgrass does not like having wet feet. Aerification physically removes thatch from the profile, and our specially designed sand topdressing will backfill the holes, diluting the quantity of thatch present in the soil. While it is a short term inconvenience, this and other cultivation procedures are necessary for the long term health and playability of the turf. We thank you for your patience during these necessary procedures!
As we inch closer to the upcoming golf season, let’s take an opportunity to review cart policy guidelines as they arise during the season.
This policy typically takes place in the off season when frozen or waterlogged soil conditions cannot sustain even incidental vehicle traffic. This policy is also sometimes utilized in the shoulder season through the back nine which lacks continuous cart path.
90 Degree Rule:
Considered a step up from “No Carts”, this policy is meant to encourage golfers to utilize cart paths where they exist, and to keep off-path traffic to a minimum. Plainly stated, exiting the path at 90 degrees, driving directly to your ball, and then returning to the cart path via the shortest route will disperse cart traffic patterns.
Paths and Fairways:
The most commonly utilized policy here at Wildwood during wet conditions; this encourages golfers to use paths where they exist, but permits players to drive the fairways to gain access to their ball. Sudden starts, stops, and turns can cause torsional stress on the turf and are discouraged. Golfers are encouraged to keep the wheels pointed between 10 and 2 to minimize the potential for turf damage.
This policy is utilized during optimal conditions. Please observe posted signage and rope stake throughout the course. Maintain a 50 yard radius around Greens and utilize paths for Tee access.
Signage will be posted at the first tee informing players of any applicable restrictions for the day. These policies are meant to facilitate play as conveniently as possible while protecting the turf from damage. Adhering to these guidelines will help to ensure enjoyable conditions throughout the entire season.
Proper Divot Repair
Thank you to the golfers who have actively utilized the bentgrass divot mix for use on fairways and tees. Bottle refill stations are available at certain points throughout the course for those of us who create more divots than we care to admit. Generally, it is best to replace the displaced turf to the divot; lightly sprinkling the mix along the seam of the replaced turf will encourage heathy reestablishment of the playing surface. If the turf is not physically viable, refilling the divot with the provided mix and then smoothing it with the sole of your shoe to the elevation of the surrounding turf will ensure expedited recovery of the site. Use of the divot mix in the rough is discouraged as blue and ryegrass regenerate more rapidly than bent.
Ball Mark Repair
The USGA advocates fixing a ball mark in 3 easy steps.
- Insert a repair tool into the outside edge of the divot.
- Knit the turf together with 2 or 3 gentle twisting motions; take care to not rip the turf apart.
- Smooth the disrupted surface with a putter or sole of your shoe.
This time tested method naturally encourages the plant to grow laterally and fill in the void left behind from that beauty of a shot you just hit.
Golf and Fitness
As if we needed another reason to be excited for this coming golf season, the National Golf Foundation in association with the University of Edinburgh, found that riding 18 holes in a cart burns approximately 600 calories whereas walking 18 holes can burn upwards to 2000 calories! In addition to the social benefits observed in golf, Golfers on the whole are less likely to be afflicted with chronic cardiovascular and metabolic conditions…All the more reason to log the rounds this season!
As always, feel free to contact me via email, firstname.lastname@example.org
, or on our office line 412-487-1234 to discuss these or any other topics. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, @wgc_greens, which was recently featured on the Weather Channel! Here you’ll find frequent updates of what’s happening on the course and grounds! Thank you and Think Spring!