The demo day scheduled for Saturday May 14th will be rescheduled due to unfavourable weather. I will inform you once a new date has been set.
Well, I can honeslty say that once the snow cleared, it has been a mad dash to get the course open for the season. I would really like to thank the volunteers for their hard work helping with straw clearing and course clean up. We couldnt have done it without you. Besides setting the course up for the year, I have been sampling and assessing the golf course and developing a long term plan to improve the facility and make it something we all can be proud of. First and foremost, the green sites at the course are going to require a tremendous amount of work to make them amazing modern putting surfaces. We are currently waiting for the delivery of a toro procore aerator, a toro workman, a toro sprayer, and a toro topdresser. This equipment was an expensive investment for the course, but will allow me to improve the green sites and the rest of the course over the next several years. As soon as the gear is delivered, I will start aerating the greens by pulling cores, vertical cutting, topdressing with usga approved and tested sand, and rolling. The process of aeration will allow a reduction in the bulk density of the greens soil, allow gas transfer, allow water infiltration, and will allow spaces for roots to grow and establish. The greens currently have a very shallow and sparse root system, and have alot of layers of thatch that has to be diluted, and removed. Vertical cutting and topdressing are the methods that will be used for this. The precess of aeration, etc, will cause surface disruption, but it is a short term pain for a long term gain. Trust me, you are going to like what will happen with the greens this spring!
The tee decks, are also in a poor state of disrepair, so they will also be aerated, overseeded, and topdressed. There are some tees that are currently not showing signs of recovery, but it has been a cold and dry start, and these decks are in the shade. I will be doing a more extensive disruption of these surfaces shortly to insure their is turf growing on them for the season. I am currently assessing the shade situation around some of the tee decks, and I am developing a plan of strategic tree removal to improve the the total hours of available sunlight on them. This will also help with potential winter kill problems.
Fairway 1,3, and 4 are going to require extensive aeration with our fairway aerator. We are currently in the process of double clipping the aerator, and adding weight to the unit in order to sink it into the ground. We have purchased a new tractor that will allow me to aerate these fairways properly. I will also be using a pelletized poultry product that works wonders in poor soil situations. Yes it will stink, but it will work. I will also be increasing the frequency of fertilizion on these fairways, and overseeding , in order to create a softer surface with tight knit turf. It will take time to improve these sites, but you should see a drastic change this season. Ravens have been damaging various areas of turfgrass on the course, but have really made a mess on fairway 6. They are searching for grubs and other insect larvae. We have recently overseeded the area on 6, and rolled it out. Unfortunately their is not much else that can be done when Ravens start this kind of damage. I will be spraying these areas with insecticide to reduce the population of larvae so that the ravens will be looking elsewhere.
There are a number of areas on the course that are in a state of construction right now, and we will be working on them this month. I am hoping that by June, the crew and I will have these areas cleaned up. We will be purchasing more bunker sand this season to complete last years bunker projects, and will be installing drainage in 13 bunker and 17 bunkers. This season the bunkers are going to be edged properly, to bring them back to their original shape, and sand will be added as needed. Please rake behind yourselves and help us out.
I am also in the process certifying the golf course as a registered Integrated Pest Management (IPM) facility with Plant Health Atlantic. By implementing an IPM program and establishing tresholds, the course will ultimately become a more environmentally friendly facility, that uses less pesticides, and/or, uses them more efficiently.
It is going to be a really busy month of May for myself and the crew, but we are working hard to make Mountain Woods a better facility, that will be a place that golfers will call a must play each season. There is a good crew here at Mountain Woods, and I can tell you that they take the course to heart, and are eager to improve the entire facility. Please feel free to contact me at any time or just stop and ask questions while I am on the course. If you would like to volunteer, there are alot of wooded areas that need to be cleaned up. Simply contact Greg and I, and we can always find you projects that need to be done! See you on the course!!!