A Golfer's Retreat in Southwest Minnesota

Clippings – April 2015

Clippings – April 2015

April 22, 2015

It feels like Mother Nature wants to play the same game that she started to fall with the roller coaster of temps and moisture.  Despite that, I am glad to be back on the course this season after spending the winter in the shop doing maintenance on the equipment.

The course overwintered in fair condition – which was expected.  With the little amount of snow cover that we had, everyone was worried as to how the turf would handle the cold temps without the blanket of snow to insulate it. We had some areas of turf that appear “bleached looking”; these areas of turf are a species known as Poa Annual (aka Annual Bluegrass). Some courses are on vigorous programs to get rid of the grass so that they have a better stand of bentgrass. The nice thing about bentgrass is that it grows laterally instead of vertically so it is great at filling in these voids that the Poa was growing in. Bentgrass needs the soil temps to be in that 55 degree range to make it active and we are currently only in the upper 40’s, so getting the grass to grow has been a challenge until the temps get up there.  

10408703_920631854625072_3164533345044176673_nWe have the irrigation system up and running!  It was a challenging year to get the system going because we had over a dozen breaks.  These breaks were mainly from old glue joints separating and improper blocking of angles. I think that we have the system sealed up and are ready to start the water cycle (if Mother Nature decides that she doesn’t want to let it rain). Hopefully we’ll get some timely rains and we can get the river rejuvenated so that we have an ample water source throughout the season.

Some of the projects that we have completed this spring so far are:

  • removal of the landscaping plants in front of the clubhouse and went with a more maintenance free look of just washed river rock
  • we removed the dead willow from the right side of #3 fairway
  • installed new yardage markers that we made from 12×12 pavers and painted them red, white, and blue
  • evaluated and purchased a new greens roller to assist in effectively maintaining our greens.  There was a group of individuals who have worked to help raise donations to help defray the cost of this new equipment.  Thanks to all who have donated!  If you are interested in providing support for this, it is not too late, please see me. 

Yardage-markersWe will be getting started on bunker work in early May when we get the college crew in and also will be getting #18 and 11 fairways leveled and seeded after the drain tile was installed late last fall.

We are looking at doing a new program this year, where we will have a list of all the landscape and flower beds on the golf course and would have Members adopt a hole. The Members would be in charge of planting and upkeep on the beds and we would recognize these Members with a board in the clubhouse or something similar. The grounds crew would make sure that if you needed water or something to put the weeds we would supply those things to you. This worked great for our Club in Iowa and Members there took great pride in their holes and even went as far as decorating for special holidays, ex: 4th of July with small flags in the beds. I hope that we can get some Members excited for this and see who has the “green thumbs” out here!

Once again this season I am always open to new ideas and would love for member feedback and to things you like and dislike, it makes the job interesting listening to thoughts that members have and things that could potentially make the club better. So, with that said feel free to poke your head in the shop or stop me on the course and give me your thoughts.

Until next issue,

Terry Negen, Superintendent