Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Natural Areas

This year the greens and grounds committee decided to bring back naturalized areas to Ridgeway Country Club.   Naturalized areas provide a host of benefits that can enhance the golfing experience.   Benefits include:  enhanced wildlife on the course, beauty (particularly in late summer when these areas turn brownish red), contrast/texture of grass types, and reduction in labor costs.  The reduction in labor costs mowing rough is one of the main reasons we have decided to bring back these ecologically friendly areas.   The areas that we have been selected for naturalization in 2012 are: behind #2/12 green, between #13/14/5 the area left of #15 fairway, between #16/7 fairway, left of #11 near maintenance and the new mound system on #18. 
Careful planning by the greens and grounds committee allowed us to select areas that will help reduce labor costs but rarely affect the golfer.   One thing we wanted to avoid is penalizing the golfer or having to look for balls in long rough.  The areas that have been selected are well out of play and will add a nice backdrop to the existing “maintained” turf.  Birdhouses have been added to these areas to enhance the amount of wildlife calling Ridgeway home.   So far every birdhouse is being utilized by mosquito eating bluebirds or tree swallows.
The beginning of this year is important because some of the areas were seeded this spring with a mixture of fescues and need to fill in over time to have a consistent look to them.   Examples are behind #2/12 and #13/14/5 area.  These areas will start to show maturity and once seed takes hold we will spray for weeds and it should look as good as the areas on #16.   Once these areas fill in they are going to help cut down labor costs while enhancing the natural landscape.