Thursday, April 3, 2014

What's New for 2014

Course Update

Currently we little snow left on the course but still need some much needed warm weather to remove the several feet of frost from the property.  With rain then snow in our forecast, its going to be awhile before we open unless the weather makes a drastic change.  Keep in mind the average opening date at Ridgeway is around April 7th-12th taking into account 40+ years of history.

What's New for 2014

With the season nearing I thought I would take this time to announce what's new for the 2014 season.  During the offseason, the greens and grounds committee takes a look at what items or practices it wants improve for the next year. This season is no different as we have some great and exciting things we want to unveil. 

  • The last couple of seasons we have looked at ways to incorporate some new landscape/perennial flower areas to the golf course.  We removed a majority of the numerous small beds in preparation of adding larger less numerous beds, located in high impact areas of the course.  Starting this spring we will be adding several landscape additions to the property that will be located in these parts of the course:
    • Landscape beds near the clubhouse between #1 tee and #18 green.
    • Below the deck by the clubhouse.
    • Between the wildflower and natural area on #13 across from #13 tee. Now that the natural area on #13 is reaching maturity we are adding this bed with the hopes of making this area the most beautiful on the course.
  • We have received a lot of feedback regarding greens firmness vs. approach/fairway firmness.  This season our goal is make fairways and approaches firmer than that of our greens.  This will allow balls to roll up onto the putting surface.  Another aspect of this maintenance change is to closely monitor greens firmness so that well executed shots hold the green better than in past couple of seasons.  Several factors will play into our watering decisions in 2014: playability, aesthetics, firmness, and plant health will play a role in how we water.
  •  This season we will be leasing a large PTO driven detacher that will help keep our fairways in great condition.  Thatch is a problem for turf because it impedes water movement, shallows roots, and makes a great home for pests like insects/fungi. We anticipate dethatching fairways this spring.
  • In 2014 we are also going to be rolling fairways and approaches so that we improve ball roll without sacrificing aesthetics.  This goes back to earlier in this post about firmer fairways and approaches. The side benefit to rolling our fairways and approaches is improved turf health and less disease pressure.
  • Collars and perimeters around greens are some of the toughest areas to maintain on a golf course.  This season we have a multi-faceted approach to dealing with these areas so they are healthy and vibrant as the rest of the course. 
We are excited for the 2014 golf season to start.  The new changes are nice additions to our ever evolving maintenance regimen.

The greens and grounds crew hopes to see you out golfing very soon!

Please check this blog and our twitter feed @RidgewayCCTurf for continuing updates as the season nears...