by Brian Duthu
Total rounds in April fell 921 rounds short of prior year, the heavy winds in the last week playing a large part in this shortage. Rounds played at the regulation courses decreased by 1,481 rounds, while rounds played at the executive courses increased by 560 rounds. For the year total rounds have increased by 11,867.
Get Golf Ready classes proved to popular this year and were well attended. From November through May 91 students attended the classes. Demand for the classes was down from prior year, however the offered classes were near capacity throughout the season. The Get Golf Ready program is a national initiative of the PGA of America to introduce people to the game of golf, in a setting that is not intimidating.
On Tuesday, May 13, we conducted our annual USGA visit, with Brian Whitlark. Mr. Whitlark is a professional soil scientist and holds a B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science. Putting green soil samples taken during the visit continue to affirm that our summer cultural practices are achieving the desired control of thatch. Topics discussed included putting surface quality, winter weed control, changes to putting green overseed and possible solutions for turf reduction in non play areas. His full report is available on the RCSC website, on the golf page, under the “Services and Resources” tab.
In addition to his annual visit, Mr. Whitlark has also been involved with the North project, particularly the putting greens. His primary role with the North project is to ensure soil tests for the green mix are meeting USGA specifications.
We are pleased to welcome our new Head Superintendent, David Dube, to the RCSC team. David brings with him a wealth of knowledge, gained from 20 years of experience in the golf industry, including extensive golf course construction experience. David replaces Dan Cramer, who left to accept a position out of state and outside of the golf industry. We thank Dan for his 9+ years of service to RCSC and wish him the best of luck in his new career.
The North project remains on schedule or slightly ahead. We are in a position to begin grassing the course, however we are waiting for temperatures to increase and stabilize. Grassing began May 27th with sprigging in areas of disturbance in the fairways. Grassing of tees, green surrounds and putting greens will begin the week of June 2. Planting of trees began earlier this month, in areas defined in the master plan. As we move into the planting phase it is imperative that interested onlookers refrain from driving or walking through the course. The course will be saturated with water, in addition to doing costly damage to the course, the possibility of becoming stuck in wet areas greatly increases.
Though we are no longer chemically spraying out winter rye grass, there will be bare areas as the rye grass dies and reveals areas of weak Bermuda coverage, throughout all courses. Irrigation will be increased to promote the growth of the Bermuda and will result in areas of standing water throughout all courses.
Fairway aerification began May 19 at Willowcreek and continues through June 20 at South. The full schedule can be found on the sunaz.com website.
Despite the revenue miss by the Pro Shops, Snack Shops managed to meet their budgeted revenue goals. We continue to thank everyone for their Snack Shop support.