Director of Golf & Grounds Report – February 2019

by Brian Duthu

Pro Shops

Our demo day is scheduled for March 4 from 9am to 2pm and will be held at Riverview Golf Course. New this year is PXG Parsons Extreme Golf. In addition to PXG, representatives from Ping, Cobra, Taylor Made, Wilson Staff and Callaway Golf will be on hand to allow you to “test drive” the latest and greatest products that each company has to offer.

Free Saturday golf clinics will be offered March 2, 9, 16 & 23 at Lakes East/West, classes begin at 9:30am. Topics covered are Ball Flight, Golf Swing Fundamentals, Chipping and Putting. There is no need to preregister and the clinics are open to golfers of all skill levels. The clinics are a great introduction to the game of golf or great way to brush up on your game. Clinics are conducted by PGA professionals.

Get Golf Ready classes still have openings for March and April classes. Get Golf Ready classes are taught by PGA and LPGA professionals and are geared towards students wishing to learn the game or by students reentering the game. For $99, each student receives a series of four group classes, with enrollment capped at 8 students. Also included is a 9 hole playing lesson with the instructor. In addition to swing fundamentals, students are exposed to course courtesy and etiquette.

Snack Shops

Snack Shops are scheduled to close at 5pm, however, as we move into longer daylight hours, closing times may be extended based on demand. Hours may be adjusted during periods of inclement weather.

Golf Courses

The overseed and aerification schedule presented to the Golf Advisory Committee and the various Green Committees has been finalized and is posted on the RCSC website. The only real change to previous years is the scheduling of three days for greens aerification on the 18-hole courses and two days for Quail Run. The additional day will provide a buffer to allow for equipment issues as well as additional time for top dressing.

As we move into spring we can expect an increase in golf rounds, and with increased rounds comes increased wear and tear. As temperatures warm throughout the spring, this wear and tear will heal faster; however, we still need golfer support. We ask everyone to please fill your divots and fix your ball marks. With increased play, slow play instances become more likely. We ask everyone to please practice ready golf by: playing your shot as soon as possible when it doesn’t interfere with your playing partners or the group ahead; move to your ball whenever it is safe to do so; avoid excessive practice swings; read your putt ahead of your turn; and, record scores on the following tee box. Leaving the pin in to putt is also a great way to speed up play, particularly if the entire group agrees to leave the pin in.

As we move into spring and temperatures increase, we will begin preparing the courses to transition from winter rye to summer bermuda. The first step in this process is a gradual reduction in cutting heights, particularly in fairways and around green complexes. The process of lowering heights of cuts opens up the grass canopy to allow more sunlight to reach the bermuda grass as it comes out of dormancy. The additional sunlight gives the bermuda grass a better chance of competing against the established rye grass. There is nothing we can do that will completely eliminate transition related issues, lowering mowing heights promotes quicker recovery during the summer months.

Grounds/Lawn Bowling

Green speeds are slower than normal for this time of year due in great part to the amount of rain we have received. Our normal irrigation schedule this time of year is once every two weeks and if moisture readings dictate that irrigation is needed. Though mostly dormant, the greens have retained some color and are growing slowly. Mowing is on an as-needed basis and rolling occurs three times per week.

We have recently welcomed Derek Wilkerson as Grounds Superintendent. We are excited for the amount of experience and expertise he brings to the position. The excessive rains have increased weed pressure at all centers. We continue to remove weeds both chemically and mechanically and will continue to do so until we have achieved eradication.