Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wrapped Up and Reviewed

2018 Review
As 2019 begins and winter projects are under way, I wanted to take a quick look back at 2018 to review the season and happenings.

Old Friend
Bittersweet loss of our long-lived 'course dog' this summer. The board generously allowed her onto the property when she was 8 weeks old in 2003. The understanding was she'd keep the geese on the run and anything else she could catch and lived up to her end of the bargain until she couldn't make it in anymore. A great companion and gentle sweetheart that adored the members and was never happier than when in the middle of the action at Tuscarora.  She'll be missed. Her passing was oddly welcome as she rapidly declined over a few weeks in June before the hot weather hit.
Gracie: 2003-2018

New Green Surrounds

The beginning of the season saw two projects completed in 13 greenside bunker and 16 collar collection area resulting in better drainage, aesthetics, and shot options. 

1st tee and Driving Range changes

The arborvitae hedge behind 1 tee has been removed in favor of a small wall and perennial plantings that will tie in with the look of the clubhouse landcscape. A similar treatment is going on  between the 18th tee and the driving range tee with the idea to create more space for the grass range tee while replacing a outgrown hedge that the deer were destroying. The retaining wall at the range is complete and we're waiting for better conditions to start the 1st tee wall.

Before shot of 1 tee
After removal
We'll likely use our natural locally-sourced limestone boulders at the range tee and 1 tee. It's the most cost-effective and aesthetically attractive solution.

Range tee wall under way

The Battle of Unrepaired Ballmarks

The fight goes on. Noticeable progress was made this year thanks to a concerted effort by (almost) all the membership to be diligent and care for their greens.  Everyone looks forward to the day a ball mark left on the green is treated with the same outrage as seeing steel spiked shoes on a green. 
Until then, keep up the good work and remember  what Smokey says: 

Summer Summary
There were long stretches of heat and humidity and a heavy snow event in the early spring.  Other than these, it was a year where there was a lot of golf played which is always indicative of pretty decent weather. Very few days were lost to poor course conditions and it was a good year for any cost-per-round concerns - people got their money's worth. Some rain notwithstanding, carts were out daily more than they were in.  Spring and early summer were as expected with greens snapping into summer mode around Memorial day as the poa seeds wained and the effect of  topdressing and rolling started to accumulate. We experimented with some new growth regulator combinations on greens and fairways and although we had no issues, we'll continue looking for that perfect combination for green speed, growth reduction, and wear recovery that's so elusive on our mixed poa-bent greens.  More to come on that front for 2019.  
Bunkers were requested to be raked more deeply and we complied.  This softened them and lessened complaints. Drainage is still a concern in many, however, and we'll be addressing that problem this winter.  

Winter Work
New 8 tee roughed in and ready for top mix and sod

New 8 tee looking to the green

Dropping the last of the big rocks for the driving range wall

Range hedge before

Driving range wall under way

Wet 7 bunker

7 Bunker dug to bedrock, water disappeared in 30 minutes

Flattening/enlarging 7 tee

Course-wide 'limbing-up' and raising of lower canopy

Snow came early this November curtailing leaf clean-up.  We got  back to the worst areas while we had a reprieve between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Besides the range and 1st tee, projects through the winter are a flattening/enlarging #7 tee, building an additional tee on #8, and tree pruning. The goal is to remove the lower canopy/branches of all trees that need it.  This opens up the holes visually and allows better shot options.  A major side effect is more air flow, more sunlight, faster drying, better grass, and of course, happier golfers!  See you in April.

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