The Fruits of Long-Term Maintenance Practices

I received several surprised reactions when people learned that carts would be available for golfers today.  This was on the heals of 1.2 inches of rain yesterday evening and last night.  No doubt we missed the brunt of the storms, but the course was in great shape after that amount of rain.  We perform several maintenance practices that may present a short-term disturbance, but the long-term benefits are evident on days like today.

All through the season we are continuously monitoring the course after rains to identify potential areas for drains.  Every spring and fall we try to do 2 or 3 of the worst draining areas.  This spring we completed a drain near 1 tee that would hold water for very long periods of time, which created problems for the carts that drove near there (post here).  We also installed a drain at 8 approach (post here).  This was not a large area, but being so close to the green, it was often in play.  We had other areas in mind for  drains, but the abnormally wet spring has delayed those drainage projects until fall.  Last year we complete 2 large drainage projects-one on 11 fairway, and on at 14 approach-both of these projects provided a noticeable benefit to the playability of the course.

Our fairway topdressing program is continuously displaying its benefits.  As this project continues through the years, the growing sand layer allows for water to better percolate through the surface of the soil.  This topdressing, combined with regular drainage projects provides and excellent playing surface through a wide range of weather conditions.

We always aerate as much as possible.  This creates holes in the soil that allow air and water to better exchange between the soil and air above.  Though the grass may cover the holes on the surface, the channels in the soil last for extended periods of time.

These practices show a very slight disturbance to the playing surface.  But, their long-term benefits far outweigh any inconvenience that may be created.  That is evident on days like today.
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