Dear Spring Run Members,
We are getting closer to beginning the process of re-grassing the golf course using the “no-till” method. This method is frequently used when minimal dirt has to be moved around the property for redesign issues. Once we complete our spray applications to kill the existing bermudagrass, we will begin preparing the golf course for sprigs/sod the first day we close down.
A lot of work goes into preparing the soil properly for new turf. This is accomplished partially through aerifying and verti-cutting. We need to aerify the grounds as much as possible. This will help with compaction and also create cavities for sprigs to fall into. We also need to verti-cut, primarily focusing on tees, fairways, and approaches. Verti-cutting helps remove the thatch layer that builds up in turfgrass and helps the turfgrass stand upwards so we can get a good scalp on the turf. These are necessary for a successful re-grass. The less thatch and compaction we have results in a better growing atmosphere for the new sprigs.
While all that work is going on, we will have a team of GCM employees sod cutting two to three rings around the greens to remove the collar. This is a very labor-intensive task. Once sod is cut, we have to hand pick all of it up. The greens will need to be maintained throughout this entire process. The GCM team will also take advantage of the time closed to perform all summer practices that greens require in SWFL. This means we cannot have a cavity around the green sitting there for more than a day or two. Sod will need to be scheduled properly so the old sod can be removed and new sod laid down within that time frame. There will also be a two-to-three-person crew leveling all irrigation heads around the green’s complexes. All greens will need this done. Each green complex has roughly ten to twelve irrigation heads that will need to be dug up and leveled. This must be done before the sprigs are planted to ensure we are not in the way of the contractor laying the sprigs and the water that will be running as soon as sprigs are on the ground.
We have ten bunkers to renovate during this closure as well. We will need three to five crew members finishing them up. We will more than likely start before we close on the out-of-play bunkers. This will allow the crew and I some valuable time and experience before we tackle the remaining bunkers.
In addition to the tasks above, there are a few small projects that are beneficial to complete while the course is closed. These will be done by an outside contractor to ensure that the jobs are done correctly and in a timely manner. Briefly, these projects are described below. If there are any questions on these projects, please let me know. I can explain them in more detail upon request.
- #1 Left rough closer to green by oaks – Create swale along course property for positive flow to drains. If necessary, add two new basins as well.
- #14 Tee- Add 3 loads of clean fill to the side of the pro tee to move tee further away from hedges. Laser level and grade.
- #15 Fairway- Add 3 loads of clean fill and create positive grade to raised drains. Lower old waste area bunker berms and create new coquina cart path going down left-hand side of the rough then cutting back through the fairway further down. This project is one of the bigger ones being performed. It will help this hole be less wet during summer. The architect came out and gave his opinion on where the new path should cross and thought the plan was a good idea.
- Driving Range- Strip and laser level tee
I also have an operator with a box blade scheduled for two to three days for small odd jobs, such as leveling any unleveled #7 tee boxes, lowering any high collars that are trapping water on greens, fixing the drain on #17 cart path that retains water after it rains, and leveling all the rock walls that are next to greens 2, 4, 14, 18 so the GCM team can maintain them properly.
There is a small window to complete all these tasks. We will be working many hours to ensure it gets done properly. The GCM team is going to do everything they can to get the course back open by the middle of August. However, I cannot stress enough how vulnerable the new turf will be when we open back up. We want this new turf to be fully established and healthy before we add any stress to it. By making sure the turf is healthy it will ensure Spring Run to have great playing conditions for the remainder of the season.
Thank you for all your support and understanding. If you have any questions or comments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Golf Course Superintendent, Spring Run Golf Club