Your golf course maintenance team has been hard at work on the renovation project. Since closing the front nine on April 28th, the golf course team has been tackling multiple projects and cultural practices, which I have detailed below, in order to prepare the course for new sprigs. Despite a few mechanical issues, I am happy to say that we have been able to complete the necessary prep work in a timely manner. We are continuing to aerify roughs, tees and fairways for the second time. This is being done directly in front of the grassing company, which is crucial because it is best for sprigs to be planted in as much soil as possible. I am very pleased with the kill that we received out here as well. All four spray applications have paid off. For the areas that have continued to have some growth, there are two crew members focusing on spot treatments daily.
All construction work has been completed. The cart paths were one of the first things done, and they look great. All rock walls around greens have been leveled. Now the GCM team will be able to maintain them properly. They could gradually sink overtime due to the summer rains, but we will be monitoring closely to be sure to address sink holes as they appear. The #7 tee boxes have been leveled. This will not only make it feel like a real tee box, but it will also give the members a flat playing surface. The tee box on #14 was extended from the clusia hedge. This gives us a fighting chance on growing some grass on that tee. We created a swale on the left-hand side of the #1 rough, closer to the green. This will allow water to flow to the existing drains. We also added irrigation to this area so we can facilitate grass growth there. Hole #15 was roto tilled three times and laser graded to soften some of the steep slopes that lead towards drains. It will hopefully help this fairway stay drier than previously. Around each green, we leveled every irrigation head. Not only does this prevent a tripping hazard, it also lets the irrigation head water properly. A few green surrounds had collars that were built up with sand over the years. This is typical on golf courses in Florida due to all the topdressing that is necessary for warm season turf. We will address this issue every summer during our closure by verti-cutting the collars aggressively in order to remove all sand and thatch build up. Doing this each summer will help prevent these build ups. The team was able to sod strip and re-grade the areas that needed it. Now, the water will be able to run off the green instead of being trapped on it. A good example of this was the front of # 3. We also extended the 3/4 tee deck on hole #4. This will help us get the correct yardage while remaining on the same tee deck.
Sprigging on the front nine, driving range and chipping green began on May 10th and was completed on May 20th. This covered forty-two acres. They started double sprigging the back nine on May 24th. As of May 26th, holes 12, 13, and 16 are complete. The back nine is trending at 40 acres. In total, this would comprise of sprigging 82 acres. Unfortunately, this project was budgeted for only 65 acres prior to my arrival. I re-evaluated the proposal and raised the acreage to 70 acres. Unfortunately, it seems that was not a large enough increase as we have come out 12 acres over thus far. If we continue to move forward without any additional mechanical errors, it should be completed on May 31st, just a few days past the original anticipated date of May 28th.
With the front nine completed and the back nine in progress, we are trying to balance water flow as much as possible. Due to recent winds and lack of rain, there has been low moisture. To make up for this, we are watering heavy at night to support the growth of the fresh sprigs.
The team has been working endlessly to ensure all tasks are being completed and are excited about what has been done thus far. There will be more pictures and videos to come but in the meantime check out the photos so far on our Projects2022 page.
Finally, we would like to give a special thanks to those who have served our country. We hope everyone has a relaxing and safe Memorial Weekend.
Joey Smallwood, Superintendent